Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions: Returning to Campus for the 2020–2021 Academic Year

Student Access to Campus
Housing and Meals
Classes and Programs
Arrival, Testing, and Contact Tracing
Tuition, Room and Board
Protective Measures and Statement of Community
Travel and Visitors
Returning to on-site Work



How many undergraduate students will be permitted to live on campus this coming year?
Under current conditions, roughly half of the undergraduate student body will be able to be on campus in any given term. Each class year will have the opportunity to spend two terms on campus during the 2020-2021 academic year (20F, 21W, 21S, 21summer). Each class has one assigned priority term, and all continuing students will be able to rank their preferences for their second enrolled term following a process that Dean Kathryn Lively will share on June 30.

FALL: Classes of 2024 and 2022
WINTER: Mixed classes based on preferences and availability
SPRING: Class of 2021 and Class of 2024
SUMMER: Class of 2023 and Class of 2022 members who deferred their sophomore summer residence requirement to 2021 summer

How will the number of terms that a student has already taken remotely impact their permission to return to campus? Some sophomores, for example, will have already taken two remote terms by the beginning of fall term.
The priority/preference framework for the 2020–2021 academic year provides opportunities for on-campus enrollment for up to two of the four terms as follows:

CLASS OF 2021: '21s have priority for spring. They will be asked to confirm whether they would like to be here in the spring, and to rank preferences for fall, winter, and summer as their second opportunity for on-campus enrollment. We know most members of the Class of 2021 are graduating at the end of spring, but not all will be, so summer will be included as an option.

CLASS OF 2022: '22s have priority for fall. They will be asked to confirm whether they would like to be here in the fall, and to rank preferences for winter, spring, and summer as their second opportunity for on-campus enrollment. Those '22s who received permission to defer the sophomore summer residence requirement to next summer will need to take that into account in their rankings.

CLASS OF 2023: '23s have priority for sophomore summer. They will be asked to confirm that they will be here in the summer, and to rank preferences for fall, winter, and spring as their second opportunity for an on-campus term.

CLASS OF 2024: '24s have priority for fall and spring and will enroll remotely for the winter.

CLASSES OF 2020 and EARLIER: You have not been assigned a priority term. We will ask you to rank fall, winter, spring, and summer in order of preference.

Please note that these are priorities and preferences, and not guarantees. Students will complete a form to indicate their preferences within this framework. Students will receive confirmation of assigned on-campus terms by July 31.


How will Greek-life organizations be affected by these new protocols? Will Greek recruitment ("rush") take place this fall?
The Office of Greek Life will be working with House advisers to confirm conditions for residential use of Greek facilities. This fall, we anticipate that members who are juniors who are approved to enroll on campus will be able to live in Greek facilities, subject to reduced occupancy levels consistent with College COVID-19 operational and behavioral requirements. For the 2020–2021 academic year, there will be no in-person recruitment activities, and significantly reduced group gathering limitations. All student organizations, including Greek-letter organizations, will be required to follow College COVID-19 operational and behavioral requirements.

How will food be served and consumed on campus in the fall?
Dining services for undergraduates will be in compliance with all applicable state, CDC, and industry guidelines, and COVID-19 task force recommendations. Daily meals will be pre-ordered and delivered for students in self-quarantine and self-isolation. Students enrolled for fall term will receive more detailed information the week of Aug. 16.

Will my family/friends be permitted to help me move in and out of my dorm room?
Students will be asked to arrive with no more than they can take with them on short notice in the event that we are required to shut the campus down as we did in March. Move-in will be a simple process, and one which begins a required 14-day quarantine period. To reduce the risk of virus transmission on campus, we expect there will be limits on the number of people who may accompany a student arriving for fall term. Students enrolled on campus for fall will receive information about move-in processes, timing, and requirements when they receive their housing, arrival date, and related information the week of Aug. 16.

How will Residential Life handle the fall single-room assignments process?
Once the list of students who will be here in the fall is confirmed in mid-late July, Residential Life will communicate with those students about the room assignment process. Students confirmed for enrollment on-campus for fall will receive their single room assignment the week of Aug. 16. 

When in July can I pick up my room belongings?
A message will go to all students who had expressed interest in this possibility on June 30, and will indicate what we are able to offer over July and August and how that process will work.

When will we receive the room belongings that are being shipped to seniors?
That shipping process has begun and will continue over the next few weeks. Please see the FAQs on the Residential Life website, and send an email to if you want to communicate with a member of the Res Life team about your individual question or situation.


Will students living off-campus be able to take in-person classes?
The majority of instruction will be remote this fall. To the extent that there are classroom components, capacity will be extremely limited because of substantially reduced safe occupancy levels resulting from physical distancing requirements. The availability of these opportunities for students living on campus, and potentially for students living off-campus locally, will be determined in August following the fall course election period. 

