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FAQs will be updated as new information becomes available. Please check back often.

Last updated date
Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - 1:34pm

Residential Life

Onboarding, housing, move-in, and other details are being finalized. See Residential Services for information and check back for updates.

Student Life & Dining on Campus

Details about Student Life and Dining are being finalized as we prepare to welcome students back for the fall. See the Student Experience web pages for information and check back for updates.

Health & Safety

What should I do if I think I have COVID-19 symptoms?  (Updated 3/1/21)

If you are experiencing severe symptoms or a medical emergency while on campus, call 508-831-5555 for WPI Police, or call 911. Anyone with COVID-19–like symptoms should stay home or in their residence hall room and self-quarantine immediately. Symptoms should also be immediately reported via the Symptom Tracker. 

If you have any symptoms at all, do not come to campus, even for testing. Doing so risks spreading the virus.

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. 

Testing, Isolation & Quarantine

Will WPI have special summer COVID-19 testing days and hours? (Added 7/5/21)

Yes; from July 1 through August 6, testing will be held Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:00 am to noon in Alden Memorial.  If your assigned testing day was Thursday, it has been moved to Monday or Wednesday.  

I am fully vaccinated; do I still need to be tested for COVID-19 this summer? (Added 7/5/21)

This summer, weekly COVID-19 testing will be optional for anyone who is fully vaccinated and has documented their vaccination with WPI. Note: You are fully vaccinated two weeks after your final dose of vaccine. 

I am not fully vaccinated; do I need to be tested during the summer? (Added 7/5/21)

Anyone who is partially vaccinated or unvaccinated, as well as those who have not yet uploaded their vaccine information to WPI, will still be required to test weekly. Note: You are fully vaccinated two weeks after your final dose of vaccine. 

When can I find out about what will be required for fall testing? (Added 7/5/21)

Testing protocols and schedules for A-Term/Fall semester will be announced later in July.  Everyone on campus will participate in our testing program, including onboarding and routine testing. 

I am a student; How do I upload my vaccination information to WPI? (Added 7/5/21)

Upload your information to the Student Health Portal

I am a WPI employee, REU, or temporary or contingent worker; how do I enter my vaccination information? (Added 7/5/21)

Enter your vaccination information into Workday here

What’s the difference between isolation and quarantine? (Updated 1/15/21)

The terms “isolation” and “quarantine” are not interchangeable and refer to two distinct processes that are used to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.  You can find an explanation here.

Vaccines

Is the COVID-19 vaccination mandatory? (Updated 6/22/21)

WPI will require all undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in on-campus classes and/or conducting research in on-campus labs, whether they live on campus or off, to be fully vaccinated (two weeks post their last dose) against COVID-19 by August 1, 2021.

All students must enter their vaccination information into Medicat as soon as they are fully vaccinated or by August 1, 2021 at the latest.

WPI strongly encourages all employees to get vaccinated. Employees must enter their vaccine information into Workday so the university can monitor total vaccination levels on campus. If those numbers show a lower than optimal level of immunization on campus, WPI may require vaccination among employees. 

See the June 22, 2021 WPI community update

 

Why is WPI requiring all students to be vaccinated? (Updated 6/22/21)

Vaccination provides excellent protection against COVID-19 and the best chance for the WPI community to return to the daily activities that are so critical to college life. State and national data suggests that community vaccination levels of at least 90% are necessary to prevent the continued spread and dire health impact of the virus. Additional data suggests that it is extremely difficult to reach high levels of vaccination without a mandate.   

WPI already requires students to be vaccinated against a wide variety of vaccine-preventable illnesses, like meningitis, measles, tuberculosis, and others that are easily spread among people who live in congregate settings or who spend time in densely populated spaces. COVID-19 is another such vaccine-preventable illness.

Why is WPI only “strongly encouraging” all employees to be vaccinated? (Updated 6/22/21)

Vaccination requirements are commonplace among college students because they live together in WPI residence halls or off-campus apartments, and spend more time in close proximity with other students. Vaccination requirements are less common among employees, in part because they typically do not have the same exposures as students.  

While WPI is not currently mandating employees be vaccinated, employees are required to enter their vaccination status information into Workday so the university can track vaccination rates.

