Information for Undergraduate Students

Four socially distanced students sit and talk on a campus quad

The next academic year will be different than anything we’ve experienced in our pre-COVID life at Johns Hopkins University. With sound public health and medical advice as our guide, we are preparing to resume academic, research, and student-life activities this fall to the greatest extent possible to ensure that you have a rewarding undergraduate program.

We’re grateful for your feedback, patience, and flexibility as we navigate this rapidly evolving situation together.

8 things you need to know

1. Johns Hopkins plans to offer an on-campus undergraduate experience this fall to all who want it.

  • The semester will begin Aug. 31, and classes will be held on Monday, Sept. 7 (Labor Day), and on previously scheduled fall break days (Oct. 22 and 23) to maximize in-person instructional time. 
  • In-person activities for undergraduates will conclude on Nov. 20, the Friday before Thanksgiving. Courses after Thanksgiving will resume on Nov. 30 and be completed remotely, as will final exams.
  • We will hold a virtual orientation for all incoming students, beginning in July and extending through the first six weeks of the semester.

2. Courses will be offered in a mix of modalities. 

  • Faculty and academic departments are determining the best possible approach for each class—in-person with limited density in the classroom, online/remote, or hybrid instruction.
  • Generally, large classes will be held online/remote while smaller and medium-size classes will be held either in-person in de-densified classrooms or online/remote. JHU has made substantial investments in technology and training to ensure online instruction is best-in-class.
  • Course information, including the modalities in which instruction will be offered, will be available for review in SIS after July 10. Advising will work closely with students to reconfigure their fall schedules. Course registration will begin on July 13 for new transfer students; course registration will begin on July 20 for new first-year students.

3. Students are not required to come to campus. 

  • You will not be penalized if you choose to stay home for the fall semester. We encourage anyone who is at higher risk for COVID-19 (or who must maintain close contact with someone who is at higher risk) to consider doing so.
  • Students who cannot (or who choose not to) return to campus will have options to continue their academic progress through online/remote courses. While we anticipate offering a rich variety of courses, there may be some courses that will not be available in an online/remote format. 
  • Anyone who wishes to apply for a deferral or a personal leave of absence this semester may do so through the normal procedures. 

4. First- and second-year students will have housing options.

  • First- and second-year students can apply for JHU-secured housing even if all of their courses are online. They will be asked to confirm their housing plans from July 10 to July 22.
  • First-year students who plan to come to campus will be required to live in on-campus university housing. They will have single bedrooms and bathrooms with limited sharing.
  • Hopkins-secured housing for second-year students will be provided to the greatest extent possible, either on campus (after first-years are accommodated) or in JHU-staffed hotels or apartments near campus. They may reside in single or double rooms and have limited sharing of bathrooms.
  • Second-year students also may choose to make private housing arrangements, with support and assistance from the Office of Off-Campus Housing.
  • JHU will provide transportation options for those living in Hopkins-secured housing off campus.
  • Juniors and seniors will continue to live off-campus. 

5. Other elements of campus life will continue in modified formats. 

  • Undergraduate research opportunities will be available.  On-campus research will be limited to those in their second year and beyond and aligned with the instructional calendar.
  • Dining will be available in a grab-and-go format at several campus locations. 
  • Campus traditions like Hoptoberfest and the Lighting of the Quads will take place with a mix of physically distanced in-person and virtual experiences. 
  • Student organizations will be given support to continue operations remotely or at a reduced in-person capacity. 
  • Plans for athletics are still being determined. 

6. JH Needs U: Help us protect each other.

  • Relying on the guidance of our faculty experts in medicine and public health to develop our plans for reopening campus, we will require all members to consistently follow best practices for preventing the spread of COVID: wear face coverings, maintain physical distancing, follow proper hygiene, and report any symptoms.
  • We have organized every classroom and common space to allow for physical distancing and enacted enhanced cleaning protocols.
  • We have developed capacity and protocols to support students who become ill and to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
  • Returning students may be required to participate in testing, symptom monitoring, and/or contact tracing.

7. Financial aid and employment options will be expanded.

  • Financial aid renewal packages will be emailed to all students the week of July 6.
  • The summer savings expectation has been waived and replaced with a grant.
  • Student employment and paid internships will continue to be available for students this fall, including remote opportunities.

8. Our plans could change. 

  • As the COVID pandemic evolves, we will continue to follow state and local regulations and the advice of our faculty experts in medicine and public health. 
  • We will put the health of our community first and are prepared to return to fully remote instruction if necessary.
Three socially distanced students talk on a campus patio
Student Experience

Every member of the Hopkins family has a shared responsibility to keep each other safe and healthy to protect the heart of the campus experience.

