2020-21 Classes

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    Course Delivery

    • Online — a class designed from the ground up so all students can attend the main class experience online.
    • Hybrid — a class that has both in-person and remote learning elements.
    • Hyflex—each student can either choose their mode of engagement in the course for the day or will be assigned a mode of engagement for that day.
    • In-person — a class for which there is at least some essential material that can be acquired only through in-person attendance.

    View Class Schedule

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    Pass Plus / Pass / No Pass

    For Academic Year 2020-21, DU students have the ability to opt into P+/P/NP grading for one undergraduate course per quarter.

    Please note how P+/P/NP are treated in DU’s assignment of credit:

    • Pass Plus (P+) is defined as institutional credit with a grade of C- or higher.
    • Pass (P) is defined as institutional credit with a grade of D+, D, or D-. Please note that, like the D level grade it replaces, a Pass (P) does not count toward major or minor credit. Unlike a D, however, a P does not affect GPA.
    • No Pass (NP) is defined as no institutional credit because the grade is lower than D-. Unlike an F, a No Pass (NP) does not affect GPA.

Classroom Experience

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    Face Coverings

    Students must wear a face covering while in the classroom.

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    Fully Paperless

    All assessments for the 2020-2021 academic year will be delivered online and DU will be paperless for the 2020-2021 academic year. Instructors will distribute and receive all assignments and class material electronically.

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    Physical Distancing

    All members of the campus community will be six feet apart at all times.


  • When will spring quarter 2021 classes start and end?


    • Wednesday, March 31


    • Tuesday, June 8 (Please note there will not be a finals week.)
  • What is DU doing to ensure high-quality teaching and learning?

    This fall is dramatically different from the spring term when the faculty had fewer than 14 days to entirely change their courses and every course needed to be online. We divided our courses into in-person, hybrid/hyflex, and online. In-person classes were determined based on the high-impact outcomes of those courses. Hybrid/Hyflex was determined by the faculty members’ desire and capabilities.

    New technology has been deployed all over campus moving our 286 learning environments. Previously fewer than 50 classrooms were equipped with cameras, speakers, microphones and monitors. Now, only 70 remain unequipped. Moreover, the University has invested $3M into teaching supports, including additional classroom assistants to help faculty manage technology difficulties.

  • What if I prefer to take courses in a different modality?

    Online classes cannot be converted to in-person because we do not have the physical space on campus under the de-densification ordinance to adapt. However, if necessary, students may complete an in-person class, or a portion of the class, in an online modality. Programs may use several strategies to help students stay on track. These include course substitutions, modification of academic plans, modification of graduation requirements, and/or allowing some students to take scheduled, in-person or hybrid/hyflex courses in an online modality for limited or extended periods. Individual units will make these decisions on a case-by-case basis.

    For students in an in-person or hybrid/hyflex course who then become ill and need to temporarily quarantine, the instructor will work with them to identify an appropriate way to make up the missed classes. This may include allowing a student to watch a video recording of the course and/or to engage in other online activities. Students unable to attend in-person sessions for longer periods should contact their advisor, instructor or dean’s office to get help in navigating to the best outcome.

  • I’m in a course of 15 students or fewer – why is my course online?

    The university does not have sufficient physical resources to have all classes in-person. Several classes need to move to an online format to fit within our constraints. The classes chosen to be held online are mostly large classes, but some were selected because the department has significant experience in online delivery and is better positioned to deliver high-quality instruction in that modality.

  • Are professors going to take feedback from teaching assistants to decide whether or not the class should be online, in-person, hybrid or hyflex?

    The modality of the course was selected and placed in the schedule of classes before TA assignments. Therefore, it was not possible to request their input. TAs can request work as normal. In addition, additional classroom assistants are being added as a support for the coming year to lessen the burden on faculty and enhance the experience for students. These classroom assistants will be assigned to numerous classes primarily to make sure technology is running and to serve as a helper. 

  • What does six-foot distancing look like in a classroom?

    All classrooms are being digitally and physically measured and reconfigured to ensure we have at least six feet between all seats. This evaluation of our current learning spaces has been going on for several months, and testing was carried out during summer in-person courses to ensure compliance in a real-time scenario.

  • For instructors teaching in-person courses, what kinds of classroom activities can be accomplished safely and support key learning goals?

    Our faculty are very creative, and we want to encourage in-class activities. However, we must maintain our distancing requirements. Please contact the Office of Teaching and Learning with specific questions on activities, and we will consider possible solutions for you.

  • What advice does the University have for using face shields instead of cloth face coverings?

    Unfortunately, plastic face shields do not provide sufficient protection and are not recommended by the CDC or our health experts. As such, we have decided to remove the face shield as an alternative to face coverings. Some units have very unique challenges, which we are using experts on campus in aerosol science to help design solutions. These solutions are forthcoming but will be incorporated into the action plan.

  • Can I request to take an in-person class online?

    Students at the University of Denver are required to attend classes per DU policy and individual faculty attendance policies. However, the University recognizes that students may be unable to attend in-person classes or class sessions because of quarantine requirements, health accommodations, or travel restrictions.

