The quality education you expect from Loyola hasn’t changed, but the University has changed how classes are scheduled, organized, and delivered to prioritize the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff.

Beginning in spring 2021, we will prudently increase the number of on-campus courses, with a focus on labs and other classes that we must teach in person. In the spring, we expect up to 10 percent of our undergraduate courses will be offered on campus, along with some additional graduate and professional classes. This is a significant increase from the number of in-person classes held during the fall 2020 semester.

The following section describes academic guidelines, best practices, and resources developed in coordination with the leadership teams of academic units and support services on all campuses. 

Before coming on campus, please review our Return to Campus checklist.

In This Section

Return to the Classroom: Curricular Guidelines

Accreditation and Authorization

Loyola University Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and this accreditation includes the highest level of approval to deliver in-person classes and distance education courses and programs. Loyola is also a partner in NC-SARA, an agreement among member states that establishes national standards for distance education which allows us to offer online programs to students in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.

Academic Calendar and Class Meeting Grid

The spring 2021 semester schedule has been modified to minimize the chance of infection from students, faculty, and staff returning to campus after traveling during long breaks. For the full spring semester schedule, please visit LUC.edu/academics/schedules.

Key dates for spring 2021

  • Classes will begin on January 19 as scheduled. In the interest of keeping our community safe, most courses will begin online and be conducted remotely for the first two weeks of the semester.
  • Most on-campus classes will be delivered remotely until February 1. For a list of classes that will not start remotely, click here.
  • Instead of one traditional weeklong spring break, Loyola will have two long weekends. The two individual breaks will run from 4 p.m. on Wednesday, February 10, through Sunday, February 14, and Saturday, March 6, through 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 10.
  • The final day of classes will be Friday, April 30, as scheduled.
  • Final exams will be May 3-8, as previously scheduled

Please note that schedules in the School of Law, Stritch School of Medicine, School of Continuing and Professional Studies, and Quinlan School of Business graduate programs may differ. Faculty and students in these schools/programs should confirm the schedule with their deans and program directors.

Time grid for classes

In spring 2021, we will continue using a time grid of classes that reduces crowding on campus and in buildings during class period changes. The passing period between classes will be extended to 30 minutes to reduce the density of students moving around campus. Some specialized courses may be scheduled off grid. Please check LOCUS to confirm your schedule. 

The new class grid below is the same for on-campus and synchronous online classes.

Monday/Wednesday/Friday, daytime classes (seven slots)
  • 8:10 – 9:00 a.m.
  • 9:30 – 10:20 a.m.
  • 10:50 – 11:40 a.m.
  • 12:10 – 1:00 p.m.
  • 1:30 – 2:20 p.m.
  • 2:50 – 3:40 p.m.
  • 4:10 – 5:00 p.m.

Tuesday/Thursday, daytime classes (five slots)
  • 8:00 – 9:15 a.m.
  • 9:45 – 11:00 a.m.
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
  • 1:15 – 2:30 p.m.
  • 3:00 – 4:15 p.m.

Weekday evenings (one slot)
  • 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Instructional Spaces

Classes that are offered on campus will follow all public health and legal guidelines. See our On-Campus Classroom Guidelines.

Due to social distancing guidelines, Loyola classrooms will be able to hold only about 25 percent of their normal capacity.

Mode of Course Delivery

In spring 2021, the majority of classes will be offered online. Only those classes that require a face-to-face component will be offered on campus. Please check classes in LOCUS to determine the mode of instruction for all classes. All on-campus classes will be offered in HyFlex mode. Read more

Classroom Technology

All on-campus classes will have the capability for HyFlex (dual-mode) instruction for students who attend remotely. In addition to the standard classroom technology, classrooms for HyFlex courses will be equipped with dual monitors at the instructor workstation, a camera facing the front of the room, microphones to capture the instructor and students, and speakers to hear online students.

ITRS provides virtual tours of existing lecture capture/HyFlex classrooms. Instructors will also be able to access video tutorials and schedule individual assistance with using classroom technology. 

For more information, visit HyFlex Classrooms.

