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Fall 2021 Planning and Vaccinations

Latest updates on Fall 2021 Planning, vaccines and Covid-19 testing.

Fall 2021 Safe Return Town Hall

University leaders discuss the plan of returning to campus this fall and answer the Roadrunner community's questions and concerns about the Covid vaccine, how we expect the classrooms to operate and more.

Roadrunner Safe Return

The Roadrunner Safe Return (RSR) Team is a Universitywide planning team comprised of representatives from administration, faculty, staff and the student body. The RSR Team is currently charged with planning for a return to full on-campus operations for fall 2021. The team meets on a weekly basis and is comprised of several working subgroups focusing on the following areas:

  • Operations
  • Vaccine Protocol and Education
  • Contingency
  • Wellness
  • Communications


Fall 2021

Guiding Principles

In preparing for the full return to on-campus operations for fall 2021, the Roadrunner Safe Return team is to be guided by the following principles:

  • Our top priority is the continued health and safety of our students, staff and faculty, which will continue to be informed by public health guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, State of Colorado, the City of Denver and our on-campus health professionals at the Health Center at Auraria.
  • We will continue our mission to provide a high quality, accessible college experience that meets the needs of our students through a reimagined in-person experience for fall semester 2021.
  • MSU Denver serves a diverse student population requiring a full return plan reflective of our principles and commitment to equity and inclusion.


  • Plan for a robust student academic experience optimizing full in-person classroom capacity with no restrictions, returning 70-100% of the on-campus courses that were offered in fall 2019 to campus for the fall 2021 semester.
  • Plan for a flexible, agile and phased approach to a full return to on-campus operations that is that considers and integrates the constantly evolving information and guidance regarding Covid-19.
  • Plan for full-service on-campus operations.

Fall 2021 Key Points - What You Need to Know

  • MSU Denver is planning for a full return to on-campus operations for the fall 2021 semester with a course schedule mirroring 80% of the on-campus courses from fall 2019 and increased online course offerings.
  • The University is also preparing contingency plans allowing us to adjust to public health and safety guidelines for fall 2021 while working towards minimizing the impact of any changes on the delivery of instruction and our students.
  • Student activities will resume in person offering opportunities for community building and university life outside the classroom.
  • We will continue to observe the State of Colorado guidance on quarantine and travel, expecting significant updates in the upcoming months.
  • All members of the University community are highly encouraged to be vaccinated as soon as they are able. Given the current Emergency Use Authorization designation, we cannot require vaccinations at this time. This may change as the Emergency Use Authorization is updated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
  • The Health Center at Auraria has been designated a vaccine Point of Distribution (POD) in partnership with COVIDCheck Colorado and Denver Health, offering vaccinations to the Auraria campus community in accordance with state guidelines.
  • The Health Center at Auraria continues to provide Covid-19 testing for all MSU Denver students, staff and faculty.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Auraria Campus is currently serving as a vaccine point of dispensing (POD) in partnership with COVIDCheck Colorado. In accordance with an announcement by Gov. Jared Polis that the state has entered Phase 2, the POD has moved to an open scheduling format.  

Individual invitations to schedule a Covid-19 vaccine appointment will no longer be sent weekly to qualifying Auraria constituents, but our campus community will maintain vaccine priority. You will still need to make an appointment by clicking on the Auraria scheduling link below to receive a vaccination. Anyone seeking to be vaccinated must have a confirmed appointment. Those without an appointment will not be accommodated. 

Auraria Constituent Covid-19 Vaccine Scheduling. 

See this article for more details and find more information on the denr. 

If we have a fully vaccinated community on campus, the risk of transmission in extremely low. This is why all parties need to be vaccinated at the first opportunity they have to receive the vaccine. In addition, all individuals on campus will be required to wear a mask during the fall semester and possibly beyond. It is well documented that wearing a mask significantly reduces transmission. Learn more about the efficacy of each vaccine.

This is being explored at universities and businesses across the country. MSU Denver is examining the issue, but at this time is not requiring anyone to get the vaccine.

Yes. MSU Denver will host some summer courses on campus (adhering to all health and safety protocols), and the University is actively planning for a safe return to full on-campus operations. The Safe Return to Campus webpage is the best place to learn the latest.

If you have any questions or need help registering, please don’t hesitate to reach out to an advisor.

Returning to in-person learning requires months of planning. Throughout the pandemic, MSU Denver has committed to giving everyone the most timely information as transparently as possible, acknowledging that things can change quickly. The University will be developing plans and policies between now and fall and will seek feedback along the way.

In-person learning is also an equity issue: Covid has disproportionately affected low-income individuals and communities of color, from job loss to health disparities to bigger disruptions to their education. Without more in-person opportunities, this equity gap will only get worse.

No, not all classes will be face-to-face this fall. MSU Denver is targeting 70-100% of its credit hour production from 2019 to return on campus for fall 2021. This allows for different departments to adjust their ratio of class modalities. The University will still be offering a wide array of online courses for students to choose from.

MSU Denver is looking to move back to campus gradually to not overwhelm Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment capacities or University personnel and support teams such as ITS and facilities. Supervisors should be empowered to staff their offices as they see fit to follow social distancing protocols and capacity guidelines while these are still in effect.

Long term, an alternative work arrangement policy is in the works with plans to be approved prior to fall 2021. The draft policy is currently being vetted with different constituent groups within the University.

Human Resources has advised that employees ask supervisors to have discussions with their teams on how to accomplish the University mission and adequately serve our students, faculty and staff while accounting for work/life balance and remote work.

Masks will be required this fall and possibly beyond. It is anticipated that the City of Denver may eliminate the current social distancing public health order for classrooms by the time before the fall semester. This is contingent on the rate of infection at the time and the success of getting all parties vaccinated.

For specific situations like this, faculty should consult with their chairs, and staff with their supervisors.

It Takes a Roadrunner

In addition to outlining ways for us all to protect ourselves and others, MSU Denver will continue providing important information to keep students, families, faculty and staff safe, healthy and thriving. 

Use the links below to find information and resources covering most aspects of being a member of the Roadrunner community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please consider making a gift to the Student Emergency Fund, which assists students who are struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic. 

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