See the June 22, 2021 WPI community update

What COVID-19 vaccines will WPI accept to meet the student vaccination requirement? (Updated 6/22/21)

WPI will accept any COVID-19 vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), unless otherwise indicated by the CDC or Massachusetts Department of Public Health. As of June 8, 2021, this includes Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), Oxford/AstraZeneca, Covishield (made by Serum Institute of India), Sinopharm, and Sinovac-CoronaVac.

For international students, if a COVID-19 vaccine is available in your country that is not on this list, we still advise that the best vaccine is the first one you can getSee additional information under International Student FAQs.

What does it mean to be “fully vaccinated”? (Added 5/6/21)

“Fully-vaccinated” status is achieved two weeks after your final dose (dose 2 of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine).

In order to meet the August 1 deadline, students will need to receive their doses no later than

  • Moderna (two doses, four weeks apart): First dose by June 20; second dose by July 18
  • Pfizer (two doses, three weeks apart): First dose by June 27; second dose by July 18
  • Johnson & Johnson (one dose):  July 18

I am a student; how do I submit my vaccination information? (Added 5/6/21)

Students must upload their vaccination information into Medicat using this link.  If you are having any difficulty with Medicat, please contact Health Services.

I am a faculty or staff member; how do I submit my vaccination information? (Added 5/6/21)

Employees must enter their vaccine information into Workday by June 15, 2021, by following these instructions.  If you are having any difficulty with Workday, please contact Talent & Inclusion.

I was vaccinated at WPI; do I still need to submit my vaccine information to WPI? (Added 5/6/21)

Yes, even if you were vaccinated at WPI, you still need to submit your vaccination information to WPI.  Students must upload their vaccination information into Medicat using this link.  Employees must enter their vaccine information into Workday by June 15, 2021, by following these instructions

I am a student; how do I request a medical or religious exemption from WPI’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement? (Updated 5/11/21)

Students can submit their request for a medical or religious exemption to the COVID-19 vaccination requirement by following the instructions on found here, under Vaccination Exemptions.

Will students who receive a medical or religious exemption be required to follow different health and safety protocols in the fall? (Added 5/6/21)

WPI is planning for a fully in-person fall, with in-person classes and regular campus activities.  More information will be forthcoming as we get closer to the fall about the health and safety protocols in place for all members of the WPI community.

Will students who receive a medical or religious exemption be allowed to take classes remotely through TechFlex in the fall? (Added 5/6/21)

All WPI students will take classes in-person in the fall whether or not they have a medical or religious vaccination exemption.

I am a faculty or staff member; how do I request a medical or religious exemption from WPI’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement? (Added 5/6/21)

Because WPI is not yet mandating employees get vaccinated (we currently are strongly encouraging it) employees do not need to request an exemption.

Employees must enter their vaccine information into Workday by June 15, 2021 if they have been vaccinated so that WPI can monitor the aggregate vaccination levels on campus.  If those numbers show a lower than optimal level of immunization on campus, the university may then need to require vaccination among employees. Information about disability (medical) and religious exemptions for employees will be provided at that time.

Will WPI students, faculty, and staff who get the vaccine be exempt from COVID-19 testing on campus? (Updated 5/6/21)

Not at this time. WPI has not changed its routine testing policies.  We anticipate continuing some form of routine testing on campus during the summer and fall.

If WPI students, faculty, and staff are vaccinated, do they still need to wear a face covering and socially distance on campus? (Updated 6/22/21)

Outdoors, face coverings are no longer necessary if you can maintain six feet of social distancing. For this summer, face coverings are not required indoors for anyone who is fully vaccinated—except in the Health Services and Student Development and Counseling Center (SDCC) offices and in WPI-sponsored transportation/vehicles. Face coverings are strongly advised indoors for anyone who is not fully vaccinated, unless they are alone in their private space.

If I am fully vaccinated; do I still need to quarantine if I am an asymptomatic close contact? (Added 5/6/21)

WPI follows the Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidelines that explain if a fully vaccinated individual is exposed to someone with COVID-19, but has no symptoms (asymptomatic), they are not required to quarantine.  However, it is critical to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following an exposure, even if you are fully vaccinated.

Where Can I Get Vaccinated?