    All academic programs at the University of Denver are committed to helping our students stay on track for graduation during the pandemic and will work to assist them in making academic progress in their degree programs. Programs may use a number of strategies to help students stay on track, including, for instance, finding alternative courses, waiving or substituting requirements, or enabling students to take a required course at a later date.

    Students should note that in-person courses at the University of Denver were specifically designed to have an in-person component due to the high impact qualities of the course. Students who are able to attend in-person class sessions should do so in order to have an optimized experience. If a student is scheduled for an in-person class but would prefer to take the class in a fully online modality, it may be possible to work with the instructor to secure this arrangement; however, this option is not guaranteed, and in most cases the student experience will be best served by finding a class taught in the preferred modality from the outset.

    For students who are in an in-person or hybrid/hyflex course and become ill and need to temporarily quarantine or isolate, the instructor will work with the student to identify an appropriate way to make up the missed classes and remain engaged with the course material.

    If a student is unable to attend in-person classes or class sessions for an extended period of time, the student should ask their instructor whether it will be possible to remain in the class remotely, take an incomplete (if appropriate), whether they should withdraw from the course, or pursue a medical leave of absence from all classes for the quarter.

    Students wishing to request COVID-19 related adjustments due to being immunocompromised should visit DSP's COVID-19 Requests webpage. Students who experience COVID-19 symptomology of a duration longer than 2 weeks can contact the DSP for information about requesting temporary or ongoing accommodations.

  • Will I be able to stay on track academically during this crisis?

    We are committed to ensuring student academic progress is maintained during this challenging time. What does this mean? It means that we will work closely with you to make sure you stay on track and not lose progress to your degree as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Specifically:

    • For students anticipating graduation in June: We will be rapidly conducting degree evaluations for all those intending to graduate in June, looking for missing classes, seeking alternatives, and communicating frequently. 
    • For our commitment to diverse learning styles and neurodiversity: We will be ramping up resources, tools and advising to support the transition and navigation into these new online learning environments.
    • For students who anticipate technology challenges with online coursework: Please contact the Provost’s Office ( and we will help you troubleshoot. 
    • For students using GI Bill benefits: We know you are concerned about potential impacts to your benefits as a result of transitioning all courses online. A legislative solution is currently moving through Congress. Please be assured that as updates come in, Veterans Services and the Certifying Official will update you as soon as possible. 
    • For all students: We are working to create or modify policies to support your success and help you stay on track for degree completion. 

Classroom Experience

  • What happens when a student contracts COVID-19 during the quarter?

    Students who fall ill with COVID-19 will be able to take the in-person components of their class online during the period they are in isolation. However, students who become severely ill can use the existing process best designed for their needs and circumstances, such as medical withdraw, grade replacement, and incompletes.

  • Will students be required to wear a face covering while in class?

    Currently, DU’s Return to Campus Protocol requires wearing cloth face coverings at all times while on campus will be required for all DU community members except:

    • When alone in a private office;
    • For students, when alone — or with a roommate — in an assigned dorm room;
    • When eating and drinking while practicing social distancing — including in a campus dining facility if sit-down dining is resumed;
    • When an alternative has been approved as part of the Americans with Disabilities Act or religious observance accommodation processes.  
  • How will wearing a face covering and other safety precautions be encouraged or enforced?

    All instructors, staff, and students will be required to complete a Canvas course related to COVID19 supports, expectations, and procedures. This course will be part of a community public health campaign that communicates to instructors, staff, and students the benefits of wearing a face covering and following other guidelines such as handwashing and sanitizing, including sanitizing classroom spaces. Finally, the DU Honor Code has been changed to reflect the requirement to comply with COVID19 related protocols. Students not wearing a face covering will be in violation of the DU Honor Code and can be required to leave campus if they refuse to wear a face covering.

  • What if an instructor gets sick and needs to miss one or more classes?

    Every course should have an instructional continuity plan such as designating a teaching partner to take over the class in the event of instructor illness or emergency. 

  • What if there are new stay at home rules that require in-person, hybrid, and hyflex classes to be shifted fully online?

    Every course should have a plan in place to switch to fully online learning (either synchronously or asynchronously) in the event that in-person/hybrid/hyflex courses are no longer able to be offered.

  • How will instructors hold office hours?

    All office hours will occur online or by phone unless instructors can ensure proper distancing. Most faculty offices are too small to ensure proper distancing.

  • How many students are allowed in each class taught in-person?

    Class size will depend on the size of the room. DU will follow guidelines from the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE). Under current guidelines, classes in regular sized rooms are capped at 50 students. Classes held in “extra-large” spaces are capped at 100. DU has very few spaces that qualify as “extra-large” under current guidelines.

  • When will instructors know what room they will be teaching in?

    Now that the Registrar’s office has a draft of the revised 2020 schedule of classes that includes the class modality, they will be working to place those classes into physical locations as quickly as they can. Classrooms will be assigned based on size and the technology available in the room.

  • What technology will be available in classrooms?

    Classrooms will be equipped with a camera and microphone to transmit video and audio content to students who are not able to attend that course in person. Courses scheduled to be taught as “hyflex” will be scheduled in classrooms with enhanced technology to facilitate teaching and student online participation.