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2020 Return to Campus at VLS

During fall 2020, Vanderbilt Law School is following a set of public health protocols developed for all Vanderbilt University schools by experts at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the School of Nursing in consultation with national, state and local public health officials. Every member of our community must observe these protocols to maintain a safe environment for all.

We have adapted interior spaces throughout the law school building to allow you to move safely while you are in the building and to enable faculty to safely deliver the outstanding educational experience Vanderbilt is known for. This page will be updated with new law school-related information as it becomes available. See Vanderbilt University's page for a comprehensive guide for Returning to Campus.

COVID-19 concern? Call the Public Health Hotline at 615-343-1352

Page last updated Monday, September 21, 2020 at 10:40 a.m.

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To protect the health and safety of all members of the Vanderbilt community during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have deployed VU campus resources, including physical spaces campus-wide, in many different ways. We ask that you remain patient and flexible as we continue to adapt to changing circumstances and work together to protect our community going forward. At all times when you are on campus, you are required to observe these basic public health protocols:

These protocols are required at all times while on campus and are also critically important to follow while off campus to enhance the safety of the VU community, as well as the surrounding Nashville community.

Anchor Down. Step Up. Together, we can slow the spread of COVID-19.

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VLS fall semester classes begin Monday, August 17. Course offerings include online and in-person options. Fall break this year has been canceled so we can end the semester at Thanksgiving. Students are strongly encouraged to remain in Nashville and avoid weekend trips away from campus/town from the date in-person classes begin through the end of in-person classes on Friday, November 13. All personal student travel during this time is prohibited without written approval from the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. This travel recommendation is based on public health guidance regarding risks associated with travel away from campus and models suggesting a potential resurgence of COVID-19 cases when the fall 2020 flu season begins. 2020-21 Revised Academic Calendar

Key Dates & Information

1L/LL.M. Orientation Week      August 10-14
YES Course Registration August 10-21
First Day of Classes      August 17
Last Day of Classes      November 13
Reading Period    November 14-16
Final Exams    November 17-21 & November 23-24
  • Classroom Protocols
  • Gathering Protocols 
    • The university's Gatherings policy has been updated to clarify that a member of the VU community may attend, participate in, or engage with an off-campus service, activity or event that is not hosted, managed, organized or sponsored by Vanderbilt University or Vanderbilt community members, but the individual is required to follow all Vanderbilt University safety and gathering protocols (including masking and physical distancing from others) while attending, participating in, or engaging with such off campus services, activities or events.
    • If you notice COVID-19 protocols are not being followed, report it by calling the Vanderbilt Public Health AmbassaDore Hotline at 615-343-1352.
  • Campus Visitor Policy 
  • IT On-Campus Support
  • Massey Law Library - (OPEN ONLY TO THE LAW SCHOOL COMMUNITY at this time)
  • Exams - Processes are under development and will be shared soon.

Arriving/Returning after International Travel

Consistent with guidance from the Centers of Disease Control, Vanderbilt requires that students traveling to Nashville from outside of the U.S. self-quarantine for 14 days before arriving on campus. All students arriving from foreign nations must complete the International Pre-arrival Form on Anchorlink. International students are required to complete a virtual check-in with Vanderbilt’s ISSS Office within a week of arrival. You can make an appointment for your virtual check-in at the ISSS website .  

Additional information for international students is located here.


  • Watch the video to the right to see changes in the law school and for a comprehensive guide on how to navigate the building
  • Complete the Return to Campus Acknowledgement in Oracle Learning (for faculty and staff)
  • Complete the Return to Campus module (for students; link sent to you by the University Registrar’s Office)
  • Download the Vandy Safe app on Apple or Google Play Stores:

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All members of the Vanderbilt community who are authorized to be on campus, and are engaged in on-campus, in-person activities, will be included in the institution's on-going COVID-19 periodic on-campus testing program which began September 1. The sampling of Vanderbilt community members selected for testing will be based on analysis of COVID-19 test outcomes in segments of the community and other factors that will ensure a representative, meaningful and targeted sample of the VU community.

