Fall 2021 Planning

The college has announced tentative plans for an in-person fall semester. Please see this message from President Mandel for details.

We know you’re eager to imagine exactly what day-to-day life might look like next fall. It’s still too early to say for sure, but what follows is information about what we know…and what we don’t…with the promise to keep you updated as details take shape in coming weeks.

COVID Testing, Vaccinations, and Public Health Expectations
As of August 1, 2021, Williams will require all undergraduate students to provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination as part of the student registration process. Exceptions will only be allowed for medical or religious reasons and must be documented through a formal process. Details about how to request an exemption will be available shortly.

Any student living outside of the U.S. who doesn't have access to vaccination options in their current location will be allowed to return to Williams, but will be expected to promptly arrange vaccination after arrival, unless exempted. The college will provide transportation and other support as needed.

We anticipate discontinuing our asymptomatic testing program and replacing it with testing for students, faculty, and staff who are symptomatic, only. It is likely that mask wearing will still be required, at least in some settings. The Williams COVID dashboard will continue to be updated frequently next year.

Academic Life
We expect to return to a traditional academic calendar next fall, including Winter Study and spring break. We also anticipate a return to our standard academic policies, which means that students will take four courses each semester, and those courses will be graded rather than pass/fail. Students will, of course, still have the ability to utilize our standard pass-fail option. Any changes to this policy will be communicated as soon as they are made.

Campus Life
Barring dramatic changes in the public health landscape, we expect residential life and campus dining to return to typical operations next fall, and anticipate that students will be permitted to travel freely around Berkshire County and beyond.

While NESCAC has not yet announced its plans for the fall, we anticipate that athletics will return to competition as other intercollegiate activities resume in full.

Will families be permitted to accompany students for move-in?
We expect so and will make a definitive decision by no later than July 1.

Paresky lawn in the fall with an American flag flying in the center.