Amay Tewari, Senior Photographer

Yale Summer Session plans to resume its regular on-campus programming this summer, hosting students from across the world in New Haven for the first time since the pandemic’s onset. 

Yale Summer Session has long offered online courses, but, until summer 2020, it primarily operated in person — hosting high school students, visiting students and Yale College students on campus. Last summer, YSS held almost all of its courses online and allowed only a small number of Yale College students to remain on campus.​​ But to bring YSS closer to its pre-pandemic status quo, about half of YSS’s programs and courses will be in person this summer, and the other half will be online.

“I’m excited to return to an in-person summer session,” said ER&M and American Studies Professor Daniel HoSang, who will teach “Eugenics and Its Afterlives” on campus this summer. “Particularly for the seminar I’m teaching, which involves investigating the archives around Yale’s history of Eugenics and scientific racism, meeting in person is essential. Summer session often represents a time for faculty to work closely with students in a less formal atmosphere, so I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work collaboratively in this way.”

All students coming to campus — whether or not they attend Yale College — will be required to comply with Yale’s COVID-19 policies, and they must be vaccinated against COVID-19 and receive a booster shot, if eligible.

Yale College resumed in-person learning at the start of the 2021-22 school year and has remained in-person except for the first two weeks of the spring semester. Nevertheless, the online component of YSS — dubbed Yale Summer Online — will remain even as cases decline. Faculty noted that online courses provide a unique opportunity to reach a wider array of students than can be reached with just in-person learning.

“I have found the return to in-person teaching to be personally very satisfying,” said Professor of Environmental Health and Politics John Wargo, who will teach “Environmental Law & Governance” online this summer. “It seems easier to communicate with students [in person], and I can better sense their engagement in both lectures and discussions. [But] online courses have benefits that include the possibility to reach more students that are geographically dispersed, and those within different time zones. Communication and social interaction need to be carefully planned, demanding both changes in course organization and student participation to achieve a level of effectiveness similar to in-person teaching.”

Though the COVID-19 pandemic required YSS to adjust its mode of operating, the pandemic also greatly increased YSS enrollment. 

“Our enrollments were higher than normal during the pandemic,” YSS Communications Manager Eli Westerman said. “We have offered online courses since 2012, so we were well-prepared for the pivot to an online-only curriculum. Based on our application numbers so far, we will have another year of strong enrollments.”

Beyond the pandemic’s direct effect on enrollment, the YSS COVID-19 Courses and Housing Subsidy will likely impact enrollment. According to the YSS website, first-years and sophomores who enrolled for both the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters, with at least one term taken remotely per Yale’s guidelines, can receive a two-course subsidy for YSS New Haven, Online or Abroad in any summer before their senior year.

“We anticipate increased enrollments this summer from the YSS COVID-19 Courses, and, in preparation, we are offering a deep and broad course catalog,” Westerman said. 

YSS Programs Abroad also plans to return in person this summer, after the programs were converted to online courses during the 2020 and 2021 summers. Although YSS Abroad has forged ahead with planning programs in countries around the globe, it has not made any guarantees to students due to continued pandemic uncertainties — especially with regard to international travel.

For Session A courses (May 30 – July 1), Yale College students should apply by May 4. For Session B courses (July 4 – August 5), Yale College students should apply by June 8.

Evan Gorelick is Managing Editor of the Yale Daily News. He previously covered Woodbridge Hall, with a focus on the University's finances, budget and endowment. He also laid out the weekly print edition of the News as a Production and Design Editor. Originally from Woodbridge, Connecticut, he is a junior in Timothy Dwight College double-majoring in English and economics.