In the Classroom

This fall semester looks and feels different from the past. These are unprecedented times and we have modified classroom structure and delivery to ensure safety while maintaining academic excellence. These changes will go a long way to minimizing the spread of COVID-19 on our campus. We appreciate your cooperation and patience as we all learn to navigate this together.

Classroom Spaces

The University has reconfigured campus spaces and in-person course instruction to support compliance with the physical distancing guideline, face mask guideline, and other health and safety measures recommended by public health officials.

Facilities Services has posted a comprehensive guide to Classroom Spaces on their website. The guide will be updated frequently, including adding images of wayfinding signs and classroom configuration, and students may find specific information about accessing buildings healthily on the when.unc app.

Students, faculty, staff and visitors can learn about the experience of being in a UNC-CH building by watching this video.

  • In accordance with the University  Guideline on Face Masks, face masks must be worn in all classroom settings by students, faculty, staff, and visitors from entering the building to leaving the building. You will not be admitted to classrooms and may not participate in in-person learning without one.
  • If you forget your facemask, there are emergency mask distribution locations across campus.
  • Hand sanitizer and disinfectant are available in classrooms for students and faculty to keep their learning and instruction areas clean.
  • When indoors, all individuals must wear a face mask and maintain 6 feet of physical distance in accordance with the University Guideline on Physical Distancing. Some University buildings may have alternate or additional facility-specific requirements.
  • The classroom operations team has worked with each of the schools to map out ideal classroom configurations. All schools have put forward a comprehensive plan for fall 2020, including configuring classrooms consistent with our 6 feet physical distancing guidance, when feasible. In all classrooms across campus, there is a minimum of 6 feet between the instructor and the first row of students.


Best Practices for Students

Before Class

  • Self-check for symptoms before leaving home. Use this symptom list and items in your care kit to self-check for symptoms before leaving home each day. If you feel sick, contact Campus Health or your primary care provider and follow their instructions.
  • Only bring what you need. To help reduce spread, limit the items that you bring in the classroom. Leave food and non-essential beverages at home or in your backpack. Carry hand sanitizer and an extra mask with you in case yours becomes soiled during the day. It is important to regularly sanitize the items you bring to campus, including cloth masks.
  • Plan your route.If you utilize Chapel Hill Transit to travel to campus, familiarize yourself with changes in bus schedules and capacities.
  • Students have 30 minutes between classes to allow for great physical distancing and one-way entrances and exits
  • Please pay attention to exterior building signage marks and entrances for specific floors and classrooms.
  • Your mask must be on prior to entering a building.

In the building

  • Carolina Together Ambassadors may be in certain buildings to assist with traffic flow.
  • Lobbies, corridors, and entries are marked “one-way only” where feasible. Look out for wayfinding signs that will help direct traffic flow.

During class

  • Disinfectant wipe stations are set up in classrooms and lobbies. Use provided hand sanitizer and take 1 wipe to clean your area. Throw your trash away at the end of class on your way out of the classroom. A shared responsibility to keep individual areas clean will help promote a healthy learning environment for students and instructors.
  • Proceed to the furthest available seat in designated areas only. When exiting the classroom, those closest to the door will exit first. Please do not enter a classroom until all the students in the previous class have exited.
  • Keep your mask on during class. This requirement is to protect our educational community. If you choose not to wear a mask, or wear it improperly, you will be asked to leave immediately, and a report will be submitted to the Office of Student Conduct.
  • In case of an emergency, use any exit available to safely get out of the building.
  • Leave the classroom after your class is over. Utilize virtual or in-person office hours to talk to instructors instead of staying to talk in the classroom.
  • Any students or student organizations that are reportedly not in compliance with the University’s Community Standards and guidelines on face masksphysical distancing and gatherings and events may be subject to an administrative review process with disciplinary action up to and including disenrollment from the University.


Academic Calendar

The safety, health and well-being of our campus community is paramount, which is why we started early and will finish the fall semester before Thanksgiving in an effort to avoid a potential second wave of the virus in late fall or early winter.

  • Final exams will be completed by Nov. 24. Students will not return to campus after Thanksgiving.
  • Spring semester will begin in January, as usual.
  • Plans for Winter Commencement are pending.
  • The University will observe Labor Day (Sept. 7) and University Day (Oct. 12), but will eliminate the fall break (Oct. 15-16).
  • The complete  academic calendar can be found on the Registrar’s website.


