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Peabody College Return to Campus

Information for Graduate and Professional Students

On June 16, Peabody College announced that in-person classes for graduate and professional students will resume for the Fall semester on August 24. You may read the message in full here. The information below includes the most pertinent information from that communication as well as ongoing updates as we approach the Fall. Fall instruction will include a blend of virtual and in-person learning experiences and other approaches.

Peabody College recognizes the incomparable value of in-person faculty teaching and mentoring and collaboration with your peers. Accordingly, we will resume on-campus instruction beginning with the Fall semester. We look forward to welcoming back returning students and to greeting our incoming class of graduate and professional students in person. All students will be required to sign an acknowledgment of public health and safety protocols before coming to the campus.

 Peabody’s academic calendar will be the same as that for Vanderbilt undergraduates. Details are available on the Vanderbilt Return to Classes website.

Key Dates

Now through July 2               Fall registration open for professional students

Now through July 8               Fall registration open for graduate students

July 1                                       Deadline for professional students to request remote study

July 15                                     COVID-19 testing requirements available on Return to Campus website

July 22                                     Open enrollment resumes for professional students

July 22                                     Open enrollment resumes for graduate students

Mid-August or TBD                Online orientation for new graduate and professional students

Monday, August 24                First day of classes

Friday, November 20              Final day of in-person instruction

Sunday, December 13            Semester concludes

Prior to the start of classes, new graduate and professional students will take part in online orientation. Additional information about orientation will be forthcoming from the Peabody Dean’s Office.

Once on-campus instruction has concluded for the semester, students will not return to campus until the spring semester.

Registration, now open, is currently scheduled to close at 11:59 PM on July 8.   

Peabody fall registration is currently open and will remain open through July 2 for professional students and July 8 for continuing graduate students. If you are a graduate or professional student and typically register yourself, please do so by these dates. If you are registered by your program, please coordinate with them. Open enrollment will resume on July 22 for professional students and remain open through the start of the fall semester.

If you are in a program that manages the registration process for its graduate students, reach out to your program coordinator well in advance of the July 8 deadline to schedule your fall semester, if you have not already done so. Whether you or your program handles your registration, be sure to complete the process by the July 8 deadline.

Upon the close of registration, the university will identify classroom requirements and coordinate any adjustments required to accommodate hybrid instruction, social distancing, and other hygienic guidelines to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. 

Note that registration will re-open on July 22, to give you the opportunity to make any final adjustments to your schedule. 

Contact your director of graduate studies or program coordinator with questions.  We will notify you if there are additional changes in the timeline or process.  

Classes and course work

Although we are returning to on-campus, in-person instruction, classes will look and operate differently than they have in the past. For example:

  • We intend to practice physical distancing and other requirements for health and safety in each classroom; students will sit farther apart and will wear face coverings. Faculty and teaching assistants will also adopt appropriate public health safety methods.
  • Course schedules may include some evening and weekend classes, as well as a blend of virtual and alternative and in-person learning and other approaches.

Options for Remote Study

All courses will have options for delivery through virtual and alternative platforms to provide for students who cannot return to campus due to travel restrictions, health risks, for those students who need to be in self-isolation or quarantine during the semester, and other circumstances. The Peabody Dean’s Office will contact professional students on June 22 with details on how students may apply to study remotely, should circumstances require them to do so. We ask all professional students who wish to request this option to communicate with us by July 1. Please note that students enrolled in teacher licensure programs with required field and student teaching experiences are not eligible for remote study.

Field Experiences

Many of our programs include requirements for field experiences. We are addressing these requirements with the relevant agencies and organizations, and we are working to ensure that their health and safety protocols will also meet Vanderbilt’s standards. Additional details will be provided as arrangements are finalized.

Personal Travel

There will be no fall break this year. In addition, the college asks that students stay in the Nashville area and not travel through the end of in-person classes on November 20. Students enrolled in the on-campus Ed.D. program will receive additional information from the department regarding weekend classes.

Public Health and Safety Protocols

The Peabody community will need to fully commit to protecting our collective health and well-being and to play our part in managing the spread of the virus. At the core of our efforts is prevention of infection. To accomplish this, public health protocols will be in place for students that will include symptom monitoring and temperature checks, mandatory face masks, use of public hand sanitizer stations and physical distancing. All students will be required to sign an acknowledgment of such protocols before coming to the campus.

The university is taking steps to ensure all campus spaces and buildings are structured to support the health and safety of our students, staff and faculty. This will include enhanced cleaning protocols, changes to foot-traffic flow through buildings and on campus pathways,  and more. More details are available on Vanderbilt’s Return to Classes website.

And as a core component of our preventive measures, the university will have requirements for COVID-19 testing, as well as rigorous contact tracing and symptom management. Vanderbilt is partnering closely with the experts at VUMC and Vanderbilt School of Nursing to deploy their best practices in these areas. Additional details about the university’s plans to implement these best practices, as well as the varying testing requirements for different groups of students—which may include testing prior to, upon return, or during their time on campus—will be shared on the Return to Campus website by July 15. 

Vanderbilt is committed to ensuring that all students can receive medical care if they are ill or need to quarantine. Should an outbreak occur or public health conditions change significantly, the university will again rely on VUMC, as well as local, state and federal officials and public health guidelines, to assess if it must discontinue on-campus instruction. It is likely that members of our community will test positive this fall, but we are establishing rigorous systems to manage this reality, care for our students and protect our community.

The Nurse Faculty Practice Division in the School of Nursing, in collaboration with the Student Health Center, will perform contact tracing for positive cases; act as an interface between the university, Student Health and VUMC; provide counseling for any students who are in quarantine and isolation; and provide periodic well checks for all students.  Vanderbilt is also providing new telehealth options, additional programming and more through the Student Care Network, a holistic network of mental health resources and wellness services available to all Vanderbilt students.

Graduate and Professional Student Life

The Peabody Dean’s Office has been engaging directly with students to develop strategies for creative socializing and virtual programming that accommodate safety protocols while advancing connection and community. Peabody Career Services is similarly scheduling its activities for virtual spaces.

 To reduce population density in dining halls, Vanderbilt will expand opportunities for mobile ordering through Campus Dining and will change meals swipe guidelines so students can pick up grab-and-go options more frequently. Vanderbilt also plans to implement modified circulation plans and contactless “tap” checkouts to facilitate best practices in dining halls.

Additional Information and Updates

We encourage you to visit the Return to Classes website for more details and ongoing updates. The content on this page will also be updated periodically in the coming weeks. In addition, professional students with specific questions regarding course schedules or other topics, are encouraged to contact their program directors or the Peabody Office of Academic Services.

Changes in Circumstances

It’s important to note that this plan is based on current information. We will continue to closely track the course of the pandemic and will adjust this plan as necessary in response to the latest information.

Additional Resources

Vanderbilt University Return to Campus Website

Student Care Network