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Last updated date
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - 1:40pm

The most recent questions in each section are listed first.

Residential Life

 

Can I go home for Thanksgiving? (Added 10/16/20)

As stated in our October 8 message, students who choose to leave campus for Thanksgiving do so with the understanding that they are choosing to complete the final two weeks of B-Term (November 25 to December 11) remotely. This applies to all students, regardless of their housing location while at WPI or their travel destination. This applies to undergraduate and graduate students, as well as PhD students.

 

Students are permitted to leave campus now; why is Thanksgiving weekend different? (Added 10/16/20)

Travel at Thanksgiving poses a particular threat to the health and safety of the campus community, primarily because so many people are traveling and because the holiday centers on social gatherings with family and with friends who are also home for the holiday. The campus community cannot let down our guard; minimizing contact with others remains a critical part of our success.

 

If I go home for Thanksgiving, can I come back to finish B-Term on campus? (Added 10/16/20)

No. Students who choose to leave campus for Thanksgiving do so with the understanding that they are choosing to complete the final two weeks of B Term (November 25 to December 11) remotely.

All ID card access to campus facilities will be turned off November 25, unless students have stated that they will remain on campus, via the B-Term Intentions Survey.

 

My family lives in Massachusetts, so… (Updated 10/23/20)

  • Can I go home, inside Massachusetts, for Thanksgiving Day? And for the weekend? There has been no restriction on going home for other weekends.

No. Students who choose to leave campus for Thanksgiving do so with the understanding that they are choosing to complete the final two weeks of B Term (November 25 to December 11) remotely.

All ID card access to campus facilities will be turned off November 25, unless students have stated that they will remain on campus, via the B-Term Intentions Survey.

  • Can my family travel to Worcester to take me to Thanksgiving dinner at a nearby restaurant?

    We would strongly prefer students limit contact with anyone who is not in our rigorous testing protocol, in order to reduce the risk of exposing students, faculty, and staff—and family, as well—to the virus. While students are not prohibited from leaving campus to go to a local restaurant with their families (as long as they follow health and safety guidelines, including limiting the size of gatherings, wearing face coverings, social distancing, and hand washing) we strongly advise against it.

  • Can my family join me in my off-campus apartment for dinner?

The COVID Addendum to the Code of Conduct strictly prohibits any large gatherings and expects students and their families to adhere to all Massachusetts and WPI guidelines regarding gatherings. Students and their families are also expected to adhere to all Massachusetts travel restrictions, found here, which may include quarantining upon entering the state.

 

My family lives outside Massachusetts in a state with low COVID rates, so... (Updated 10/23/20)

  • Can I travel home for Thanksgiving Day? And for the weekend?

As stated in our October 8 message, students who choose to leave campus for Thanksgiving do so with the understanding that they are choosing to complete the final two weeks of B Term (November 25 to December 11) remotely.

  • Can my family travel to Worcester and take me out to Thanksgiving dinner at a local restaurant?

Students and their families are expected to adhere to all Massachusetts travel restrictions, found here, which may include quarantining upon entering the state.

We would strongly prefer students limit contact with anyone who is not in our rigorous testing protocol, in order to reduce the risk of exposing students, faculty, and staff—and family, as well—to the virus. While students are not prohibited from leaving campus to go to a local restaurant with their families (as long as they follow health and safety guidelines, including limiting the size of gatherings, wearing face coverings, social distancing, and hand washing) we strongly advise against it.

  • Can they join me in my off-campus apartment for dinner?

The university’s COVID Addendum to the Code of Conduct strictly prohibits any large gatherings and expects students and their families to adhere to all Massachusetts and WPI guidelines regarding gatherings. Students and their families are also expected to adhere to all Massachusetts travel restrictions, found here, which may include quarantining upon entering the state.

 

My family lives outside Massachusetts in a state with high COVID rates, so… (Updated 10/23/20)

  • Can I travel home for Thanksgiving Day? And for the weekend?

As stated in our October 8 message, in general, students who choose to leave campus for Thanksgiving do so with the understanding that they are choosing to complete the final two weeks of B Term (November 25 to December 11) remotely.

  • Can my family travel to Worcester and take me out to Thanksgiving dinner at a local restaurant?

Students and their families are expected to adhere to all Massachusetts travel restrictions, found here, which may include quarantining upon entering the state.

We would strongly prefer students limit contact with anyone who is not in our rigorous testing protocol, in order to reduce the risk of exposing students, faculty, and staff—and family, as well—to the virus. While students are not prohibited from leaving campus to go to a local restaurant with their families (as long as they follow health and safety guidelines, including limiting the size of gatherings, wearing face coverings, social distancing, and hand washing) we strongly advise against it.

  • Can they join me in my off-campus apartment for dinner?

The university COVID Addendum to the Code of Conduct strictly prohibits any large gatherings and expects students and their families to adhere to all Massachusetts and WPI guidelines regarding gatherings. Students and their families are also expected to adhere to all Massachusetts travel restrictions, found here, which may include quarantining upon entering the state.

 

 Will there be routine COVID testing the week of Thanksgiving? (Added 10/16/20)

There will be no testing Wednesday or Thursday the week of Thanksgiving; we are working on some extended hours on Tuesday. Students whose test days are Wednesdays and Thursdays can contact the Testing Coordinator at testingcoordinator@wpi.edu.

 

If I complete B Term remotely, will I be reimbursed for two weeks’ housing and dining? (Added 10/16/20)

No, the university remains open and operating, including dining and housing locations. As a result, WPI is not issuing refunds for students who choose to leave campus and complete B-Term remotely. The housing and dining contracts are binding for the full term.

 

Do I have to submit a form declaring my intentions? When do I need to declare? (Added 10/16/20)

All students were asked to complete a B-Term intentions survey. If you did not complete the survey yet, do so now. Specific questions around Thanksgiving Break have been added to the survey. All ID card access to campus facilities will be turned off November 25, unless students have stated that they will remain on campus, via the survey.

 

Will my card access be turned off if I leave? (Added 10/16/20)

Yes; if you do not declare your intention to stay on campus, or if you declare your intention to go home at Thanksgiving, your card access will be turned off at 9 a.m. Wednesday, November 25.

 

Will WPI provide a Thanksgiving dinner for students who stay? (Added 10/16/20)

If you are staying at WPI for the break and wish to have the Thanksgiving Day meal that WPI will be offering, let us know in the intentions survey. The meal will be available to all students through meal plans or for a nominal cost. Details will be provided shortly.

 

I live off campus. Why does the travel restriction even apply to me? (Added 10/16/20)

All members of the campus community must adhere to WPI and state guidelines regarding travel, testing, and health and safety protocols.

 

Can I go home and test or quarantine when I come back? (Added 10/16/20)

If you choose to go home for Thanksgiving, you will finish B-Term remotely. Your card access will be turned off.

 

What about my labs for the end of B-Term—how will I finish if I don’t have access to campus? (Added 10/16/20)

Students should speak to their faculty about specific academic activities for B-Term. Such discussions should be factored in to the student’s decisions about Thanksgiving.

 

I’m working on an IQP or MQP in B-Term: how can I finish if I go home? What about other team members? (Added 10/16/20)

Students should work with their faculty advisors and team members about specific needs and activities. Such discussions should be factored in to the student’s decisions about Thanksgiving.


Public health trends are favorable; why can’t students return to campus if they go home for Thanksgiving?  (Added 10/16/20)

Public health trends differ from state to state and region to region, and they shift quickly. The potential for students to be exposed to COVID-19 off campus, along with the interruption in routine testing should students travel from campus, continues to pose a significant a risk to the safety of the community.

 

Do I have to move my belongings out of my residence hall room? (Added 10/16/20)

Students who choose to leave campus for Thanksgiving and complete B-Term remotely must consolidate their belongings in their residence hall, on their bed. We ask that students do this in case the university has to close before C-Term begins. Students must return their key to Residential Services.

 

Why is the university housing some students at a Hampton Inn hotel?  (Updated 10/16/20)
WPI is housing about 185 first-year students along with 8 Resident Advisors (RAs) at the Hampton Inn to reduce the density of residents in WPI’s existing residence halls. The Hampton Inn is located at 65 Prescott Street, adjacent to WPI’s Gateway Park life sciences complex and across the street from Faraday Hall, another residence hall—a 10-minute walk from the main campus. Visit the Hampton Inn residence page for more information. The Hampton Inn is considered on-campus housing while in use by WPI. 
 

What changes have been made to campus residence halls as a result of COVID-19?  (Updated 10/16/20)
WPI residence halls generally house fewer students as the university works to manage the impact of the global pandemic by reducing the density of students in residential buildings. Rooms that typically housed three students now house two students. In addition, some doors are marked as entrances or exits only, some hallways are marked as one-way passages, and residents are assigned to use only specific bathrooms.   

Students are expected to comply with all signage and directions. 
 

Do I need to wear a face covering when I am on campus? (Updated 10/16/20)  
Yes. Everyone is required to wear face coverings on campus. Cloth face coverings are fine, gaiters and masks with vents are not permitted. We recommend you have several cloth face coverings so you will always have some to wear while laundering others.  You are also expected to practice social distancing and frequent handwashing. 

Do I need to wear face coverings in my campus housing?  (Updated 10/16/20) )
While you do not need to wear face coverings in your own room, you are required to wear face coverings in common areas, such as hallways and bathrooms.  

Will WPI provide face coverings for students?  (Updated 10/16/20) 
Students moving into residence halls received welcome kits containing four cloth face coverings, and a few other items. We recommend students have several cloth face coverings so they will always have some to wear while laundering others.   

What COVID safety protocols are in place in residential housing?  (Updated 10/16/20)
WPI has implemented a number of health and safety protocols in our residence halls, including enhanced bathroom and common space cleaning; bathroom occupancy limits; and cleaning supplies for student use as needed. Additionally, common rooms are closed, laundry services are altered, and no guests/outside visitors are permitted in residence halls. Students are expected to adhere to face covering expectations and a rule of no cell phones in bathrooms.  

Individual behavior is the most important component of our safety plans. Please know and follow the guidelines to help keep yourself and the entire WPI community healthy and safe. Remember, people you interact with may be at higher risk for illness, so please be respectful and careful as we work together to stay together.    
 

May I have students from my residence hall visit my room?  (Updated 10/16/20)
Students from your residence hall may visit your room as long as everyone follows safety protocols, including wearing face coverings, maintaining social distancing, frequent hand washing, and avoiding contact with anyone who is ill or is possibly ill.    
  

May I have people who do not live in my residence hall—friends, relatives, other students—visit my room? (Updated 10/16/20)
Only students who live in your residence hall, as well as necessary university staff and representatives, may visit your room. Outside visitors will not be permitted in residence halls.  

What restrictions are in place at campus dining locations?   (Updated 10/16/20)
In order to minimize the number of people in the dining halls at any given time, we has implemented a reservation and scheduling system for all in-dining locations. Online ordering and takeout options are also be available. Read more here.  
 

If campus is closed due to the COVID pandemic, will housing and dining fees be reimbursed? (Updated 10/16/20)
Residential and Dining Services reserve the right to modify housing and meal plan rates at any time.  The current rates, and any changes to them, will be published on the Bursar’s Office website

If the campus has to close mid-term and students need to move off campus because of COVID-19, and I have no place to live, will WPI provide me with housing?  (Updated 10/16/20)
Yes, WPI will provide housing for any student who has no alternative housing options in the event campus has to close.  If this occurs, all residential students will receive additional information about how to request this housing exception. 
  

Is there a move-out plan in place in case the university has to close due to the virus? (Updated 10/16/20)
Should it become necessary for the university to close and require students to move out, the university will provide information and specific instructions to students. 

Student Life


Will student clubs and organizations be active in the fall? (Added 7/1/20)
All clubs and organizations will continue to be recognized. The Student Activities Office will work with student organizations leading up to and during the fall to evaluate how they can and will operate within the provided guidelines and policies. While activities, events, and meetings may look different, we know life outside the classroom is still an important and active part of the student experience and we will do our best to support it. 
 

Are there restrictions or guidelines for student events and meetings? (Added 7/1/20)
Events and meetings must follow University event policies (see Events), which are subject to change based on state guidelines. Club and organization leaders will be provided with additional guidelines and resources concerning meetings and events for their groups, with all questions being directed to the Student Activities Office.  
 

