Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

I’ve already registered for fall. Will my class schedule change?

As we begin the implementation of our plan for fall, we are working to minimize the potential impacts to students who have already chosen their course schedules while meeting the health and safety goals that will enable our return to campus.

How do I register for fall classes?

Further information will be forthcoming. Here are some important links:

How will the university determine which courses will be offered in person? Will classes that need the in-person experience (e.g., labs) take priority?

In-person delivery of labs and studio courses will be prioritized. We will also prioritize other classes for in-person delivery whose academic outcomes are difficult to achieve virtually.

If I need or want to pursue my degree from UNH fully remotely, will I be able to do so?

Yes. The university is committed to equitable remote options for vulnerable/at-risk populations and meeting the needs of students whose health or personal circumstances require them to learn remotely. We are working to provide enough options that students who cannot attend courses in person can make progress toward their degrees. However, not every course will be offering remote instruction, and this may require a fully remote student to choose different classes.

How will you address reduced density for classes?

In addition to identifying new capacity numbers for each room, we will offer classes in a variety of methods, move classes to larger spaces, split classes into multiple sessions or limit the number of students present in person on a rotating basis and extending class scheduling to use the full day from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., thus reducing the number of students on campus at one time.

Will there be classes held the Wednesday of Thanksgiving week?

No. There will be no classes on the Wednesday of Thanksgiving week, however UNH campus offices will be open.

How will classrooms be cleaned and sanitized?

We will continue to provide enhanced cleaning throughout our campuses with increased attention to frequently touched surfaces. This means that, based on recommendations from the CDC, bathrooms will be cleaned and disinfected daily. These recommendations include routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, light switches, countertops). Additionally, we are increasing use of disinfectant (in addition to our normal multipurpose cleaner) in common areas to ensure that they are disinfected daily. To help promote hand hygiene, the university will provide more hand sanitizer in areas of public access in campus buildings.

How will I work on my research project?

Contact the faculty member who is supervising your research and work with them to focus on different aspects that can be completed remotely (e.g., data analysis and conducting tests in virtual environments) if progress on your research project is affected by the campus moving to a “limited” or “remote” operating mode, your own illness, or because you are in quarantine or in self-isolation.

I am a student with a disability. How can I receive accommodations for online learning?

If you are already registered with Student Accessibility Services contact your access coordinator with specific questions. If you are not registered, you will need to register with Student Accessibility Services.

Seniors are not able to wait and see/take gap years. Will classes be in person for seniors?

Scheduling will be guided by consideration of equity, which includes prioritizing the most pressing needs of students to include making sure students are able to graduate on time.

Will faculty have the right to opt out of in-person interaction with students based on personal or family health concerns?

Employees impacted by COVID-19 can request reasonable temporary accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

What steps are being taken to train faculty who might not be comfortable with online learning tools?

  • Academic Technology has been working with faculty to develop high quality remote learning opportunities.
  • We are identifying and prioritizing instructional hardware and software needs, and working with units to determine prioritization of courses needing software/hardware or instructional design support.

What support will UNH provide to help prepare courses to be provided in a variety of formats (in-person, hybrid, remote)?

Academic Technology and Information Technology are continuing their work to expand technology supports for all teaching modalities. A variety of resources are available.

What should faculty do if they teach courses that require close, personal interactions?

When determining which courses will be offered in person, in-person delivery of labs and studio courses will be emphasized. For in-person courses, we will practice physical distancing in classrooms and provide academic technology support. We will provide aggressive cleaning protocols, and we will ask students and all other campus constituents to wear masks and practice strong personal hygiene, particularly when indoors. Students may participate in staggered in-person attendance for some courses to keep the overall density low in classrooms and to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Will more class spaces be equipped with audio/video equipment to facilitate recording and prerecording class materials?

Yes. We will ensure faculty have access wherever feasible to technology options within and across teaching methods.

Will faculty need to prepare both in-person and online formats for their class?

Yes. We need to ensure that courses are offered in both a remote/online format as well as face-to-face. All courses should be prepared to go fully remote/online in case a resurgence of the virus occurs.

Will UNH provide staff with masks and other personal protective equipment to keep them safe?

