The University of Iowa is taking proactive measures to protect its campus and visitors. The university is fully prepared to diagnose and treat patients infected with this virus.
Keep Learning at Iowa
Information for Prospective Students
Frequently Asked Questions
Health, Safety, and Well-Being
Anyone who is worried about potential exposure should first call health care professionals so they can assess your symptoms and risk factors and help you make a plan. Do not walk in to QuickCare, Student Health, any UI Health Care clinic, the State Hygienic Lab, or any emergency room. Points of contact are listed below.
Call or email the Student Health Nurseline (319-335-9704, email@example.com) or your local health care provider and inform them of your travel history and symptoms. After hours and on weekends, call the UI Hospitals & Clinics (319-384-8442, or toll free at 800-777-8442) or your local health care provider.
We know that dealing with this evolving situation can cause stress and anxiety. Please remember that there are campus and community resources available to support you:
- University Counseling Service, 319-335-7294 or http://bit.ly/1PbwPol to schedule an appointment
- Student Care and Assistance, 319-335-1162 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- UI Employee Assistance Program, 319-335-2085 or email@example.com
- CommUnity Crisis Services (formerly the Crisis Center), 319-351-0140
Any student who uses Student Health for evaluation of symptoms that could be due to COVID-19 will not incur charges related to that visit. Student Health will follow its regular practice of submitting charges to insurance, but the individual student will not incur charges.
The CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces by using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask:
- The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
- The use of face masks is crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
It is important to avoid assumptions about who may or may not have come into contact with someone carrying the virus based on their identity. The UI will not tolerate anything but a safe and inclusive campus for people of all backgrounds, and all members of the UI community must recognize the harm caused by making such assumptions.
If you are a victim of or witness bias related to COVID-19, please use the Campus Inclusion Team reporting tool.
Classes and Academics
In order to give everyone additional time to transition to online teaching, the university delayed the start of virtual instruction by one week. Courses resumed on Monday, March 30, and will be conducted virtually through the rest of the spring semester.
The University of Iowa will offer online-only instruction for Summer Sessions 1–3, which begin May 19, 2020. A decision on whether to offer face-to-face instruction for Summer Sessions 4–5, which begin June 15 and June 29, respectively, will be made later this semester. In order to provide flexibility, colleges may choose to offer only online courses during all of the 2020 summer sessions. Additionally, clinical and experiential activities will be addressed on a program-by-program basis.
Tuition is necessary to cover the University of Iowa’s ongoing operations, including retaining the faculty and staff needed to provide virtual instruction and online student support services. The university’s faculty will continue to deliver excellent instruction virtually, which allows students to receive course credit and stay on their educational path toward degree completion and graduation. For this reason, the university will not be refunding students’ tuition for the Spring 2020 semester.
The university will refund, on a prorated basis, several fees including:
- Room and Board: Refund prorated March 19 to May 16
- Recreation Fee: Refund prorated from March 23 to May 16
- Arts & Cultural Events Fee: Refund prorated from March 23 to May 16
- Course Fees: Colleges are currently reviewing course specific fees. Refunds will be determined on a course-by-course basis.
Refunds will start being processed in April and will begin to appear on your u-bill between mid-April and May 1.
Lectures, discussion sections, seminars, and other similar classroom settings moved to virtual instruction to the greatest extent possible beginning March 30. For additional support during the virtual instruction period, see: Keep Learning at Iowa.
Drive-up wireless service is being offered to allow UI students, faculty, and staff access to high-speed internet without having to enter campus buildings.
The service is currently available at the Hancher South Lot (Lot 55), Hawkeye Commuter Lot (Lots 85 and 39), and the Multi-Tenant Facility and Biomedical Research Support Facility parking lots at Oakdale. It will soon be offered at the Myrtle Avenue Lot (Lot 48) and other locations. Visit the Working Remotely Guide on the ITS website for updates.
If none of these solutions work for your situation, please request help through the Keep Learning at Iowa page.
Faculty communicated with their students regarding their specific courses before the semester resumed on Monday, March 30. If students have not yet received an update they should reach out to their professor.
