The world is evolving rapidly. The Middlebury Institute is too. Here’s what you need to know for the 2020–2021 academic year.
Now more than ever, as countries around the world face new and persistent challenges, your Middlebury Institute education can help you make a meaningful impact for the greater good.
What to Expect This Year
Remote Instruction, Uncompromised Quality
The 2020–2021 academic year at the Middlebury Institute will feature remote instruction throughout the year.
- This fall, January term (J-term), and spring, all classes will be taught remotely. While the public health and immigration situations are constantly changing, we want to give you certainty now so that you can make concrete plans.
- Our faculty have worked closely with our Office of Digital Learning and Inquiry (DLINQ) to redesign their curricula to make the most of the technology available, ensuring we deliver the highest-quality remote instruction.
- We are leveraging feedback from our current students to continually improve the remote learning experience.
This academic year, as always, the hallmarks of a Middlebury Institute education endure:
- Your career development and success are our focus from your first day of class.
- Our immersive approach allows you to apply practical skills in your field of study before you graduate.
- We prepare you to engage the world’s greatest challenges and needs.
We are implementing a return-to-campus protocol under which students can return to campus for in-person instruction when state and county guidelines, as well as our campus capacity, allow us to do so safely.
We are actively working on plans for phased reopening of our campus. See details on our progress below.
Access to on-campus services, facilities, and activities may become possible for students in 2021.
We will carry out this return in line with public health guidance and our own campus capacity to have students on campus. This includes provisions for social distancing, masks, personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitary measures, restrictions on public spaces on campus, and testing, tracing, isolation, and quarantine.
We will share regular updates on the possibilities for students’ return to campus as our plans take shape.
- Whatever the situation, students’ presence on campus during the fall, J-term, and/or spring will not be required to begin or continue your degree progress.
We have a dedicated Return to Campus Strategy team working hard to ensure we are ready for a safe and productive return to campus. Here is an update on our progress as of November 2, 2020 (will update this section as further progress is made).
- We are in the process of installing Wi-Fi access points for outdoor spaces around campus to strengthen wireless reception.
- We are installing plexiglass shields in reception and welcome areas of departments and offices.
- We have installed MERV 13 air filters in HVAC systems on campus to increase the filtering of circulated air. Ventilation in all indoor areas is being analyzed.
- We have secured large quantities of masks, hand sanitizers, and protective gloves for members of the campus community who may need them.
- To be prepared for the unlikely case of an outbreak on campus, we are procuring personal protective equipment for essential staff members.
- To allow for socially-distanced, on-campus work, study, and meetings, you will be able to reserve appropriate spaces through our online reservation system.
- We have notified faculty that they are free to convene small groups off campus (for now) when mask wearing and social-distancing is practiced.
- We are working on enabling faculty/student one-on-one meetings on campus in the near future.
- No-contact checkout and pickup of physical resources from the library has been in place since summer 2020, in addition to the wide range of electronic resources.
Returning to the World
Getting you back to campus is only one part of our “return.” While a growing list of remote immersive experiences are available to you as an Institute student, we are working with our external partners and employers to get you back into the field, with in-person internships and immersive learning, fieldwork, and study abroad. The timing of these will vary by the partner or employer and the location of the opportunity.
The New Norm
We are excited to say that, even when this pandemic is over, we will not simply be returning to the way we used to operate. We have learned new ways to teach, learn, and work. The world and the challenges we train our students to address have changed. We will continue to adapt to prepare you to advance understanding, promote peace, and drive change in pursuit of a more just world.
Insights from alumni, students, faculty, and staff
During these uncertain times, we know there is much to consider. Middlebury Institute alumni, students, faculty, and staff share their experiences and respond to some of your most commonly asked questions.
More and more often, we are hearing that employers are looking for job candidates who are able to work remotely and manage teams across time zones. It appears that no matter the field or discipline, remote work (and remote learning) are becoming increasingly relevant and may be the key to your success.
And while the pandemic has accelerated the changes in the way we work and learn, the world was already heading in this direction, following a trajectory in which virtual interaction was as likely as in-person communication.
We strongly believe that there is no better place than the Institute to help you develop the skills needed to successfully navigate a remote learning and working environment. As part of your graduate school experience, you will have access to support networks that will allow you to learn without fear of “failure”; we’re confident that you will discover a capacity to thrive in a remote space. You will join us back on campus when we can safely welcome you and you will emerge better positioned to compete and excel in whatever work environment you encounter.
An Inclusive Approach for International Students
We are keeping the needs of our many students based outside of the U.S. in mind as we plan our courses. We are paying particular attention to time zones, technology platforms, and each class’s mix of synchronous and asynchronous elements.
- Many classes will have asynchronous content, giving you the flexibility of learning at a time that works for your time zone and schedule.
- Any content that needs to be synchronous will be offered at a time that works for the majority of the students in the course. For example, synchronous activities in our Chinese translation and interpretation courses will be offered at an appropriate hour for students based in East Asia.
- If you cannot attend a live class, you should alert your instructor as early as possible and work with them to make an alternate plan e.g. check if the class will be recorded for you to watch at a later time.
International students, please note that if you are based outside of the U.S., you will not need a visa to study remotely. The F-1 (student) or J-1 (exchange visitor) visa is required only when a student is intending to enter the U.S. and engage in in-person courses. Our International Scholars and Student Services team will reach out to you as we prepare to return to campus to help you get your appropriate visas and documentation completed on time.
Incoming students who are currently in the U.S. and hold a valid F-1 or J-1 visa status, please contact ISSS (firstname.lastname@example.org) regarding your eligibility for the transfer of your SEVIS record or guidance regarding next steps.
Remote Learning at the Middlebury Institute
You will be able to learn more about our approach to remote learning at our virtual Preview Days (November 9–13).
Financial Support and Affordability
For students who cannot take classes full time this academic year but want to maintain progress toward their degree, we have reduced our per-credit cost from $2,030 per credit to $1,777 per credit for students who take 11 or fewer credits. Students taking 12 or more credits will be charged the comprehensive fee. We will not be increasing any tuition costs for the 2021–22 academic year—both the comprehensive fee and per-credit cost will remain the same. Learn more about tuition costs.
Please note that if you move to part time, your scholarships and grants will be prorated. If you take fewer than six credits, you will no longer be eligible for federal financial aid.
This remote academic year may also offer you cost savings with respect to relocation and rent, depending on your situation. In addition, U.S. citizens and permanent residents may consider taking advantage of the lowest interest rates ever for federal loans. Irrespective of where you are based, you can use those loans to offset your living costs while you study.
Please review your next steps and contact your enrollment advisor if you have questions.
Please review our updated Frequently Asked Questions, where you will also find contact information, should you have further questions: