Majority of Penn State's fall classes to be in person

April 12, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State is continuing its plans for a phased return of in-person learning over the summer semester and full on-campus learning environment for fall 2021 and has scheduled a majority of fall course sections across the University as in person. 

With the University’s top priorities being the health and well-being of its students, faculty, staff and local communities, the plans for expanded in-person classes have flexibility built in to quickly respond to changing pandemic conditions, if necessary.  

At University Park, nearly 96% of course sections for fall — 14,109 out of 14,714 course sections — are set to be delivered as in-person classes. 

In comparison, during a typical, non-pandemic fall semester, the University Park campus offers approximately 15,200 course sections with about 97% of sections in person.

At Commonwealth Campuses, approximately 83% of all course sections — 6,901 out of 8,309 course sections — are slated to be in person this fall. During a typical fall semester, the campuses offer 9,600 course sections, with about 87% of sections in person.

“This is a strategic decision for Commonwealth Campuses,” said Madlyn Hanes, senior vice president for Commonwealth Campuses and executive chancellor. “At the campuses, we typically schedule a larger percentage of courses as web-based or hybrid to allow classes to be shared across multiple campuses and provide students with greater access to courses and programs. We learned during the pandemic how web-based and hybrid courses provided increased opportunities to students, especially at the Commonwealth Campuses, and have adjusted some of our planning going forward to continuing these opportunities.”

This fall, 8% of Commonwealth Campus course sections will be web-based, and less than 6.7% will be hybrid.

“We’re excited to be able offer our students a return to in-person learning at all of our campus locations as they begin to schedule their classes for the fall semester,” Hanes said. 

Last Updated April 13, 2021