Skip to main content
Skip to main content

Fall 2020 student FAQs

August 18, 2020 School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies

Not sure how COVID-19 will affect your classes this? Check out TDPS' frequently asked questions.


For university wide updates and FAQs, visit:

Important dates and deadlines:

Last Day to Cancel Registration

Friday, August 28

First Day of Classes

Monday, August 31

TDPS Majors Meeting (Zoom style)

Wednesday, September 2 at 5pm

Labor Day

Monday, September 7

Last Day to Add a Course

Monday, September 14

Last Day to Drop a Course without a “W”

Monday, September 14

Auditions for Spring 2021 Courses

Early October

Academic Advising for Spring 2021


Auditions for Spring 2021 Productions

Mid-Late October

Last Day to Drop a Course with a “W”

Monday, November 9

Thanksgiving Recess

Wednesday, November 25 - Sunday, November 29

Last Day of Classes

Monday, December 14

Reading Day

Tuesday, December 15

Final Exams

Wednesday, December 16 - Tuesday, December 22

Main UMD Commencement

Sunday, December 20

Department Commencement

December 21 or December 22




Classes, Exams, Syllabi, etc.:

1. Will tuition change since classes are online?
As far as I know, tuition will not change. You can see ​the Financial Aid website ​for tuition costs.

2. Will the pass/fail system be implemented for Fall 2020 classes?
No, all grades will be a regular grading method unless you choose pass/fail by the add/drop deadline. However, pass/fail grades cannot be applied towards your Dance or Theatre major. See ​the Registrar's website​ for more information about Fall 2020 specifics.

3. If cases decrease, is there a chance some of the online classes will move to in-person?
Classes will stay as posted in Testudo for Fall 2020.

4. How will the online classes look? How should kinesthetic learners expect to gain the most out of an online environment?
Instructors are working this summer to ensure online courses will be robust providing a full learning experience. Please address any specific concerns or questions you have to your instructor. You can also work with ​Learning Resources​ to best utilize your academic strengths and improve your weaknesses while at UMD.

5. Where will classes take place if we are on campus?
Assigned rooms are on the schedule of classes on Testudo.

6. Are the classes structured more like a typical dance class or lecture style or both?
Each class will be different. Studio classes will still be studio movement/voice/acting classes. They may look a little different, but you can reach out to professors for specifics. Instructors will work with you! We know not everyone has space, privacy, room for specific courses. We are talking about this too to see how we can best help you all.

7. How will tests work?
This will be in your syllabus for every class, both in TDPS and across the university. Ask your professors' questions at the beginning of the semester, if you do not understand how it will work, in each different class. They will have all of that information for you!

8. Will there be any dance classes in-person this semester​?
You can see Testudo for dance classes that are online, blended learning, or in person.

9. How are 479s going to work?
Bobby Hunter will send out this information before the semester starts. You will be working with Andrew Cissna, Bobby Hunter, and Clarice staff.

10. How will TDPS201 work online? I thought was supposed to be a hands on class.
All instructors are working throughout the semester on how to best implement classes virtually. I don’t know the details for each course, but please reach out to your instructors for more information!

11. Will the Michelle Smith Library be open?

  • The Libraries are pleased to announce that we are moving into Phase 2 of reopening on July 27, 2020. You can follow Libraries’​ ​phased-in reopening plans at a glance​.
  • During Phase 2 the Libraries will begin offering curbside pickup of physical materials from general collections at McKeldin Library.
  • You can begin requesting available materials in​ ​WorldCatUMD​ starting today, and appointments to pick up materials will start on Wednesday, July 29. Detailed instructions are available at​ ​​.
  • Please remember that no public access to buildings or in-person services will be offered at this time. We are currently planning Phase 3 of reopening, during which UMD users will be able to visit the first floor of McKeldin Library.
  • We encourage you to work with your​ ​subject liaison librarian​ in case you have any library-related questions.

12. Are there materials for classes that we should be aware of and get beforehand, so as to be prepared and not feel the need to scramble to get the materials when school starts?
You can see the ​Bookstore’s website ​for required textbooks for your classes. Many classes in TDPS do not require textbooks. You are welcome to reach out to your instructors to see what you might need. You will also receive a syllabus for each class on the first day of class listing what materials you will need for the class.

13. When will we receive syllabi for our classes?
Instructors are required to give you a syllabus on the first day of class. You are welcome to reach out to instructors for more information!

14. How much money should we expect to pay for classroom expenses in the first month of college (textbooks, books, videos, etc.)?
It’s hard to put an exact figure. It all depends on what classes require textbooks and/or other materials that are required for that class. Once performances are held again, tickets are free for all UMD students. You can see ​the Financial Aid website​ for estimated costs, but it simply depends on your specific classes.

15. How will classes with labs work? Will half the class go into the lab one day and the other half go the other day?
This will be determined on a course by course basis. It’s best to reach out to your professor for more specific information.

16. Do these classes have tests and finals like other courses we're taking or is it a performance based test?
Each class is different. It will all be outlined in your course syllabi. Some courses require final tests, final projects, final monologues or performances, or research papers.

