Frequently Asked Questions

The information on this page is being updated frequently. Please check back often.

Last updated July 9, 2020

Important Notice

The Department of Homeland Security recently issued new rules that have potentially serious implications for our international students. President Salovey has issued this response, and the university has sent this message to affected students.

Returning to Campus

When may I return to New Haven?

First-year students, juniors, and seniors may return to New Haven in late August. Sophomores may return to New Haven in spring semester (most likely beginning January 2021).

Juniors and seniors may remain in residence throughout the academic year, except for a quiet period from November 21, 2020, to January 2021, when students are expected to return home if possible.

Because of the need to reduce housing density, juniors and seniors who wish to live on campus will need to confirm by July 20 their intention to live on campus so that housing can be reassigned, if necessary, in order to accommodate social distancing. Most seniors' and some juniors' housing will not be changed, but by early August juniors and seniors living on campus will receive housing assignments, whether changed or unchanged. By then, they will also receive information about how to accept them -- or relinquish them without financial penalty -- and how to schedule a day and time to move into their rooms starting the week of August 24, following a schedule that accommodates social distancing.

You will be contacted by your residential college dean’s office about the specific date and time of your move-in, and you will need to sign up for a viral test on the day you arrive. For most students, you will have to quarantine in your room until the results of your initial test are available, which should be within 24-36 hours. There will be some flexibility with arrival dates for students arriving from overseas or from states subject to quarantine. Students living on campus coming from overseas or from certain states with a high prevalence of COVID-19 may have to complete government quarantine requirements of up to 14 days after move-in and will be housed accordingly.

Undergraduates living off campus should plan to arrive in New Haven in the second half of August and sign up for a viral test within two days of their planned arrival date. Like on-campus students, they will participate in required weekly viral testing and may be subject to self-quarantine in their off-campus apartments for up to 14 days, depending on government requirements.

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What if I decide that studying from home is the best option for me?

You may elect to study from home. You 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. If you are studying from home, you may continue to work remotely on research projects and other activities. In order to reduce travel and density on campus, you will not be permitted entry to buildings on campus.

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What if I decide to take a leave of absence or postpone my matriculation?

If you are sophomore, junior, or senior, you may declare a leave of absence for one or two terms, just as you would in any other semester. Leaves in 2020-2021 will not count toward the usual two-term limit on leaves. The last day to request a leave is September 14, 2020.

If you are a first-year student, you may take a leave of absence for the spring semester or may request to postpone your matriculation until fall 2021 (i.e., take a gap year). If you are a first-year student and wish to take a gap year before enrolling, you should submit a request to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions by July 15.

We recommend that you explore all your options, assessing them alongside the option of studying from home, before deciding to take a leave or postpone your matriculation. Students on leave or who have postponed matriculation will not be permitted to take a campus job, even remotely.

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How do I request a leave of absence? (Updated July 9, 2020)

Click here to request a leave of absence. [If you have trouble logging in, please contact the ITS Student Help Desk at 203-432-9000, or get ITS help here]. Your information will automatically populate into the form. You will then have the choice of requesting a leave for Fall 2020, for Spring 2021, or for both terms.

If you are in academic good standing, your request for a leave of absence will be approved.

Once you have been approved for a leave of absence for the Fall 2020 term, you may cancel it no later than 5 pm ET on the first day of classes in the term, August 31, 2020.

The deadline to request a leave of absence is 5:00pm Eastern Time, on September 14, 2020.

At the conclusion of your leave of absence, you need only return to enrollment in the following term. If you wish to contract for on-campus housing for that term, alert your dean’s office to this fact as soon as possible. Even if you do not want on-campus housing, you should still alert your dean’s office to your planned return, if only as a courtesy, even as there is no formal process to go through when you return from a leave of absence. 

[Note: If you are a first-year student entering for your first term at Yale, you are not eligible to take a leave of absence during their first term of enrollment. You may, however, request to postpone your matriculation until fall 2021 (i.e., take a gap year). If you are a first-year student and wish to take a gap year before enrolling, you should submit a request to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions by July 15. 

More information about leaves of absence is available in the Yale College Programs of Study

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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 in time for the August start date. You may enroll in remote classes while you arrange your travel. If you are a new student, please consult the OISS FAQ for Newly Admitted Students for updated information about visa issues and travel concerns.

