Statue of John Ireland with Mask

Fall 2021 Semester

Back to School

St. Thomas is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment where our students, faculty and staff can learn, live, teach and work. We will continue to be guided by a culture of care and our mission to advance the common good as we work to navigate challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. The following information provides a high-level summary for how we will approach the Fall 2021 semester.

COVID-19 Vaccine Policy

The COVID-19 vaccines represent the best chance to safely return to normal operations. Given this, St. Thomas is requiring students, faculty and staff who are medically able to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Please visit the Center for Well-Being's COVID Vaccine webpage for:

  • Frequently Asked Questions about the vaccination policy
  • How to report your vaccination status to the university
  • Where you can schedule an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine
  • Who to contact for more information
"Vaccination is a simple but profound way of promoting the common good and caring for each other, especially the most vulnerable."
Pope Francis

Face Coverings on Campus

graphic of student wearing a mask
St. Thomas is currently requiring all community members (regardless of vaccination status) to wear face coverings in indoor, public spaces when other people are present. This includes areas such as classrooms and labs, building lobbies and lounges, elevators, and others.

Face coverings are optional for fully vaccinated community members in certain scenarios; all unvaccinated individuals on campus are required to wear face coverings at all times. Read more details here.

The university will continually re-evaluate the larger situation and hopes to lift this requirement as conditions improve.
Professor prepares online lesson

What Will Classes Be Like This Semester?

The majority of undergraduate classes this semester will be in-person, with some blended and online classes also being offered. For in-person classes, we are currently planning for normal classroom capacities and are not requiring social distancing (although most normal classroom capacities will allow for 3 feet of space between people).

With the rapid spread of the Delta variant, St. Thomas has decided to begin the semester requiring all students to wear face coverings in all indoor classes and labs. The university will continue to re-evaluate the overall situation and hopes to remove this requirement as conditions improve.

Fully vaccinated instructors will be allowed to remove their face coverings while they teach classes, provided they can maintain 6 feet of distance from their students.

Life in the Residence Halls

Residence Life will remain in contact with all resident students regarding health and safety protocols to be followed this semester. At this time, all students (regardless of vaccination status) are required to a face covering in public spaces when others are present.  Other residence hall measures will be less restrictive than last year. For example, resident students will be allowed to visit other residence halls and there are no occupancy limits in common spaces.

Please note that all unvaccinated students who receive exemptions to St. Thomas' vaccine requirement are expected to wear their face coverings at all times when they are not in their private rooms.

All protocols are subject to change as the situation evolves.

Visit Residence Life

Campus Dining

In accordance with the university mask requirement, all students, employees, and visitors must wear face coverings in university dining facilities unless they are eating.

The bottom line: If you're eating - enjoy your meal! If you're walking through the dining hall, standing in line or sitting at a table while not eating, you must wear a face covering.

All protocols are subject to change as the situation evolves. Again, we hope to remove this requirement as conditions improve.

Visit Campus Dining