2020-21 Academic Year Plan

Introduction and Process

Over the last few months, Juilliard has embarked on a process to reinvent the 2020-21 academic year in light of the many challenges and uncertainties created by the ongoing COVID-19 global health crisis. To help guide our decision-making, the Office of the Provost appointed 14 working groups involving over 70 staff and faculty across departments throughout the school. Members of the Juilliard Community can view the working groups here. We have also consulted with medical and engineering experts, compiled survey data from the community, and sought input from members of the Juilliard Student Congress. While it is not possible to eliminate all risks, the changes we are making to our school year and the safety plans we are putting in place are meant to guard against those risks to the extent possible. To be successful, this plan will require all members of our community to take appropriate precautions and follow all safety guidelines.

The working groups were asked to make recommendations with two overriding commitments in mind: 1) community safety and 2) the integrity of the educational experience. The plan presented here aims to provide a pathway where these two commitments intersect.

The Calendar

In order to deliver the highest quality educational experience possible, we have reinvented the academic calendar and reimagined how our educational content can be delivered with maximum flexibility. All our work is informed by public health guidelines.

Our academic year starts with a brand-new Juilliard Summer Term including for-credit and non-credit offerings with no additional tuition charge. The year will continue with an elongated fall semester divided into three 7-week blocks: pending health guidelines, Block 1 will be fully online but with the building available as a resource, Block 2 will phase in on-campus learning and performance work, and Block 3 will focus on major study and performance opportunities. This will be followed by a slightly shortened spring term that extends into June.

This plan:

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  • Preserves a meaningful period of time to focus on major study and performance work

  • Reduces density in the building and in the residence hall

  • Provides enhanced opportunities, including added weeks of instruction and a summer term, at no additional cost to students.

  • Invests in resources, training, and technology to help ensure the online work meets our standard of excellence

  • Prioritizes equitable access to resources and opportunities across departments and programs

  • Provides the flexibility to respond to health concerns, potential travel restrictions, and international student visa delays

  • Allows us to respond to changing conditions and health guidelines as necessary

Below is an outline of how we envision each block. The details of each block are subject to change if required by public health guidance as the situation continues to evolve.

Dates below are specific to the College Division—the Preparatory Division will follow a similar plan, and specific dates can be found here.

Summer Term – Online for credit and non-credit offerings – 6 weeks
July 6 – August 14
  • Optional, included in fall-semester tuition 

  • 1 credit-bearing course per student, plus noncredit offerings 

  • No building access for students, limited access for staff and faculty by advance appointment 


Fall Term – Block 1—Online, Building Available as Resource—7 weeks
August 31 – October 16
  • First half of 14-week courses, possible 7-week courses 

  • Building access, subject to health guidelines and screening protocols  

  • Residence hall students with specific needs may move in by request 

  • Limited access for staff and faculty as needed 

  • No public or guest access to building 


Fall Term— Block 2 – Hybrid Online and In-Person—7 weeks
October 29 – December 18
  • Phased-in small group performance classes and rehearsals on campus 

  • Second half of 14-week courses (most online, some in-person if possible) 

  • Building access, subject to health guidelines and screening protocols 

  • In-person small group work allowed (pending health guidelines) 

  • Small ensemble performances and preparation for Block 3 ensemble performances 

  • Livestreamed performances and recording projects 

  • Residence hall contracts begin—cap of 250 students allowing for single room occupancy 

  • Continued phasing-in of building access for faculty/staff 

  • No public or guest access (except guest artists) to building


Fall Term—Block 3—Largely In-person if Possible, Focus on Major Study and Performance Work—7 weeks
January 6–February 23 
  • Performances—festival-style schedule 

  • Focus on major study and performance work, limited academic courses 

  • Building access with health-screening, physical distancing, and health and safety protocols as appropriate 

  • Limited public access for performances, if allowed 

  • Livestreamed performances and recording projects 


Spring Term – Assume standard in-person term – 15 weeks
March 1–June 18, With a Spring Break March 27–April 4 
  • In-person, with health screening, physical distancing, and health and safety protocols as appropriate 

  • Standard mix of academic and performance work 

  • Slightly condensed semester—14 weeks plus commencement week 

  • Commencement takes place on June 18, 2021 

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New Students will have a mandatory remote meeting with an academic advisor in early August to discuss degree requirements and registration for fall term classes. Undergraduate students will be registered for all requirements prior to advisement. Graduate students will choose their schedule during advisement. 