Can students living on campus travel home or off-campus and then return to campus? (Added 7/1/20)  
The risk of exposure to COVID-19 grows with each interaction. To minimize the risk of spreading illness both on and off campus and at home, we strongly discourage residential students from leaving campus unless absolutely necessary.   

If students must leave campus, safety precautions must be followed, including wearing face coverings, maintaining social distancing, frequent hand washing, and avoiding contact with anyone who is ill or is possibly ill.   
 

Can students travel home on academic breaks and return to campus afterwards? (Added 7/1/20)  
Students are permitted to travel home on academic breaks, but the university strongly discourages any off-campus travel wherever possible in order to minimize the risk of spreading illness.  

Breaks will be shorter than usual. Please note that the university will announce its decision regarding the two weeks of classes after Thanksgiving as we get closer to the holiday; that decision will be dependent upon public health trends at the time. 
 

May I visit friends off campus? (Added 7/1/20)
The risk of exposure to COVID-19 grows with each interaction. To minimize the risk of spreading illness both on and off campus and at home, we strongly discourage residential students from leaving campus unless absolutely necessary.   

If students must leave campus, safety precautions must be followed, including wearing face coverings, maintaining social distancing, frequent hand washing, and avoiding contact with anyone who is ill or is possibly ill.   
 

What are the safety protocols for students on campus? How will WPI enforce social distancing and other requirements? (Added 7/1/20)  
All students, faculty, and staff will be expected to follow safety protocols at all times. While the university is taking all necessary measures and precautions to protect the WPI community, we will rely on every student, faculty member, and staff member to support and foster, through peer influence, our safe campus environment.  

Ultimately, it is our responsibility to keep our campus community safe. All WPI students will participate in training before they arrive to campus. Details about that training will be forthcoming.  
 

Are there any safety guidelines for fraternity and sorority houses and other off-campus housing?  (Added 7/1/20) 
All students living in off-campus housing are expected to follow safety protocols. Fraternity and sorority leaders and alumni will be provided with a housing checklist to help each group implement safety guidelines for their respective properties. Additionally, as recognized clubs and organizations, fraternities and sororities are expected to follow all COVID-related safety guidelines for events as well, including limiting the size of gatherings and making events and activities virtual where possible.  
 

When do I need to come to campus for Orientation? What is the schedule?  (Added 7/1/20) 
The New Student Orientation schedule is currently being recreated; students will receive information later this summer.  

Students will receive an email in early August to sign up for a specific move-in date and a specific time. Returning students will move in August 23-25. First-year students will move in August 27-29. Early arrivals will not be permitted for any reason. Please do not make travel arrangements until you know your specific move-in date and time. 
 

How do I participate in new student orientation as a commuter, transfer, or remote student?   (Added 7/1/20) 
All new incoming students, including commuter, transfer, and remote students, will receive information about New Student Orientation. The schedule will include both in-person and virtual options to ensure all students receive the resources, programs, and support needed as they transition to campus.   
 

What dining options are available?   (Added 7/1/20) 
In order to space out diners to allow for socially distanced dining, we are planning to implement a reservation system for all in-dining locations.  

Online ordering and takeout options will also be available. Seating arrangements will also be adjusted to provide for social distancing, and enhanced cleaning protocols will be in place. You will need to adhere to these protocols. More details about dining options (hours, menus, and other services) will be available in August.   

Additionally, a number of heightened food safety protocols will be implemented on campus, including enhanced cleaning and the elimination of self-service items like salad bars, soup bars, and self-service silverware; hand sanitizer will be available at the entrances of each location; and Plexiglas shields will be in place at all work stations and cash registers.
 

Can I decide whether to be on campus or remote on a term-by-term basis?   (Added 7/1/20) 
In general, we encourage students to make that decision for the full semester (A- and B-Term together), as it has some impacts on financial aid packaging, depending on where you choose to live. However, we understand that each student’s situation is unique. We’ll be sharing a form with students in early July asking them to tell us their intentions for the year and inviting them to let us know if they need to speak with someone at WPI in order to make an informed decision. 

While every effort will be made to accommodate student requests, students who engage in remote learning in A- and B-Terms are not guaranteed housing if they come to campus in C-Term.  
 

How do I contact the various student service departments on campus?   (Added 7/1/20) 
All campus departments and offices are fully open, staffed, and their services available. Students can find information on hours of operation and how to schedule an appointment on each office’s respective website, many of which can be found on the Student Experience page.  
 

What events for students and families will be held this fall?   (Added 7/1/20) 
All annual events (Family Weekend, Homecoming, the Global Fair, and the Career Fair) will be conducted virtually this fall. More details will be shared closer to the dates of each respective event.   
 

I’m a commuter; what do I need to know to begin classes in the fall?   (Added 7/1/20)
Commuter students should contact the Office of Academic Advising for more information. 
 

Will there be Pep Band and Band Camp this year?   (Added 7/1/20)
Due to safety and social distancing concerns, the Pep Band Camp has been cancelled. Students in the Pep Band are exploring virtual options and will still have the opportunity for PE credit. While it is unknown if live performances will be possible at this time, the organization will still be recognized and active.

Health & Safety

We know the community has many more detailed questions about WPI’s protocols for health and safety than we can answer at this moment. Given the unpredictability of the spread of COVID-19, WPI must remain flexible and responsive to public health trends. 

The health and safety of our community are of paramount importance to the university, and we ask your patience as we finalize the critical details of new protocols that are intended to keep us all safe.

Please check this page often, and if you find your question is not yet answered, or if you have a specific concern, please email us at WeAreWPI@wpi.edu.

 

I’m a student driving to campus for COVID-19 testing. Where should I park? (Added 9/29/20)

  • Residential students driving to campus for COVID-19 testing should park in the residential parking lots and walk over to testing.
  • Off-campus students who live within a mile of campus should walk to testing, as they do for classes and other activities.
  • Commuter students who live more than a mile from campus should contact Campus Police for a parking pass and information on parking lots.

Students are not permitted to park in the Park Avenue garage.

 

I’m an employee returning to work for the first time, how do I sign up for the routine testing program? (Added 9/22/20)

Before setting up a Broad Institute account, sign into Workday and ensure your personal and contact information is up-to-date. Also ensure that your home and mobile numbers are up-to-date. (If your address or phone number are missing, they will be replaced in the database with WPI’s main address and the phone number for WPI’s testing coordinator.)

  • Log into Workday.
  • Click the Personal Information Worklet
  • Under Change, choose Home Contact Information.
  • Edit your contact information.
  • When you’re done updating sections, click the Submit button (or Save for Later).
  • Repeat to double-check that your Personal Information is correct.

 

Where will face coverings be required?  (Updated 9/22/20)

Face coverings will be required in all spaces on campus, including indoor and outdoor spaces, and in shared spaces in residence halls, especially when social distancing is not possible. Based on the CDC’s most recent guidance, vented masks, gaiters, and bandanas will not be allowed to be used as protective face coverings on the WPI campus.

You are not required to wear a cloth face covering if you are sitting alone in a private office or residence, or if you have a disability accommodation from WPI because of a medical condition or another reason that would make wearing one unsafe.

If you feel that you cannot wear a cloth face covering due to a medical condition or disability, and you are a faculty or staff member, please contact Talent & Inclusion. If you are a student, please contact the Office of Accessibility Services to discuss what accommodations may be put in place in certain areas of campus dependent on documentation provided.

 

When should I stay home? (Updated 7/8/20)

You must stay home or in your residence hall room if:   

  • You are experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms (see above) – or
  • You have tested positive for COVID-19 – or
  • You have had close contact with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19.  "Close contact" means living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, or coming in direct contact with secretions (e.g., sharing utensils, being coughed on) from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, while that person was symptomatic. – or
  • You have been asked to self-isolate or quarantine by a medical professional or public health official. 

If you are a student, self-quarantine and call Health Services at 508-831-5520.   

If you are faculty, staff or a contract worker, self-quarantine, call your personal physician, and notify your supervisor. Supervisors are instructed to keep personal health information of employees confidential. 

Report any positive COVID-19 test, for either yourself or a close contact, to WPI using this form.   
 

Where can students get tested? Who will pay for testing?   (Updated 7/8/20)

Symptomatic students will be tested at WPI’s Respiratory Care Center at 32 Hackfeld Road.  Symptomatic testing may be covered by your health insurance; please check with your insurance carrier. 

WPI will be arranging pre-arrival, onboarding, and ongoing testing for students as needed. These tests will not be charged to insurance and there will be no per-test cost for students, because students will be required to actively participate in testing.

See below for additional information on health and wellness costs.

More information about WPI’s testing protocol will be provided in the coming weeks. 

   

Do I have to pay the Health and Wellness Fee if I’m not planning to be on campus? (Added 7/8/20)

The Health and Wellness Fee covers a wide range of services, including the Student Health Center, Student Development and Counseling Center, Accessibility Services, and others, regardless of whether students are taking classes on campus or remotely.

Please note that the university has added a supplement to the student Health and Wellness Fee, as reflected in students’ financial aid packages and student bills, due to the increased costs associated with providing students with enhanced health services related to COVID-19. WPI is absorbing most of these costs in an effort to minimize the impact on students while protecting our community. In addition to providing on-campus testing for asymptomatic students, the university has created a Respiratory Care Center for students; is hiring additional health care professionals, including a nurse, nurse practitioner, and two coordinators to oversee testing and manage the care of students in isolation and quarantine; and has set aside space and amenities for on-campus isolation.

Students who will not be on campus at all may request a rebate of the supplemental COVID-support portion of the student Health and Wellness Fee each semester, which is $195. The rebate application will be made available to students after A-Term/Fall Semester begins.  

   

Will WPI provide face coverings for students?  (Added 7/1/20)

Students moving into residence halls will receive welcome kits containing four cloth face coverings, and a few other items. Students should plan to bring additional cloth face coverings so they will always have some to wear while laundering others.     

  

How will WPI get students and others in the WPI community to comply with new health behaviors, protective measures and cleaning?   (Added 7/1/20)

COVID-19 is the most significant public health crisis of our lifetimes, and our return to WPI will require a significant community effort. WPI will enlist the support and participation of all WPI community members in adhering to evidence-based practices to prevent the spread of COVID.  Information about additional measures to support compliance will be forthcoming.  

  

What about students who live off campus?   (Added 7/1/20)

WPI is taking a comprehensive approach to engaging the entire WPI community in our successful return to campus.   

All members of the WPI community—students, faculty, staff, and contract workers—will be required to complete testing and educational training. The online training, necessary for anyone living on or off campus, will offer information about COVID-19 signs and symptoms, along with evidence-based practices to prevent spread of the virus.   

   

Will WPI be testing students, faculty, and staff for COVID-19?   (Added 7/1/20)

Yes. WPI is developing a COVID-19 testing protocol that will require all students, faculty, staff, and contract workers to be tested before they come back to campus and/or when they arrive on campus. WPI also will conduct ongoing testing.   

Further details will be provided to the WPI community and posted online when they are finalized. WPI is contracting with outside organizations to conduct COVID-19 testing.   

    

Will students, faculty, and staff have to self-monitor or check themselves for symptoms? (Updated 8/17/20)

Yes. All faculty, staff, students, and contract workers will be required to complete a daily self- check for possible COVID-19 symptoms, including taking their temperature, prior to coming to campus each day. WPI has created Symptom Tracker, a new feature in the WPI Mobile App and available on the WPI webpage, which everyone will be expected to use. Students living in the residence halls should complete their daily self-check before they leave their residence hall rooms. WPI will conduct follow-ups with anyone who indicates they may have symptoms of COVID-19. Symptom Tracker is expected to launch in late August. 

Faculty and staff who indicate they have symptoms must stay home and consult with their primary care provider; students must stay in their residence hall room or off-campus residence and contact Health Services at 508-831-5520. Anyone who has severe symptoms should contact a health care provider immediately, or call Campus Police at 508-831-5555 if on campus, or 911 if off campus.   

