Penn State delays in-person start of spring semester

Local News

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) — All Penn State campuses are moving to fully remote learning for the beginning of the 2021 spring semester.

The university said this decision was made following extensive analysis and scenario planning given worsening virus conditions nationally and across the state, indicating predictions of rising hospitalization rates in the coming weeks.

Remote classes will start on Jan. 19 and will go until Feb. 12. In-person classes are expected to resume on Feb. 15 across all campus locations at this time. The university said this could change based on health and safety factors.

“Students are strongly discouraged from returning to campus, off-campus locations, and group dwellings (e.g., apartments and fraternities) during the four weeks of the remote period,” the university stated. “However, the University recognizes many students live off-campus in the communities surrounding Penn State campuses and must return for work-related reasons and other important circumstances. Off-campus students who are returning to their campus community before Feb. 15 are required to be tested before their arrival.

Penn State President Eric Barron said the prevalence rates and hospitalizations are moving in the wrong direction.

“We hope that will change, as we recognize the critical importance of a return to on-campus learning and to being able to offer in-person experiences that are not currently possible,” Barron said. “We are committed to bringing our students back to our campuses, and in accordance with state and federal guidance.”


Here is housing information for on and off-campus students, according to PSU:

  • Residence halls and campus dining facilities will not be reopened for normal operation during the remote-learning period (beyond the facilities that are already in use). Students who live on campus should not come back to campus to collect belongings during the remote period. For students who need to retrieve essential belongings, arrangements for temporary access may be able to be made depending on circumstances, please contact their campus Housing office.
  • Students remaining on campus during winter break: For students, including international students who are living on campus through the winter break, the University will work with you on an individual basis to make a special visit or housing arrangements if needed through the remote learning period. Students should contact their campus Housing office.
  • Students who need housing during the remote period: Students, including international students, who cannot make alternative housing arrangements and must return to campus during the remote learning period due to extenuating and/or compelling circumstances, the University will work with you on an individual basis to make a special visit or housing arrangements. Students should contact their campus Housing office.


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