Class Day/New Meeting Times

The time between classes has been extended to 30 minutes to provide extra time for exiting and entering classrooms and buildings, thus reducing high-traffic areas. This extra time will extend the class day beyond 5 p.m.

New Standard Meeting Pattern – Fall 2020


Periods meeting on MWF

Current Meeting Pattern (15 minutes between classes) Fall 2020 Meeting Pattern (30 minutes between classes)
Period 1 MWF 8:00 am- 8:50 am same
Period 2 MWF 9:05 am- 9:55 am 9:20 – 10:10
Period 3 MWF 10:10 am-11:00 am 10:40 – 11:30
Period 4 MWF 11:15 am-12:05 pm 12 – 12:50
Period 5 MWF 12:20 pm- 1:10 pm 1:20 – 2:10
Period 6 MWF 1:25 pm- 2:15 pm 2:40 – 3:30
Period 7 MWF 2:30 pm- 3:20 pm 4:00 – 4:50
Period 8 MWF 3:35 pm- 4:25 pm 5:20 – 6:10
*Period 9 MWF 4:40 pm – 5:30 pm
*Period 10 MWF 5:45pm – 6:35pm

*As needed, classes typically scheduled in Period 9 and 10 on MWF will be provided assistance in scheduling


Periods meeting on TuTh

Current Meeting Pattern (15 minutes between classes) Fall 2020 Meeting Pattern (30 minutes between classes)
Period 1 TR 8:00 am- 9:15 am same
Period 2 TR 9:30 am-10:45 am 9:45 – 11:00
Period 3 TR 11:00 am-12:15 pm 11:30 – 12:45
Period 4 TR 12:30 pm- 1:45 pm 1:15 – 2:30
Period 5 TR 2:00 pm- 3:15 pm 3:00 – 4:15
Period 6 TR 3:30 pm- 4:45 pm 4:45 – 6:00
Period 7 TR 5:00 pm- 6:15 pm 6:30 – 7:45


Delivery Methods 

The University offers multiple instructional delivery options this fall to maximize flexibility for students and faculty and to provide both on-campus and remote learning opportunities. The four modes of instruction encourage excellence while providing flexibility.

Decisions about the modes of instruction for specific classes were made by deans, department chairs, and their faculty to create the right balance of course offerings and based on guidance from public health officials.

The chart below provides more detail about what you can expect from each option.

Mode of Instruction  Key Features    Who should register?  
  • Students and  the  instructor attend  required  in-person (“face-to-face”) sessions in the classroom  at a scheduled time.  
  • The instructor may also  include  “hybrid” components, such as  rotating which students are in the classroom on a given day or holding full class meetings remotely. 
  • The classroom environment will be configured to support compliance with University guidelines, and students and instructors are required to wear a face mask  and practice physical distancing.  
  • Types of  courses that may be  taught as  Face-to-Face/Hybrid include high impact courses, first-year seminars  and experiential education courses. 
In-person learners (students planning to physically attend courses in the classroom, including students living in Carolina Housing and students commuting from an off-campus residence)  



  • The instructor and students attend scheduled in-person sessions in the classroom with some percent of students joining remotely and synchronously (at the same time  as on-campus students) with the use of classroom technology.   
  • Classes may  also  be recorded for remote students  joining asynchronously (outside of the scheduled class session time without real-time interaction). For example, a remote student joining synchronously may listen to an instructor give a live lecture and then join a “break out room” to participate in a discussion with classmates.  A remote student joining asynchronously may listen to a recorded version of the lecture  later  and post on a discussion board.  
  • Students decide whether they wish to participate in the classroom, remotely, or a combination of the two throughout the semester.  
  • Depending on the space availability and class enrollment, in-person students may  rotate by day of the week to give  students  equal opportunity  to be in the classroom.  
In-person learners (students planning to physically attend courses in the classroom)  


remote  learners      (students who will not be physically coming to campus this fall and need a schedule that allows them to participate remotely in  all  their courses)  

Remote (RE)  
  • Students participate remotely for the entire semester and do not attend any in-person sessions in the classroom. 
  • Remote classes will have a scheduled class time but no physical location. Students can participate from a residence hall, campus study space, off-campus residence, or from far away from campus. 
  • The instructor will determine whether the class will be taught synchronously,  asynchronously, or a combination of the two. 
  • Types of courses that may be taught  with this mode  include large classes where physical distancing could not occur.   
In-person learners (students planning to physically attend courses in the classroom)  


learners (students who will not be physically coming to campus this fall)  

