FAQs

Students

Who may study on campus?

In each semester of the academic year, three classes of Yale College (undergraduate) students will be living on campus or off campus in New Haven, and one class will be studying remotely from home. All graduate and professional students may return to campus for the entire academic year. All students will be asked to sign a community compact as a condition for returning to campus.

When may students return to campus?

Undergraduates in the first-year class, and juniors and seniors, may return to campus in late August — a detailed schedule will be provided by Yale College.

First-year students will be admitted to their rooms on campus the week of August 24. They will receive a message about how to schedule their move-in. They may not study on campus during the spring semester of 2021, but are encouraged to enroll remotely.

Sophomores may return to campus in the spring semester (most likely beginning January 2021). They may not study on campus in the fall semester of 2020, but are encouraged to enroll remotely.

Juniors and seniors may remain in residence throughout the academic year, except for a quiet period from November 21, 2020, to January 2021, when students are expected to return home if possible. Those living on campus may move in during the week of August 24. Those living off campus may choose to return in the second half of August if they notify their residential college deans.

Graduate and professional students may return at any time prior to the start of the fall term. Most graduate and professional students live off campus; housing for those living on campus opens Aug. 1.

What if I decide that studying from home is the best option for me?

Students may elect to study from home. They will be charged full tuition but will not be charged room and board, and will receive financial aid based on the cost of attendance for remote learners. Those studying from home may continue to work remotely on research projects and other activities. In order to reduce travel and density on campus, they will not be permitted entry to campus buildings.

What if I decide to take a leave of absence or postpone my matriculation?

For undergraduates
Sophomores, juniors, and seniors may declare a leave of absence for one or two terms, just as they would in any other semester. Leaves in 2020-2021 will not count toward the usual two-term limit on leaves. The last day to request a leave is September 14, 2020.

First-year students may take a leave of absence for the spring semester or may request to postpone their matriculation until fall 2021 (i.e., take a gap year). First-year students wishing to take a gap year before enrolling should submit a request to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions by July 15.

We recommend that you explore all your options before deciding to take a leave or postpone your matriculation. Students on leave or a gap year will not be permitted to take a campus job, even remotely.

For graduate and professional students
Leave of absence and deferral policies vary from school to school within Yale. Please contact your school for relevant guidance.

I am currently outside the United States. What options do I have?

We are working hard to assist international students in getting their visas, but we recognize that many international students may be unable to return to campus in time for the August start dates of most schools. Most schools will have online options for those unable to attend the first month of classes. Some programs will be available online for the whole semester. Students with specific questions about this issue should seek answers from the office of the relevant school dean. New students should consult the OISS FAQ for Newly Admitted Students for updated information about visa issues and travel concerns.

What would cause the university to change its plans?

The university must follow guidance from the State of Connecticut; to the degree that the state’s guidance changes, Yale may be required to change its own plans. See https://portal.ct.gov/coronavirus.

If the public health situation worsens considerably in the next few weeks, the return to campus may be delayed. In that case, all courses — undergraduate, graduate, and professional — will be conducted exclusively through online delivery until the public health situation improves. 

If the public health situation in Connecticut, in New Haven, or on campus worsens considerably during the fall semester, students should be prepared to follow the university’s and public health authorities’ instructions, which may include “staying-in-place” in their place of residence, whether residential colleges, other on-campus residences, or off-campus apartments. For those with meal plans, the university will continue to provide meals during a stay-in-place period. Classes would be held exclusively online.

Am I required to be tested for COVID-19 prior to arriving on campus?

All undergraduate students who will be enrolled in residence in the fall semester, whether they plan to live on campus or in off-campus housing, are required to have a viral (PCR) test before arriving on campus. Students already in New Haven must also complete this testing requirement. Pre-arrival testing is not available for students arriving from international locations; these students will be tested upon arrival to campus. Review additional guidance on testing for undergraduates on the Health & Safety Guidelines page.