Will preference be given for students doing theses or multiple labs? What about students who cannot live at home?
For fall, winter, and spring 2020, eligibility to be on-campus each term will be determined by class year priority, term preferences, and availability.

What percentage of classes will be remote this year? Which types of classes will be held in person? Will this affect the number and types of class offerings this year?
As the community message indicates, the majority of instruction this fall will be remote, even for students on campus. The fall term Timetable of Class Meetings will be posted on July 18 and will include the course delivery mode for fall course offerings.

When will I know about the delivery modes of courses to be offered winter and spring terms 2021?
As usual, information about courses offered in future terms is available just prior to the course election period.

How do I know what time courses meet in Fall 2020?
Many courses will meet at the times listed on the Timetable of Class Meetings. Some courses will say "ARR" (arranged) and you will need to contact the instructor. The course delivery mode codes will indicate whether the course section is on campus, synchronous, or asynchronous.

Do classes meet according to the usual Schedule of Class Meetings?
The Schedule of Class Meetings times has been slightly adjusted to allow 20 minutes between classes to allow custodial staff to clean classrooms.

What will the grading policy be? Will it be different for '24s?
All instruction will be graded in accordance with normal grading policies as outlined in the ORC/Catalog. This includes the Non-Recording Option.

If I have an "R" term indicated in my D-plan. Does that mean I can be on campus that term?
No, "R" term means "residential or remote." An "R" indicates you are enrolled at Dartmouth that term and taking courses, whether or not you are on campus.

If I want to change my D-plan, how do I do so?
You may use the usual methods to change your D-plan. Either access the D-Plan change tool through DartHub or, if you are requesting a change that is not allowable per faculty legislation, complete a petition for change in enrollment petition and send it to the Registrar's Office at

Will sophomore summer be mandatory this coming year?
There has been no change in the sophomore summer residency requirement. As announced previously, both '22s and '23s will be able to fulfill their sophomore summer residency requirement next summer (in 2021) if they have not done so already.

Will student performance groups and other student organizations be permitted in the next academic year?
Student organizations and programs have developed creative virtual opportunities to stay connected, participate in activities together from all over the world, and form new relationships. While nothing can replace the experience of being together in Hanover, Dartmouth will continue to do all we can to support alternative ways of maintaining connections and building relationships virtually. Palaeopitus, Student Assembly, and other student organizations have been meeting with Dean Lively and Student Life staff throughout the past few months and are in the process of forming a student advisory group of rising leaders and students from across campus to work together on community-building strategies throughout the year.

When will the decision be made on FSP and LSA opportunities?
The College cancelled fall term off-campus programs. Updates for winter and spring will be announced as decisions are reached based on current conditions.

Will those living off-campus be able to take in-person classes if it is not "their" time to be on campus?
Nearly all instruction will be remote this fall. To the extent there are any classroom components, capacity will be extremely limited due to substantially reduced safe occupancy levels resulting from physical distancing requirements. The availability of these opportunities for students living on campus, and potentially for students living off-campus locally, will be determined in August following the course election period at the end of July.

Will faculty hold in-person office hours in the 2020-2021 academic year?
Because of office space limitations and physical distancing requirements, and to reduce the risk of virus transmission, students should be prepared for office hours, appointments with deans and other staff, health service appointments, and other meetings with faculty and staff to occur remotely.


How will students get to campus if the Dartmouth Coach is not running?
Public transportation has been limited because of state pandemic guidelines. We will know more about public transportation options later this summer and will provide updates to students who will be here in the fall as soon as we have them. 

What kind of COVID-19 testing will take place this fall?
Our Health/Epidemiology Working Group, led by physicians Mark Reed, director of the College Health Service, and Lisa Adams, a COVID-19 Task Force co-chair who works in the Infectious Disease Section, have consulted with Dartmouth's Department of Epidemiology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC), the New Hampshire Department of Health, professional associations, and peer institutions and will continue to assess the viability of developments for COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and other risk-reduction strategies. They will continue to work closely with the state health department, DHMC, and other experts over the next six weeks to finalize and prepare to implement our contact tracing and testing protocols. COVID-19 testing using the PCR diagnostic test will begin on arrival for students new to, or returning to, campus and will likely be performed periodically throughout the term.

Undergraduate students will receive detailed information about these expectations the week of Aug. 16, when they receive information about housing assignments, staggered arrival assignments, and other arrival information. Graduate and professional school students will be contacted by their respective schools with details pertaining to their COVID-19 testing protocols and procedures. Recommendations for testing employees who will be on campus in the fall will also be shared in the coming weeks.

Our top priority is the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and the greater Upper Valley community. As we open for a reduced number of students and activities on campus, compliance with all College risk-reduction policies will be required. Students who don't wish to participate in COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and other health protocols can choose to enroll remotely.