Guidance from federal and state sources will help determine the levels of personal protective equipment required for all faculty, staff, students and visitors. Necessary equipment will be provided.

If we need to quarantine for two weeks, will there be accommodations for labs that we can’t attend?

Accommodations will be made for any member of the community who is required to quarantine.

I need to do my thesis research on campus. Will I be able to continue my research on campus after Thanksgiving?

Yes. If the lab is approved through the research office. Regular campus housing will not be available. Please see the housing website for more information.

If a student refuses to sign the consent form, what are their options for taking classes?

If a student does not sign the informed consent form, they can take classes remotely. They should contact the associate dean in their college advisor immediately to confirm whether any changes to their schedule are recommended to ensure timely graduation. While most classes are available remotely, some are not.

Does UNH have enough faculty and resources to teach classes both online and in person?

Offering courses in a hybrid form does not require additional faculty.

How can I take all the labs required for my major when I am taking all my classes online?

It may not be possible. Students should contact their associate dean in the college to discuss their schedule. We will work with each student to support their on-time graduate plan.

Can a student commute and take one or two classes in person and the rest online?

Yes, students can access their classes in a variety of formats.

Why are some classes I’m taking only offered online?

Due to reduced density in classrooms and faculty availability some classes are only offered online. In addition, some classes involving labs or equipment require a physical presence at this time.

What will be done to ensure the traditional campus experience as much as possible?

The university is working to preserve the traditional campus experience to the greatest extent possible, with the necessary safety protocols and guidelines in place that protect students, faculty and staff.

  • Students can get something to eat via quick-service dining options, including takeout and order-ahead. All dining facilities will have health and safety modifications.
  • You will take part in campus life, resources and services with health and safety modifications like prescheduling and limits on capacity to ensure your health and safety.
  • Campus activities and events will scale based on health and safety conditions, beginning with things like scheduled trips and visits, and additional remote programming (for example, esports) with clubs and organizations.

Will rapid testing be available when the fall semester begins?

We will have on-campus capability for COVID-19 testing of students, faculty and staff on all campuses.

How will you address students who break social distancing by partying off campus?

We expect everyone who comes to campus to observe our safety protocols and we expect our students will adhere to public health orders in the community. We are currently updating the students’ rules, rights and responsibilities and related policies to include compliance with COVID-19 public health requirements and sanctions/public health consequences for noncompliance.

Will libraries be open?

The libraries will be open, with cleaning/sanitizing protocols in place and with the expectation of appropriate social distancing of patrons.

What is the plan for fall residence hall move-in?

Detailed Fall 2020 Housing Move-In information is available here.

Will football or other sports be played in the fall?

The university's fall sports season was postponed in conjunction with UNH's league partners, the America East Conference and the Colonial Athletic Association. This includes men's and women's cross country, football, field hockey, volleyball and men's and women's soccer.

Please see the Health & Safety page for related FAQ.

Will testing for COVID-19 be required?

Yes. Students, faculty and staff will be tested before returning to campus and then regularly throughout the semester. Students will also be tested again during the week of August 24 (Aug. 16 for UNH Law) as they arrive on campus.

How often will I have to get tested?

UNH is developing its own state-of-the-art testing lab and COVID-19 screening program that will serve all students, faculty and staff in Durham, Manchester and Concord. It will be operational by the time students arrive back for the fall semester, and will begin testing all students, faculty and staff starting August 24. Students will be tested as soon as they arrive to campus that week, with the expectation that all students will have been tested by Aug. 30. The testing process involves screening of the entire university community regularly (with students as often as twice per week in the first few weeks).

What kind of test will the UNH use when it is operational at the end of August?

The UNH lab is using an RT-PCR test similar to that used by NH DHHS. require individuals to swab their noses with a nasal swab (this is not the nasal cavity swab) and deposit samples in selected secure drop-off locations at designated dates and times.

How can students get pre-arrival testing? What if they live outside of New England?

