Your Most Asked Fall 2020 Restart Questions Answered

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 13, 2020) Nineteen workstreams have been meeting since March to address issues related to COVID-19. Members and teams have been added and created over time to ensure a comprehensive response to this unprecedented crisis — the culmination of the work of more than 500 people across our campus over the course of more than three months.

We have answered your most asked questions about the University of Kentucky restart plan for the fall — which makes clear a commitment to returning to a residential campus experience in August.

When will classes begin and end?

In-person classes will begin Aug. 17, and  the last day of classes is Nov. 24, followed by Thanksgiving break. This means classes will begin a week earlier than previously planned; we will have class on Labor Day; and we will not have a Fall Break. Taking all of that into account, the number of instructional days for the Fall 2020 semester will not be appreciably different.

What happens after Thanksgiving?

Final exams will move to online instruction and students will not return to residence halls after Thanksgiving break. Visit and click on “Academic Calendar” or directly access the fall semester academic calendar at

Will there be an option for students who are concerned about health to attend class remotely?

The health, safety and well-being of our community is our top priority. The university is exploring several options to expand technology within classrooms to provide more flexibility and accommodate students and faculty members during the fall semester. More information will be communicated in the coming weeks. We invite you to stay updated at

Will masks be required?

Masks will be required unless individuals are alone in a room, eating, drinking or exercising or when it interferes with required curricular activities.

How are you keeping students safe?

Testing for students for COVID-19, daily assessment for symptoms and mask-wearing in most places on campus are major safety strategies. We will also work with populations considered high-risk for contracting the virus to help protect their health and safety and conduct contact tracing and quarantining when incidents of the virus occur on campus. The university is procuring appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) — including masks — for the campus community. Students will receive a START kit with appropriate information, instructions and PPE. Employees will receive PPE through their respective supervisors and departments. 

What happens in case of a resurgence?

The university is preparing contingencies to ensure continuity of learning in the event of a change or spike in the virus.

What about sporting events?

UK Athletics initiated its phased restart plan June 8 in accordance with the outline established by the Southeastern Conference’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force. Read more about that here:

Will gyms be open? 

Yes, campus gyms will reopen in alignment with CDC guidelines.

How will UK’s Fall 2020 tuition be handled?

This fall, UK will cap tuition rates and mandatory fees for all full-time undergraduate students regardless of how many in-person or online classes a student takes. More information is available here.

Will grading be different in the fall semester?

The unprecedented disruption of normal academic operations during Spring 2020 required extraordinary departure from existing grading policies (e.g., broader allowance of pass/fail grading). For Fall 2020, the university will return to its ordinary grading policies (defined within the Senate Rules). The specific details of how these policies will be implemented within a given course will be described in the course syllabus. Any specific questions can be addressed with your instructor(s) and/or academic advisor.

What will dining look like in the fall?

Dining halls will operate with modifications that include transition from self-serve food options to served food options and pre-packaged options. Seating in key dining areas will be significantly reduced and adjusted to comply with recommendations from the CDC and UK’s START team.

What about Greek life?

UK Fraternity and Sorority Life's chapters span four councils: Interfraternity Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, Panhellenic Council and United Greek Council. More information on recruitment and information sessions on UK chapters in these councils, can be found here

For information about UK’s restart plan — classes, testing, screening, tracing and protection or campus living and dining — for the fall click here. For information about UK’s housing plan click here.

More information about Fall 2020 will be communicated as we get closer to the semester.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.