Regis’ fall semester to start early, end on-campus classes by Thanksgiving

University shares plans for ensuring campus safety


Regis University has announced it will welcome students back to its Denver area campuses this fall but will start classes early and end on-campus classes before Thanksgiving. The Jesuit, Catholic university also announced initial mitigation plans to respond to public health restrictions if needed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Regis President the Rev. John P. Fitzgibbons, S.J., announced the plans today, which were shared in letters to students, parents and employees.

“We are committed to keeping our community as safe as possible while providing an optimal campus experience,” Fitzgibbons said. “Rest assured, we will continue to adhere to expert public health guidance.”

Many of Regis’ students are enrolled in online degree and certificate programs, which will continue on the normal schedule. But for students in its on-campus, traditional, undergraduate and graduate programs and some of its health profession programs, classes will start a week early on Aug. 17, and on-campus classes will end Nov. 20. A traditional, two-day fall break will be canceled. After the Thanksgiving break, finals will be conducted online Nov. 30 to Dec. 6.

Affected programs include some in the Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions, comprising schools of nursing, pharmacy and physical therapy, and two divisions in Counseling and Family Therapy and in Health Services Education.

This schedule will provide the same amount of instruction time to students but allow them to return home before the forecasted peak activity for the flu in December, which is likely to coincide with a second wave of COVID-19.

Fitzgibbons said the University was encouraged by the strong state and local response to the virus and their work now to ramp up testing capacity and public health staffing to be well prepared for any future wave.

The University also is preparing by adopting “test, trace and separate” mitigation plans to implement as needed to ensure a safe campus. If needed, any of the following measures could be adopted based on guidance from the public health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  •   Adjust the size of in-person classes and gatherings;
  •   Permit “super hybrid” classes that students may attend in person or remotely;
  •   Adjust the number of personnel who work on campus or remotely;
  •   Implement social distancing protocols, including the wearing of masks; and
  •   Restrict entrances and exits to buildings, with temperature checks.

In addition, all of its on-campus classes will have an online home, which will allow a swift conversion to all or partial online instruction if necessary.  Thanks to Regis’ 30 years of experience with distance education, the University was able to convert to online instruction smoothly this spring and maintain strong student participation, said Regis Provost Janet Houser.


About Regis University

Established in 1877, Regis University is a premier, globally engaged institution of higher learning in the Jesuit Catholic tradition that prepares leaders to live productive lives of faith, meaning and service. One of 27 Jesuit universities in the nation, Regis has four campus locations in the Denver metro area and Colorado Springs and extensive online program offerings with more than 8,000 enrolled students.