All graduate and professional students are strongly encouraged, but not required, to have a viral (PCR) test before arriving on campus. Review additional guidance on testing for graduate and professional students on the Health & Safety Guidelines page.

Once I arrive on campus, do I need to be tested for COVID-19?

All undergraduate students who are enrolled in residence, whether living on campus or in off-campus housing, must have a viral (PCR) test on arrival at the beginning of the fall semester; this test will be administered by the university. Review additional guidance on testing for undergraduates on the Health & Safety Guidelines page.

All graduate and professional students arriving on campus or already on campus must have a viral (PCR) test through the Yale COVID-19 screening program prior to the start of the fall semester. Students will receive an email from their academic programs with a timeline and instructions on how to schedule their tests. Review additional guidance on testing for graduate and professional Students on the Health & Safety Guidelines page.

How frequently will I need to be tested for COVID-19?

All undergraduate students who are enrolled in residence, whether living on campus or in off-campus housing, must be tested on a twice weekly schedule throughout the semester. Review additional guidance on testing for undergraduates on the Health & Safety Guidelines page.

Graduate and professional students in high-density dormitory housing (Helen Hadley Hall and Harkness Hall) are required to be tested twice per week throughout the semester. Students who do not live in high-density dormitory housing are not required to be retested. Review additional guidance on testing for graduate and professional students on the Health & Safety Guidelines page.

Teaching & Learning

How will courses be taught?

Most Yale College courses will be offered online, featuring live Zoom seminars and a mix of live and recorded lectures. The faculty and staff are working hard to provide the best possible courses online, incorporating feedback from last semester’s and this summer’s online courses.

Some discussion sections, lab courses, studio courses, and collections-based courses will be offered in person, with smaller enrollments to allow for physical distancing and observance of all other precautions under public health guidance in force at the time programs start.

Where possible, there may be some associated in-person component for courses that take place in an otherwise online fashion.

Decisions on teaching in the graduate and professional schools will be made by individual departments and schools. Most programs will be offered by dual delivery, with a mixture of remote and in-person experiences. Each school has a specific return-to-campus plan; details are being provided by each school’s dean.

Faculty & Staff

I am a member of the faculty. May I teach from home?

We encourage faculty who are over age 65, and faculty or teaching fellows who have underlying health conditions, to teach from home.

Faculty and teaching fellows who choose to teach from home for other reasons may also do so, in coordination with their department chairs and deans.

Will I have access to childcare resources?

Please refer to the COVID-19 Childcare Resources webpage for more information.

How will I know when I need to return to work on campus?

The university is conducting an ongoing review of and approval process for who will be returning to work on campus. If your position has been approved to work on campus, your manager will provide you with appropriate notice.

Must I be tested for COVID-19 before returning to campus?

Please visit the Health & Safety Guidelines page for information about testing.

If I am required to self-isolate due to COVID exposure or diagnosis, will I be paid my normal salary and/or will I have to use paid time off?

Staff required to self-isolate due to COVID exposure or diagnosis should continue to work remotely, if able. If the staff member is unable to work remotely, they will continue to receive pay for up to 14 calendar days (10 business days) and will not be charged paid-time off for their absence. Should the staff member’s absence need to continue for more than 10 business days, staff should use accrued paid time off or apply for a leave of absence.

If travel out of state requires me to self-quarantine, will I be paid my normal salary and/or will I have to use paid time off?

Governor Lamont issued a travel advisory directing individuals returning to Connecticut from states with high rates of positive coronavirus rates to self-quarantine for a 14-day period. Please regularly check the State of Connecticut’s website for an updated list of states. We strongly encourage staff members to avoid traveling to any state included in the Governor’s travel advisory or any future additions to it. If a staff member who is required to work on campus chooses to travel to a restricted state, they will be expected to self-quarantine consistent with the Governor’s order and will have to use their allotment of paid time off (i.e. vacation, PTO) during this period. Health care staff and staff working in essential functions should check in with their supervisors for more information.

Where can I get additional workplace guidance?

Visit the “Workplace Guidance FAQs” on the It’s Your Yale website.