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I do not belong to a class that’s permitted to return to campus for in-residence education. But I have an extenuating circumstance and would like permission to live on campus. What should I do? (Updated July 2, 2020)

Sophomores whose living situations make it impossible for them to stay home may apply for exceptional permission to live on campus in the fall semester, and first-year students whose living situations make it impossible for them to return home may apply for exceptional permission to live on campus in the spring semester. We will allocate some rooms for students whose home environment does not support remote learning. Each petition will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis based on emancipation or homelessness, technology problems that cannot be remedied, students coming from abroad -- except from Canada -- immigration status, disabilities, or other personal reasons.

The week of July 6, 2020, when students receive instructions for communicating fall-term plans, they will also receive information about how to submit petitions.

First-year students who are international citizens coming from abroad (including all international locations except Canada) and who arrive by mid-term (October 14) will be permitted to stay in residence for the whole academic year.

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I contracted to live in a room/suite with my group of friends. Can I expect the same housing arrangement?

No. In order to decrease housing density, many housing assignments for returning students will be modified so that each student will be living in a single bedroom, and juniors will be housed in both the residential colleges and on the Old Campus. While every effort will be made to make sure students who contracted to live together will continue to live close to each other, we cannot guarantee specific configurations. More information about campus housing and how to reapply for it will be available before July 20.

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How will housing assignments be modified to put everyone in single bedrooms?

The answer varies by class year.

Most seniors are already in singles, so most of their room assignments can be preserved, except in rare cases when a room may need to be reassigned for public health reasons. Seniors who were in doubles will be reassigned to rooms within their colleges, either on their own or in a suite with the person who would have been their roommate.

First-years will be assigned to suites within their colleges; Old Campus does not have enough bedrooms to accommodate them in single bedrooms.

Juniors, who often live in doubles, will be most affected. Every effort will be made to keep existing suite groups intact by reassigning those students into multiple suites on the same floor or entryway. Juniors will still live with some or all of their originally chosen suitemates.  If it becomes necessary for you to share a suite with someone not in your original housing assignment, we will consult with you before finalizing the new arrangement. Given the need to spread students out, some juniors will remain in the residential colleges while others will be assigned to Old Campus.

When housing reassignments are announced in early August, students will have the option to decline them without incurring a fee.

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What are the plans for move-in?

Students will sign up for a specific time slot for fall semester move in during the week of August 24. This will ensure adherence to all public health guidance on social distancing. A process will be announced later this summer. 

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What are plans for storage (furniture and boxes), linens, laundry, refrigerators, etc.?

Student belongings on campus will be packed up, so that the university can clean and conduct maintenance in preparation for the fall semester.

If you are returning to live on campus for the fall term, you may leave all belongings on campus. There is no fee for this storage.  If you choose to leave your belongings, they will be moved to your new room. If you plan to live off campus, you must retrieve your items prior to the start of the fall term.

If you will not be returning to campus for the coming fall term, but plan to be here in the spring term or fall term of 2021, your belongings can be stored for you at no cost, or your shippable belongings can be sent to a U.S. address.  

If you would like to return to campus or send a proxy (e.g., another student, a friend, relative, moving company) to retrieve your belongings, please schedule an appointment as soon as possible by July 20.  The sooner you reply, the more likely your belongings can be left intact for you to pack.  

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What dates are relevant for students returning to Yale College?

July 20: The deadline to apply for campus housing. The usual fee to relinquish housing is waived for all returning students. You should indicate whether you plan to come to campus in the fall, live off campus in the New Haven area (juniors and senior only), study from home (voluntarily or because you are a sophomore), or take a leave of absence.

August 1: Term bills will be released, based on whether you will be on campus, contracted to live off campus in New Haven, or studying from home.

By early August: Housing assignments for returning students will be announced, along with instructions for how you can schedule your return to campus.

August 10-21: Early course registration period.

August 21: Course selection is due, followed by a shop, add, drop period extending through the first week of classes.

August 24: Students will be invited to campus in stages. You will be informed when you may arrive on campus.

August 31: Classes Start

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What fees will change?

The housing relinquishment fee will be waived. Returning students should reapply for campus housing by July 20.

The fall term student activities fee will be reduced to $25. This will not affect the budgets of student organizations.

There will be no extra charge for face coverings, testing, or isolation or quarantine housing.

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How will courses be taught?

Most Yale College courses will be 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 will be 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 the programs start.

Where possible, there may be some associated in-person component for courses that take place in an otherwise online fashion.

