Updates on the 2020-2021 Academic Year
SVA continues remote instruction, with select facilities accessible by appointment. Click below for updates.
Reopening SVA

Our Plans for the 2020-2021 Academic Year

November 24, 2020
A photograph of the facade of SVA’s building at 209 East 23rd Street in Manhattan.

School of Visual Arts is committed to providing an excellent academic experience within an environment that is safe, healthy and supportive of its entire community.


SVA adopted a fully online instruction model for the fall 2020 semester. Residence halls, administrative offices and some academic spaces are open at a reduced capacity and following the latest health and safety protocols. On Thursday, November 5, the College announced its decision to continue online instruction for the spring 2021 semester; see the notification below.


Our plans for a safe reopening have been created by SVA’s academic and administrative leadership in accordance with New York State’s plans for reopening New York City as well as the guidance of federal, state and local health authorities. For a PDF of the College's reopening and operating plan, click here or scroll to the end of this page.


For more information about SVA's response to COVID-19, visit sva.edu/coronavirus


November 20, 2020 Notification


As the Thanksgiving holiday and end of the fall semester approaches, SVA’s Emergency Management Committee wishes to send to you some helpful reminders about staying safe and healthy during the holiday season and beyond.


As you’re probably aware, on November 18 the New York City Department of Education moved to fully remote instruction, following a 3% infection rate trending over seven days throughout the city’s five boroughs. Because SVA’s campus resides in a part of Manhattan where infection rates are currently less than 2%, we have made the decision to continue to keep our facilities open safely for the limited number of students and staff currently accessing campus. Our plan for reopening also follows New York State’s guidelines for higher education, where a 5% infection rate on campus would dictate building closures to anyone but essential employees and resident students. With only three COVID-positive cases currently reported among SVA community members recently on campus, we are far below that threshold. 


Of course, things can change at any time, particularly in the weeks following the Thanksgiving holiday, when new guidelines from the CDC and state could alter the way schools and businesses operate. You have already received information about the state’s latest guidance about traveling this week, and how to quarantine, if needed. We would also like to reinforce the following, for those who are using campus facilities.


—Wear a mask, and maintain six feet of distance from others.

—Wash your hands frequently, or use hand sanitizer located throughout the campus buildings.

—If you are feeling sick, have a fever, or have any COVID-19 symptoms, stay home.

—Answer the questions on the SVA Safe app truthfully and accurately prior to your arrival, and if you do not receive the green "ALL GOOD" badge on the SVA Safe app, stay home. 

Get tested for COVID monthly.


SVA has been able to remain open this fall because community members have been abiding by these health and safety measures. We ask that everyone remain vigilant about protecting your own health and the health of the community. For more information, see sva.edu/coronavirus.


Have a happy and healthy holiday,


SVA’s Emergency Management Committee



  • Latest Updates

    • November 24, 2020: The current number of COVID-19-positive cases on SVA's campus is: 3. Daily updates can be found on New York State's COVID-19 tracker page for SVA.
    • November 20, 2020: Notification about SVA operations.
    • November 2, 2020: Temporary SVA non-residential facilities closure is announced to take place from noon, November 3 through Friday, November 6. See page introduction above for full update.
    • October 2, 2020: "SVA Library" section is updated.
    • October 2, 2020: "SVA Alumni" section is released.
    • September 17, 2020: Health Resources section is updated.
    • September 14, 2020: Fall 2020 Online Resources information is updated. See "Online Resources and Tech Support" section.
    • September 14, 2020: Fall 2020 Library Access information is released. See "SVA Library" section.
    • August 25, 2020: Student Academic Facilities Access Agreement is released.
    • August 12, 2020: SVA will conduct all undergraduate programs, and the great majority of its graduate programs, fully online for the fall 2020 semester.
    • July 28, 2020: Student Code of Conduct: Student Responsibility and COVID-19 released; please see "Campus Health and Safety."
    • July 28, 2020: Employee Policies for Returning to Work released; see "Campus Health and Safety."
    • July 28, 2020: SVA's International Student Office has added additional updates to its section and FAQ.
    • July 14, 2020: The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) requirements for the fall 2020 semester, announced July 6, were rescinded on Tuesday, July 14. Please see the "International Students" section, under "Fall 2020 Academics and SVA Programs," for more information. 

2020-2021 Academics and SVA Programs

SVA began its fall 2020 semester on Monday, September 28, as online-only instruction. The semester will last for 12 weeks, ending on Tuesday, December 22. To ensure that SVA students receive the full benefits of instruction—and to meet the required number of class hours for a regular 15-week semester—the typical 3-credit course will be conducted for three hours and 10 minutes per class, as opposed to the usual two-hour, 50-minute class length.


The online model will continue for the spring 2021 term. The spring semester will begin on Monday, January 11, 2021; it will be a regular, 15-week term; unlike this fall semester, a typical 3-credit course will meet for 2 hours and 50 minutes. Many classes will be a mix of synchronous and asynchronous instruction. Spring break will remain as scheduled (March 1 – 7), and the semester will end as scheduled on Monday, May 3.

  • Online Courses

  • Attendance Policy

  • International Students

  • Online Resources and Tech Support

  • SVA Library

  • SVA Alumni

  • Questions/More Information

Campus Health and Safety

  • Healthy Status Verification

  • Employee Policies—Return to Work (NY Phase II)

  • Cleaning, Safety and Disinfecting Protocols

  • Health Resources

  • Student Code of Conduct

  • More Information and Resources

2020-2021 Residence Life

SVA reopened its residence halls for the fall 2020 semester with students' health and safety as the top priority. The protocols listed below may change in accordance with public health guidelines and policies dictated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New York State Departments of Education and Health. 


Check-in for the Spring 2021 semester is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, January 6, 2021.


Additional information on check-in appointments and protocols and schedules will be sent to newly assigned students in December.


Visit Residence Life for full information about SVA residence halls, protocols and policies. For information about travel and quarantine guidance for residential students for the upcoming breaks, click here.

  • Move-In Procedures

  • Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols

  • De-Densification Measures

  • Guest Policy

  • Masks/Face Coverings

  • Residents' Responsibilities

Archived Notifications

  • November 5, 2020 Notification from the Provost

  • November 2, 2020 Notification from the EMC

  • August 25, 2020 Notification from the Provost

  • August 12, 2020 Notification from the Provost

  • SVA Virtual Town Halls: July 14 and 16, 2020

  • July 16, 2020 Notification from the Provost

  • August 2, 2020 Notification from the Provost

  • June 17, 2020 Notification from the President

  • May 8, 2020 Notification from the Provost