Back to top

Re-opening colleges and universities: Fall semester plans

CAUT is tracking institutional plans for delivery of courses during the pandemic. We have compiled a database of more than 110 institutions' back to school plans, including the mode of delivery chosen for the Fall 2020 semester and links to each institutions’ health and safety plans.  The database can be found here.

CAUT has also developed a checklist for measuring institutional re-opening plans based on recommendations from member associations and public health-informed guidance.

We looked at which universities and colleges are:

  • Fully on-line
  • Primarily on-line
  • Blended
  • Primarily in-person
  • Fully In person

Below are highlights from our compilation of re-opening plans for Fall 2020:

  • The majority of institutions (55%) will be delivering their courses primarily on-line for the fall semester. Most instances of in-person learning in these cases are limited to course components that cannot be held virtually. 
  • Twenty-five percent of institutions are going forward with blended learning, meaning a mix of online, hybrid (i.e. online and in-person components) and in-person classes. 
  • Sixteen percent of institutions will hold courses fully online.  
  • Few institutions are going back to "traditional" teaching, with only two percent holding classes primarily in-person and one percent fully in-person.
  • Two percent of institutions have yet to announce their fall semester plans.


CAUT determined fall delivery plans by reviewing each institution’s website, using language within statements, course schedules, FAQ sections, and other relevant areas within the sites to identify the delivery plan type.

  • Institutions choosing to exclusively provide online classes for the fall were coded as “Fully Online”.
  • Where an institution expressed using in-person classes only in special circumstances (such as when specialized equipment is required or specialized labs or when online teaching is not possible) and offering all other classes online, the delivery plan was listed as “Predominantly Online”.
  • Delivery plans were coded as “Blended” where an institution’s site expressed using a mix of online, hybrid and/or in-person classes. These decisions relied heavily on the institution’s language, as many used the terms “mixed”, “blended”, “hybrid” or similar wording in their plans.
  • Institutions that expressed delivering most of their classes in-person were listed as “Primarily in-person”.
  • Where no information could be found on an institution's plan, whether on their website or through news sources, or where an institution had not yet finalized their plan, they were listed as "Unknown/to be determined".

As things are sure to change and evolve over the coming months, CAUT will continue to monitor how universities and colleges are protecting the health and safety of the campus community. If you believe your institution’s mode of re-opening has been miscategorized, please let us know by sending an email at