Academic Experience

A hybrid instructional approach will ensure that every student has the opportunity to pursue their educational goals.

Man places tray of cookies in dining hall
Housing + Dining

The reality of COVID means we need to adapt our traditional student residential life arrangements.

Health + Wellness

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended our lives and routines. It’s imperative that students take care of themselves, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Frequently Asked Questions

University operations

What is the status of activity on our campuses?

Johns Hopkins University is conducting an extensive planning process to guide a careful, phased approach to resuming activities on its campuses. Each step in reopening will be in accordance with state and local regulations and our own assessment of the public health status and operational readiness of our community.

A return to research labs for those who need to be present in the lab to do their work began on June 15 with measures in place to reduce density, maintain physical distance, and observe other health and safety measures. Otherwise, only those performing essential roles are on campus while all other employees and students are continuing to work and learn remotely through the summer. Currently, plans are being made to start the undergraduate academic year on Aug. 31 as long as the public health situation allows for the resumption of on-campus activities. Graduate and professional programs follow a variety of schedules and are communicating their fall plans directly to their students, faculty, and staff.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 9:34pm

How is the university determining which activities are allowed on its campuses?

A number of cross-divisional workgroups are studying the issues, gathering feedback, and drafting plans to guide a resumption of activities. Those plans are reviewed by advisory groups of students, faculty, or health experts as needed and then presented to the university community for feedback before they are finalized.

The decision to initiate in-person instruction will be consistent with both state and local restrictions and our own public health experts’ assessment of the COVID-19 pandemic. While our phased approach seeks to align with the state of Maryland’s approach, the alignment is not automatic, and there may be many times when the university cannot—for public health, safety, and/or operational reasons—be in the same phase as the state, just as not all counties in the state may be in the same phase at the same time. It may also occur that different campuses are in different phases. If public health conditions worsen, either locally or regionally, a return to earlier phases may be required.

All plans will follow core principles, chief among them a commitment to equity and inclusivity and the primacy of science and public health guidance offered by the world’s leading public health experts here at Johns Hopkins.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 8:43am

Do decisions about activities and the health and safety protocols apply to buildings not located on the university’s main campuses?

All of the reopening plans and the health and safety guidelines established by the university will apply to people taking part in activities in all of its owned or leased locations.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 9:45pm

How does the university’s phased approach align with the state of Maryland and Baltimore City?

The university is guided by the types of activity allowed by both the state and the city along with its own evaluation of public health and medical advice from Johns Hopkins experts. Regardless of the numbered phases, the university will not allow more activities than the city and state, and at times, it may allow less. Specific instructions for university affiliates are provided by email, on the Hub, and through school- and department-specific communications.

Last updated: June 22, 2020 4:06pm

Undergraduate student experience

Housing + Dining

Does JHU have a residency requirement for undergraduates?

Housing:

  • All first- and second-year students are welcome to apply for housing regardless of the modality of their courses, including those students only enrolled in online courses.
  • There will be no penalty imposed on students who choose not to return to campus in fall.
  • Students may request an accommodation from Student Disabilities Services or request consideration of a hardship (financial, etc.) via the Housing Office to request either (1) priority for on-campus or JHU-secured housing or (2) release from on-campus housing requirement.

First-year students:

  • First-year students who choose to come to Baltimore will be required to live on-campus regardless of academic modality. First-year students who choose to study remotely, from home, have no residential requirement.
  • Accommodations will be single-occupancy (private bedrooms) and include all or mostly shared bathrooms; assigned fixtures in group bathrooms will have no more than three people per fixture (sink, shower, toilet).
  • Students will be able to request to live with others in suites and apartments where possible.

Second-year students:

  • Second-year students are encouraged but not required to live in university-secured housing that includes local hotels and apartments as well as the potential for limited on campus housing.
  • Students can submit roommate and building preferences; priority for double rooms will go to those with roommate preferences.
  • Second-year students may also make private housing arrangements, with support and assistance from the Off-Campus Housing Office and Office of Student Financial Services; locations in Charles Village are encouraged.
  • If the demand for on-campus and JHU-secured housing exceeds supply, a lottery may be needed.
  • More information can be found on the Housing and Dining page.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 2:15pm

Where will first-year students live?

First-year students who come to Baltimore are required to live in on-campus housing, regardless of the modality of the courses they take. They will all have single bedrooms and assigned areas (sinks, showers, toilets) within bathrooms, which will be shared by no more than three people. Students may submit building preferences.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 4:40pm

Where will second-year students live?

Second-year students who plan to attend classes in person are encouraged to live in university-secured housing, but they may also enlist the Office of Off-Campus Housing to make private living arrangements. Once all first-year students have been accommodated, there may be on-campus options available.

