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SDSU's flexible repopulation, instruction and business continuity plan for Fall 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 Fall 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:

  • On May 3, SDSU held the Senate Town Hall on Campus Repopulation. SDSU President Adela de la Torre and Provost Hector Ochoa spoke with other campus leaders about repopulation plans including COVID-19-related protocols and county, state and federal guidelines; office and environmental safety; the California State University's recent decision on plans to require COVID-19 vaccines for students, faculty and staff this fall; on-campus operations and in-person activities; accomodations for medical issues; and numerous other topics and issues. A recording of the Senate Town Hall on Campus Repopulation can be found here.
  • On April 27, the county-operated Viejas Arena vaccination site began offering no-appointment needed, walk-up vaccination availability. The location is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. More information is available on the county’s website.
  • On April 22, the California State University system and University of California shared in a joint announcement that students, faculty and staff will be required to have a COVID-19 vaccine to be able to access campus facilities this fall. The CSU, of which SDSU is part, indicated two important conditions for the requirement to be implemented: The requirement is contingent upon full approval of one or more vaccines by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA), and adequate availability of fully approved vaccines. Additional information and guidance, including exceptions that will be offered for students, faculty and staff, is forthcoming and will be shared at a later date.
  • The County of San Diego is now operating a COVID-19 vaccination site on campus, at Viejas Arena. The site is open by appointment to eligible members of the university community and general public Visit this COVID-19 website for the most up to date information.
  • On April 7, 2021, 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.
  • Beginning Feb. 27, 2021 all SDSU faculty and staff are eligible to be vaccinated for COVID-19 per County of San Diego eligibility tiers. In-person instruction remains limited through spring 2021. COVID-19 testing for students on campus continues.

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 involved in training institutes to prepare quality online course offerings. Virtual support is ongoing.

ITS Training

Virtual resources are availalbe online.

This summer, hundreds of virtual courses across three shortened sessions are available.

For Fall, 2021, more than 85% of classes will be fully in-person, with additional classes in hybrid or virtual modes.

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 are able to sign up for meal plans.

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."