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Last updated March 30, 2020

This page will be updated frequently to share new resources and answers. If you have a question or need that is not answered by one of the resources below, please email covid19@tufts.edu and we will respond as soon as possible.

Public Health

For detailed advice, including advice specific to the Tufts community, please see our Public Health and Medical Issues FAQ.

For overall health information about the Novel Coronavirus, please visit the CDC’s website to review their latest FAQs.

NOTE: For any emergency health needs, please contact the Tufts University Police immediately at x66911 from any campus phone, or from an off-campus or cellular phone:

  • Medford/Somerville: 617-627-6911
  • Boston: 617-636-6911
  • Grafton: 508-839-5303

Academic Continuity

How will Spring 2020 classes be conducted?

Please note that each school may have specific circumstances around academics and other areas that will be shared directly with students as it becomes available. The statements below do not supersede the direct information from each school.

All classes and non-clinical or research lab instruction were moved online beginning March 25. This means that faculty will assess and grade student work as originally intended in each course with possible modifications to the syllabus and forms of assessment. Students on campus due to exceptions or living off campus near Tufts will not be permitted to attend in-person instruction. 

Classes for undergraduate students will end on April 27 as scheduled, with the final exam period continuing as scheduled from May 1 – 8. Grades will be due on a normal schedule: May 11 for graduating students and May 15 for all other students. 

SMFA: Information about review boards and other academic issues specific to matriculated SMFA students is being communicated to SMFA students from the school. Additional information for other schools will be added as it is available.

The Fletcher School: Online course instruction will begin on March 23 – please refer to the specific material on The Fletcher School site for details.

Please note that the University will not be issuing refunds for tuition as classes and instruction will continue through the end of the Spring 2020 semester and credits and grades will be assigned normally.

Have any exceptions to academic policy been granted for Spring 2020?

Given the extraordinary pedagogical changes made in the middle of the Spring 2020 semester at Tufts and around the world, several exceptional measures for undergraduate students have been established for Spring 2020 via faculty vote in Arts and Sciences (including SMFA) and Engineering. This includes extended academic deadlines, changes to the Pass/Fail grading system, and waivers for for online instruction. Please see the Academic Policy Exceptions for Undergraduate Students: Spring 2020 webpage for more information.

What academic deadlines have been extended?

The deadline for undergraduates to Withdraw from a course is now April 27, the last day of classes. (Previously, this deadline was April 1.)

The deadline for undergraduates to select Pass/Fail grading is now April 27. (Previously, this deadline was April 1.) All grades of P (Pass) will be changed to EP (Exceptional Pass) for Spring 2020. Please see the Academic Policy Exceptions for Undergraduate Students: Spring 2020 webpage for more information.

These policy changes do not apply to graduate and professional students, who should consult their advisors and program directors for specific academic questions.

How has the Pass/Fail grading system changed for the Spring 2020 semester?

A new grade of EP (Exceptional Pass) has been established, encompassing all grades from A+ through D-. EP will confer credit but no grade points for GPA calculation and will fulfill all degree requirements. Undergraduate students may elect this EP for any or all of their courses for Spring 2020.

Students who have already selected the P/F option will automatically have a P grade changed to EP. The deadline to opt in for EP/F grading is April 27. Please see the Academic Policy Exceptions for Undergraduate Students: Spring 2020 webpage for more information.

The deans and Registrar will be granted discretion in accepting for transfer of credit coursework completed with a “Pass” or equivalent by Tufts students at other institutions that in Spring 2020 adopted a mandatory Pass/Fail grading scheme.

These policy changes also do not apply to graduate and professional students, who should see below for their specific schools, and consult their advisors and program directors for specific academic questions.

SMFA:

  • All SMFA studio art classes have always been graded pass/fail and that will continue during the upcoming COVID-19 period.
  • The liberal arts and sciences requirements for our BFA and MFA students are graded as per the rules of the School of Arts and Sciences.

AS&E Graduate:

The SOE faculty also voted overwhelmingly to extend the undergraduate policies to graduate students. The only change is to replace EP/F with EP/EN, where EN means extraordinary no credit. This is to resolve a technicality in the existing grading system between GR and UG students. Under the existing grading rules, a passing grade for GR students is B- or higher. A grade C is considered a “failing” grade and will not be counted towards degree requirements. So, if we literally extend the EP/F option to the GR students, a GR student opted for the EP/F option with a C grade will end up with an F in his/her transcript. With the EP/EN option, this student will have a C in his/her transcript.

Cummings:

  • Executive Faculty Board adopted a motion to permit the curriculum committee to grant the ability of a course to move to pass/fail at the request of the course director.
  • Each course will be assessed separately. They may also consider flexible grading within a course.
  • These specific decisions will likely roll out over the next two weeks.

Dental:

  • We are already P/F for many courses (practicals, clinical grades).
  • Our graded courses are in year 1 and 2 for didactic courses and will be maintained as is.

Fletcher:

  • The Academic Council of Fletcher decided that students may apply, on a course by course basis, for an accommodation to receive a Pass/Fail grade, to the Registrar’s office. Faculty would continue to give letter grades, but the registrar may alter that to P/F if requested by the student.
  • The Faculty will meet to agree on the deadline by which students must inform the Registrar. The academic council’s recommendation is that a date before the end of semester be set. If other schools select April 15, we will go with that. We intend to inform students of the policy by email.