Where can I get vaccinated in Massachusetts? (Added 5/6/21)

  • You can sign up for a vaccine at one of Massachusetts’ mass vaccination sites at any time. Some sites require appointments, and others are open for walk-ins.
  • You also can sign up for a vaccination at certain pharmacies, community health centers, and health care providers in Massachusetts. You can search by zip code for these vaccination locations.
  • Local pharmacies like CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and Walmart also have vaccine available; check their websites.

How do I get my second dose if I got my first dose in a different location/state? (Updated 5/6/21)

Anyone who received a first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, no matter where it was given, is eligible for a second dose in Massachusetts.  Please be sure to keep the vaccination card you were given at the time of your first dose. The easiest way to book a second dose appointment is to schedule one directly through a mass vaccination site by calling the site directly. Contact information for the mass vaccination sites can be found here under “second dose appointments.”

Alternatively, you can visit vaxfinder.mass.gov  to find a pharmacy or community vaccination site near you. CVS and Walgreens offer second dose vaccination appointments. Remember to make sure the location offers the same vaccine you received for your first dose.

If you need to get your second dose outside of Massachusetts, please review information from the state in which you are seeking to get your second dose.

If COVID-19 vaccine boosters become needed in the future, can I get my booster at WPI? (Added 5/6/21)

Currently, there are no COVID-19 boosters developed or authorized for emergency use.  If it becomes necessary for fully vaccinated individuals to receive COVID-19 boosters, WPI will provide more information about where to obtain a shot and how to submit the information to WPI. .

Medical Questions

I am young and healthy. Why do I need a vaccine? (Added 5/6/21)

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is one of the best ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19. Unfortunately, youth and current health are not guaranteed protection against illness. Even if you think you won’t be severely affected by COVID-19, you could pass the virus to others who are not so young and healthy. Vaccination provides excellent protection against COVID-19 and the best chance for the WPI community to return to the daily activities that are so critical to college life. State and national data suggests that community vaccination levels of at least 90% are necessary to prevent the continued spread and dire health impact of the virus.

Please review the CDC’s website for more information on vaccine safety.  You can also review the FAQs about the COVID vaccine available from Massachusetts and the CDC.

Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe? (Added 5/6/21)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines after they met rigorous safety and efficacy standards. The data support their safety and effectiveness.

Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines since they were authorized for emergency use by the FDA.  Please review the CDC’s website for more information on vaccine safety.  You can also review the FAQs about the COVID vaccine available from Massachusetts and the CDC.

Remember, you cannot get COVID-19 from a COVID-19 vaccine.

I’m concerned there might be long-term side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine. Where can I find more information? (Added 5/6/21)

The CDC is closely monitoring the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines.  Currently, they advise that long-term side effects are unlikely, and that millions of people have received COVID-19 vaccines with no long-term side effects detected.

You can review additional FAQs about the COVID vaccine available from Massachusetts and the CDC.

I have a medical question about vaccination. Who should I talk to? (Updated 5/6/21)

Employees with specific medical questions about vaccination should consult with their own health care provider; students should contact WPI Health Services or their own health care provider. You can also review the FAQs about the COVID vaccine available from Massachusetts and the CDC.

What are common side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine? (Added 4/20/21)

Some people have side effects after being vaccinated; this is true for many vaccines, not just the COVID-19 vaccine. The most commonly reported side effects include pain or redness at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever and nausea. These are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.  Talk to your doctor or Health Services about taking over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, or antihistamines, for any pain and discomfort you may experience after getting vaccinated.

Note: Respiratory symptoms like a runny nose, cough, or loss of sense of smell or taste are not side effects of the vaccine. Call your healthcare provider or Health Services and consider getting tested for COVID-19.

Will getting vaccinated cause me to test positive or give a “false positive” test result? (Added 4/20/21)

No. COVID-19 tests detect the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in your nasal secretions. None of the currently approved COVID-19 vaccines contain the virus that causes COVID-19 and therefore cannot cause a false positive COVID-19 test result. You should continue with your typical routine testing schedule. If you test positive for COVID-19 just after vaccination, it is possible that you were exposed to the virus before your body was able to develop antibodies. None of the vaccines available provide 100% immunity to the virus.

