Carnegie Mellon University

Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to frequently asked questions about CMU's response to the novel coronavirus/COVID-19.

Academics and Remote Instruction

  • Remote and online teaching, academic support services and assessments will begin on Wednesday, March 18. Classes are canceled Monday and Tuesday, March 16–17.

  • We will not be returning to in-person classes, labs, assessments or programs for the remainder of the semester. All students will only be able to complete coursework remotely.

The majority of instructors will use Zoom and Canvas for online course delivery. Both tools are available to CMU community members at no charge. Instructors have been guided to embed the dedicated Zoom link into Canvas course pages for ease of access. If your courses were using other particular online/digital tools, you should expect that will continue.

Students can review detailed directions and remote learning guidance on the Computing Services website.

Classes will be offered at their regularly scheduled days and times. All classes are based on the time in Pittsburgh (Eastern Daylight Time, or EDT). Because many classes will not be recorded, students need to plan to engage in their classes virtually at the designated class time. Students who face challenges with these times due to significant time zone differences should discuss this issue directly with their instructors.

We don’t plan to extend the academic calendar. To make up for missing classes on March 16-17, the original days off for Spring Carnival, April 16 and 17, will be make-up days.

The university has asked students and faculty to be flexible with one another. Faculty have been asked to be flexible with assignment due dates and not schedule exams or assignments during this first week. Instructors have been asked to work with students who may have difficulty attending scheduled classes. Faculty have also been asked to record their course lectures and make them available to students who might have trouble getting online this week.

Students are not permitted to attend the class in-person, even if you are virtually engaging with the class from a nearby location. All students will only be able to complete their coursework remotely and online to give everyone as much of a consistent experience as possible. Faculty and TA office hours, advisor appointments and other academic supports will be available online or by phone.

Students should fill out this very brief Google form about their personal computing needs as soon as possible. This will help students and provide information to the university about potential issues that need to be addressed. Once this survey is complete students should: 

  • Set up and test Zoom and Canvas. The majority of your instructors will use Zoom and Canvas for online course delivery. Students should test the functionalities of each tool in the location where they will virtually access the courses. Detailed directions and remote learning guidance is posted on the Computing Services website.
  • Review and prioritize classes. Review course schedules and be attentive to any course-specific messages and specific instructions sent from instructors that may be delivered via Canvas, email or other methods. All students — especially those planning to complete their degrees this May — may want to review the courses required to complete their degree and reflect on their current course enrollments. Colleges, departments and programs are preparing for remote advising. Follow their instructions to consult with them if you need assistance or have questions.
  • Put course schedules into calendars. Classes will be offered at their regularly scheduled days and times and observe Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). Students who face challenges to engage in class at these times due to significant time zone differences should discuss this issue directly with their instructors.

All undergraduate and graduate students are permitted to convert any of their courses to pass/no-pass grading. All courses for which you receive passing (P) grades will count toward degree requirements, which overrides some departmental or college policies. At the end of the semester, all faculty will submit their course grades (A-R) to the registrar’s office. You will have 7 days after the date on which final grades are posted to choose to move your courses to pass/no-pass grading if you elect to do so. In recognition that each course’s learning experience will be different, there is no limit on the number of courses you can convert to pass/no-pass grading. You can make the decision on a course-by-course basis.

At the undergraduate level, all grades of D or better in a course for which you elect the pass/no-pass grade will convert to P. At the graduate level, the grade for which a P can be assigned if you elect to have your course be pass/no-pass will be made at the school or college level. Further guidance will be communicated to you in the coming weeks as classes resume.

Students experiencing difficulty when accessing university technology resources may contact the Computing Services Help Center or call (412) 268-4357 (HELP). Students who seek additional instructional support should know that the Student Academic Success Center has transitioned to remote services that can be found on the website. Your college and departmental advisors and resources are also valuable resources for you.

All accommodations that a student received for in-person classes will carry over to the remote instruction format. Some students may require additional accommodations for a remote instruction format that wasn’t required for in-person course delivery. Please reach out to Disability Resources at access@andrew.cmu.edu if you have questions or concerns about additional accommodations that may be relevant given the change in delivery. Disability Resources can connect with students via email, phone, and Zoom and will be flexible and responsive to students’ needs.

