Graduate & Professional Studies Students

Jacksonville University’s goal is to continue to utilize its twenty years of experience in online instruction to provide the best experience to our graduate and professional studies students, as well as provide as much in-person instruction and hands-on learning as we safely can for our on-campus students.

Plan Details

Academic Calendar

Many public health experts advise that the nation could see another spike in COVID-19 cases in late fall, coinciding with the start of flu season. If this does occur, it presents a greater risk for members of our community as we return to campus from traveling to see our families during the Thanksgiving

Jacksonville University has modified our 2020-2021 academic calendar for both our traditional (full semester) graduate students and our half term (8-week) students. 

The Fall 2020 semester will begin one week early and run from August 17, 2020 - November 24, 2020, ending the semester prior to the Thanksgiving break. This new schedule will allow students more time with their families during the holidays and reduce the need for additional travel.

Fall Semester Dates for Full-Semester Students
Semester Start Date End Date
Fall 2020 August 17, 2020 November 24, 2020
Spring 2021 January 25, 2021 May 7, 2021

The Fall I 2020 semester will begin one week early and run from August 17, 2020 - October 11, 2020. In order to accommodate the earlier fall start, the Summer II session will only run for seven weeks instead of the typical eight-week period. All on-campus classes that take place following Thanksgiving break will be held online, allowing students to remain with their families during the holidays, and reduce the need for additional travel.

Fall Semester Dates for Half-Semester Students
Semester Start Date End Date
Summer II June 29, 2020 August 16, 2020
Fall I August 17, 2020 October 11, 2020
Fall II October 12, 2020 December 6, 2020
Spring I & II TBD TBD

The Fall I 2020 semester will begin one week early and run from August 17, 2020 - October 11, 2020. In order to accommodate the earlier fall start, the Summer II session will only run for seven weeks instead of the typical eight-week period. All on-campus classes that take place following Thanksgiving break will be held online, allowing students to remain with their families during the holidays, and reduce the need for additional travel.

Fall Semester Dates for Half-Semester Students
Semester Start Date End Date
Summer II June 29, 2020 August 16, 2020
Fall I August 17, 2020 October 11, 2020
Fall II October 12, 2020 December 6, 2020
Spring I & II TBD TBD

The Fall I 2020 semester will begin one week early and run from August 17, 2020 - October 4, 2020. In order to accommodate the earlier fall start, the Summer II session will only run for seven weeks instead of the typical eight-week period. All classes will end prior to Thanksgiving, allowing students to remain with their families during the holidays, and reduce the need for additional travel.

Fall Semester Dates for Half-Semester Students
Semester Start Date End Date
Summer II June 29, 2020 August 16, 2020
Fall I August 17, 2020 October 4, 2020
Fall II October 5, 2020 November 23, 2020
Spring I January 25, 2021 March 17, 2021
Spring II March 15, 2021 May 7, 2021

Studying On Campus

Health & Wellness

Maintaining a healthy campus and safe learning environment is rooted in three critical habits:

  • Keeping 6 feet of physical distance between yourself and others
  • Wearing face coverings
  • Washing your hands frequently

Research shows these three daily practices, performed together, are a highly effective way to protect your health and that of everyone around you. 

While the University continues to closely monitor guidance and recommendations from public health experts at the CDC and our partners at the Mayo Clinic, currently we plan to designate areas of campus where masks will be required, such as academic buildings and dining facilities. There will be many areas of campus where you are free to remove your mask if you like, such as outdoor areas where it’s easier to keep a 6-foot distance from others. For this reason, the University is enhancing and adding more of these outdoor spaces around campus.

Note: As of 5:00 p.m. on Monday, June 29, 2020, the City of Jacksonville requires wearing a mask in indoor areas and public areas where you cannot socially distance. Jacksonville University is subject to this order.

To ensure all on-campus students can learn in a healthy and safe environment, each person must take appropriate safety precautions in line with guidance from the CDC and other public health experts. Here are the precautions JU is taking:

  • Classes will be offered in a combination of in-person instruction and online formats.
  • All students and faculty are required to wear masks in the classroom, even when maintaining appropriate physical distance.
  • Classrooms will be reconfigured to enforce appropriate physical distance among all individuals.
  • Larger class sizes will either be moved to larger classrooms to ensure appropriate physical distance among all individuals or will split into smaller groups that adopt the hybrid class model.
  • Classrooms and labs will be equipped with sanitizing supplies.
  • The Facilities team will increase the frequency of cleaning throughout campus, and especially in high-traffic areas.
  • Labs, service learning and applied learning courses may require additional personal protective gear. These requirements will be determined by the faculty member teaching the course or the partner organization.