JHU is also securing several off-campus hotels and and apartment buildings for second-year students. There will be singles and doubles with bathrooms that will be furnished similar to on-campus residences. Those locations will have university-managed security services, on-site Residential Life Staff, and dining options.

More information can be found on the Housing and Dining page.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 9:54am

When will I need to decide on my housing plans?

Student Financial Services will ask juniors and seniors to confirm their housing plans online by Aug. 1; University Housing will ask first- and second-year students to confirm their housing plans between July 10-22.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 10:50am

How will my housing decision impact my financial aid awards?

Initial financial aid packages sent to first-year students in December and March and returning students on July 9 included our standard housing cost assumptions—that is, we assume that first- and second-year students will live in JHU-provided housing, and juniors/seniors will live in off-campus apartments (not with parents). Once students confirm their fall housing plans—between July 10 and 22 for first- and second-year students, or by Aug. 1 for juniors and seniors—Financial Aid will adjust awards to align with the three possible options noted on our website:

  • JHU-secured housing (includes on-campus housing as well as local hotels/apartment leased by JHU)
  • Off-campus
  • At home with parents and/or relatives

We strongly encourage students to consider which living situation best supports their academic experience. JHU’s Housing, Off-Campus Housing, and Financial Aid offices are working together so that students have full access to their housing options for the fall.

Last updated: July 9, 2020 9:21pm

Can I stay in university housing during and after the Thanksgiving break?

While in-person undergraduate classes will conclude on the Friday before Thanksgiving, undergraduate students whose personal or academic situation would be ameliorated by staying in on-campus or university-managed housing for the entire duration of the semester (including after Thanksgiving) will be accommodated. Students who remain in university housing after Thanksgiving may not travel during Thanksgiving recess. The university will also work with students who have demonstrated hardships to arrange for winter break housing.

Last updated: July 21, 2020 4:51pm

If I live in JHU-provided housing and choose to travel home for the Thanksgiving break, or if the residence halls are closed due to COVID-19, will I receive a partial housing and dining refund for the weeks I won’t be on campus?

Yes. Undergraduate students living in JHU-provided housing who travel home at Thanksgiving will receive a prorated credit for housing/dining because they will not return to campus for the remainder of the fall semester. The same is true for a forced closure of the residence halls due to the pandemic. Students receiving need-based financial aid will also see their aid packages reduced to reflect the lower cost of housing/dining.

Last updated: July 13, 2020 9:09pm

How will JHU provide safe dining options?

Dining facilities will only offer grab-and-go options prepared by dining staff and there will be no seating in the dining areas. Systems will be in place to increase efficiency and reduce lines, and guides for social distancing will be marked. Meal plan options have been adjusted to allow more flexibility, and students on meal plans will have some food options at the off-campus residences managed by JHU.

More information can be found on the Housing and Dining page.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 9:55am

Student activities

Will there be activities or events where students in university housing can interact?

The need to maintain distance between people and wear face coverings will certainly change our approach to social and community events, but we recognize the importance of staying connected. We are working on ways to support small group gatherings, online meet-ups, and regular electronic conversations and check-ins.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 10:11pm

Will student organizations be able to meet?

The teams in Student Engagement will be working with student organizations to make plans to interact remotely or in person with appropriate health and safety measures. Groups will need to offer virtual options for members who are not present.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 10:15pm

How will JHU hold orientation for new students?

All incoming students can participate in virtual orientation, which begins in July and continues through the first six weeks of the semester. Details will be posted on the Orientation website.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 10:14pm

Student services + facilities

How will JHU offer health and well-being services?

Mental health, primary care services, and well-being programs will be predominantly offered remotely unless the in-person care is essential (i.e. allergy shots) or in crisis situations.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 10:13pm

Will we be able to use the Rec Center on the Homewood campus?

The Rec Center will be open with a reduced in-person capacity and reservations will be required for all activities. Face coverings will be required. Locker rooms, the climbing wall, and the rec gym will be closed and there will be no informal or intramural sport activities where appropriate physical distancing can’t be maintained. The center will continue to offer virtual fitness classes.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 10:27pm

Will we be able to use the library or MSE for studying?

Libraries and other campus spaces will operate with reduced density and adjusted schedules. Specific protocols are still being determined.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 10:20pm

Who should students contact regarding IT questions or problems?

Students should contact the IT Helpdesk at 410-516-HELP or via online request for questions related to JHED IDs, wireless network connectivity, and email access.

In-person IT support for laptop repair and general IT issues is also expected to be available during the fall semester at the Technology Store in Levering Hall Sherwood Room (113). Additional information on student IT support will be available on the Information Technology Services webpage.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 12:33pm

Are discounts available for student computer purchases?