Health

What is Yale doing to reduce the risk of infection spreading among students, faculty, staff, and community members?

Yale began reactivating on-campus research on June 1. Following guidelines from the State of Connecticut and the expert advice of Yale faculty in medicine, nursing, and public health, the university has developed phased Returning to Yale plans that include testing, contact tracing, isolation and quarantine, daily health checks, social distancing, and mask-wearing. We are also reducing housing density in Yale College and dormitory-style graduate residences. The university is following a careful, phased approach to resuming operations on campus, taking into consideration public health guidance, the needs of vulnerable populations, and the mission of the university.

Faculty at Yale and at Yale New Haven Hospital have been active in treating COVID-19 and researching the biology and transmission of the underlying coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. Although Connecticut was originally one of the hardest-hit states, the rate of transmission (Rt) in the state as of July 1 is below 1, and as a result the number of new cases has fallen.

For more details about Yale’s extensive health policies, protocols, and guidance, visit the Health & Safety Guidelines page.

What if I am at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19?

We recommend that students with health conditions that make them especially vulnerable to COVID-19 consider remote options for study. Yale staff should consult the “Accommodations for Staff Returning to Campus” page or contact the Employee Service Center. Faculty should refer to the first question in the Faculty and Staff section on this page.

See guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What public health guidelines will I be required to follow?

All returning students, trainees, faculty, and staff will be required to follow public health requirements in place at the time in-person activity resumes. Please review the details on the Health & Safety Guidelines page.

Must I wear a mask?

Yes, all students, trainees, faculty, staff, and visitors must wear masks except when in their own residential college suite or apartment, or alone in an office, or when eating or exercising outdoors. Wearing a mask is one of the most effective ways to prevent transmission of the coronavirus.

People exercising outdoors need not wear masks as long as they stay six feet apart from others. Rules for indoor exercise will follow state and public health guidelines.

What are the requirements for social distancing?

In general, people should stay six feet apart from others whenever possible, including in classrooms, communal living spaces, and other campus locations. People living in the same suite or apartment will be considered a “family unit,” and it is not necessary to maintain distance from suitemates.

Will I be tested for COVID-19?

Please refer to the Health & Safety Guidelines page for information about testing.

What if I test positive?

Those who test positive will generally be required to isolate or self-isolate for 14 days. Please refer to the Health & Safety Guidelines page for more information.

How often should I monitor myself for COVID-19 symptoms?

All faculty, students, and staff on campus must monitor their health daily for symptoms of COVID-19. See the list under “Monitor your health daily for COVID-19 symptoms” section of Health & Safety Guidelines page. If you have symptoms, contact your health care provider or the Campus COVID Resource Line (203-432-6604).

How can I learn more about public health requirements?

The university is requiring completion of a training program by all students, trainees, faculty, and staff prior to their return to campus. Please see the “Mandatory training for everyone returning to campus” section on the Health & Safety Guidelines page.

Yale also will establish rules regarding visitors to campus, travel away from campus, and other requirements to limit transmission of the coronavirus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also offers guidance on living in shared housing.

Life on Campus

What meetings and gatherings will be permitted?

The university will limit the size of gatherings both indoors and outside to accommodate social distancing and conform to density guidelines and state rules. Classrooms and other common spaces will have reduced capacity. All who are gathered in groups of any size must wear masks and stay six feet away from each other.

To view occupancy requirements and limits for both indoor and outdoor spaces on campus, please visit the Environmental Health & Safety website.

If I am an undergraduate living on campus, will I be able to eat in a dining hall?

Yes. Yale Dining will operate with additional service locations, extended hours in some locations, and frequent cleaning and sanitizing. Packaged take-out meals, grab-and-go, and pre-ordered meals will be available in all dining halls, with special provision for those with dietary restrictions and allergies.

Seating in college dining halls will be reduced in order to provide social distancing, but additional seating will be provided in common rooms, courtyards, and other locations. Because of reduced capacity, seating within dining halls will be limited to college residents.