Can I get vaccinated if I have previously tested positive for COVID-19? (Updated 5/6/21)

Yes, you can and should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. Public health experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again.

Can I get vaccinated if I have an underlying medical condition, am pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or I am breastfeeding? (Added 5/6/21)

Employees with specific medical questions about vaccination should consult with their own health care provider; students should contact WPI Health Services or their own health care provider. You can also review the FAQs about the COVID vaccine available from Massachusetts and the CDC.

Can I get my vaccine shot if I am in quarantine because of a COVID-19 exposure? (Added 4/20/21)

The CDC states that you need to wait until after you have been cleared from quarantine to get your vaccine shot.

Can I get my vaccine shot if I am in isolation because I have tested positive for COVID-19? (Added 5/6/21)

The CDC states that you need to wait until after you have been cleared from isolation to get your vaccine shot.

I lost my vaccination card. How do I prove I am vaccinated? (Updated 5/6/21)

All COVID-19 vaccinations administered in the state of Massachusetts (including here at WPI) are recorded in the Massachusetts Immunization Information System (MIIS). If you lose your vaccination card and need proof of vaccination, you may submit an Immunization Record Request to MIIS. Please note that it can take up to six weeks to receive your record from MIIS.

We recommend taking a picture of your vaccination card when you get it, so you’ll have it as a backup digital copy. It is also helpful to send a copy of the vaccination card to your primary care provider to include in your medical record.

 

Events

Is WPI allowing any on-campus events right now? (Updated 6/22/21)

WPI is permitting and planning events and meetings to be held on campus in accordance with all federal, state, and local guidelines. This does not include any on-campus events for external groups nor is it allowing external guests/attendees.

We suggest that organizers continue to reimagine their events as virtual events when possible.  Please read the COVID Events Guidelines provided by the Events Office for more details.

Visitors & Vendors

What is WPI’s policy regarding visitors and vendors on campus? Are COVID restrictions still in place? (Added 7/20/21)

As WPI operations return to normal, vendors and visitors are no longer required to register or to provide a health attestation to be on campus; campus tours have returned to normal capacity. Unvaccinated visitors and vendors are required to wear face coverings and socially distance while inside any campus building. Face coverings are optional for fully vaccinated visitors and vendors, though social distancing is appreciated.

Global Studies

WPI is currently reviewing all global projects for A and B Term on a case-by-case basis, weighing public health trends for each site. Updates will be provided to affected students via email from the Global Experience Office (GEO), or you may contact your project advisor with questions. 

Will I receive a Global Scholarship for my project in A and B Term 2021? (Added 7/15/21)

The WPI Global Scholarship is awarded to offset the direct costs to students of completing an off-campus project. If off-campus travel is not possible due to the ongoing pandemic or for other reasons determined by the university’s Coronavirus Emergency Response Team (CERT) and/or the Global Experience Office (GEO), the Global Scholarship will be adjusted.

  • If your global project travel is approved by CERT and GEO, the Global Scholarship awarded will be up to $5,000. Your aid offer and bill will be updated, but please note this may not happen until closer to the start date of your anticipated project; therefore, it is advised that you arrange payment for the 2021-2022 year using the current $1,000 scholarship. This information is also found here in the awards, conditions and notes.
  • If your global project travel is not approved by CERT and GEO, the Global Scholarship awarded will be $1,000. You 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 the Global Experience Office).

Athletics

Is the Sports & Recreation Center open? (Updated 6/22/21)
The Sports and Recreation Center is open this summer to faculty and staff and to students who are approved to be on campus.

WPI varsity athletics will continue to follow the guidelines set by the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), CDC, ACHA, Massachusetts governor and our conference, NEWMAC (New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference).

International Students

Note: (Added 6/22/21) U.S. or Permanent Resident students who live abroad and do not have access to vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be considered in the same category as “international students” for the FAQs listed here. 

Do international students need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to campus? (Added 6/22/21)

All students who have had access to either an Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or World Health Organization (WHO)-approved COVID-19 vaccine series must be vaccinated and provide their documentation to WPI by August 1, 2021.

International students who were in the U.S. in the spring and summer of 2021 with access to U.S. COVID-19 vaccines are expected to follow the same COVID-19 vaccine compliance guidelines as domestic students and comply with the August 1, 2021 deadline.