Yes, academic discounts are available on both Dell and Apple computers. More information is on the Information Technology Services webpage.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 12:33pm

Will the Krieger Computer Lab be open?

Yes, the Krieger Lab is expected to be open for the fall semester (including printing), with appropriate social distancing and capacity limitations in effect. Students can also access most academic applications remotely through myJLab. Other computer labs operated by academic departments may have different restrictions or availability.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 11:31am

How is the university adapting ID card processes to promote health and safety?

The J-Card Office began providing a fully contactless ID card, the J-Card mobile credential, in April 2019. While we will still provide physical J-Cards to incoming students as a backup option, mobile credential is strongly recommended for all students going forward.

Incoming freshmen should download mobile credential when arriving on campus for Move-In weekend and will receive their physical J-Card when they check into their residence hall. Transfer students can download mobile credential that weekend as well, and should arrange to pick up their physical card from the J-Card Office. The mobile credential can be used immediately once downloaded. Upperclassmen already have access to mobile credential and should utilize it upon returning to campus if they haven’t done so previously.

If for any reason you need to replace your physical J-Card, replacements are $20 and can be picked up by appointment at the J-Card Office. We expect to return to open office hours once social distancing requirements have been eased. Please check the J-Card website for updated hours.

Last updated: July 1, 2020 10:13am

I’m an international student concerned I won’t be able to return to campus in the fall. What should I do?

Each school is being asked to consider the needs of international students and think creatively about options that will allow them to remain enrolled, even while located in another country. Students should discuss their situation with their adviser or program director and they can access support from the Office of International Services.

Last updated: June 25, 2020 10:59am

Student employment

Will the university’s hiring freeze apply to student employees, including those seeking work-study?

Student employment and paid internships will continue to be available for students this fall, including remote options.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 10:17pm

How will students find employment?

Before the beginning of the fall semester, we will announce a new system that will allow students to register and view/apply to paid student jobs and internships from all divisions of the university. Importantly, this system will allow eligible students to identify those positions that can be conducted remotely vs. in-person. Thus, eligible students who will not be in Baltimore will have opportunities to apply for remote positions.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 10:48am

Student health

How will the university monitor undergraduates, in particular those using university housing, for COVID-19?

We are still determining the best approach to screen students who will be living on campus upon their arrival. More information will be coming.

During the semester, students will be asked to monitor their symptoms each day, as will faculty and staff. We are currently evaluating the use of apps that will assist in tracking symptoms, but have made no decisions at this time. Testing will be available to any student who reports symptoms and the university will consider proactive testing of groups as needed.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 10:21pm

What happens if an undergraduate student tests positive for COVID-19?

All students who test positive for COVID-19, whether or not they show symptoms, will be required to follow CDC guidelines and remain in isolation until (a) it has at least three days with no symptoms and fever without the aid of a fever reducing medication; (b) respiratory symptoms have improved (e.g. cough, shortness of breath); and (c) it has been at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared.

JHU will contact individuals who may have had close contact with someone who tests positive. Any student who is determined to have had meaningful exposure to someone who tests positive will have to quarantine for 14 days, similarly staying away from other people and all public places.

Students who are living in the residence halls and are required to quarantine or isolate may be required to move to a designated location. We have set aside approximately 250 beds for isolation and quarantine, with contingency plans in place should more space be needed.

The university will assist students in JHU-secured housing who need to isolate or quarantine with food and other supplies and will check their medical condition by phone. Students living off campus will need to quarantine or isolate in their off-campus residences.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 10:18am

How is COVID-19 covered by the student health plans?

Both the Wellfleet and EHP plans for undergraduate and graduate students have no cost for doctor visits to diagnose COVID-19 or for testing. Coverage for COVID-19 treatment-related services includes the same coinsurance and copays as are charged for any other illness. Students should check their plan details.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 11:07am

If a student gets very ill and needs to take leave, are they in jeopardy of losing their health insurance?

Wellfleet continues medical coverage through the period that has been paid and offers an option to purchase additional coverage after that. EHP benefits continue for the entire period of the leave.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 11:08am

Will students who contract COVID-19 while working for the university get workers’ compensation?

If an undergraduate, graduate student, or postdoc contracts COVID-19 and it can be shown that the infection occurred at the workplace (for example, in a Johns Hopkins lab) while performing duties for which they are paid by the university, such as being a research or teaching assistant, workers compensation will cover medical costs.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 11:21am

Tuition + financial aid

Why is Johns Hopkins raising tuition amid a pandemic?