Friedman:

  • Applies to final course grades for spring 2020 NUTR courses.  Does not apply to NUTB (blended) or NUTC (online certificate) courses.
  • For each course, each student may choose to receive a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) instead of receiving a letter grade as per usual practice.  If a student does not choose the S/U option for a course, the default will be to receive a letter grade.
  • For students receiving course letter grades, the minimum passing grade for Friedman School courses will remain B-.
  • All student decisions must be made by April 27 at 5 pm EDT.  Reversal of S/U choices will be allowed until this date and time.
  • Course instructors will be notified when a student chooses the S/U option for the instructor’s class.
  • Courses with S/U grading will not contribute to student cumulative GPA.

GSBS:

  • GSBS exec council approved unanimously an option for pass/fail decided by the student by May 1.
  • Course directors will be blinded to the student opting for pass/fail and the change will be done by the registrar.
  • We will use S/U (our traditional designation for pass/fail) and not PE. This applies to didactic courses only and not research grades (e.g. thesis committee, lab rotations)
  • The timing was chosen as our courses start at different times (e.g. some start in April) but May 1 should be near the end of all semester courses.

TUSM:

  • Our pre-clerkship curriculum is already P/F.
  • Remaining elective rotations for senior medical students will be credit/no credit.
  • The one area where we need flexibility is our third-year students, 80% of whom who were pulled from the clinical setting during their final clerkship rotation. (Note: 20% have already completed their clerkships and have been evaluated using our H/HP/P/LP/F grading system). Currently, those removed students are doing online work as part of their clerkships. Should conditions improve, allowing a return to the clinical setting, they would complete their clerkships as intended. If this occurs, it is critical that we use a graded evaluation. Indeed, students would demand it as they know the implications for residency applications. Should conditions not improve in a timely fashion, students will receive credit/no credit for the online work completed during this time, and the clinical portion of their clerkship will be deferred to the fourth year.

Tisch College:

  • All of our courses are cross-listed with A&S so we will comply with their policy.

University College:

  • For the current Spring semester, all the courses for which non-degree students register through the Courses at Tufts platform are existing courses in one of the other schools, and so would be covered by grading policies of those schools.  And thus, we don’t have courses operating this spring for which we set the grading policy.
  • We currently have non-degree students enrolled through University College in A&S and the SMFA, SOE, Fletcher, Nutrition, TUSM/Public Health, and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.  We have been working to confirm that all those students receive the regular communications going out from their schools; we also are communicating with them directly when needed.
Will the Academic Resource Center remain open?

The Academic Resource Center will remain open throughout Spring 2020 with normal hours. Individual sessions, group workshops, and classes for Subject Tutoring, Writing Support, Time Management & Study Strategies, Academic Study Halls, and the EAP program are continuing via phone or video conference. All previously scheduled appointments will be observed; tutors are reaching out to those who have scheduled sessions with the new appointment format. Please refer to the Academic Resource Center website for more information.

How will this impact the 2020 Summer Session?

At this time, no definitive decisions have been made regarding the Summer Session. The global situation is rapidly changing, and because the beginning of Tufts Summer Session is still over two months away, it is too early to predict the precise impact of the virus on our course offerings. 

No decision has been made concerning in-person summer courses, although we would anticipate if the situation continues through the summer, instructors will be asked to provide their course content online as they will be during the Spring term. Please note that Tufts has long offered a range of very high-quality online courses during the Summer Session.

This FAQ will be updated as soon as any decision has been made regarding Summer 2020.

How will this impact Fall 2020 semester planning for undergraduates?

All 2020-2021 academic dates and deadlines on the Academic Calendar will continue as scheduled. 

  • Fall 2020 course registration will begin April 6 according to the established schedule. Undergraduate students should consult their Advisors during the Advising Period (March 25 – April 3) via email, phone, or video conference to plan their fall schedules and release registration holds. (Students remaining on campus or in the local area may also be able to schedule in-person appointments at the discretion of their Advisors.) Graduate students should consult with their departments regarding advising and course registration for Fall 2020.
  • The registration period for Fall 2020 will remain open into late August. (Previously, registration  closed on April 17 and re-opened in June.)
  • The deadlines to Withdraw from a class or declare a class Pass/Fail — April 1 for undergraduates and April 27 for graduate students — will continue as scheduled. 
  • The deadlines for taking a medical leave of absence also remain unaffected.

The Office of Undergraduate Education will remain open throughout Spring 2020 with normal hours. Undergraduate students may make appointments with their Advising Dean, Senior Academic Advisor, and/or Academic Resource Advisor, as well as department Advisors, Pre-Health Advisors, and Scholar Development staff. Appointments will continue via phone or video conference beginning March 16. 

Graduate students should consult with their program faculty and department administrators.

How will this impact undergraduate admissions?

The Tufts Office of Undergraduate Admissions is closely monitoring the developing situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19). Additional information is available on the admissions site and will be updated as needed.

Will I be reimbursed for tuition?

Please note that the University will not be issuing refunds for tuition as classes and instruction will continue through the end of the Spring 2020 semester, and credits and grades will be assigned normally.

What are the implications for students who are doing credit-bearing internships off-campus?

Students earn academic credit for internships based on written reflection, research, and reports on how the internship connects with theoretical or practical aspects of their major or field of study. If the on-site internship is curtailed or cut short by the employer or the academic department, the student is expected to continue with the academic portion of the internship in order to be assessed by their supervising professor and in order to earn credit. 

Many on-site internships will be cut short because the student must leave campus or the employer decides to end the internship for purposes of social distancing. There is also a chance that the student can work remotely, provided this work is of use at the internship placement. In a few cases, the employer, student, and academic department may all agree that it is acceptable for the student to continue their on-site internship placement. If this is the case, the student may continue on site, with the understanding that this arrangement would be subject to change if the impact of COVID-19 were to escalate. 