Remote + Recitation 


  • Students participate in remote lecture sessions and a small, required synchronous recitation, in which students and an instructor interact in real-time.  
  • Depending on the course, the recitation sections may be Face-to-Face/Hybrid, HyFlex and/or Remote.  When a course has a single recitation section, it will be  HyFlex. When a course has multiple recitation sections, there may be a mix of Remote sections (for fully  remote learners) and Face-to-Face sections (for in-person learners).  
  • Types of courses that may be taught as Remote + Recitation include courses of different sizes currently taught with a lecture-recitation structure. 
In-person learners (students planning to physically attend courses in the classroom)  


(students who will not be physically coming to campus this fall)  



  • All students  in need of an accommodation  who are registered with Accessibility Resources and Service (ARS) and those with documented disabilities or medical conditions  should  contact  Accessibility Resources and Service.  
  • Students with questions about a course’s mode of instruction and/or flexible participation due to a non-medical personal circumstance should contact their instructor.   
  • Students should connect with their academic advisor for all other questions, including for assistance in exploring course options and navigating campus resources.   
  • Campus Health will connect students to campus resources based on their individual needs if they are experiencing symptoms, are identified as a close contact, and/or test positive. Students may choose to submit a request for a University Approved Absence through the University Approved Absences Office. 
  • The CV19 Student Care Hub is available to help connect  all  students to the appropriate individual or office on campus for  more information on or direct assistance with  issues  like  financial aid  and housing.  

Carolina Away  is a program for new first-year or transfer students who are not comfortable or are unable to join us on campus., Carolina Away will allow students to take remote courses and participate in small-group experiences with classmates, faculty, and staff. First-year or transfer students who wish to participate in Carolina Away should log into  ConnectCarolina  and click on the  “Let us know your plans for Fall Term”  tile.



University Approved Absences for Students

Any student asked or required to quarantine or isolate due to Covid-19 will be approved for a University Approved Absence for any classes missed.

  • It is your choice to request UAA’s and not every student in quarantine may want or need them (for example, if you feel well enough to attend classes remotely). To submit a request, please visit the University Approved Absences website.
  • To minimize your need to provide additional documentation in support of your request for UAA’s due to being quarantined, Campus Health will work directly with the University Approved Absence Office to verify your request.
  • University Approved Absences will be sent to your faculty as quickly as possible but may take up to 10 business days during high traffic times. In the meantime, you are strongly encouraged to communicate with your instructors that you will be unable to attend class for the time period specified by your medical provider.

Tuition and Fees

All regularly enrolled students are assessed the same tuition and mandatory fees whether participating in classes in-person, through remote instruction, or a combination of both. The UNC System Board of Governors affirmed that the current tuition and fee structure for the Fall semester will remain in place for the 2020-21 academic year regardless of any changes in instructional format.

Student fees support a range of student services, including Campus Health, Counseling & Psychological Services, and student organizations among many others. These student service areas provide and will continue to provide an array of services in both in-person and remote formats to support students regardless of their mode of instruction.

Students participating in only remote instruction (including Carolina Away) and electing not to live on campus will not be charged for campus housing or a campus dining plan. Any student choosing all remote instruction and who has already signed a housing contract may request a housing cancellation without penalty.

As we are all working to be ready to provide in-person instruction and on campus experiences for our students, we are also preparing for the contingencies that the COVID-19 crisis may require us to address. We cannot predict if some or all instructional formats for all or part of the 2020-21 academic year may change due to the public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As has always been the case, tuition and fees are charged at the beginning of the semester and will remain in place regardless of any changes in instructional format. Tuition and fees directly impact our ability to provide meaningful educational programs, experiences, and services and will not be refunded in the event that instructional format changes for any part of the 2020-21 academic year.

Registration and Add/Drop

The University is extending the deadline from August 21 to August 31 for undergraduate students to drop classes without receiving a “W” mark. Students dropping all classes will have their tuition refund pro-rated accordingly.

Withdraw dates:

  • 8/10-8/16, 95% refund
  • 8/17-8/23, 95% refund
  • 8/24-8/31, 80% refund

This extension will provide more time for students – particularly new students – to understand remote learning expectations and talk with their academic advisors about their course loads if needed.

Visit the University Registrar’s Calendar for the latest updates.

If you have questions about your schedule or about add/drop, contact your academic advisor.