What to Expect This Spring Term

Dear SMC Students,

With only a week and a half left in Jan Term, we are looking forward to Spring 2021 and welcoming new students to campus and to Saint Mary’s. Here’s a quick update with important information that you need to know. 

Our priority is to keep our students, faculty, and staff safe and healthy this spring. We had a successful fall semester with only a handful of COVID cases in our community, and most importantly, there were no on-campus transmissions. Due to your vigilance in following safety protocols, we will have more students living on campus this spring and more in-person classes. We will continue to update and improve our COVID plans, protocols, and testing, and, with your cooperation, we will celebrate a successful and fun spring semester together.

Here’s the plan:

Modes of Course Delivery – Spring classes are being offered in various modalities, including in-person, flex, and virtual classes. Due to our current “purple” Tier 1 status, in-person instruction will be only open to on-campus students with limited exceptions. In addition, all classes will meet remotely during the first two weeks of the Spring Term. This allows time for residential students to clear with two negative COVID tests before gathering for in-person classes. Once negative results are confirmed, in-person instruction will begin. 

Students living on campus will receive their first test on February 7 and the 2nd test will be on Thursday, February 11. This timing is essential for a successful start to the semester.  More information on move-in, scheduled for Saturday, February 6, will be forthcoming from the Campus Housing Office.

Campus Housing  - Campus housing is still available for spring semester. Most rooms were converted to singles in traditional first-year housing, with double rooms available in the suites and townhouses. It’s a great time to live on campus, with the biggest benefit being the ability to take in-person classes as well as easier access to campus resources and activities that are allowable even in the purple tier. For Spring Term, student service offices will also be available for appropriately distanced in-person appointments. We are here to answer any questions you may have to see if living on campus is right for you.

Campus Life for On-Campus and Off-Campus students - Many campus amenities are available for students living on campus this spring. The Rheem Center is available to students living off-campus. As the state and Contra Costa County regulations improve, more campus amenities will be phased in, and off-campus students will increasingly have the opportunity to access on-campus activities and services. 

Visit and bookmark our Campus Services page to see what amenities are open and available. 

Athletics - Most athletic competitions will take place on campus without fans in attendance in the spring. If conditions change and fans are permitted to attend, student attendance will be prioritized. 

Graduate and Professional Programs - Each graduate and professional program will be delivered in a unique mode and schedule. Students will receive communications directly from their instructor or program director regarding specifics.

As the vaccinations become more widespread, we are expecting that a more typical SMC campus life will resume. Your health and safety are our top priority. We monitor conditions daily and have contingency plans in place to adapt when state regulations and Contra Costa County make updates. We are fortunate that our campus is surrounded by beautiful outdoor spaces and our indoor classrooms have been modified to support a healthy environment. We are committed to bringing you a spring semester that is safe, fun, and abundant with new opportunities for learning.

We can’t wait for spring term to begin and to see even more of you on campus!


Jane Camarillo
Vice Provost for Student Life