Students living in the local area may continue their internship placement but should be prepared to alter it or focus on the academic component remotely.

Study Abroad

Tufts Global Education administers our own study abroad programs called “Tufts Programs Abroad,” and we also support students on “External Programs,” where students take a leave of absence from Tufts and enroll with partner programs either through other academic institutions or program providers. Please note the difference as we answer questions related to the Coronavirus outbreak and any related program communication.  

For extensive resources specific to this program, please see the “Study Abroad FAQ Related to COVID-19”.

Campus and Residential Life

Are AS&E students able to work for on-campus employers for the remainder of Spring 2020?

To help ensure that students can continue to pursue their academic goals without undue financial strain while they are unexpectedly away from campus, the university has developed the following policies for on-campus student employment for Spring 2020.

Students with Work Study

Undergraduate and graduate students with work-study funding will continue to be paid for their regularly scheduled hours through the end of Spring 2020 (Friday, May 8). Students will continue to be paid for their regularly scheduled hours whether or not they are able to continue working remotely for their on-campus employer as long as they have work-study funding available. (See below for information about payment for hours once work-study funding is used up.)

The university recognizes that many work-study students depend on the income they earn from their on-campus positions to help cover essential needs, and we are committed to providing them with support in the form of federally subsidized work-study wages.

Students without Work Study

Undergraduate students who do not have work-study funding (including those who have used up their work-study funding for Spring 2020) will continue to be paid for their regularly scheduled hours through Friday, April 4 as the university transitions to remote learning and working. After April 4 and through the end of Spring 2020 (Friday, May 8), undergraduate students who do not have work-study funding will only be paid for hours they are able to work remotely for their on-campus employer.

Graduate students who do not have work-study funding (including those who have used up their work-study funding for Spring 2020) will only be paid for hours they are able to work remotely for their on-campus employer through the end of Spring 2020 (Friday, May 8).

The university recognizes that this policy means that some students may earn less from on-campus employment during Spring 2020 than they originally anticipated. By providing payment for regularly scheduled hours and remote work as outlined above, we aim to balance the very real needs of our students with the limited funding available in various departments. We thank the many staff members in departments across the university for their flexibility and creativity in providing students with opportunities for remote employment wherever feasible.

Additional Information for All On-Campus Student Employees

  • All students employees should continue to submit hours for any time they work, and they will continue to be paid for these hours.
  • All students who will continue to be paid for their “regularly scheduled hours” as outlined above will be paid for the number of hours they normally work, either according to a predetermined set schedule, or by calculating an average number of hours worked in past weeks during Spring 2020. Student supervisors will be responsible for inputting regularly scheduled hours into the payroll system for their student employees each week.
  • Student employees should contact their supervisors to discuss what duties and projects will be needed for the remainder of the semester and can be conducted remotely.
  • The end of any on-campus student employment as a result of the university’s response to COVID-19 will not impact a student’s ability to re-apply for a position when normal on-campus operations resume, and all students returning to Tufts once normal operations resume will be able to seek on-campus employment.
  • We encourage all students to contact the university to discuss any specific financial circumstances. For questions related to work study and other forms of financial aid, please contact studentservices@tufts.edu. For inquiries related to financial hardships caused by COVID-19, please contact FIRST@tufts.edu.
What is the move-out plan for on-campus undergraduate and graduate students?

Please note that students in graduate schools may have specific circumstances around housing and should follow the instructions they received directly from their schools. The statements below do not supersede the direct information from each school.

All on-campus undergraduate and graduate students have received information from Residential Life explaining that they are required to move out of their residence halls by Monday, March 16 at 3 p.m. and outlining procedures for doing so. This applies to all residential facilities, including woodframe, apartment, CoHo, and graduate housing operated by Residential Life. 

We understand that some students may have extenuating circumstances which would require them to remain in their on-campus residences for a short period after March 16 or, in rare cases, for a longer period of time. Students will have the opportunity to register to stay on campus after March 16 if they:

Students who are unable to return to their permanent residence at this time due to travel restrictions or due to extenuating personal circumstances must request permission before March 12 at 5 PM ET to remain through the Office of Residential Life and Learning. Note that requests must be approved.

What options are there for students who are unable to depart campus at this time?

Students who believe that they will be unable to depart campus by 3 p.m. on March 16 must request to remain on campus by completing Residential Life’s online form no later than 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 12. Please note that completing this form does not guarantee approval. Any students who are approved to remain on campus beyond Monday, March 16 will likely be relocated in order to consolidate the use of residential spaces. All Beacon Street residents at SMFA will be relocated to the Medford/Somerville campus. 

Residential Life is working closely with The UPS Store regarding storage and shipping options for students who require these services. Information about these options has been sent by Residential Life to all on-campus students and is available on the Residential Life website.

Will housing and meal plan fees be reimbursed?

Housing fees, including the Room Commitment fee, and meal plan fees, including SMFA Meal Money, will be prorated effective March 16, 2020, through the end of the semester. JumboCash and Rhino Bucks balances will also be credited upon request effective at the time of the request. For those students with a Tufts grant, there will be a proportional adjustment made reflecting the lower cost for the year. Students will be issued prorated credit to their student account, which may be held for a future semester, or they may request a refund through SIS. If you request a refund, please allow 7-10 business days for your request to process.  