All in-person, on-campus courses and formal summer programming will be offered in remote or online formats at all of our U.S.-based domestic locations through August 1, 2020.

The university will continue to closely monitor the situation so we can decide and communicate any changes to plans and operations after August 1 as soon as we are able.

In response to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s order mandating all non-life-sustaining businesses in the state to close on March 19, all CMU research and teaching activities must move to fully remote operations immediately. Additional guidance is available on the CMU Coronavirus Researcher Resources webpage.

Additionally, Academic Development programs, including academic tutoring, will be conducted online. Faculty and TA office hours, advisor appointments and other academic supports will be available online or by phone. In-person meetings will not be required of any student to complete their semester.

All academic support programs will be offered via the Zoom platform as of Wednesday, March 18th. We are working closely with our academic coaches, tutors, and Supplemental Instruction & EXCEL leaders to migrate tutoring and group meetings to Zoom. Soon active students will be contacted by program staff with Zoom details. To access more information, including schedules, links to programs and registration information, please visit the Student Academic Success website.

In response to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s order mandating all non-life-sustaining businesses in the state to close on March 19, all CMU research and teaching activities must move to fully remote operations immediately.

If your research activities cannot be done remotely, please plan to postpone on-campus work and replace it with off-campus work through at least the end of April.

Additional guidance is available on the CMU Coronavirus Researcher Resources webpage.

For information on remote resources from the University Libraries, including class materials, textbooks, eBooks, e-journals, databases, streaming video and audio and even consultation with a subject specialist, visit the Remote Resources page.

Connectivity

All students, faculty and staff have access to a CMU Zoom license with their Andrew userID and password. More information is on our Computing Services website.

Please see the following troubleshooting tips on our Computing Services website.

Please contact the Computing Services Help Center at 412-268-4357 (HELP) or it-help@cmu.edu. If you’re having troubles with Canvas, please contact canvas-help@andrew.cmu.edu or 412-268-9090.

Students who seek additional instructional support should know that the Student Academic Success Center has transitioned to remote services that can be found on the website. Your college and departmental advisors and resources are also valuable resources for you.

Admission

The university does not currently have plans to change its process for undergraduate admission. However, we want to be sensitive to current and future challenges, and we’ll continue to evaluate our process in light of continuously changing conditions. CMU is also working with peer institutions to determine the best way forward during this rapidly evolving situation, and we will provide updates if there are changes to our process. Please visit CMU’s Undergraduate Admission website for more information on our undergraduate admission guidelines or contact the Office of Admission directly. Each graduate program manages their own admission process, and, for more information on any changes, please contact the departments you are interested in.

Campus Visits

The university has decided to cancel all admission related visits and group tours for the foreseeable future. During this time, there will not be any formal admission events, overnight stays, tours or classes to attend. However, we are making every effort to ensure that there are high-quality online or virtual experiences that can help inform students’ decisions to enroll.

All accepted students will have the opportunity to participate in a virtual campus visit experience. We are making every effort to ensure that these high-quality remote experiences will help inform students’ decisions to enroll.

Financial Assistance

The university recognizes that COVID-19 has disrupted regular routines, planning and work for everyone. We understand there may be financial hardships associated with those disruptions. We are doing all we can to minimize impact where possible, but know there may still be some individual circumstances to address. We encourage students and families who may be experiencing a financial hardship to contact their HUB liaison


For students who are struggling to meet basic needs like housing or food costs, limited emergency funds are available through the Office of the Dean of Students, where staff are available to work individually with any students in need.
We recognize that student employment offers valuable practical experience and important income for many students who contribute to our mission as student workers. 

Currently enrolled eligible hourly student workers, as of March 1, who are able to work remotely will continue to enter time in Workday and be paid for each hour worked through the end of the semester. This includes any other remote work you may find within your department or division, for which you will need to input time spent working into Workday.

Health, Hygiene and Symptoms

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Make sure you wash your thumbs, wrists and in-between your fingers. This is the best defense against the spread of all viruses.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Stay home when you are ill. Rest will assure quicker recovery and decrease the spread of infectious illness on campus.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Get plenty of rest/sleep.
  • Get the flu vaccine.
  • Additional health resources can be found here

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and may include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

The current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines do not recommend that people who are well wear facemasks to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.

