Updated: November 3, 2020, at 10:22 a.m.

Our goal for the fall is to provide a safe, high-quality Husky Experience for every student, inside and outside the classroom, as we prioritize your health and your academic success. On August 6, we shared our final plans for autumn quarter instruction, campus health and safety requirements, and an overview of campus life. The questions and answers below build on that information.

Meanwhile, the Center for Teaching and Learning has developed resources for instructors who are teaching courses remotely.

Thank you for your perseverance and goodwill as we navigate difficult, uncertain and rapidly changing times in our country and the world.

Table of contents

Health and wellness

How is the UW testing for coronavirus on campus?

Widespread testing — especially of people who have no symptoms — is one important way to protect our community from COVID-19. That’s why the UW launched the Husky Coronavirus Testing program, which is powered by the Seattle Flu Study team, the group that was the first to report community spread of COVID-19 in the United States.

You can enroll now in Husky Coronavirus Testing. Anyone who will be on campus who will be at a UW campus or facility this academic year, especially those who will be there at least once a week, is strongly encouraged to participate.

Testing will be conducted throughout the course of the pandemic on an individualized basis as determined by health risk status and/or risk of exposure. UW Medicine also conducted move-in testing for residence hall students, and SCAN conducted move-in testing for Greek system residents. We fully expect to find positive COVID-19 cases through testing — indeed, doing so is critical to stemming outbreaks before they can grow. Anyone who tests positive receives follow-up guidance from UW Environmental Health & Safety about care, self-isolation and contact tracing. Find out more on our coronavirus testing page.

What measures are being taken to protect health of students, employees and the community?

This year, we’ve seen how it takes every one of us to stop the spread of COVID-19. We know that the longer the pandemic lasts, the more difficult it is to maintain physical distance — but this virus can make even young, healthy Huskies seriously ill for many weeks, not to mention your families, teachers and neighbors.

You can help stop the spread by sticking with hand washing, mask wearing and staying at least six feet apart whenever you see friends to catch up or study. Even when you’re in a rush, please continue washing your hands often, using hand sanitizer, and monitoring your temperature and other changes to your health. These measures are basic because they work.

We expect every student and employee to do their part in taking care of each other. Here’s what the UW is doing, too:

Husky Coronavirus Testing is open for enrollment. We strongly encourage participation for anyone who will be on-campus for any reason in autumn quarter, or who lives in campus housing or shared housing (multiple roommates, Greek housing, etc).

Masks required: Whether you live, work, learn or visit on campus, UW policy is that you must wear a mask whenever you’re indoors near other people, or outdoors and unable to stay 6 feet apart. All students, employees and visitors have to follow these rules to keep each other safe.

Physical distancing in classrooms: To maintain a safe 6 feet of physical distance among students and instructors, small classes meet in big rooms. Large classes of 50 students or more are taught remotely. If you’re a student in a face-to-face class, lab or section, please support your instructor by proactively following physical distance guidelines.

Hall Health is open: Hall Health Center, which serves the Seattle campus community, is open and ready to fully serve students’ medical needs, including COVID-19 testing. The UW is also taking other steps that you may have heard of, like contact tracing and voluntary expanded testing, to spot potential outbreaks before they grow. Please help us by contacting Environmental Health & Safety if you feel sick and teaming up with them to identify anyone else who might be at risk of illness. You won’t get in trouble for being sick, and you could keep other Huskies from contracting or spreading the virus.

Places to stay if you’re sick: If you get sick, we will require you to stay in your residence hall room, apartment or family home — and away from other people and any shared common areas. For students living on campus, we have residence hall rooms set aside if you test positive for COVID-19 and need a place to isolate while recovering.

Mental health services: The pandemic is taking a toll on mental health for everyone. In addition to Hall Health, mental health services will continue to be offered in-person and remotely for students. Contact 206-543-5030 to schedule. Don’t wait to reach out if you need support. This is a hard situation like nothing we’ve lived through, and you don’t need to go it alone. We’re all in this together.

Is Hall Health open?

Hall Health is open for in-person and remote medical and mental health care services to Seattle campus students and established non-student patients.

If you are experiencing cough, fever and/or difficulty breathing and want to be seen for an appointment, please call 206-685-1011 first. Please help protect doctors, nurses and other frontline responders: Don’t drop in; do call ahead.d

For mental health appointments, contact 206-543-5030 to schedule.

