This site provides access to the most up-to-date information on Penn State's response to the coronavirus, as well as related campus-specific information.
As part of the University’s comprehensive testing strategy for the spring semester, all Penn State students must have a COVID-19 test on file with the University.
All students taking remote or online classes who will be living within 20 miles of a Penn State campus and all students who live in Centre County are required to participate.
KeepLearning.psu.edu: This dedicated website for students offers support for remote learning, resources for academic advising and tutoring, and contact information.
KeepTeaching.psu.edu: Course instructors visiting the site will find information on effective teaching, technology training, webinars and support as they update and teach their courses for the upcoming semester. The site also features a newly created guide for instructors specifically designed for preparing and teaching this fall.
VirusInfo.psu.edu: Penn State’s main website with links to the latest news and answers to frequently asked questions about the University’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The site’s resources page also contains links to dedicated resources for students and employees; information on testing, contact tracing and monitoring for the campus community; classroom and office guidance; and policies on masking and social distancing.
Penn State COVID-19 Compact: Before returning to campus, students are asked to verify that they understand the behavioral requirements and guidelines, via LionPath.
The health and well-being of the Penn State community is our first priority as we look forward to welcoming students back to Penn State Great Valley this fall. Penn State has taken a robust public-health- and science-based approach to inform how it will manage social distancing and provide learning environments that are as safe as reasonably possible. Penn State will meet or exceed the expectations for colleges and universities that have been outlined by the Pennsylvania Department of Education for returning students to campus.
In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health guidelines, wearing face masks, and adhering to social distancing practices, including six feet of physical distance between people, are critical components in helping to maintain the health and safety of the entire campus community. Students, faculty, and staff are expected to practice social distancing and wear face masks in classrooms, public spaces, and on campus.
Due to the number of students registered for courses and the size of classrooms, necessary changes are being made to the academic schedule to focus on enhancing safety and lowering the risk of spread of the virus. Course delivery will occur through a highly flexible mix of in-person, remote, and online instruction throughout the semester.
All instructional modes are designed to help you reach key learning outcomes and allow you to engage with faculty, peers, and course content.
Remote Synchronous Instruction (COVID Remote): Students attend all classes remotely at the scheduled time. Faculty will identify the communication and collaboration tools appropriate for real-time student interaction and engagement in their course.
Mixed-Mode Instruction (COVID Mixed): A combination of instructional modes is used to meet social distancing requirements in physical spaces, while also providing students with opportunities for face-to-face interaction and access to specialized on-campus spaces and equipment.
Review the information about each flexible instructional mode to make the best decisions if adjusting your schedule or selecting your courses in LionPATH.
Faculty will communicate how assessments will be delivered. This may be a mix of in-person and remote assessments, regardless of the delivery method of the course itself. All courses, exams, and assessments will be remote after November 20, 2020.
For those students who are immunocompromised or at-risk, the University will work with you to develop appropriate accommodations. For students who are unable to return to any campus this spring or are unable to wear a face mask due to medical conditions, there are flexible options so that you can continue to make progress toward your degree.
Please note: When checking your courses in LionPath, please review all components of the course to ensure you are viewing the complete mix of delivery formats. In LionPath, click on “Class Schedule,” the word “More,” select “Spring Term,” and then continue to see all components for your class(es).
For spring 2021, each course offered in COVID Mixed (CM) mode will also have a parallel section offered in COVID Remote (CR) mode. If you are planning on coming to campus for any of a course’s synchronous in-person meetings, you should enroll in the CM section. If you are not planning to come to campus for any reason — whether it be for in-person instruction or to use campus facilities — you should enroll in the CR section.
If you are a returning student and would like to discuss your options, please contact [email protected].
If you are a new student who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident or if you are a new international student, please contact the Penn State at the Navy Yard Admissions Team at [email protected].
Penn State is focused on supporting students and helping them meet their desired educational outcomes no matter the method of delivery, and advisers will be available to assist students in crafting their individual class schedules and curricula options. More information can be found on the Keep Learning website.
Penn State urges student, faculty, and staff to contact their health care provider immediately if they have respiratory symptoms with a fever and have recently traveled or think they have been exposed to COVID-19. If you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better.
According to the CDC, anyone who feels sick should:
How did you choose this return date, and what happens if the national and state outlook doesn’t improve or worsens?
Following the remote learning period that begins on Jan. 19, in-person classes are expected to resume across all campus locations on Feb. 15, though this date could change based on health and safety factors and guidance from the state. Feb. 15 was chosen following extensive analysis and scenario planning given worsening virus conditions nationally and across the state and predictions of worsening hospitalization rates in the coming weeks — which are expected to increase through January. In addition, a delayed start also will give more time for the majority of health care workers to receive the COVID vaccine by mid-February.
How will the University safely bring students back to campus? What are spring plans for testing, contact tracing and isolation and quarantine?
Planning for the return to campus will continue to move forward and additional details about Penn State's plans for the spring will be forthcoming. We recognize the critical importance of a return to on-campus learning and are committed to bringing our students back to our campuses at the right time, and in accordance with state and federal guidance. At this time, the University’s plans include an augmented testing strategy with required testing for all students prior to their arrival, post-arrival testing within the first two weeks of the semester for all students, on-demand testing for students and on-campus employees, and random daily surveillance testing of at least 1.5-2% of the on-campus University population. The University will also continue with strategic screening to identify location-based rises in cases, data monitoring, contact tracing, and quarantine and isolation, which will reflect new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.
As part of the overall testing strategy, Penn State received provisionary approval for Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certification to perform COVID-19 diagnostic testing in the Testing and Surveillance Center (TASC) at University Park beginning this spring, which will support increased testing and a faster turnaround time for students, faculty and staff.
I’m an international student. Should I change my travel plans back to my campus community if I’m currently out of the country?
The University recognizes the unique circumstances international students face, including uncertainties about individual travel arrangements, and is focused on offering ongoing support and guidance during this difficult time. International students planning to return to campuses for the spring semester should make plans for a remote start and are urged to postpone their return to their campus community until shortly before Feb. 15 unless it is necessary for work, academic-program-specific reasons or other important circumstances.
International students with questions or who need support can contact Global Programs by emailing [email protected]; visiting “iStart” and using the “submit a question” link; or by calling the Directorate of International Student & Scholar Advising at 814-865-6348 (option No. 2) and leaving your name, email and phone number. For international students who are living on campus through the winter break, the University will work with you on an individual basis to make special housing arrangements for a potential remote learning period. Students should contact their campus Housing office.
Will I be able to take remote courses as an international student during the remote learning period?
International students with questions or who need support can contact Global Programs by emailing [email protected]; visiting “iStart” and using the “submit a question” link; or by calling the Directorate of International Student & Scholar Advising at 814-865-6348 (option No. 2) and leaving your name, email and phone number.
Who can I contact if I have questions about the testing process for students?
Contact the COVID-19 Response Center at 814-865-2121 if you have specific questions about testing prior to your return.
Please bookmark this page and check back periodically for updates.