Office of the Provost

Dear Graduate and Professional Students,

I am writing to update you on some of the changes that are coming for the fall 2020 semester.

The academic year is beginning a few days earlier—the new start date for classes will be August 19, 2020. Some graduate and professional degree programs have specialized accreditation or other unique constraints. In order to accommodate these needs, some programs will modify this revised calendar. Decisions on these possible changes will be announced by your schools in the coming week or so.

To protect the health of our community we are planning to limit the size of in-person classes to allow physical distancing in the classroom. This will mean that for some in-person classes not every student will be able to be in the classroom every day. Therefore, we are planning for many classes to be offered both in-person and online, a model we are calling Flex@Pitt. More details of this Flex@Pitt concept, as defined in a recent Pittwire article, as well as support for instructors, teaching assistants, and students, will be provided over the summer.

The events of the last few months and the changes that they have required have been stressful. Many kinds of support are available from the University of Pittsburgh, including the Student Emergency Assistance Fund, the International Student Emergency Assistance Fund, and the Counseling Center. Also, if you have concerns that you prefer not to raise with your department or program, please contact one of the Graduate School Ombudspersons or the Graduate Studies Office.

I will be answering your questions and discussing the fall plans on Thursday, June 18, 2020 at 1 p.m. EST during a Virtual Town Hall for Students: Return for Fall 2020. You are invited to attend and can submit your questions in advance via the registration link or during the town hall. Following the event, materials will be available to review on the town hall event page

I hope that you are well and are staying connected to Pitt and each other this summer.


Nathan Urban
Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Strategic Initiatives

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