Recent Updates: The New School is planning for a robust in‑person student experience starting in fall 2021 and beyond. Learn more.

  • The New School is a community of innovators dedicated to new approaches, new ways of thinking, and new solutions. Today we are called to live these values, to bring our campus and community together in inspiring new ways, and to reimagine our educational experience in the 2020–2021 academic year. As we all continue to confront the ongoing challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, one thing remains constant: the value of a New School education.

    Our plans for the coming academic year follow guidelines from the City and State of New York and will ensure a rigorous, relevant, and uniquely New School experience for every one of our students, regardless of where they are or what in-person access we have to our campus.

    Guiding Principles

    Every decision The New School makes about learning formats, campus access, and university activities is guided by three principles:

    • Protecting the health and safety of the entire New School community — students, faculty, and staff — and the neighbors with whom we interact
    • Maintaining the highest-quality teaching, learning, research, and cultural expression in every college, department, and specialty
    • Ensuring equitable access to classes and other learning activities for all students

    Fall 2021: Safe Campus Reopening

    The New School is planning for a robust in‑person student experience both inside and outside the classroom starting in fall 2021 and beyond. Our goal is to re-open our New York City campus in fall 2021 for in-person teaching and learning in undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Our progress will be determined by the trajectory of the pandemic, the pace of the vaccination program, and official guidelines from the City and State of New York, all of which are developing in real-time. 

    You can find more details about our fall 2021 campus reopening plans in the COVID-19 Community Guide and in our Fall 2021 FAQs.

    As part of our comprehensive planning process, colleagues across the university formed a Working Group, which has identified the questions and topics the university will address in order to safely return to campus in the fall. We invite you to review these planning initiatives in the Working Group Report. 

    Teaching and Learning in the 2020-2021 Academic Year

    We have implemented an expanded three-term academic calendar with fall and spring semesters as well as a ten-week summer term, to give students greater flexibility and control as they plan their academic year. We also offered an optional two-week winter intensive in January. The scheduled semester dates for the 2020-2021 academic year are as follows:

    • Fall: August 31, 2020, through December 22, 2020
    • Winter Intensive: January 2 through January 17, 2021
    • Spring: January 19 through May 12, 2021
    • Summer: June 1 through August 14, 2021

    Summer 2021

    • Similar to the spring semester, nearly all classes will be taught online this summer. As we continue to take steps to gradually reopen our New York City campus, online instruction will be supplemented by a limited number of in-person courses, including a hybrid option for international students in programs that are not offering in-person learning. 

    • Summer 2021 course offerings can be found in the University Course Catalog. Continuing student registration for both the summer and fall terms opens April 5.

    • Spring 2021 graduates from flat-rate programs will be permitted to enroll in summer courses as non-degree students to supplement their previous course of study (subject to course availability). Registration for those students will begin May 3. Graduating Bachelor’s-Master’s students who are interested in taking summer courses should contact their academic advisers to discuss their options.

    • Students will continue to have access to select portions of the New School campus for creative making, research, and independent study. This includes making and rehearsal spaces, quiet study rooms, specialized equipment, workshops, instruments, tools, and materials. Campus spaces will be available by reservation

    • Continuing and graduating students who pay flat-rate tuition per semester will only be required to pay for summer courses up to the maximum tuition amount for the year under the Academic Year 20-21 maximum tuition plan (subject to course availability). Students in per-credit programs will continue to pay for each individual class they choose to take this summer. Billing information for the summer session is available on the Tuition & Fees page.

    Spring 2021

    • Nearly all classes continue to be taught online this spring. Our New York City campus offers one single university-wide elective course that combines engaging online learning with an in-person component, in which students attend one on-campus small-group instructional offering in compliance with health and safety protocols and social distancing guidelines. 

    • We continue to take gradual, measured steps to expand access to select portions of The New School campus for in-person learning, creative making, research, independent study, and artistic studies. Learn more about the health and safety protocols in place for those members of our community who are returning to campus.

    Fall 2020

    All classes were online in fall 2020.

    University Housing

    On-campus housing will be available during both the summer and fall 2021 terms. Please visit the Housing website for more information about living in the residence halls, important health and safety guidelines, and the application process.

    College-Specific Plans

    Each of our colleges has prepared a customized plan for the 2020-2021 academic year grounded in the unique needs and priorities related to their places of study, research, and practice. 

    Global Offsite Semester 

    The Global Offsite Spring 2021 Semester opportunity is designed for students who currently reside outside of the United States and cannot travel to our New York City campus this spring due to the impact of COVID-19. 

    Learn more about the Global Offsite Semester.


    We understand you may have questions regarding how The New School community will be living, learning, and experiencing the university in the 2020-2021 academic year. Learn more in our FAQs.

    Enduring Benefits

    Though teaching modalities will be different in the months to come, we will continue to deliver an educational, cultural, and social experience that is rigorous, exciting, and truly New School. The benefits include:

    • Prominent and passionate faculty whose trailblazing ideas and individualized mentorship help students reimagine the future
    • Purposeful innovation that combines research, creativity, and technology with a commitment to sustainability, social justice, and health and wellness to create immediate impact in the real world
    • Powerful networks that give students the opportunity to learn from prominent guest experts and engage in projects with industry, nonprofits, and other partner organizations and the greater NYC community
    • Supportive communities that maintain close connections with students — both in the classroom and through extracurricular interactions, from discussions and performances to office hours and advising

    Future Updates

    This page will be updated on a regular basis as we finalize the specifics of our plans for the coming academic year. In addition, the message feed on this page will feature updates from the president and/or provost of The New School.

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