17. Will there be opportunities to work one-on-one with a professor?
All instructors have office hours, whether online or in person. Take the opportunity to get to know them by dropping in, even if you don’t have a problem. If you have specific questions or coaching for a class, professors can be contacted individually.

18. Is choir returning? I received an email a few days ago about virtual auditions.
You will need to reach out to the School of Music for choir updates.

Safety Procedures:

19. How are in-person ​(also called face to face​)​ ​courses going to be regulated for safety?

See: ​

The University has set up guidelines and procedures. See below for a summary:

  1. All classrooms identified as available for in-person instruction (listed on Testudo schedule of classes) will be equipped with sanitary wipes for the cleaning of desktops.
  2. Hand sanitizer stations should be available in proximity to classrooms for students, staff and faculty to use before and after attending class.
  3. Lecterns and teaching stations will have both hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. Wipes will be suitable for the disinfecting of the work area, computer keyboards, touch screen monitors, microphones and other equipment required to teach a course in a classroom.
  4. Classrooms and high touch areas in buildings will be cleaned and disinfected nightly. Rest rooms will be cleaned and disinfected twice daily.
  5. Classroom seating will be marked so students know where to sit during the class—where possible only the exact number seats will be available and marked for position.

Student expectations:

  1. Students will be required to both wear a cloth face covering and observe the 6-foot physical distancing guidelines when in proximity to others; especially while circulating to classes and once in the classroom. There is no exception​.
  2. Each student will clean their classroom work surface upon entering the room.
  3. Students are to sit in designated (marked) classroom seats to maintain a 6-feet physical distancing between others.
  4. Instructional design in some labs and/or studios may make it difficult to maintain a 6-foot physical distance for the duration of the class, in response room specific protocols have been developed, approved and will be explained by the instructor.

20. How will in person acting/dance classes look? Will we be required to wear a mask or if our class is small enough would we be able to take them off if we feel comfortable doing so?
Masks will be required for all in-person course meetings at all times. Students will be expected to maintain a 6-foot physical distance for the duration of the class. ​Specific protocols have been developed, approved and will be explained by the instructor.

21. If we all wear our masks and maybe come into the studios in groups, could that be an option?
Students cannot be in studios for course instruction without the instructor present. Dance and Theatre majors will be able to reserve studios for coursework starting Monday, September 28th. The date is subject to change pending  University policy.

22. Why aren't more performance classes in-person or blended?
The health and safety of all students and instructors is the first priority in deciding how each class will be offered. Every instructor and class has different needs. All instructors are carefully considering how each course will continue to be a success in the format that it will be taught.

Studios and Classrooms:

23. Will the studios in the Clarice be open and available for students to use/rent in the Fall?
Studio use outside of classroom and research use will not be allowed for the first four weeks of classes. If it is safe to do so after this time, studios may be reservable by students for class-related work starting September 28th. Similarly, the studios will not be open to non-TDPS class related events through October 4th, at which time access will be reevaluated. The studios will be closed to all public users through January 4, 2021. All dates are subject to
change pending University policy.

24. Will we be encouraged to not hang out in the Clarice
While some general gathering places within the Clarice may look different than usual, you will not be kept away from the building. We will be happy to recommend low-risk hang-out practices like meeting outdoors but all gatherings should follow University guidelines with physical spacing and mask wearing.

25. How will dance occur in the dorm room?
Each student will have their own challenges while taking classes online. I encourage you to talk to your professors about your concerns and see what might be best for each class. If students find they need to adjust their course schedule, please reach out to Susan at

26. Can I bring my marley floor?
That is a great question for your RA regarding your dorm room, but you cannot bring your own marley floor to the Clarice rehearsal studios.


27. What will the production season look like for Fall 2020-Spring 2021?
We are scheduled to have the Fall MFA thesis in person, with a modified audience plan, in late fall. We are working with the university guidelines to determine what the rehearsal process will look like, and will let choreographers and dancers know as final details are available. The Fearless New Play Festival will be in late fall as well, virtually. All other productions will be held in Spring. Of course, all is subject to change.

28. How can I audition for classes for the spring?
Spring 2021 audition information will come out in October. They will most likely be virtual.

29. Will there be virtual second seasons?
We are working with the 20-21 Second Season student producers to see what options are possible. More information will be made available at the beginning of the semester.

Student Groups:

30. Can student groups do in person events or will we be encouraged to only do online events?
We are encouraging all groups to consider online gatherings as a standard. If small numbers of people are able to meet in person, you may still want to have a virtual presence for others to participate. ​Please see Bobby Hunter for more information. Any performances will most likely be virtual, not in person.

31. What opportunities will there be to meet people in the program?
Student groups will still hold meetings and TDPS will still host a TDPS Majors meeting at the beginning of the semester. You will also get to know classmates in classes.

Student Employment​:

32. Will the shops still be hiring in person?
You can reach out to the following people to see if they are hiring this Fall:

Last updated August 5, 2020.