University Health Services (UHS) is an accredited health care facility. UHS staff are trained in current infectious disease control procedures, and protocols are in place if someone were to present with symptoms requiring testing, isolation and/or care. UHS has been planning for weeks to ensure they have ample medical supplies and staffing to be prepared to care for our student community.

University Health Services (UHS) remains available with adjusted services to best meet the needs of our community at this time.

Telehealth is the primary mode of service provision.

In order to protect student and staff health and safety, all appointments and services must be initiated by calling UHS at 412-268-2157 during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.).

For more information about how UHS will utilize telehealth care to provide continuity of care with medication refills, psychiatric care, transcare, and other primary care needs, please visit the UHS website.

If you are having a medical emergency, please call 911 if you are off campus and if on campus, call 412-268-2323 to access Emergency Medical Services. After-hours non-emergency medical advice can continue to be accessed by TeamHealth at 1-844-881-7176.

For students who elected insurance through the Student Health Insurance Program, your coverage will be maintained through the coverage period that ends July 31, 2020. The Student Health Insurance Program, delivered by Aetna, will continue to provide coverage wherever you are consistent with the plan details outlined here. If you cancel your student medical insurance before April 1, and if the insurance company has not paid claims on your or your dependent’s behalf, then you may be eligible for a prorated refund from Aetna. Additional information on potential refunds for insurance can be found here. Aetna has assured the university that testing and care related to COVID-19 are eligible health services, provided such tests and care are available and ordered by a healthcare professional.

There are many people who may be carrying the virus and not showing active symptoms.

For this reason, it is now important to assume that everyone you come in contact with may have the virus, regardless of if you think they appear ill.

That is why we urge everyone to stay home and to remain at a 6-foot distance from others at all times while maintaining good hand hygiene practices. It is imperative that you monitor yourself for symptoms.

If you feel ill, check your temperature and monitor your cough. If you begin to feel as though you have difficulty breathing, are unable to stay hydrated, or have fever that is not reduced by fever-reducing medicines, you should call for emergency help by calling campus police at 412-268-2323 if you are on campus and 911 if you are off campus.

If you become ill, call University Health Services (UHS) immediately at 412-268-2157. You will consult with a nurse who will give you instructions to protect you and others before seeking care. If you experience shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, call campus police at 412-268-2323 immediately to alert them to your medical emergency.

For more information about how UHS will utilize telehealth care to provide continuity of care with medication refills, psychiatric care, transcare, and other primary care needs, please visit the UHS website. If you are having a medical emergency, please call 911 if you are off campus and if on campus, call 412-268-2323 to access Emergency Medical Services. After-hours non-emergency medical advice can continue to be accessed by TeamHealth at 1-844-881-7176.

  • Cleaning for health has always been our underlying approach to campus custodial services. Our cleaning staff is trained on how to properly disinfect touched surfaces and how to keep surfaces clean. They wear gloves while they clean and are required to wash their hands before and after breaks. Disinfecting wipes are being introduced at dining locations and public study spaces to allow people to clean tabletops before use.
  • Electrostatic disinfectant systems have been dispatched for use in University Health Services, classrooms and high-traffic public spaces. The technology’s touchless disinfection and sanitizing capabilities can treat an entire room in under three minutes. This EPA-certified, human safe and environmentally friendly solution earned recent recognition from The Infection Prevention Strategy (TIPS) as a 2019 Top Innovation of the Year.
  • Additional cleaning supplies have been ordered as a preparatory measure, and cleaning staff are receiving special coronavirus training every day.

Hand sanitizing stations are mounted at building exits and in other high-traffic areas as a reminder that hand hygiene is the most important tactic to prevent infection. Facilities Management and Campus Services (FMCS) has ordered additional, portable hand sanitizing stations in visible locations. The custodial staff are cleaning public spaces in every campus building daily. University Health Services is cleaned twice per day. Weekend cleaning frequencies are being increased in public gathering areas of academic buildings. Disinfecting wipes are being introduced at dining locations and public study spaces to allow customers to clean tabletops before use. Hospital-grade electrostatic disinfectant systems have been dispatched for use in University Health Services, classrooms and high-traffic public spaces.