    

How do I self-check for symptoms?  (Update 8/17/20)

All employees and students must conduct a daily self-check of their symptoms prior to coming to campus by reviewing the CDC’s current list of symptoms and taking your temperature. WPI has created Symptom Tracker, a new feature launching in late August in the WPI Mobile App and on the WPI webpage, which everyone will be expected to use daily, answering quick and easy questions about potential symptoms. If you have no symptoms and no fever, you may come to campus.   

See below for information on what to do if you have symptoms of COVID-19.  

   

What are COVID-19 symptoms?  (Added 7/1/20)

A full, current list of symptoms can be found on the CDC’s website.

 

What do I do if I think I have COVID-19 symptoms?   (Updated 8/17/20)

If you are experiencing severe symptoms or a medical emergency while on campus, call 508-831-5555 for Campus Police, or call 911.

Anyone with COVID-19-like symptoms should not come to campus (stay home or in your residence hall room) and self-quarantine immediately. They should also immediately report their symptoms using Symptom Tracker. 

Faculty, staff and contract workers should contact their personal physician to see whether symptomatic COVID-19 testing is needed.  They should also contact their supervisor to note that they are ill and discuss taking time off or working from home if well enough. 

Students should contact Health Services at 508-831-5520 to arrange for follow-up assessment, which may include symptomatic COVID testing.  If appropriate, students will be tested, and isolated until results become available, generally within 24 hours. 

Symptomatic testing may be covered by insurance; please check with your insurance carrier. 

   

What do I do if I feel sick while I’m on campus?   (Added 7/1/20)

If you feel any COVID-19-like symptoms arise while on campus, please return home or to your residence hall room immediately.  Follow the instructions above on “What do I do if I think I have COVID-19 symptoms?” 

If you are experiencing severe symptoms or a medical emergency while on campus, call Campus Police at 508-831-5555, or call 911. 

       

Will testing be available if a student feels sick?   (Updated 8/17/20)

Students with COVID-19-like symptoms should immediately report it using Symptom Tracker and call Student Health at 508-831-5520 to arrange for an assessment, which may include COVID-19 symptomatic testing as indicated.

Symptomatic testing may be covered by insurance; please check with your insurance carrier.

   

Where can employees get tested? Who will pay for testing?   (Added 7/1/20)

Symptomatic faculty, staff and contract workers should contact their personal physician to arrange for symptomatic testing. Symptomatic testing may be covered by your health insurance; please check with your insurance carrier. Report any positive COVID-19 test to WPI using this form.   

WPI will be arranging ongoing testing for faculty, staff, and contract workers.  More information about WPI’s testing protocol will be provided in the coming weeks. 

   

Will WPI also test for antibodies or just active virus?    (Added 7/1/20)

We are following the guidance of local, state and national public health officials as we work to develop our testing protocol. At this time, due to this guidance, we are not including antibody testing in our current testing protocol.  

 

If a student had an antibody test that shows they had COVID already, do they still need to wear a face covering and follow health behaviors on campus? (Added 7/1/20)

Yes. Face coverings, social distancing, frequent hand washing and other health precautions are critical to mitigating the spread of the illness and must be followed consistently, regardless of a person’s antibody test.  COVID-19 is not yet fully understood, and the pandemic is unpredictable. WPI will continue to follow local, state, and federal guidelines and expects all students, faculty, staff, visitors, and others on campus to follow our important health protocols.   

   

Will WPI report information about infections on campus?   (Added 7/1/20)

Yes, WPI is working closely with local and state public health agencies, and will report any cases of COVID-19 and other communicable illnesses, as mandated.   

   

There are a large number of college students in Worcester. Do the local hospitals have surge capacity to handle an outbreak?   (Added 7/1/20)

We are working closely with local public health officials as well as other colleges in the Worcester area and across Massachusetts. The city is well aware of the need for hospital capacity to support the 30,000 college students in the city and is planning accordingly. Earlier in the spring, the state established a healthcare unit at the city’s DCU Center, in preparation for a surge in cases; fortunately, that space was not needed.   

    

If Massachusetts still advises a self-quarantine of 14 days on arrival in the state, what should out-of-state or international students and employees do?  (Updated 7/24/20)

WPI will require all community members to adhere to federal and Massachusetts guidance on travel and self-quarantine after travel.   
Updated information about steps individuals must take before returning to campus will be forthcoming.

 

Will students have 24-hour access to health care and telemedicine?  (Added 7/1/20)

During typical business hours, Health Services will provide accessible, comprehensive quality health care, including referral services, for students in person and via telemedicine.     

After-hours care for students will be available through dedicated on-call services provided in conjunction with UMass Memorial Medical Center and WPI Health Services staff.   

    

What should students do if they feel ill with something other than COVID-19?  (Added 7/1/20)

No matter what their symptoms are, students who feel sick should stay home from class and activities on campus.   

If students have symptoms of any illness, they should call Health Services at 508-831-5520 to get advice on next steps. If they are experiencing severe symptoms or are having a medical emergency, they should call 911 or, if they are on campus, 508-831-5555 for Campus Police.   

      

What’s the difference between isolation and quarantine?  (Added 7/1/20)

While often used interchangeably, the terms “isolation” and “quarantine” refer to two distinct processes that are used to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.  

Isolation separates students, faculty, and staff who test positive for COVID-19 from all others. WPI’s isolation protocol will be initiated whenever a student, faculty, or staff member tests positive – due to symptomatic testing, ongoing testing, onboarding testing, or pre-arrival testing.

Quarantine restricts the movement of students, faculty, and staff who are close contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. WPI’s quarantine protocol will be initiated whenever a student, faculty, or staff member is identified as a close contact by the Testing Coordinator or a local Board of Health.  If someone in quarantine develops COVID-19-like symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19, WPI will initiate its isolation protocols.  

 

I am a student and I’ve just been notified after routine testing that I am COVID positive, now what? (Updated 10/20/20)

1. WPI Health Services Assessment and Isolation Planning:  You will be directed to connect with WPI Health Services for a follow up assessment.

  • You will have a telehealth appointment for initial assessment.
  • Health Services or the Isolation/Quarantine Coordinator will work with you to create a plan for where to complete your isolation (e.g. at home, or in an isolation space on campus or at your off-campus residence)

2. Contact Tracing: You will talk with a WPI staff member(s) and maybe also a Worcester Board of Health Member to discuss your close contacts, and spaces where you were on campus. Your close contacts will be instructed to quarantine for 14 days, and spaces you were in will be cleaned and disinfected.

3. You will move into isolation for a minimum of 10 days. The Isolation/Quarantine Coordinator will do regular check-ins and you will have full remote access to your classes.  Please review WPI’s page on Isolation and Quarantine, as well as any information you receive from Health Services.

  • Isolation at Off-Campus Residence
    1. Students who are asymptomatic will have periodic phone checks with the Isolation/Quarantine Coordinator. Students who are symptomatic will be under the care of Student Health Services, who will check in on students periodically.
    2. Students will have full remote access to their classes and receive reasonable accommodations as needed.
  • Isolation at an Isolation Space on Campus
    1. The isolation spaces on campus have their own kitchen, bathroom, and in-unit laundry.
    2. The Isolation/Quarantine Coordinator is responsible for providing isolated students with food delivered through Chartwells, medicine, and other necessary resources and support.
    3. Students who are asymptomatic will have periodic phone checks with the Isolation/Quarantine Coordinator. Students who are symptomatic will be under the care of Student Health Services, who will check in on students periodically.
    4. Students will have full remote access to their classes and receive reasonable accommodations as needed.

 

What about students in fraternities and sororities who have COVID-19 like symptoms or test positive for COVID-19?  (Updated 8/29/20)

Although WPI does not manage fraternity and sorority houses, any student living in those facilities who has COVID-19-like symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19, will be isolated at home or in one of WPI’s isolation spaces. Students who are asymptomatic will have periodic phone checks with the Isolation/Quarantine Coordinator. Students who are symptomatic will be under the care of Student Health Services, who will check in on students periodically.

Their suitemates or roommates will be asked to quarantine within their residential space as close contacts.  Students who are quarantining will have periodic phone checks with the Isolation/Quarantine Coordinator.

If students can safely isolate or quarantine at home, they will be encouraged to do so.

 

For students isolating in WPI’s isolation units, how does isolation work? (Added 8/29/20)

Students living in the residence halls or fraternity/sorority houses who test positive will isolate in one of the dedicated isolation spaces on campus.

  • You should not leave your isolation space except as directed by WPI Student Health Services
  • Students will receive periodic check-ins about their health and personal needs from the Isolation/Quarantine Coordinator
  • Meals are delivered through Chartwells
  • Full remote access to classes with academic accommodations provided, if needed

 

If a student has COVID-19-like symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19, what happens to their roommates or suitemates? (Updated 8/29/20)

If a student has COVID-19-like symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19, they will be isolated in one of WPI’s isolation spaces.

Their other suitemates or roommates will be asked to quarantine in their residential space because they are considered “close contacts.”

  • You can quarantine either in your residence (your room on campus or in your apartment off campus) or you can choose to go home.
  • You will receive regular check-ins about your health and personal needs and full remote access to your classes.
  • If you feel you develop COVID-19 symptoms, you should call WPI Health Services (508 831-5520) and prepare to go for further assessment and possible isolation (prep your go bag).

 

I am a student and I’ve been notified that I’m a close contact of someone who has tested positive, now what? (Added 8/29/20)

All students who are identified as close contacts will be required to quarantine according to CDC guidelines. Your roommate(s) also will need to quarantine. Students will be cleared from quarantine by the Isolation/Quarantine Coordinator on the 15th day after their exposure to a person who tested positive.

You can quarantine at home, or in your room on campus or your off campus residence.

  • You will be tested as a close contact through WPI Student Health Services
  • If you feel you have developed COVID-19-like symptoms you should call WPI Health Services (508 831-5520) and prepare to go for further assessment and possible isolation (prep your go bag).

 

For students quarantining in their residence hall or fraternity/sorority house, how does quarantine work? (Added 8/29/20)

  • You should not leave your room, except to use the bathroom.
    • When you leave your room to use the bathroom, you will need to wear a mask, follow social distancing (6 feet from others), and wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds. You will also need to clean and disinfect surface areas of the bathroom that you have touched after use.
  • You will receive check ins about your health and personal needs
  • Meals will be delivered to you through Chartwells
  • Full remote access to classes with academic accommodations provided, if needed.
  • If you feel you have developed COVID-19-like symptoms you should call WPI Health Services (508 831-5520) and prepare to go for further assessment and possible isolation (prep your go bag).

 

I am a student, what if I start to feel sick while I am in quarantine or isolation? (Added 8/29/20)

  • If you are experiencing severe symptoms or a medical emergency while on campus, call 508-831-5555 for Campus Police, or call 911.
  • Call WPI Health Services for an urgent appointment (508) 831-5520
  • For after-hours and weekend triage, call the Hahnemann Family Health Center of Worcester (508) 334-8830.
  • Students will need their insurance information with them for any visit outside of WPI Health Services.

 

What if I am diagnosed with COVID-19 and get very sick and need to go to the hospital? (Added 8/29/20)

  • If you are experiencing severe symptoms or a medical emergency while on campus, call 508-831-5555 for Campus Police, or call 911.
  • WPI Student Health Services may refer you to refer to UMass Memorial Medical Center, 508-334-1000, 55 Lake Avenue North.

 

I am a student in quarantine or isolation on campus, will I have to pay for meal delivery other telehealth care provided by WPI? (Added 8/29/20)

Meal delivery and telehealth care provided by WPI Health Services will be at no additional cost to students.

If you need to have symptomatic laboratory testing, or are referred to a local hospital or specialist, you will need your insurance information. We recommend you have a photo of both sides of your insurance card on your phone for easy reference.

 

I am an employee, when can I come back to campus after having COVID-19, COVID-19-like symptoms, or being identified as a close contact of someone who has COVID-19? (Updated 8/29/20)

Employees who are isolating (after having symptoms or a positive COVID-19 test) or quarantining (after being identified as a close contact) will receive specific instructions from the Testing Coordinator and Talent & Inclusion about their return to campus. 

Employees in isolation or quarantine must remain at home and not return to campus until they have met WPI’s Return to Work Protocols and the Testing Coordinator has cleared their return to work.  WPI’s Return to Work Protocols are based on CDC guidelines for isolation and quarantine.

Please refer WPI’s information on Isolation & Quarantine here.

