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Campus Status Fall 2020

R-connection

Rutgers has announced it will be delivering remote education for the fall semester. While physical distance may separate many of us, we are connected through a community that is strong and vibrant with a shared love for this university, support for one another, and a hope that we will be back on The Banks soon.

A Message from the Chancellor

Dear Rutgers–New Brunswick Students, Faculty, and Staff—

In our university's long history, Rutgers has stood strong against the backdrop of some of our country’s most turbulent times. Today, we are being tested yet again, and while our community has risen high amid the circumstances of the past semester, our journey is not yet over. As outlined in President Holloway's email today, Rutgers will combine a majority of remotely delivered courses with a limited number of in-person classes. Predictions of additional spikes of the pandemic in the coming months by state and national health authorities—including Rutgers' own epidemiologists—require us to be mindful of the risk of significant on-campus learning and ensure that your safety and well-being remain our first priority. 

I am writing to assure you that while the delivery of our educational and social experience will be different in the fall, it will be no less impactful. R-connection is our plan to deliver remote education and virtual student engagement in innovative ways that ensure our connection as a Rutgers–New Brunswick community remains strong and vibrant despite our physical distance. Programmatic segments of R-connection are detailed further below.

Christopher Molloy
Christopher Molloy

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are a department with an update to the information below, please use our online form to send your update.

    • Why will Rutgers–New Brunswick operate in a largely remote format for undergraduate education in Fall 2020?
      Public health officials and the health and safety of our campus community have informed our decision making. We continue to coordinate closely with local, state, and national health agencies and monitor infection rates around the country. Given the current spikes of COVID-19 across the U.S. and predictions of additional spikes of cases in the fall, the decision was made to hold undergraduate courses in a remote format. For more information, please read Rutgers President Holloway's message to the university and Chancellor Molloy's message to the Rutgers–New Brunswick community.
    • Which courses will be held on-campus? [New July 7]
      The health and safety of students, faculty, and staff is our primary concern. The vast majority of our courses will be held remotely. However, a very limited number of courses in which physical presence this semester is absolutely essential, such as a very few select lab work and studio courses, will be given priority for on-campus offerings on the Rutgers–New Brunswick campuses. Classes are only approved to be held on-campus when all safety precautions are put in place. None of the lab courses typically taken by first year students will meet in-person.

      No undergraduates will be required to return to campus. For the very few courses that will meet on-campus, we will be offering alternatives for students unable or unwilling to be on-campus. For instance, we know how critical lab courses are for some disciplines and the faculty have been designing effective remote lab courses that involve analyzing the same data as you would in an on-campus lab. When possible, classes with labs will be facilitated by safely utilizing household items and supplies. When we can safely return to campus, students will have opportunities to acquire the hands-on lab experiences they need without delaying progress in their major.
    • I'm an international student on an F-1 Visa, what does this mean for my Fall 2020 status? [Updated July 21]
      Students who are outside of the U.S. can enroll at Rutgers with a fully online course load. However, international students with an F-1 visa can activate their F-1 status only when they enter the U.S. and report to the university. Review the FAQ for Incoming International Students (PDF) available on the Rutgers Global Alerts webpage for the latest information and updates. Incoming students who have additional questions should contact the Admissions office.
    • Where can international students and scholars find resources and information? [New July 21]
      Rutgers Global provides students with updates, advisories, and useful resources for international students and scholars.
    • How was the decision made about which courses to hold on-campus?
      The health and safety of students, faculty, and staff is our primary concern. Courses which require physical presence, such as clinical courses and studio courses, have been given priority for on-campus offerings. Classes are only approved to be held on-campus when all safety precautions are put in place.
    • How do I find out how my undergraduate classes will meet in the fall?
      Updates will be made to the Schedule of Classes and your myRutgers Dashboard beginning mid-July and completed by August 1. A very limited number of undergraduate courses will meet on-campus and arrangements will be made for students who cannot attend on-campus. Most classes will meet remotely.