UNH has partnered with ConvenientMD and Quest to provide pre-semester testing for all UNH students at no charge to the students. Testing will be provided by ConvenientMD at a drive through site on each campus and at selected locations around NH, ME, and MA. For students that are outside of New England or that cannot get to one of these sites prior to arrival, UNH has partnered with Quest to provide pre-semester testing. Options for testing will include use of a mail-in kit or in-person testing at one of Quest’s nationwide test centers or at one of their partner laboratories.

Will members of the university community have to be pay for testing?

No. The cost of testing will be paid for by UNH if community members use the resources provided by UNH.

What about those who are already on campus and working or doing research, or who plan to be on campus before students start to move in? Do they need to get tested?

Yes. Faculty, staff and students who are already working on our Durham, Manchester or Concord campuses, as well as those who will be arriving over the next several weeks, need to be tested. If you will be on one of our campuses the week of Aug. 3 you need to get a test July 29-31. Tests in Durham will take place at Wildcat Stadium behind the new home stands, opposite the Field House side. For our Concord and Manchester communities, tests will take place in the law school parking lot on Center Street. Both sites will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. These tests are ONLY for those who are on campus on or before the week of Aug. 3. Before arriving, please register here.

How long will it take to get my results, and who will they be sent to?

Test results will be provided to you and to UNH three to five days after the sample is received. All tests will be managed securely and confidentially. Positive and negative test cases will be reported to the NH Department of Health and Human Services. UNH is also preparing to open and operate its own COVID-19 screening program by the time students arrive on campus.

What happens if I test positive for COVID-19 before coming to campus?

Those with a positive test must remain at home until they are cleared to come back to campus.

What happens if I test positive after arriving on campus?

UNH Health & Wellness staff will notify community members who test positive and ask them to come to Health & Wellness for evaluation. Individuals testing positive should plan to isolate at home or in a location where they can avoid shared/common spaces for 14 days. Read NH’s contact tracing plan.

What is contact tracing, and how will that work at UNH?

Contact tracing helps identify people who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, such as roommates and those who have been within 6 feet for 10 minutes or more. Those who have been in close contact with someone who either has, or is presumed to have, COVID-19 will be required to quarantine at home or in another location where they can avoid common spaces until 14 days have passed since exposure.

Where am I supposed to stay if I need to be quarantined?

Before they arrive on campus, students should create a plan for where they can quarantine for up to 14 days, safely and away from common spaces. For those who do not have the option to go elsewhere, quarantine space is available on the Durham campus. Faculty and staff are expected to quarantine at home.

What if I have symptoms, but am not sure I have COVID-19?

Self-isolate and call your Primary Care Provider (PCP) or other health care clinician for guidance: UNH Durham Campus, call (603) 862-9355 to speak with a UNH Health & Wellness staff member. UNH Manchester and School of Law: contact your Primary Care Physician or local Urgent Care Clinic.

When do students living off campus need to get their pre-arrival test? Before they arrive in Durham, before classes start?

Students living off-campus should be tested no earlier than eight days before they expect to be on one of our campuses.

How long will it take for me to get my pre-arrival results? What if I don’t know my result before I plan to come to campus?

If you get tested as instructed through ConvenientMD or Quest your results will be available in three to five days. Please schedule your test accordingly.

COVID tests take 3-14 days to get results back where we live. How are students supposed to plan when to get their test so the results come back within the 3-5 day timeframe before move in?

If you get tested as instructed through ConvenientMD or Quest your results will be available in three to five days. Please schedule your test accordingly.

What if I’m unable to get a test before coming to campus?

You must have a test with negative results before you can return to campus.

I live in a state where testing results take up to 2 weeks to get back. How can I get tested within the required 8 days and know my result before arriving on campus?

UNH has made arrangements with two testing facilities, ConvenientMD and Quest, to ensure access to prearrival testing and results in three to five days.

What is your response to the Annals of Internal Medicine paper that states the RT-PCR test (the one you plan to use on campus) has a false negative rate of 20% at the best of times?

The test that we are using is the test recommended by NH DHHS and is certified by state and approved by the FDA.

When do commuters need to be tested?

Everyone should be tested no earlier than eight days before they expect to be on campus.

Who pays for the pre-arrival and on-campus tests?

UNH will pay for all testing.

If your family doctor conducts the COVID test, how do you submit the bill for reimbursement?

