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Spring semester began Monday, January 25, with a mix of in-person instruction and expanded online classes. Visit Mason’s Safe Return to Campus Plan for COVID-19 updates.


From the Dean: Safe Return to Campus Update #2

Dear College of Science community:  

As you’ve just learned from President Washington, Mason has remained committed to its efforts for a safe return to campus this fall.  

I wish to share our on- and off-campus science community footprint, the steps all must take to return to campus safely, and some of the resources available to help us do so. 

Mason science community footprint 

Here is how our safe return plan looks from the College’s perspective (data as of Thurs., 8/8/20): 

  • 517 College of Science students will live in Mason’s residence halls this fall. 
  • 2,472 College of Science students are enrolled in at least one course that is held in face-to-face or hybrid mode. 
  • 1,111 / 49% of our sections will be offered in the face-to-face or hybrid model and 1,058 / 51% of sections will be solely online. 
  • 426 (just over 50%) of our faculty, staff and instructors including research faculty and teaching and graduate assistants, will have an on-campus presence. 

    Next steps 

    Our return to campus is grounded on our Unit Safety Plans which have been reviewed and approved by the College. I ask that all College of Science faculty, staff and students who return to campus follow these plans and complete the required training no later than 24 hours before you return to campus or by Friday, August 14th. As students begin moving onto campus, we must be informed and set the right example for safe operations. This training provides an explanation of responsibilities and resources and will keep our approach consistent and safety-focused. 

For students returning to work AND living on campus, your requirements may differ: 

If individual faculty member circumstances have changed, and individuals want to request a change in their course format, you should immediately be in contact with your academic program chair/director or me.  

Important Resources 

For the most up-to-date resources on Mason’s safe return to campus, check Mason’s main website, the College’s weekly email newsletter, or follow us on social media (Twitter/Instagram) as we continue to share important information on the evolving situation with you as it becomes available.  

To request to resume research on campus, if you have not already done so, please submit this form: 

The state of Virginia and many university communities across the nation are watching how all of us will respond to this opportunity. Although it will not always be easy or even perhaps convenient to follow the rules we’ve established, I know you will embrace the chance to show we don’t take the safety of our Mason Nation lightly and will do our part. To this end, please: 

  • Wear face coverings in public places. 
  • Maintain physical distancing of at least six feet. 
  • Complete the Mason COVID Health Check on a daily basis for all students, faculty and staff coming to campus. 
  • Practice proper hygiene, including regular hand washing and use of hand sanitizer. 
  • Stay home and quarantining from others when feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms. 

My heartfelt thanks to you as you create the best possible academic and research environment for our science community, whichever learning format each of us has chosen. I also thank you in advance for acting as role models for each other; following University policies will be a key to our collective safety and success. 

If you have any suggestions or feedback as we move forward, please share it with your unit supervisor or contact us at  

I am looking forward to seeing how all of us do our part in navigating these challenging times. 

Yours truly,