      Updates in the Schedule of Classes and the myRutgers Dashboard will indicate whether you will be expected to attend remotely following the regular class schedule for live class meetings or if the courses will be "by arrangement." These classes will have a regular schedule of work and assignments due throughout each week, but they will not require you to be online at a particular time. Both types of courses will feature a high level of engagement.

      For continuing students, these changes will not affect which classes you have already registered for or create any new time conflicts. It will not be necessary to change your schedule, but you may do so using WebReg after August 1 when all changes have been posted.

      First-year students' course schedules will be released August 20, as usual. Your schedule will provide you with information about how your courses will meet. If you want to make changes in your schedule, you will be able to do so using WebReg during the "Add/Drop" period beginning on August 25. Your advising deans will be hosting sessions on how to use WebReg prior to August 25 and will be able to assist you remotely.
    • I signed up for classes, but I want to make changes to my schedule. How do I do that?
      Continuing and transfer students will be able to make changes using WebReg after August 1, when all changes have been made to the Schedule of Classes.

      First-year schedules will be released August 20, as usual, and students will be able to adjust their schedules beginning August 25. Your advising deans will be hosting sessions on how to use WebReg prior to August 25 and will be able to assist you remotely.
    • How will student advising be done?
      All schools are providing their full range of advising services remotely. Please visit your school's advising website for specifics.
      - Honors College Advising
      - Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy
      - Mason Gross School of the Arts
      - Rutgers Business School
      - School of Arts and Sciences
      - School of Communication and Information
      - School of Engineering
      - School of Environmental and Biological Sciences
      - School of Management and Labor Relations
      - School of Nursing
      - School of Pharmacy
      - School of Social Work
    • Will remote classes be taught by Rutgers faculty?
      Yes! Remote courses are being designed and taught by the same world-class faculty who teach on-campus courses. Our faculty are working throughout the summer to adapt their courses to the remote environment in a way that maintains students' active engagement in a community of learners. And, faculty experts across many disciplines are incorporating material related to the unprecedented events of 2020.
    • Will students be able to talk with the faculty teaching their courses?
      Yes! Faculty will hold remote office hours, allowing students to schedule time to meet and talk with faculty, and they will be available for video conferencing, as well as connecting with individual students through email.
    • Will I be required to "meet" virtually for my class at certain days/times each week?
      Some courses will require you to meet at a regular date and time each week.  After August 1, these courses will still have meeting times listed in the Schedule of Classes. Other courses will have a regular schedule of work and assignments due throughout each week, but they will not require you to be online at a particular time. After August 1, they will be listed in the Schedule of Classes as "by arrangement." Both types of courses will feature a high level of engagement.

      Continuing and transfer students will be able to see this information on myRutgers Dashboard as the changes are made between now and August 1. 

      First-year students' schedules will be released August 20, as usual. Your schedule will provide this information about how your courses will meet and you will also be able to access it through myRutgers Dashboard. In addition, students may want to check department web pages; some are posting more details about specific fall classes there.
    • Why aren't all of my classes meeting live at a regular day and time each week? [New July 21]
      We are offering a robust mix of live and "by arrangement" courses to meet a range of student needs. Both will have a regular schedule of instruction and assignments due throughout each week, but the "by arrangement" courses will not require you to be online at a particular time. This accommodates students who may have conflicting work schedules or other home responsibilities, who may not have sufficient high-speed internet access or equipment for all users in the household, who may not have a quiet private place to participate in live remote classes, or who are uncomfortable with all of the hours spent on Zoom or WebEx required by taking all of their courses live.