Meeting Student Academic Needs

All student requests to complete the spring semester entirely online will be accommodated. This may include students enrolling in fully online classes, as well as on-campus classes that will include a Zoom component (HyFlex) or asynchronous learning.

Online and HyFlex instructional sessions should accommodate students in time zones that differ by a few hours by offering recorded synchronous sessions and/or asynchronous learning, and one-on-one supplemental support where necessary.

Loyola will orient students to all online services and resources before the spring semester. Read more

Faculty Professional Development

Loyola has provided, and will continue to provide, training and support to faculty to ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to achieve course learning objectives, regardless of modality. The Office of Online Learning (OOL), Instructional Technology and Research Support (ITRS), Center for Experiential Learning, and the Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy (FCIP) continue to offer workshops and materials to support both online teaching and HyFlex (dual-mode) instruction.

For more information, visit the academic continuity webpage at LUC.edu/academiccontinuity.

HyFlex training will be offered both on-campus and online beginning in early December 2020. To sign up, please contact the ITS Service Desk at ITSServiceDesk@luc.edu or 773.508.4487.

Faculty can also request one-on-one assistance from an instructional designer by contacting the Office of Online Learning at online@LUC.edu or ITS technology support by contacting ITSServiceDesk@LUC.edu.

Health and Safety in the Classroom

All campus classrooms will follow public health guidelines. Faculty and students must follow Loyola’s Required Personal Safety Practices. Desks, tables, and chairs will be spaced apart to meet social distancing guidelines of six feet between people. Moving of furniture will not be permitted. To allow for contact tracing (if required), students in all classes will occupy assigned seats beginning no later than the second week of class.

For more details about preventing the spread of COVID-19, please see the Health and Safety guidelines.


Together, we can create a safe, supportive environment for education. Students, faculty, and academic units each have an important role to play in making this happen.

Please see below for a detailed listing of student, faculty, and academic unit responsibilities.


  • Follow Loyola’s Required Personal Safety Practices, including wearing masks while in campus buildings, sanitizing your desk before and after use in classrooms, and washing hands/using hand sanitizer often. All classrooms will have disposable masks if you forget one.
  • Be tested for COVID-19 regularly at an on-campus testing site to help ensure the safety of the Loyola community
  • Use the Symptom Checker daily to check for any COVID-19 symptoms. Do not attend class in-person if you develop any symptom(s) consistent with COVID-19, as defined by the CDC
  • If necessary, follow the Positive Diagnosis Protocol developed by the University
  • Visit Sakai course sites to learn the details of your courses
  • Inform instructors if you are enrolled in an on-campus course and plan to attend 100 percent online
  • Inform instructors of any special accommodations approved by the Student Accessibility Center (SAC)
  • Review all relevant academic policies regarding academic integrity
  • Review the ITS technology support webpage to prepare for your courses
  • Review academic and other support services available to students


  • Follow Loyola’s Required Personal Safety Practices, including wearing masks while in campus buildings, sanitizing your desk before and after use in classrooms, and washing hands/using hand sanitizer often. All classrooms will have disposable masks if you forget one.
  • Be tested for COVID-19 regularly at an on-campus testing site to help ensure the safety of the Loyola community. Additional information regarding on campus testing will be sent to all students who will be on campus, prior to the start of Spring, 2021.
  • Use the Symptom Checker daily to check for any COVID-19 symptoms. Do not hold class in-person if you develop any symptom(s) consistent with COVID-19, as defined by the CDC
  • If necessary, follow the Positive Diagnosis Protocol developed by the University
  • Participate in faculty development programs in preparation for online and HyFlex (dual-mode) course delivery (see the Academic Continuity webpage for trainings and workshops)
  • Set up courses in Sakai for both online and on-campus classes, since there is a high likelihood that on-campus classes will have at least some students attending remotely
  • Contact all students via Sakai to provide details of the course
  • If a student will be attending online, determine technology needs, etc.
  • Meet special needs of students in distant time zones
  • For students who will not be able to attend class in-person, provide an equivalent academic experience; academic units/instructors will decide how best to meet student needs
  • Faculty should assess how required course activities and assignments can continue for students who cannot attend in person
  • Follow the Guidelines for Recording Students in Online Classes including notifying students via the class syllabus that if they are attending class online, they may be recorded
  • Take attendance daily, which will assist if contact tracing is necessary