Please note:

  • Students who were living on campus for Spring 2020 will have prorated credit for housing and meal plan fees applied to their student accounts automatically. Student Financial Services will process these credits beginning March 25. Thank you for your patience if you don’t receive confirmation of your credit immediately, as Financial Services is processing a large number of credits.  
  • Students living off campus for Spring 2020 may request a prorated credit for meal plans fees. Off-campus students must submit requests by 12 p.m. on Thursday, March 26. Please allow at least two weeks for a credit to be issued after a request is submitted. (Credits are not automatically issued to off-campus students for meal plan fees in case they remain in the Medford/Somerville area and are using meals at Dewick-MacPhie Dining Center and/or the Commons Marketplace during Spring 2020.)
  • All students with a JumboCash and/or RhinoBucks balance as of March 16, 2020 may request a credit for their unused JumboCash and/or RhinoBucks. Students must submit requests by Wednesday, March 25. Please allow at least two weeks for a credit to be issued after a request is submitted. (Credits are not automatically issued to students for JumboCash and/or RhinoBucks balances in case they remain in the Medford/Somerville and/or Fenway area and are using funds at local vendors during Spring 2020.) 
I live off campus or in private housing, how does this affect me?

We are only asking students who live in on campus housing which includes woodframe, apartment, CoHo, and graduate housing operated by Residential Life to leave campus. Any student who lives off campus should be referred to their landlord if they have questions or concerns about their housing situation. 

The following are truly non-Tufts private housing and do not have to vacate unless otherwise specified by the owner of the property.

  • Zeta Psi – 80 Professors Row
  • ATO of Massachusetts – 134 Professors Row

No matter where you live, we recommend social distancing, which includes remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible. 

How does this impact the 2020-21 Housing Selection process?

Residential Life will continue with Housing Selection for the 2020-21 academic year as planned. All students with lottery numbers should proceed with housing selection according to the schedule on the Residential Life website.

Is there transit support for getting to South Station and Logan?

There will be free shuttles available from the Medford campus to South Station and Logan Airport on Friday, 3/13 and Saturday, 3/14 – shuttles will leave every 30 minutes between 8 AM and 6 PM. Shuttles will depart from the lower campus center patio of the Medford campus. 

Please sign up for a shuttle on TuftsTickets.com starting at 2 PM on Thursday, March 12.

What options are there for students who need to leave cars on campus in Medford?

Parking permit fees will be prorated to $100. For students wishing to leave cars on campus, please notify parking@tufts.edu immediately. All vehicles should then be relocated to the Dowling Garage.

Additional information about parking on other campuses will be shared as it becomes available.

Can I get a refund on my parking permit if I’m leaving campus?

Those who have purchased a parking pass for the Medford campus are eligible to receive a refund. To receive a refund please email parking@tufts.edu with your First Name, Last Name & Permit Type (Resident or Commuter). Refunds will be issued to the student’s original payment method within 7-10 days of processing.

Refunds will be distributed as follows:

  • Resident Full Year Permit – $800 (original cost) = $200 (refunded)
  • Resident Semester Permit – $400 (original cost) = $200 (refunded)
  • Commuter Full Year Permit – $400 (original cost) = $200 (refunded)
  • Commuter Semester Permit – $200 (original cost) = $100 (refunded)
Will dining halls be open?

All Tufts Dining locations on both the Medford and SMFA campuses are closed for the remainder of the semester, outside of the exceptions noted below.

To better serve students who remain on campus or in the local area, meal services through Tufts Dining move to Dewick-MacPhie Dining Center starting, Monday, March 16. (Previously, Carmichael Dining Center was made available to students, but service has closed as of Sunday, March 15.)

New hours of service also go into effect at Dewick: starting March 16, (including Saturday and Sunday), brunch will be served from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., and dinner will be served from 4 – 8 p.m.

Students on Spring 2020 meal plans who have been approved to remain on campus or who remain in the local area will be able to use their meal swipes during these times. If you do not currently have a Tufts meal plan and would like to enroll, please email TuftsDining@tufts.edu.

Students may also use JumboCash in Dewick. Meals will be served as take-out only.

Beginning Tuesday, March 17, specific meal times will be assigned to all students through TuftsTickets.com to help maintain proper social distancing. For Monday, March 16, we ask students to practice social distancing as diligently as possible on their own when they access Dewick.

For instructions for signing up for meal times, or if  you experience any difficulty with TuftsTickets, please contact ocl@tufts.edu.

Commons Marketplace will also remain open starting today, as previously announced. Their hours of service will be Monday – Friday,  8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Additional information about dining on the Boston campus will be shared as it becomes available.

The University is currently reviewing the possibility of prorating Meal Plan fees and financial aid for Meal Plans and will provide additional information as soon as it becomes available. Thank you for your patience as we make a determination.

Please note that the Spring Break Meal Money program previously offered to eligible students has been suspended in light of the above change in Tufts Dining services.

Will the libraries be open?

Most Tufts Library spaces are closed until further notice. All libraries will maintain virtual resources and business operations to support academic continuity for distance learning.

Tisch, Lilly, & SMFA Libraries:

Library staff will provide virtual assistance to help faculty and students access online resources and services through Ask A Librarian. Staff can host virtual consultations with students or small groups via WebEx or Zoom. Following spring break, we will offer expanded hours for virtual chat, and adapt library and Digital Design Studio sessions to a remote classroom context. Our email question service is also available.

Scan & Deliver is on hold to comply with Governor Baker’s directive to close physical workplaces. All Tufts libraries will suspend Scan & Deliver services from March 24 until at least April 7 (the end-date of the current order). This service will resume once it is safe for library staff to return to campus.

Tufts community members with checked-out materials should be assured that we understand this is an extraordinary situation. Overdue fines are suspended for all items, including interlibrary loan materials. Due dates for all borrowed items will be extended past the start of the fall semester.

