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SDSU's flexible repopulation, instruction and business continuity plan for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021.

At San Diego State University, our community and culture thrives on an immersive and fully engaged campus experience, no matter the modality or location. 

Through SDSU Flex, we will continue to offer a flexible and connected community experience in Spring 2021. Unique to SDSU and our regional context, and respecting county, state and federal orders, the SDSU Flex model provides a collaborative learning, research and community service environment with a blend of in-person, hybrid and virtual offerings. We will:

  • Slowly repopulate campus, with priority placed on research faculty and courses that require in-person instruction for academic and professional reasons.
  • Provide maximum flexible participation between face-to-face instruction and online course offerings.
  • Provide an immersive student-focused experience, complementing our adaptable academic programming, to create social engagement and easy pathways for student involvement, access to student success services, and integrated health and well-being resources.
  • Continue our research mission, including the adoption of new COVID-19 related research.

Important Updates: 

  • SDSU announced on Sept. 2 that, given the rate of increase in the COVID-19 cases among the student population in the past three days, and out of an abundance of caution for the health and well-being of the campus community, a pause on in-person instruction is being implemented. This, and other changes, is effective on Sept. 3. Check this page regularly for updates.
  • On Sept. 10, the California State University system announced that all universities in its 23-campus system would continue with mostly virtual instruction and reduced student housing for Spring 2021. SDSU President Adela de la Torre and Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Salvador Hector Ochoa shared in the announcement, indicating that more information would be available in October.
  • On Sept. 29, SDSU announced that the majority of instruction would occur virtually, with limited exceptions. The university is also now requiring testing for all students taking in-person courses, in addition to all students living in on-campus housing. 
  • On Nov. 17, SDSU announced a pause on remaining in-person courses for the duration of the fall term begining the week of Thanksgiving. Surveillance testing continues.
  • On Dec. 1, SDSU announced the University Senate voted to spread out the spring recess by introducing four rest and recovery days throughout the spring 2021 semester. In-person instruction remains limited through the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semester.
  • On April 7, SDSU announced that the university is planning for in-person  instruction and activities for Fall 2021. The fall 2021 course schedule is expected to publish on May 10, and the start of registration will shift from April 19 to May 25 to allow for finalization of academic  planning.

Learn more about our model and our various plans below.

Respecting physical distancing and stay home orders, the university will gradually repopulate campus.




Instructional faculty were involve din training institutes to prepare quality online course offerings. Virtual support is ongoing.

ITS Training

Virtual resources are availalbe online.

More than 100 Spring 2021 courses will be in-person and others will be virtual. Click here to see the courses to be offered in-person. 


Critical research will continue online and in person. The majority of research that may be conducted virtually will continue via online modalities.


Student counseling, advising and tutoring will be offered virtually, as well as in-person. Both existing and new co-curricular events will be held online, with in-person options.



SDSU will provide flexibility for on campus residency for freshmen and sophomore students.


Students will be able to sign up for meal plans during the summer.

Meal Plans

California State University (CSU) systemwide mandatory tuition and other fees will not be discounted or reimbursed.

Campus mandatory fees are not subject to refund except in very limited circumstances because they generally cover fixed and ongoing expenses and costs that the university must incur.


All 2021 SDSU study abroad programs will respect existing travel restrictions. Students will have access to alternate options.

International Affairs

SDSU Global Campus plans to introduce new online degree programs in 2021.

Global Campus

SDSU Athletics has begun a gradual repopulation of student-athletes.


Large events, such as orientation, are being held virtually.



Guiding Principles

Every major plan with the potential to have far-reaching impacts must begin with foundational knowledge and guiding principles.

Over the several weeks of data analysis, consultation with public health officials, the California State University system, and campus stakeholders, the work of SDSU leadership and its Tiger Teams were guided by three main principles.

Continuity in our teaching, research and community support at the highest possible levels given public health constraints and the broader social context.

  • Ensure students are offered the highest quality education possible.
  • Ensure that, during the pandemic and where pedagogically possible, each course can be offered using various teaching modalities.
  • Ensure faculty, staff and student researchers are able to pursue their research at the highest levels possible.
  • Ensure that staff are provided with the resources they need in order to pursue their work at the highest levels possible.

rebecca nee

Rebecca Nee, Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and Media Studies

"As a professor and parent of a CSU freshman, I know our students have had to be flexible, resilient, and creative. I’m excited to reimagine my classes using 21st century technologies to further support student learning, community, and engagement ⁠— no matter what format our classes take this fall."

Maintain student access to degree programs and services designed to enhance student success.

  • Ensure the offering of robust financial aid and scholarships, and the promotion of additional resources through the Economic Crisis Response Team (ECRT).
  • Provide faculty and students with the resources needed to pursue courses that may be offered using various teaching modalities.
  • Ensure that all members of the SDSU community are treated with dignity and have equitable access to resources and activities.

María Luisa "Mari" Zúñiga

-María Luisa "Mari" Zúñiga

"Despite COVID-19, researchers and students from SDSU’s College of Health and Human Services and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) are paving the way to improving health among underserved communities impacted by HIV, substance use, and violence. SDSU’s Center for Brazilian Studies has been steadfast in supporting this work, and our thriving research partnership with Brazil highlights SDSU’s global collaborations are growing stronger."

Ensure the safety of our students, staff, administrators, and faculty.

  • SDSU has aligned its plan with repopulation frameworks already established by county, state and federal agencies to ensure the safety of our community, respecting physical distancing orders that will remain with us for the indefinite future.

Wayne Beach

-Wayne A. Beach
Professor Emeritus, School of Communication

"This pandemic has ruptured the world we knew and created a future filled with daunting uncertainties. Our research teams will come alongside those who are hurting and stressed, build new collaborations for solving pressing problems, and help transform fears into realistic hopes for a vibrant future."