What mental health services are available to students? Who should I contact?

On the Seattle campus, most mental health services are accessible remotely at the Counseling Center and Hall Health. Don’t wait to reach out if you need support. This is a hard situation like nothing we’ve lived through, and you don’t need to go it alone. We’re all in this together. Individual, group and crisis counseling are available via secure Zoom sessions. You can also access online workshops and other content to enhance well-being and self-care.

Hall Health
Appointments: 206-543-5030
Counseling Center
Appointments: 206-543-1240
  • Psychiatric medication management
  • Group counseling
  • Brief individual counseling
  • Crisis response
  • Online workshops
  • Brief individual counseling
  • Crisis response

Is Let’s Talk available?

Let’s Talk is offering virtual sessions this autumn. Please check the Let’s Talk page to learn more and schedule a session.

Can students still get support from a LiveWell confidential advocate if they have experienced sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking or sexual harassment?

Yes, the LiveWell advocate is available to work with students. Please email lwadvoc@uw.edu for more information.

Can students still access the LiveWell Student Coaching and Care Program for help with hardship withdrawals and other academic advocacy support?

Yes, contact the LiveWell Student Coaching and Care Program by emailing lwcare@uw.edu.

Does the UW still provide food assistance for students in need?

In Bothell, students can access Husky Pantry curbside pickup.

In Seattle, the UW Food Pantry remains open for online ordering and curbside pickup.

In Tacoma, the UW Tacoma Food Pantry offers both curbside pickup and offsite delivery.

Return to table of contents


Classes and academics

What can I expect for the autumn quarter?

In light of Washington’s current and expected COVID-19 case counts, more than 90% of class sections on the Seattle campus are being held online. For courses that cannot be taught remotely, you can expect appropriate safety measures and physical distancing in place. The pandemic situation can still change rapidly. We may make more changes if, for example, the state government needs to protect public health with more-restrictive measures like stay-home orders. The quarter will end as scheduled, after final exams conclude on December 18, 2020.

How can I tell if a course is going to be offered in person or remotely?

You can check the revised time schedule for your campus, which indicates which courses will be taught in person or remotely. Schools and colleges will continue to update the schedule over the summer as they finalize their plans, so you can check back for additional updates as autumn quarter gets closer.

Bothell schedule | Seattle schedule | Tacoma schedule

One of my autumn quarter classes has been canceled. What can I do?

A small percentage of courses may be canceled and removed from students’ schedules because of a range of factors, from instructor availability to course demand. If that happens, you may be notified of changes through an auto-generated email from the Office of the University Registrar or an email from a department chair, faculty member or adviser. To replace a course, contact your advisor and continue using tools such as MyPlan and MyUW.

Advisors can also help if the removal of a specific course creates challenges for you to reach an upcoming milestone like graduation, applying to a major, declaring a minor or preparing to pursue graduate/professional study.

Bothell advising | Seattle advising | Tacoma advising

My class is being graded numerically. Can I change my grade to S/NS to get credit and no numeric grade?

S grades for autumn quarter 2020 will count toward degree and graduation requirements, as autumn 2020 has been designated as an extraordinary circumstances quarter*, similar to spring and summer quarters 2020. There will be no limit on the number of credits for autumn 2020 that may have S/NS grading. The UW has not made any decisions about S/NS for winter quarter.

* Any undergraduate or graduate student may change a numeric grade to S/NS, or change an S/NS grade to numeric, during any quarter designated as an extraordinary circumstances quarter, from after that quarter’s grades have posted until the student’s degree has been posted. Students will still able to change from S/NS to numeric or from numeric to S/NS . Review the instructions on the Extraordinary Circumstances Quarter Late Grading Option process from the University Registrar.

Are UW Libraries services available? (Updated 10/08/20)

While all physical branches of the UW’s Seattle, Bothell and Tacoma libraries remain closed until further notice, all users with an active UW NetID or UW Libraries Borrower’s Card can request physical materials via the Libraries No Contact Pick-Up Service, with options for pick-up at all three campuses.  For full details and updates on all locations and available services visit the UW Libraries COVID-19 Update page.

The Libraries Fall Quarter FAQ for Students is a helpful resource as well as the post Faculty Guidance for Fall Quarter. Libraries staff members can provide a range of remote learning services for students and faculty such as 24/7 chat services, interlibrary loan (for electronic articles and materials only), research and writing consultations, online workshops and many other events.