 

How will WPI conduct contact tracing and quarantine close contacts?  (Updated 8/29/20)

WPI will notify any students or employees who may be close contacts with an individual on campus who has tested positive. If you are not notified by WPI or the local board of health, you are not considered a close contact.

All students and employees who are identified as close contacts will be required to quarantine according to CDC guidelines.

 

Where can I find support for the stress and anxiety I am feeling?   (Added 7/1/20)

We urge students, faculty, and staff to check in with each other and to reach out for help when needed.    

For all students, support is always available through the Student Development & Counseling Center. Call 508-831-5540.    

For employees and members of their households, support is available through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).  More information on the EAP can be found here.     

 

Are there resources for addressing stigma on campus related to COVID-19?    (Added 7/1/20)

WPI strives to be a welcoming and inclusive campus.  We must remain vigilant in rejecting bias on our campus, while also supporting members of our community who may be experiencing stress, anxiety, and concern for family, friends, and colleagues who may be impacted.  Community members are advised to avoid making assumptions about who may or may not have come into contact with COVID-19. We also know that some community members may not be able to wear a face covering due to medical concerns.

The CDC has prepared information specifically to help counter stigma related to COVID-19.    

Anyone who feels they have been a victim of bias, or have witnessed bias are encouraged to report the incidents.   Students should contact the Dean of Students Office at 508-831-5201 and Employees should contact the Office of Talent & Inclusion at 508-831-5470.  For support services, students should contact the Student Development & Counseling Center at 508-831-5540, while employees should utilize the Employee Assistance Program

    

Will there be accommodations available for people who are immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe illness?  (Added 7/1/20)

Students may contact the WPI Office of Accessibility Services at 508-831-4908 to discuss the process for requesting academic accommodations and housing accommodations.  Students are encouraged to do so as soon as possible.  Students can also choose to take all of their classes remotely, either at home or on campus.

   

What should incoming students do if they were unable to get their physical by July 1?  (Added 7/1/20)

Students should submit a copy of their most recent physical examination and provide updated information, as available.  

   

Will WPI be holding fever check points at campus entrances?  (Added 7/1/20)

No. Daily self-checks of symptoms will be required for faculty, staff, and students prior to coming to campus.  Because WPI’s campus is an open campus and because fever is only one potential symptom of COVID-19, it is not practical to have fever check points on campus.  

   

What will the university do if there is a COVID-19 outbreak on campus?   (Added 7/1/20)

WPI has plans in place to manage COVID-19 on campus via daily self-checks of symptoms, testing, contact tracing, and isolation and quarantine protocols. WPI will work with local and state public health agencies to manage any outbreaks on campus and will follow recommend directives. 

   

If I have an underlying health issue, what should I do to help protect myself from COVID-19?   (Added 7/1/20)

Contact your personal physician or Health Services with any questions or concerns. Additionally, students may contact the WPI Office of Accessibility Services (508-831-4908) to discuss the process for requesting academic accommodations and housing accommodations.  Students are encouraged to do so as soon as possible.  Students should review the section on Academics to decide whether to take all of their classes remotely.
 

What resources does WPI have in place to help protect the health and safety of the campus community? (Added 7/1/20)

In addition to educating our students, faculty, and staff about health behaviors and measures they must take to help minimize the spread of illness, WPI has also prepared dedicated isolation spaces for residential students, developed plans for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, created a Respiratory Care Center for students, and required daily self-checks of symptoms.  

WPI is also increasing its health staff and services to support our COVID-19 health management response, and we are adding:  

  • Testing Coordinator charged with overseeing WPI’s testing protocol, daily self-checks of symptoms, and contact tracing for students, faculty, and staff.  
  • Isolation/Quarantine Coordinator charged with overseeing WPI’s isolation and quarantine protocols for students.  
  • Staff at WPI’s Respiratory Care Center at 32 Hackfeld Road, including a nurse practitioner and a nurse.  
  • Nurses contracted to provide care to students in WPI’s isolation spaces, as needed.  
  • After-hours medical care available for students. 
  • Contact tracers to support the Testing Coordinator and the Worcester Board of Health’s contact tracing efforts.  

Events


Is WPI allowing any on-campus events?  (Added 7/1/20)
In keeping with local, state, and federal health guidelines, events will be limited in A and B term. WPI is not permitting or planning any large events or meetings on campus at this time, and the university is not hosting any on-campus events for external groups nor is it allowing external guests/attendees.

We recommend that organizers reimagine their events as virtual events when possible.  

The WPI Events Office has developed a Reference Guide that includes helpful details for holding events, including protocols about space capacity and attendance maximums, physical distancing and health hygiene requirements, such as wearing face coverings. 
 

When will Commencement for the 2020 graduates be held?  (Added 7/1/20)
The university hopes to hold Commencement ceremonies as soon as it is safe to do so; no date has been planned. Meanwhile, all graduates in the Class of 2020 received commencement packages via mail, which included their diplomas, commencement regalia, and other items to celebrate their successes. WPI awarded 1,043 bachelor’s degrees, 674 master’s degrees, and 54 doctoral degrees. President Leshin emailed a special congratulatory video message May 16, on what would have been Commencement weekend.  
 


Can I plan an on-campus event for Spring 2021?  (Added 7/1/20)
The Events Office is only accepting requests for A and B-term. We recommend organizers continue to plan virtual events until otherwise notified.  
 

How will my student organization’s activities look this Fall?  (Added 7/1/20)
On-campus events and activities look different from previous years. Meeting spaces are be limited, and the number of attendees are capped in accordance with state and WPI guidelines. All event attendees will be expected to wear face coverings and practice social distancing. Some services, such as catering, may be limited. The Events Office strongly recommends that student activities be downsized to meet state gathering limitations or reimagined as virtual events where possible. 

If student organizations have any questions, they can contact the Student Activities Office at gr-sao@wpi.edu.
 

If I’m hosting an on-campus event, what services are available?  (Added 7/1/20)
Furniture rental, audio visual support, catering?    
Currently the use of rental furniture is not allowed. Audio visual equipment can be arranged through the university’s ATC, and contact-less pre-packaged catering will be offered through Chartwells only. No external food providers may be used at this time. Please work with the Events office for additional information.
 

If I’m hosting an on-campus event, what are my responsibilities?  (Added 7/1/20)
Host responsibilities include creating and maintaining a registration roster for every event to track attendance, providing approved hand sanitizer (60% or more alcohol content) to guests, and being present at the event to assist with onsite social distancing monitoring.

The WPI Events Office has developed a Reference Guide that will include helpful details for holding events, including protocols about space capacity and attendance maximums, physical distancing and health hygiene requirements, such as wearing face coverings.

Graduate Student Remote Work

Graduate Students who are in Research Assistant (RA) or Teaching Assistant (TA) positions or are supported via Fellowships may be interested in working remotely for the Fall 2020 semester and beyond (e.g., through Spring 2021 semester), or they may have a need to do so or may be asked by their research advisers/departments to do so.). Graduate students who are seeking to work remotely must meet the conditions outlined below and obtain the required approvals. Please note that Graduate students do not need to disclose personal health information to their departments or advisers when requesting to work remotely.

 

I am a graduate student taking courses only, with no on-campus employment, teaching, or research responsibilities; can I conduct all my coursework remotely if I want to? (Added 8/4/20)
Yes; you can take all of your courses online if you prefer. Please check the course list to be  sure the courses you want are offered online. If you are required to take a particular course, and that course is only offered on campus or has some component that necessitates being on campus, please contact the Office of Accessibility Services (accessibilityservices@wpi.edu) to inquire about a possible accommodation.  

 

I am a TA; can I work remotely in Fall 2020? (Added 8/4/20)
TAs are eligible to perform TA responsibilities remotely if they have obtained approval from their department head, program director, or graduate coordinator as well as the lead faculty/instructor of their assigned course(s). If a TA has not been assigned courses yet, approval is only needed from the department head, program director, or graduate coordinator.

Due to tax and other regulatory statutes, it is critical that TAs performing TA responsibilities remotely reside in the US during the semester(s) when remote work will be occurring.

In addition to approvals for conducting their teaching responsibilities remotely, TAs must also seek approval from their research advisors if they want to conduct their research remotely as well.

 

I am a RA; can I work remotely in Fall 2020? (Added 8/4/20)
RAs are eligible to perform RA responsibilities remotely if they have obtained approval from their research advisor. Their research must be conducive to remote work. RAs should inform their department head, program director, or graduate coordinator if they plan to conduct their research remotely, though their approval is not needed.

Due to tax and other regulatory statutes, it is critical that RAs performing RA responsibilities remotely reside in the US during the semester(s) when remote work will be occurring.

RAs who do not want to be on campus in Fall 2020 but are unable to identify research activities that can be conducted remotely, or their remote research plans are not supported by their research advisor, should contact Rory Flinn (rjflinn@wpi.edu) in Graduate Studies to discuss their situation.

 

I am a graduate student supported by a fellowship; can I work remotely in Fall 2020? (Added 8/4/20)
Graduate students supported by an institutional fellowship who are seeking to work remotely should follow the guidelines for RAs listed above.

Graduate students supported by an external fellowship must consult with their funding agency on whether remote work is permissible and if they need to reside in the US during the remote work; they must also obtain approval from their research advisor.

Graduate Fellows should inform their department head, program director, or graduate coordinator if they plan to conduct their research remotely, though their approval is not needed.

 

I am a graduate student registered for directed or dissertation research credits and do not hold a RA, TA, or fellowship position; can I work remotely in Fall 2020? (Added 8/4/20)
Graduate students without financial support from an RA, TA, or fellowship that are conducting directed or dissertation research are eligible to conduct research remotely if they have obtained approval from their research advisor.

Graduate students in this category should inform their department head, program director, or graduate coordinator if they plan to conduct their research remotely, though their approval is not needed.

 

I am a graduate student with on-campus employment other than RA, TA, or fellowship; can I work remotely in Fall 2020? (Added 8/4/20)
Graduate students with on-campus employment other than RA, TA, or fellowship, are eligible to work remotely if they have obtained approval from their supervisor.
 

I am a graduate student with on-campus work responsibilities (RA, TA, directed research, campus job), and would like to work remotely, but my request to work remotely in Fall 2020 was not approved, what should I do? (Added 8/4/20)

Please contact Rory Flinn (rjflinn@wpi.edu) in Graduate Studies to discuss your situation.

 

I am a graduate student with on-campus work responsibilities (RA, TA, directed research, campus job), and would like to work remotely, but I am not residing in the US in Fall 2020. What should I do?
Please contact Rory Flinn (rjflinn@wpi.edu) in Graduate Studies to discuss your situation.

 

Can I work remotely beyond Fall 2020?
If you have been approved for remote work for Fall 2020 and wish to continue remote work in Spring 2021 please follow the same guidance listed above, depending on your particular employment position or situation.

Academics

 

INFORMATION FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS

Has the academic calendar changed? (Added 7/1/20)
WPI has reworked its 2020-2021 Academic Calendar to support a safe reopening of the campus. Of note, classes will start on August 31, several days later than originally planned. Graduate courses will run continuously through the Fall semester, unless otherwise indicated in the course schedule.
 

Will all courses be available remotely? (Added 7/1/20)
All graduate courses will be delivered this fall through remote learning. This has long been a successful delivery for graduate courses at WPI—meeting learning outcomes, while providing flexibility for faculty and students.
 

If I live in a time zone on the other side of the world, will there be enough asynchronous classes for me?  Will all classes be offered asynchronously? (Added 7/1/20)
The WPI community stretches across the country and around the world, and the university is working to accommodate all students as best we can. Graduate courses will be available through asynchronous delivery.
 

Have any changes been made to the grading policy? (Added 7/1/20)
At this time no changes have been made to the grading system for graduate courses.
 

What support will students have for remote learning? (Added 7/1/20)

Through a combination of resources, students will have access to the learning and technical needed to be successful.

 

INFORMATION FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

Why have some courses that were initially offered in person recently changed to remote instruction? (Added 8/28/20)
Some instructors have recently had to move their courses to hybrid or online instruction, due to changes affecting their ability to be on campus at the scheduled course time (including child care issues caused by changes in the local K-12 schools, for example). Also, some faculty have added instructional resources so labs are accessible on an optional basis to fully remote students as well as in-person students. WPI is not moving all lab courses to remote instruction at this time. Students with questions should contact their instructors regarding remote versus in-person options for their course.

