On this page:
- Fall semester requirements (face coverings, laptops)
- Key dates for students
- Graduate student information
- Fall 2020 graduation dates
- Spring 2021 plans
- COVID-19 testing for students
- Reporting positive COVID-19 test results
- Completing coursework in quarantine or self-isolation
- When to return to class
- Accommodations for students concerned about their risk for COVID-19
- Tools for online course success
Study abroad, travel updates
- Student organization meetings, events
- Undergraduate student employees
- Wellness resources
Cloth face coverings are required indoors in all university buildings, and outdoors in the presence of others. More information about face coverings can be found on the ISU COVID-19 response webpage. Guidance for supporting community expectations, such as wearing face coverings and maintaining six feet of physical distance, during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found on the Dean of Students Office website. Examples of how to handle various scenarios of non-compliance with the community expectations can be found on the Scenarios Responses and Proactive Planning Tips webpage.
Laptop computers required for all students
As of the fall 2020 semester, all students are required to have a laptop computer or other mobile device appropriate to their discipline and learning needs. The CALS Laptop Recommendations webpage lists specifications to consider when determining if a laptop meets students' needs.
Dates for course schedule changes, midterm grades and final grades can be found on the ISU COVID-19 Response webpage under "Class Schedules."
Information specific to graduate students for the fall 2020 semester can be found on the Graduate College's website.
Graduate assistants should contact their supervisors with specific concerns due to their health, work environment, duties and schedules.
Iowa State University’s Fall 2020 Commencement Ceremonies will be moved to a virtual format. The pre-recorded celebrations will be available for viewing beginning at 10 a.m. (central time) on Saturday, November 28, 2020. More information is available on the ISU Graduation and Commencement webpage.
Information about Fall 2020 CALS Convocation plans will be announced soon.
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.
Plans for an optional five-week online winter term are being finalized. This will include a selection of courses being offered Dec. 14, 2020, through January 21, 2021. This will offer students a way to work ahead in meeting their graduation requirements. More information will be made available soon.
Johnny's in Hilton Coliseum
Effective Sept. 8, students can get tested for COVID-19 at Johnny's in Hilton Coliseum if they are experiencing symptoms as indicated by the CDC or have been in contact with someone who has a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19. This testing site will be open Monday-Friday (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.) and Saturday (8 a.m. – Noon). The ISU pre-testing questionnaire is required before testing.
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 TestIowa.com 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.
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. Since the beginning of COVID-19, case management and contact tracing has been managed by Story County Public Health and the Iowa Department of Public Health. They continue to complete these processes at the present time.
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.
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 will 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.
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
Students who are at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19 and students who cannot tolerate wearing a face covering due to underlying medical or mental health conditions should carefully review the options presented on the Student Accessibility Services website. For additional questions, please call 515-294-7220 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 (email@example.com 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.
Fall study abroad programs that were scheduled to depart before Dec. 1, 2020, have been canceled. Iowa State made this difficult decision as a result of continued global concerns with COVID-19 and to allow students ample time to defer their study abroad to another semester and register for fall classes on campus. The university will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates when decisions are made on study abroad programs scheduled after Dec. 1.
Questions about study abroad can be directed to CALS Study Abroad Program Coordinator Jodi Cornell, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Domestic business travel now allowed, but not recommended. Travel within Iowa and the U.S. for university business is allowed, but must be pre-approved by the employee’s direct supervisor. Travelers should follow CDC guidance. Further information and guidance can be found on the Travel FAQ webpage. Questions regarding travel and international visitors can be directed to CALS Associate Dean David Acker, email@example.com.
Health and Safety Guidelines for Student Organizations regarding meetings, events, and other functions this fall can be found on the Student Activities Center website.
Effective August 21, 2020, all on- or off-campus social gatherings involving university students must comply with all public health orders then 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.
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 workers should discuss with their supervisor their plans during the university online instruction period.
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. The continued requirement that students' hours not to exceed 20 hours per week remains.
Further information about student workers can be found on the university's student FAQ webpage.
- The university encourages students who may have anxiety or depression regarding how they are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak to seek mental health services through Student Counseling Services or the Thielen Student Health Center. CALS students may also reach out to CALS Assistant Dean for Student Services Howard Tyler or CALS Student Services Specialist Audrey Kennis.
- Keep Community, Stay Informed, Be Well. Student Health and Wellness, in partnership with ISU WellBeing, has launched the Keep Community, Stay Informed, and Be Well campaign during remote work, online instruction and social distancing. Students are navigating many changes, so prioritizing your well-being is essential.