For remote classes, can faculty use Zoom video conferencing and ask me to attend?

Faculty members have been asked to be creative in this unprecedented time to try to preserve a productive classroom environment. Many of them are using Zoom, an online video-communications tool that complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. To keep your surroundings out of view, you could use a blank wall as your background or explore Zoom’s options for virtual backgrounds.

How can I obtain my transcript?

You can request and receive official transcripts online through the Office of the Registrar’s electronic transcripts service. At this time, paper transcript processing is not available. If you have a question or concern, please contact the Office of the Registrar at registra@uw.edu.

Return to table of contents


Preparing for online learning

If my course is remote, how can I best prepare for successful online learning?

Here are a few tips that could help you prepare for remote learning during those classes being held online autumn quarter:

  • Set up a distraction-free workspace and be prepared to engage in learning online during your regularly scheduled class times.
  • Learn how to improve connectivity and access resources that internet service providers are offering. For students in need, emergency aid may be available for tools and technology.
  • Check out the suite of resources that Academic Support Programs is developing to assist you as you transition into and through a quarter of online learning.
  • Turn on Canvas notifications to ensure you receive alerts when there are changes or posts in Canvas.
  • Learn how to find and submit assignments on Canvas.
  • Check your UW email at least twice a day, setting up email forwarding if necessary.
  • Familiarize yourself with Zoom. Zoom Pro is now available free of charge to all current students, faculty and other academic personnel, and staff.
  • If your instructor uses Poll Everywhere, sign into the application with your UW NetID to sync your responses with Canvas.
  • Learn how to access UW Libraries online materials and services including help with writing, research and more.

Can I still get study help and support for my academic and personal well-being?

What options are there for students who do not have access to technology at home?

Currently enrolled students can access the following resources:

Bothell

Seattle

Tacoma

Return to table of contents


Disability Resources for Students

How can I access Disability Resources for Students?

The Disability Resources for Students (DRS) Seattle office transitioned all advising and services online this spring and all appointments are currently conducted remotely (via phone, video meeting or email,) The DRS office in Mary Gates Hall is currently closed to the public, but coordinators and staff are available remotely for questions and meetings during regular business hours. DRS will continue working in close coordination with faculty and University leadership to ensure that students are being supported as effectively as possible.

Bothell campus | Seattle campus | Tacoma campus

Return to table of contents


Financial concerns

Student Financial Aid has created an FAQ to support students with information related to financial aid, as well as benefits for veterans. Students should direct their questions to osfa@uw.edu for general financial aid questions and veteran@uw.edu for Veterans Education Benefits.

What if I am experiencing a financial emergency?

Each of the UW campuses has emergency aid available for students to assist with unexpected financial hardships that may disrupt their education or prevent them from earning their degrees.

Will tuition rates or fee-based program rates be reduced for remote courses?

No, these rates will not be reduced.  Whether your courses are in-person, hybrid or remote, a UW education is excellent, provided by leading experts in the field and resulting in a degree or credential with significant value. UW faculty and instructors bring the same qualifications, experience and knowledge to remote courses that they do to in-person teaching, and many are innovating new instructional methods and tailoring their content to meet the extraordinary conditions of this time.

The move to remote instruction has increased the cost of course delivery, as well as costs on campus for COVID-19 prevention, mitigation and safety measures in those classrooms, laboratories and service facilities that are operational, as well as in campus housing. We continue to pay faculty, staff and student employees for their work, whether online or in person, and are investing in new technologies to bring existing and new services online for all students.  It is simply not feasible to maintain the quality of a UW education with reduced tuition. Some course fees may be reduced or eliminated for a particular course if they aren’t applicable in a remote environment.

We recognize the pandemic and the resulting economic crisis have made these challenging financial times for many students and families. The UW has been reworking financial aid packages for students whose circumstances have changed as a result of the recession. Please contact Student Financial Aid if your finances have changed since you originally applied for aid.

With regards to resident vs. non-resident tuition: Washington taxpayers subsidize the University through the taxes they pay each year to the state of Washington, which in turn support the UW through operational funding from the state. This is why tuition is lower for resident students than for students whose permanent residence is outside the state of Washington. Few students pay the full cost of their UW education, with private philanthropy, federal grants and contracts, and other sources of revenue contributing greatly to many academic programs and student experiences at the University, including through scholarships, research fellowships, and other student programs.