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What is the academic calendar for fall semester?

Date Event
August Schools of Architecture, Law, Management, and Medicine will begin during August
August 24 Students in Yale College begin returning to campus in phases through August 30
August 31 Yale College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences begin classes
August 31 Schools of Art, Divinity, Drama, the Environment, Music, Nursing, and Public Health will also begin the week of August 31
November 20 Yale College in-person classes end; the last week of instruction, reading period, and final exams would take place online
December A “quiet period” with in-person activity on campus kept to a minimum
December 4 End of classes in Yale College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
December 18 Fall 2020 semester ends for Yale College, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and select professional schools

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Can I enroll part time, taking one or two classes? (New July 9, 2020)

A student may not enroll in a program of study worth fewer than three course credits in one term. A student enrolled for three course credits may withdraw from one course credit between midterm and the first day of the reading period, receiving the neutral designation W (Withdrew) in that course. Similarly, a student enrolled for four or more course credits may withdraw from one or more courses as described above, but at no time may any student carry a schedule of courses that will earn fewer than two course credits in a term. More information is available at Any student who fails to earn more than two course credits in a single term is placed on Academic Warning. For more information, see Academic Penalties and Restrictions in the Yale College Programs of Study.

Please note that varsity athletes, international students on an F-1 visa, and ROTC candidates may have strict minimum enrollment requirements. If you fall into one or more of these categories, and if you are considering enrolling in only three course credits in August, and later dropping to two course credits and a W after Midterm in October, consult with the appropriate office. (Athletics, the Office of International Students and Scholars, or your Commander) to ensure that you do not endanger your eligibility or visa status.

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Can I take courses from another university during my Leave of Absence? (New July 9, 2020)

Yes; a student may apply as many as two course credits earned at another college or university toward the 36-course-credit requirement for graduation from Yale College; please see for more information about outside credit policies. Many universities will offer courses online rather than in person during the coming academic year; under the Academic Regulations, online courses can earn Yale credit only if they include regular, synchronous interaction with the instructor, as well as regular feedback; additionally, online courses cannot be applied to distributional requirements (with a rare exception for languages not taught at Yale).

Other criteria and restrictions apply; please consult the full regulations on outside credits here.

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What is the academic calendar for spring semester?

To date, there has been no change in the spring semester calendar. If a second wave of COVID-19 affects Connecticut in the fall, the start of spring semester may be postponed. This decision will be announced in mid-November.

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What is the grading policy in Yale College?

Yale College will return to the usual letter grade policies, with no provision for a universal pass/fail system.

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Will there be a course selection period?

Yale College will adopt a pre-registration system that provides more advance planning while preserving students’ ability to explore and discover new courses:

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What are the special arrangements for the 2021 summer session courses available to first-year students and sophomores? (Updated July 9, 2020)

First-year students and sophomores who enroll for both the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters, with at least one term taken remotely, will be eligible to take two courses in Yale Summer Session in the summer of 2021; the special arrangement covers tuition for two courses, whether taken in one of the two five-week sessions, or spread out across both, and whether taken on or away from campus, in person or online. Yale Summer Session Study Abroad programs are not included in this arrangement. Additional financial support for on-campus room and board will be available that summer to eligible first-year students and sophomores who also receive financial aid.

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I missed the Q&A session with Dean Quinlan and Scott Wallace-Juedes. Was it recorded? (New July 9, 2020)

No, but the next one, with Dean Quinlan and admissions officers is scheduled for Sunday July 12 at 9pm EDT.

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Will the museums be open for teaching and research?

Yes, the Yale University Art Gallery and Yale Center for British Art will be available by appointment. The collections of the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History are closed for a multi-year renovation and expansion, but will be accessible by appointment. 

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Will the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning be open?

The Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning will be open on a by-appointment basis and will also provide a full range of online services.

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Public Health

What is Yale doing to reduce the risk of infection spreading among students, faculty, staff, and community members?

Yale began reactivation of on-campus research on June 1. 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, self-isolation and quarantine, daily health checks, social distancing and face coverings. We are also reducing housing density in Yale College and some 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 the Yale New Haven Hospital have been active in treating COVID-19 and researching the biology and the transmission of the underlying coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. Although Connecticut was originally one of the hardest-hit states, the rate of transmission (Rt) in the state as of July 1 is below 1, and as a result the number of new cases has fallen consistently since late April.

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What would cause the university to change its plans?