Tuition and fee increases for the next academic year were set before the COVID pandemic at a level consistent with our goals to support the university’s pursuit of excellence in its educational mission while remaining competitive with our peers. Our tuition increase of 3% for undergraduates in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and Whiting School of Engineering, for example, is lower than nearly all of our peer institutions that have published their 2020-2021 tuition rates.

We understand that the COVID pandemic is creating unexpected financial burdens for many families. The university is prepared to help meet these burdens with commitments to significantly increase financial aid. We encourage any students whose circumstances have changed to contact the financial aid office. Answers to financial aid questions related to COVID-19 can be found on the Financial Aid website.

Last updated: June 18, 2020 2:50pm

When will student billing occur?

The billing date for students’ fall tuition bills will be moved from July to August, and payment will be due in early September.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 10:46am

When will financial aid packages be delivered?

Renewal financial aid packages were e-mailed to all students the week of July 6.

Last updated: July 28, 2020 10:34am

My family’s financial situation has changed—who can I call for help?

Financial support is available to help students who need additional assistance as a result of the pandemic, or for any other reason. Call, e-mail, or request a virtual appointment with the Office of Student Financial Services between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 10:52am

If the university decides not to have students return in the fall, would financial packages change?

Yes. Students who were planning to live in JHU-provided housing would see their financial aid packages reduced to reflect their housing status (either off-campus, or at home with parents/relatives). For more information on the off campus and live at home budget allowance, visit the Cost and Tuition page on the Financial Aid website.

Last updated: July 21, 2020 4:53pm

CARES Act Emergency Grants

Am I eligible for the CARES Act Emergency Grant?

The first distribution of the CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants will be available to students who are eligible for federal financial aid and meet the following criteria:

Undergraduate Students

  • Federal 9-month EFC at or below 16,000 based on the 19-20 FAFSA
  • Received need-based institutional aid in spring 2020
  • Enrolled in at least one face-to-face instructional course in spring 2020 (as of February 20, 2020)
  • Did not graduate in May 2020

Graduate Students

  • Federal 9-month EFC at or below 16,000 based on the 19-20 FAFSA
  • Received federal student loans in spring 2020
  • Enrolled in at least one face-to-face instructional course in spring 2020 (as of February 20, 2020)
  • Did not graduate in May 2020

Last updated: July 17, 2020 12:00am

Can my CARES Act Emergency Grant be used to pay my bill?

The CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants are intended to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. The grant will be sent directly to you according to the refund method you selected. On receipt of your refund, you may then use the funds to help pay your education expenses.

Last updated: July 17, 2020 12:00am

How do I apply for the CARES Act Emergency Grant?

Students do not have to submit an application. However, they must have a valid 2019-2020 FAFSA on file with the school and meet the eligibility criteria described above. Financial Aid will notify eligible students directly by email beginning on July 16, 2020. Students will have to electronically certify that they have incurred allowable expenses (E.g. housing, food, transportation, course material, technology, and health expenses) prior to receiving the funds. Detailed instructions will be included with the email notification.

Last updated: July 17, 2020 12:00am

If I am no longer enrolled am I still eligible to apply for a CARES Act Emergency Grant?

If you were enrolled in at least one face-to-face instructional course in spring 2020 (as of February 20, 2020), and you received federal financial aid in that semester, you may be eligible for a CARES Act Emergency Grant. Please see the eligibility criteria above. If you believe that you are eligible but did not receive an e-mail notification, please contact your divisional financial aid office below:

Last updated: July 17, 2020 12:00am

Are international students eligible for CARES Act Emergency Grant funds?

Per the U.S. Department of Education, international students and DACA students are not eligible for CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

Last updated: July 17, 2020 12:00am

I do not qualify for CARES Act funds, but my circumstances have changed and I need help. What are my options?

Any Hopkins student facing financial uncertainty related to the pandemic should contact Financial Aid to discuss options.  Requests will be reviewed on a case by case basis, and prioritized based on level of financial need.

Last updated: July 17, 2020 12:00am

Will the CARES Act grant affect my eligibility for financial aid in the fall 2020 semester?

No. CARES Act funding will not impact your eligibility for fall 2020 financial aid, and will not be listed as part of your financial aid package.

Last updated: July 17, 2020 12:00am

Is the CARES Act grant taxable?

No. Per the Internal Revenue Service, the grant will not be included in your taxable income. Please visit the IRS’s site for more details.

Last updated: July 17, 2020 12:00am

What expenses qualify under the CARES Act?

Funds must be used for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19, including eligible expenses that are part of a typical student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child care.

Last updated: July 17, 2020 12:00am

Instructional activities

When will fall semester classes begin?

Graduate and professional courses of study follow a variety of schedules, and plans for those upcoming academic activities will be communicated by individual schools and departments.