Academic Units

  • Follow Loyola’s Required Personal Safety Practices, including wearing masks while in campus buildings, sanitizing your space before and after use, and washing hands/using hand sanitizer often
  • Be tested for COVID-19 regularly at an on-campus testing site to help ensure the safety of the Loyola community
  • Use the Symptom Checker daily to check for any COVID-19 symptoms. Stay home if you develop any symptom(s) consistent with COVID-19, as defined by the CDC
  • If necessary, follow the Positive Diagnosis Protocol developed by the University
  • Hold advising and student meetings virtually whenever possible to maintain social distancing
  • Follow the CDC guidelines and Loyola's Required Personal Safety Practices if an in-person meeting is required. Arrange meeting space to comply with social distancing guidelines.
  • Review any accommodations for staff due to disability with the supervisor and Human Resources, as needed

On-Campus Classroom Guidelines

Classrooms have been laid out to meet social distancing guidelines, separating occupants by at least six feet; as such, all academic spaces will hold, at most, 33 percent of the previously stated occupancy. Inside classrooms, faculty and students will be required to wear face masks or face coverings at all times. Classrooms must remain in their socially distant configurations; moving furniture will not be permitted. 

Given the constraints of social distancing and the potential need for contact tracing, students in all classes will occupy assigned seats, established no later than the second week of class. All classes must be scheduled on-grid unless an exception is granted for a compelling pedagogical reason.

Entering/Exiting a Classroom

Where feasible, signage will clearly identify entrance-only and exit-only doors for academic spaces. When approaching a classroom door, follow any pertinent instructions.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

Housekeeping will clean all high-touch areas in common spaces throughout all buildings. Within a classroom, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes will be provided. Students and faculty should wipe down their work surfaces after each use. Classrooms will be thoroughly cleaned by housekeeping at the end of each day. 

Positive Diagnosis Protocol

When a positive case of COVID-19 is confirmed, the University will follow established protocol and guidelines for contact tracing and isolation before returning to the classroom. For more information, click here.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest, and responsible manner. Without it, education is lost. Loyola has distinct guidelines in place regarding academic integrity required of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.

All courses—regardless if they are online or in-person—are expected to uphold academic integrity guidelines. Loyola endorses instructors’ use of technology, good course design, and support services to bolster the University’s commitment to academic honesty in all classes.

  • Academic integrity in online and HyFlex courses

    The Office of Online Learning (OOL) and Instructional Technology and Research Support (ITRS) support instructors in their efforts to ensure academic integrity in their online courses. Several academic integrity technologies are available, including TurnItIn for plagiarism detection, Respondus LockDown Browser for locking the browser for taking tests and quizzes in Sakai, and Proctortrack for test and exam proctoring. OOL and ITRS can consult on the configuration and use of these technologies.

    Course design can also support academic integrity. Instructors can utilize OOL’s Academic Integrity Toolbox, which walks through many technology, course, assessment, and assignment design strategies that are available for promoting academic honesty. OOL also helps academic programs and instructors review their online courses, looking for ways to promote integrity through design.

    To consult with OOL on any matter related to academic integrity in online courses, email online@LUC.edu. OOL and the Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy also offer workshops related to academic integrity. Visit the Academic Continuity webpage for details.

  • Responsibilities

    Students and faculty must commit to fostering responsible and honest efforts in all areas of academic work.

