Academics Plan

Classes Began August 31

Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Wehle School of Business, and the School of Education and Human Services began the academic semester as planned on August 31. Labor Day and fall break were eliminated making the last day of in-person classes November 24, when the college breaks for the Thanksgiving holiday. After that date, all remaining instruction will move online.  Undergraduate students are not required to return to campus.  Students who wish to remain in the residence halls and access available dining and student services will be able to do so by registering with Student Life.

Multi-Modal Learning

This fall, students will participate in a “multi-modal” learning experience.  Because of social distancing requirements, Canisius is combining high quality interactions in the classroom with online content. This means that the college is prepared to engage students regardless of whether they are in the classroom or learning remotely. Canisius is also maximizing the use of additional campus spaces for classes to provide as much face-to-face instruction as possible.  Classrooms are set for social distinacing and require face coverings.

Prior to the start of classes, the college held an online orientation to inform students about the class meeting schedule and to establish the expectations. These orientations helped the college handle the new social distancing guidelines smoothly.
In the event that any of our students encounter challenges or barriers to a successful learning experience, the faculty, in coordination with the Griff Center for Academic Success, is available to work with them to address their needs.

Students who wish to be online for the entire semester can work with their associate dean to be designated as entirely online using our Online Learning Notification Form. If you have any questions, please contact your associate dean: Phil Reed (College of Arts & Sciences), Lorrei DiCamillo (School of Education & Human Services), or Laura McEwen (Wehle School of Business).

Research / Lab Activities

Research activities are based on the current phase allowed in Erie County. The region is currently in Phase 4, which permits research activities to occur in research facilities by faculty members, postdocs, graduate students and undergraduate students. There may be the lesser of 50% occupancy or three people within a research space (room) as long as social distancing can be maintained and facilities (buildings) are limited to 50% of density.

Laboratories that are used for research are addressed above. Teaching laboratories follow our teaching plans. So long as the college is open and having face-to-face instruction, teaching laboratories will occur and follow social distancing, reduced density, and requirement of appropriate PPE protocols. In the event that the college is open but that we halt face-to-face instruction, teaching laboratories may still be offered at up to 25% density.


All non-essential college-sponsored travel outside of Western New York (WNY) is cancelled. Essential travel in WNY will be evaluated for approval on a case by case basis. Personal travel is discouraged. Anyone who does travel must adhere to NYS travel advisory guidelines and restrictions, including quarantine requirements. Any college related travel (including college-sponsored groups traveling locally) must be approved through the travel authorization process, which requires the area vice president’s signature.

Student Support

In the event that students encounter challenges or barriers to a successful learning experience, the faculty, in coordination with campus Student Support Resources and Services, are available to address needs.



Fall 2020 revised calendar

  • Monday, August 31 -- First day of classes (no change)  
  • Monday, September 7 – Classes in session, limited office staffing (note change, no Labor Day holiday for classes)  
  • Wednesday, September 16 – All classes meet (this would have been Mass of the Holy Spirit, but, because we cannot have gatherings that large, it will be a normal class day)
  • Monday, October 12 – Classes in session, limited office staffing (note change, no Fall Holiday for classes)
  • Wednesday, November 25 – No classes, beginning of Thanksgiving Break (no change)
  • Monday, November 30 – Classes resume (virtual option only, no face-to-face class)  
  • Tuesday, December 1 – Last day of class (virtual option only)  
  • Wednesday, December 2 – Reading Day – no classes  
  • Thursday, December 3 – First day of final exams 
  • Wednesday, December 9 – Last day of final exams