The university will follow guidance from the State of Connecticut that requires a change to these plans. See

If the public health situation worsens considerably in the next few weeks, the return to campus will be delayed. In that case, all courses – undergraduate, graduate, and professional – will be conducted exclusively through on-line delivery until the public health situation changes.

If the public health situation worsens considerably during the fall semester, students should be prepared to “stay-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 any stay-in-place period. Classes would be held exclusively online during such a time.

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What public health guidelines will I be required to follow?

All students, trainees, faculty, and staff will be required to follow public health requirements in place at the time in-person activity resumes. Although the health risks to young people are in general less severe, it is essential that students comply with social distancing, face coverings, testing, contact tracing, self-isolation, quarantine, and other protocols not only for their own sake but also in order to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus to other community members including those in more vulnerable populations. Current public health guidance includes:

  • All members of the university community will be expected to wear face coverings except when in their residential suites, or alone in their offices or when eating, or exercising outdoors.
  • The university will supply face coverings and other necessary supplies to all students, trainees, faculty, and staff.
  • All university community members must observe social distancing requirements.
  • All individuals living, working, or studying on campus will be asked to monitor their health daily for symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.
  • Students must undergo viral testing according to the requirements in place for the Yale school in which they are enrolled and must follow any resultant isolation and quarantine requirements.
  • All university community members will share responsibility for regular hand-washing, surface cleaning, and other required hygiene.
  • All faculty, staff, students, and trainees will follow the detailed guidelines outlined below.

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What happens if I do not comply with social distancing guidelines?

If a student repeatedly or flagrantly fails to comply with public health guidelines, they may be removed from campus. Please carefully review the community compact and the provisions for enforcement here.

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Must I wear a face covering?

Yes, all students, trainees, faculty, staff, and visitors must wear face coverings except when in their own residential college suite or apartment or alone in an office or when eating or exercising outdoors. Wearing a face covering is one of the most effective ways to prevent transmission of the coronavirus.

All members of the community should follow social distancing guidelines and good hygiene, including at meals.

People exercising outdoors need not wear face coverings as long as they maintain six feet distance from others. Rules for indoor exercise will follow state and public health guidelines.

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What are the requirements for social distancing?

In general, people should maintain six feet of distance 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.

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What are the arrangements for viral testing?

All students will be tested for the coronavirus upon arrival in New Haven. The cost of required testing for students, trainees, staff, and faculty will be covered by the university.

All students living in university housing and all undergraduates

Because of the particularly dense housing arrangements in university housing and the frequent interactions among students, all undergraduates and all graduate and professional students living in dormitory-style university housing will be required to be tested weekly.

Quarantine requirements

Students living abroad may be subject to a 14-day quarantine after arriving in the United States. Students living in states with high prevalence of COVID-19 may also be subject to a 14-day quarantine after arriving in Connecticut.

If you have symptoms

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 as identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you should stay home and avoid interactions with others. These symptoms currently include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • New loss of taste or smell 
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Consult Yale Health’s website for recommendations about managing your symptoms and deciding whether to contact your healthcare provider.

If you have questions about COVID-19 at Yale, please call the Campus COVID Resource Line at 203-432-6604.

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What if I test positive?

Those who test positive will generally be required to self-isolate for 14 days. If you test positive before traveling, please wait 14 days before traveling to Yale.

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How will the university trace contacts of those who test positive?

The university has trained contact tracers who will identify close contacts and ask them to quarantine for 14 days. Testing will be recommended for all sustained contacts of anyone who tests positive.

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When will I be expected to self-isolate or self-quarantine?

Self-isolation applies to those who test positive for COVID-19. Self-quarantine applies to those who may have been in contact with an infected person or who are traveling from an area where COVID-19 is prevalent. Students who test positive will usually self-isolate in designated buildings on campus or in their normal housing off-campus. Students who have been in close contact with someone who tests positive will self-quarantine in their own housing or in designated buildings on campus, depending on the results of contact tracing.

In addition, those arriving from international destinations or states with high prevalence may be required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the State of Connecticut to self-quarantine for 14 days. The State of Connecticut requires a 14 day quarantine for travelers arriving from certain other U.S. states ( see current list at

Those who are in quarantine or in self-isolation will be able to take their courses online or through other remote options.

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How can I learn more about public health requirements?

The university is requiring completion of a training program by all students, trainees, faculty, and staff prior to their return to campus. Please see the “Mandatory training for everyone returning to campus” section on the Health & Safety Guidelines page.

