Individual schools have additional guidance for their students. Please check your school’s website for more information.

Who may study on campus and when can they return?

In each semester of the academic year, three classes of Yale College (undergraduate) students lived on campus or off campus in New Haven, and one class studied remotely from home. All graduate and professional students were invited to return to campus for the entire academic year. All students were required to sign the Yale Community Compact as a condition for returning to campus.

Fall 2020
Undergraduates in the first-year class, and juniors and seniors, were invited back to campus for the fall semester. Juniors and seniors are allowed to remain in residence throughout the academic year, except for a quiet period from November 21, 2020, to January 2021, when students were expected to return home if possible.

Graduate and professional students were invited to 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 opened on August 1.

Spring 2021
Spring classes began on February 1 for most schools, including Yale College. Graduate and professional school students as well as sophomores, juniors, and seniors were invited back to campus for the spring semester. First-year students may not study on campus, but have been encouraged to enroll remotely.

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?

Undergraduate Students
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.

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).

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.

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. Most schools have online options for those unable to attend the first month of classes. Some programs are 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 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.

Teaching & Learning

How are courses being taught?

Most Yale College courses are being 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 are being 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 were made made by individual departments and schools. Most programs are being 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.

Do I have access to childcare resources?

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

When will staff return to work on campus?

If you are not asked to return to campus and are able to work from home, the current assumption is that you will continue to work remotely until August 1, 2021. If you are unable to work from home, Yale will strive to provide alternate work assignments consistent with the workplace guidance issued on July 1.

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

Please visit the Health 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 unable, individuals will continue to receive pay for business days within the quarantine period of up to 10 calendar days (7 calendar days with a negative test result). After the period of isolation ends, the employee will be required to return to campus, if the work can only be performed on campus. Should the absence continue for more than 10 days, use of accrued paid time off is permitted. Individuals in this situation may also apply for a leave of absence with The Standard (call 203-432-5552, press option #4)

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 10-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.


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, 2020. 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, physical distancing, and mask-wearing. We have also reduced 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.

For more details about Yale’s extensive health policies, protocols, and guidance, visit the Health 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 am I required to follow?

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

Is the university supplying masks and other supplies?

Yale has established a plan to ensure that all students, faculty, researchers, and staff receive a Returning to Yale kit, which includes the necessary masks/face coverings, hand sanitizers, and disinfectant wipes. Please refer to the Acquisition and Distribution of Returning to Yale Kits page for additional information, including pickup locations.

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. Wearing a mask is one of the most effective ways to prevent transmission of the coronavirus.

What are the requirements for physical 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 Guidelines page for information about testing.

What if I test positive?

Those who test positive will generally be required to isolate for 10 days. Please refer to the Health 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 every day for symptoms of COVID-19 through a Daily Health Check. If you have symptoms, please contact your health care provider or call the Campus COVID Resource Line at 203-432-6604.

How frequently are Residential Colleges and Graduate Housing spaces being cleaned?

Facilities is cleaning and disinfecting student shared bathrooms twice daily, seven days a week. Disinfecting wipes are also available for students to use before/after touching fixtures. Additionally, Facilities is cleaning and disinfecting community spaces once per day with a second disinfection of commonly-touched surfaces (doorknobs/handles, elevator buttons, handrails, arms of chairs, counters, tables, etc.) seven days a week.

Visit the Facilities website for additional information.

Does Yale have a COVID-19 dashboard showing the number of positive cases on campus and the current alert level?

Yes. Please visit the Yale Statistics page to see the latest testing numbers, positive cases, and the university’s alert level status. Most information is updated daily.

Life on Campus

What meetings and gatherings are permitted?

The university is limiting the size of gatherings both indoors and outside to accommodate physical 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.

The university has established requirements for university-sponsored events on or off campus. Please see the Events & Gatherings page for more information.

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, am I able to eat in a dining hall?

Yes. Yale Dining is operating 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 are available in all dining halls, with special provision for those with dietary restrictions and allergies.

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

Am I able to study in the library?

Access to all Yale libraries is currently limited to faculty, graduate students, and professional students who are authorized to be on campus.

Are the museums open?

The Yale University Art Gallery and Yale Center for British Art are temporarily closed to visitors. The collections of the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History are closed for a multi-year renovation and expansion, but the museum is accessible by appointment.

Is the gym open?

Payne Whitney Gymnasium is open with limits on capacity in order to preserve physical distancing. Only students are permitted to use the gym. An online reservation system is in place to reserve times in Israel Fitness Center, the 3rd floor pool, and group exercise classes. No walk-ins are permitted; all users must have a reserved time.

Gyms in residential colleges will be closed until further notice.

What athletic programs will continue?

On November 12, 2020, the Ivy League announced that it is canceling winter sports and postponing its spring sports.

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

Campus is 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 living off campus or in Yale Housing who are enrolled as in-residence students 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.

Why am I being asked to swipe-in to Yale buildings, even if the door is being held for me?

Yale is using your badge data to:

  • Collect and aggregate data on how many people are on campus each day.
  • Monitor the total number of individuals entering buildings to facilitate dedensification and enhanced cleaning.
  • Reinforce compliance with quarantine or isolation.

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

Yes, most facilities on campus are open with physical distancing in force. When 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?

Visits to campus by people who are not Yale students, faculty, or staff are strictly limited. Please see our Visitors Policy page to learn more.

Can I go to stores and restaurants in New Haven?

All members of the Yale community are discouraged from dining inside restaurants in favor of food pickup and delivery.


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?

Learn more about the latest state requirements and Yale’s travel policies by visiting the Travel Guidelines 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. – 8 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.

If I am unable to access a building with my Yale-issued ID who should I contact?

If you are unable to access a building, it may be related to a failure to meet Yale’s Community Commitments, such as routine testing or completion of training. For questions about your own compliance, including whether your lockout is compliance-related, contact your Health and Safety Leader (HSL). For units without a designated HSL, contact your Lead Administrator (LA). HSLs and LAs can provide guidance on how to regain access.

Please note: Public Safety is unable to support you with lockout services for compliance-related lockouts.

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

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.