Tulane University moves to online instruction, cancels large events

March 11, 2020

Dear Tulane Community:

As you know, our country and world are currently facing a severe health crisis with the global outbreak of COVID-19. For weeks, Tulane has been mounting a response to this threat with the goal of keeping our campus community safe while also allowing our students to continue their education.

I write to you today to outline a series of major actions we are taking in response to this pandemic. In keeping with the recommendations of public health officials worldwide, we are acting to reduce the concentration of people on campus and the number of gatherings. These efforts include, as outlined in this letter, conducting classes online, reducing the number of students on campus, cancelling major events and eliminating non-essential travel. However, our campuses will remain open during this period as we continue to support the academic and research mission of Tulane.


  • All classes will be conducted online beginning Monday, March 23 through the end of the semester.
  • Friday, March 13 is the last day of in-person classes for the semester.
  • No classes, online or in-person, will be taught March 14-22. This will allow undergraduate students time to move and will also ensure that faculty can provide students with the highest quality of online instruction.
  • All graduate and professional students will also transition to remote instruction by March 23, with the exception of clinical-based programs, practicums, medical rotations and in-lab training/research.
  • We will observe Spring Break as scheduled so there will be no classes from Sunday, April 5 to Monday, April 13. However, make-up classes will be scheduled to compensate for class time lost during the March 14-22 closing.  

On-Campus Students

  • Between March 14 and March 22 all uptown, on-campus students should prepare to move out of their residence halls for the remainder of the semester.
  • A number of students may have an exceptional need to remain on campus. Some, such as international students, may have difficulty returning home; others, such as in-season athletes, have activities that require them to be present on campus. Students who are seeking an exception to moving off campus should submit an online application.
  • Students who may have difficult personal circumstances that would make leaving campus a challenge, should reach out to Erica Woodley, Dean of Students, at ewoodley@tulane.edu
  • The move to online instruction will limit service learning and practicum hours for many students. Academic advisors will work with students to ensure this does not disrupt any student’s academic progress.

All non-essential university-related international and domestic travel is being suspended. Exceptions must be approved by the Provost or the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

Faculty and Staff
With the exception of quarantined individuals, all faculty and staff are expected to report to work as normal. However, we will practice social distancing measures and preventative measures throughout the university. We urge you to follow these same recommendations at home. For more information on Tulane's COVID-19 response, FAQs, and the preventative measures please click here.

All gatherings, events, and activities with more than 50 individuals will be postponed or cancelled immediately. This includes:

  • The Book Festival at Tulane
  • Crawfest
  • New Orleans Entrepreneur Week

We hope to hold Commencement as scheduled in May, but this is subject to change given potential public health recommendations.

As we all work together to confront this pandemic, we should keep our motto "Not for oneself but for one's own" in the forefront of our thoughts. This is a stressful and disruptive time for our community, but I know that together we will triumph through this difficult period and emerge stronger, better, and more united as a Tulane family.

I witness, firsthand, on a daily basis the resilence and dedication of this extraordinary community – and even more so during moments such as this. I want to express my deep appreciation and admiration to the many colleagues who are working tirelessly to support our community, continue our mission, and keep us all safe.


Mike Fitts