      Both types of courses will have a high level of student engagement and opportunities to meet with instructors virtually. Neither type of class will require students to learn material all on their own.
    • How will classes with a lab be accommodated?
      We know how critical lab courses are for some disciplines and the faculty have been designing effective remote lab courses that involve analyzing the same data as you would in an on-campus lab. When possible, classes with labs will be facilitated by safely utilizing household items and supplies. When we can safely return to campus, students will have opportunities to acquire the hands-on lab experiences they need without delaying progress in their major.
    • What resources are available for tutoring and other academic supports?
      All of the services provided by the Learning Centers will be provided remotely. Visit the Learning Center's Remote Instruction webpage to learn more about tutoring, academic coaching, writing coaching, and study groups.
    • What guidance is available for students who are not accustomed to remote learning?
      Students can begin by reviewing the guidance on the Learning Center's website. In addition, New Student Orientation and fall courses will provide additional support to guide students through the remote learning experience.
    • What accommodations and services will be available for students with disabilities who are taking courses remotely?
      Our Office of Disability Services is offering its full range of services remotely and has developed a guide for how the most commonly used accommodations work in an online environment.
    • What technology will undergraduate students need for remote learning?
      Students will need, at a minimum, high speed internet access, a laptop or desktop computer, and a built-in or external microphone and camera. Students will also need a phone camera with a commonly available app for producing PDF documents from photos, or a scanner. Students should check with their specific school, courses, or majors regarding any additional requirements. Learn more from our Student Tech Guide, including information about computer purchases and free and discounted software, including Microsoft Office.
    • How can parents and/or guardians support students in a remote environment?
      The myGuest Dashboard allows students to give parents, guardians, and third parties access to view content and services related to their experience at the university, such as class schedule, financial aid, scholarship awards, and term bills. While the university is offering this service, access will not be granted without the student's permission due to the protection of student rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). For information on signing up an authorized user, view frequently asked questions about the myGuest Dashboard.

      To the extent possible, members of the student's household should strive to make sure that the student has a quiet, private place to attend their remote classes and complete course assignments without interruption each day. College students are expected to work independently and maintain their own schedules for keeping up with course work. When they need assistance, they should be urged to reach out to their instructors or the Rutgers Learning Centers. It is important to support students in their growing independence.

      Of course, we know that parents and/or guardians are concerned about their student’s health, and the university is, too. Regardless of where the student is living, following public health authorities' guidance during this pandemic is critical to maintaining the health of our students and those with whom they come into contact.
    • Will graduate instruction continue on campus?
      Most graduate courses will be taught remotely in the fall semester.
  • Last Updated July 7, 2020

    • Who will be offered on-campus housing?
      On-campus housing will be made available for a select number of students. Effort will be made to accommodate graduate students; international and out-of-state students whose travel home may be significantly curtailed; students experiencing hardships, such as food or housing insecurities; and student athletes whose teams are slated to compete.
    • I am a student who falls into one of the categories above. What do I do next to reserve on-campus housing?
      The Department of Residence Life will be announcing the application process for students in these categories to apply for Fall 2020 housing.
    • How did the university arrive at the decision to limit housing occupancy?
      The decision is predicated on maintaining the health and safety of students. Congregant living poses the greatest risk as it minimizes the ability to socially distance. De-densifying the residential population by assigning predominantly apartment and semi-private suites complies with guidance from public health officials and enables Rutgers to provide a safe living learning environment for students.
    • Can newly enrolling first-year or transfer students live on campus?
      No. Not unless they meet the outlined criteria.
    • Will housing options be available on all Rutgers–New Brunswick campuses?
      No. Housing options will be limited to the Busch, Livingston, and College Avenue campuses. Cook and Douglass campuses are not being utilized at this time to minimize travel and occupancy on campus.
    • Will on-campus students need to utilize communal bathrooms or dining halls, thereby increasing their exposure?
      Each apartment or suite-style residence is equipped with its own bathroom, thereby reducing risk of exposure to COVID-19. Dining halls will feature pick up and go options and socially distanced seating to minimize risk to students.
    • Will on-campus students be required to be tested for COVID-19?
      Yes. Residential students will be tested prior to move-in. Rutgers Student Health will conduct ongoing surveillance to promote wellness, and partner with the New Jersey Department of Health, as appropriate.
    • What will happen to my housing contract?
      The university will soon reach out to impacted students to discuss the next steps.
    • Will the university refund housing deposits and fees that were made for Fall 2020?
      Yes. Any student who submitted a $200 housing deposit for Fall 2020 who will not be assigned to on-campus housing will receive their deposit back. The university will soon update this section regarding how and when the deposits will be returned. Please note that if you paid the deposit by check and the university did not yet deposit the check, the university will return the check by mail to the student's home address. As a reminder, a student only pays this deposit once, on their first application for housing.
    • Is Rutgers curtailing off-campus housing for students?
      No. Students still have the option to live in off-campus housing not operated by Rutgers. However, be aware that living in close proximity to others can increase the risk of contracting COVID-19.
  • Last Updated July 6, 2020

