Princeton University will allow all undergraduates on campus for spring semester

People walk through Princeton University's campus on a sunny day.

Princeton University will welcome back all undergraduate students enrolled at the university for the spring semester in 2021.

The university made the announcement on Nov. 24., through a letter to the campus community by University President Christopher Eisgruber.

“During the fall term, we cultivated strong public health norms and practices on the Princeton campus; monitored and learned from experiences with the virus at Princeton and elsewhere; and established an on-campus testing laboratory,” he said. “In light of that work, we have concluded that, if we test the campus population regularly, and if everyone on campus rigorously adheres to public health guidance about masking, social distancing and other practices, we can welcome a far greater number of students back to Princeton.”

The university will continue to support remote learning for anyone who chooses it.

“This  invitation is in addition to the existing accommodations for our graduate students, many of whom we were able to welcome back to campus in the fall,” Eisgruber added. “As our undergraduates consider whether to opt for a residential or a remote experience this  spring, we encourage them to think carefully about the special responsibilities and conditions associated  with participating in our residential community while the pandemic continues.”

According to the university, if undergraduates decide to return to campus for the spring semester there will be limitations and restrictions. They include:

  • Most instruction remaining online even for those undergraduates who reside on or  proximate to campus. Classes with an in-person component will be offered in hybrid  format, meaning that every class will be available in an online format to students studying at  Princeton or remotely. 
  • Masking and social distancing requirements will apply throughout campus. 
  • All undergraduate students residing on campus or in the Princeton area will be required to  participate in the university’s coronavirus testing program and to comply strictly with all instructions related to contact tracing, quarantine and isolation. 
  • Parties and most other social gatherings will be prohibited. 
  • Undergraduate students will be prohibited from hosting visitors and will be restricted from traveling.
  • All returning undergraduates, including those from New Jersey, will be required to  quarantine upon arrival to campus. 
  • To reduce the risk of spread within dormitories, we will house students on a one-to-a bedroom basis. Depending on demand, some students may be housed proximate to  campus rather than on it. 
  • The university may have to lock down all or part of the campus for extended periods because of high infection rates at the university or in the surrounding community. 

“We expect that restrictions will have to be especially tight as we begin the term in February, when we anticipate that infection rates in the country and in New Jersey will remain high and when the weather will limit outdoor interactions,” Eisgruber said. “We hope, but cannot guarantee, that there will be opportunities to increase interaction, and to phase in more activities, as the term progresses.”