Hirsh Health Sciences Library:

The Hirsh Health Sciences Library will remain open for study, with no on-site services. It should not be used for group meetings per overall event protocol. Librarians are available for consultations and assistance. More information can be found here.

Ginn Library:

Ginn Library staff will provide virtual reference assistance, fulfill online requests, and provide limited Scan & Deliver. Please check the Fletcher COVID-19 page for updates and information.

Webster Family Library:

The Vet Library is closed. Please contact library staff for assistance and questions.

Digital Collections and Archives (DCA):

The DCA Reading Room is closed until further notice. We are evaluating the situation weekly and will provide status updates on the DCA website.

DCA staff will be working remotely. We will respond to questions and research inquires to the best of our ability using digital resources, including all content in the Tufts Digital Library. We are available for archival research consultations and University records management advice via phone, WebEx, or Zoom. Please contact us at archives@tufts.edu or via the DCA website with questions.

What should I do with my library books?

If you have materials borrowed from any library, please keep them for now. Please be assured that overdue fines/late fees will not be charged for any items, including interlibrary loan materials, calculators, and reserve materials. All due dates will be extended past the start of the fall semester. This process will take some time to complete. Please ignore due dates for all materials while we work to resolve this issue.

Will the gym be open?

All indoor athletics facilities will be closed as of the end of the day on March 12. 

Outdoor athletic facilities will be open for limited use (running on the outdoor track, playing tennis) but should not be used for group gatherings or other events.

What aid is Tufts going to be providing to relocate students out of dorms in terms of physical labor/cost reimbursement?

Tufts University and The UPS Store Student Storage Service have setup a special program to help students move-out as quickly and easily as possible for the early mandatory move-out from campus. Tufts has arranged for The UPS Store to pick up any summer storage items directly from student dorm rooms after they leave campus. Students will be charged the normal summer storage fee with no charge for the additional time resulting from the early closure.

What do I do if I can’t return my books?

If students can’t return books before they leave campus, they will be able to print out a free shipping label to send them back to us by the deadline.  An email will go out later in the semester concerning the shipping label. For overseas students, or with any other questions, call the Textbook Dept at 617-627-2061.

Will the shuttle buses to Davis Sq. still be running after March 16th?

All shuttle operations have ceased as of March 12.

Are the art galleries open?

Tufts University Art Galleries were closed to the public and Tufts Community as of March 12. For updated information, please refer to the gallery’s website and official announcements from the University. While there is no replacement for seeing artwork in person, please download the TUAG mobile app here for a virtual tour that includes images and gallery texts of current exhibitions.

Additional Student Resources

What resources are available for students as they learn remotely?

Tufts Technology Services has provided an extensive list of resources, tips, and tools on the Learning Remotely page. Also, Tufts is providing licensing for all Tufts students to use Adobe Creative Cloud for the Spring Semester. Learn more here.

What support is available for international students?

International students are receiving guidance directly from the International Center regarding immigration and visa-related questions. The International Center is maintaining an information page that includes immigration updates and other notes specific to the Tufts international community.

The International Center will remain open throughout Spring 2020 with normal hours. Appointments and check-ins will continue via phone or video conference beginning March 16. Students remaining on campus or in the local area may also be able to schedule in-person appointments at the discretion of staff.

Will the Undergraduate Student Affairs office remain open?

The Student Affairs office will remain open throughout Spring 2020 with normal hours and is available to help all students coordinate co-curricular resources, supports, and services. Appointments will continue via phone or video conference beginning March 16.

Will Student Accessibility Services remain open?

Student Accessibility Services will remain open throughout Spring 2020 with normal hours. Any student with an approved accommodation that has given their faculty their accommodation letter should expect that their accommodations will continue in the online environment. Appointments and check-ins with SAS will continue via phone or video conference beginning March 16. (Students remaining on campus or in the local area may also be able to schedule in-person appointments at the discretion of staff.) All previously scheduled appointments will continue: SAS will reach out to those students with the preferred format. The process for registering for accommodations will proceed normally. 

After March 13, all exam accommodations will be monitored by instructors online (Dowling and Lincoln Filene will be closed as of March 13 at 5 p.m.). Students scheduled to take exams on or before March 13 should proceed with their previously scheduled plan. Students may check the Student Accessibility Services homepage for information about accommodations in online classes, any virtual workshops, and other programming.

Will identity-based centers remain open?

All six Identity-based Centers will remain open throughout Spring 2020 with normal hours. Appointments and check-ins will continue via phone or video conference beginning March 16. (Students remaining on campus or in the local area may also be able to schedule in-person appointments at the discretion of staff.) Although events through the Identity-based Centers have been canceled or postponed for the remainder of the semester, students are strongly encouraged to seek resources and services through each Center and are welcome to stop by the Centers before their departure from campus.

Will Tufts Global Education remain open?

The Tufts Global Education office will remain open throughout Spring 2020 with normal hours. All current study abroad students are receiving information and instructions related to their program by March 12 and will continue to receive updates directly from Tufts Global Education. Information about the status of Summer Abroad programs and programs for the 2020-21 academic year will be shared as soon as it becomes available.

Will the Tufts Career Center remain open?

The Tufts Career Center will remain open throughout Spring 2020 with normal hours. Individual career advising appointments and drop-ins will be held by phone or Skype beginning March 16 and will continue through the last day of classes, April 27. Please refer to the Career Center website for more information. Students who have currently scheduled appointments should log in to Handshake and edit the appointment medium from “in-person” to “phone” or “Skype” and provide a phone number or Skype username. (Students remaining on campus or in the local area may also be able to schedule in-person appointments at the discretion of staff.)  

