Carnegie Mellon University

COVID-19 Updates

Information and resources for the CMU community

tartans all in everywhere

Returning to Campus Strategy

Leaders from across CMU’s academic and administrative units have collaborated on a comprehensive, phased strategy for returning to on-campus activities. 

They have considered every dimension of operations in the context of these phases, using a very deliberate approach. They have established principles that are guiding decision-making at this crucial time:

  • Adhere to government health and safety requirements and guidance (federal, state and local);
  • Pursue a phased and piloted approach to reopening; improve processes based on research and learning from pilots;
  • Maintain excellence across our education and research missions, whether they are delivered in-person, through a remote platform or a hybrid modality;
  • Support a high-quality student experience; and
  • Identify novel educational approaches, such as creative curricula and pedagogy, and technology-enhanced teaching and learning.

Note: Anyone returning to on-site work must first receive university approval.


These phases will overlap as different parts of the university return to campus. Each phase may encompass several weeks/months. Compliance and mitigation efforts will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and will support these phases. 

man holding a protective barrier around lab equipment

Phase I

  • Small set of research projects return to campus as pilots
  • Remote instruction and learning through Aug. 1
  • Campus classrooms and labs begin enhancements and preparation for fall hybrid instruction
  • Essential services on campus continue (examples: University Police, Facilities Management)
FaceTime on a tablet in a classroom

Phase II 

  • Expanded set of research projects return to campus
  • Modify interiors of campus buildings to support physical distancing
  • Expand technology improvements to support fall hybrid instruction (examples: audio and video capabilities in classrooms)
  • Essential services on campus continue (examples: University Police, Facilities Management)
two students walking on campus

Phase III (current)

  • Classes began
  • CMU opened in the fall with classes beginning August 31 using a hybrid approach. All courses will be delivered remotely after Thanksgiving.
  • Many administrative units continue to work remotely; prioritized functions that support the educational and research missions returned to campus