Respect, Protect poster that encourages members of the University community to wear masks

Catholic University is preparing for the return of students, faculty, and staff as the University plans to resume on-campus instruction and residential life this fall.

Information on Fall 2020

For Students and Parents (Student Life)
For Students (Academics)
For Deans and Faculty (Provost)
For Staff and Faculty (HR)

Preparing for a Return to Campus

The University's Roadmap 20/21 will navigate a safe return to campus. Learn more about the preparations

HR Guidance on Phased Return

Information on how the University envisions the balance of the staff returning safely to campus over time. Learn more. 

President Garvey's Letter Supporting In-Person Instruction

President Garvey announced Catholic University plans to open for in-person instruction this fall. Read his letter.

Catholic University Is Committed to International Students (UPDATED)

July 15, 2020

The Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) is relieved to hear that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has agreed to rescind the July 6, 2020 policy that threatened international students with deportation if their U.S. institutions turned to online-only instruction. ISSS will continue to communicate with and update our international students as further DHS guidance is available pertaining to the Fall 2020 semester and course registration.

As University President John Garvey and Provost Aaron Dominguez said in a letter last week:

"Every year Catholic University is home to hundreds of international students from all over the world. They are here to learn, to conduct research and to contribute to our global community. We embrace their cultural diversity, and we welcome the unique gifts and perspectives they bring to the academic enterprise. We support policies that welcome international students to our country, and incorporate them into our community. We stand in solidarity with the international students at Catholic University, and across the nation."  

Fall Semester Will Begin Early, Conclude On-Campus Instruction at Thanksgiving Break

June 18, 2020

The Catholic University of America is changing the schedule for its upcoming fall 2020 semester. As part of the University’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, classes on campus will now begin on Monday, Aug. 24 — a week earlier than originally planned — barring any restrictions by the District of Columbia.

In addition, in-person classes will conclude when students leave for the University’s traditional Thanksgiving break, which this year begins on Wednesday, Nov. 25. The last two weeks of the semester (classes and exams) will be taught remotely following the Thanksgiving holiday. Final exams will be administered as take-home versions or online.

All study abroad programs are also cancelled for the semester. At the present time, global travel restrictions are still in place, most of the countries are not processing visas, and the pandemic is getting worse in many parts of the world. A second wave in areas that have otherwise seen improvement could further jeopardize students’ health, academics, and freedom of travel, said Provost Aaron Dominguez in a message to the University community.

Read the full story.

University Must Delay Alternative Commencement

June 16, 2020

Although Catholic University remains committed to holding an in-person Commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020, recent developments mean it will not be possible to host the event in August as previously hoped.

The decision to cancel the event planned for August 7 was based upon the latest guidance from the District of Columbia. According to the ReOpen DC plan, the District will not approve gatherings as large as Commencement until a COVID-19 vaccine is developed.

Tentatively, University leadership and a committee of faculty and staff are working to determine a realistic alternate date for spring 2021. However, planning will be subject to the COVID-19 virus and continuing local and federal guidance. The University will provide updates as next steps become clear.

“This is an unprecedented time in history, and the challenges faced by our most recent graduates are unique,” said President John Garvey, who has consistently urged University staff to explore options for an in-person ceremony for the Class of 2020 as local health guidelines allow. “We will rise above these challenges and create a memorable experience for our graduates and families.”

McMahon Classroom Upgrade for Hybrid Learning

June 16, 2020

McMahon Hall 112 (the Fulton Sheen Classroom) has received updated technology this summer and is being rearranged by facilities staff to demonstrate how learning will be supported in the fall while focusing on the health and safety of faculty and students in the ongoing COVID pandemic.

Read the full story.

Watch the Campus Safety Town Hall

June 5, 2020

On Thursday, June 4, the University hosted a town hall with President John Garvey and other members of the various Coronavirus response working groups that are planning for the safe, phased return to normal business operations on campus. Watch a recording of the the town hall.

COVID-19 Working Groups

May 28, 2020

Focused working groups have been meeting since the beginning of March to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the University. There is at least one group meeting each day of the week to examine the current situation. 

  • Three times a week, the Roadmap 20/21 Task Force meets virtually. This was the first working group formed in March, and is led by Lawrence Morris, chief of staff in the President’s office. The Provost and vice presidents were invited to select members of their teams to be a part of this group. Up to 20 people participate each day in a meeting that starts with Dr. Loretta Staudt, director of Student Health Services, updating the group on the health crisis. Within the group are multiple representatives of academics, admission and enrollment services, advancement and finance, communications, human resources, student life, facilities and environmental health and safety.
  • As the pandemic has developed, sub committees and task forces have formed to evaluate possible changes to academics (instruction and learning, research, classroom configuration and sanitation, and the Library), student affairs, facilities, and return-to-campus measures. The return to campus group is focusing on topics ranging from the placement of additional hand sanitizer around campus and how to encourage proper social distancing and mask usage to how to resume in-person Mass on campus.

The working groups continue to monitor the latest guidance being presented by the CDC and District of Columbia. Reopening measures will meet (if not exceed) those safety precautions. 

Employees who have specific questions or concerns about the pandemic and its effects on the University should contact their direct supervisor so that concerns can be forwarded to vice presidents and/or their representatives on the working groups. They can also send questions or suggestions to

  • Health and Safety Flyers

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  • Travel Restrictions

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  • Updates Regarding Catholic University Athletics

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  • Touch-Point Cleaning

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  • Responding to the Novel Coronavirus Archive

    Previous updates issued by Catholic University on the COVID-19 outbreak.

    Learn More