We recognize that some students might not have access to needed equipment or internet services. Individual colleges have programs in place to assist students. Students who plan to attend class from another location and need assistance with equipment or internet access should communicate their needs to their professor.
Because so many employees will be working remotely, the UI Department of Public Safety has recommended and the Critical Incident Management Team has approved limiting building access, when possible, to authorized personnel only.
In order to limit community spread of COVID-19 and protect university property, building entrances will be locked but will remain accessible by those who have access cards or keys. This excludes UI Health Care and Student Health, which have implemented their own building security measures.
Updates on notable closures and service changes can be found on the campus services page.
The date of the academic year remains unchanged. The last day of classes will be May 8, and finals week will be May 11–15. Faculty should communicate their final exam or alternate assessment plans (such as take-home exams, papers, etc.) directly to their students.
We are extremely disappointed to announce that we must cancel spring commencement ceremonies. We know how much these ceremonies mean to our students and their families, but we feel it is the right decision to protect those most vulnerable to the threat of infection. We are in the process of planning an alternative celebration for graduating Hawkeyes and will share additional details soon.
All other UI events will likewise be canceled, postponed, or conducted virtually for the remainder of the spring semester.
If a group meeting is essential to your class work, consider whether the meeting can take place virtually using Zoom, Skype, or other similar technology. Students should follow social distancing guidelines and avoid meeting in person. If it is not possible to meet virtually, notify your instructor that you will not be able to hold the meeting. However, an honest attempt should be made to facilitate the virtual meeting.
Many of our students use the textbook rental process through the Iowa Hawk Shop. The Iowa Hawk Shop will provide additional information later this semester regarding textbook return options, but at this time the plan is to send prepaid UPS labels to everyone with rental books. More information on the textbook return process will be shared toward the end of the semester when it is finalized.
Please speak with your supervisor and human resources representative about CDC-recommended measures your host organization may be taking to protect your health, safety, and travel. You can also find the most updated information about risk and protective measures for your location by contacting the local public health department.
If you are unable to complete your internship hours in person or virtually and need to return to campus or your permanent home, please contact the university department with which you registered your internship or co-op. We encourage you to regularly check your UI email for official communication from the university.
Yes. This suspension includes face-to-face meetings at other locations across the state of Iowa.
Students in courses with a clinical component or fieldwork will receive further information from the academic leaders in their programs about how these will be addressed. Students can find more information about online learning from their instructors, through the Keep Learning at Iowa website, and the coronavirus.uiowa.edu website.
Early registration for the fall 2020 semester is being moved back by one week to allow more time for students to connect with their advisers. Early registration will now take place April 20 to May 1.
Undergraduate programs: Individual courses can be dropped with advisor authorization through the last day of classes, May 8. Additionally, complete withdrawals (dropping all classes) for the spring 2020 semester also can be done with adviser authorization through May 8. After that date, students will need to petition for a late drop or late withdrawal, and the college dean’s authorization will be required.
Graduate programs: Individual courses can be dropped with adviser authorization through the last day of classes, May 8, and the requirement for dean’s permission is removed. April 14 is the deadline for complete withdrawals for the spring 2020 semester. After April 14, graduate students need the dean’s permission. More information about deadlines and other topics for graduate students can be found at www.grad.uiowa.edu/coronavirus/faqs.
Professional programs: Students in professional programs should consult with the academic offices in their respective colleges for specific guidance.
For more information, see the Office of the Registrar COVID-19 web page.
Temporary grading options will be added for the spring 2020 semester:
- Undergraduate programs: A temporary Pass/Nonpass (P/N) grading option has been adopted for all undergraduate courses taught during spring 2020 semester. Students will choose to receive either the letter grade recorded by the instructor, or a P/N designation for each of their courses by Friday, May 8. More information.
- Graduate programs: A temporary Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grading option has been adopted for graduate courses taught during spring 2020 semester. Students will choose to receive either the letter grade recorded by the instructor, or a S/U designation for each of their courses by Friday, May 8. More information.
- Professional programs: Colleges will communicate with their professional program students regarding grading option policies.
