Learn more about Merrimack’s adjusted fall schedule, teaching, learning, advising and more as the College reopens.
The College has made adjustments to the academic calendar in order to avoid an outbreak over the fall holidays. The Fall 2020 calendar is as follows:
15-23 (Saturday-Sunday) Move-in
19 (Wednesday) Orientation begins
24 (Monday) FALL CLASSES BEGIN
Opening of the Academic Year
25 (Tuesday) Mass of the Holy Spirit via Zoom
31 (Monday) Fall Session 1 graduate online classes begin
1 (Tuesday) Last day for adding and dropping courses
Last day for converting to or from Audit
4 (Friday) Last day for adding and dropping Fall Session 1 graduate online courses
7 (Monday) Labor Day (All Classes Meet)
Last day to withdraw from classes and housing (with refund)
8 (Tuesday) Last day for conversion of “N” grade for Summer 2020
9 (Friday) Last day to withdraw with a “W” for Fall Session 1 graduate online courses
12 (Monday) Indigenous Peoples Day (All Classes Meet) (formerly Columbus Day)
15 (Thursday) Midterm grades are due by midnight
19 (Friday) Midpoint of semester
23 (Friday) Last day for Fall Session 1 graduate online courses
26 (Monday) Fall Session 2 graduate online classes begin
26-28 (Mon-Wed) Senior advisement for registration for Spring 2021
29 (Thursday) Senior registration begins for Spring 2021
29 (Thursday) Final grades due for Fall Session 1 graduate online
30 (Friday) Last day for adding and dropping Fall Session 2 graduate online courses
2-4 (Mon-Wed) Junior advisement for registration for Spring 2021
5 (Thursday) Junior registration for Spring 2021
6 (Friday) Last day to withdraw with a “W”
Last day to convert to Pass/Fail
9-11 (Mon-Wed) Sophomore advisement for registration for Spring 2021
11 (Wednesday) Veterans Day (All Classes Meet)
12 (Thursday) Sophomore registration for Spring 2021
16-18 (Mon-Wed) Freshman advisement for registration for Spring 2021
19 (Thursday) Freshman registration for Spring 2021
25 (Wednesday) Last day of fall classes, All residence halls closed
26-27 (Thur-Fri) Reading Period (Remote)
26 (Thursday) Thanksgiving
30 (Monday) Final Examinations begin. All Final Exams are Remote
4 (Friday) Last day to withdraw with a “W” for Fall Session 2 graduate online courses
4 (Friday) Final Examinations end
Last day for Fall Session 2 graduate online courses
8 (Tuesday) Final grades for all courses due by 5 pm
Final grades due for Fall Session 2 graduate online
25 (Friday) Christmas
Unlike previous semesters, classes will be held on all weekdays including Labor Day, Indigenous Peoples Day and Veterans Day.
Undergraduate and Graduate Student Options for Fall 2020 Enrollment
We have been encouraged by the number of students and families who have expressed their excitement about returning to campus this fall. While the on-campus experience will undoubtedly be different, we are looking forward to resuming operations and welcoming students back to campus. However, to ensure proper planning, it is critical that we understand the intention of every student.
The College has made significant investments to increase social distancing and protect the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff during this pandemic. We have additionally invested millions of dollars in campus alterations and reconfigurations, as well as new classroom technologies aimed at enhancing the student learning experience.
Merrimack College is not alone in making these changes. In fact, the majority of colleges in Massachusetts and across the country are making similar adjustments. Most colleges have made significant changes to their campuses and policies to make it safe for students to return to campus and have reallocated budgets and added fees to offset the resultant costs.
For the 2020-2021 academic year, Merrimack College is providing students with three options:
Come to campus and take part in a combination of in-class and online courses.
If you select this option, you will have access to the widest array of courses and services. Whether you choose to live on campus or commute from home, you may participate in
on-campus activities and take advantage of all available campus services.ces.
Take virtual classes/learn from home.
With this option, you are choosing to participate in virtual courses and online services and will not be on campus. Due to their interactive, hands-on nature, some courses cannot be offered in an online format, thereby limiting your course choices. Please note that, like most other institutions, we are not offering tuition reduction for those who select this option.
Take a COVID-19 leave of absence – for one semester, or a full year – without penalty.
