Skip to content

Information for Students and Families

Updated March 30, 2020

COVID-19 symptoms or exposure? Find out what to do if you or a close contact have symptoms or think you may have been exposed.

We recognize this is a challenging and uncertain situation for students and their families. We deeply appreciate your patience and are here to support you.

Graduate students and postdocs: Find updates and answers to questions.

Here’s the latest information

Classes and academic policies

Online instruction

All classes for undergraduate and graduate students at the University will take place online beginning Monday, March 23, through the rest of the semester. Find resources and tips below:

  • Check out this online guide to help you identify and become acquainted with alternatives to face-to-face instruction, and learn how to participate in live lectures and class meetings. There also are details on how to contact IT with technical issues.
  • Check your Blackboard course page for any updates from your professors on how to access your course content virtually.
  • Different time zones: Faculty have been instructed to record lectures to enable students in different time zones to participate fully in courses.

Spring semester timeline

There is no change to course end-dates. The spring semester will conclude on its regular schedule.

Academic policies

AS&E and Eastman undergraduate and graduate programs move to a pass/fail (S/F) grading model for the spring 2020 semester. Details on this policy change are outlined below.

  • All registrations for all students will move to the S/F option as of March 23. The restriction on the number of S/F courses in a semester is suspended for Spring 2020.
  • Deadline extended: Students will be allowed to select a letter grade (A-E) option for any/all of their courses, but must submit a formal request by the new deadline of April 10 using the online form.
  • Requests to select the letter grade option may not be changed once submitted.
  • Students will not be able to uncover the S/F for Spring 2020 at any point in their future academic career. Faculty will only indicate whether the student’s performance in the course is “satisfactory” or “fail” and, as a result, there will be no underlying grade to uncover.
  • Students will be able to use courses graded as S/F in Spring 2020 for programs of study (degree requirements/majors/minors/clusters/primary writing requirement).
  • Per existing policies, satisfactory (S) and Fail (F) grades do not factor into term or cumulative GPA calculations. For Eastman students, the adoption of the College’s expanded S/F policy will be allowed for spring 2020 grades ONLY.
  • Faculty will receive a list of students selecting the letter grade option during the week of April 13.
  • Faculty will submit “satisfactory” or “fail” grades directly into Instructor Access. (This is different from how the policy has worked in past semester.) The grade submitted for “satisfactory” will be “P” and the grade for “fail” will be “F” in Spring 2020. These are the grades that will appear on student transcripts as well.  More information on final course grades will be forthcoming later in the semester.
Still have questions? View these FAQs:

Withdrawal policy (College and Eastman undergraduates)

The deadline for withdrawals from courses will be extended until April 22 for all undergraduates. Students withdrawing from a course will receive a “W” on their official transcript. College students should submit withdrawal requests electronically using an add/drop form.  Eastman students should submit their request via email to the Registrar’s office (

Dean’s List (College and Eastman undergraduates)

The Dean’s List will be suspended for Spring 2020 due to the new policy on course grades, transition to online teaching, and continuing uncertainties around the impacts of COVID-19 on teaching and learning.

Fall 2020 registration (all AS&E and Eastman students)

Registration for Fall 2020 courses has been moved two weeks back to begin on April 20. Registration will take place in UR Student as previously planned. Undergraduate registration will continue to be staggered (seniors, juniors, etc.) as in previous semesters. Additional information and how-to guides will be provided to students.

In the College, undergraduate advising to help students prepare for registration will start on April 6th. All undergraduate advising will take place virtually with advisors from the College Center for Advising Services and other College offices. Departmental advisors and undergraduate advisors will be in contact with students on the best way to contact them for advising.

At Eastman, information on advising for undergraduate and graduate students will be communicated to students in early April.  Academic counselors from Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies will be in touch with students to set up individual and group virtual advising appointments.

Registration for AS&E and Eastman graduate students will begin on April 20 and continue throughout the summer.

