Updated: September 14, 2020, at 11:15 a.m.

Over the past few months, we have been hard at work preparing for how we can be safely together on our campuses while offering robust experiences for students who aren’t yet able to return in person. Protecting the health of our community is a responsibility we all share, and we all need to stay flexible. No one can predict with absolute certainty the course the pandemic will take.

Our goal for the fall is to provide a 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 what we believe will be our final plans for autumn quarter instruction, campus health and safety requirements, and an overview of campus life so you can make your plans. 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.

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Health and wellness

Does the UW have plans for coronavirus testing 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 is launching 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.

Enrollment Husky Coronavirus Testing program opens Thursday, Sept. 24. 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, and you can express your interest now.

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 is also conducting move-in testing for all residence hall students, and SCAN is conducting move-in testing for Greek system residents. We fully expect to find positive COVID-19 cases through this testing — indeed, doing so is critical to stemming outbreaks before they can grow. Anyone who tests positive will receive 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? (Updated 09/14/20)

This summer, 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:

NEW – Husky Coronavirus Testing enrollment begins on September 24. 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). Sign up now to receive an alert when enrollment opens.

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 will meet in big rooms. Large classes of 50 students or more will be 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 will also take 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 home 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’ll 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 will remain 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 before coming in. Please help protect doctors, nurses and other frontline responders: Don’t drop in; do call ahead.

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 will be offered remotely during autumn quarter from the Counseling Center and Hall Health. If you already have a provider at Hall Health, or you are interested in medication, Hall Health may be a good place to start. If you do not have access to health insurance, the Counseling Center is an option. Either way, the professionals at both places can help direct you to the appropriate service.

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

Will Let’s Talk be available?

Let’s Talk is currently being offered virtually, and it is anticipated that it will be offered in both in person and online formats in autumn quarter. Please check the Let’s Talk page for more information.

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?

Bothell students may find information about Husky Pantry here.

For Seattle students the UW Food Pantry remains open. Please check the Any Hungry Husky website for operating hours.

Tacoma students may find information about the UW Tacoma Food Pantry here.

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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 will be 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 summer quarter 2020 will count toward degree and graduation requirements, as summer 2020 has been designated as an extraordinary circumstances quarter*, similar to spring quarter 2020. There will be no limit on the number of credits for summer 2020 that may have S/NS grading. The UW has not made any decisions about S/NS for autumn 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 09/12/20)

NEW: Select book return locations have opened.

At this time, all physical branches of the UW Bothell, Seattle and Tacoma libraries remain closed to the public until further notice, pending the guidance of public health officials and the University. 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. While Libraries buildings are closed, Libraries staff are available to 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), and research and writing consultations offered through Zoom.

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

Faculty 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.

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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:




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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

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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 online courses?

Whether your course is in-person, hybrid or remote, a UW education is still an excellent education and the degree or credential that you earn will have the same value. The instructors bring the same expertise, experience and knowledge to the remote courses that will be taught remotely as they do in their in-person teaching.

It’s also important to remember that resident tuition is lower than non-resident tuition in recognition of the taxes paid by resident students and their families to the state of Washington, thereby supporting the UW through state funding. It is not a reflection of whether a course is offered in-person or remotely.

With the University shifting to online instruction for some courses and providing hybrid options for others, we are actually increasing our investment in instructional costs. We continue to pay faculty and staff for their work, and at the same time are making existing and new services available online and investing in new technological capabilities as we serve students remotely and support the UW community in these extraordinary times.

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?

Even though we are delivering instruction remotely, we continue to offer services and activities such as student counseling, health and wellness programs, software and cloud services, and student-parent assistance. As a result, the fees that support these programs must continue in order for these services to continue to be offered. In addition, many of these fees support bonds that were used to construct student-mandated projects. For example, the IMA fee paid by Seattle campus students provides needed resources to pay the bonds issued to build the Intramural Activities Building, as voted on by students at the time. 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.

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

Course fees that are associated with the costs of delivering a course offered during autumn quarter will be charged.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Will fraternity and sorority houses close or remain open for autumn quarter?

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.

Will the HUB be open for services and studying?

At this time, the HUB is working to be open for autumn quarter as long as it can be done in a safe way, and many services will also be offered remotely. Please contact individual offices or programs directly for details.

Will the HUB be open for meetings and events?

The HUB is planning to be open for meetings and events that comply with the Safe Start phase at the time the meeting or event is scheduled to be held. As a reminder, even when King County is able to begin Phase 3, gatherings will be limited to 50 people or less with appropriate physical distancing in place.

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

All RSOs will have the ability to remain active and will have access to the Student Activities Office (SAO) advisors remotely. All RSO’s are expected to re-register for autumn quarter. You may contact advisors directly, or by emailing sao@uw.edu.

In-person meetings and events will be permitted if they comply with the restrictions on gatherings in the Safe Start phase at the time the meeting or event is scheduled to be held. The SAO will work with RSOs, ASUW, and GPSS to continue student engagement through online methods.

Are UW Recreation facilities open?

UW Recreation is thoughtfully planning a phased reopening of its facilities in accordance with public health guidance, including a partial reopening of the Waterfront Activities Center and the Golf Range in early July, which will operate at 50 percent capacity on a reservation/appointment system with reduced operating hours. UW Recreation is currently planning for a partial reopening of the IMA building, with reduced capacity and offerings, in the late summer, pending public health guidance at that time. For updates, please check back regularly on the UW Recreation website.

Will UW Recreation be offering fitness classes in the autumn?

UW Recreation is planning to offer both in person and remote classes, with the remote classes being similar to those offered in spring quarter. This summer, UW Recreation has virtual offerings for fitness, mindfulness, UWild, and intramurals.

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