Has the academic calendar changed? (Added 7/1/20)
WPI has reworked its 2020-2021 Academic Calendar to allow for a slower move-in process and support a safe reopening of the campus. Of note, classes will start on August 31, several days later than originally planned. There will also be a shorter break between A and B terms to reduce student travel off campus and minimize the potential risk of illness. 

Will all courses be available remotely? (Added 7/1/20)
To the extent possible, most undergraduate classes will have a remote learning option. All on-campus classrooms have been equipped with lecture capture technology to allow for a blend of in-person and virtual learning. Students may choose to attend class in-person, if offered, or attend classes fully or partially through remote learning.

Faculty, staff, Facilities, IT, Academic Advising, and student support services are working together to map out exactly which courses will be offered when, how, and where. 
 

If I start classes remotely in the fall, how many classes do I need to take to be considered full time versus part time?  (Added 7/1/20)
Undergraduate students must be registered for a minimum of 12 credits (4/3 units) per semester to be considered full-time. Fall semester totals all registered credits for A and B terms; Spring semester totals all registered credits for C and D term.

Undergraduate students may apply for part-time student status on a semester basis through the Registrar’s office. Applications must be received by July 20 for the Fall semester and November 15 for Spring. Additional questions should be directed to registrar@wpi.edu.

Any change to full-time status may impact factors such as financial aid, health insurance, visa status, and eligibility for team sports. Please be sure to check with appropriate offices before making any changes to your status.
 

If I start classes remotely in the fall, will I need to switch classes or will all classes be offered online?  (Added 7/1/20)
Departments and faculty are currently reworking the fall course schedule with an emphasis on maximizing safety, while offering as much flexibility as possible. This is quite an undertaking. We are doing our best to limit the impact on course schedules, but some of the changes may create schedule conflicts. We will work with students and advisors to be sure that every student gets the courses they need. We expect the course schedule to be clearer by the end of July. We will continue to communicate updates as we have more information.
 

If I live in a time zone on the other side of the world, will there be enough asynchronous classes for me?  Will all classes be offered asynchronously? (Added 7/1/20)
The WPI community stretches across the country and around the world, and the university is working to accommodate all students as best we can. Classes will be offered through a combination of in-person, blended synchronous, and asynchronous delivery. All classrooms have been equipped with lecture capture technology, so that courses may be taken asynchronously at another time. In many large lectures, this has already been occurring for a number of years. Additional information will be provided as the fall course schedule is finalized later in July.
 

Will classes be offered according to the regular schedule? (Added 7/1/20)
Departments and faculty are currently reworking the fall course schedule with an emphasis on maximizing safety, while offering as much flexibility as possible. This is quite an undertaking. We are doing our best to limit the impact on course schedules, but some of the changes may create schedule conflicts. We will work with students and advisors to be sure that every student gets the courses they need. We expect the course schedule to be clearer by the end of July. We will continue to communicate updates as we have more information.
 

What if I start classes on campus but then decide to switch to remote? (Added 7/1/20)
The TechFlex program allows the university to be adaptable, responsive, and flexible in our delivery of courses. We understand there may be situations where individuals must switch from on-campus to remote learning. TechFlex allows the adaptability for continuity in coursework. Students should speak with their faculty and faculty advisors should they decide to switch.
 

What if I have to quarantine and miss classes? (Added 7/1/20)
If you are unable to attend class in person because of quarantine or any other reason, you can take classes remotely—from your on-campus residence, off-campus apartment, or across the world. The majority of courses will have a remote learning option and all in-person classes will be recorded leveraging lecture capture technology available in all classrooms.
 

What if I miss part of the term because of illness? (Added 7/1/20)
The Office of Academic Advising will work with students and faculty to support the student’s continuing academic progress
 

Will classes and projects be graded as usual, or with the Pass/NR system used in D Term? (Added 7/1/20)
At this time, no changes have been made to the usual A/B/C/NR scale for Fall 2020.
 

How will projects be completed? IQPs and MQPs? (Added 7/1/20)
Project center directors and faculty advisors will be working to create meaningful projects and global experiences for teams on campus, working remotely with our global partners when possible. Center directors and faculty advisors will be communicating with students directly.
 

What support will students have for remote learning? (Added 7/1/20)
Whether learning on-campus, remotely, or a through a combination of options, students will have access to the educational, technical, and well-being support systems needed to be successful.

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

How is WPI securing the online learning environment from cybersecurity threats, particularly since we rely so heavily on internet technology? (Added 7/1/20)
Information Technology at WPI continually employs multilayer protections to guard against attacks on the university community. In addition to technology updates, system redundancies, phishing detection/mitigation and other measures, Information Technology continually educates our students, faculty, staff, and other partners about cyber-hygiene and steps to protect themselves and their electronic assets.

Information Technology provides ongoing updates to the community.  If you have any questions or concerns, or if you need individual help with your security needs, please email its@wpi.edu

I am a student: I don’t have the technology needed to take online classes.  Who do I contact? (Added 7/1/20)
Students in this situation should contact the Dean of Students office at dean-of-students@wpi.edu


I’m a commuter; what do I need to know to begin classes in the fall? (Added 7/1/20)
Commuter students should contact the Office of Academic Advising for information.

Global Studies

Will students get to travel to their project centers in the spring (C and D Term)?  (Updated 10/9/20)
No. All domestic, international, and Massachusetts-based IQPs, MQPs, and GQPs will be conducted remotely or on campus at WPI in C and D Terms.  Students will not be permitted to travel to project sites. We are working with faculty advisors and project center directors to continue to host meaningful and fulfilling project experiences despite this travel restriction. There may be limited case-by-case exceptions for “essential travel” as defined and outlined here
 

Is travel allowed for project centers within Massachusetts?  (Updated 10/9/20)
No. All domestic, international, and Massachusetts-based IQPs, MQPs, and GQPs will be conducted remotely or on campus at WPI in C and D Terms. Students with concerns about their projects should contact their faculty advisors.  Faculty advisors with concerns should contact COVID19travel@wpi.edu

Students who are expecting to complete MQPs at UMass Medical School or IQPs in the teacher training program should consult their advisers regarding plans for these projects.   


Is all WPI-sponsored travel suspended? (Updated 10/9/20)
Yes. All university-sponsored domestic and international travel by students, faculty, and staff remains suspended until further notice, in light of the pandemic.  
 

Why is the decision about travel being made for the entire semester and not by term? (Updated 10/9/20) 
Given the challenging and changing global pandemic and its varying impact on countries around the world, there are no indications that current travel restrictions will ease for U.S. citizens. There simply are no reliable projections that support travel in C or D term.  

For planning purposes, decisions on travel need to be made at least 12 weeks in advance in order to manage the logistics of travel, accommodations, on-site activities, etc. We believe it is important to make a decision now to allow students more time to plan ahead for the spring semester. 
 

Why are all project centers affected? Why aren’t travel decisions being made for each individual project center? Not all countries are equally affected by COVID-19. (Updated 10/9/20)
Many factors prompted this decision, including current global travel restrictions, mobility issues, and global travel advisories issued by the U.S. Department of State, and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and International SOS advising against non-essential travel. Additionally, the risks associated with the global COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to support the health and safety of our students prompted this decision. 
 

Will I still be able to work with my sponsoring organization if I am unable to travel for my project?  (Updated 10/9/20)
We are working with sponsoring organizations to provide every opportunity for students to work with their sponsoring organization remotely, if possible. Continuing to work with your sponsor will depend on your sponsor’s ability to remain in contact remotely, as well as the conditions of the project work. If your sponsor is unable to work with you remotely, your faculty advisors and/or the project center director will offer alternative project options.  

We are confident that our creative and innovative faculty, students, and partners can accomplish meaningful projects while safeguarding the health of our community. Many D-Term and E-Term projects in 2020 continued through remote interactions with sponsors, with great success.  
 

Will WPI provide housing for the term I was scheduled to be off-campus for my IQP if I elected for term-based housing?  (Updated 10/9/20)
Yes. Residential Services can help arrange on-campus housing for students affected by the suspension of spring travel. Please contact their office at 508-831-5645 or res-services@wpi.edu.  
 

If I don’t plan to be on campus in the spring, can I complete my project remotely with my team?  Will this affect my project grade?  (Updated 10/9/20)
Yes, you can participate in your project remotely; there will be no impact on project grading for students who do so.  We recognize that some team members meet in person, while others join the team through virtual means (Zoom, etc.), and that it can pose additional challenges to project work. Your project grade will not be affected by your status as remote or  on-campus. All students should consider the required workload of a full-term, off-campus project and make a commitment to continuing this level of work throughout their project term(s), no matter where they are physically located. 


If I had planned to complete my MQP in C or D Term but now can no longer travel, is there any risk I will not be eligible to graduate in 2021?  (Updated 10/9/20)
All MQPs will proceed remotely or on campus at WPI in C and D Terms. Students completing MQPs are encouraged to speak with their major advisor and department about the impact of travel decisions on their MQP work for the spring. Students with concerns about their projects should contact their faculty advisors.  Faculty advisors with concerns should contact COVID19travel@wpi.edu
 

If students don’t do their planned IQP this year, can they be combined with next year’s IQP groups?    (Updated 10/9/20)
Unfortunately, no. Project center directors, faculty advisors, and sponsors have already committed to working with each cohort in each term as they are scheduled.  There are real and significant resource limitations that prevent the university from simply “doubling up” projects next year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete their project in the term in which it is currently scheduled. It is not advisable to drop your project at this stage. 

We recognize the disappointment students feel over not being able to travel, as they’ve planned and looked forward to. But as WPI’s programs have always been different from typical “study abroad” programs and are focused on projects that have a tangible impact on the communities they serve, we strongly encourage students to complete their IQPs remotely or on campus at WPI as scheduled and planned. While this requires flexibility on the part of students, faculty, staff, and partners, we saw considerable resilience and creativity by the more than 280 students who successfully completed D Term 2020 projects remotely, in association with 13 different project centers.  

Students who would still like to withdraw from their C or D Term project will need to reapply to the program through the fall application cycle. Deferrals will not be given for future travel, and placement on a 2021-2022 program is not guaranteed.  If you have any questions about an off-campus project through the Global Projects Program, please contact global@wpi.edu.  
 

Can I withdraw my application through the Global Projects Program in the spring and re-apply later?  (Updated 10/9/20)
Students who withdraw from the Global Projects Program this spring can apply for the next academic year (2021-2022).

It is not advisable to drop your project at this stage. Students are strongly encouraged to complete their project in the term in which it is currently scheduled. Students who would still like to withdraw from their C or D Term project will need to reapply to the program. Deferrals will not be given for future travel, and placement on a 2021-2022 program is not guaranteed.   
 

Can WPI guarantee that I will have an off-campus experience if I apply for the 2021-2022 academic year, or beyond?  (Updated 10/9/20)
Given the ongoing global pandemic, off-campus travel will be subject to public health guidelines, as well as local, domestic, and international travel guidelines in place at that time. We continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 pandemic across the globe. 

WPI’s priority remains the health and safety of our students and faculty, and we must be responsive to unpredictable conditions in the U.S. and abroad. We are confident that our creative and innovative faculty, students, and partners can accomplish meaningful projects no matter where they are, while safeguarding the health of our community. 

 

Will I still receive the Global Scholarship towards Global Projects Program projects? (Updated 10/9/20)
The Global Scholarship of up to $5,000 is awarded to offset the direct billing costs to students of completing an off-campus project. The scholarship is subject to reduction and/or revocation in instances when WPI is unable to offer such off-campus experiences (due to the ongoing pandemic or for other compelling reasons). 

Due to the ongoing pandemic, WPI students will not be allowed to travel in C and D Terms for off-campus projects. Because there will be no direct costs charged to the student’s account for spring 2021 off-campus projects, the students in C and D Term projects will receive a $1,000 Global Scholarship. Students may be eligible to apply the balance (up to $4,000) towards future global project experiences via the Global Projects Program (subject to approval from IGSD).