    • What student services will be available in the fall for Rutgers–New Brunswick students?
      Rutgers is committed to maintaining—and in some cases enhancing—a robust menu of services and support it provides to students in light of our current environment. Student services will be provided in-person or virtual services based on guidance.
    • What learning resources will be available in the fall for Rutgers–New Brunswick students?
      Student Centers will be open with modified hours of operation to support campus locations with residential populations. The Rutgers Learning Centers are offering all of their academic support services remotely, including tutoring, academic coaching, and study groups.
    • Will recreation facilities be available to students?
      Yes, but with modifications. Occupancy capacities will be reduced by at least 50 percent, no groups will be allowed to congregate, and use of locker rooms will be limited. In addition, recreation facilities will operate on a reservation-only system with no walk-ins allowed.

      Staff in these facilities will be required to monitor their personal health and comply with health guidelines. Sanitation protocols will also be put in place to support the health and safety of students and allowed visitors.
    • What student health services will be available on campus?
      Student Health Services will operate at one location. Patients will be screened over the phone when scheduling and confirming appointments. In-person visits will be held by appointment as necessary and appropriate, consistent with the guidelines for ambulatory care. Telemedicine visits are desirable and will be offered for all students residing within the state of New Jersey. For more information, visit the Rutgers Student Health website.
    • What counseling services will be available for students?
      Rutgers prioritizes the emotional and mental health needs of its students just as much as their physical health. To that end, a variety of in-person and virtual counseling options will be available. Counseling, Alcohol and Other Drug Assistance Program & Psychiatric Services (CAPS) will continue to engage with students and expand their support via telehealth appointments, workshops, and other skill-building programs. CAPS and our recreation department also will continue to host virtual mind and body wellness programs.

      To support the needs of the residential community, CAPS staff will also maintain some in-person presence and on-call services to support crisis management. For more information, visit the CAPS website.
  • Last Updated July 6, 2020

