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Online students will take up 75% of class seats this fall, UT Austin says

As part of UT's fall semester plan, no more than 40% of the seats in each classroom are allowed to be occupied.

AUSTIN, Texas — The fall semester will look different as many students go back to class, and the University of Texas is no exception. 

Many students will be taking to virtual learning as the semester begins in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, the university is predicting that about 75% of class seats will be taken up by online students, and only 5% of students will be taking courses fully in person.

“Given the current state of COVID-19 in Texas, and its future unpredictability, this broad reduction in population density will help us stay safe, maintain social distance and limit spread on the Forty Acres in the months to come,” Interim President Jay Hartzell said in a letter to the campus on Aug. 11.

RELATED: UT announces shortened semester, extended class days in final fall semester plan

According to UT, nearly 50% of undergraduate students will be attending classes fully online, while the remaining half elected to take a majority of online and hybrid courses.

Here's a look at how the classes are shaping up.

Preliminary course registration numbers as of Aug. 4 for online vs. in-person vs. hybrid

Total student credit hours by instruction mode

Online – 491,571 (76.5%)

Hybrid – 108,981 (17.0%)

In-Person – 41,472 (6.5%)

Seats taken (unique registrations in a class)

Online – 172,689 (76.6%)

Hybrid – 40,739 (18.1%)

In-Person – 12,041 (5.3%)

Total sections (classes) – 11,586

Online – 7,035 (60.7%)

Hybrid – 2,733 (23.6%)

In-Person – 1,818 (15.7%)

There will also be a significant decrease in the number of undergraduate students living on-campus this semester – about 4,500 students out of a capacity of 7,300, UT said. 

The university released its final fall semester plan at the end of June. As part of the plan, no more than 40% of the seats in each classroom are allowed to be occupied. 

The plan includes a shortened fall semester, with in-person instruction ending on Nov. 25. The rest of the semester will be held online. Finals will take place from Dec. 7 to 16.

WATCH: UT Austin announces final fall semester plan


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