Undergraduate classes will begin Aug. 31, as previously planned. Many classes will use remote or online formats, some classes will be held in person, and some will combine those approaches. Friday, Nov. 20, will be the last day for in-person undergraduate classes and, following Thanksgiving break, all undergraduate instruction will be online or remote through the reading period (Dec. 5-8) and finals (Dec. 9-17). More information can be found on the Undergraduate Academic Experience page.

Graduate courses or cross-listed grad/undergrad courses may continue to meet in-person at the discretion of the instructor. Undergraduates will not be required to attend these courses in-person but will be able to continue in online/remote modality.

Last updated: July 21, 2020 4:50pm

Will classes be in-person or conducted remotely in the fall?

We are cautiously optimistic that our extensive planning process will enable us to resume a meaningful portion of our on-campus undergraduate, graduate, and professional educational activities if public health conditions continue to improve. However, all schools will continue to see significant use of remote/online teaching and learning because physical distancing on-campus will drastically reduce the number of available seats in classrooms, some affiliates may not return to campus or will be prevented from attending in-person classes, and we must be prepared to regress to more restrictive public health phases anytime during the academic year, and on short notice.

Common teaching strategies that instructors may employ will vary from course to course but are likely to include:

  • Pre-recording instructional content for asynchronous delivery
  • Teaching remote students synchronously
  • Teaching class in-person with a mix of students attending either remotely or in-person
  • Teaching class remotely with students attending either remotely or in person (possibly with a remote instructor with on-campus assistance)

Last updated: June 23, 2020 9:49am

How do I know if my classes are in-person or online/remote for the fall?

Faculty from the Whiting School of Engineering and Krieger School of Arts & Sciences have submitted course-level information regarding fall 2020 teaching modality to the Registrar’s Office. The staff have started to update the schedule of classes in SIS, with a target completion date of July 10.

Between now and then, students will start to see relevant updates in the class schedule. It is recommended that students review their class schedule beginning on July 11 to see if any changes are necessary. Advising will be available to help continuing students reconfigure their schedules. New transfer students begin registration on July 13, and incoming first-year students begin registration on July 20.

To assist student with interpreting the revised class schedule, more information about course modality is available on the Homewood Registrar’s Office website.

Last updated: July 9, 2020 9:17pm

What if I don’t want to return to campus in the fall for undergraduate classes, or am unable to due to health, travel, or other issues?

We recognize there are many reasons students may want to remain off campus next year and we need to limit density for those students who do return. No student will be required to—nor should they feel compelled to—return in person to advance their education. We will support all of our students in pursuit of their Hopkins education, regardless of their location.

Departments have been asked to create options that use online/remote courses and asynchronous learning to accommodate remote students. Not every course will be available in an online/remote format, but students can work with their academic advisers or program directors to determine an effective plan to continue their educational program from an off-campus location.

Any undergraduate student who wishes to apply for a deferral or a leave of absence this semester may do so through the normal procedures. Note that students may not take classes at another college or university to transfer to their Hopkins transcript or degree requirements while on a personal or emergency leave of absence.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 11:24am

How will JHU handle grading for the fall semester?

Grading decisions are made on a school-by-school basis, with input from faculty, program directors, and students. These are currently under discussion, and decisions will be communicated by each school to their enrolled students.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 9:47am

How are faculty members preparing to teach effectively in remote/online modalities?

Schools recognize that supporting instructors in further mastery of pedagogical and technological options through training and resources will be essential for ensuring the success of remote/online instruction in the fall. All school teaching and learning staff are being asked to prepare a scalable plan for supporting faculty who may need to adapt to new teaching modalities.

In addition, schools and the university are co-investing in new technological resources to enhance the digital experience based on recommendations and guidelines developed by the Online Resources Workgroup.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 9:50am

How are faculty members going to teach while wearing face coverings, especially in unusual circumstances, such as instrumental lessons?

We recognize that lecturing with a face covering is not an ideal experience for either the instructor or class. However, it is important to do because of the opportunity for droplets to spread infection even in a pre-symptomatic phase.

Instructors may be granted exceptions for activities that preclude wearing of face coverings and/or distancing, such as instrumental performance, provided that there is a written plan in place that has been approved by the school leadership and HSE. The planning team continues to investigate alternatives and supplements to face coverings for certain situations, but at this time there are no studies that have evaluated potential benefits of face shields on source control (i.e., containing a sneeze or cough).

Last updated: June 25, 2020 10:58am

How are you going to enforce physical distancing during in-person classes?

We are engaged in a detailed and careful assessment of facilities across all our campuses and will establish appropriate limitations on classroom capacity and use of other shared spaces based on a standard of approximately 38 square feet per student (a 7.5 foot diameter around each person).