    • Will there be any on-campus programs or events?
      In an abundance of caution, there will be no in-person student gatherings, events, or programs held on campus until university guidelines stipulate that it is safe to do so.
    • Will any student life activities be available virtually?
      A resounding yes! The Division of Student Affairs will provide an innovative array of virtual programs and experiences for students to remain connected and involved in a COVID-19 environment. This includes virtual recreation events and remote programs, events, and leadership development opportunities hosted by Student Centers and Activities and our 450+ student organizations.
    • Will fraternities and sororities be active in the fall semester?
      We anticipate that all registered fraternity and sorority chapters will operate virtually this fall. Current members will receive information regarding fall semester operations from their executive board. Upperclass and transfer students interested in joining this fall can access recruitment information on the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs website. First-year students are encouraged to visit the website to learn more about the community and opportunities for joining in the spring semester.
    • How will orientation be held for first-year students?
      Rutgers is providing a robust virtual orientation program to welcome incoming students to their first year at Rutgers–New Brunswick. This will include virtual New Student Orientation modules, activities, and a series of "Welcome Weeks" to allow students to familiarize themselves with Rutgers, connect with their peers, and engage in a series of remote opportunities to ensure students have all of the information and materials they need to begin their first year at Rutgers with success.
    • I attended virtual orientation, but want to continue to engage with the university and fellow students before classes start. Are there any options for me?
      Yes. Following orientation, there will be a weekly live, virtual resource fair with campus departments, virtual social events in the afternoon and evenings, and weekly panel sessions with students. Our orientation leaders also will be available to answer questions in real time or continue to engage with students every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 2-4 p.m. EST. Visit the New Student Orientation site to learn more.
    • I am a first-year student at Rutgers and am worried I am going to miss out on the camaraderie of living on campus. What programs will be available to me?
      Ensuring our first-year students feel a part of the campus community is important to us. We are busy creating "virtual residential learning communities," a group of students led by a Resident Assistant, to ensure robust engagement and a sense of community develops among your peer students.
    • Will there be a Welcome Week?
      Yes. This year, Welcome Week will begin about the third week of August and extend well into the fall semester in coordination with the Scarlet Knight Challenge. The sessions, workshops, and programs will help all new students learn about the resources and services that support success; find connections and community with other new students; and participate in spirited and prideful traditions and competitions while also learning about the Knight's Call values. Check out welcomeweek.rutgers.edu in early August to see the schedule of events and required sessions.
  • Last Updated July 23, 2020

    • How will Rutgers provide opportunities for students to connect with employers?
      The Office of Career Exploration and Success (CES) at Rutgers–New Brunswick views the health and safety of our students and employer partners as a top priority. All recruiting services and programming will be offered virtually in the fall semester. Services include the interviewing program, employer information sessions, and a new series of four virtual career fairs segmented by the types of recruiting opportunities and functions of each role. Additionally, employers continue to post in Rutgers Handshake, and we expect to have similar numbers of employment opportunities during the fall recruiting season, albeit many more will be remote.
    • What resources are available to prepare students for a challenging job and internship market?
      The Office of Career Exploration and Success has transitioned all programs and services to the virtual space using various platforms. All students should activate their Rutgers Handshake account and complete their profile as soon as possible. The Handshake service is the primary career management platform for students to connect with career-related services. In the system, students can schedule virtual appointments with a career advisor, register for virtual career development programs and career/internship fairs, apply for employment opportunities, and request virtual interviews with employers. Additionally, you can access other online career tools such as the Student-Alumni Career Connect, where you can learn from alumni, InterviewStream for practice interviews, and conduct a self-assessment through Traitify.
    • Will there be a #RutgersWorks Free Tuition Career Challenge this fall?
      Yes, the Career Exploration and Success will once again host the #RutgersWorks Free Tuition Career Challenge. Complete several online career-related activities and earn entry into a monthly and grand prize raffle (including spring tuition). All currently registered Rutgers–New Brunswick students, undergraduate or graduate level, are eligible to participate.
    • Will there be opportunities to intern with a campus department?
      Many departments still require assistance through student interns, including those who can work remotely. Departments are encouraged to post their internships and on-campus student employment opportunities in Rutgers Handshake. Once you have an account, you can filter by employment types to discover positions posted by Rutgers departments. Students with Federal Work-Study should contact the Student Employment Office for more information about Federal Work-Study positions.
  • Last Updated July 21, 2020

    • Will tuition be the same for remote courses?
      Yes. The Rutgers Board of Governors took the unprecedented step of freezing tuition and fees for the coming year. This action was taken in recognition of the economic stresses that confront every member of our community and despite cost increases in virtually every area of our operation.