Housing and Dining
The University of Iowa has made the decision as of Wednesday, March 18, to close the residence halls for the remainder of the semester in order to protect the health and safety of our students and staff and prevent the spread of COVID-19. All students will need to move out of their rooms between Thursday, March 19, and Sunday, March 29, 2020.
Students will receive a credit equal to 48.735 percent of room and Gold, Black, or Hawkeye meal plan semester charges. This was calculated based on 119 contract nights in the spring semester, of which 58 remained when the residence halls and dining facilities closed.
Yes. Off campus students will be issued a credit of 48.739 percent of Gold, Black, or Hawkeye plans.
Credits will be posted to a student’s university bill. The credits will be applied to any outstanding balance the student may have. To receive the remaining balance of their U-bill account, students should be certain to set up a direct deposit refund account. Instructions may be found on this website: ubill.fo.uiowa.edu/how-guides.
Refunds are automatically being provided for Gold, Black, and Hawkeye plans at a rate of 48.739 percent. Students that faced extenuating circumstances and want to request refunds beyond the allocated amount should complete the online form at uiowa.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0pHcfqZVJ2TqhiB. Please note that refund requests are not guaranteed to be provided.
Students with Herky Booster Packs will not receive a refund, but use of the Herky Booster Packs will be extended through May 2021. Students with Herky Booster Packs who will not be returning to campus can apply for a prorated refund by completing this form: uiowa.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0pHcfqZVJ2TqhiB.
Students who bought out their room as a single were charged a prorated amount for the single room, and all buyouts were reflected by the April 1 university billing statement. Students who bought out their room can expect a credit for the buyout rate of the room they were assigned to on March 19, 2020.
When students change rooms their housing charges are prorated based on the time spent in each room. All room changes completed prior to spring break will be reflected by the April 1 university billing statement. Credits for room charges will be assessed based on the room the student was assigned to on March 19, 2020.
University Housing and Dining remained open through spring break to any student that signed up. Contracts were officially canceled effective March 19, 2020, which is why that date is being used for providing credits.
The UI will begin closing most of its market places, residence halls, and on-campus housing in the coming weeks to help reduce the number of students spending time in close quarters in order to mitigate transmission of COVID-19.
Orderly move-out and transition policies, including retrieving essential items, have been provided to housing residents and are currently available on the University Housing & Dining website. Students should sign up for their move out time slot using this link.
Only students who meet the criteria for highly exceptional situations are allowed to stay in the residence halls after March 23, 2020. You can request this permission using this link.
We ask that students do not return to the residence halls until their designated time to move out. If a student is currently on campus for spring break, they should begin preparations to move out. We realize that not all students have alternative housing and dining options, and we will continue to accommodate students who cannot immediately return to their permanent residence. Requests to remain in the residence halls will be submitted online.
Information about refunds to those with housing and dining contracts will be coming soon.
Students will sign up for their move-out time slot using this link. Each student will choose a two-hour time slot during which they can move out of their room. The time slots are 7–9 a.m, 9–11 a.m., 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., 1–3 p.m., 3–5 p.m, and 5–7 p.m. Students will only be permitted to move out during the time slot they select. Do not travel to campus until it is time for your assigned move-out slot. Any guests coming to help you move out of your room must be symptom free. Please also bring the fewest number of guests possible in order practice appropriate social distancing.
When students arrive for their assigned move-out time slot, they will complete an express checkout process as described below:
- Remove all belongings from your room (carts will be available).
- Lock your room door.
- Take your room key to your mailbox and place it in the Express Checkout envelope that will be in your mailbox labeled with your name.
- Deposit your room key in the return location, indicated by signs in the lobby.
- Return carts.
- Your room will be checked for damages after you check out. If there are damages, you will receive that information by email.
Moving carts are being sanitized prior to and after use. In addition, residence hall elevators can only hold one or two carts comfortably, which naturally reinforces social distancing.
Spaces such as restrooms are being cleaned and disinfected per the university’s standard protocol, with more attention being paid to commonly used touchpoints like elevators and door handles.
Students and their families are also designated two-hour timeslots during which to move items out of their room. This will allow the team to better account for the number of residents, elevators in the building, and parking.