WPI understands that students arriving from international locations may have had issues accessing vaccines. If you were not in the U.S. in the spring and/or summer of 2021 and did not have access to COVID-19 vaccines, WPI will work with you upon your arrival on campus to quickly get you a COVID-19 vaccination series. Students with vaccine access issues will be identified through the WPI International Vaccine Survey. (Please check your WPI email for a link to the survey. If you did not received it but are coming from an international location, email ccallahan@wpi.edu with email subject “Vaccine Survey” to receive a link.)

What COVID-19 vaccines will WPI accept to meet the student vaccination requirement?  (Added 6/22/21)

WPI will accept any COVID-19 vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO). Please review the most up-to-date information here about WHO-approved vaccines.

What if an international student only has access to COVID-19 vaccines not approved by the FDA or the WHO? (Added 6/22/21)

If a COVID-19 vaccine is available in your country but is not on the WHO-approved list, WPI still advises that the best vaccine is the first one you can get.

If you get a COVID-19 vaccine that is not on the WHO-approved list, please report your vaccine information through WPI’s International Vaccine Survey, which was sent to your WPI email. Survey answers will be reviewed by WPI Health Services. Please also upload a copy of your COVID vaccine documentation into Medicat here. WPI Health Services will contact students who require additional follow up and make an individualized plan with the student to meet the COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

Will an international student who received a COVID-19 vaccine that is not FDA- or WHO- approved be required to receive an FDA-approved vaccine once they get to WPI? (Added 6/22/21)

We anticipate that the WHO will be reviewing and approving more COVID vaccines over the summer and that many COVID vaccines currently in circulation around the world will be approved by the WHO. Please review information here for the most up-to-date information about WHO-approved vaccines

If the COVID vaccine you received is not approved by the WHO prior to your arrival at WPI, WPI Health Services will work to educate and inform you of your options and make an individualized plan to meet the COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

What if an international student doesn’t have access to any vaccines before WPI’s August 1 COVID-19 vaccine requirement deadline? (Added 6/22/21)
WPI understands that access to a COVID-19 vaccine is highly variable around the world. Students who report access difficulty on the International Vaccine Survey, which was sent via WPI email, will receive assistance from Health Services. If WPI has vaccines available, students may be able to get immunized on campus. Otherwise WPI will help students register for an appointment at a local pharmacy or vaccine clinic. 

What if an international student can get the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at home, but would arrive at WPI before receiving their second dose, and that particular vaccine is not available in the U.S.? (Added 6/22/21)
If possible, students should speak with their personal health care provider about what to do. All international students will have the option of making a telemedicine appointment with WPI Health Services to receive education and up-to-date information about their options, and to make an individualized plan to meet the COVID-19 vaccine requirement. WPI is closely following CDC guidance for students living outside of the United States and will be working to support those students based on the most current guidance and scientific data available.

If you are able to discuss this situation with your health care provider and they do not recommend a second dose of a different COVID-19 vaccine, please upload a letter in the WPI Student Health Portal from your medical provider explaining your specific situation for WPI Health Services staff to review. 

I am an international student; will I be able to enter the U.S. more than 30 days before my program start date if I have a vaccine appointment? (Added 6/22/21)

No, international students can only enter the U.S. up to 30 days prior to the program start date on their I-20/DS-2019. The US government does not view vaccination requirements as a reason to enter the U.S. more than 30 days before your program start date.  If you have limited access to the vaccine, WPI will assist you in getting the vaccine upon your arrival. Additional arrival details will be provided moving forward.

Will international students be prohibited from coming to campus, attending classes or moving into their residence halls if they have not provided their vaccination documentation prior to August 1? (Added 6/22/21)

If an international student with limited access to a COVID-19 vaccine in their country has not yet started or is part way through their COVID vaccine regimen by August 1, they will not be prohibited from in-person courses or moving into residence halls, but will be expected to become fully vaccinated or seek an exemption upon their arrival at WPI.

Students who are not fully vaccinated (two weeks past their final vaccine dose) will need to wear a face covering indoors when on campus until they are two weeks past their last dose and get tested weekly on campus for COVID-19.