Will I be able to study in the library?

Yes, most libraries on campus will be open, with changes to seating, hours, and some services.

Will the museums be open for teaching and research?

Yes, the Yale University Art Gallery and Yale Center for British Art will be available by appointment. The collections of the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History are closed for a multi-year renovation and expansion, but will be accessible by appointment.

Will the gym be open?

Payne Whitney Gymnasium and other athletic facilities will be open with limits on capacity in order to preserve social distancing. Gyms in residential colleges will be closed until public health guidance permits us to open them.

Will I have access to campus if I am living off campus?

Campus will be open to juniors and seniors living off campus who are enrolled as in-residence students. In order to reduce travel and on-campus density, first-years and sophomores will not have access to the campus during the semesters in which they are enrolled remotely. 

Graduate and professional students will have access to the parts of campus normally open to them, such as their own school, the campus libraries, most classroom buildings, the main gym, and common spaces, among others.

What athletic programs will continue?

On July 8, 2020, the Ivy League announced that there will be no intercollegiate athletics competition in the fall semester.

Will there be places to study and socialize outside of the residential colleges and classrooms?

Yes, most facilities on campus will be open, with social distancing in force. While the weather is good, we encourage you to use outdoor spaces, as the risk of transmission of the coronavirus is lower outdoors.

Can I have visitors?

In the fall semester, visits to campus by people who are not Yale students, faculty, or staff will be strictly limited. These limits will be reviewed in mid-November in accordance with prevailing public health guidance. No non-Yale visitors will be allowed in the residential colleges.

Can I go to stores and restaurants in New Haven?

Students may go to stores and restaurants in New Haven as long as they follow public health guidance currently in place, such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

Travel

Am I allowed to travel outside of Connecticut?

Travel outside of Connecticut is discouraged for faculty and staff for the duration of this public health crisis. Undergraduates may travel only for emergencies or with approval from their residential college deans’ offices for travel that is essential for educational or personal reasons. The university strongly urges graduate and professional students to limit their travel. Everyone should wear masks or other face coverings and practice social distancing to the greatest extent possible while traveling.

What is the State of Connecticut’s guidance on travel, and how does that impact me?

To reduce the risk of importing COVID-19, the State of Connecticut requires individuals travelling to Connecticut from high incidence states to quarantine for 14 days following their arrival. This requirement applies to all arriving or returning students, faculty, and staff. Please refer to the state website for details, and check back frequently as this information may change.

Learn more about the key implications for the Yale community by visiting the Travel into Connecticut from Travel Advisory States page.

How to Ask Questions & Raise Concerns

Are there resources that chairs, principal investigators, and other supervisors may consult for both guidelines and assistance?

All managers are strongly encouraged to contact their HR Generalist to consult about workplace planning.  If you do not know who your HR Generalist is, please consult the Human Resources Generalist website.

Whom can I contact with specific questions about my return to campus?

Campus COVID Resource Line
203-432-6604 or 866-924-9253
Available seven days a week, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Employees with specific questions should consult with their deans, managers, or the Employee Service Center at 203-432-5552. Employees may also email their questions at any time to employee.services@yale.edu.

Is there a procedure in place for reporting sensitive concerns, such as about co-workers or others failing to follow health and safety protocols?

Yes. A member of the Yale community who has a concern about compliance with COVID-19 health and safety policies or regulations may raise that concern in one of two ways. First, a community member who feels comfortable doing so may report a concern to their supervisor, their human resources representative, or a supervising faculty member. Second, a community member may make an anonymous or identified report through the University Hotline. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

University policy prohibits retaliation against community members who in good faith report possible violations of Yale policy, including possible violations of health and safety standards related to COVID-19.

Whom can I contact for additional questions about COVID-19 testing for students?

Students will receive an email in August with a full description of the testing program and detailed instructions on how to obtain testing.

However, students who have questions about the advisability and frequency of additional asymptomatic testing may call the COVID Campus Resource Line, which is staffed by health care professionals, at 203-432-6604.