Is COVID-19 testing mandatory?
Testing and compliance with all college health requirements will be mandatory. Many other institutions have announced that testing and contact tracing protocols will be prerequisites for their ability to host students on campus.

Will I be able to access my COVID-19 test results? Who else will receive them?
Students, faculty, and staff who are tested through our initial testing-upon-arrival process will receive their COVID-19 test results with a priority on alerting those who test positive. Individuals will be notified by a clinician and/or public health official. When test results lead to a health requirement to quarantine, isolate, or transport for medical care, test results will be known only to those directly involved in support functions.

How will contact tracing on campus work?
See above. Undergraduates who will be on campus this fall will receive details regarding COVID-19 testing and contact tracing in arrival information they will receive the week of Aug. 16. Graduate and professional students will receive information prior to the start of their academic year in early August. If contact tracing protocols using cell phones will be required, we will ensure that all students on campus have the ability to participate. 

Will students be required to keep track of/report on the state of their health?
All undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students will be required to participate in daily screenings similar to those currently required of all faculty and staff who are on-site. Details will be provided in the arrival materials that undergraduate students will receive the week of Aug. 16 and graduate and professional students will receive prior to the start of their academic year in early August.

What is the current status of COVID-19 cases in the Upper Valley? How many people in the Dartmouth community have tested positive?
As of June 29, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS) reports a total of 5,638 total cases in New Hampshire, 80 in Grafton county, and 15 cases in Hanover. Of New Hampshire cases, 27% have been in workers in health care settings and 35% have been in residents or staff of long-term care facilities. As of June 25, there are a total of 911 active cases in New Hampshire, concentrated in the southern counties and no current active cases in Hanover. Daily updates including breakdowns by sex, age, race/ethnicity and can be found on the NH DHHS website. Since Dartmouth moved to remote classes for spring term with a limited number of students remaining in residence, there have been no COVID-19 cases among Dartmouth students on campus since early April. These low rates in New Hampshire indicate that there is limited community transition and has allowed the governor's reopening plan to proceed. Despite the evidence of decreasing community transmission, NH DHHS reminds us that New Hampshire communities remain at risk for a resurgence of COVID-19 and the importance of all persons continuing to follow public health guidance including face covering, physical distancing of at least 6 feet, and frequent hand hygiene. Vermont's Department of Health provides similar COVID-19 data and breakdowns.

While Dartmouth has not previously required reporting of COVID-19 testing or cases among faculty, on May 11, Dartmouth instituted an online health screening requirement in accordance with the New Hampshire Governor's Economic Reopening Taskforce's universal guidelines for New Hampshire employers to promote a healthy work environment. Information on this screening process can be found online. This screening tool allows us to address employee concerns, provide support to those who may be experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, and ensure that protocols for maintaining a healthy workplace are followed.

What can we expect when our students return in the fall? What do current epidemiologic models predict? 
Dartmouth is preparing for a careful and intentional re-opening for the start of the academic year. All epidemiologic models are highly sensitive to assumptions and indicate that, in accordance with New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services guidance, continued adherence to current public health measures is important to keep our campus and broader community safe. The guidance for individuals—both students and employees—is described in detail at


When will current students be receiving their financial aid package for the 2020-2021 academic year?
Financial aid packages will be available in early August.

What will the charges be for room, board, and tuition?
Charges for the new academic year will be posted as usual.

Will tuition be reduced for students who decide not to be on campus?
The provost has announced that there will be no reduction in tuition for remote learning. Full tuition will be charged for all enrolled students whether they are enrolled and residing on campus or taking courses remotely.


How can the College encourage and monitor physical distancing in student social spaces?
All students on campus and living locally will be required to agree to COVID-19 behavioral requirements, including that students who fail to comply will lose the privilege of being enrolled on campus and will be required to leave. Our ability to maintain on-campus living and learning options is dependent on our collective commitment to promoting the health and safety of the campus and greater Upper Valley community. Students who cannot meet these expectations may choose to enroll remotely, or not at all. 

What happens if students violate institutional protocols?
Students who fail to comply with their agreement to abide by College COVID-19 behavioral requirements will lose the privilege of on-campus enrollment. They will be required to leave campus and the Upper Valley and continue the term remotely. Separately, they may also be subject to disciplinary action following our normal standards and processes. 

What protective measures will be in place this fall?
Maintaining recommended public health measures is absolutely critical to protecting the health of our campus and local community. These recommendations must be strictly adhered to and will be strictly enforced. They include:

Cloth face coverings
Dartmouth requires all persons to wear cloth face coverings at all times when using or accessing shared or communal spaces at any Dartmouth worksite and also when a minimum of 6 feet of physical distancing is difficult to maintain. This requirement is designed to protect the health and safety of the Dartmouth community by reducing the risk of coronavirus transmission. Read the entire policy for further information.