Custodial Services staff start each day with refresher training on hygiene standards and sanitation of high-touch surfaces. The custodial staff are cleaning public spaces in accordance with CDC guidelines — typically the public gathering places in campus buildings are cleaned daily. Even more frequent cleaning is performed at University Health Services and dining locations. Weekend cleaning frequencies are being increased in public gathering areas of academic buildings.

If you see a space on campus that you feel needs cleaning, please contact Facilities Management and Campus Services at cleanit@andrew.cmu.edu.

Hosting Visitors on Campus

  • The same self-isolation and symptom guidelines for CMU faculty, staff and students are in effect for visitors who have arrived in Pittsburgh and on campus for speaking or other engagements. Visitors who experience symptoms during self-isolation periods should contact a local urgent care center or hospital.
  • Principal investigators and hosts must share the health information and self-isolation guidelines, which can be found on CMU's coronavirus website, with those guests who have arrived from countries under the Level 3 CDC travel warning.
  • Check the CMU Travel Restrictions website for the latest countries impacted by the global coronavirus outbreak.
  • Those who have questions or need advice about how to proceed regarding guests currently on campus, please contact CMU's Enterprise Risk Management.
  • Anyone planning to host visitors from a CDC Level 3 country in the coming weeks and months is encouraged to consider rescheduling until a later date.

Housing, Food & Dining, and Transportation

All undergraduates, especially those living in university housing, are strongly encouraged to complete their semester remotely. In-person classes, labs, assessments or programs will not be offered for the remainder of the semester. All students will only be able to complete coursework remotely. Thus, there is no academic reason for you to return to campus.

For students who, through absolute necessity, must finish their semester on campus, residence halls remain open.

The Housing Services COVID-19 FAQ webpage addresses questions for students who are still living on campus, re-assignments and moving to the new assignment. The page also provides information about moving out of campus housing, refunds and more.

Dining Services will have limited options for dining and will no longer open its retail locations, with the exception of Schatz Dining Room, which will remain open for take-out service only on March 20-21. Schatz will close after dinner service on March 21.

Beginning Sunday, March 21, students remaining on campus will be able to order meals online, and pick them up at one of two locations on the following day. This option also will be available to the limited staff, faculty and students who are near or on campus who wish to continue using Dining Services. For more information on ordering procedures, meal time pick-ups and locations, visit the Dining Services website.

The university’s Dining Services is taking preventative measures to protect the well-being of our community as the coronavirus outbreak continues to be a rapidly changing situation. Dining vendors are committed to maintaining strict cleaning and sanitizing protocols at each location, and are implementing the following temporary preventative measures, which are outlined here.

Dining Services will issue a prorated refund for students who are not returning to campus and do not plan to use their meal plan, FLEX and/or DineXtra funds for the remainder of the academic year. Specific details about these adjustments are forthcoming, including any applicable financial aid impacts.

To cancel your meal plan (and associated FLEX balance) and/or DineXtra funds, please email dining@andrew.cmu.edu, so that we can credit your account. If you plan to remain on campus, you can continue to use your meal plan, FLEX and/or DineXtra funds.

For more information on student account adjustments, please see The Hub’s recent news alerts and the following informational page and frequently asked questions from Student Financial Services.

The CMU Pantry is modifying its operations to serve the needs of our community while protecting the health and safety of our shoppers, staff and volunteers. The Pantry will now take orders through an online form and preparing food in bags for pick-up. For the time being, this will completely replace the in-person shopping experience. For more information, including online forms, pick-up hours and how to support the Pantry, visit the CMU Pantry website.

The CMU Campus Shuttles are committed to maintaining service but will have reduced routes and adjusted schedules due to a decrease in demand. CMU shuttles will remain on a seven-day schedule, but will adjust their daily schedule to hourly pick-ups between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Please continue to check the website and Ride System GPS app for updates.

We will maintain our relationship with the Port Authority, and access to Pittsburgh PAT buses will continue.

Informing Our Campus Community

Carnegie Mellon University's coronavirus website is updated with the latest information. A direct link to that information has also been added to the CMU homepage.

International Student Information

Carnegie Mellon students who have been physically present and engaged in their courses in the Spring 2020 semester and are moving to remote and online education either temporarily, or for the remainder of this semester, will not have a negative impact on their F-1 or J-1 status. While immigration regulations require F-1 students to be enrolled full-time and restrict students to one online course per semester that would count toward the full-time enrollment requirement, that requirement has already been met for students this spring semester.


