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Duke Announces Plans for Start of Spring Semester

As we come to the end of a year that vividly illustrated Duke’s commitment to resilience, innovation and each other in so many ways, we must once again confront the reality of life in a global pandemic.

The rapid spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has upended our holiday celebrations and will continue to require our vigilance and flexibility in order to protect the health and safety of our community. We have faced these uncertainties and challenges before, and, thanks to your dedication, we have been able to continue our vital missions of education, research and service to society. Now we must do so again.

In close consultation with our infectious disease and public health specialists, we will have to make the following adjustments to the start of the Spring semester in order to protect the health of our campus and community members and ensure continuity of campus operations.

All undergraduate and graduate/professional classes will be held remotely from January 5-8, 2022. In-person instruction for undergraduates and most graduate and professional school programs is expected to resume on Monday, January 10. Students in certain graduate programs that operate on a different calendar will receive guidance from their schools.

All students enrolled at Duke for the Spring 2022 semester must:

  • Be prepared to submit proof that they have received a COVID booster shot before the end of January, or as soon thereafter as they are eligible according to CDC guidelines.
  • Attest that they have received a negative COVID test within 48 hours prior to returning to campus. Only PCR tests administered by a certified provider are acceptable; self-administered rapid/antigen tests will not be accepted. Students will receive attestation instructions via email. Students who test positive should not return to campus until their isolation period is completed.
  • Take an entry (surveillance) test administered by Duke as directed after returning to campus.
  • Sequester in their on- or off-campus residence until they receive notification via email that their sequester can end. According to CDC and state public health guidelines, individuals who receive a positive result in surveillance testing must isolate for 10 days before they can attend classes.

The Duke and Durham County requirements for indoor masking in all classrooms and public spaces remain in effect until further notice.

It is important to remember that, when it comes to COVID, we are still responding to circumstances beyond our control, so all of these plans are subject to change on short notice. What we can control are the tools and knowledge that we have gained over the past two years. Vaccines, booster shots, testing and masking have proved to be critical to ensuring both safety and the continuity of the Duke experience.

Our best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season.


Sally Kornbluth

Jennifer Francis
Executive Vice Provost

Kyle Cavanaugh
Vice President for Administration

Mary Pat McMahon
Vice President/Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Gary Bennett
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education