As the opening of school approached, the college announced the institution of 10 extracurricular courses intended to supplement the curricular changes already made to accommodate wartime needs.  The courses, designed in collaboration with the American Red Cross, the New York State Office of Civilian Defense and the United States Civil Service Commission, were focused on skills such as first aid, home nursing, health aide work, child-care and civil defense work.  Courses in structural drawing, drafting and blueprint reading and music in wartime were also available.

All students not enrolled in one of the special curricular courses were expected to register for one of the extracurricular courses in the first week of classes.

Other wartime changes included each student taking responsibility for caring for her own room as well as for contributing seven hours a week to housekeeping and messenger duties.  Heat was reduced to 65º during the day and turned off at 9:30 pm.  Tablecloths were abandoned, as were lights in the indoor tennis court, and the pool was open only three days a week.  The Social Museum and The Vassar Journal of Undergraduate Studies were suspended, and a “vegetable dinner” was served once a week.  To further conserve on materials needed for the war effort, the latter restriction was changed, in November to require a “meatless day” once a week.