If you select this option, you will not be enrolled in courses at Merrimack or participate in any College-sponsored, on-campus, or online programming unless otherwise noted, and you will not be allowed on campus. Those who select this option can re-enroll in the College without re-applying after the COVID-19 leave of absence is completed. Students interested in taking a leave of absence must fill out and complete the COVID-19 Leave of Absence Form. Athletes considering this option should consult their coach regarding the impact on eligibility. Certain programs such as nursing and teacher education that require state licensure may be exempt. Students should follow up with their program directors.
Undergraduate and graduate students will not be charged for a leave of absence. However, if undergraduate students take courses at another college during this time, they will be charged $100 per semester credit to transfer credits to Merrimack. Please note that not all credits are transferable.
We ask that you carefully review this document, your options and speak with your physician, family members and friends so that you can make the decision that is best for you.
You are required to complete your Intent to Enroll form by 5 p.m. E.T. on Friday, July 17, 2020.
Check your email for a link to the form.
If you have questions, you can email the Task Force or call (978) 837-5599.
Teaching and Learning for Fall 2020 Semester
Fall 2020 Undergraduate Academic Calendar
Classes will begin on Monday, August 24, and end on Wednesday, November 25. Final exams will begin remotely on Monday, November 30, and end on Friday, December 4. Unlike in previous semesters, classes will be held on all weekdays, including Labor Day, Indigenous Peoples Day and Veterans Day.
Fall 2020 Graduate Academic Calendar
Graduate program start dates will vary. Graduate students will receive start dates directly from their program director. On-campus instruction will end on Wednesday, November 25. Classes will continue remotely on Monday, November 30, and end on Friday, December 4. Unlike previous semesters, classes will be held on all weekdays including Labor Day, Indigenous Peoples Day and Veterans Day.
Spring 2021 Calendar
The College is currently exploring the timeline for the spring semester.
Undergraduate and Graduate Revised Course Delivery Modalities and Your Fall 2020 Course Schedule
This fall the college will be offering more than 1,100 undergraduate and graduate course sections. The majority of students will have some combination of on-ground and remote courses. Currently, 17% of all sections will be taught remotely. As part of our de-densification efforts, as well as to accommodate students who may need to take classes remotely due to illness, self-isolation or quarantine, most on-ground courses will include hybrid and remote components.
In the course syllabus, each professor will outline meetings and course expectations at the start of the fall semester. If students are required to have a period of isolation or quarantine, they will engage in remote learning for the duration of that period.
We recognize that some students may need to change their schedule based upon their circumstances and they will have the ability to review all adjustments with an academic advisor or success coach prior to the start of the fall semester. In late July, the Academic Success Center will contact undergraduate students via email regarding their schedules and how to make adjustments to meet each student’s needs. Graduate students will be contacted by their Program Directors. Students can reach staff in the Academic Success Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-837-5278.
Fully Remote Learning
Some faculty will teach their classes in a fully remote modality. These classes have been designed to increase engagement and to achieve the same outcome as the on-ground classes. While most remote classes will be synchronous, many will have asynchronous components.
A small number of classes will be offered only on campus with no remote opportunities.
Lab Classes and Personal Protective Equipment Expectations
Each department that offers laboratory-based classes will present clear rules for how those classes will be run in a socially distant and safe manner. Some labs will be remote and some will be in person, and many in-person labs will include remote components. Each student will purchase their own personal protective equipment (PPE) – lab coat, goggles and face covering – as they would have in prior semesters. If gloves are part of the required PPE, these will be provided. If a face covering breaks in a lab, one will be made available, but it remains the students’ responsibility to ensure that they have face coverings and wear them. The Bookstore will provide PPE equipment for sale for students in August.
Except where otherwise stated in this document, or if modified in the future, the College will be following all normal academic policies and procedures for the fall semester. Academic policies and procedures can be found in the College catalogs.
Opportunities to Adjust Schedules
It is important to note that all undergraduate and graduate students are blocked from having access to their previously scheduled courses due to the moving pieces of academic scheduling and COVID-19 campus planning. It is our intent to open access to view courses by July 24, 2020.
All undergraduate and graduate students will have full electronic access to make changes to their courses on July 24. Students may adjust, add, drop and register for courses beginning July 24. Undergraduate students should contact the Academic Success for any questions they have before the 24.
Graduate students should go directly to their program directors.