An express checkout process was developed so students don’t have to interact with anyone at the desk unless they choose to. Keys are also being placed in an envelope and turned into a designated mail slot.
Additionally, volunteers will not be present during move-out. University Housing and Dining staff are also following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, which include washing their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing; and using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
We are aware that many states have issued shelter in place orders, and understand the need for flexibility around your move-out time slot. In order for University Housing and Dining to prepare for the fall semester, we urge those residents with belongings in the halls to move out as soon as the situation allows. If you are unable to keep your scheduled move-out time slot, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The university has an obligation to house students who don’t have other options and those who contribute to the research and medical functions of the university.
Only students who meet the criteria for highly exceptional situations are allowed to stay in the residence halls after March 23, 2020. This includes current residents who do not have a permanent residence or cannot return to their permanent residence, including some international students, and other extenuating circumstances as determined by University Housing and Dining staff. You must receive permission from housing staff to remain on campus. You can request this permission using this link.
Students who are approved to remain will be placed in Stanley Residence Hall on the east side of campus. No students will be placed in residence halls on the west side of campus. Moving assistance may be available, if needed. Please note that moving assistance does not include packing your belongings.
Burge Market Place will be open only to those who are approved to stay on campus during virtual instruction. Students who live in the halls have a meal plan and will be able to use it during the virtual instruction period, but all products will be served in to-go containers so that students can leave and consume their meal elsewhere. Seating in the market place will not be allowed, and, to minimize the spread of pathogens between students, dining staff will serve all products.
Clinton Street Market, located in Burge Residence Hall, will be open with limited hours during virtual instruction. No hot food items will be served.
The Street Hawk food truck will be open and will be located at the Iowa Memorial Union. Flex meals can be used at this location.
Black’s Gold Grill will be open for service beginning Monday, March 23, closing no later than April 3. Meal swipes will be accepted during this time. All menu items will be served by dining staff, using to-go containers. Seating in the grill will not be provided.
All other retail locations will remain closed during this time period. More information on hours and locations can be found at dining.uiowa.edu.
If you are approved to stay in the halls, University Housing and Dining (in partnership with Information Technology Services) will provide you with a computer for use during your residency. ITCs will be closed during this time.
No, but students should follow CDC guidelines for social distancing.
Social distancing means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet, or 2 meters) from others when possible.
No visitors are allowed in the halls during this time.
It is advised that students do not return to campus without prior permission. It is vital that the move-out process be orderly and structured to protect everyone through this process. We also ask that you hold any post-checkout questions until after April 1, 2020. Your patience is appreciated.
If a student living in the residence halls tests positive for COVID-19, they will be moved to an isolated location in order to lower the risk of infecting others. A portion of the building will be supported by Student Health, with staff in the building at various times. Additional details are being worked out by Student Health. Offices in the facility will be used for staff offices and a potential exam room. If a student’s symptoms become severe, they will be moved to the hospital.
At this time, there is not an option to donate your items. In order to take the preventive actions that the CDC recommends to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, we are not accepting donations at this time.
All MicroChills will need to be left in your room. After you move, University Housing and Dining staff will reallocate your MircoChill. There are no refunds for MicroChill units as the refund deadline has passed.
Student Financial Resources
The University of Iowa Student Government, Graduate and Professional Student Government, and donors have contributed additional funds for the Student Emergency Fund, which provides microgrants averaging between $50 and $350. Students who experience an event or unforeseen circumstance that negatively and severely impacts their academic success, which may include unexpected medical and travel costs, unexpected decrease in working hours and income, and other unforeseen expenses due to COVID-19, should consider applying with the Office of the Dean of Students. Grants will be awarded based on funds available, which are limited.
Read more and apply at https://dos.uiowa.edu/assistance/student-support-initiatives/.
The University of Iowa has established a fund to support students who may be adversely affected by unforeseen emergencies, such as housing and food insecurity, travel expenses, medical costs, income disruptions, and other financial challenges students are facing because of COVID-19.
We understand that many Hawkeyes, particularly students, are worried about their income during what is already a stressful time. With this in mind, and in accordance with state and federal law (including recent federal acts) and the direction of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, the University of Iowa will keep all employees in paid status through the end of the spring 2020 semester, regardless of funding source.
