New plan also gives university more flexibility to implement contingency plan at any time

  Wednesday, July 22, 2020
  Around Campus, Announcements

By Amanda Alaniz

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – UTRGV has announced a variety of course modalities for the fall 2020 semester, along with safety protocols aimed at keeping the university community safe and healthy as the university prepares for a partial return to campus.

Dr. Guy Bailey, president of UTRGV, said the top priority is keeping students, staff and faculty safe from the COVID-19 pandemic while providing students an uninterrupted path toward their degree. The key is to provide options, he said.

He said the university continues to monitor the current status of the pandemic and that the new fall semester modalities place the university in a good position to easily implement its contingency plan at any time. The fall semester starts Aug. 24.

“We understand the situation with COVID-19 is very challenging for our community,” Bailey said. “We continue to monitor the situation and are committed to making any necessary adjustments and changes to safeguard the health and academic success of our students.

“And with that in mind, we’ve worked with our faculty and health experts to establish a variety of course offerings. We want everyone to feel comfortable with their options for their education at UTRGV.”

The several different options and modalities for fall courses have been developed by deans and faculty, with guidance from experts on health, medicine and safety, following the guidelines established by the UTRGV Return to Campus Task Force.

Because the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be highly fluid, the university is carefully monitoring the Valley’s status and will continue to make any necessary adjustments headed into the fall semester. 


The following four course modalities – how courses will be structured – will be available this fall at UTRGV: 

  • Online Asynchronous Classes: Fully online. There will be no designated meeting time or real-time instructor-student interaction.
  • Online Synchronous Classes:  Fully online, but will meet online only, at designated class times for live instructor-student interaction.
  • Hybrid / Reduced Seating Classes: A combination of online meetings and assignments, as well as limited on-campus instruction.
  • Traditional Face-to-Face Classes: Students will attend class in person, on campus.

The other options that continue to be available from the university are the accelerated online programs and interactive video classes. 

The accelerated online programs are offered through the Graduate College and will follow their own academic calendar.

The interactive video classes are administered via live video feed and combine aspects of “Online Synchronous” and “Traditional Face-to-Face” modalities. Students will attend in person and follow a set schedule with real-time instruction from faculty. Instructors can interact simultaneously with students in specially equipped classrooms.


A detailed explanation of each option is available on the Fall 2020 Course Offerings and Safety Procedures website, along with other student support services.

The website will continue to be updated with the latest information, resources and answers to questions students may have.

Students can access the full list of courses and their modalities at Click on “Class Schedule” under the “Resources” section.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.