At least two weeks before returning to campus, all students and University employees will be asked to closely monitor their health and look for COVID-19 symptoms, especially fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Anyone experiencing symptoms should be tested for the virus before returning to campus. Further instructions will be shared later this summer regarding the process for anyone who tests positive during this 2-week period before the semester begins.

Students are encouraged to complete a medical history form within the Student Health Center’s Electronic Medical Records to help the SHC better support any students with high-risk factors. More information about this is coming soon.

Guests and visitors to campus must review a medical disclosure statement acknowledging that they have followed a series of steps to check their health and that they will comply with University policies, including bringing a mask to wear on campus.

Our partners at Aramark have adjusted their cleaning protocols on campus to align with expert guidance and federal recommendations. They will increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting high-traffic, high-touch common areas, including bathrooms, classrooms, lounges, and dining areas.  

It’s important to note: the best way to prevent the spread of germs is to wash your hands frequently, wear a face covering, and keep your distance from others.

The University is also installing more hand sanitizing stations and disinfectant surface wipe dispensers throughout campus buildings for students, faculty, and staff to use. Every member of our campus is expected to do their part to maintain a healthy campus by wiping down high-touch surfaces such as desks, keyboards, keys, cell phones, and classroom tools or instruments. 

Maintaining at least 6 feet of physical space from others is an important element of illness prevention, along with washing hands and wearing face coverings. And in our new reality, it’s an important sign of your respect for those around you.

This fall, living, learning, and working together in our campus community will require a greater awareness of those around us and respect for their wishes. Social distancing is about others, more than it is about ourselves. You may feel comfortable standing within 6 feet of a friend or professor, but they may not.  

The University is also adjusting seating areas and classroom layouts to ensure enough physical space can be maintained. You will notice floor decals and signs reminding you to maintain your distance from others, as well as clear shields in reception and office areas. Those who are able should use the stairs as we work to limit elevators to just two people.

We have enhanced and expanded outdoor seating areas to encourage everyone to meet and interact with each other outside where there is more space and fresh air. The University will adhere to current recommendations for limiting the number of people in a gathering, which is currently 10 people. This is subject to change as recommendations are updated.

Every member of our campus bears a personal responsibility to closely monitor their own health and stay aware of how they’re feeling. This means self-health checks should become part of our daily routine. If you aren’t feeling well and have a fever, you should stay home or in your room. Please do not come to campus or go to class, and contact the Student Health Center at (904) 256-8080 immediately to make an appointment. Students should work directly with their professors to report absences due to illness.

COVID-19 testing is available through the Student Health Center located on the first floor of the Health Sciences Complex. Fees may apply. The Student Health Center is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Students should call (904) 256-8080 to make an appointment or seek urgent advice if they are having symptoms for recommendations on evaluation and testing. The City of Jacksonville offers multiple other testing locations that can be viewed online.

In-Person Learning

Any student seeking health-related accommodations should contact the Office of Disability Support Services at dss@ju.edu.

In-Classroom Technology

The University will upgrade technology in nearly 100 classrooms to allow faculty to live stream their classes to students attending virtually while also having students physically in the classroom. The upgrades will allow virtual students to see, hear, and speak to the faculty and students in the physical room. 

Laptop Requirement

In order to fully benefit from the hybrid instruction model this fall, all current and incoming students must own or have access to a laptop computer and/or other appropriate technology to adequately support access to virtual course work. This also enhances our ability to quickly pivot to online learning formats in response to any health or safety issues that may arise.

Learn more about the laptop requirement.

Service Learning classes, Internships, and Applied Learning classes will be permitted in line with social distancing guidelines, and as long as the agency/organization allows JU students into their facilities. In lab courses, additional personal protective gear may be required.

In our Fine Arts programs applied study, including studio, one-on-one music instruction and rehearsals will be accomplished in spaces large enough for proper social distancing (including outdoor spaces) with the use of masks and shields as feasible per the discipline.  We continue to monitor the research and literature on best practices for performing arts applied instruction. 

Update: Jacksonville University is aware of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement announcement dated July 6, 2020, regarding online education and is working with attorneys and experts to develop a plan which will best allow International Students to continue their education while adhering to all immigration laws.  Communication will be forthcoming as decisions are finalized.


Our international students are very important to us, and we are committed to working closely with them to address their unique needs. The University is monitoring decisions made at the federal level and we will work to offer flexible options that allow our international students to continue their education at JU. As these decisions are finalized, the University will communicate directly with impacted students. Any international students with questions are encouraged to reach out to Louis Reich at lrattin@ju.edu for assistance.

Events & Visits

For the safety of everyone on our campus, Jacksonville University will begin the fall semester with a strict limitation on large events, in accordance with guidance from public health officials. Many of our traditional events will be reimagined in a virtual setting.

