MTSU to end fall semester at Thanksgiving

With Floyd Stadium in the background, students enter and exit Kirksey Old Main in this file campus photo. An MTSU task force has released recommendations for bringing students back to campus for in-person classes in some capacity for the Fall 2020 semester. (MTSU file photo by J. Intintoli)

MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) – Officials with Middle Tennessee State University said they are making changes to the fall semester, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students and staff will return in-person classes at MTSU in August, but the 2020 fall semester classes will now end on Thanksgiving.

The COVID-19 task force made the recommendation to shorten the fall semester and that students not return to campus following the Thanksgiving break. This move was to "reduce the potential for spreading the virus."

This shortened fall semester means that all finals will be taken remotely. The three in-person class days post break will be made up by eliminating fall break and holding class on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

The COVID-19 task force for the university also recommended the following items:

  • a host of signage and instructions related to social distancing, hand-washing, face coverings and other public health precautions
  • classrooms will only hold one-third to one-half as many students as before
  • some building spaces not traditionally used for classes will be opened up for instructional use to comply with distancing guidelines
  • stringent social distancing protocols

“We are committed to maintaining educational quality while providing as safe of an academic experience as possible when our students and faculty return to our campus,” MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee said in a statement on Friday. “The excellent work of this task force provides an invaluable road map in our journey toward doing just that.”

MTSU was the first university in Tennessee to announce that students and staff would be returning to campus this fall. The announcement was made on April 30. 

“As we return to campus, the life of the university may look, sound, and feel different than it was before the pandemic. What has not changed is our commitment to student success and the success of all other members of the MTSU community,” University Provost Mark Byrnes said in a statement on Friday. 

For the full report by the MTSU COVID-19 Task Force, click here. is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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