Students walking downtown

Students Return to Campus

We can't wait to see you!

Students, we are excited as we plan to welcome you to campus for the fall semester, which will begin on September 8th, 2020. Returning students - we have missed you! New students - we are looking forward to getting to know you!

UMR’s innovative faculty are committed to creating incredible learning experiences this fall. Even with the public health challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, you can count on our campus community to provide exceptional courses and to support you as you make progress toward your goals for a great college experience and an on-time graduation

Coursework Expectations:

You can expect your fall coursework to include a combination of in-person and online  instruction. Most importantly, you can expect that all of those learning experiences will be vibrant and engaging. UMR faculty are committed to excellence in their teaching and they know how to use digital modalities to teach well and to build community. By early July, we’ll be ready to provide details about how specific courses will be taught. 

Health and Well-being:

Your health and well-being remain a top priority as we design the fall semester. We are consulting with public health experts and following their guidance, tailored for our spaces. All of us are committed to Stop the Spread. One unique characteristic of our campus is that we walk the skyways with Mayo Clinic patients and health care professionals. Because we care, we will together pledge to keep whatever public health guidelines are in place throughout the semester. Currently, those expectations include wearing a mask when you are indoors and a distance of 6 feet or greater. Any student who might develop COVID-19 symptoms will have access to testing and if you are ill, we’ll accommodate your learning needs through remote access to your courses.

While there will be inconveniences created by the pandemic, we also know that as future health professionals this experience will contribute significantly to your learning. Onward -- to fall 2020!

Frequently Asked Questions

General Return to Campus FAQ’s 

Please email Your question will then be directed to the correct contact.

UMR faculty will be ready to pivot to alternative learning formats if the pandemic and state or local public health guidelines require that we do so.

Effective July 1 and continuing until rescinded, all University of Minnesota students, faculty, staff, and visitors (including contractors, service providers, vendors, and suppliers) are required to use a face covering at all times when in any enclosed or indoor space on University campuses and properties with the following exceptions:

  • When eating or drinking; however, physical distancing must be practiced.
  • In your assigned on-campus apartment or residence hall room.
  • When you are alone in a room or where a posted and official University notice indicates face coverings are not needed.
  • When you are alone in a motor vehicle.
  • If you are unable to wear a face covering while exercising at the Rochester YMCA.

If you require accommodations for health or disability reasons. UMR’s Disability Resource Center can help identify needed accommodations.

The full face covering protocol can be found at the Return to Campus website.

Because we care, we will together pledge to keep whatever public health guidelines are in place throughout the semester.

On July 6, 2020, Mayor Kim Norton signed and the City Council voted to support the third amendment to the existing Emergency Declaration, requiring individuals to wear a face covering while in any indoor public space in Rochester, MN. The signed amendment can be found here and it will take effect on July 8, 2020.  

Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing practices throughout all University facilities will be implemented as recommended by public health guidelines.

Check your UMR email address regularly. Important information and updates will be sent to your university email. 

Make sure your contact and emergency contact information is updated on MyU. Only you can update this information. We encourage you to provide your parents’ or family members’ email address if they also wish to stay informed.

All campus buildings normally accessible to students will be open for student use after our return to campus. Some restrictions in room capacity and level of activities may be in place to encourage physical distancing and safety practices. Hours and level of operations are subject to change, so check your UMR email to find the most recent updates.

Classes and Learning

  • Fall semester starts: Tuesday, September 8
  • In-person instruction ends: Thanksgiving (all in-person classes transitioning to remote instruction)
  • Last day of instruction: December 16
  • Final exams: December 17-23
  • End of Semester: December 23

UMR students can expect vibrant learning experiences that combine in-person and online instruction, while following physical distancing guidelines. UMR faculty are known for their innovative teaching. They are designing courses for high flexibility to accommodate all students. Technology updates are being made to classrooms and creative approaches are being explored.
  • 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 experiences include digital course delivery, traditional classroom experiences and experiential learning. Some of the most effective learning happens by multiple modalities of learning. 
  • All courses will move to online/remote delivery after the Thanksgiving holiday to end the semester (including final exams).
  • Details about individual class plans will be available in early July.

Students are required to have internet access and a laptop that meets the minimum technical specifications listed here. Due to the increase in online learning and collaboration, a device (laptop, tablet) that has a webcam and microphone is essential. 

See the UMR Laptop Requirements webpage. Students who need financial support to help cover computer upgrade costs to meet the essential minimums and who need to claim computer expenses as part of “cost of attendance” should contact UMR One-Stop.

Once first year students register, we do not expect their schedules to change. For some returning sophomores, juniors and seniors, schedules may be changed to accommodate physical distancing requirements.

While a number of programs have been canceled, the Learning Abroad Center shares information regarding specific programs, many are still offered with additional health precautions and modified course delivery. Decisions about whether programs will run are being made on a program by program basis, and you will be notified via email if your program is canceled. For questions related to study abroad please email Assistant Vice Chancellor, Andrew Williams at

Residential Life

Any additional questions about residence life will be addressed during SOAR or can be answered through email sent to

Yes. Residential health and safety efforts are rooted in the most current science and based on guidance from federal, state and local health authorities. Measures will include a combination of the use of physical distancing, hand hygiene, limited density in indoor spaces, appropriate face coverings when distancing is challenging and other support resources.

To request an exemption from the first year student on campus residency requirement complete the campus residency requirement exemption request and return to

We are planning a measured move-in process to support physical distancing. The most likely scenario would have move-in occur over several days prior to the New Raptor Ready Week for new students and the start of classes for returning students. 

Move-in dates

  • Bridge students will move in on Saturday, August 22.
  • Other new students will move in on Saturday, August 29 and Sunday, August 30. 
  • Returning students living in campus apartments will receive further information at the end of July. The anticipated move-in for returning students will occur over Labor Day weekend. 
  • All students will receive information on apartment assignments at the end of July.

To the extent possible we will work to provide students with underlying health conditions with residential options to mitigate their exposure to the virus, as needed, based on individual circumstances. 

Please contact to make a request for a COVID 19 related accommodation. 

Health and Well-being

  • Students, faculty and staff with underlying health conditions, or those who are older, will have options to mitigate their exposure to the virus, as needed, based on individual circumstances. Please work with your success coach  to find the best options for your situation.
  • The option to participate in in-person instruction while practicing physical distancing and other health habits, is an individual decision. The University is implementing support and resources to ensure flexibility in the upcoming academic year for remote or in-person instruction.

Yes, to the extent possible, we are planning for campus life to be vibrant and to follow public health guidelines. More information will be provided as we get closer to the start of the semester. 

The UMR food pantry will be open and will continue to be located in 318 Commons.

Yes, all student services, support and resources will be provided, through a mix of in-person and virtual experiences.

Yes, the Rochester Area Family YMCA is reopening with public health guidelines in place.

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, you may contact  your preferred health care provider. Olmsted Medical Center Skyway Clinic located in 318 Commons is expected to be open and provides care for students.

You may use your preferred health care provider or arrangements can be made through the Olmsted Medical Skyway Clinic on campus.

Your student success coach and UMR’s counselor are here to support you.

Questions for New Students

New Raptor Ready Week and Orientation will take place August 31-September 6. More information on events will be forthcoming in SOAR (Summer Online Advising & Registration) and via your University email account.