USF announces its own plans for fall semester as state leaders meet to discuss guidelines for universities

As the State University System's Board of Governors prepares to meet Thursday afternoon to discuss safe reopening guidelines for Florida universities, the University of South Florida confirms it will hold in-person classes beginning in August. 

USF students will return to campus this fall, but they won’t stay for the full semester. The university plans to use a hybrid schedule that brings students back to the classroom before finishing out the semester online. 

USF officials say the fall semester will begin August 24 with face-to-face classes, but after the Thanksgiving break, they’ll switch to online classes and exams. 

“The University of South Florida’s commitment since the beginning of the COVID-19 challenge has been to make decisions regarding university operations that prioritize the health and safety of our community members,” USF President Steven Currall said in a statement.  “These modifications are intended to avoid potentially thousands of students, faculty and staff from returning after holiday travel.”

USF Adjusted Fall Calendar:

First day of fall semester: Aug. 24
Last day of classes on campus: Nov. 25
Thanksgiving break: Nov. 26-27
Classes only online: Nov. 30-Dec. 
Final exams: Dec. 5-10 (online only)
Last day of fall semester: Dec. 10
Classes won’t be held on Labor Day or Veterans Day, but the university says travel around each federal holiday will be discouraged.

Residence halls and dining options will remain open after Thanksgiving break for students who need access until the end of the fall semester.

USF’s fall commencement ceremonies are scheduled to begin on Dec. 11, however the university says it’s still working how it might be able to safely resume hosting large events. Guidelines from state and local leaders and health officials will  shape the look and feel of the ceremony. 

USF says it will announce more details about the fall semester and plans to gradually resume more on-campus operations in June. 

Florida’s 12 public universities are expected to present their reopening plans to the Board of Governors on June 23.