      Tuition and fees are set at the minimum amount required to provide our 50,000 students with a world-class education. A robust Rutgers education, whether delivered in a remote, hybrid, or in-person fashion, is comprehensive and is provided by some of the finest scholars in American higher education. The university does not anticipate any reduction in tuition.
    • Will I receive a discount on my tuition since courses are remote?
      No. Tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year has already been determined and will remain the same as the 2019-2020 academic year. Students will be charged the same credit hour rate as for on-campus classes.
    • Will I receive a refund of my student fees since courses are remote? [Updated]
      In recognition of the financial hardship that many students and families find themselves, the university announced a reduction in the "campus fee" for the academic year. This fee supports many vital aspects of university operations that continue to function, like library resources and student services. For full-time undergraduate students, this change will translate to at least a $300 reduction in their term bills over the academic year.

      All other student fees are still being charged and will not be refunded. The university will be operating with the full range of support services from learning centers to computing support. While classes are remote, all offices are fully staffed and delivering the necessary services to support all our students. The university realizes the economic hardships faced by students and their families. We are allocating university resources as well as federal CARES funding to students and families experiencing economic hardships.
    • Will I have to pay the course support fee for online courses?
      No, online course fees have been waived for Fall 2020.
    • How can I get help if my family's economic circumstances have been impacted by COVID-19?
      Rutgers University was awarded funds from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to assist students who are experiencing financial hardships due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. If your economic circumstances have been impacted by COVID-19, the emergency assistance application will be live the week of July 27. Once your application is reviewed and it is determined that you are eligible for funding, the Rutgers Office of Financial Aid will contact you.
  • Last Updated July 6, 2020

    • What dining options will be available on-campus in the fall semester?
      Most university-operated retail dining facilities will be closed or operating with significantly reduced hours. While there will be some dining facilities available to students, seating will be significantly reduced to accommodate social distancing. Alternatives, such as "Grab 'n Go," or additional food trucks, will be expanded.
    • Will busing and transportation be offered?
      Rutgers buses will be operating at reduced capacity to meet health guidelines, and all riders will be expected to wear face coverings. In addition, only rear doors will be used for loading and unloading to minimize risk to the driver, and the routes will be modified to accommodate campus changes.
  • Last Updated July 6, 2020

    • How is the university mitigating risk for on-campus courses?
      With only a minimal number of select courses being held on campus, the university will implement all CDC guidelines for social distancing, including limited numbers of students receiving in-person instruction, requirements to wear facial masks/coverings when in public, and limited face-to-face interactions. Due to the limited number of in-person courses being held on campus, the university is able to safely accommodate students, faculty, and staff. For more information, please read the Rutgers' Returning to Campus (PDF) plan.
    • Will faculty, staff, and students be required to wear face coverings on campus?
      Yes. Faculty, staff, and students in public areas on campus or when interacting with one another in offices, meeting rooms, classrooms, etc., will be required to wear face masks. This requirement also applies to visitors. For more information, please read the Rutgers' Returning to Campus (PDF) plan.
    • Will Rutgers implement protocols to manage exposed and ill students on campus?
      Yes. Spaces have been identified to accommodate ill students and monitor their symptoms via a web-based program. Health Services will also provide on-call consultation for symptomatic students, and meal or grocery service will be available to them.

      Students who live within driving distance will be encouraged to go home. Only students living in on-campus housing will be isolated on campus if they test positive.
    • What are the university's plans for cleaning and sanitization of campus facilities?
      University Facilities will undertake inspections, cleaning, and maintenance of buildings and grounds in the weeks leading up to the repopulation of the campuses and will institute preventative maintenance measures in accordance with established schedules.

What is R-connection?

R-connection is our commitment to YOU that even though we may be physically separated, WE remain connected in ways that transcend this moment in time.

  • R-connection is achieved through remote learning and virtual classrooms that will be led by Rutgers' renowned faculty.

  • R-connection is through interactive and experiential discussions and projects that will be incorporated into many of our courses.

  • R-connection is through our commitment to foster community, cultivate relationships, and support campus involvement in unique and fun virtual formats.

  • R-connection is through our love of Rutgers and our belief that we will be back together soon.

student on computer