What if I do not want to receive a COVID-19 vaccine? Will I be allowed to come to campus, begin classes, or move into my residence hall? (Added 6/22/21)

WPI is requiring COVID-19 vaccines for all students for the beginning of A-Term/fall semester, unless they receive a medical or religious exemption.

If I am fully remote for A and B-Terms/fall semester, will I still need to provide my vaccination status? (Added 6/22/21)

Even if you will be taking classes online from outside of the U.S., we still ask that you provide us with your vaccination status. If you will have any presence on campus for work, research, activities or study, you must provide documentation to meet WPI’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

If I am having trouble accessing my medical provider for my non-COVID immunizations required for enrollment; can I work with WPI upon arrival to campus to get the vaccination I need to become compliant? (Added 6/22/21)

Yes. Generally, WPI would require students to be in compliance prior to arrival, but the university can help students get into compliance with additional required vaccinations once they arrive to campus if needed.

What if an international student has other concerns about meeting WPI’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement? (Added 6/22/21)
Students should contact vaccineworkinggroup@wpi.edu to discuss individual questions.

 

Financial Aid

Information about Financial Aid and Student Literacy can be found here. Specific questions can be directed to finaid@wpi.edu.

Admissions

Has the university’s application process changed? (Updated 6/22/21)

The pandemic has no impact on the application process for students, whether undergraduate or graduate. Deadlines remain the same, and the Admissions staff continue to serve applicants and their families. Learn more about undergraduate tours or graduate admissions.

 

Research

Have research operations resumed fully? (Added 6/22/21) 

Research has resumed normal operations. Activities in laboratories follow the same health and safety protocols as other campus buildings. Students should work with their faculty advisors on options for continuing and completing their project work.

Travel

  • What is considered “WPI-sponsored travel”?  (Updated 3/5/21)

    WPI-sponsored travel is 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”? (Updated 6/1/21)

    Personal travel is not considered WPI-sponsored travel.

  • What are WPI’s travel policies for WPI-sponsored domestic travel? (Updated 6/9/21)

    Deans, Department Heads, and Division Heads are responsible for ensuring that students, faculty and staff are aware of and adhere to process below and have reviewed the domestic travel considerations below.

    WPI-sponsored domestic travel (travel within the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii) is permitted for all students, faculty, and staff provided:

    1. The traveler completes a spend authorization in Workday, if WPI-sponsored travel expenses are expected to exceed $1,000.
    2. The traveler follows all applicable state, territorial, and local requirements  for their destination before and during travel.
    3. The traveler follows the MA Travel Advisory and WPI’s onboard testing process outlined below upon return to Massachusetts and WPI, or the applicable state, territorial, and local requirements for the state to which they are returning (if not Massachusetts).
      • WPI’s onboarding process:
        • If you are fully vaccinated and have entered your vaccination information into Workday or Medicat, you may simply come back to campus and get tested the day you return. You do not need work from home while awaiting results.
        • If you are not fully vaccinated, you will need to complete onboard testing before you return to campus which involves scheduling two testing appointments, four days apart, immediately following your return. After the first test, go home until you receive a negative test result. When you have received that negative test result, you may resume activities on campus while waiting for the second test result.
  • What about student organization and club sport domestic travel? (Updated 6/9/21)

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

  • What domestic travel considerations should I review before engaging in WPI-sponsored domestic travel (Added 6/1/21)
    1. Travelers should assess their suitability for travel by reviewing:
    • Public health guidance (CDC; Massachusetts) – All travelers are strongly advised to be fully vaccinated before travel.
      • The CDC recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated because travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. If you are not fully vaccinated and you elect to travel on WPI-sponsored travel, you assume the risk that you may get or spread COVID-19.
      • The CDC recommends all travelers wear a face covering while traveling, stay 6 feet from others who are not traveling with you and avoid crowds, wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer, self-monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms and isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms, and follow all state, territorial, and local requirements.
      • The CDC recommends that unvaccinated travelers get a COVID test 1-3 days before your trip, get a COVID test 3-5 days after your travel and stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel even if you test negative (or if you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel).
    • COVID-19 spread at destination (COVID Act Now) – travel to ‘’orange’’ and ‘’red’’ states is discouraged by WPI, especially for travelers who are not fully vaccinated.
    • Mode of Transportation guidance (CDC)
    • Risk Categorizations (IDSA

    2. Travelers should discuss their domestic travel plans with their health care provider (employees) or Student Health Services (students), especially if they are at high-risk for COVID-19.