Physical distancing, which means:
Trying to stay home and only go out for essential reasons such as purchasing food and medicine.

Avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible. 

Remaining alert for respiratory symptoms (a cough or shortness of breath) and fever.

Practicing strict respiratory etiquette and hygiene. This includes covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap is not available.

Limited gatherings: Limit all gatherings to under 10 people. Even in small gatherings it is safest to practice physical distancing and wear a face covering.

What will happen if there is a significant health event/COVID-19 outbreak on campus or in the Upper Valley?
Students should be prepared for the possibility that they will need to leave campus in the event of an outbreak that leads to a decision to close, similar to the decision reached in March 2020. Students will be asked to bring to campus only those items that they can take with them if required to leave on short notice.

Will I be required to sign a waiver?
All students will be asked to sign a statement of community principles outlining the importance of focusing on community health, agreement to abide by the measures outlined herein, and acknowledging that if the infection rate exceeds a certain number of cases, Dartmouth will shut down the residential experience for the balance of the term

Many other schools are welcoming back all their students. Why is Dartmouth being selective?
Every college or university is working to make the best and most informed decisions for their own campus and greater community. Some schools have announced there will be no residential component. Some have announced there will be more limited on-campus opportunities given the need to reduce the risk of transmission by reducing campus density, particularly in congregate living conditions. As the provost has indicated, the health and safety of the campus and greater community are our highest priorities.

Given the configuration and scale of our buildings, we have identified the number of rooms that could be assigned for single occupancy after designating Maxwell Channing Cox, the Lodge, French, Judge and the Choates for self-isolation and quarantine needs. We will host

the number of students we can accommodate in single-room assignments until further notice.

We've heard from many students, faculty and staff that one of the most difficult things about the past four months has been the unknown and the inability to plan. We are announcing this full-year approach now to provide everyone with a framework for their own planning. If COVID-19 conditions relax and we are able to invite more students back to campus for winter, spring, or summer, we will do so. If COVID-19 conditions become more restrictive and exceed our capacity to manage them with two classes in residence, we have to be prepared to shut the campus down, send everyone home, and continue teaching and learning remotely. The good news is that we are able to give everyone the opportunity to come back at some point during this year if they wish to be here.

How will the College facilitate the safe use of academic buildings?
The College has determined the reduced occupancy of every classroom based on physical distancing requirements. Entry and exit protocols and paths of travel will be designated for all buildings and all classrooms. Additional passing time has been added to the class schedule. Students will be required to follow those expectations and will lose the privilege of on-campus enrollment if they fail to do so.

How do you plan to encourage social distancing in student social spaces?
All students enrolled on campus for fall will be required to read, acknowledge, and comply with all applicable health guidelines, including physical distancing, wearing face coverings, limits to group gatherings, and other requirements. Students who fail to comply will lose their privilege of on-campus enrollment and will be required to leave. Contact tracing protocols will be shared with students in the arrival materials they will receive the week of Aug.16.


 Can students have visitors to their room on campus?
Students will not be permitted to have visitors.

Who is permitted to be on campus?
Given the risk of transmission and restrictions on travel, and to protect everyone's health, visitors who have not received specific authorization to be at Dartmouth should not come to campus.

Can students leave campus for personal travel while they are in residence?
Students who wish to enroll on campus will not be permitted to travel. Failure to follow the COVID-19 requirements will result in revocation of the privilege of enrolling on campus and living in College facilities.


Will athletes be given preference to return early this fall? Will there be sports competition?
The Ivy League has not yet announced a final decision on fall athletic competition. That announcement is expected in July. Our Athletic Department will communicate directly to student athletes when more information is available. 


What will happen to community events this fall such as homecoming, fall alumni reunions, or performances and exhibits at the Hopkins Center and the Hood Museum?
We do not expect to be hosting large groups or traditional events on campus during the 2020-2021 academic year. All activities will be in compliance with College COVID-19 guidelines, including reduced occupancies for social distancing, group size, limitations and related risk reduction strategies.


When will staff return to on-site work?
Many essential employees have been working on campus this spring and summer to maintain our facilities and support our faculty and students. As on-site activity increases this fall, many more will return to campus. In order to fulfill our mission of teaching, scholarship, and research while maintaining a low population density, we will ask certain groups of people to return to work at different times.

Research staff and faculty have begun returning to their labs and offices while following detailed health protocols. Graduate students, whose research often depends on lab or clinical access, and who live predominantly off-campus or in single-apartment residences, will begin returning in early August. Undergraduates will begin coming to campus in September. Administrative and other non-research staff who can perform their jobs effectively online may be asked to continue working remotely through the fall and possibly into winter. We are grateful for their flexibility.

Will Dartmouth reopen the child-care center?
The College is working to reopen the Dartmouth College Child Care Center later this summer in a way that can safely accommodate as many families as possible.