Major declaration (College sophomores)

Major declaration will continue with the same dates and electronic process as in previous semesters. Sophomores are encouraged to begin to declare their major starting in mid-April and may continue to submit throughout the end of the semester. Students should follow guidance from academic departments on how this process will be managed for their major(s).

Departments and undergraduate advisors will receive additional information on major declaration from the College Center for Advising Services in the coming weeks.

Questions on Policy Changes

Questions on the material in this document can be sent to the emails below.

College undergraduates:

AS&E graduate students:

Eastman students (graduate or undergraduate):

Study Abroad

All 2020 spring and summer undergraduate Education Abroad programs have been cancelled. If you have questions, please contact the Center for Education Abroad at (585) 275-7532.

Returning rented textbooks

Students at the College who need to mail rented textbooks to the University’s Barnes & Noble bookstore can click on this link to print a free domestic shipping label. Eastman School of Music students should click here. Students must provide their own box or packaging. Those who obtained their books online will need their rental order ID, which is the web order number. Students should send all rentals back at a UPS dropoff location at the same time, as they can only print one label per order. Rentals are due back by May 8 for Eastman students and May 11 for College students. There is no international shipping solution at this time. Students returning books from outside the United States should mail them to the bookstore by the most practical and cost-effective method.

Housing, dining, and reimbursements

Housing and Residential Life

New update: Relocating students from Wilder to Anderson. On March 23, Residential Life implemented a plan to relocate 32 students from Wilder Tower to Anderson Tower for the purpose of making available rooms that could be used as needed for student quarantining. The students currently residing in Wilder are there through the exemption process and University staff members are providing assistance to them to help them make an easy transition to Anderson, which is in the same area of River Campus as Wilder. This action frees up Wilder as a suitable and separate area for quarantining and isolating individuals, as needed in the future.

The exemption process to remain on-campus has closed. All students should have received a response to their exemption request by now. Any students with emergent issues should call the Dean of College at (585) 273-5001 or email

Express checkout has ended. The deadline for students to move off campus was March 22. For students who are unable to return to campus to pack their belongings, we will have additional information in the coming days about options for storage. In the meantime, anyone who can identify a friend who is able to assist with packing, please be in touch with Residential Life so that we may help with access to the room.

For students who leave their belongings in their rooms, it will be possible for you to make arrangements to come to Rochester between now and May to claim your property. Residential Life will be in touch with you about these options in the coming week. Students who are gone from campus, but whose property is still in their room will also be considered checked out and will receive a credit for their room charges on their term bill for the remainder of the semester.


Reimbursements of room and board charges will be pro-rated as of March 20. The April billing statement will reflect these adjustments. Credits on your student bill as a result of this adjustment for room and board will have no impact on financial aid packages.

On Friday, March 20, we began processing prorated refunds of meal plans for all students not remaining on campus. The refund will include a prorated portion of all meal plans and all remaining spring semester declining funds. URos funds will not be refunded, but will remain in each student’s account for future use. For those students receiving refunds, their meal plans and declining accounts will not be active beginning Friday, March 20. We are working on a refund process, using the same deadlines for all students on fraternity meal plans. All refunds will appear in the April statements from the Bursar’s Office.

Parking: Students who have an active parking permit and who have left campus for the semester should email the Department of Transportation and Parking Management at and include their name, parking lot, and class year.  Once the semester is complete, Parking and Transportation will reach out to students with more information on potential pro-rated credits for returning students.

Have questions about reimbursements? View this FAQ for answers.

Services and support

Get Remote Support from CETL: The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning has reopened its academic support programs using remote instruction, including tutoring, study skills, Study Zone, study groups, Methods of Inquiry, peer education CAS courses, and PLTL Workshops associated with various courses. For more information on how to access these services, see the CETL website.

Cook, paint, and unwind online with virtual programs: Wilson Commons Student Activities continues to provide a slate of virtual programs. Weekly highlights include Meliora Microwave (a quick microwave cooking lesson) and Wind Down Wednesday (yoga, meditation, and other programs to help you relax and manage stress.) A full schedule can be found on the CCC website. Follow WCSA on Facebook for more.