Per recent federal guidance, OIE will provide information to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) about the university’s plans for remote learning to ensure institutional compliance with federal immigration regulations.

Students may remain in the U.S. and are encouraged not to travel internationally at this time. Students who are considering leaving the U.S. should carefully consider international travel plans as online access to courses may be limited. Additionally, with a rapidly evolving global situation, students who elect to leave the U.S. may not be able to re-enter at the time they wish to return, which could impact future immigration benefits. Students in F-1 or J-1 status should consult their OIE advisor prior to traveling to discuss potential impacts with respect to their specific immigration situation.

Please visit the Office of International Education’s webpage for their coronavirus FAQ and contact information.

Locations, Events, Meetings and Facilities

Yes. However, with remote instruction underway and with many community members working from home, exterior doors to CMU buildings are transitioning to card-key access, where possible. You will need to swipe your CMU ID to enter the building. To enter buildings not capable of card-key access, you will need to seek the assistance of University Police and show them your CMU ID. Officers will be increasing their presence to assist with access and other matters.

In response to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s order mandating all non-life-sustaining businesses in the state to close on March 19, all CMU research and teaching activities must move to fully remote operations immediately.

Additional guidance is available on the CMU Coronavirus Researcher Resources webpage

The university's Commencement exercises planned for May 17 on the Pittsburgh campus are postponed. CMU will virtually confer degrees at the end of the semester.

CMU is planning to bring the Class of 2020 together for an in-person Commencement celebration on campus, in the next academic year.

For more, visit the Commencement website.

Following guidance from the Allegheny County Health Department, Greek Sing and Spring Carnival are canceled. Canceling these events is the only way we can commit to social distancing and to limit the spread of infection. 

Varsity, club and intramural sports are canceled for the remainder of the semester for the safety of our students and community. 

In-person student organization events are cancelled until further notice. The SLICE office will be issuing guidance on how student organizations can comply with social distancing guidelines to support limited engagement. 

All University Libraries have been closed.

Librarians will continue to support the CMU community with remote teaching and research. Borrowing policies have been relaxed; due dates for all materials have been extended through May 15; and fines will not accumulate during this time. As a reminder, requests for physical Interlibrary loans, holds and recalls are suspended until further notice; electronic resources are still available. There is a comprehensive list of remote resources on the University Libraries website.

The Cohon University Center will have restricted access for the following services that are remaining open with limited hours: University Postal Services, the Carnegie Mellon University Federal Credit Union and WRCT radio station.

For additional information, please consult the CUC website, which will be updated.

Fitness centers in the Cohon University Center, Tepper Quad and housing facilities are closed until further notice. This follows guidance from the Allegheny County Health Department, which has stated the use of fitness facilities increases the risk of virus transmission.

 

Based on new guidance from the Allegheny County Health Department asking businesses to close for a minimum of two weeks to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 disease, the Cyert Center is closed until Monday, March 30, 2020. Parents will be notified if the closure needs to be extended.

Australia location:

CMU-Australia will remain open, but all courses will be moved to distance format. Further information for students, faculty and staff will be provided by Emil Bolongaita.

Los Angeles location: 

Second-year MEIM students studying in Los Angeles will continue to attend classes in person and will follow strict social distancing and sanitation strategies. University leaders are monitoring the situation in Los Angeles to ensure a safe environment. Further information for students and faculty will be provided by Dan Green.

Qatar campus:

  • Effective March 12, classes at CMU-Q are being taught remotely through the end of the semester, including final exams.
  • Effective Tuesday, March 24, the building will be closed to students, faculty and staff (with the exception of those who are deemed essential for operations.
  • More information is available on the CMU Qatar coronavirus website.

Silicon Valley campus:

  • Carnegie Mellon University Silicon Valley is moving to remote teaching until further notice in response to increasing cases of the coronavirus in the County of Santa Clara, California. CMU's Silicon Valley location is currently on spring break, and remote teaching will begin on Monday, March 16.
  • CMU-SV will continue ongoing operations and will allow nonessential staff and faculty to work remotely.