You can submit an outside negative test from a healthcare institution. For UNH healthcare plans there is no cost. We are not reimbursing outside healthcare costs.

How are you protecting my personal medical information, and how are ConvenientMD and Quest protecting it?

UNH and the labs it has contracted with follow all applicable laws to protect privacy as required by HIPAA.

If a vaccine is approved, will students, faculty and staff be required to get it?

If a vaccine is approved, it will be made available to the university community and everyone will be strongly encouraged to receive it.

Will students have to use a 3rd party app if they are part of contract tracing? How will their privacy be protected?

There is no requirement to use a third-party app.

Will tuition be reduced since UNH is going fully remote after Thanksgiving?

No. The academic calendar has been revised in two ways, designed to reduce post-travel mixing between students and faculty after Thanksgiving while still maximizing time for in-person teaching. More than 90% of the fall semester instructional days will be completed at that point of the semester, and teaching will continue remotely after the break.

Will room, board and fees be adjusted/refunded since UNH is going remote after Thanksgiving?

When we have more complete information regarding possible changes to the fall schedule, we will comprehensively review all of the credit adjustments that may be necessary for room, board and student fees. We do not want to be in a position where our billing is not consistent with the services that are ultimately delivered. But in this extraordinary and uncertain time, we simply do not know all the credit adjustments that may be necessary to align our billing with what is actually delivered this fall. Making individual adjustments as events occur and circumstances change would trigger changes to the cost of attendance and recalculation of financial aid packages each time. When we have more complete information regarding possible changes to the fall schedule, we will comprehensively review all the credit adjustments that may be necessary for room, board, and student fees.

How will UNH ensure that students don’t spread COVID in Durham and local communities?

UNH has launched a comprehensive public health campaign and required every student returning to one of its campuses to sign an informed consent form to acknowledge their understanding and acceptance of expectations. Students must follow those guidelines both on and off campus and comply with all town ordnances.

Has UNH done modeling on the potential risks of an outbreak when students return? Is this data available?

A number of studies have been published with models. The Cornell study and Johns Hopkins reports have explored similar size campuses and infection rates. We are partnering with our own faculty and others nationally to develop a UNH model to do projections from our testing data as it becomes available in August.

Is there a threshold of cases that would cause UNH to go remote again?

UNH will be closely monitoring cases and hospitalizations on its campuses and in the state in partnership with NH DHHS and will follow all state and federal guidelines. We will post a dashboard of this data and trends as allowed by HIPAA and the NH DHHS.

If faculty/staff become sick, why isn’t UNH allowing them to stay in a quarantine room on campus, instead of at home where they may make family members sick?

We anticipate that faculty or staff that have to quarantine would be more comfortable and prefer to quarantine at home. That is the first option for students as well. Student quarantine beds are our top priority as they may not have an alternative. We will consider specific faculty or staff requests as necessary.

Is anything being done to improve the air filtration systems in buildings?

Yes. See the Facilities plan.

What is your liability is someone gets COVID on campus and dies?

UNH’s liability would be the same as in any case where a student contracts and suffers injury from a disease. Like other diseases, COVID-19 occurs in the broader society and cannot be excluded from our campuses. In fact, UNH anticipates some students will develop COVID-19 while on campus. That is precisely why we worked hard and spent significant resources to establish contact tracing protocols and develop quarantine and isolation facilities. As with other diseases, UNH cannot guarantee a student won’t catch COVID-19 and suffer injury. UNH wants every student considering returning to one of its campuses for the fall to clearly understand those facts and thoughtfully decide whether to return in-person or to continue their education online. Most importantly, UNH needs every student who decides to return to whole-heartedly join our community effort to reduce the risk of transmission.

Should students carry their “go bags” with them all the time?

Having a “go bag” ready in your living space is adequate.

Who will take care of students who need to quarantine? What will be provided to them?

Students in university quarantine space will be cared for by the university. Food, access to medical care and shelter will be provided.

Can we wear a face shield instead of a face mask?


How will the mask and social distance requirements be enforced on campus – and off campus?