Returning students who are already pre-registered for the fall term will be notified by the Registrar’s Office of any schedule changes. Necessary adjustments will be made on an individual basis with their academic advisor. The add/drop period will be extended for the fall term to accommodate possible schedule changes. 


Juilliard will follow all governmental guidelines for the return to in-person learning and residence at colleges. We plan to adhere to New York State and other applicable guidelines regarding physical distancing, gatherings in enclosed spaces, interpersonal activity and movements around campus, protective equipment, hand washing, cleaning and disinfection, and screening, testing, tracing and tracking.

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A key ingredient in this safety plan is YOU. These significant precautions are only effective with your cooperation, and so we are relying on everyone who enters the building to observe the prescribed safety precautions and procedures, and to be vigilant in their own practices—handwashing, wearing facial coverings, physical distancing—to keep each other safe.

Residence Hall

In the interest of the health and safety of all students, the residence hall will have reduced capacity this year, with only single-occupancy bedrooms. Students will receive information from the Office of Residence Life regarding their housing status. More detailed information about housing assignments, contracts, early arrival requests, and move-in information will be emailed to students directly.

Students who are assigned a space in the residence hall may begin moving in shortly before Block 2. However, students with specific needs who have been given a housing assignment can request housing for Block 1 and will be approved as available. Residential students will be subject to regular screening and applicable testing and quarantine requirements.

Off-Campus Housing

Students who will not be living in the residence hall can coordinate their move to NYC any time prior to Block 2 but should be mindful of screening and applicable testing and quarantine guidelines that may be in place at that time. The offices of Residence Life and Student Affairs have worked to compile a list of potential off-campus housing options for students and will be providing information on additional resources to students who will not be living in the Rose Building in the coming year.

Residence Life and Orientation

New Student Orientation will take place online beginning Monday, August 24, and continue through Friday, August 28. New international students will participate in an additional online orientation on Friday, August 21. Family Orientation will also take place online the week of August 24. New students will be sent information regarding the orientation and related information. Please visit the Orientation page for updated information regarding orientation.


Please refer to the below pages on MyJuilliard for questions and answers specific to each division.


The Library will support online learning through a robust collection of digital resources, including databases on JUILCAT Plus, and an expanded collection of e-books and full text journals. Beginning on August 31, we will offer curbside pick-up for physical materials (further details to follow). Access to reading rooms, special collections, and the media center will be provided as conditions allow. Please send questions or requests to [email protected]

Technology Equipment Program
Juilliard is working on a technology program to help students and faculty members obtain some electronic equipment they may need to make online learning successful. More information about this program will be forthcoming. 

Financial Aid 
Financial aid information for continuing students will be available on WebAdvisor at the end of June. Instructions will be provided for students who wish to appeal for additional aid based on a change in financial circumstances. Details regarding payment deadlines and federal aid disbursement dates will be provided shortly. 


Do I have to take part in each block in the fall semester?
Yes, whether online or in-person, each block will contain work that is required in order to complete your fall term coursework, and in most cases, courses will be spread over more than one block. College students who anticipate any issues participating in parts of the semester should contact [email protected] or [email protected]. Preparatory Division students should contact [email protected] or [email protected]

At what point will I be expected to attend in-person classes?
Based on current assumptions, our goal is to have everyone on campus in time for Block 2, keeping in mind that screening and applicable testing and quarantine requirements may be in place at that time. However, assuming health conditions allow, the building will be open to students who need it as a resource during Block 1, so some students may choose to move to NYC much earlier. We have built in an extended break between Blocks 1 and 2 to give College Division students time to move. New students and residence hall students should refer to information about orientation and residence hall move-in dates.

Which of my classes will be online, and for how long?
This will depend on evolving health conditions; it is too soon to know now. We have decided that all classes will be online for Block 1 in the fall. With limited exceptions, we anticipate that all academic courses to remain online for at least the full fall semester. Our hope is to allow some skills- and performance-based courses to meet in person starting in Block 2 in the fall, while Block 3 will focus on major study and performance work.

Juilliard uses Zoom to facilitate virtual classes. Every Juilliard student has access via juilliard.okta.com. Faculty will provide the Zoom meeting invitation for each session.