    3. Travelers must follow all applicable state, territorial, and local requirements for their destination before and during travel.  Remember, requirements on gatherings and face coverings, for example, differ from state to state.

    4. Travelers must follow the MA Travel Advisory upon return to MA. If not returning to MA, travelers must follow the state, territorial, and local requirements for the state to which they are returning.

    5. Travelers must follow WPI onboard testing protocols upon return to WPI.

  • What are WPI’s travel policies for WPI-sponsored international travel? (Updated 6/1/21)

    WPI has made no changes to its current policy for WPI-sponsored international travel: All WPI-sponsored international travel remains suspended until further notice, in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

    WPI considers all WPI-sponsored international travel to be high-risk at this time.

  • Are there any exceptions that would allow me to proceed with WPI-sponsored international travel? (Updated 6/1/21)

    There may be extremely limited case-by-case exceptions to the current suspension of WPI-sponsored international travel for essential business or academic travel or student organization and club or varsity 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 an exception for WPI-sponsored international travel? (Updated 6/1/21)

    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 internationally 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 for what may constitute essential business or academic travel. 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 School (globaltravel@wpi.edu) for recordkeeping purposes.

    Note: The Global Travel Review and Response Team (GTRRT) are available to consult with prior to approving any travel. The GTRRT can be contact by emailing globaltravel@wpi.edu.

    3.  Before travel, the traveler must:

    a. Complete the Acknowledgement and Release for WPI-Sponsored Travel.

    b. Register travel that involves at least one overnight on the WPI MyTrips Travel Registry.

    c. Complete a spend authorization in Workday, if expenses are expected to exceed $1,000.  When submitting a request for payment/reimbursement of expenses through Workday, please attach your Department/Division head approval.

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

    1. Complete a High-Risk Travel Exception Petition provided by the Global School 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.
    4. Before travel, the traveler must:

               a. Complete an Acknowledgement and Release for WPI-Sponsored Travel.

               b. Register travel that involves at least one overnight on the WPI MyTrips Travel Registry.

                      c. Complete a spend authorization in Workday, if expenses are expected to exceed $1,000.

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

  • What international travel considerations should I review before engaging in WPI-sponsored international travel (Added 6/1/21)
    1. Travelers should assess their suitability for travel by reviewing:
    • Public health guidance (CDC; Massachusetts) – All travelers are strongly advised to be fully vaccinated before travel.
      • The CDC recommends that you do not travel internationally until you are fully vaccinated.  International travel poses additional risks and even fully vaccinated travelers are at increased risk for getting and possibility spreading new COVID-19 variants. If you elect to travel on WPI-sponsored international travel, you assume the risk that you may get or spread COVID-19 or a COVID-19 variant.
      • The CDC recommends all travelers wear a face covering while traveling, stay 6 feet from others who are not traveling with you and avoid crowds, wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer, self-monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms and isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms, follow all airline and destination requirements, check the local COVID-19 situation at your destination, and you are required to have a negative COVID-19 test no more than 3 days before travel to the United States.
      • The CDC recommends that fully vaccinated travelers get a COVID-19 test 3-5 days after travel.
      • The CDC recommends that unvaccinated travelers get a COVID test 1-3 days before your trip, get a COVID test 3-5 days after your travel and stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel even if you test negative (or if you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel), and avoid being around people who are at increase risk for severe illness for 14 days whether you get tested or not.
    • COVID-19 information about your destination:
    • Department of State (DOS) website for the overall risk rating of their destination. This rating takes into account a wider variety of factors including crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and natural disasters, along with other non-COVID health risks.
    • Mode of Transportation guidance (CDC)
    • Risk Categorizations (IDSA)

    2. Travelers should discuss their international travel plans with their health care provider (employees) or Student Health Services (students), especially if they are at high-risk for COVID-19.

    3. Travelers should know the location of the nearest hospital or medical facility in the country where they are traveling. International SOS can provide information on clinics and hospitals at your location(s). Should you require a COVID-19 test while abroad contact International SOS for a referral and advice.