  • Recommendations for faculty

    • Review technology and design strategies available for fostering academic integrity in online courses
    • Review Prevention and Detection of Academic Integrity Violations
    • Determine if online course proctoring is appropriate for the assessments being utilized
    • Alert students to the appropriate University academic integrity code for their review
    • Notify students of course expectations, including a syllabus statement clearly stating expectations
    • Notify students of any academic integrity software that will be used in class including Turnitin, Proctortrack, and Respondus LockDown Browser
    • Provide clear instructions on what will be needed for students to take exams using these technologies
    • Work with the Student Accessibility Center to accommodate the needs of registered students and preserve academic integrity

  • Pursuant to student handbooks, students bear the responsibility to:

    • Maintain honesty in all areas of academic work
    • Review all relevant academic policies regarding academic integrity and adhere to them
    • Familiarize themselves with the steps needed to use the technology utilized in each class to foster academic integrity
    • Facilitate the cooperation of the Student Accessibility Center with their instructors to accommodate any registered needs and preserve academic integrity

Technology Support

Information Technology Services (ITS) works to support the technology needs of students, faculty, and staff. ITS ensures academic continuity by contributing skilled technological expertise and service; providing secure, reliable information and resources; and offering professional, collaborative consultation.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, ITS continues to update and maintain a process that preserves the continuity of teaching and learning. For a complete listing of current resources and trainings, visit Instructional Technology & Research Support.

Technology support resources available to support academic integrity include the following:

  • Requests for ITS assistance
    Call 773.508.4ITS or email ITSServiceDesk@LUC.edu. This includes requests for urgent support for traditional on-campus classes and synchronous sessions using Zoom or Panopto in online/HyFlex courses.

  • Password change assistance
    Visit Resetting Your Password from Off Campus.

  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
    MFA protects you even if your Loyola password becomes compromised by using your Loyola UVID and password plus one additional authentication method to verify your identity. MFA is required by the end of the spring 2021 semester. For more information, please visit Multi-Factor Authentication.

  • Working remotely
    For information on working efficiently through campus disruptions, visit How to Keep Working—Technology Continuity.

  • Equipment loan
    Equipment is available to students, faculty, and staff for extended loan to support online teaching and learning, as well as remote work. Resources are available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, visit ITS Equipment for Extended Loan.

  • Faculty consultations

    Online faculty support is readily available Monday through Friday. Faculty can schedule individual consultations on Sakai, Zoom, Panopto, VoiceThread, Respondus LockDown Browser, Turnitin, Proctortrack and more. For more information, please visit Instructional Technologies. ITRS has also created many self-help resources:
  • Home use of research software
    Loyola offers a wide array of quantitative and qualitative research applications for home use for both faculty and students. For more information and a complete list of applications, please visit Home Use of Quantitative and Qualitative Research Applications.

  • Statistical advising 
    ITRS offers online statistical advising on Wednesdays and Fridays. Advisers are graduate students engaged in coursework and research that focuses on quantitative and qualitative research methods. Services include answering basic, how-to questions and limited interpretive help with analysis results when using Loyola supported statistical applications or QDAs. No appointment is necessary—simply drop in during this time to meet with ITRS staff. For the schedule and meeting link, please visitStatistical & Online Survey Advising.

  • Learning Analytics Report (LAR)
    The LAR currently presents course and student data from LOCUS, Sakai, Panopto, and Zoom. To access your LAR, please schedule a 30-minute consultation with a learning design engineer. Due to data protections, only the instructor of record for the course may access the LAR. To request your LAR and to schedule a consultation, complete the LAR Request Form. You will be prompted to enter your Loyola UVID and password. For more information, please visit Learning Analytics.

  • Instructional Technologies Course (ITC and AITC)
    ITRS offers 4-week courses delivered online and taught by our highly experienced instructional support team. Courses are designed to provide opportunities for engagement with the instructors, other course participants, and Loyola's core instructional technologies. A weekly synchronous meeting is an integral component of each course. Courses are open to all Loyola faculty and staff, and participants can earn a Letter of Completion. These courses also complement the Online Teaching Courses (OTC)., Design and Facilitate which are offered by the Office of Online Learning (OOL). For more information, please visit ITRS Courses.

Study Abroad and JFRC

All outbound and inbound study abroad is suspended to safeguard the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. This includes programs at the John Felice Rome Center (JFRC) and Vietnam Center, as well as U.S./EU double-degree students in the Quinlan School of Business in collaboration with Universidad Loyola Andalucía. The decision was made in consultation with campus partners both at home and abroad, and after reviewing the latest immigration policies, travel requirements, and governmental advisories, which can be viewed at the CDC and U.S. State Department websites.

