Changes in Summer Sessions for 2020

April 7, 2020

Dear Members of the Boston University Community,

Over the last few weeks, we—like all of you—have been carefully watching the evolving impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. All of us hope to return to in-person classes and on-campus activity as soon as possible, but we must continue to prioritize the health and safety of our community. Unfortunately, it has become clear that the restrictions resulting from the pandemic will continue for some time. Governor Baker announced that the Massachusetts stay-at-home advisory has been extended through May 4, 2020. Moreover, public health experts in our community believe that the recovery is likely to be protracted and we must, therefore, be measured in our actions to return our academic community to normal operations.

With this information in mind, we have made a number of decisions about programs scheduled for summer 2020. As you will read below, we are moving to cancel all in-person classes and other academic activities on the Charles River and Medical Campuses, except as listed below, and to offer Summer Session 1 and 2 classes remotely. Deposits will be refunded for all cancelled programs.

Although this decision will be disappointing to many, we believe it is necessary to achieve our ultimate goal: to return our students, staff, and faculty in the fall to our residential campus community and resume the quality in-person programs that are our hallmark as a leading private research university. By making these decisions now, we give our faculty time to optimize the remote delivery of our courses during the summer. We also give our staff time to reopen our campus in the fall and to establish the protocols that will ensure the safety of our community.

Here are the decisions we are announcing today:

  • Both Summer Terms at Boston University, Session 1 (May 20–July 1, 2020) and Session 2 (July 6–August 14, 2020), will occur only through remote engagement. No in-person courses or programs will be offered during this time period. This policy applies to all Boston University Summer Term programs, including those scheduled to take place on the Charles River and Medical Campuses. Programs for our students in the Medical Doctor, Physician Assistant, and the Doctor of Dental Medicine are not covered by this decision. The timing for these programs will be communicated in the future. Summer Term leadership will work with faculty to determine which scheduled summer courses can be administered remotely. Departments with other programs planned for this time period should decide whether or not the programs can be conducted remotely and communicate with participants accordingly. Boston University employees will be able to use tuition remission toward Summer Session 1 and 2 courses that normally would have met face-to-face and have now moved to remote teaching and learning.
  • The College of General Studies Summer Session 1 and 2 Boston–London and Boston–New England programs will not take place in person. We are exploring ways to make up for these missed experiences. Natalie McKnight, Dean of the College of General Studies, will be in touch with the CGS community to share additional details about the summer programming.
  • All international Boston University Study Abroad programs for Summer 2020 will be cancelled. Further, all US-based Study Abroad programs (New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC) scheduled for the summer have also been cancelled. Please contact Study Abroad directly at with any questions.
  • All other K–12 Summer 2020 programs on our Boston campuses and elsewhere are also cancelled. This includes cancelling the Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI). Please check with program leadership for further details.
  • Research and clinical activities on both campuses will restart on a schedule dictated by state and local officials and at a pace that is attentive to the health of our researchers. Further communications will come from the Vice President and Associate Provost for Research Gloria Waters.


Robert A. Brown signature
Robert A. Brown

Jean Morrison signature
Jean Morrison
University Provost and Chief Academic Officer