All Career Center events have been canceled or postponed for the remainder of the semester. Students may check Handshake for information about any virtual events that may be offered. A follow-up message with more details will be coming from the Career Center within the next few days.

What support is available from student services and financial services ?

Please note that this applies to undergraduates only

The Registrar is currently planning to remain open throughout Spring 2020 with normal hours. Beginning March 18, appointments and services will continue via phone and email. In some cases, in-person appointments may also be made upon request.

Financial Services is currently planning to remain open throughout Spring 2020 with normal hours. Beginning March 18, appointments and services through Financial Aid will continue via phone and email. The Bursar’s office will also continue appointments and services via phone and email, and will be available for in-person cash transactions on upon request.

Students may email studentservices@tufts.edu or call 617-627-2000 with questions.

Events and Operations

Will Commencement and Senior Week go on as planned?

For the latest update on commencement, please read the message from President Monaco sent on March 30, 2020.

The Tufts University Social Collective (TUSC) has made the decision to cancel all in-person Senior Week events. TUSC is a student organization and came to this decision independently of the university administration. TUSC is working towards finding alternative ways to celebrate the senior class at anticipated alumni events in 2021. Read the full announcement made to the Class of 2020 here.

What is the policy on events?

Until April 30, 2020, all Tufts events are prohibited, including on-campus events, Tufts-sponsored off-campus events, and Commencement

In-person meetings of any size should be avoided. We encourage you to use remote technology (such as Zoom, Webex, Skype, Google hangouts, conference calls) to meet. 

If you must hold a meeting or event, the maximum number of attendees is 10 people. We strongly recommend holding the meeting in a space where the number of attendees will not exceed 50% of the capacity of the space. We also remind you that events with external visitors have been prohibited. In addition, we encourage you to remind attendees of measures to lower the risk of spread of viruses (not shaking hands, practicing social distancing, covering coughs, washing hands frequently, etc.) and take measures to reduce risk in other services—such as food service (not serving food in units where multiple people will touch serving utensils or packaging, etc.). 

Each school may have school-specific requirements that should be followed as well.

What is the policy on visitors?

All events with external participants (e.g., conferences, symposia, lectures, etc.) have been prohibited as of March 10, 2020 until at least April 30, 2020.  Any plans for visitors, whether international or domestic, to travel to Tufts for events should be canceled. 

Will university offices stay open?

Starting on March 17 at the latest, we are asking all non-essential staff to work from home with the purpose of increasing social distance and protecting ourselves and the broader community from the spread of COVID-19. We will be continually assessing the situation and will advise when employees can return to their regular work spaces. More information is available on the Staff FAQ and the Research Continuity page.

For more information about campus facilities, please see the section on “Campus and Residential Life.”

What resources are available to assist faculty and staff?

Our goal is to prioritize health and safety by developing policies that will permit employees the flexibility and resources they need to put their health first. Specific information is available at the links above, and your supervisor should be able to help with any particular need that arises during this emergency.

We have created resources specific to the needs of staff employees, including supervisors, which are available here:

Tufts Technology Resources has put together the following materials to support staff and faculty members with technology needs.

 

What finance resources are available?

The Finance Division seeks to maintain business operations through remote work during this period. For general financial questions, please reach out to your Budget Center contact. Please see the dedicated Finance FAQ page for more.

Mail Services / Campus Facility Access

How do I request changes or updates to my access to Tufts buildings, offices, or labs?

Contact the ID Card office at accessreq@tufts.edu, or 617-627-3692 to request any changes or updates in your access to Tufts buildings, offices, or labs.

What if I lose my ID or need a new one?

If you have lost your Tufts ID or need a replacement:

  • Medford/Somerville Campus: Please visit TUPD Dispatch on the first floor of Dowling Hall, 419 Boston Ave.
  • Boston Health Sciences: Please visit the TUPD offices at BRPH, 136 Harrison Ave.
  • SMFA campus: Please visit the TUPD offices at 230 The Fenway
  • Cummings Veterinary Campus: Please visit the TUPD offices at the Administrative Services Building, 200 Westborough Rd.
Will Tufts Mail Services continue to service the campus during this time when many departments are not staffed on-site?

Tufts Mail Services will continue with normal operations Monday-Friday 8am-4pm.  The mail services team has access to the areas that departments would normally receive mail and will deliver to those pre-arranged locations.  Special delivery inquires and requests can be made to Jennifer.bevins@tufts.edu or Jeffrey.mckay@tufts.edu or call 617-627-3495.

Will the Medford mailroom still handle mail going to the other campuses?

The Grafton campus trip from Medford will take place on Tuesday and Thursday, with daily USPS mail and mail distribution taking place with Grafton Operations employees. Boston campus and SMFA trips will take place on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Email Jennifer.bevins@tufts.edu or Jeffrey.mckay@tufts.edu or call 617-627-3495.

Will Tufts Mail Services still be able to handle large-quantity mailings?

Tufts Mail Services continue normal operations Monday-Friday 8am-4pm.  Special delivery inquires and requests can be made to Jennifer.bevins@tufts.edu or Jeffrey.mckay@tufts.edu or call 617-627-3495.  Organizations that normally work directly with vendors for bulk mailing services can do so or can reach out to the mail services for help if needed.

A few departments are asking for mail/packages to be held in the mailroom. For mail room/service questions or requests for different types of service requests/needs, e-mails can be sent to Jen Bevins at Jennifer.Bevins@tufts.edu or Jeffrey.mckay@tufts.edu, or the mailroom can be reached at 617-627-3495.

