CEE Response to COVID-19 for Fall 2021

Our commitment to your safety

All of us in CEE are committed to providing a world-class opportunity for you, including teaching and doing research in new and creative ways.

As was outlined by Chancellor Christ in her message on March 16, 2021, we are committed to keeping everyone safe and to ensuring that all of you will be able to access your Berkeley education from wherever you are and at times that fit your schedule.

On June 10, 2021, President Drake confirmed that the University of California will move forward with a vaccine mandate. The policy will be finalized and issued by July 15, 2021, and the effective date for policy compliance will be Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021. The policy will allow for narrow medical exemptions consistent with CDC guidance and manufacturer labeling on contraindications and precautions. Faculty, staff and students will also be eligible to request disability accommodations and exceptions based on religious belief. Additional information will be outlined broadly in the general implementation guidance and in detail in location-specific guidance by mid-July. Those with approved exemptions may return to campus with the requirement that they remain masked in all public settings and comply with the campus testing plan. Employees who choose not to be vaccinated, and have no approved exemption, cannot work on campus. Click here to read the message sent to campus on June 10 (UC Berkeley login required).

By monitoring public health conditions and the guidelines, we will create an educational experience that preserves the safety and well-being of our students, staff and faculty.

Stay informed


Course format

Based on current public health conditions, and the guidance of both campus and City of Berkeley leadership, the default mode of instruction for the fall 2021 semester will be in-person. In an update shared on May 21, 2021, Campus has made the decision to begin in-person instruction at the start of the fall semester (for most programs, Aug. 25, 2021) rather than observing a seven-day period of remote instruction as previously announced.

Students, staff, faculty and academic appointees should make every effort to be fully vaccinated before arriving on campus. If you were vaccinated at a non-UC Berkeley vaccination site, please upload your vaccination information through the secure eTang portal as soon as you are able

Innovative teaching methods 

Faculty and instructional staff are devising innovative ways to engage you both in-person and online to improve your learning outcomes over traditional delivery methods.

In many cases, the ability to provide asynchronous materials, like lectures and videos online, means that you’ll have more time during classes to interact with your instructors and participate in problem-solving and discussion sessions.

We will also be seeking opportunities to offer in-person experiences, including student organizations, social events, and community building. These events will be scheduled as health conditions allow, with our primary consideration being the health and safety of the CEE community.


Bringing everyone together

Regular online and in-person meetings will be held to bring students together academically and socially, e.g., study groups, seminars, discussion panels, and social hours. We will also offer peer and faculty mentoring.

Our priority is to ensure that all CEE students are welcomed and included!

Student Advisers in the CEE Academic Affairs Office (AAO) will have multiple daily drop-in Zoom office hours across many time zones.

We are seeking opportunities for outdoor meetings and socials for those of you on the Berkeley campus, subject to campus and public health requirements.

Investing in Resilience during COVID

In this unprecedented year, we are committed to ensuring that every CEE student has the premier experience we all expect at Berkeley.

Today’s significant challenges require significant investments. CEE’s Academy of Distinguished Alumni is leading the way to ensure excellence, access, and resilience for the department in the face of COVID-19. Philanthropic gifts to the Department of CEE Fund are helping faculty create top-quality online courses, supply instructors with needed devices for teaching, equip our classrooms with more and better technology, and create safe teaching spaces.

Learn more about this philanthropic partnership to support CEE.