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Student Guidelines for Returning to Campus

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the statutory, regulatory, and policy landscape is rapidly changing to best protect the health and safety of students, employees, and visitors to the University. As such, new temporary policies may be developed, or existing policies may be temporarily modified or suspended.

Due to the unique and unprecedented challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, UD is implementing this interim guidance, which applies to all UD students — graduate, undergraduates, and continuing education at all UD locations — on campus.

The most up to date guidelines for returning to campus can be found on this page

Testing, Screening and Tracing

To help protect our students, faculty, staff and visitors from COVID-19, the University of Delaware has developed a robust and comprehensive program of testing, screening and contact tracing. These protocols apply to everyone on the University of Delaware campuses. The protocols may be updated as conditions on campus change due to the pandemic.

These plans include procedures for:

Academic Regulations

Temporary policies have been put in place to support and accommodate students during these extenuating circumstances that supersede graduate policies regarding the grading of courses and their impact on a student’s GPA. These temporary policies are modeled after those implemented for undergraduates with consideration by the Graduate College and University Leadership on how graduate students might be affected differently.

For more information on the complete temporary policy, please refer to the University’s Academic Regulations Page, in the section for Graduate Students.


The University of Delaware is working to resume research operations — with the safety and well-being of the community our highest priority. To do this, they are implementing a phased reopening of research activities for any research that cannot be done remotely.

Visit the Research Office’s page to get the most up to date information on the phased reopening.

General FAQ’s

As the situation evolves, the University has worked to develop FAQ’s covering a variety of topics related to UD’s response and guidance to the COVID-19 crisis. Below, you will find a list of links going to each subcategory. If you have a questions that is not covered in the FAQ’s, please email with your inquiry.

CARES Act Funding

Under the Coronoavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, UD received funding for students financially impacted by the COVID-19 situation. These funds were designed to provide direct financial support to students for expenses related to COVID-19 and the disruption of on-campus services. Grant funding is being applied to students’ accounts, and students must request the CARES Emergency Grant online. If students do not request the CARES Emergency Grant refund by June 1, the CARES Emergency Grant will be removed from the student account. Learn more here.


Please check your email regularly for continued updates as more information becomes available. The latest information will always be available at the University’s Coronavirus web site.

Financial hardship

Although the University is committed to continuity of pay for graduate students on contract, we recognize that other factors related to COVID-19 may have an impact on finances. Emergency loans (up to $1000) are available from the Graduate College for students on contract; please contact Mary Martin to apply. The Financial Aid Office also has an emergency loan program (up to $500); the contact for these loans is Joseph Bradley.

Graduate Employment

The President and Provost ask that faculty continue to support graduate students in their current roles, even if they are unable to continue their work in person, with compensation at current levels. Due to the range of different work they do, research assistants (RAs), teaching assistants (TAs), and graduate assistants (GAs) may each be affected differently. Individuals should ask their supervisor about how to continue carrying out their work responsibilities. In many cases, their work assignments will change so that they can be productive without coming to campus. For example, TAs may be asked to support online courses, and most graduate student researchers will have to do work that does not require access to a laboratory.

Health Insurance

Many graduate students have purchased health insurance from Aetna through UD. Aetna has made special accommodations for students who need testing, treatment, or counseling services related to COVID-19. Please visit their site and read this document for the most current information. The link to Aetna’s COVID-19 webpage is posted on our website for the UD SHIP (Student Health Insurance Plan),

Some specific benefits that have been liberalized as of 5/26 include:

  • Extend cost sharing waiver for IP Treatment related to COVID-19 through 9/30/20
  • Waive early refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications through 9/30/20
  • Continue to encourage 90-day maintenance medication prescriptions offering to Aetna-insured commercial and Medicare members through 9/30/20
  • Members can submit for reimbursement for purchased at-home COVID-19 testing kits.
  • Extend cost sharing waiver for in-network Telemedicine for outpatient behavioral and mental health counseling services through 9/30/20


All UD-owned and/or -operated student housing facilities will be closed through the end of the semester. While few graduate students live in UD housing, all students living in on-campus housing must complete this form immediately. If you cannot return home because of international travel restrictions or serious personal reasons, we will work with you to make special on-campus housing arrangements; you must complete the form.


Graduate students enrolled in coursework should follow the guidance being given to all UD students, and expect that classes will be delivered online starting March 30. Your instructors will provide further guidance about specific plans for their courses.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Everyone should make an effort to maintain social ties and reduce the impact of isolation. Students who feel overwhelmed during this period may contact the Center for Counseling & Student Development at (302) 831-2141 or (302) 831-1001 for after-hours emergencies.

Theses and Dissertations

Please plan to have committee meetings and dissertation defenses remotely. You do not need to be on campus to submit a thesis or dissertation. Electronic signatures will be accepted on the signature pages and defense form. The signed signature pages will be accepted as attachments and the Graduate College will print to bond paper. There is some flexibility in deadlines for submission in time for Spring 2020 graduation. Please contact Mary Martin for additional details.


All University-sponsored or affiliated travel, including domestic travel, is temporarily suspended until further notice. The University is also discouraging personal travel to reduce risks for exposure in other locations that may present higher risk. Please review the Travel FAQ for the latest information on other restrictions. Members of our community are reminded to register all travel plans with the University’s Office of Risk Management on this form. Graduate students who received funding through a Graduate College Travel Award for meetings that have been cancelled, or who need to change plans, should contact Carol Steinbrecher. It is our intention that students not have to bear the cost of any changes

Important COVID-19 Updates: Updated guidance for graduate students and postdocs | More Information

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