Students + Families

Living & Learning at U-M

Another Great Year of Discovery Awaits

While student life at U-M looks and feels different this year, it's still amazing. There’s nothing quite like fall on the U-M campus — the buzz in the air, the excitement of seeing old friends and making new ones and the potential of all the new experiences ahead. Our faculty, staff, schools and colleges have been working hard to identify ways to deliver the best living and learning experiences for you while safely meeting U-M standards of excellence.

U-M has long been recognized as a world-class public research university, with an everlasting dedication to transformative undergraduate, graduate and professional education. Our approach for the fall advances this crucial pillar of mission in a way that maximizes the safety and health of the U-M community — and again ensures that we will continue to lead by providing a Michigan educational experience for all of our students.

As we welcome you to your U-M home, the health and well-being of our entire community is our highest priority. Although the fall of 2020 may look different from prior years, one thing has not changed: our unwavering commitment to providing our students the best possible experience. As we move forward, our future will be one filled with new ways to connect and build relationships. Martino Harmon, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Life
Martino Harmon, Ph.D., Vice President for Student Life

Coming Back to Campus

All U-M students are expected to follow new protocols and commit to shared responsibility — including use of face coverings and limits on social gatherings — to support the health and safety of our campus and community. Safety kits, including face coverings and hand sanitizer, were provided to students at the beginning of the term Face coverings are required while on U-M property, including when inside buildings, outdoors and on U-M transportation.

  • Students in U-M Housing (residence halls and apartments) were tested for the virus that causes COVID-19 — and cleared — prior to their arrival in Ann Arbor. U-M is offering catchup testing to those who have not completed their testing.
  • Students living off campus were not required by U-M to undergo pre-arrival screening but were expected to practice enhanced social distancing before their arrival in Ann Arbor.
  • The Division of Student Life worked closely with U-M students across campus this summer to develop the Wolverine Culture of Care — a commitment to keeping the U-M campus community as healthy and safe as possible.
  • All students are expected to complete an online learning module that serves as an overview of COVID-19: what it is, its symptoms, and best practices for staying safe.
  • Students will be expected to use our daily symptom checker tool, [ResponsiBLUE](, at the beginning of the day, regardless of whether they are present in-person, or working or studying from home. Daily completion of the screening is required for anyone who plans to enter campus buildings. Additional information can be found here.
A U-M branded face mask

Learning Remotely

  • Beyond Campus is a collection of virtual offerings from across campus to help students meet people and make connections, even if you cannot physically be on campus.
A U-M branded face mask

Testing, Contact Tracing and Quarantine & Isolation

  • U-M is offering testing for students who are symptomatic or who meet specific criteria through University Health Service. These tests will be performed through Michigan Medicine with a fast turnaround time to increase the effectiveness of contact tracing.
  • U-M has launched a free, opt-in, voluntary surveillance testing program for those on the Ann Arbor campus.
  • If you don’t have any symptoms, you can help U-M monitor COVID-19 levels on campus by volunteering for the​ ​COVID-19 Community Sampling & Tracking Program. This ​free, surveillance testing program ​is gathering valuable information that can be used to better target interventions and keep our campus safe.
  • U-M's Environment, Health and Safety department will continue to work closely with local public health officials to perform contact tracing for all infected students as has occurred throughout the pandemic. U-M also will use public health students trained and supervised by professionals to enhance our contact tracing capacity.
  • If students were tested for COVID-19 outside of University Health Service or Michigan Medicine, please report test results here.
  • Housing will support and provide living space and meal delivery for any student who develops symptoms or tests positive and needs to quarantine or isolate safely. Check out this video on U-M quarantine and isolation housing for more information.
  • U-M’s COVID-19 data on testing and positivity rates across campus is available on its public dashboard.
  • You can read additional details here on testing and contact tracing.
Two students looking at laptops

Academic Calendar for 2020-2021

To ensure the health and safety our students, faculty and staff, changes have been made to the academic calendar to reduce travel to and from campus to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Ann Arbor Fall 2020

  • Fall classes began Aug. 31 and will meet continuously through Nov. 20. More details to follow about procedures for arriving on campus.
  • There will be no fall break.
  • The last day of in-person classes is Nov. 20, the Friday before Thanksgiving. Students are strongly advised to travel home and remain there until the winter term begins.
  • Fall classes resume Nov. 30-Dec. 8 as remote-only instruction, with exams and final projects conducted remotely.
  • We will not hold a December Commencement ceremony this year, and graduates will be invited to participate in spring ceremonies as they normally are.

Ann Arbor Winter 2021

  • Winter semester will begin on Jan. 18 with a day celebrating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Classes will begin on Jan. 19 and meet continuously through April 20.
  • There will be no winter break.
  • The later start to the semester is designed to provide students with additional time for rest and self-isolation (if needed before returning to campus), and faculty planning for winter instruction.
  • Finals will run April 22-29.

