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[Action Required] Semester Transition and Spring Location of Study

November 9, 2020

Dear Graduate Student,

We hope that you are safe and healthy. This message contains important updates and provides details on some essential actions required of you so that the University can successfully prepare for the end of Fall 2020 and the start of Spring 2021. Please read this email carefully and note the various deadlines.

End of Fall Term
The fall semester will conclude with a remote reading week and remote final exams after Thanksgiving Break. Students must maintain their current frequency of COVID-19 testing for as long as they are either using campus facilities or interacting in-person with other members of the Brown community.

Thanksgiving Break
For students who plan to leave Providence for Thanksgiving Break or at the end of fall semester, it is important for them to help protect their health and the health of the home and community that they are traveling to and. We encourage students to reduce in-person contacts and practice strict social distancing and mask wearing for 14 days prior to their date of departure — especially if they plan to travel by airplane, train or bus. For example, students who plan to leave Providence before Thanksgiving should plan to reduce in-person contacts around Nov. 10. We also encourage you to check with local boards of public health regarding travel restrictions that may be in place for your destination. Additional information on travel restrictions can be found on the CDC website.

Semester Transition and Routine COVID Testing

All graduate students will need to log into the MyBrown platform to enter important information about the semester transition and Spring Location of Study.

Using the form in MyBrown, all graduate students who will be active in the spring should indicate their location of study and contact level for the spring semester choosing from one of the following four options:

  • High Contact Status: Graduate students who will be on campus three or more days per week and/or have regular contact with students, faculty and staff will be tested twice per week.
  • Medium Contact Status: Graduate students who are on campus two days or less per week and have less regular contact with others will be tested once per week (although they may opt in to be tested twice a week if they prefer).
  • Low Contact Status: Graduate students who are on campus less than half a day per week, are accessing their department building only, and have minimal contact with others may request low contact status, which does not require participating in testing (although they may opt in to be tested once or twice a week if they prefer). Students in this category should be included in their department's Return To Campus Plan.
  • Remote Status: Graduate students who have chosen the remote study option may not be on campus and therefore will not be tested.

Graduate students with a fall semester on-campus status who will disengage with campus and will not access campus buildings and facilities between fall and spring semesters will be paused from COVID-19 testing until they return in January. Using the form in MyBrown, these students should enter by Friday, Nov. 13 the date when they plan to disengage with campus facilities for fall. (You will be able to select from a date range; if you are not certain of your departure date, please select the latest likely date for your departure.)  

Graduate students with a spring semester on-campus status must also use MyBrown to indicate by Sunday, Dec. 13 their return/arrival date for the spring term and return to testing.  

Students who utilize campus facilities while they have paused testing will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.

If you have questions about testing or need to make changes after Nov. 13, email the Student Testing Call Center at [email protected] or call 401-863-6500. (Students cannot make changes to their testing between Dec. 18 and Jan. 4.) For additional resources, please consult the information on the Healthy Brown website, especially the information on the student testing page.
While all graduate students should continue to work with their departments to include them on their departmental Return to Campus plans for the spring, the MyBrown system will be the system of record for students’ enrollment in COVID-19 testing.

Returning to Campus
Graduate students traveling outside the Providence area during break should follow all Rhode Island Department of Health guidelines for travel upon their return, as well as all applicable guidelines for states to which they are traveling. Additional information on travel restrictions can be found on the CDC website.

Students who pause their testing will be re-enrolled in testing on the date they indicate and at the testing frequency they elect in MyBrown, as outlined above. Students returning at any point, whether in December or in January at the start of the spring semester, will need to update their status in MyBrown in order to restart testing before accessing campus facilities.

Students who will be enrolled in the spring will be required to agree to an updated Student Commitment to COVID-19 Community Health and Safety Requirements (Student Commitment) and to complete a new online educational module by Friday, Dec. 18, 2020. You will receive a follow-up email with further information and an individualized link.

Spring classes will begin remotely on Jan. 20; those classes with a hybrid option will begin meeting in person on Jan. 27 (provided that the University is at Campus Activity Status is at or above Level 2). Students returning to Providence need to plan their return to allow adequate time for quarantine per Rhode Island Department of Health guidelines — those in effect in January — in advance of in-person classes.

In Closing
Thank you for your ongoing efforts to care for yourselves and others through this difficult time. Know that there are many resources and people who are here to support you as you work through your various decisions and planning. Please consult this FAQs page for questions about the End of Semester Information form. For questions about testing, email the Student Testing Call Center at [email protected] or call 401-863-6500.

Best wishes for the final weeks of the semester.


Andrew G. Campbell
Dean of the Graduate School

Eric Estes
Vice President for Campus Life

Dates At-a-Glance:

Friday, Nov. 13, 2020

Fall departure date due in MyBrown by 11:59 p.m. EST

Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020

Spring return date due in MyBrown by 11:59 p.m. EST

Friday, Dec. 18, 2020

Complete educational module and agree to Student Commitment 

Jan. 9-27, 2021

Quiet period until in-person classes begin Jan. 27, 2021

Jan. 20, 2021

Spring classes begin (remotely)