When can I move into the residence hall?
Specific move-in dates for college division students will be communicated in the coming weeks and will be subject to applicable testing and quarantine requirements. In general, we anticipate students will move into the residence hall in time for Block 2, but students with specific needs may request an earlier move in date during Block 1, depending on availability.

Students who will not be living in the residence hall can coordinate their move to NYC any time prior to Block 2.

Will I have access to the building during Block 1 for practice, studio use, library use, lessons, etc.?
If health conditions allow, the building will be open on a limited basis, and by appointment, for individual work in practice rooms, classrooms, and studios. Special arrangements will be made for access to library materials, including curbside pick-up. Building hours may be limited and room access is subject to availability. We encourage all those who can to work from home so that the building remains accessible to those who need it. Information on how to reserve a working space will be sent out later in the summer.

What if I can’t return to New York in time for Block 2?
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[email protected], and Preparatory Division students should contact [email protected] or [email protected] to request reasonable accommodations as soon as possible. As always, students needing accommodations due to disabilities should contact the Office of Academic Support and Disability Services.

How will performances work? Will there be audiences?
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What screening and testing procedures will be in place in order to enter the residence hall? And the main building?
Juilliard will follow applicable guidelines for screening and testing. New York State recommends at a minimum that institutions test students who are arriving from other states and countries upon arrival and urges retesting of individuals arriving from other states and countries between 7 to 14 days after arrival or upon development of symptoms. Juilliard will determine whether to separate students upon arrival until they can be tested, and test results are negative.

We may require quarantine of students, faculty, or staff after international travel or when they have:

  • knowingly been in close or proximate contact in the previous 14 days with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who has or had symptoms of COVID-19;

  • tested positive for COVID-19 in the previous 14 days; and/or

  • experienced any symptoms of COVID-19 in the previous 14 days.

Any individual who screens positive for COVID-19 exposure or symptoms will be immediately isolated in their residence or in a designated quarantine location with instructions or arrangement for health assessment and further testing. If required, Juilliard will immediately notify the state and local health departments about the case if test results are positive for COVID-19.

More information on how we are preparing for a safe return to the building will be communicated through email and posted on this web page.

How will contact tracing work?
If an individual tests positive, the school will work with the local health department to trace all contacts of the individual, in accordance with the protocols, training, and tools provided through the New York State Contact Tracing Program.

What happens if there is another wave of the virus?
The health and safety of the Juilliard community will always be our top priority. We have designed the block calendar plan to give us the maximum flexibility should health conditions change. We will alert the community immediately of changing health conditions and how they may impact our work together, and we are developing back up plans should the calendar need to be adjusted further. With guidance from the state health department, we are establishing methods to help detect early warning signs of a campus outbreak and working on protocols to contain such cases to the extent possible. We are preparing contingency plans for decreasing in-person activities or moving them online if necessary.

What about summer festivals that start in June?
While most festivals start after our academic year ends, which this year will be in June, we realize that some festivals start sooner. Students will be allowed to apply for a short-term professional leave, and if approved, attend festivals just as they would during a normal academic calendar.

I am an international student, what does this all mean for me?
At this time, the Office of International Advisement (OIA) is waiting for updated guidance from SEVP regarding student visa procedures for the fall semester. Once this guidance is received, OIA will be hosting numerous town hall meetings through Zoom to discuss how this will impact international students in the fall semester. If you have any questions, please reach out to [email protected].

Will my financial aid eligibility change as a result of the academic calendar changes?
Your financial aid offer contains an Estimated Cost of Attendance for both direct and indirect costs to assist you in budgeting for the academic year. The Estimated Cost of Attendance has been adjusted to account for the longer academic year. Students with increased indirect costs, such as off-campus rent or technology needs, may contact the Office of Financial Aid for a budget revision. This may increase your eligibility for additional aid such as Federal Parent or Graduate PLUS loans.

How will billing, payments and refunds work with the adjusted calendar?
Fall bills will be sent to you in mid-July. We are extending the usual payment deadline by two weeks, to August 24, 2020. Credit balance refund checks are expected to be issued in early September, as normal. Because students will not be on campus, the checks will be sent via regular mail; please plan your resources to allow for the extra time to receive your check. More information will be provided with your bill.

Will work-study be available?
Opportunities for employment will still be available although they will be more limited than usual since nonessential administrative employees will continue to work remotely.