COVID-19 Testing & Recovery: Graduate and Professional Students

COVID-19 Testing & Recovery: Faculty, Staff and Postdocs

Voluntary Faculty COVID-19 Periodic Testing Program


Beginning Monday, Aug. 10, all students must monitor their symptoms daily using the symptom monitoring tool within the Vandy Safe app. At this time, faculty, staff and postdocs are also strongly encouraged to utilize the tool. The main purpose of symptom monitoring is to determine if you meet criteria for a medical evaluation for COVID-19. If you have an underlying medical condition or an ongoing chronic condition that has symptoms similar to those of COVID-19, then you do not need to record this if your symptoms are unchanged. Please only record symptoms that are new or worsening.

If incorrect symptoms are accidentally entered into the app or a student has been cleared by Student Health, or if a student experiences technical issues with the app, they should email between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. for assistance.

  • All students must conduct symptom monitoring every day before coming to campus using the symptom assessment tool.
  • Remote-only students do not need to enter symptoms in the assessment tool.
  • The symptom assessment tool is also recommended for faculty, staff and postdocs coming to campus.
  • Those staff working remotely do not need to utilize the assessment tool.

Student symptom monitoring details>>
Faculty, staff and postdoc symptom monitoring details>>

Faculty, staff and postdocs who have symptoms related to COVID-19 must call the Occupational Health Center (OHC) at 615-936-0955 to receive guidance for their symptoms, possible testing, isolation/quarantine period, and return to campus criteria. If after-hours, OHC should call back within 30 minutes once a message is left. If OHC is not open and the symptoms are severe enough, the individual should go to the VUMC emergency department.

Students experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 must contact Student Health for further guidance on symptoms, testing and isolation/quarantine.

Testing positive or designated a "close contact"

Individuals who have received a COVID-19 positive test result or were informed outside of the VU/VUMC system (e.g., notified by Metro Public Health or another public health entity) that they are a close contact, should complete the Command Center webform, which goes directly to the VU Public Health Central Command Center to ensure confidentiality. The form can be accessed only by entering your VUnetID and password.

Test results from individuals tested by VUMC, Student Health, Occupational Health or Vanderbilt surveillance testing are routed automatically to the Command Center. Individuals will receive direct communication from the Command Center about their isolation or quarantine period if they are considered a close contact.



COVID-19 Scenarios for Symptom Monitoring    COVID-19 Scenarios for Symptom Monitoring FACULTY COVID-19 Scenarios for Symptom Monitoring Staff


COVID-19 Protocols and Life at VLS, a three-part video series which outlines the expectations of Vanderbilt community members.

PART I: Introduction, Masking, Social Distancing, and Signage

PART II: Gatherings

PART III: Consequences and Shared Responsibility



  • Free flu shots for students began September 7.
  • Free flu shots for faculty, staff and postdocs will be available via the one-day mass-vaccination event Flulapalooza, modified. Details TBA.

VU & VLS Return to Campus Communications

Sep. 21, 2020 - Return to Campus Update

Sep. 14, 2020 - Return to Campus Update

Sep. 7, 2020 - Return to Campus Update

Aug. 31, 2020 - Return to Campus Update

Aug. 24, 2020 - Return to Campus Update

Aug. 17, 2020 - Return to Campus weekly update

Aug. 15, 2020 - Email from Asst. Dean Meyers

Aug. 10, 2020 - Return to Campus weekly update

Aug. 3, 2020 – Return to Campus weekly update

July 27, 2020 – Return to Campus weekly update

July 20, 2020 – Important Updates on Fall Semester and Return to Campus for Staff and Postdocs

July 20, 2020 – Important Updates on Fall Semester and Return to Campus for Graduate and Professional Students

July 20, 2020 – Important Updates on Fall Semester and Return to Campus for Faculty

June 16, 2020 – Our Plan for the Fall Semester

Jun. 15, 2020 - Email from Dean Chris Guthrie