HDS Coronavirus Updates

Updated: March 22, 2021

Latest News

HDS and Harvard University continue to closely monitor the course of the COVID-19 pandemic and the progress of the vaccination effort. On March 16, 2021, it was announced that, as of now, the School plans to have faculty, staff, and students return to campus for the fall term, to the extent allowed by the evolving public health situation. Our aim is to begin the fall term with as much in-person learning as possible.

Vaccine Information

The University is in the process of receiving COVID-19 vaccine doses and will follow Massachusetts guidelines on prioritization. For more information about the Harvard’s vaccine distribution, please visit the Harvard University Health Services website. The vaccine is not mandatory at this time but highly recommended.

If you have been vaccinated outside of Harvard University Health Services, please submit a copy of your CDC card to mrecords@huhs.harvard.edu. Information on the number of community members vaccinated will help the University determine policies on campus.

Learn more on the Harvard COVID-19 Vaccine Information page.

Commencement Update

On February 26, 2021, Harvard President Bacow announced Harvard University’s plans for our May 27, 2021, Commencement exercises. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Harvard has decided that commencement ceremonies will once again be online. Harvard Divinity School will participate in Harvard’s online ceremonies, and hold our own ceremonies and diploma awarding online as well.

As David Holland, HDS Acting Dean and Bartlett Professor of New England Church History, wrote to the community: "We realize this is not how any of us imagined such an important day in the lives of our graduating students, their families, and the wider HDS community. However, our ultimate obligation is to assure the health and safety of our community in the face of an ongoing worldwide health emergency. In the coming months our faculty, staff, and students will be working on a plan to mark this celebration as best we all can in the face of this difficult reality. In the meantime, we wish you success in your ongoing studies this semester and look forward to joining you online for Commencement Day."

Current Status

The well-being of our community is our top priority, so the HDS campus is currently closed and classes are being held online. Please continue practicing the preventive behaviors that have helped to keep our communities safe to this point.

Re-entry Procedures

Anyone who will access campus buildings or who will be working on campus must follow the current re-entry procedures (PDF). Read more about Harvard's plan for a safe campus reopening

Testing and Tracing

In Fall 2020, Harvard University began to safely welcome back a limited number of students, faculty, academic personnel, and staff to campus as conditions allow. The University deployed several strategies—including high-frequency viral testing for all community members who are authorized to have a regular presence on campus—to help keep Harvard healthy.

Each Harvard affiliate’s testing requirements will vary based on whether you live on campus, work in residential housing, work elsewhere on campus, or have a regular presence (4 hours or more per week) on campus. Our testing plan is subject to modification if the public health situation indicates changes in community risk.

Please note that testing at an HUHS site is only available for employees or students who are authorized to be on campus and meet the testing requirements.

Review the current testing policies and frequency below. And visit the Harvard University Coronavirus page for more information and updates on:

Travel Guidance

Teaching and Learning

Health and Safety

Campus Updates

  • Career Services: information on accessing services and resources
  • Admissions: on-campus admissions events are canceled. Online resources will be emailed to accepted students
  • Summer international placements have been canceled, specifically The Greeley International Internship, summer international field education placements, and Buddhist Ministry summer international study grants. 
  • Updates from the HDS Registrar on office hours, exam schedulesordering transcripts, and important deadline info. for changing grade options/withdrawing from a course.



For other questions, contact Kama Lord of IT and Media Services.


Most HDS staff have moved to remote work. Resources:

  • Teach, learn, and work remotely guidance (requires HarvardKey login)
  • Living and Working During Social Distancing (PDF), from Harvard Divinity School Human Resources, has many resources for you and your family: online feeds from museums and cultural institutions, music and educational sites, zoos and more.
  • Coronavirus Workplace Policies from Harvard Human Resources includes valuable information such as remote work preparedness, back-up dependent care, sick time, the Employee Assistance program, and more.
  • Socialize Remotely, a University-wide platform for publicizing and exploring a variety of online gatherings available to the Harvard community.

From HDS Dean David N. Hempton