Fall 2020 & Spring 2021 Term: Campus Update

As we approach the mid-point of the Fall term, we write to share updated details on PAFA’s plans, timelines, and procedures for the remainder of the fall, Thanksgiving, Winter Break, and the Spring term.

First of all, thank you for your patience, flexibility, and cooperation during this unprecedented hybrid semester. With your help, and your adherence to our new health and safety protocols, PAFA has been able to maintain a safe campus environment for students, faculty, and staff. The well-being of our community is PAFA’s first priority, and your participation in this collaborative effort has been vital.

Remainder of Fall Semester 2020: Important Dates

As we shared before the start of the Fall term in our campus reopening plan, the final day of on-campus learning this semester will be November 25, and campus will be closed with no access to in-person classrooms, studios, or shops between Thanksgiving break and the spring term. Classes between Thanksgiving break and the conclusion of the Fall term on December 16 will be conducted remotely. This is in an effort to eliminate potential pathways for transmission of the virus that may emerge from travel following Thanksgiving break.

Looking ahead to the conclusion of the Fall term, here are some important dates to remember:

November 25 Final day of in-person studio and shop access for Fall term.
Students living in Stiles Hall should depart by 12:00 PM.
Classes will continue remotely for remainder of Fall term following Thanksgiving break.
December 11 Final day of undergraduate classes
December 15 Final day of graduate critiques
December 16 Winter Break begins

Fall 2020 Flu Shots

All students, faculty, and staff working on campus are required to receive a flu shot.

There will be a flu vaccination clinic at PAFA on Friday, October 16; you may sign up for a time slot.

You may also get a flu shot at your local pharmacy or doctor’s office, and must send a record of your flu shot to pafahealth@pobox.pafa.edu by October 31, 2020.

Spring Semester 2021

The spring 2021 academic term will begin on Monday, January 25, and will maintain the same hybrid structure that PAFA has utilized for the 2020 Fall term.

Notably, the semester has been adapted to allow for a longer-than-usual Winter Break, and will not feature a Spring Break.

Like many colleges and universities around the country, PAFA has taken the necessary step to remove spring break from the 2021 calendar, in order to reduce potential pathways for the transmission of the virus that emerge from travel. We thank you for your continued cooperation and understanding as we prioritize the health of the PAFA community.

Below are a number of important dates, policies, and procedures for the spring term.

Health Protocols

In accordance with current health advisories and guidelines:

  • Any student returning to campus for classes from a designated virus “hot spot” area is asked to self-quarantine for a minimum of 14 days prior to reporting to campus. Any state reporting an infection rate of 90+ per 100,000 residents is considered a “hot spot,” as outlined in the interactive maps on the City of Philadelphia Department of Health's COVID-19 online resource.
  • All students, faculty, and staff who will be present on campus in any capacity for the spring semester will be required to participate in COVID-19 testing. Two testing days will be held at PAFA on January 14 and 15.

Stiles Hall

Prior to the start of spring 2021 classes, move-in for students living in Stiles Hall will take place between Saturday, January 9 and Wednesday, January 13.

All students returning to Stiles Hall are asked to self-quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days prior to moving into Stiles.

2021 Spring Term: Important Dates

January 9–13 Stiles Hall Student Move-In
January 14–15 Mandatory COVID-19 testing for all students, faculty, and staff who will be present on campus for 2021 Spring term
January 19 Studios reopen for students with negative COVID-19 test result
January 25 2021 Spring term begins
Shop spaces reopen
April 30 Final day of graduate classes
May 7 Final day of undergraduate classes

Information regarding MFA Reviews, the 120th Annual Student Exhibition and Commencement to be announced in 2021.

Thank you for your attention to these important updates. If you have any questions about PAFA’s plan for the remainder of the 2020-2021 academic year, please do not hesitate to reach out to Clint Jukkala (cjukkala@pafa.edu) or Anne Stassen (astassen@pafa.edu).

Again, thank you all for your flexibility and support of the PAFA community during this difficult time. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, you continue to inspire all of us at PAFA with your creativity, ingenuity, and dedication. We look forward to speaking with you all and seeing everything that you create throughout this 2020–2021 academic year and beyond.

Last Updated
December 16, 2020 - 10:37 AM

About PAFA

Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is America's first school and museum of fine arts. A recipient of the National Medal of Arts, PAFA offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the fine arts, innovative exhibitions of historic and contemporary American art, and a world-class collection of American art. PAFA’s esteemed alumni include Mary Cassatt, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, William Glackens, Barkley L. Hendricks, Violet Oakley, Louis Kahn, David Lynch, and Henry Ossawa Tanner.