Washington, D.C. location:

Courses taught to our second-year MSPPM-DC students studying in Washington, D.C. will be moved to distance format. The D.C. location will remain open. Students may use the space as usual but will be asked to follow social distancing strategies. Further information for students and faculty will be provided by Sarah Mendelson and Marie Coleman.

Mental Health Support

We are encouraging impacted students to turn to those they trust and find most helpful when they need support or assistance. This includes family, friends, faith leaders and CMU's strong network of university resources, including housefellows, college liaisons, academic advisors, departmental coordinators and Counseling and Psychological Services (CaPS). CaPS counselors are available at any time, day or night, at 412-268-2922.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CaPS) remains available with adjusted services to best meet the needs of our community at this time. Teletherapy is the primary mode of service provision. In order to protect student and staff health and safety, all appointments and services must be initiated by calling 412-268-2922 during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.).

CaPS will continue to provide students after-hours point of need support, as well as consultation services for faculty and staff who are concerned about a student. If you are away from campus the staff will work with you to provide guidance and support around your mental health needs. Finally, CapS will also provide virtual skills workshops on various relevant topics to support students’ mental health during this time.

For more information about how University Health Services will utilize telehealth care to provide continuity of care with medication refills, psychiatric care, transcare, and other primary care needs, please the UHS website.

CMU provides resources to help academic and staff employees and eligible dependents cope with these types of life events through the Guidance Resources Employee Assistance Program (EAP) (login required). You may also call the EAP line directly at 1-844-744-1370. The EAP provides confidential, short-term counseling at no cost to the employee.

Postal Services and Deliveries

Yes. The mail will continue unless the United States Postal Service discontinues operation. Departments can also request a HOLD on their mail delivery by contacting 412-268-2929 or post-office@andrew.cmu.edu.

Yes. We have arranged for the local route drivers for UPS/FedEx/DHL to have exterior building door access so they can reach internal departments. We recommend that you include contact information for the person on campus who is accepting the package. Also, consider if a member of the department will be available to receive the delivery, as Postal Services is not authorized to accept packages for departments or individuals.

Amazon's delivery model does not include a local route driver. We recommend that you coordinate carefully with Amazon deliveries. Please contact the carrier directly for their available options.
Do not send packages to campus if you will not be present. Update all online accounts and correspondence to reflect your current address while working away from campus. If you inadvertently place an order to campus, please contact the company you ordered from as soon as possible after placing your order and attempt to have the address updated or the package rerouted.

Research

Please see the CMU Coronavirus Researcher Resources webpage. Note that, with very limited exception, all research activities have moved to remote operation. You can also find all research communications on the OVPR website.

If your research activities cannot be done remotely, you must postpone on-campus work through at least the end of April and take the necessary steps to shut down your operations and secure your labs. As you make this transition, please continue to practice social distancing protocols.

It is our expectation that researchers will make every effort to continue their grant activities, as well as justify staff and student efforts for current funding sources. Working remotely provides an opportunity to complete data analysis, literature reviews, manuscript submissions, professional development and other activities that do not require a physical presence in a campus facility.

Additional guidance is available on the CMU Coronavirus Researcher Resources webpage.

Approval of activities in CMU research facilities will only be granted in exceptional circumstances, pending further clarification of the Governor’s order. Researchers who believe they need critical short-term access to maintain irreplaceable, long-term research studies that cannot be conducted remotely must receive approval from their dean and the vice president for research. Please note that negative impact on costs and schedule will not be adequate justification for approval of special cases.

Additional guidance is available on the CMU Coronavirus Researcher Resources webpage.

No. Even if physical access to campus is possible, we are requiring all faculty and researchers to not return to campus unless you have been approved by your college to perform an allowable function.  For more details, see the CMU Researcher Resources page and/or confer with your associate dean for research.

Returning from Affected Areas; Self-Isolation and Reporting

o    All students, faculty and staff who, in the last two weeks (as of March 12), have traveled to Seattle, Washington; Santa Clara County, California; and New Rochelle, New York, should not return to campus. These three locations were recently declared high-risk areas by the Allegheny County Health Department.

o    Returning from these areas, as well as international countries under Level 3 travel warnings by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will require you to follow CMU’s self-isolation guidelines.