 

Am I still eligible for my Global Scholarship if I am scheduled to complete my IQP in A or B Term 2021? (Updated 10/9/20)
Students participating in the Global Projects Program during the fall 2021 semester are currently eligible for the scholarship, up to $5,000, but this is subject to change pending possible travel restrictions that may be imposed at that time.  

The Global Scholarship is awarded to offset the direct billing costs to students of completing an off-campus project. The scholarship is subject to reduction and/or revocation in instances when WPI is unable to offer such off-campus experiences (due to the ongoing pandemic or for other compelling reasons). 

Should travel be restricted, students would receive a $1,000 scholarship, because there will be no direct costs charged to the student’s account for an off-campus project. Students may be eligible to apply the balance (up to $4,000) towards future global project experiences via the Global Projects Program (subject to approval from IGSD).

 

Athletics

 

Varsity Athletics


What does it mean that WPI fall athletics competition has been canceled? (Added 7/17/20)
In reviewing the significant challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, WPI has made the difficult decision to not compete in athletic competition this fall through Dec. 31. While we acknowledge how disappointing this news is, the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff, and entire WPI community remains our top priority.

Knowing how important athletics is in the lives of many students, we are committed to providing meaningful opportunities for team engagement. Fall varsity sports teams include men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s rowing, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball.  Winter varsity teams include men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s swimming & diving, men’s and women’s indoor track & field, and wrestling. 

Fall varsity teams will be able to engage with their coaches and teammates in strength and conditioning, practices informed by the most current university, state, and NCAA guidelines, along with leadership development and team bonding activities. Fall varsity teams will start these activities after classes begin. Spring and winter varsity teams will also be able to participate in these limited activities this fall with start dates to be determined. A decision on Winter and Spring 2021 seasons and competitions will be made at a later date.

Varsity student-athletes will be expected to complete all medical clearance paperwork and educational training as well as follow WPI’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols in order to fully participate with their team in the fall.  
 

Will varsity student-athletes return to campus early to begin pre-season?  (Added 7/17/20)
No. Varsity student-athletes will return to campus during the university’s fall move-in dates and follow the move-in procedures established by Residential Services. 


What will the varsity athletic experience be like in the fall? (Added 7/17/20)
All varsity student-athletes who return to campus in the fall must comply with WPI’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols in order to engage with their coaches for in-person and virtual workouts, academic and personal support, team bonding, and leadership development opportunities. All team activities will be developed using federal, state, local, NCAA, and WPI guidelines. Varsity student-athletes taking a leave of absence or deferral for the fall semester will not be permitted to participate in any team or individual workouts, activities, or meetings.
 

Will there be different approaches for different varsity sports this fall?  (Added 7/17/20)
At this time our approach will be the same for all sports and within federal, state, local, NCAA, and WPI guidelines.


Should I complete my medical clearance paperwork? (Added 7/17/20)
Yes. The process for completing online medical clearance paperwork and educational training is open and varsity student-athletes must complete this to participate in opportunities for strength and conditioning and team-related activities. If varsity student-athletes who are enrolled in classes and elect to not participate in physical activities but want to stay connected to the team, they only need to complete the educational training.


Will fall varsity sports competitions move to spring? (Added 7/17/20)
There is discussion around moving the fall varsity competition seasons to the spring. This requires NCAA approval as well as agreement among conference and/or regional peers, who would also compete during that time. We do not have a timetable for that decision, but will monitor any developments as they become known.
 

What about winter and spring varsity sports? (Added 7/17/20)
At this time, we anticipate varsity spring sports having non-traditional seasons in the fall and varsity winter sports starting their seasons on their traditional start date. Those practice activities will be developed using federal, state, local, NCAA, and WPI guidelines.
 

Will varsity spring sports have the opportunity to engage in their non-traditional seasons this fall? (Added 7/17/20)
We plan to offer non-traditional seasons for those programs (baseball, softball). These opportunities will be limited to on-campus and will begin later in September utilizing federal, state, local, NCAA, and WPI guidelines.

When will students know if winter and spring sports will compete? (Added 7/17/20)
Varsity winter sports will not compete or travel during the fall semester portion of their season. The decision to participate in intercollegiate athletic competitions after Jan. 1, 2021, will be made at an appropriate time and will be informed by an evaluation of the state of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Can varsity student-athletes participate in two sports in the spring? (Added 7/17/20)
A number of factors may impact participating in two sports in the spring. We will address those concerns once an NCAA decision is made to move the fall season.
 

How will practicing affect NCAA eligibility if no outside competition will be conducted? (Added 7/17/20)
Varsity student-athletes will not use a season of eligibility in the fall of 2020 because the teams will not compete.

Will my eligibility be impacted if my season is cut short? (Added 7/17/20)
For the 2020-21 season, Division III student-athletes will not be charged with a season of participation if their team can complete only 50 percent or less of the sport’s maximum contests/dates of competition due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Student-athletes whose teams complete more than 50 percent of the sport’s maximum contests/dates of competition during the 2020-21 season would not be eligible for this waiver, regardless of whether the student-athlete themselves competed in 50 percent or less of the season. However, individual waiver requests could be pursued on a case-by case basis. This waiver will allow student-athletes to have four meaningful seasons of participation opportunities.

For further eligibility questions, contact Rusty Eggen at rusty@wpi.edu.
 

I have been accepted for the class of 2024. What happens if I defer? (Added 7/17/20)
Please refer to WPI’s FAQ page: https://www.wpi.edu/we-are-wpi/frequently-asked-questions

If a student defers and is not enrolled full-time at WPI, they are not able to participate in any varsity team activities. 

Contact the Office of Student Aid and Financial Literacy at finaid@wpi.edu or 508-831-5469 if you have specific questions about any impact on your aid package.   
 

I am a returning varsity student-athlete. Will a leave of absence or gap year be necessary to stay on track from an NCAA eligibility perspective? (Added 7/17/20)
No. WPI is not competing in the Fall of 2020 and therefore a student-athlete is not using a season of eligibility.


What changes to services should varsity student-athletes expect? (Added 7/17/20)
Sports Medicine will have capacity restrictions, and new health and safety protocols. Appointments will be necessary; adherence to health and safety protocols will be required. There will be no locker room use or laundry service for varsity athletic teams. Access to indoor and outdoor athletic facilities will be restricted.
 

As a returning varsity student-athlete, do I have to return to campus and participate in all physical activities in order to be a member of the varsity athletic team? (Added 7/17/20)
No. The university respects your decision to not return to campus and all physical activities are voluntary. We do expect in order to be a member of your varsity team that you will participate remotely in ongoing team activities to the best of your ability.  

 

Physical Education

Will Physical Education courses be offered? (Added 7/17/20)
Yes. Classes will feature a combination of options: individual workout-based and online content- based offerings.  Students will be provided more information in the coming weeks.
 

Will varsity student-athletes still receive PE credit for athletic participation? (Added 7/17/20)
Varsity student athletes who engage with their team either virtually or in-person will remain eligible to receive PE credit.


Will club student-athletes still receive PE credit for athletic participation? (Added 7/17/20)
Club student athletes who engage with their team either virtually or in-person will remain eligible to receive PE credit.
 

Club Sports and Intramurals

Will club sports be allowed to practice and compete this fall? (Added 7/17/20)

Club sports will not compete in outside competition during the fall semester.  Opportunities for continued engagement will depend on the level of student interest, coaching availability, and adherence to WPI’s on-campus health and safety protocols. We encourage students interested in participating in club sports to reach out to their club leaders, who will be contacted soon by the Department of Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics with next steps. 

 

What will the club athletic experience be like for the fall? (Added 7/17/20)

All club student-athletes who return to campus in the fall must comply with WPI’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols in order to engage with their coaches for in-person and virtual workouts, team bonding, and leadership development opportunities. All team activities will be held in accordance with federal, state, local, and WPI guidelines. Club student-athletes taking a leave of absence or deferral for the fall semester will not be permitted to participate in any team or individual workouts, activities, or meetings.
 

Will there be different approaches for different club sports this fall?  (Added 7/17/20)

At this time our approach will be the same for all sports. Teams will follow federal, state, local and WPI guidelines.
 

Will fall club sports competitions move to spring? (Added 7/17/20)

No. The PERA department and facilities do not have the capacity to be able to move club sports to the spring.
 

What about winter and spring club sports? (Added 7/17/20)

At this time, we anticipate spring club sports starting in the spring with winter club sports starting their seasons on their traditional start date. Those practice activities will adhere to federal, state, local and WPI guidelines.
 

When will students know if winter and spring club sports will compete? (Added 7/17/20)
Winter club sports will not compete or travel during the start of the school year through Dec. 31. The decision to participate in athletic competitions after Jan. 1, 2021, will be made at an appropriate time and will be informed by an evaluation of the state of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

What about intramural activities? (Added 7/17/20)

It has been determined that Intramural programming will be held virtually this year.  Information will be made available once classes begin.

 

Athletic Facilities
 

Will the indoor and outdoor Sports and Recreation facilities be available? (Update 8/13/20)

The Sports and Recreation Center will be open with limited access and restrictions, and in accordance with all appropriate federal, state, and local guidelines. Students should expect reduced availability of equipment and hours of operation; a reservation system required for use; enhanced cleaning protocols; social distancing measures; health checks, and required use of cloth face coverings. Users will be expected to wipe down equipment before and after each use with provided cleaning supplies. Locker rooms and showers will not be available.

Please note the facility will be open for students only, in order to provide students with greater access.

 

International Students

 

Can international students take classes online during the fall semester? (Added 7/1/20)
New international students who have not yet entered the U.S. on their F-1 and J-1 student visas will able to take online classes remotely in the fall.  

Before the pandemic, there was a U.S. government rule that international students in the United States on F-1 and J-1 visas could not take more than one online class per semester. The U.S. government relaxed this rule in March 2020 for the remainder of the spring and summer.  

The U.S. government has not officially extended the relaxed rule for current international students for the fall semester, but many universities (including WPI) hope that online classes for returning F-1 and J-1 students will be possible, at least through the fall 2020 semester. WPI’s Office of International Student Life is closely watching government updates and will notify all international students of any significant changes.   

 

Will all of my classes be available to take online? (Added 7/1/20)
WPI is working to make classes available remotely. If you are a new incoming student and you know you will not be able to come to campus or attend in-person classes this fall and you want to discuss your options, you can reach out to Paul Reilly in Academic Advising (international undergraduate students) or Graduate Admissions at Grad@wpi.edu (international graduate students). 

 

Is there a separate registration process for online classes? (Added 7/1/20)
No, the registration process is the same.

 

If I am taking classes remotely from my home country and I am in a different time zone, or in a country that doesn’t support the software platform for the class, what should I do? (Added 7/1/20) 

New incoming undergraduate students can contact Paul Reilly in Academic Advising for help; new incoming graduate students can contact Graduate Admissions Grad@wpi.edu. Returning students should connect directly with professors or the graduate coordinator for their department for additional questions or needs for accessibility of the course. 

 

I’m worried about currency exchange rate fluctuations in my country. Is there a way to pay my bill earlier than the deadline to avoid this issue? (Added 7/1/20)
Yes. Please contact the Bursar’s Office for more information.

 

Can international students defer for a semester? (Added 7/1/20)
If you are a new incoming student, you can defer. To discuss your options and officially defer, undergraduate students should contact Undergraduate Admissions at Admissions@wpi.edu; and graduate students should contact Graduate Admissions at Grad@wpi.edu  Both undergraduate and graduate students should also contact the Office of International Student Life at IH@wpi.edu to make sure that their immigration documents are properly deferred, and to make arrangements to receive an updated I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1).

If you are a returning student, and you are not able to come back to campus, and you are not able to take online classes, you will have to apply for a leave of absence for the semester through the Registrar’s office. Please also make sure International House is also aware of your leave of absence request to discuss how this will impact your immigration record.

 

When can a new international student physically come to campus? (Added 7/1/20)
First-year international undergraduates are expected to arrive on campus on Wednesday, August 26 for the beginning of A Term. If you are not able to physically make it to campus for the start of A Term due to a later visa appointment, please contact IH@wpi.edu for more information on B Term or C Term arrival options.   

New international graduate students will receive additional information on orientation as we get closer to the beginning of August.

