Fall 2020 Semester Planning | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
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A Message from the Dean

Admitted students received the following email from Dean McKay on May 20, 2020:

Dear Incoming Student,

First, let me wish you and loved ones safety and health. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we explored the safest options for the Brown School's fall semester. Many of you have asked what the plan will be in the fall, and we are now able to share what we know at this time.

The Brown School's fall semester will begin as scheduled, with the first day of classes on August 24, 2020.

As an incoming student, you will have the choice to enroll in one of two tracks for Fall 2020: 

  • Online Only Track: Students will enroll in a completely online course sequence.
  • Hybrid Track: Students will enroll in a combination of in-person courses and online courses. Students will take up to 2 courses in-person, and take the remaining courses online.

We anticipate that you may already have a long list of follow-up questions. You may be wondering how this affects course registration and course sequencing, or how you'll choose which of these enrollment tracks is best for your fall semester. Over the next few weeks, you'll receive additional information from the Office of Admissions & Recruitment that will explain more about these and many other frequently asked questions. In addition, in mid-June you'll be connected with your Academic Advisor to begin in-depth conversations about your fall semester.

Whichever path you choose, know that we are committed to supporting you and your safety, while ensuring you have the opportunities to graduate on-time, with minimal disruption to your graduate education. As a Brown School student, you'll have the full support of your advisor, faculty and administrators.

Opening the Brown School for in-person instruction is possible, in part, due to our School's public health expertise. We are developing rigorous public health protocols designed to center community safety. Throughout the summer, we will be working diligently to build the Brown School's physical space in adherence to best practice recommendations. For example, you can expect socially distant classrooms, facility changes to minimize gatherings, and universal masking.

A Frequently Asked Questions page is available online. In addition, please do pay attention to communications as we expect many more details regarding the fall semester to follow shortly. Similarly, if you have questions that are not answered on the FAQ, please reach out to us at brownadmissions@wustl.edu.

The Brown School will put the best public health practices into action this fall - this is a powerful opportunity for you and all of us to create a more protective community and continue to fulfil our important mission. Right now, there is no better time to be a Social Worker, Public Health Professional and Policy Scholar as we are needed on the front lines more than ever.

With this in mind, we look forward to welcoming you in August.


Mary M. McKay, Ph.D. (pronouns: she/her/hers)
Neidorff Family and Centene Corporation Dean of the Brown School
Brown School | Dean's Office