  • Self-isolation means you should avoid contact with other people. This also means that members of the university community who have been to an affected area within the last 14 days should not attend class, worksites, laboratories, study groups, or other events and activities on- or off-campus until that 14-day period following departure from an affected area has ended and they are symptom-free.
  • Students who live in university housing will be provided space to self-isolate and will be supported by Student Affairs. Any student who is impacted will be provided academic accommodations and support. The university will help identify options to support students living off-campus.
  • Faculty and staff members who have traveled to an affected area under a Level 3 CDC travel warning, and are subject to an associated self-isolation, should contact their supervisor or department head to discuss a remote working arrangement for the duration of the isolation. For additional information and help, faculty, staff and supervisors may consult the Leaves Administrator in the Benefits Unit of the Office of Human Resources.
  • For any questions about the university's expectations and to notify the university of your self-isolation (student, faculty or staff), please contact Maureen Dasey-Morales, associate vice president for community health and well-being.
  • We ask any university community member who is self-isolating to notify the university so CMU can provide support during time away from campus. Personal information will be treated sensitively and with appropriate confidentiality.

Travel Restrictions

  • CMU has suspended all U.S.-based domestic and international travel for university business until further notice.
  • We continue to work with our international campuses on the appropriate travel restrictions for their regions.

The university is following CDC travel restriction guidelines. Currently, all countries on the CDC Level 3 list have travel restrictions. This list is changing quickly. Anyone traveling should pay close attention to the restrictions and the guidelines associated with it. CMU is also updating the list on its travel restriction website.

Students with questions about their canceled travel should contact their trip leader, faculty advisor, the SLICE Office or the Office of International Education. Faculty and staff with questions regarding travel can contact their faculty, department or unit head.

The university is in contact with all students studying internationally and is working to ensure they are able to complete the semester in a safe, healthy environment. For more information, please visit the Office of International Education’s Frequently Asked Questions on study abroad.

In addition to all restricted international, U.S. domestic university travel, we strongly encourage students, faculty and staff to postpone personal international travel plans. Additional travel warnings, delays, cancellations and restrictions to re-enter the U.S. for an undetermined amount of time could be real possibilities.

University-Sponsored Business Travel Expenses

If expenses have already been incurred for university business travel that is canceled as a result of circumstances related to Coronavirus, the Provost office, OVPR and Finance advise the following:

  • Work directly with your travel service providers to ensure that all possible refunds and credits have been pursued. If you booked through preferred university travel agencies, work with them directly to pursue refunds or credits. If you booked with outside providers, work directly with those providers to determine what refunds or credits they are offering at this time. Note that several travel service providers have temporarily changed their cancelation fee policies and practices during this time.
  • If the planned travel was to be supported by an externally sponsored project, work with administrative support in your department/college to determine whether such expenses can still be charged to that sponsored project. Agencies are actively considering temporary changes to allowable cost policies. The OVPR and SPA are maintaining a web page containing specific guidance on pursuing approval from sponsors for such expenses.
  • Expenses that cannot be recouped by sponsors and/or service providers should be discussed with relevant supervisors, department heads/program directors and college deans/unit leaders. The Provost has asked that faculty, departments, and units/colleges attempt to share responsibility for these expenses. If an expense cannot be covered by a combination of faculty, department and unit/college resources, the relevant academic dean may inquire with the Provost office with a shared understanding that some level of financial consequence may be an unfortunate outcome of this global public health situation.

Working Remotely

As announced on March 11 and until further notice, Carnegie Mellon University is implementing temporary new policies and practices based on social distancing strategies recommended by health experts in order to slow the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19). The Office of Human Resources is providing updated policies on its website. That website also includes the most recent communications to campus regarding student workers.

In response to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf's order mandating all non-life-sustaining businesses in the state to close on March 19, all CMU research and teaching activities must move to fully remote operations immediately.

If your research activities cannot be done remotely, please plan to postpone on-campus work and replace it with off-campus work through at least the end of April.

Additional guidance is available on the CMU Coronavirus Researcher Resources webpage.

We have been actively planning to support your experience in a way that is unique to your special role on campus. It is our intention that any of you receiving stipends and associated support, such as health care insurance premium coverage, will continue to receive that support through the remainder of the semester as you work toward your degree remotely.