Cleaning

Is the University taking any steps to increase or change cleaning protocols in light of COVID-19?

The University has proactively instituted enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures in response to emerging viral pathogens; these include the application of EPA-approved disinfectants on communal, high-use surfaces. We stand ready to alter these practices as CDC guidance and/or the situation at Tufts changes. In the event that deeper environmental cleaning becomes necessary, the University is working with an outside vendor to ensure that this can be done swiftly and thoroughly.

Dispensers throughout campus are being restocked with CDC-recommended hand sanitizer, and we will install additional dispensers as needed. We continue to monitor our inventory of hand soap, disinfectant, sanitizer and paper products to ensure uninterrupted availability of these products throughout campuses.

Additional information about lab and clinic safety will be shared when available.

What is the difference between cleaning and disinfecting?

Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. Cleaning does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

How do I request cleaning or sanitation services for my area?

Facilities Services such as custodial services, trash, and building services for all Tufts campuses may continue to be requested using the online form at https://fsrequest.tufts.edu/WebMaint/

Time-sensitive or emergency requests should be reported via telephone:

  • Medford/Somerville: 617-627-3496
  • Boston: 617-636-3535
  • Grafton: 508-839-7921
How are the custodians cleaning University spaces to deter the spread of viruses and prevent the spread of illness?

Custodial staff performing both routine cleaning and additional disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks) with an EPA-registered disinfectant that are appropriate for the surface, following label instructions.

What products are being used to treat high touch points and why?
  • C&W Services is using Oxivir TB, and Virex disinfectants.
  • Per the Center for Disease Control (CDC) the products listed are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses (www.cdc.gov).
How often are high-touch points being disinfected?

C&W Services will be disinfecting high touch points a minimum of twice a day, until such time as the University in collaboration with state and federal health officials determine that the risk of infection returns to normal conditions. 

What are considered high touch points?

  • Restrooms – handles, partitions, urinals, toilets, sinks, urinal push buttons, ADA railing, etc.
  • Door push plates
  • Elevator buttons
  • Sinks and faucets
  • Doorknobs
  • Water fountains
  • Common areas
  • Handrails
Are there any reductions in day-to-day operational cleaning around campus?

To increase campus-wide disinfecting efforts, day-to-day operational cleaning frequencies relating to vacuuming, sweeping, spot cleaning, dusting, and glass cleaning may be adjusted.  Every effort is being taken not to disrupt custodial service levels.

Will custodial staff receive additional training?

C&W Services’ custodial staff are currently being trained to reinforce the standards that are to be put in place per CDC’s guidelines for infection control to address any specific concerns around COVID-19.

Will delivery of cleaning products be impacted?

Based on information from C&W Services, Tufts custodial service contractor, has not reported any supply chain problems and major delays.  The University started to increase standing par levels of cleaning products, hand sanitizer, and paper products weeks ago, when the first case of COVID-19 was reported in the state.

Travel – International and Domestic

What restrictions are there on travel?

Based on guidance from international, national, and local agencies, including the Governor of Massachusetts and the U.S. Department of State, Tufts has issued guidance restricting international travel for students, faculty and staff.  As of March 10:

  • All university-sponsored, connected, or funded international or domestic travel by students, faculty, and staff is prohibited.
  • All personal international or domestic travel is strongly discouraged. If you must travel for personal business, we urge you to exercise extreme caution and to monitor both domestic and international destinations where COVID-19 is present for updated information, as well as information, travel warnings and health advisories on the CDC website. 
  • If you arrive from any CDC Level 3 country – please see this list for a full update of countries for a full update of countries, as the situation is changing quickly – you are prohibited from coming to campus and must self-quarantine for 14 days in accordance with the guidance issued by the CDC. You should also complete this travel form and inform your supervisor or dean.
  • If you arrive from a CDC Level 2 travel warning country – please see this list for a full update of countries, which on March 11 was expanded to be global (i.e., all remaining international destinations beyond the Level 3 countries – you must complete the travel form.
  • If you have had contact with someone who has had a presumed or confirmed case of COVID-19, you must self-quarantine for 14 days in accordance with the guidance issued by the CDC, email covid19@tufts.edu, and inform your supervisor or dean immediately.

These restrictions will be in effect until April 30, when we will reassess the situation and determine whether to continue or revise them.

Is there an appeal process for travel to places to which Tufts has restricted travel?

No, there is no appeal process. We realize this is disruptive and may cause disappointment and anxiety for many. However, the CDC has emphasized that widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the United States is occurring, which brings with it the potential that our healthcare and other infrastructure may be overwhelmed and unable to provide the care to those who need it. 

The reason we are taking these strict measures is so that we can not only help protect the safety of the members of our community, but also prevent the spread, especially to people whose lives may be threatened by the virus: vulnerable people, such as older and immune-compromised people.

These measures can help make COVID-19 manageable, and we believe at Tufts that it is our duty not only to protect those most vulnerable, but to do what we can to protect the safety of our community.

I am planning to travel for personal reasons. Is it OK to travel?

As the situation with respect to COVID-19 is evolving daily, there are risks to traveling both outside and within the United States, from being exposed to the virus to being restricted from reentering the country. Cases have been reported on all continents except Antarctica.

As a result, we strongly urge anyone considering personal travel, both international and domestic, for any length of time to cancel their plans immediately for the time being. If your travel is disrupted, if you become subject to government restrictions while you are away, or if you have difficulty returning home, Tufts will not be able to intervene on your behalf. Similarly, if you return from domestic travel to an affected area, in addition to the risk of contracting COVID-19, you risk potential quarantine once you return to the Boston area.