- If you are an employee with a fixed term of employment, such as a resident assistant, you will continue to be paid as normal through the end of the term of your employment.
- If you are an hourly employee paid bi-weekly, including student employees, and are unable to work because of this public health emergency, you will be paid for up to 80 hours of time based on the hours you would have expected to work this semester. Federal work-study will continue to be paid, in keeping with the Federal Work Study Electronic Guidance.
Additional details and FAQs can be found on the University Human Resources website.
As indicated in the COVID-19 spring semester update, the University of Iowa is delaying the start of virtual instruction by one week, with courses resuming on Monday, March 30. With the delayed start to virtual classes, student employees are allowed to work greater than 20 hours per week for the period March 15–28.
No. Undergraduate students (even if employed with the university) and all external visitors (including minors and volunteers) are not allowed in research spaces, including those within UI Health Care.
Students should contact their supervisors to discuss this possibility.
Saturday, March 14, 2020: On Saturday, March 14, the Board of Regents recalled all faculty, staff, and students traveling abroad. The board gave each university president the flexibility to make exceptions on a case-by-case basis. Those abroad were strongly urged to return immediately as flight availability may diminish and to not delay in making the swiftest possible departure arrangement. As part of enhanced screening at U.S. ports of entry, it is possible more restrictive quarantine measures will be put in place as this situation evolves.
Previously, the board directed the universities recall faculty, staff, and students from any country that the CDC designated with a Level 3 travel health notice. This now applies to all countries. Additional resources and guidance have been shared with faculty, staff, and students affected by this decision.
Visit the for the latest travel restrictions to the U.S, visit www.dhs.gov.
Because the U.S. Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory advising all U.S. citizens to avoid international travel, International Programs is canceling all 2020 summer study abroad programming.
Yes. The university is following recommendations from the CDC and the Iowa Department of Public Health regarding self-isolation for travelers returning from areas with CDC Level 3 travel warnings due to COVID-19. Individual students who are returning from programs canceled in these areas have been contacted and instructed to follow self-isolation guidelines recommended by the IDPH. This means staying home for 14 days from the time they left an area with widespread COVID-19 and practicing social distancing (staying primarily indoors, avoiding direct contact with others, not resuming social activities until the self-isolation period ends, and reporting any signs of illness).
For more information on self-isolation, see: https://idph.iowa.gov/News/ArtMID/646/ArticleID/158295/Iowans-Returning-from-Countries-Affected-by-COVID-19-Urged-to-Self-Isolate-3320.
At this time, the CDC recommends avoiding all nonessential travel to any country with a CDC Level 3 travel warning due to COVID-19.
As the University of Iowa continues to monitor and prepare for the COVID-19 outbreak, we have encouraged members of the UI community to strongly consider deferring nonessential personal travel during spring break and in the weeks ahead.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has canceled all nonessential business travel for state agencies, which includes Iowa’s public universities, and has not specified an end date. Accordingly, all university-related, non-essential domestic and international travel is prohibited until further notice, effective immediately. This includes travel to conferences, for training or meetings, or athletic travel. Essential travel is defined as travel that is essential to the operation of the university, that no alternative method of convening is possible, and that the health and safety of state of Iowa employees will be appropriately managed.
Effective March 5, 2020, the Board of Regents suspended all university-sponsored international travel for 30 days due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
University of Iowa Student Government offers a shuttle service to and from the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids. UISG echoes the university's recommendation to defer personal, nonessential travel during the coming weeks but wants to ensure students who need to use the Eastern Iowa Airport still have an affordable and accessible method of transportation. For this reason, UISG is extending the airport shuttle service to accommodate students' changing plans. Visit uisg.uiowa.edu/student-services/airport-shuttle for more information.
March 21, 2020: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Public Health recommend that Iowans who have traveled recently for business or spring break vacations, whether internationally or domestically outside of Iowa, should strongly consider self-isolating for 14 days. This will support Iowa’s ongoing efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and limit the introduction of the virus from other points of travel.