Will my student fees change? Will I get a rebate on fees such as the Services & Activities fee or other fee components if I am not regularly accessing these services?

The U-PASS fee for autumn quarter has been waived, as it was during spring quarter. Beyond that, even though we are delivering instruction remotely, we continue to offer services and activities such as student counseling, health and wellness programs, and computing services. The fees that support these programs must continue in order for these services to be offered. For example, the technology fee supports student access to laptops, cloud computing and needed software. The services supported by these fees will expand and shift during autumn quarter, and financial resources are still needed to provide consistent services and to fulfill long-term commitments. For example, other student fees support bonds that were used to construct student-projects, such as the IMA fee paid by Seattle campus students, which provides resources to pay the bonds issued to build the Intramural Activities Building.

Will special course fees or components of current fees be charged for autumn quarter?

Course fees associated with the costs of delivering a course during autumn quarter will be charged. In some instances, fees may be adjusted for specific courses as we continue to evolve and respond to the pandemic.

Does the UW still provide food assistance for students in need?

Bothell students: Find information about Husky Pantry here.

Seattle students: The UW Food Pantry provides food assistance to members of the UW community to help address food insecurity. The pantry remains open and operational and currently has no plans to halt operations. Please check the Any Hungry Husky website for operating hours.

Tacoma students: Find information about the UW Tacoma Food Pantry here.

Return to table of contents


Graduate students

Do the same policies regarding classroom instruction apply to lab research?

No, however both should follow the appropriate guidelines based on the current Safe Start phase and the procedures outlined in your campus, school and/or college’s COVID-19 Prevention Plan. For more information, consult with your PI/faculty sponsor and/or unit leadership. If that does not feel like a safe option, you can also contact Environmental Health & Safety directly or submit an anonymous workplace safety concern online.

Does fieldwork outside of Seattle need to be postponed?

All fieldwork should follow the appropriate guidelines based on the current Safe Start phase and the procedures outlined in your campus, school and/or college’s COVID-19 Prevention Plan.

If fieldwork does not violate those mandates, you should be in close contact with your faculty advisor/sponsor as you determine how and whether to proceed. This conversation, with a clear agreement between the parties, should take place regardless of whether the work is funded by a grant/contract or other UW funding procured by the faculty member or the student/postdoc to conduct the work.

Please also carefully review the Office of Research’s guidance on mitigating impacts to research activities and fieldwork.

What happens if I am defending my dissertation in autumn quarter?

If you are a doctoral student who will defend your dissertation in autumn quarter, the Graduate School has waived the requirement that the Graduate School Representative (GSR) must be physically present during general exams and dissertation defenses. Also, the student no longer needs to be “proctored,” which means that you do not need to be on campus and in a room with a faculty member.

Do public defenses need to be postponed?

Public defenses should take place only if allowed by the Safe Start phase at the time of the defense and only if following the appropriate health guidelines.

Return to table of contents


International students

International Student Services maintains a page with coronavirus-related updates for international students. Please consult that page and with ISS staff for more information specific to your individual circumstances.

What is the current status of guidance for international students on F-1 visas?

The UW is pleased with the July 14 news that the U.S. government has agreed to rescind the July 6 SEVP guidance and return to the status quo as established by the March 9, 2020 policy directive and the addendum issued on March 13, 2020. SEVP has released an updated Frequently Asked Questions for Stakeholders.

It is our understanding based on this announcement that continuing students will be allowed to stay in the U.S. or return to the U.S. for either online or in person courses. Continuing students will not be required to register for an in person course to maintain F-1 status. Continuing students who wish to remain outside of the U.S. for autumn quarter and take online courses will be allowed to maintain their F status as long as they continue to follow all F visa regulations. The UW will also not be required to re-issue or certify I-20s and students can maintain their status or travel with their currently endorsed I-20.

International Student Services will continue to update its information page as details become available.

Are Center for International Relations and Cultural Leadership Exchange (CIRCLE) services and programs still available?

CIRCLE plans to be fully operational in the fall in a hybrid capacity, offering a combination of in-person and virtual programs with the office open on a modified schedule. For more information please check the CIRCLE website.