As on-campus activity resumes, schools will be responsible for informing faculty, TAs, students, and others about expectations and procedures to maintain low density (e.g. by using dedicated signage about physical distancing requirements as provided by their facilities staff). To accommodate classroom capacity, schools may need to consider expanding the class schedule to offer classes during extended hours, evenings, and/or on weekends or breaking larger classes into smaller sections.

Additional information about physical distancing and other health and safety measures—such as face coverings, screening for symptoms and cleaning protocols—is in our Return to Campus Guidance.

Last updated: June 26, 2020 3:00pm

What happens to in-person classes if COVID-19 cases increase after the semester begins?

It is possible that an increased outbreak of COVID-19 would require the university to suspend in-person classes during the semester. Instructors and program directors are being asked to make contingency plans for that scenario that would allow learning to continue without being in the classroom or, potentially, on campus.

Last updated: June 22, 2020 4:47pm

Isn’t there more to a robust academic experience than just classes?

We want faculty and academic staff to work together and with their students to ensure the local academic community remains strong. This includes:

  • Establishing opportunities for connections outside of the classroom and considering remote/online and hybrid options for continuing seminars and special events;
  • Applied practice activities that bring students into short-term projects;
  • Individual and group mentoring and professional development sessions; Participation in student-led groups and activities
  • Student research opportunities in collaboration with faculty to the extent possible remotely
  • Connecting with alumni from around the world and with experts in a chosen area of study

Schools should also evaluate all services and supports normally provided to students to ensure they can succeed, including academic advising, tutoring and writing support, career planning and life design, health and wellness counseling, library resources, information technology support, and other student services support.

Additional efforts to support a vibrant student experience outside the classroom are being actively explored by the Student Life Workgroup and will be shared in the coming weeks.

Last updated: June 22, 2020 4:47pm

Will undergraduates be able to do research in labs?

Principal investigators in each lab will evaluate the opportunity and draft plans to integrate undergraduate students into laboratory work while following spacing and other safety protocols. These plans will be reviewed and approved by department chairs or center directors.

On-campus undergraduate research will be aligned with the instructional calendar, and in-person research opportunities will end on the Friday before Thanksgiving.

To maximize the opportunities for those undergraduates for whom research is required, the number of undergraduate students in labs may need to be limited.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 9:52am

Health + safety

Will everyone be required to wear masks while at JHU locations?

Everyone must wear face coverings (including all faculty, staff, students, postdoctoral fellows, other trainees, guests, vendors, and visitors) indoors and outdoors, on campus and in university buildings, and in and around leased spaces, except when in a single-occupancy office with a closed door or while eating or drinking at least six feet away from others.

Exceptions to the requirement to wear face coverings outdoors will be made for individuals whose employment requires they work outside full time (e.g security, some facilities staff, etc.). They will need to wear face coverings when interacting with the public or when unable to practice social distancing.

The university will provide face coverings for JHU affiliates, who may also elect to use their own face coverings. Face coverings should be non-medical types in order to maintain supplies for health care use. Cloth face coverings must only be worn for one day at a time, and must be properly hand washed or laundered before subsequent use. They must at a minimum fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, be secured (e.g., with ties or ear loops), cover the nose and mouth, allow for breathing without restriction, and be able to be laundered without damage or change to shape.

Last updated: June 22, 2020 8:14pm

How will the university ensure physical distancing when on-campus activities resume?

Once JHU affiliates have been instructed to return to campuses and buildings, there are several options departments will consider to maintain required physical distancing measures. They include continuing remote activity and telework wherever possible, scheduling partial on-site activity on alternating days and/or based on shifts, and staggering reporting and departure times by at least 30 minutes to reduce traffic in common areas. Issues related specifically to classroom settings are being considered by the Academic Workgroup and information will be forthcoming.

In addition, the university is requiring that all affiliates follow physical distancing practices, such as not gathering in groups, staying out of crowded places and avoiding large gatherings, engaging in noncontact methods of greetings that avoid handshakes, staggering break times during the day, and using designated areas for meals while maintaining at least 6 feet of separation.

Additional planning for occupancy limits in labs and classrooms is addressed in the research and instruction guidance documents.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 9:45pm

Post does not exist

Will the university test each person who comes to a JHU location and trace contacts for anyone who tests positive?

At this time, widespread screening of everyone who comes on site is not in place and currently is not planned. We are evaluating options for testing students who will be residents of university-sponsored housing.

For individuals with symptoms, however, testing is free and available. Specifically, employees and students who report symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and meets CDC and Hopkins Infectious Control criteria will be screened by the appropriate call center and referred for testing if they meet current criteria. A health care worker will contact each individual who tests positive to provide guidance regarding self-isolation, monitoring of symptoms, and general health advice. Those individuals will also be asked a series of questions as part of our contact tracing process to help determine if others may have been exposed in the workplace/learning environment.

