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Return to Campus

Learning on Campus

View of College of Business from the Douthit walking path

Safe Campus Return

Let’s make this a safe place for everyone. When on campus, we ask that you follow all directional signage and social distancing protocols.


Being together on campus means being together safely. Our goal is to have as close a return to normal as possible while still maintaining the health and safety of our community.


The University’s goal is to create an academic program that prioritizes the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and the entire Clemson community while providing our students the most engaged learning experiences possible, both in the classroom and in the field.

In-person instruction is what our students prefer unless they have intentionally enrolled in a virtual learning opportunity. For these students, we strive to provide the most in-person instruction possible. The uncertain course of the COVID-19 pandemic will require online course delivery until September 21 before students return to in-person, blended course models for the remainder of the semester. Our faculty, who are most familiar with specific educational needs, are working to address what form of blended instruction best suits their students and their course material.

The course schedule and academic calendar are continually being updated to support student progress toward graduation and to maximize engagement opportunities, while minimizing exposure to COVID-19.




To ensure physical distancing is maintained in classrooms and offices, Clemson has assessed needs across campus. Facilities has determined:

  • Where physical barriers (i.e., tape on floors, plastic shields/sneeze guards, signage, etc.) need to be placed.
  • Where chairs needed to be removed in waiting areas, conference rooms and/or breakrooms to ensure proper physical distancing.
  • Adjusted entry points while creating one-way hallways and stairways using signage where possible.
  • How to prepare classrooms and offices to ensure there is 36 square feet per person.
  • That labs will have no more than two individuals per 150 square feet or another referenced standard.
  • Retail areas will have no more than five customers per 1,000 square feet or 20 percent of the posted occupancy.


Connected Learning

  • The University is working with a goal of 75-80 percent of all classes having some in-person component this Fall semester, with lab courses consisting of more in-person opportunities.
  • More than 400 cameras and microphones have been installed in classrooms to allow for synchronous or asynchronous delivery of instruction.
  • All classes with in-person components will also be blended with online components.
  • Modeling has been conducted and allocations of classes to rooms has begun with the assumptions built around a minimum of 6 feet of physical distancing, which reduces capacity to roughly one-third of previous availability. These exercises aim to fulfill our goal of in-person experiences for as many classes as possible while observing physical distancing requirements.
  • Several nontraditional academic spaces have been converted into classrooms in areas such as the Barnes Center, Brooks Center for the Performing Arts, Hendrix Student Center and Swann Fitness Center at Fike to account for limited capacity in traditional spaces.
  • Face coverings will be required in all buildings and classrooms, and accommodations are being planned for those instructors who need alternative mitigation protocols (Plexiglass barriers, increased distance from students, etc.).


Research laboratories and facilities will reopen on a case-by-case basis on and off campus. Virtual lab work also is being developed by faculty where possible to support a seamless return to research activity. The following rules must be followed in labs:

    • At least two persons should be in the lab at a time to ensure safety and security. Be sure to observe physical distancing, wear your required personal protective equipment and observe hygiene guidelines.
    • No more than three individuals should be in a lab space at a time if possible.
    • Work should only be conducted during typical business hours (8 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and during the specific times indicated in the essential research proposals that have been approved.
    • Restrict required vehicle ridership to one person per vehicle whenever possible and provide adequate ventilation/air flow.

All research activities not previously approved for in-person activities may be considered for approval following existing protocols including the identification of essential research personnel, which will include undergraduate and graduate students, via the Associate Dean for Research in the employee’s college.

Beginning September 13, the University may begin to streamline approvals for research activities including discontinuing the process of identifying essential research personnel; but all regular and typical approvals for chemical hygiene, safety, etc. will remain in force. Employees and students engaged in research activities must also have a negative COVID-19 test before engaging in research activities, and they will be responsible for following standard COVID-19 protocols such as social distancing, face coverings, cleaning, etc.

Additionally, the Division of Research and office of Occupational and Environmental Safety have put together several guidance documents to inform research activity on campus:


  • Students will be online from August 19 until September 21. No changes have been made to the previously published Fall academic calendar. All instructors have been asked to prepare to pivot to entirely online learning at any moment of the semester, particularly from November 24, 2020, through the end of the semester. Online delivery options throughout the semester will be available for most every class.


Clemson’s instructional footprint stretches across the State of South Carolina, and the status of each University location may vary as specific regions experience surges of positive cases at different times. University officials have been working closely with representatives at each statewide location, and decisions to change operational status will be made using localized information.