Over the summer, the College made changes to its facilities to allow safe social distancing by de-densifying classrooms and other spaces across campus. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to remain vigilant and follow recommended social distancing practices, which are posted around campus.
The number of seats in each classroom has been reduced by 50 percent. All desks are facing the front and should not be moved, so as to maintain the appropriate distance between students. This means that in some sections, not all students enrolled will fit in the room at the same time. In these cases, the faculty will arrange for some students to access the course through a remote alternative. Faculty members will provide details for their courses.
Protections for Faculty
Faculty will stand at an appropriate social distance from students and will utilize a rolling plexiglass board for added protection. Given this added protection, faculty might choose not to wear a face covering while teaching. If not using plexiglass, faculty will be wearing a face covering.
It is recommended that students sit in the same seats for each class meeting. Seats and desks should not be moved. Students must wear a face covering while in class. Items such as pens and iPads should not be shared. Students must wear a face covering while in class. Those who refuse will be asked to leave class by the instructor. Refusal to comply with these regulations will lead to a disciplinary hearing including expulsion for multiple violations. In addition, faculty who feel concerned may call Merrimack College Police Department at X5911 who will come to remove the student.
Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes will be provided outside every classroom and lab and inside each classroom. Students are asked to sanitize their hands and wipe down their desks before they sit down. Faculty are asked to do the same with any surface they touch.
Entering and Exiting Classrooms
Students entering a classroom are asked to remain outside the room and socially distant until the previous class has exited. To appropriately social distance, students should wait in larger areas such as lobbies or outside buildings until it is time to enter the classroom.
After-Hours Use of Classrooms and Academic Spaces
Many campus spaces will be open in the evenings for student use. In these spaces, students must practice social distancing and must not move any furniture. Students are asked to wipe down their spaces before and after each use. A list of available spaces will be emailed to students. If a space is full, students are asked to use an alternative space.
Advising, Success Coaching, Tutoring and Library Use
All academic services will continue in the fall, with many of them taking place remotely. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Academic Success Center at email@example.com or (978) 837-5278.
Academic advisors are an important point of contact regarding the academic side of returning to campus. All academic advising relationships will continue as usual. Most, if not all, of these conversations, will take place over Zoom or another virtual platform. Incoming freshmen will
meet with their Advisor over Zoom or other virtual platform in late August.
Success Coaches will continue to be available to students for one-on-one conversations. Most of these will take place over Zoom or another virtual platform. Success coaches are available all summer and into the fall. Contact (978) 837-5278 or firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about coaching can be found on the Academic Success Center’s webpage.
Tutoring and Study Partner Programs
Tutors and study partners will be available in the fall. Many sessions will take place over Zoom. Math tutoring will be delivered over Blackboard Collaborate. There may also be some on-ground tutoring with appropriate health and safety protocols in place in the Writing, Tutoring and Math Centers. Students can contact tutors or study partners at these centers by emailing email@example.com.
The Accessibility Services Office is available to help students with specific questions or concerns. Most one-on-one meetings will take place over Zoom. Students can contact the Accessibility Services Office at (978) 837-5722 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The services of the Library will be fully operational in the fall. The library will be open as a place for students to study, though there will be a change in the layout of chairs and tables to allow for social distancing. Plexiglass dividers will be placed on tables for additional protection. Furniture should not be moved.
For the fall semester, the Library will only be open to the Merrimack campus community.
Experiential Learning and Student Employment
- Academic programs with accreditation requirements for experiential learning, field experience
and/or internships will work with the relevant accrediting body to create safe and substantive alternatives.
- Academic programs that have College requirements for internships, field experience and/or experiential learning will be adjusted so students do not need to leave campus to fulfill them.
- Course-based experiential learning requirements and extracurricular programs with experiential components will be adjusted so that students do not need to leave campus.
- Students seeking remote internships should contact the O’Brien Center for Career Development
for assistance. Students can also review available internships on the College’s Handshake webpage.
Due to the economic impacts of COVID-19, there are fewer opportunities in the area, and due to the health risks, there are fewer places where students can go and safely return to campus. As a result:
- Off-campus employment is discouraged for residential students.
- The College is expanding its on-campus employment opportunities to help students with the greatest financial need.
- On-campus jobs can be found on the Handshake webpage. Additional jobs will be added throughout the fall semester as opportunities become available.
For more information about working on campus, contact Student Employment at email@example.com.