Yale also will establish rules regarding visitors to campus, travel away from campus, and other requirements to limit transmission of the coronavirus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also offers guidance on living in shared housing.

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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 above.

See guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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I have a hearing disability and need to read lips. Face coverings and social distancing will make this impossible. What accommodations will be made?

Most classes will have an online option that does not require wearing face coverings. For students with hearing disabilities in in-person classes, their instructors and classmates will be provided with special transparent face coverings or face shields to allow lip-reading.

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Life on campus

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

Juniors and seniors living off campus will have access to campus. In order to reduce travel and on-campus density, first-year students and sophomores will not have access to the campus during the semesters in which they are studying from home.

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If I am living on campus, will I be able to eat in the dining hall?

Yale Dining will operate 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 will be available in all dining halls, with special provision for those with dietary restrictions and allergies. Seating in college dining halls will be reduced in order to provide social distancing, but additional seating will be provided in common rooms, courtyards, and other locations. Because of reduced capacity, seating within the dining hall will be limited to college residents.

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Can I have visitors?

In the fall semester, visits to campus by people who are not Yale students, faculty, or staff are discouraged. These limits will be reviewed in mid-November in accordance with prevailing public health guidance. No non-Yale visitors will be allowed in the residential colleges.

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What meetings and gatherings will be permitted?

The university will limit the size of gatherings both indoors and out to accommodate social 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 face coverings and stay six feet away from each other.

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May I visit classmates from other residential colleges and access spaces within my residential college?

Students may go to many spaces on campus, including visiting other residential colleges, as long as they wear face coverings and maintain social distancing. Certain spaces, such as buttery kitchens, other student kitchens, and residential colleges gyms, will be closed until public health guidance indicates that it is safe to reopen them. 

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

Yes, most facilities on campus will be open, with social distancing in force. While the weather is good, we encourage you to use outdoor spaces, as the risk of transmission of the coronavirus is lower outdoors.

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Will I be able to study in the library?

Yes, most libraries on campus will be open, with changes to seating, hours, and some services.

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I normally conduct research in a laboratory. Will I have access to the lab?

Yes, if your supervisor has an approved COVID safety plan for the lab, you may work in the lab, while taking appropriate precautions.

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What athletics programs will continue? (Updated July 9, 2020)

Ivy League varsity sports have been canceled for the fall of 2020, and a decision about spring 2021 will be announced later in July. Club, intramural sports, fitness classes, and recreational athletics may be permitted if they can be conducted in accordance with state guidance and appropriate social distancing. Varsity athletes should consult with the athletics department concerning NCAA eligibility requirements.

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Will the gym be open?

Payne Whitney Gymnasium and other athletic facilities will be open with limits on capacity in order to preserve social distancing. Gyms in residential colleges will be closed until public health guidance permits us to open them.

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Which extra-curricular activities will be canceled?

Activities that cannot be conducted with appropriate social distancing, such as dramatic performances, undergraduate productions, singing groups, and some other musical groups will have to be re-imagined to take place online.

Most other extra-curricular activities will continue, with appropriate social distancing.

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Which large group events will be canceled or moved online?

Certain large group events, such as first-year orientation, first-year assembly and family weekend, will take place online.

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Life off campus

If I return to residence in New Haven, can I leave for any reason? If I have to leave for a family emergency, would I not be able to return?

Travel outside Connecticut will be discouraged for the duration of the pandemic. Undergraduates may travel only for emergencies or must seek approval from their residential college deans’ offices for travel that is essential for educational or personal reasons. Those returning from states with high prevalence of COVID-19 will be required to self-quarantine in accordance with state requirements.

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Can I go to stores and restaurants in New Haven?

Students may go to stores and restaurants in New Haven as long as they follow public health guidance currently in place, such as wearing face coverings and practicing social distancing.

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What guidance regarding public health must I follow?

All students who are living on campus or in the New Haven area, will be required to sign a community compact and are expected to comply with all social distancing, testing, and quarantine protocols.

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Can I engage in community service?

Community service will need to be restructured to minimize spread to the local community.

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For more information

Where can I get more information? (Updated July 2, 2020)

For guidance from Yale College:

These FAQs will be updated regularly. For more information, please write to

For guidance about financial aid:

For guidance about COVID-19:

Campus COVID Resource Line
203-432-6604 or 866-924-9253
Available seven days a week, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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