Testing techniques, uses, and limitations are discussed further in the Draft Recommendations for COVID-19 Screening, Testing, and Tracing, along with the university’s approach to phased implementation of testing and contact tracing activities.

Last updated: June 30, 2020 9:48am

Are you considering technology for doing contact tracing or enforcing physical distancing?

University workgroups are studying technology options to support health and safety while considering a wide range of associated efficacy, privacy, and implementation issues. No decisions have been made, and any plans to adopt new technologies will be shared with the community and open to feedback.

Last updated: June 26, 2020 3:01pm

Is the university providing access to adequate, appropriate PPE?

The university will provide faculty, staff, and students with two reusable cloth face coverings appropriate for meeting the masking requirements for its campuses. More substantial PPE will be provided in situations where the work of the laboratory called for that level of PPE before the COVID-19 outbreak, or where strict physical distancing requirements cannot be met (e.g., equipment requires two persons for safe usage).

Last updated: June 30, 2020 8:56am

What is the plan to clean university buildings, especially those with high traffic?

Custodial crews will clean common areas, lobbies, restrooms, classrooms, and conference rooms daily based on CDC guidance. Several times daily, custodians will provide additional cleaning of high touch points (stairwell and room door handles, elevator buttons, etc.).

Individual affiliates will be expected to clean tables, surfaces, or labs with which they make contact and wipe down personal workspaces. Before starting activity in a space and before leaving any room in which they have been working, individuals must wipe down all areas with a cleaning agent. This includes any shared-space location or equipment (e.g. copiers, printers, computers, A/V and other electrical equipment, coffee makers, desks and tables, conference tables, light switches, door knobs, etc.). People should avoid using other affiliates’ phones, desks, offices, or other tools and equipment and should clean and disinfect them before and after use.

Last updated: June 19, 2020 10:06am

What is the plan for safe use of elevators?

A university workgroup, in consultation with the faculty Health Advisory Group, determined that occupancy in elevators should be limited to four and that individuals should wear face coverings and press elevator buttons with another object (knuckle, elbow, etc.) if possible. Everyone should wash hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol upon departing the elevator.

Last updated: June 19, 2020 10:53am

What is being done about air ventilation in buildings in light of the danger of airborne transmission?

The ventilation—the number of air exchanges per hour and amount of fresh air intake—in each building is being reassessed and increased when appropriate. Facilities is also performing preventative maintenance checks to ensure filters have been changed and that systems are working properly.

Last updated: June 19, 2020 10:57am

Will Hopkins buses and shuttles observe safety guidance?

Everyone who takes public transportation or uses JH buses and shuttles must wear a face covering. Vehicle capacity will be set to limit density and in consultation with public health experts and regulatory guidance. The current limits are set at 24 passengers per JH bus and one rider group (single request) per van with a limit of eight passengers. For buses, passengers will be asked to enter via rear door only. Buses and Blue Jay Shuttle vans are cleaned after each driver’s shift using HSE-approved, hospital-grade products and high touch points are cleaned several times a shift by each driver.

Last updated: June 19, 2020 10:58am

How will the university enforce safety measures in bathrooms?

Individuals are asked to take responsibility for respecting social distancing while using restrooms. Hand dryers will be disconnected and paper towels provided. Education and awareness signage regarding hand hygiene will be provided.

Last updated: June 19, 2020 11:06am

Will there be restrictions related to whether individuals who have traveled outside the area, or the country, can come to JHU locations?

There are no such restrictions for travelers at this time, but the university will be subject to any future such federal, state, or local restrictions. Students returning to campus for instruction in the fall will need to be aware of any restrictions at that time related to where they are traveling from, and they may be asked to quarantine upon arrival if government regulations dictate.

Last updated: June 27, 2020 9:48pm

Who pays for COVID-19 tests, particularly if people need multiple tests after resuming activities on campus?

There is no cost to the individual being tested.  Since the passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) on March 18, all forms of public and private insurance, including self-funded plans, must now cover FDA-approved COVID-19 tests and costs associated with testing with no cost-sharing.

Last updated: June 22, 2020 4:39pm

JH NEEDS U

Help us protect each other

Illustration of person wearing a face mask

Cover your face

Always wear a mask on campus

Illustration of person washing hands

Wash your hands

Wash or sanitize hands often and don't touch your face

Illustration of two people six feet apart

Distance yourself

Keep six feet between you and others

Illustration of a digital thermometer

If you have symptoms

Self-isolate and call 833-546-7546 right away