If you do choose to travel, we urge you to:

    • Avoiding close contact with sick people—stay at least 6 feet away to prevent exposure through coughing
    • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
    • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60 percent to 95 percent alcohol.
    • Wiping down frequently touched objects (e.g., phones) and surfaces
    • Covering your cough with your upper sleeve or elbow
    • Avoiding sharing drinks/food/cigarettes and vaping products
    • Seeking medical attention if you get symptoms—coughing, fever, difficulty breathing.
Should I register my travel with the Tufts Travel Registry?

The Travel Registry is for university-related or sponsored international travel only. As all international travel by students, faculty, and staff is currently not permitted, there will be no need to register any international travel. Do not register your personal travel or any domestic travel you do.

What if I already registered my travel and have canceled because of the new guidance?

Please email internationalsafety@tufts.edu and let them know which trip you have canceled, and they will take care of it in the Travel Registry.

Who can help me if I get stuck on personal travel abroad?

You will need to follow local guidance on procedures and next steps. Even for personal travel, it is highly recommended that you obtain a travel assistance provider. You can buy International SOS coverage at 20 percent discount.

What if I travel to a country with a level 2 or 3 CDC warning on personal business? What happens when I get back?

If you have traveled to a CDC Level 3 travel warning country, or if the travel warning for the country you have traveled to has been elevated to a Level 3 before you returned to the United States, you cannot return to campus, even if you are symptom-free, for 14 days. You must fill out a travel form when you return and self-quarantine in accordance with the guidance issued by the CDC:

  • Do not go to work or school.
  • Stay home and avoid contact with others.
  • Limit your activities in public—do not go to crowded places—such as supermarkets, public transportation, movie theaters, etc.
  • Keep 6 feet from other people.
  • Take your temperature with a thermometer 2 times a day, and monitor for fever, cough, or trouble breathing.

If you are returning from any international destination, you must fill out the travel form. Your dean or supervisor will be informed and may recommend or require you to self-quarantine.

What if the country’s travel warning is elevated to a Level 2 or 3 after I have returned to the United States?

If the CDC travel warning for the country from which you have returned is elevated to a Level 2 or 3 after you return from your trip, you must inform the University at covid19@tufts.edu. If it is elevated to a Level 3, you will be required to self-quarantine and remain off-campus for 14 days.  If you are a student who has remained in on-campus housing, you should contact Health Service (617-627-3350) immediately so that arrangements for self-quarantine can be made on campus.

What about returning from personal domestic travel? Do I need to self-quarantine?

The university’s travel guidance strongly discourages personal domestic travel. If you believe you have had contact with a person with a presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19 while on your travels, you must email covid19@tufts.edu, inform your supervisor or dean immediately, and self-quarantine until you receive approval to return to campus (if you are on campus as an essential employee).

What if I have to cancel travel that is already booked and paid? Can I get a refund or avoid cancelation fees?

If you have incurred cancelation fees, or have difficulty obtaining a refund for an already-booked airline, hotel or Airbnb and other travel expenses, you may be able to obtain a refund. We have prepared a template for requesting a refund for canceled travel and a letter signed by Tufts if you require one. The following resources may be useful to you as you pursue refunds from travel providers:

Will the university refund my cancelation fees if I can’t get a refund?

If you are traveling on a research grant and incur cancelation fees on sponsored programs, cancelation fees are an allowable cost if there is a compelling business reason—such as cancelation as a result of coronavirus-related restrictions or policies, or CDC travel restrictions (see CDC Level 3 Countries). Authorized approvers must ensure any change or cancelation fees charged to sponsored funds are reasonable and allowable. The NIH has recently issued guidance on reimbursement of travel expenses. Please reach out to your PI or your research administrator at the school/center for necessary documentation.

For travel outside of research grants, if you have incurred cancelation fees, or have difficulty obtaining a refund for an already-booked airline, hotel, Airbnb, and other travel expense, you may be able to obtain a refund from the provider. We have prepared a template for requesting a refund for canceled travel and a letter signed by Tufts if you require one. Otherwise, the cost will need to be charged to the applicable department or project Dept-ID (as non-sponsored funds).

I am planning to travel for research or for a program in the future. Should I book my travel and accommodations?

It is difficult to predict how the spread of COVID-19 will evolve in the future, and what measures will be taken by local and national authorities (both in the U.S. and in other countries), as well as what Tufts will need to do to ensure our community is safe. If you book your travel, try to find airlines, hotels, or rentals that are offering flexible cancelation and refund policies. (This site offers up-to-date information about airline policies as of March 10, 2020.)

Should I book refundable tickets?

For travel on sponsored programs, higher costs for refundable tickets (not business class) are allowable, if there is a compelling business reason. Given the fluidity of the COVID-19 spread, this criterion is met. Booking a non-refundable ticket is preferred to procuring travel insurance.

For travel on non-sponsored programs, we recommend to budget for the higher costs of a refundable ticket given the fluidity of the COVID-19 spread. You are highly encouraged to book through the university’s preferred travel provider, Travel Collaborative.

Should I buy travel insurance?

You will need to carefully check the policy to ensure that pandemics are not excluded, particularly during a current event of this magnitude. Some carriers over “cancel for any reason” policies, which may cover this event; however, they tend to be significantly more expensive. Booking a refundable ticket may be the preferred method of accounting for potential changes in your travel plans. 

What about visitors who travel to Tufts?

All events with external participants (e.g., conferences, symposia, lectures, etc.) have been prohibited as of March 10, 2020 until at least April 30, 2020.  Any plans for visitors, whether international or domestic, to travel to Tufts for events should be canceled.