It is the responsibility of everyone on campus to where a mask and practice social distancing in buildings and public spaces. If you see someone not doing this, please ask them to comply. The COVID hotline can be used to notify the university of non-compliance or dangerous situations. What is the punishment? Anyone blatantly disregarding public health expectations will be addressed. If students violate those expectations a second time, they could be required to leave campus and continue their classes remotely.

We’re dropping our daughter off on campus and planning to help her move in. Do we need to get tested, too?


Can someone report a classmate or anyone on campus who’s not wearing a mask?

Yes, there will is a mechanism for reporting concerns including the COVID hotline and email.

Are there restrictions on students who work part-time jobs off campus, especially if they are in touch with many people in the public?

There are no restrictions from UNH for working off campus. Students are encouraged to follow all public health expectations.

What if a student leaves campus for a weekend? Do they need extra tests? Are they restricted on where they can go?

Students will be tested approximately every four days throughout the semester. Extraneous travel is discouraged. Please do not travel unless absolutely necessary.

When DON’T I have to wear a mask?

In your own office or residence hall room, you do not need to where a mask or out of doors if you can maintain greater than six-foot distances.

If students are not able to continue on campus learning and are sent home by the university, will room and board be pro-rated?

A credit for unused portions of the room and board will be made available.

If students become sick and do not complete the semester, do they get a refund?

The university has a process through the dean of students’ office that supports them if they are unable to complete the semester. Those policies and supports remain in effect.

Will the student athletic fee be refunded for fall sports?

Student fees, including the athletic fee, are being reviewed and a determination will be made before the end of the semester regarding credits for unused fees.

Why do we have to pay full tuition if we are taking classes online?

The tuition you pay is in exchange for learning, academic credit and certain non-academic services that will be provided whether in person, in a hybrid environment or entirely remotely. The faculty expertise and content will not change based on the modality.

Will room and board be refunded for classes we would have missed after Thanksgiving?

We anticipate a credit for those circumstances. This will be determined later in the semester once all impacts are known and we know if the federal government will waive the current requirement to recalculate financial aid.

What is UNH doing to ensure that they have adequate testing equipment and PPE?

UNH has an extensive supply of testing equipment and PPE on hand already for the semester and contracts for additional supplies.

What liability, if any, does UNH assume if my student gets COVID-19 on campus?

The informed consent agreement is not a waiver of liability. The university is publishing all of its steps to minimize the risk of COVID 19 to keep the community involved.

Is UNH providing masks, and what kind – reusable cloth or disposable, and how many?

Every member of the community has been asked to bring at least three cloth masks to campus. In addition, UNH has a supply of surgical masks that allows for approximately 40 for every member of the university community.

Will you be closing sororities and fraternities to minimize large groups and parties?

No. Fraternities and sororities are required to follow the same public health guidelines.

What if I have a job offer on campus?

You will be required to complete the informed consent and to follow all public health guidelines.

What are off-campus landlords doing to ensure that students are tested before they move back?

UNH is requiring every student to be tested no earlier than eight days before they return to campus. Other requirements are at the discretion of each landlord.

Is parking being increased to accommodate the increased number of students who may be commuting?

There is no additional parking available.

Will Hamel Rec be open, and will rec programs and teams continue this fall?

Yes, Hamel Rec will be open with enhanced cleaning, lower density and a restriction on some team sports. More information on what programs will be available will follow.

How will student organizations be affected?

Student organizations are expected to follow all public health guidelines around gathering size, mask wearing and physical distancing.

How often will common areas be cleaned?

Common areas will be cleaned and sanitized a minimum of two times per day.

How can UNH open the campus to tours this summer to people from all over the country without increasing the risk of having COVID on campus?

Visitors to campus are required to follow all public health guidelines of the state and they attest to this. The tours have been modified to minimize time in buildings and use outdoor spaces for all Q&A.

Assuming I’m healthy and low risk, what are the benefits of living on campus and attending campus over learning remotely? Are the benefits worth it?

Every student needs to make their own decision.

Are there restrictions on where students can go in the community?

Students will need to follow all public health expectations both on campus and off.

What are the plans for the Class of 2020 graduation?

University administrators are still working on plans to safely celebrate the Class of 2020 in person.

Are faculty and staff being required to sign the informed consent form?