Clark Atlanta University Announces Plans to Re-Open Campus for Fall 2020 Semester


(Clark Atlanta University July 1, 2020) –ATLANTA, GA –  Clark Atlanta University announces its plans to safely re-open campus for in-person and online instruction for the Fall 2020 Semester. The comprehensive plan details CAU’s strategy to resume on-campus education and residency while taking the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of its students and entire CAU community. 

The plan allows for freshman and sophomore cohorts to return to campus for in-person instruction in classrooms that have been reconfigured based on recommended guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  In furtherance of social distancing, Upperclassman and graduate students will continue their courses online for the fall. Classes for the fall semester begin Wednesday, August 19, 2020.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented Clark Atlanta University with both challenges and opportunities to strengthen and further promote a ‘wellness culture’ on our campus,” said Clark Atlanta University President George T. French Jr.  “With guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and other state and local health agencies, we are moving forward with opening our campus to continue our mission of providing a quality education for our students with the safety of the entire CAU community as a primary focus.”

Clark Atlanta University and administrators from other Atlanta University Center Consortium institutions (Spelman College, Morehouse College and Morehouse School of Medicine) have worked tireless together to develop plans for reopening our institutions as safely as possible and to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus throughout the AUC. This is why the institutions have partnered to utilize an innovative data-driven and scientific approach which relies on comprehensive testing and data-driven protocols through coordination with Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), a leader of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Infrastructure for Mitigating the Impact of COVID-19 within Racial and Ethnic Minority Communities. 


This partnership will allow all AUCC institutions to closely monitor their environments and perform frequent testing.  Additionally, the collaboration will help to provide needed medical services to the entire AUC community and establish a high degree of confidence that campuses are safe as possible.

All members of the Clark Atlanta University community must undergo mandatory testing prior to arriving for the Fall 2020 Semester as well as undergo testing periodically during the semester.

Other requirements to help mitigate the risk of spreading the virus include: 

  • Social Distancing - Social distancing is encouraged, event sizes will be limited, visitor access will be restricted and adjusted work schedules for staff will be implemented. 

  • Mandatory Face Coverings - Face coverings and or masks must be worn in all public spaces.

  • Symptom Checking – Administrators, faculty, staff, entering campus will undergo temperature checks at one of the four entry points identified by CAU Public Safety.

  • Modified Facilities and Access to Campus - Entry points on the campuses, pedestrian traffic patterns, and facility layouts have been adjusted. Hand sanitizing stations have been installed; and ventilations systems have been evaluated. 

  • Comprehensive Physical and Mental Health and Wellness. Individual campus health and mental wellness services will be augmented with support from the AUCC Student Health Services team via a new state-of-the art facility.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire Atlanta University Center will operate on an abbreviated academic calendar that shortens both the fall and spring semesters. The fall semester will end before Thanksgiving.  Click here to view CAU’s abbreviated calendar.

Classes will occur on a Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday schedule. In order to successfully provide a quality educational experience for students, CAU has purchased synchronous and asynchronous technologies to enable professors to provide engaged instruction to students in the classroom and via Zoom simultaneously. Additionally, all Clark Atlanta University faulty has earned the CAU online teaching certification. This certification is a based on “Quality Matters” rigorous, nationally and internationally recognized standards for online learning. 

“While our on-campus environment will be different this fall, our mission and rigorous academic standards will remain,” said CAU Provost, Dr. Dorcas Bowles. “We take the expectation to provide a quality education to our scholars seriously and will remain diligent in doing just that during these uncertain times,” Bowles said.


For additional details about the safe return to Clark Atlanta University’s campus visit our website at CAU – Forward Together! 

About Clark Atlanta University. Established in 1988 by the consolidation of Atlanta University (1865) and Clark College (1869), Clark Atlanta University (CAU) is one of the Nation’s foremost research institutions, offering students from around the United States and several foreign countries the opportunity to engage in 38 exciting areas of study at bachelors, masters and doctoral levels. Located in the historic heart of Atlanta, one of the world's great international cities, CAU’s nearly 4,000 students enjoy access to academic and co-curricular experiences, from forensic debate, to on-air broadcasting, to cancer research with world-renowned investigators. From the arts to zoology, CAU combines nearly 300 years of tradition with a solid focus on academic excellence to produce leaders who will shape the future of the global community. Notable alumni include: James Weldon Johnson; American civil rights activist, poet and song writer, (Lift Every Voice and Sing “The Black National Anthem”; Ralph David Abernathy Sr., American civil rights activist; Congressman Hank Johnson, Georgia District 4; Kenya Barris, American award-winning television and movie producer; Kenny Leon, Tony Award winning Broadway Director; Jacque Reid, Emmy Award winning Television Personality and Journalist; Brandon Thompson, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for NASCAR; Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Recording Academy. To learn more about Clark Atlanta University, visit