All new student orientations will be hosted virtually prior to classes beginning this fall. It is important to note that not every graduate and professional studies program hosts a new student orientation. If you are in a program that has a new student orientation, or you are unsure if you are supposed to have a new student orientation, please contact your academic advisor. Academic advisors will be able to provide you with more information on the dates, times and video platform for your specific program orientation.

At this time, we are encouraging all graduate and professional studies students to participate in one of our virtual information sessions or book a virtual admissions appointment rather than attending an official campus tour. However, if visiting campus is important to your application experience, please contact Kristen Kirkendall at kgreene8@ju.edu or (904) 256-7169 to schedule a private tour.

For those who do schedule a private tour, we have a few new requirements designed to protect the health and safety of those who live, work and study here.

  • If you or someone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days, or if you are exhibiting symptoms of illness such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, please do not come to campus.
  • All guests and visitors to our campus should bring their own face coverings and wear them in the designated mask-required areas or when interacting with people on campus. Before coming to campus, visitors must review a medical disclosure statement acknowledging that they have followed a series of steps to check their health and that they will comply with University policies, including bringing a mask to wear on campus.
  • For the safety of our campus, all external visitors must confirm they do not have a temperature above 100.4 degrees F. Jacksonville University reserves the right to check the temperature of visitors upon arrival to campus. Those unwilling to comply with policies regarding social distancing and masks will be asked to leave campus.
  • While we are pleased to once again offer campus tours to students and families, we will limit the size of tour groups to promote social distancing.
  • Anyone who is not a JU student will not be permitted in residential halls this fall after move-in week. Also, Athletics recruits may not stay overnight in the residential halls this fall semester. This policy will be reevaluated for the spring semester. External guests are not permitted to attend in-person gatherings of student organizations.

Our Performing Arts Series will be fully virtual through mid-October, and will include a combination of live-streamed and pre-recorded events from our performance and exhibition spaces. We hope to transition to live and socially distanced audiences with reduced hall capacities beginning in mid-October to continue through the Spring semester, while continuing select events virtually. We are making preparations to extend and/or expand the virtual delivery model as necessitated by COVID and University protocol for event gatherings.

Campus Activities

In consideration for all of our community members, students are accountable for upholding the JU Code of Conduct. The code states students should contribute to the development and sustenance of a community characterized by respect, caring and honesty. This expectation calls for behavior which demonstrates the five principles of student conduct: respect for oneself, respect for others, respect for property, respect for authority, and honesty.

Our location in warm, sunny Northeast Florida has its advantages -- particularly when being outside is considered a safer option. Student Life is excited to offer plenty of outdoor recreational activities for students this fall. 

Intramural sports will focus on low-contact options that can be played outside, such as spike ball, beach volleyball, corn hole, and fishing. As much as possible, we will move group fitness classes outside and will add new outdoor options such as high-intensity interval training and boot camps. 

This fall, JU’s fitness center will feature all-new equipment. Capacity will be limited for individual workouts inside the fitness center, in line with CDC guidelines. To assist with capacity limits, students and University employees can reserve time slots through a virtual reservation system that will be shared later this summer. Staff will clean and sanitize the fitness center and the equipment in between workout time slots and the center will receive a deep cleaning at the end of each day. Face coverings will be required for fitness center staff but not for those exercising. 

The pool will be open with limited capacity and pool chairs will be placed at least 6 feet apart. The JAX eSports lounge will also open with limited capacity to allow for appropriate physical spacing.

Student organizations and clubs are encouraged to use Blackboard Collaborate, Skype for Business, or Microsoft Teams to host virtual meetings with group members. In-person gatherings of student groups are limited to 10 people, in line with published guidelines, and should be conducted outdoors when possible. Any in-person meetings must offer alternative meeting formats to accommodate anyone who is uncomfortable meeting in person. External guests -- individuals who are not students, faculty, or staff of Jacksonville University -- are not permitted at student events. 

Leaders of registered student organizations are required to attend the Virtual Student Organization meeting held at the beginning of the academic year.

Sororities and fraternities may conduct fully virtual or hybrid fall recruitment activities in accordance with the standards established by their organization’s national leadership. 

Student Financial Assistance

We understand many families are facing challenges and weighing difficult decisions regarding their health, safety, and financial situation. The Office of Student Financial Services is here to support you. We work to remove barriers, not create them. Our goal is to help students finish their education here at Jacksonville University and earn a degree.

In an effort to better serve and assist students and families, the University is making some positive changes for the fall semester. First, we are enhancing the flexibility of payment arrangements by expanding the enrollment period for our 6-month payment plan option. Originally this enrollment period was limited to May. We are extending it through August.

If you have questions regarding financial aid, please do not hesitate to contact our office at finaid@ju.edu or Student Financial Services. We look forward to working closely with all our students and families, and we hope to serve as a support system for your needs.

Helpful Contacts