UT-Austin will offer nearly 60% of spring 2021 classes online, analysis shows

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Photo Credit: Maria Perez | Daily Texan Staff

Nearly 60% of classes in the spring 2021 course schedule are remote, according to an analysis of the spring course schedule by The Daily Texan.

Of the more than 10,300 class sections UT lists on the course schedule, approximately 16% are face-to-face and 26% are hybrid or blended, according to the analysis. 

This distribution is roughly similar to that of the fall semester, where classes were about 61% online, 24% hybrid, and 16% in person, according to an Aug. 11 news release. UT did not respond to multiple requests for comment about the course schedule.

Next semester, some students say they plan to continue with remote school, while others plan to move to Austin. Some students are taking a gap year in light of struggles caused by online classes. The spring semester will still contain the normal spring break and other calendar features, according to a Sept. 28 message from UT President Jay Hartzell.

“Based on our experiences thus far, our plan is to structure the spring 2021 semester in much the same way as we have the current semester,” Hartzell said in the message. “There will be robust online course offerings, hybrid learning options and some purely in-person classes.”

Government freshman Jose Serna started his UT experience taking classes at home this semester, which he hopes to continue in the spring to save money. Serna said he is concerned his later registration time may prevent him from registering for classes he needs that are being offered online.

“I’m just nervous I’m going to have to choose either classes that aren’t going to help my degree, but at least I’m going to save money, or I’m going to have to spend money to stay in Austin to only take only one class,” Serna said.

Approximately 70% of the College of Liberal Arts’ classes will be online next semester, according to the analysis. Face-to-face and hybrid classes are evenly divided between the remaining 30%. 

 

The McCombs School of Business will have approximately 50% of its classes online next semester, and 41% of the classes are hybrid, according to the analysis. The College of Natural Sciences will offer 58% of its classes online, 29% hybrid and 13% face-to-face. 

Before the schedule was released, computer science sophomore Brandon Song said he had already decided to take a gap semester in the spring because of stress caused by all-online school.

“I just felt like I was procrastinating a lot more,” Song said. “My motivation levels are down. It didn’t feel like I was going to UT … but more like a chore. I wasn’t even planning to take a gap semester anytime in my four years.” 

Song said he would not take time off if he could take in-person classes next semester.

The Moody College of Communication will offer 66% of its classes online, and the Cockrell School of Engineering has approximately 59% of its classes online, according to the analysis.

Biology freshman Andres Paredes is currently taking classes remotely but said he plans to move to Austin in the spring. Paredes said he hopes to take at least one or two in-person or hybrid classes so moving back feels more worthwhile. 

“I have no experience taking an in-person college class,” Paredes said. “So to me, this is my new normal — taking remote classes."