Self-Care Survivor Series and check-in call: Join a “Survivor Check-In Call,” a space for students and survivors to share thoughts about how the quarantine has affected your life. The call is the first in a series of virtual meetings hosted by End Rape on Campus and It’s On Us, and takes place March 26 at 4 p.m. Learn more through the Title IX Office Instagram account and Facebook page.

College and Eastman offices will be open during the remainder of the spring semester. Students will be able to contact advisors and other student support staff virtually through Zoom and related services. Students are encouraged to visit their school’s specific office website to determine the best way to contact these offices.

River Campus Libraries have an abundance of expertise and services that can support online teaching and learning, and the needs of on-campus students and faculty.

Campus Mail Services on River Campus: Open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Also open Sat 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. until further notice. Students needing to forward their campus mail can request this change through: This is for River Campus students, as well as Eastman School of Music students who requested a River Campus mailbox.

AS&E’s Basic Needs Hub can help connect students in need to campus and community resources, including the Food Pantry in Wilson Commons. Until further notice, the pantry will be open Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 2 to 6 p.m. For any food-related emergencies, please email

Shuttle schedules: The Department of Transportation and Parking Management has adjusted some of the shuttle routes, effective March 18, to better meet the changing transportation needs of University community members during the response to COVID-19. View the new schedules.

Extra buses have been added to the heavily utilized shuttle lines to spread out rider capacity. All riders are free to choose whether to ride or wait for a shuttle based on their preference and comfort level, but please note that no standing will be permitted; all riders must have a seat. Additionally, please know that the shuttles are being disinfected very regularly throughout the day and wiped down after each trip.

Get the latest updates on campus operations and closings.

International students

International Services Office (ISO)

Virtual Town Hall: On Wednesday, March 25, at 11 a.m. the ISO will hold its second Virtual Town Hall meeting for University international populations and administrative partners to share questions and concerns related to the impact of COVID-19. Join the Zoom webinar: Questions will be collected during the session, which will also be recorded and posted to the ISO website following the event.

This session will highlight issues related to work authorization, including on-campus employment, F-1 Practical Training (CPT & OPT), and current guidance from government agencies.

New temporary phone number: Due to the COVID-19 situation, ISO is now working in a virtual environment. To avoid unnecessary strains on the University’s telecommunications system, ISO is unable to take calls to our regular office lines. We have secured a temporary phone number, ‪(585) 371-8736, which can be used to reach ISO staff during regular business hours. Our main line will be monitored for messages and will prompt callers to use the temporary number for now. You can also email

Have questions? View our FAQ for international students.

Commencement and events

Commencement: In a message to the University community, President Mangelsdorf announced the decision to cancel the University’s on-campus commencement celebrations this May.

“We are now looking into alternate ways to celebrate commencement this year. It will not be in the way you might have envisioned, but we will aim to make it special–and even memorable. I expect your deans and program directors will be in touch shortly with ideas and information for individual degree program plans, and I am reviewing a number of options for a ‘virtual’ University-wide event,” she wrote in the message.

Visit the University’s 2020 Commencement website for future updates about virtual celebrations, events, and related information.

All gatherings and meetings on campus will now be limited to no more than 10 attendees until further notice. Everyone is expected to cancel, postpone, or “virtualize” all larger meetings.

Event updates: The best way to stay up to date on the status of University events is to check, which will include cancelations or other changes as they are announced. If there is a change to a University-sponsored event you’re hosting, please update the events status on the calendar or contact Calendar Editor Jeanette Colby at Do not delete events, otherwise the attendees will be left wondering what happened to the event.

Have questions? View this FAQ for answers.

2020 Census: Where should students be counted?

Students can watch this short video from the Census Bureau to find out how and where college students should be counted on the 2020 Census.

Return to the top of the page