Return to table of contents


Student veterans

The Veterans Education Benefits Office maintains a FAQ page with coronavirus-related information for students utilizing VA educational benefits. Students can also contact veteran@uw.edu for specific questions. For all other questions, please contact Student Veteran Life by emailing vetlife@uw.edu.

I am a student veteran. Will my autumn housing allowance be affected?

No, your autumn housing allowance will not be affected thanks to legislation that provides the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs with the authority it needs to administer VA education benefits without disruption as schools across the nation respond to COVID-19.

Return to table of contents


Housing and Food Services

Residence halls and other campus housing will be open for anyone who needs or who believes it best to live on campus. Food service operations in our housing facilities will continue, following physical distancing and other safety protocols. Housing & Food Services has developed an informational page for students living in on-campus housing in Seattle and a video about what to expect if you live on-campus this autumn. If you cannot find answers to your questions there, please contact your resident advisor. Bothell Housing & Residential Life and Tacoma Housing & Residence Life are also available to answer questions for students.

Return to table of contents


The HUB, IMA, career services, Greek Life and other student services

Are career and internship support services available?

Career services centers on each campus will be operational in the fall. For example, the Career & Internship Center at the Seattle campus is currently offering a full suite of services virtually.

Bothell Career Services | Seattle Career & Internship Center | Tacoma Career Development

Are fraternity and sorority houses open?

Fraternities and sororities are operated by organizations that are independent from the UW. As a result, each individual house corporation makes its own decisions on remaining open, closing, house occupancy levels, and any related prorated-costs or refunds. Questions pertaining to individual houses should be directed to the leadership of the organization for specifics on their plans.

Is the HUB open for services and studying?

The HUB is open with limited operations as an informal learning space for individual UW community members. Access is limited to UW students, faculty, staff, and non-UW guests with previously scheduled appointments. The HUB is only accessible with a Husky Card during specified hours of operation. There are more than 200 seats available for UW community members to comfortably access WiFi for classes, studying, and work. Learn more about visiting the HUB.

Most HUB offices remain available remotely. Please contact individual offices for information.

Is the HUB be open for meetings and events?

All meetings and events — including meeting rooms, major event spaces, HUB Games and the RSO Resource Center — scheduled through December 31st are cancelled. HUB Event & Information Services is not accepting reservations for the remainder of 2020.

If you are searching for space for essential University business, please contact HUB Event & Information Services at hubres@uw.edu. If you would like to be notified of any updates regarding HUB reservations, please complete this form.

Are Registered Student Organizations (RSOs), ASUW and GPSS operating?

RSOs, ASUW, and GPSS are operating! Browse the RSO Directory to check out over 1,000 student organizations and find your community.

In-person meetings and events will be permitted if they comply with the Safe Start phase at the time the meeting or event is scheduled to be held and meet facility requirements.

RSOs, ASUW, and GPSS have access to the Student Activities Office (SAO) advisors remotely. You may contact advisors directly, or email sao@uw.edu.

Are UW Recreation facilities such as the IMA open?

The IMA is open only to autumn quarter students from the Seattle campus. Please visit the IMA Guidelines before visiting us as your trip will look a little different than before the pandemic. UW Recreation has all the information you need about online and in-person activities during autumn quarter.

Return to table of contents


Sexual misconduct prevention and response services

Do UW policies regarding sexual misconduct apply in remote learning or working environments?

Yes, UW policies prohibiting sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and other forms of sexual misconduct apply to all students and employees—whether the prohibited behaviors happen in person, online, over the phone, or in some other form. Find out how to get confidential support, report sexual assault, find medical care and counseling, and access other resources.

Is SafeCampus still available to discuss safety and well-being concerns, including concerns about sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, and sexual harassment?

Yes, SafeCampus is available to all members of the UW community, no matter what your location, 24 hours, seven days a week. Call 206-685-7233.

Can students and employees still get support from a confidential advocate if they have experienced sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, or relationship violence?

Yes, confidential advocates are available to work with students and employees by phone, email or Zoom. Advocates can help students and employees regardless of when or where the harmful behavior occurred. You can contact advocates by phone or e-mail. SafeCampus can also connect you with a confidential advocate.

Can students, staff, or faculty still make reports of sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, or relationship violence?

Yes, the Title IX Investigation Office, UCIRO, and Human Resource are still investigating reports of misconduct by students and employees. Those offices are available by phone, email, or Zoom.

Return to table of contents