    4. Travelers should note that the International Emergency Travel Insurance coverage provided by WPI (here) does not cover evacuation or other accommodations due to disruption to travel plans resulting from a pandemic. Coverage does include medical expenses resulting from the treatment of COVID-19, but does not extend to losses for travel and accommodation expenses. Travelers should consider purchasing additional Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) insurance.

    5. For assistance abroad, International SOS is WPI’s provider for medical, security, and other types of travel emergencies. Please download the app (app.internationalsos.com) to your smart phone and / or program the telephone number for the Philadelphia Assistance Center (+1 215 942-8478) into your phone. The WPI membership number is 11BCAS785861, which is needed when downloading the app or accessing the WPI-ISOS members portal.

    6. Travelers are encouraged to enroll their trip with the U.S. Embassy's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive U.S. embassy security alerts. US citizens are required to enroll their passport number; non-U.S. citizens may enroll their email address. Non-U.S. citizens are advised to check with the embassy for the passport they use to travel whether there is a similar trip enrollment program available.

    7. Travelers should understand and follow all applicable COVID-19 testing, quarantine, isolation and/or vaccination requirements imposed by their transportation provider and/or destination. All travelers must understand the risks and local conditions, carefully plan for contingencies, and exercise great caution while in transit and once they arrive at their destination.

    8. Travelers flying back to the United States to have proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three (3) calendar days of departure to the United States, or proof of recovery from COVID-19 within the last 90 days.  This requirement applies regardless of immunization status.

    • Please note that if you test positive for COVID-19, your return to the United States will be delayed and you may be responsible for additional costs incurred during your isolation period at your destination.

    9. Travelers must follow the MA Travel Advisory upon return to MA. If not returning to MA, travelers must follow the state, territorial, and local requirements for the state to which they are returning.

    10. Travelers must follow WPI onboard testing protocols upon return to WPI. See WPI’s onboarding protocol below.

  • What steps will I be required to take upon returning to Massachusetts and WPI after engaging in WPI-sponsored international travel? (Updated 6/1/21)

    Travelers should review the CDC’s Returning from International Travel guidelines and Massachusetts’ COVID-19 Travel Advisory.

    WPI cannot guarantee that any traveler will be allowed to reenter the U.S. as planned. U.S. entrance restrictions and travel bans are unpredictable.  Currently the United States:

    • Requires all travelers flying to the United States to have proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three (3) calendar days of departure to the United States, or proof of recovery from COVID-19 within the last 90 days.  This requirement applies regardless of immunization status.
    • Restricts travel by non-U.S. citizens to the United States if they were physically present in the following countries in the 14-day period before their departure to the United States: China, Iran, European Schengen Area, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Brazil, South Africa, and India.  There are limited exceptions.

    Travelers must follow federal and state guidelines on quarantining, as well as WPI’s onboarding protocols upon return from WPI-sponsored international travel.

    • CDC Guidelines
      • Fully-vaccinated travelers should (1) get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel; (2) self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms; and (3) follow the MA travel advisory.
    • Unvaccinated travelers should (1) get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel and stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel – or if you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel; (2) avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 for 14 days; (3) self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms; and (3) follow the MA travel advisory.
    • MA Travel Advisory
      • Unvaccinated travelers should obtain a negative result from a PCR test that was administered 72 hours or less prior to arriving in Massachusetts (results from antibody (serology) tests are not sufficient to meet this requirement) – or – get tested immediately upon return to Massachusetts or to WPI and quarantine until you get a negative PCR test result. If you choose not to get a COVID test, you must quarantine for 10 days.
    • Please note, fully-vaccinated travelers and travelers who had COVID-19 in the past 90 days are excepted from the MA travel advisory.
    • WPI Onboarding Process:
      1. If you are fully vaccinated and have entered your vaccination information into Workday or Medicat, you may simply come back to campus and get tested the day you return. You do not need work from home while awaiting results.
      2. If you are not fully vaccinated, you will need to complete onboard testing before you return to campus which involves scheduling two testing appointments, four days apart, immediately following your return. After the first test, go home until you receive a negative test result. When you have received that negative test result, you may resume activities on campus while waiting for the second test result.