Student Information for 2020-2021 Academic Year

COVID-19 Self-reporting Form

On this page:

Spring 2021 plans

Spring semester classes will begin January 25, 2021. There will be no spring break - classes will be held the week of March 15-19, 2021. The spring semester, including final exams, will end May 6, 2021. Course delivery will be in four delivery modes: face-to-face, online, hybrid and arranged. Classrooms and lecture halls will continue to have limited capacity.

The 2020-2021 Planning FAQ webpage is available for questions about the winter session and spring 2021 semester.

Returning to campus

Remember to continue following Cyclones Care behaviors. Iowa State's public health team has put together a helpful guide with tips for safely returning to campus.

Graduate student information

Graduate assistants should contact their supervisors with specific concerns due to their health, work environment, duties and schedules.

Graduate students may also submit concerns to CALS Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs Ruth MacDonald or CALS Senior Associate Dean Joe Colletti.

COVID-19 testing for students

Testing ahead of spring semester

Iowa State's Department of Statistics has developed a statistically designed risk-based sampling strategy required for students who live in residence halls or are members of sororities and fraternities. Through this strategy, 5,000 students will be selected to test, from now through January 29. Additional details on this testing requirement will be communicated directly to these students.

All students who are new to living in Department of Residence housing this spring must provide proof of a COVID-19 test prior to receiving their keys and moving in. Please see the Thielen Student Health Center website for more information.

On-campus testing at Johnny's at Hilton Coliseum

On-campus testing for the spring semester has returned to Johnny's at Hilton Coliseum (east side). Students who have symptoms or had close contact with a positive case can schedule an appointment online at TSHC and must complete the pre-test questionnaire. Call 515-294-5801 to schedule an appointment, or make an online appointment.

ISU Research Park, 2503 South Loop Drive

This drive-in testing site, operated by Mary Greeley Medical Center, will be open for testing 12:30-7:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Complete an online assessment at before scheduling an appointment by phone, 1-800-866-3492. Though the assessment is required and those with symptoms or contact with a person with COVID-19 are prioritized for scheduling, Test Iowa is available to individuals who don't have symptoms or known exposure.

Visit the FAQ: Quarantine, Isolation and Contact Tracing webpage for additional information.

Reporting positive COVID-19 test results

Students should immediately self-report if they test positive for COVID-19. Positive test results must be reported by completing this form. Self-reporting is a safe and confidential process and will allow ISU’s Public Health Team to provide support to those who test positive. It is required that all students, faculty and staff self-report and self-isolate once they receive a positive COVID-19 test result.

Iowa State now has a COVID-19 Public Health Data website that is being updated weekly with information about test results and isolation and quarantine cases and capacity.

Completing coursework in quarantine or self-isolation

Students should stay home when they are sick. It is likely that some students may need to self-quarantine or self-isolate during the semester. Many classes have an online option for students to stay current with the course work. For classes that do not, instructors may provide alternative options for classes and assignments that are missed.

When to return to class

If a student has tested positive for COVID-19, Iowa State policy indicates the student must meet the following three criteria before returning to the classroom:

  • Individual has been isolating for at least 10 days following their positive test result, and have self-reported to Thielen Student Health Center
  • Individual has been fever-free for 24 hours without the aid of meds or other fever reducers (Tylenol, Ibuprofen, etc.)
  • Individual’s symptoms are improved from the original onset of the illness

Tools for course success

Maps of indoor study spaces

Access to Wi-Fi on campus:

Campus users are now able to access wireless internet in select outdoor areas around campus, as shown on this outdoor wireless locations map.

Access to Wi-Fi off campus:

Students in Iowa in need of Wi-Fi should contact county ISU Extension and Outreach offices about access to high-speed internet. Some offices are operating at reduced hours or students may be able to access Wi-Fi signals from a radius outside the building. Students are encouraged to call the extension office, check their website or signage on the office door about hours and Wi-Fi access. Students outside Iowa may wish to contact their state’s Extension program for similar access.

Eduroam allows ISU students, faculty and staff to use members’ Internet (anywhere in the world) using their own institution's login credentials ( and your password). In the U.S., this is a link to an interactive map showing where all the sites are. Besides ISU, in Iowa these sites include the campuses of Northwestern College, University of Iowa, Drake University and University of Northern Iowa.

Accessing Parks Library materials from afar

Students have remote access to ISU Parks Library databases and journals. The library has a COVID-19 Response page that points to best ways to contact the library and lists online services students need to support their research and learning. This includes a Distance Learning Library Support Guide, detailing how distance/remote users can access library materials. Important: Make sure you turn off your VPN when connecting to library resources, otherwise a database or journal may fail to connect or provide a paywall.

Study abroad, travel updates

All study abroad programs scheduled to depart before Aug. 1, 2021, have been canceled.

Questions about study abroad can be directed to CALS Study Abroad Program Coordinator Jodi Cornell,

Student organization meetings, events

Guidance for Gatherings at Iowa State University

Health and Safety Guidelines for Student Organizations regarding meetings, events, and other functions can be found on the Student Activities Center website.

All on- or off-campus social gatherings involving university students must comply with all public health orders currently in place (Federal, State, County, City, and University). Students attending on- or off-campus social gatherings must wear appropriate face coverings, as outlined in the University Policy on Face Coverings, and comply with physical distancing guidelines of the CDC. Further information is available on ISU's COVID-19 Response webpage.

Undergraduate Student Employees

Supervisors should identify faculty, staff or students to serve as a back-up for employees who may become unable to perform essential work functions (animal care, lab processes, etc.) due to absence or illness. There should be two-levels of back up support identified for essential operations.

Student employees who continue to work are expected to perform the normal practice of check in and out for time worked, and to submit their time sheet in Workday at the end of the work week as they normally would.

Further information about student workers can be found on the university's student FAQ webpage.

Wellness Resources