Please note there will be pre-arrival requirements regarding testing for COVID-19 that may impact your travel planning. More information will be available in the coming weeks.

 

When should returning (current) international students return to campus? (Added 7/1/20)
Returning international undergraduate students living on-campus are expected to arrive between Sunday, August 23 and Tuesday, August 25. Residential Services will contact you with more information on move-in.  

Undergraduate and graduate international students living off-campus should return to Worcester prior to August 31 (first day of classes). Additional information on arrival procedures will be provided closer to the beginning of August. 

Please note there will be pre-arrival requirements regarding testing for COVID-19 that may impact your travel planning. More information will be available in the coming weeks.

 

What are my housing options when I come to campus? (Added 7/1/20)
Undergraduate students should check the Residential Services page for options.  

Unfortunately, no new on-campus housing options are available for graduate students for fall 2020. However, the WPI Residential Services web page has additional resources for housing off-campus.

   

What if my visa appointment will be later than the campus move in dates? What if my visa appointment is delayed? (Added 7/1/20)
WPI understands that visa appointments are currently very challenging to schedule and we expect that many visa appointments might not be available until after the first day of classes (August 31).   

Undergraduate students may be able to start their program online, and then arrive on campus for in-person classes for the following term once their visa has been approved. For example, if you are going to be late for A Term, you can start classes remotely and then start B Term on campus. Contact International Student Life at IH@wpi.edu for more information.  

Graduate students can either defer admission to the spring or they may be able to start classes online in A Term and arrive in person once their visa has been approved. You will need to update the Office of International Student Life on your arrival plan, and you must check in with the office upon arrival for SEVIS registration. For more information, please contact IH@wpi.edu   

 

How can I get in touch with WPI about my unique travel situation? (Added 7/1/20)
Please contact IH@wpi.edu to let the Office of International Student Life know about any travel questions or updated arrival information.  

 

Will I have to leave my residence hall during the break between A Term and B Term or during Thanksgiving break  (Added 7/1/20)
International students residing on campus are not required to leave the residence halls during the break between A and B Term or for Thanksgiving break. Students are required to leave the residence halls during winter break (which is the break between fall semester and spring semester). However, if an international student is unable to travel or does not have an alternative place to stay during winter break, they can contact the Office of International Student Life starting in November. The Office of International Student Life will work with other campus departments to find a safe solution for students with extenuating circumstances over winter break.\>

 

What will COVID-19 testing look like when I come to campus? Will testing continue during the semester? (Added 7/1/20)
Information will be available via the Health and Safety section. 

 

If there are changes to the local COVID-19 situation and the university needs to pivot to a remote model, will accommodations be made for international students who are unable to travel home? (Added 7/1/20) 

WPI is aware that international students may have additional challenges related to travel and living circumstances. If anything changes with the delivery of classes or on-campus living, the Office of International Student Life will work with other campus departments to find a safe solution for students with extenuating circumstances.

Financial Aid

Will any student fees be waived if I am fully remote this fall? (Updated 9/12/20)

All full time undergraduate students will be charged the student life fee and all graduate students will pay the student organization fee, as student organizations will be offering remote and in-person programming for all students.

At the conclusion of the add/drop period, students who are not required to participate in the COVID testing program (for example, because they do not live in the vicinity of campus and are fully remote) will be credited $195, which is a portion of the $410 per-semester health fee. The remainder of the health fee provides support for services like counseling, health services, and accessibility services as these services can be used by remote students.

Remote incoming students would also pay the new student orientation fee as well, which helps support the delivery of orientation programs both virtual and in person.  

I am a student and am taking all of my courses remotely but am coming to campus for activities (for project work, to use the library, to work, for clubs). Do I need to pay the Student Health & Wellness Fee? (Added 9/10/20)

If you are coming to campus for any reason—or if you are living with other WPI students in the campus vicinity —you must be tested for COVID-19 and use the daily Symptom Tracker before coming to campus. Read more here. All students coming to campus must be tested, and all students enrolled in the testing program are responsible for the Student Health & Wellness Fee.   

I live off campus and am not coming to campus at all, but my roommates are. Do I need to be tested and do I pay the Student Health & Wellness Fee? (Added 9/10/20)

See above.

I am taking all of my courses online and will not be on campus at all. Do I need to pay the Student Health & Wellness Fee? (Added 9/10/20)

Students who are remote and are not coming to campus still have access to telehealth care through WPI’s Health Services and mental health services through the Student Development and Counseling service. As such, students are responsible for the Health & Wellness Fee but are not responsible for the supplemental fee of $195 per term.

Will my financial aid be impacted if I decide to live off campus, or commute from home, this fall and take classes remotely? (Added 7/1/20)
Your aid package may be impacted based on your living situation. This will be reviewed on a case by case basis. For specific questions please contact the Office of Student Aid & Financial Literacy.
 

I’ve been accepted into the Class of 2024. Will my financial aid be affected if I defer? (Added 7/1/20)
If you defer for one semester, you will receive half of your need-based financial and merit scholarship. If you defer for a full year, your full merit scholarship applies but you must reapply for need-based financial aid.

Please contact the Office of Student Aid and Financial Literacy at finaid@wpi.edu or 508-831-5469 if you have specific questions about any impact on your aid package.  
 

Will I still receive the Global Scholarship towards Global Projects Program projects in A and B Term? (Added 7/1/20)
The Global Scholarship is awarded to offset the direct billing costs to students of completing an off-campus project. The scholarship is subject to reduction and/or revocation in instances when WPI is unable to offer such off-campus experiences (due to the ongoing pandemic or for other compelling reasons). 

Due to the ongoing pandemic, WPI students will not be allowed to travel in A and B Terms for off-campus projects. Because there will be no direct costs charged to the student’s account for fall 2020 off-campus projects, the students in A and B Term projects will receive a $1,000 Global Scholarship instead of $5,000.  
 

Am I still eligible for my Global Scholarship if I am scheduled to complete my IQP in C or D Term 2021? (Added 7/1/20)
Students participating in the Global Projects Program during the spring 2021 semester are currently eligible for the $5,000 scholarship, but this is subject to change pending possible travel restrictions that may be imposed for that time.  

The Global Scholarship is awarded to offset the direct billing costs to students of completing an off-campus project. The scholarship is subject to reduction and/or revocation in instances when WPI is unable to offer such off-campus experiences (due to the ongoing pandemic or for other compelling reasons). 

Should travel be restricted in C and D Term, those students would receive a $1,000 scholarship, because there will be no direct costs charged to the student’s account for an off-campus project. 
 

What about federal work study for students? (Added 7/1/20)

Federal work study is available and will be adjusted depending on a number of factors, including building capacity and social distancing requirements, and the type of work and whether it can be done remotely. Students should contact their work study supervisor for information.
 

Are there any additional sources of funding for students impacted by the pandemic? (Updated 8/20/20)
Yes.  Students may request financial support in three additional ways:

  1. Through the Dean of Student’s Student Emergency Loan Fund. This fund provides immediate short-term loans to WPI students in emergencies or unforeseen situations.  Loans will generally be in the amount of $25 - $300 and will be expected to be repaid within thirty days.  For more information about this fund, please contact the Dean of Students Office at dean_of_students@wpi.edu.
  2. Through the WPI Emergency Assistance Fund. This fund has been established to assist our WPI community members who encounter an urgent, unforeseen financial emergency or catastrophic event due to the coronavirus pandemic. The number of people who may be assisted by this fund is subject to the availability of funds. Grants will generally be capped at $1,000 and will be considered one-time distributions with no expectation of repayment.
  3. Through the Office of Student Aid & Financial Literacy (OSAFL). Please ensure you have filed a 2020-2021 FAFSA. OSAFL will notify students about their financial aid packages for 2020-2021 in early July 2020. If you have additional need due to financial hardship please reach out to finaid@wpi.edu, call 508-831-5469 or schedule an online virtual appointment through our online booking system to discuss your situation.
     

What about CARES Act funding? Is there any additional funding available? (Added 7/1/20)

CARES Act funding was distributed earlier this spring. More information is available at the Office of Student Aid & Financial Literacy.

Will WPI refund or discount tuition for fall 2020? (Added 7/23/20)

WPI is not refunding or discounting tuition. Through our TechFlex program, we will continue to deliver the high-quality academic programs and services that our students and their families expect from a WPI education. Our offices and services remain open and are prepared to support you on campus and remotely. If you are having trouble academically, please reach out to the Office of Academic Advising. If you are currently facing financial hardship please contact the Office of Student Aid and Financial Literacy.

Will any student fees be waived if I am fully remote this fall? (Added 7/23/20)

All full time undergraduate students will be charged the student life fee and all graduate students will pay the student organization fee, as student organizations will be offering remote and in-person programming for all students.

Fully remote students would pay a portion of the health fee ($205 per semester) which provides support for services like counseling, health services, and accessibility services as these services can be used by remote students. Families can request a waiver for a portion of the health fee ($195) that supports COVID related testing and care after the add/drop period has concluded at the start of A-Term. Incoming students would also pay the new student orientation fee as well, which helps support the delivery of orientation programs both virtual and in person.  

Admissions


Has WPI changed its application process or any deadlines? (Added 7/1/20)
WPI has not made any changes to its application process or deadlines related to COVID-19. Our deadlines and application types were recently updated, however, due to the addition of an Early Decision application program. For the most current information on the application process, requirements, and deadlines, visit the Admissions webpage
 

What if my high school continues to use Pass/Fail grading?  (Added 7/1/20)
Prospective students can be reassured that WPI’s holistic application evaluation process will review a student’s candidacy carefully, and will consider the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on academic instruction and participation in pursuits outside the classroom. Applicants to WPI will not be faulted for individual school decisions to move to Pass/Fail grading. 
 

I’m applying to transfer to WPI; will WPI accept credit for college coursework I completed online? (Added 7/1/20)
Many universities have adjusted to delivering their courses to an online format. WPI will carefully review the syllabi of these college-level classes to determine if we have an equivalent course. Course credit is at the discretion of individual academic departments. For more information about transferring course credit to WPI please visit the Registrar’s page.  
 

Will WPI accept Advanced Placement credit for students applying for the Class of 2025? (Added 7/1/20) 
WPI faculty are evaluating the changes in exam administration for 2020 AP exams. Due to the shortened exam length, there will be topics that were not assessed in 2020 AP exams. The faculty will be reviewing these changes to ensure there are no content gaps in course equivalencies to ensure that students are successful in the WPI curriculum. The Dean of Undergraduate Studies wants to assure admitted and prospective students that there will be no change in our policy for the year and the faculty will work with students to be sure that they have the background they need to be successful at WPI. WPI’s Advanced Placement credit policy is here
 

If international baccalaureate (IB) exams are canceled again, will WPI award credit for students in the international baccalaureate diploma program?   (Added 7/1/20)
Yes, WPI will honor the credit process for students enrolled in International Baccalaureate courses. The credit is awarded for students receiving a score of 6 or 7 in Higher Level courses. The International Baccalaureate Organization will communicate scores directly with WPI after evaluating coursework and school-based assessments. WPI’s IB credit policy is here
 

I don’t know if I’ll be able to take the SATs before the application deadline for the Class of 2025. What should I do? (Added 7/1/20)
WPI does not require students to submit SAT scores. WPI has been at the forefront of the test optional movement and has been test optional for more than a decade. In fact, we were the first nationally-ranked STEM institution to become test optional. Test scores are not required for admission or for scholarship consideration. Our Admission process is based upon a holistic review of the candidate, considering their academic credentials, recommendations, and extracurricular pursuits—all within the context of their unique lived experiences. 
 

How will “demonstrated interest” factor into the admission process if families are unable to make a visit to the campus? (Added 7/1/20)
WPI hopes that students will take advantage of virtual experiences to learn more about our innovative program and collaborative community. Take the virtual tour, register for a virtual information session or to connect with current students, faculty, and WPI alumni. Students should plan to join our mailing list so we can share important updates with you about academic programs, application requirements and insights into the WPI community and culture. WPI understands that many students may not be able to visit campus for an event.
 

What forms of English Language Proficiency will WPI accept for fall 2021 applicants?  (Added 7/1/20)
For students applying for fall 2021, WPI is accepting the TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE as usual.  WPI is also accepting the TOEFL At Home Test, IELTS Indicator, and TOEFL ITP Plus due to coronavirus testing restrictions.  Visit our international admissions page for more details. 
  

