Date: March 9, 2021
TO: NYU Class of 2025 Early Decision Students
FROM: NYU President Andrew Hamilton

Dear NYU Student,

Welcome once again to you, our newest members of the NYU community.

“What is next fall going to be like?” In any year, this is the question that would be top of mind for most incoming first-years and their families. Given all we have gone through this past year, it’s a question everyone is especially keen to have answered. And while September is still a ways off, and unpredictability has been a hallmark of this pandemic year, we want to share with you both our firmer expectations and the matters we’re less sure of just now. Here’s what we can share at this time:

In-Person Classes

Barring something unforeseen, NYU will resume in-person instruction for academic year 2021-22, and will welcome students back on campus. Faculty have been notified to be on campus and to plan for in-person classes this coming fall, as have administrators. We are also planning for the resumption of in-person instruction at NYU’s global sites; however, of course, this will be dependent upon health and travel conditions, as well as the ability to obtain student visas.


Of course, the (mostly) full resumption of in-person classes will take place in the context of the same commitment to keeping our community safe that has guided so much of our decision-making during the current academic year. And of course we will continue to comply with all state and federal public health mandates.

A “Return to Normal”

It seems clear that vaccinations will be widely available by this fall in the US. What’s less clear is when most or all aspects of daily life will look like they did before the pandemic.

So, while we can say we expect in-person classroom instruction to be the norm and that we will welcome students back on campus, we cannot say for certain now precisely how classrooms may be configured, or what the physical distancing between students may be. And beyond classes, there are also the specifics of student housing, dining, athletics, performances, social activities, etc. to be determined — all the many aspects of student life that have been altered since spring of 2020. Decisions regarding the precise shape they will all take will require some more time and planning, as their resumption rests on the guidance of public health authorities. And we will need to continue to be flexible in addressing the educational needs of students who may face difficult circumstances, such as ongoing travel restrictions.

The safety planning we did in the summer of 2020 has enabled NYU to carry on its academic mission this year without an outbreak or disruption to the education experience of our students, whether it be in-person, remote learning, or a hybrid approach to coursework.

We are aiming for no less success in the coming year. And this is for certain: We’ll be in touch as our plans continue to develop, but know that your safety has — and will continue to be — a top priority.

You are joining one of the greatest universities in the world. I look forward to welcoming you to campus this fall.

Andrew Hamilton