Note: Dates are subject to change based on campus status and may vary by unit in some circumstances.

Class Formats & Academic Support

  • Fall classes will be delivered in a variety of formats including in-person, remote and a hybrid mix of in-person and remote instruction. Beginning August 7, you can adjust your course selection as needed in Wolverine Access. Students should work with their academic advisor to discuss available options in the event the class they need is not available to them.
  • Our schools and colleges have worked diligently working to design a semester that reduces density in classrooms and academic buildings. Decisions were based on commitments to high-quality teaching and learning experiences, robust course content, teaching and learning demands and public health-informed guidelines, including the size of classroom spaces that are available and our ability to implement different health and safety measures.
  • Most students will be able to choose whether to return to campus or remain at their permanent residence to study remotely based on their choice of courses. There is no requirement to return to campus for your coursework for most majors.
  • Students with disabilities and/or chronic health conditions —including those who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19—are encouraged to contact their professor/instructor, the Dean of Students Office (DOS), and/or Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) to explore educational arrangements or accommodations for in-person courses.
  • New international students who are studying in the U.S. for fall term 2020 must choose some in-person or hybrid classes and be enrolled full-time.
  • The density of students in classrooms has been reduced and some access to buildings may require Mcard swipes to reduce unnecessary building traffic.

Academic Support & Accommodations Resources:

Housing & Dining

  • Housing and dining are open for fall with face coverings and physical distancing requirements in common spaces and buildings, additional cleaning and staggered timelines for activities such as move-in and dining.
  • ​Move-in for new incoming first-years students is scheduled ​for August 24-31. Check out the Housing FAQs for up-to-date information.
  • Students who have already signed housing contracts will be allowed to cancel without penalty until August 14.
  • If you live in a communal setting such as a residence hall, your room, suite or apartment will be considered your “family unit”; in the case of an off-campus house/apartment, this will be considered your “family unit” where safety measures such as wearing face coverings and physical distancing can be relaxed.
  • Dining facilities are reserved for student use only — no faculty or staff — with seating capacity limited to align with public health measures.
  • There are enhanced and strict cleaning policies and processes.
  • For questions and concerns regarding off-campus leases/housing, contact Beyond the Diag at

Housing & Dining Resources:

A young woman looking at a sculpture in the U-M Museum of Art

Campus Life

Many of Student Life’s educational programs and community-building and learning opportunities have been adapted to serve students during this challenging time. We are continuing to explore the many different ways to provide recreational sports, fitness classes, student group activities and performances as well as other socially enriching experiences across campus.

  • U-M has erected 13 outdoor canopies with tables and chairs spaced out to maintain social distancing to give students additional space where they can study and take a break between classes this fall. They are open from 8 a.m. to sunset Monday through Friday, and from noon until sunset on weekends, through Oct. 28. To learn more on canopy locations and hours of operation, visit the Student Life webpage.

Campus Life Resources:

A closeup of a waterlily pad with a large pink flower

Health & Wellness

  • Maintain 6 feet or more of distance between others. Observing physical distancing can lower the risk of spreading infection.
  • Wear a face covering that covers your mouth, nose and chin anywhere on campus including indoors, outside and on U-M transportation. COVID-19 is primarily spread from person to person. You can become infected from respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for 20 seconds, if unable, use hand sanitizer.
  • Observe social distancing guidelines. [If you’re gathering,]( meet outdoors when possible. The smaller the size, the safer the event. And take care by not sharing common food and beverages.
  • Feel sick? COVID-19 symptoms vary widely. Stay home and call University Health Service at 734-764-8320 for an assessment. Telehealth options are available.
  • Get vaccinated against the flu to help you stay healthy, protect others and support our health care providers.

Health & Wellness Resources:

  • Well-Being for Students is Student Life’s resource page for information and wellness tips related to COVID-19.
  • Counseling and Psychological Services provides information, services, and tools to help students, staff, faculty, and family members reach their full potential.
  • University Health Service offers health care and individual wellness coaching to support students' well-being and can be provided in-person or virtually.

COVID-19 Student Scenarios

COVID-19 Scenarios for Students Living in On-Campus Housing

View/download the document to find out what to do if you have symptoms, test positive or have been in contact with COVID-19 and live on-campus.

COVID-19 Scenarios for Students Living in Off-Campus Housing

View/download the document to find out what to do if you have symptoms, test positive or have been in contact with COVID-19 and live off-campus.

Additional COVID-19 Information & Resources

It is important to note that this information is subject to change as the state of Michigan updates their executive orders as well as when additional guidance for U-M campus planning is in place.