Is WPI hosting tours for prospective students?  (Added 7/1/20)
Beginning in mid-July, the Admissions Office will be offering on-campus tours of the grounds, led by student tour guides. At this time, we are unable to bring visitors into any of the buildings. Space will be limited. We also offer virtual tours; see below. For more details, please visit https://www.wpi.edu/admissions/undergraduate/visit 
 

Can I get a virtual tour?  (Added 7/1/20)
There are several ways to experience the tour virtually. There is a video virtual tour, a Virtual Tour app for download, and a student-led virtual tour via Zoom. Details regarding these options are available at https://www.wpi.edu/admissions/undergraduate/visit 
 

When can I visit campus? (Added 7/1/20)
You can visit campus at any time and take a self-guided tour via a downloadable app. You can also schedule on-campus tours of the grounds led by student tour guides beginning in mid-July. Student tour guides will be available to walk you through the campus grounds but not into buildings at this time. Space will be limited and advance registration is required.  To schedule your visit, please visit https://www.wpi.edu/admissions/undergraduate/visit 
 

Who can I meet with while I am visiting campus? Faculty, coaches, staff, students? (Added 7/1/20) 
Admissions counselors will be available to answer questions, and current students will be available to lead tours of the campus.  Space will be limited and advance registration is required.  To schedule your visit, please visit https://www.wpi.edu/admissions/undergraduate/visit
 

If I can’t meet with people in person, can I do Zoom calls with them?  (Added 7/1/20)
Prospective students can meet with Admissions counselors and students through the Zoom platform. You can schedule these conversations at https://www.wpi.edu/admissions/undergraduate/visit 
 

What facilities can I see when I visit? (A residence hall room, classrooms, labs, Foisie Innovation Studio, Campus Center, Sports & Recreation Center, etc.)  (Added 7/1/20)
Visitors are able to tour the campus grounds and the Bartlett Center, which houses Undergraduate Admissions and Student Aid & Financial Literacy. Access to buildings is unavailable at this time. 
 

I’ve been accepted into the Class of 2024. If I decide to defer for the fall semester or the year, can I defer again later?   (Added 7/1/20)
Students may defer for one semester or one whole year. After one whole year, WPI requires that you reapply for admission. 
 

I’ve been accepted into the Class of 2024. Will my financial aid be affected if I defer?  (Added 7/1/20)
If you defer for one semester, you will receive half of your need-based financial and merit scholarship. If you defer for a full year, your full merit scholarship will remain when you return to WPI but you must reapply for need-based financial aid. 

Please contact the Office of Student Aid and Financial Literacy at finaid@wpi.edu or 508-831-5469 if you have specific questions about any impact on your aid package.   
 

If I start fall remotely, can I move to campus when things are better? Is housing guaranteed for me later in the year?  (Added 7/1/20)
While every effort will be made to accommodate student requests, students who engage in remote learning in A- and B-Terms are not guaranteed housing if they come to campus later.   
 

I’ve been accepted into the Class of 2024. How do I participate in new student orientation as a commuter, transfer, or remote student?    (Added 7/1/20)
All new incoming students, including commuter, transfer, and remote students, will receive information about New Student Orientation. The schedule will include both in-person and virtual options to ensure all students receive the resources, programs, and support needed as they transition to campus.    
 

I’ve been accepted into the Class of 2024. If I decide to take classes remotely but want to come to campus (for activities or to go to the library, etc.), will my WPI student ID work to get me into buildings?  (Added 7/1/20)
Yes; as long as you are enrolled, your ID will get you into the buildings you normally would have access to during the hours of operations for those buildings.  

Travel


What is considered “WPI-Sponsored Travel”?  (Added 8/7/20)
WPI-Sponsored Travel means all travel by WPI students, faculty, and staff that is part of academic, scholarly, or business work in which the traveler is representing WPI, that is funded, in whole or in part by WPI funds (regardless of purpose) or by a grant, foundation, company, or other university. Such travel may include, but is not limited to travel for: teaching, research, academic study, attendance at a conference, official global project programs, internships, volunteer or work programs and other experiential learning, field studies, performances, athletic contests, or trips abroad in connection with a WPI-recognized student organization, academic or administrative unit.

What is not considered “WPI-Sponsored Travel”? (Added 8/7/20)
Personal travel is not considered WPI-Sponsored Travel.  However, WPI strongly discourages personal travel to destinations outside of Massachusetts, especially personal travel to states not included in Massachusetts’ list of COVID-19 lower-risk states.


Are there any exceptions that would allow me to proceed with WPI-Sponsored Travel? (Added 8/7/20)
There may be limited case-by-case exceptions to the current suspension of WPI-sponsored travel for essential business or academic travel or student organization and club sports travel that cannot be deferred or conducted through virtual means.

Below are guidelines for what may constitute essential business or academic travel:

  • Travel that is critical to WPI’s mission, such as travel that is critical to continuing a program or to avoid a major program disruption.
  • Travel that is urgent such that suspension or delay in travel will result in a regulatory, compliance, or safety issue; the loss of grant funding or failure to meet grant deadlines; breach of a contract; or loss of a significant academic or institutional opportunity that is unlikely to occur in the foreseeable future.
  • Travel for academic credit that is necessary for a student to meet a graduation requirement and cannot be postponed and cannot be accomplished through virtual means.


What is the process for requesting a limited case-by-case exception for WPI-Sponsored Travel? (Added 8/7/20)

Deans, Department Heads, and Division Heads are responsible for ensuring that students, faculty and staff are aware of and adhere to the required approval process.

For faculty or staff traveling without students:

Limited case-by-case exceptions may be granted for faculty and staff engaging in essential business or academic travel pursuant to the following process:

  1. Traveler must discuss the planned travel with their Department Head (for faculty) or Division Head (for staff).
  2. The Department/Division Head must consider the criteria listed above for what may constitute essential business or academic travel and whether the destination is not included on Massachusetts’ list of COVID-19 lower-risk states. If the Department/Division Head concludes that the traveler’s planned travel is essential business or academic travel they must document that decision and submit the decision to the Global Experience Office (globaltravel@wpi.edu) for recordkeeping purposes.
  3. Before travel, the traveler must:
    1. Complete the Acknowledgement and Release for WPI-Sponsored Travel.
    2. Register travel that involves at least one overnight on the WPI MyTrips Travel Registry.
    3. Complete a spend authorization in Workday, if expenses are expected to exceed $1,000.

For students:
Limited case-by-case exceptions may be granted for students engaging in essential academic travel pursuant to the following process:

  1. The student must discuss their planned travel with their faculty advisor.
  2. Their faculty advisor must consider the criteria listed above for what may constitute essential academic travel and whether the destination is not included on Massachusetts’ list of COVID-19 lower-risk states. If the faculty advisor concludes that the student’s planned travel is essential academic travel, they must document that and submit the decision to their Department Head. 
  3. The Department Head must agree with the student’s faculty advisor that the planned travel constitutes essential academic travel.  The Department Head must document this and submit the decision to the Global Experience Office (globaltravel@wpi.edu ) for recordkeeping purposes.
  4. For international travel only:
    1. Complete a Travel Petition provided by the Global Experience Office at least 4 weeks before the student’s planned international travel. For international travel involving more than one student, the student leader or the students’ faculty advisor must submit the Travel Petition.
    2. The Global Travel Review and Response Team will determine whether it is appropriate to grant a limited case-by-case exception for this student’s international travel and will meet with the student and/or the faculty advisor (as applicable) to discuss the planned international travel.
    3. The Global Travel Review and Response Team must approve the student’s international travel.
  1. Before travel, the traveler must:
    1. Complete an Acknowledgement and Release for WPI-Sponsored Travel.
    2. Register travel that involves at least one overnight on the WPI MyTrips Travel Registry.

For guidelines on essential student organization or club sports travel, please contact Student Activities Office or Physical Education Recreation and Athletics (PERA), as applicable
 

What steps will I be required to take upon returning to WPI after engaging in travel? (Added 8/7/20)
Travelers should review the CDC’s Returning from International Travel guidelines and Massachusetts’ Massachusetts’ COVID-19 orders and guidance related to travel

Travelers must follow federal and state guidelines on quarantine and/or isolation (as applicable) upon return from WPI-Sponsored international or domestic travel. For WPI-Sponsored Travel, WPI may impose additional requirements depending on the nature of the travel and the current risk of COVID-19 during travel.

For faculty or staff: When submitting your request for payment/reimbursement of expenses through Workday, please attach your Department/Division head approval.

Effective August 1, 2020, all students and employees traveling to Massachusetts from states other than COVID-19 lower-risk states must complete the following steps, as required by Massachusetts:

  1. Complete the Massachusetts Travel Form.
  2. Receive a negative result from an FDA-approved COVID-19 test that was administered 72 hours or less prior to arriving in Massachusetts. 
    1. FDA-approved tests that are approved to meet this requirement are listed here and here.
    2. Results from antibody (serology) tests are not sufficient to meet this requirement.

      – OR –
       
    3. Quarantine for 14-days or for the period of time it takes to receive a negative result from an FDA-approved COVID-19 test. 

Students and employees may temporarily leave quarantine to receive medical care, such as COVID-19 testing.  Students and employees receiving testing during the period must remain in quarantine while awaiting their test results.

Visitors & Vendors

I am a faculty or staff member who is remote, but I need to come to campus to pick something up. Can I come to campus? (Updated 10/20/20)
Yes, but you must follow a specific protocol. Faculty and staff who need infrequent access to campus will need to notify their department head (faculty) or supervisor (employees) who will then need to grant permission and complete the main campus log with the relevant information. The faculty/staff member will need to make arrangements with someone in their department to let them into the building because their card access is inactive. If you need assistance getting into your space, WPI Police will assist with access with 48 hours notice. They do not need to sign a waiver (as non-WPI visitors do) or receive any other sort of approval (such as CERT approval that was previously required). If you need to visit campus more than twice a month, you may need to begin a regular routine testing process. If that is necessary, T&I will contact you.

What if a remote employee, visitor, or research collaborator needs to visit campus for a multi-day visit? (Added 10/20/20)

The campus access form allows for granting access one day at a time. If a multi-day visit is needed, the form will need to be completed once for each day of the planned visit. Vendors and research subjects will not need to submit a separate form for each visit based on the nature of their work or engagement with WPI.

If a vendor is coming to campus regularly (weekly or more frequently) do they have to sign the Vendor Acknowledgement each time? (Added 8/12/20)
No, they do not; however, the department host must log in the vendor in the main campus log. If the visits become less frequent (more than two weeks between them), they must sign the Vendor Acknowledgment.

 

My vendor will not be coming to my office but will be visiting another location on campus. How should I handle access? (Added 8/12/20)
The department host is responsible for ensuring that the vendor signs the Vendor Acknowledgement and ensuring that the department logs the vendor in on the main campus log. In addition, the department host must provide physical access to the building the vendor needs to access.

Do I have to stay with my vendor or visitor while they are on campus? (Added 8/12/20)
No, but the department host needs to log the vendor in on the main campus log and provide the vendor physical access to the building.

Can students have visitors? (Added 8/12/20)
Students’ family members or friends who are not current WPI students or employees are not allowed on campus. Students living in the residence halls are not permitted to have guests in the residence halls, including family, friends, and other WPI students (from other residence halls or from off-campus).

Do I use the main campus log to log in WPI employee or student visitors to my department—for example, if a Facilities staff member comes into my office with a work order? (Added 8/12/20)
No, the log is only for external visitors. You should also maintain a manual log in your department for internal WPI visitors.

What should I do if my visitor/vendor reports to me that they learned they were positive for COVID-19 after their visit to campus? (Added 8/12/20)
Ask the visitor/vendor to complete the form found here. Then contact the Office of Environmental Health & Safety (508-831-5216, ehs@wpi.edu) and provide them the information about your visitor/vendor from the main campus log. The Office of Environmental Health & Safety will follow up with the visitor/vendor and contact your department if anything else needs to be done.

For additional questions, email WeAreWPI@wpi.edu.

Additional adjustments to our operations may be needed based on updated guidance and public health trends. We recommend you check back regularly for the latest updates.