All other new and currently enrolled international degree-seeking students and scholars will be allowed to study on our Chicago campuses, according to the legal statuses of their visas and by following Loyola's Required Personal Safety Practices.

Loyola remains fully committed to international education and the academic experience of global engagement, both at home and abroad, including the continuation of our programs at JFRC and the Vietnam Center. The Office of International Programs, including the subdivisions of Study Abroad and International Student and Scholar Services, hopes to facilitate study abroad and international exchanges as soon as it is safe.

To learn more about Loyola’s Office of International Programs, visit LUC.edu/oip

For more information on the JFRC, visit LUC.edu/rome

For more information on the Vietnam Center, visit LUC.edu/vietnam

Field Placement/Internship/Externship

As students in Loyola’s professional schools return to field placements, internships, and externships, each program should review these guidelines to help mitigate risk:

  • Ensure the site is following required public health guidelines
  • Verify any personal protective requirements for students and faculty who access the site
  • Verify whether the site or Loyola is required to provide any personal protective materials
  • Ensure students review any recommended educational materials related to personal protective equipment (PPE) use; for reference, see the CDC guidelines on using PPE
  • Verify learning outcomes are achievable considering any restrictions placed on student activities
  • Identify and communicate any daily screening requirements before arriving at the site and when entering the site
  • Verify program accreditation, licensure, or certification requirements can be met in consideration of any restrictions imposed by the site

For field placements, internships, and externships where the faculty member is intermittently or continually on site with students, programs should also:

  • Verify the faculty member is able and willing to go to the site
  • If the faculty member is not willing or able to go to the site, determine if virtual site visits are an option

All students must check with their school and program for any additional requirements related to transportation, insurance, and reporting illness or positive testing.

Engaged Learning courses guidelines

Engaged Learning courses may look and feel very different in spring 2021, but to preserve the deep learning experiences of students, we encourage the following guidelines: 

  • Where/when possible, move the experience to a virtual/online modality (e.g., virtual internships, virtual community-engaged projects, online research projects)
  • If working with external organizations, shift work to remote/online projects with the external organization
  • If in-person experiences are acceptable to and desired by all parties, and/or required by the position/industry/academic program, follow the guidelines of the state, city, and the partner organization hosting Loyola students
  • A community site may not choose to accept a student considering health guidelines, given their clientele (e.g., vulnerable populations), and the guidelines of the state and city
  • A student may not choose to go to an in-person site if they have documented health concerns or other extenuating circumstances, and an alternative virtual project or experience may be chosen
  • Hours dedicated to engaged learning experience has some flexibility to include time-on-task and project-based work, such as reflection assignments dedicated to the experience and/or learning portfolio creation

Best practices for virtual/remote engaged learning experiences include:

  • Develop online reflection assignments (oral, written, and creative)
  • Construct summative reflection assignments or projects via online modalities, such as learning portfolios (eportfolios)
  • Meet with external partners online and continue regular meetings and communication via online formats
  • Complete mid-point and end-of-semester evaluation forms, to be filled out by site supervisors
  • Construct weekly check-ins between student and site supervisor virtually
  • Require students to complete weekly hour logs to track hours dedicated to experience for accountability
  • Ask that students input their Engaged Learning experience (e.g., site) information into LOCUS in a timely manner

Internships/Clinical Experiences/Clerkships/Field Experiences/Practicum Experiences

Students are encouraged to communicate directly with their faculty and academic department providing the clinical/internship/lab experiences, as each program may have specific requirements, guidelines, and directions.

Last Modified:   Tue, February 23, 2021 11:51 AM CST

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For Coronavirus (COVID-19) information and university updates, visit LUC.edu/coronavirus.

To inquire about general Loyola information related to COVID-19, please email COVID-19support@luc.edu

Students, faculty, and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 must report their case to the University as soon as possible at COVID-19report@LUC.edu or by calling 773-508-7707.