Students walking downtown

Fall 2020

UMR students can expect vibrant learning experiences. UMR faculty are known for their innovative teaching. The courses will be flexible and accommodate all students. Classes will be offered to varying degrees online, in-person, and a mix of the two (“hybrid”) to meet the learning outcomes required for a course.

Welcome to fall semester 2020 at the University of Minnesota Rochester!

Whether you’re arriving on campus to live and study, work or visit, you’ll notice many new safety features to assist in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Throughout campus, you’ll find clear signage about how to Protect The Nest. You’ll find classroom expectations, room occupancy levels, face covering requirements and steps to maintain physical distance. By following the guidelines of the Minnesota Department of Health and public health experts, together, we will Protect The Nest.

Welcome message from Chancellor Carrell


Welcome message from UMR Faculty

Three UMR students walking and laughing

The Fall 2020 Experience

The safety of UMR’s students, staff and faculty remains the top priority as we navigate COVID-19. 

The UMR community has plans and processes in place to pivot if the pandemic and state or local public health guidelines require that we do so.

Important information and updates will be sent to your university email. It is vital that the UMR community checks their UMR email address regularly. If you have questions regarding the fall semester, please email Your question will be directed to the correct contact. Finally, rely on your support network, Student Success Coach, disability services and UMR’s mental health counselors who are all here to support you.


Maroon and Gold Sunrise Plan 
The UMR Maroon and Gold Sunrise Plan has been developed as a framework for the return of students into UMR residences and for faculty members to offer courses with in-person elements beginning Monday, September 21, if that is the modality they had planned. 

The Maroon and Gold Sunrise plan has four carefully designed phased steps that lift restrictions gradually. Check UMR’s Maroon and Gold Sunrise Plan for all the details. 

  • Step 1: Students in campus residences will be expected to stay in their assigned housing until at least Monday, September 28, with some exceptions (e.g., attend classes, go to work, get groceries, use the Rochester YMCA, interact outdoors with physical distancing). During this initial period, students are expected to avoid any trips off-campus except for essential appointments or emergencies. 
  • Step 2: Increased access to campus and surrounding off-campus communities, with 9 p.m. required return to residence each night, for approximately two weeks.
  • Step 3: Full access to campus and the surrounding community, with a midnight required return to residence halls, for approximately two weeks.
  • Step 4: “COVID Normal” operations, during which students will continue having full access to campus and the surrounding community, but will no longer have limits on the time they are expected to return to their residence.

With consultation from experts, public health information will be assessed for the campus and surrounding community to inform the timing for moving from Step One to Step Two and beyond. While we expect cases of COVID-19 in our community, our behavior matters! Please protect yourself and Protect the Nest.

Frequently asked questions regarding UMR’s Maroon and Gold Plan can be found here

Academic Experience:
UMR students can expect vibrant learning experiences. UMR faculty are known for their innovative teaching. The courses will be flexible and accommodate all students. Classes will be offered to varying degrees online, in-person, and a mix of the two (“hybrid”) to meet the learning outcomes required for a course. These include digital course delivery, traditional classroom experiences and experiential learning. Some of the most effective learning happens by multiple modalities of learning.

Fall 2020 Academic Calendar and Important Dates:

  • Fall semester starts online: Tuesday, September 8 - Friday, September 18
  • Move-in begins: Friday, September 18
  • Courses with in-person elements can begin on campus: Monday, September 21
  • Step One of Maroon and Gold Sunrise Plan: September 18-28 (campus leaders to review information and data to evaluate if Step Two is feasible) 
  • In-person instruction ends: Wednesday, November 25 (all in-person classes transitioning to remote instruction)
  • Last day of instruction: December 16
  • Final exams: December 17-23
  • End of Semester: December 23

Resources for Support and Students:
Student Success Coaches
Disability Resources
Counseling Services
One Stop
Health, Wellness and Recreation


Attendance Policy
Please review the updated attendance policy:

  • If you are a student with heightened risk factors for COVID-19 wanting an accommodation to take courses online follow the steps below:

    • Contact Disability Resources for an initial exploration conversation.
    • Obtain a letter from Disability Resources and share this with the course instructor. 
  • Students who wish to take an in-person or blended course online for non-health reasons (including family members at risk) must follow the steps below:
    • Talk with faculty to request an online option.
    • Faculty will decide if this request will be granted. 
    • If faculty reject the request, the student would then be required to attend the course as scheduled, or work with their Student Success Coach to find an online option.
  • If you are a student displaying symptoms, caring for someone else with COVID-19, or in isolation/quarantine and need to be absent from class, follow the steps below:

    • Complete the COVID Care form.
    • Email course instructor directly.
    • Work with the course instructor to discuss accommodations for class participation, makeup work and more.
    • If your absence is longer than two weeks, work with the Disability Resource Center for an accommodation.

Lab Announcements
The experimental and hands-on nature of the learning in labs is difficult to duplicate in an online setting, thus the laboratory component of these courses (BIO-3344 Microbiology and CHEM-2231 Organic Chem-II) has been granted an exception to allow in-person instruction during the first two weeks of the semester.

Please note the following:

  • The lecture portion of this course will meet online during the first two weeks of the semester. For subsequent weeks, it will meet as it is currently listed on your schedule.
  • The laboratory portion of this course will meet in-person at its scheduled time even during the first two weeks of the semester. It will continue to meet in-person for the remainder of the semester unless circumstances change.
  • All labs will comply with current public health guidelines, including face masks and physical distancing, in addition to normal lab safety requirements. Every effort will be made to reduce risks while you are on campus. It is our hope and belief that you will continue to engage in responsible risk-reducing behaviors while you are off campus.

If you plan to live on campus, and wish to move in before the start of the semester, please fill out the Housing Exception Request form. For the "reasons" question, check the "other" box, and in the text field below, note that you are enrolled in this course which will be meeting in-person during the first two weeks.