Fall 2020 Semester

We discourage students from traveling and would like them to stay on campus throughout the fall semester, but it is not prohibited. We understand that there may be extenuating circumstances that arise where students may have to travel. Contact the Student Health Center to establish a plan to be reincorporated into the return-to-campus protocol.

No. Graduate students who are only intermittent on campus and have very little contact with undergraduate students will be scheduled every other week or one time per month depending on the frequency of interaction.

All students living on campus, students living off campus with physical access to campus, and those taking remote courses living within the Troy area will need to be tested two times per week or according to their previously determined designation. If you have not already set up your bi-weekly testing schedule, testing times are still available Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday between the hours of 9-11 a.m. or 1-3 p.m. Proceed to the testing tent during those times to receive your test. No prior appointment is needed.

If students do not hear from the Student Health Center within 48 hours after receiving their COVID-19 test, they can continue to participate in regular activities. If a student tests positive, they will be contacted directly by Student Health Center staff.

You should have already scheduled your bi-weekly COVID-19 tests, which will be your testing schedule throughout the fall semester. If you have NOT already done so, please schedule your appointments. This only applies to students who have NOT scheduled their initial set of appointments.

Return-to-Campus 2020

Students will need to arrive at the Rensselaer Houston Field House at their appointed date and time. Wearing a fabric or paper mask and observing social distancing protocols, students will be directed to the testing tent and will receive a COVID-19 test. Family members and guests traveling with the student cannot enter the testing tent or receive a COVID-19 test. Students who test negative (see Testing FAQs for positive results) will be directed to an adjacent area to receive their room key, Rensselaer ID, and directions to their residence hall. Students, along with their family members and guests, will proceed to the appointed residence hall. Only one person is permitted to help move personal belongings into the residence hall.

Testing will take place in tents outside the Houston Field House.

Please wear a face mask to your test and bring your Rensselaer identification.

We have two different types of COVID-19 tests available to us; both are administered via a nasal swab. It will take a maximum of 24 hours to receive your test results.

Students who are sharing a room, apartment, or bathroom will be divided into two groupings based on time of arrival appointment, the A.M. Arrival Group (appointments between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.) and the P.M. Arrival Group (appointments between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.).

A.M. Arrival Group — If you are in this group, you will be directed to an adjacent area to receive your room key, Rensselaer ID, laptop (if applicable), PPE, and directions to your residence hall. Along with your family members and guests, you will proceed to your appointed residence hall. Only one person is permitted to help you move your personal belongings into the residence hall.

P.M. Arrival Group — If you are in this group, you will be directed to an adjacent area to receive your regular residence hall assignment room key, Rensselaer ID, laptop (if applicable), and PPE. You will then be assigned a temporary on-campus room assignment for that night. You will leave the majority of your belongings in a secured storage pod near the Houston Field House and proceed to your temporary room assignment. Your secured belonging will be delivered to you the next day.

We will require all students who will have physical access to campus, residing on and off campus, to self-quarantine for 14 days in their local residence upon arrival, regardless of the location they are arriving from.

All residential students will be tested upon arrival, and all will begin the 14-day self-quarantine in their assigned residence hall. Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be immediately required to move into separate isolation housing. All residential students in quarantine and isolation housing will be provided meals each day, delivered to their room or residence hall. Student Life staff will provide a number of remote engagement activities to check in on students and to develop community within the residence halls.

All Rensselaer students who wish to reside on campus and/or attend in-person courses must have a COVID-19 test administered by the Institute’s Student Health Center. Students living on campus must be tested by the university before they move into their residence hall room.

We understand that having a COVID-19 test before traveling to Rensselaer may provide you with more peace of mind before you begin your travels, but the university does not require you to be tested prior to your arrival. You will still be required to complete a COVID-19 test when you arrive at Rensselaer, before you move into your campus residence, or before you are eligible to begin in-person courses. Following that, all students, who will have physical access to campus this fall, residing on and off campus, will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days in their local residence upon arrival in the area, regardless of the location they are arriving from.

No. We do not have enough tests for families and guests. We strongly encourage students to travel with only one family member or guest.


Student testing is conducted to ensure members of our residential community are free of the virus, and all students who have access to the physical campus will be tested upon arrival and then regularly through the semester. While each student may have one person assist with their move-in process, the duration of that move-in should last no longer than an hour. To minimize the chance of spreading the virus during the move-in process, all students and guests are required to wear masks, socially distance, and follow all other COVID-19 prevention measures during their brief time on campus. Institute staff will be on site monitoring the move-in process to ensure everyone complies with these polices.

No. To help maintain social distancing, people traveling with you must park in designated areas adjacent to the testing area and remain in the car while you are administered the COVID-19 test.

Rensselaer has designated an area for family and guests who have traveled via taxi, Uber, or Lyft to wait for you. Additional details on the waiting locations for all arrivals will be provided as we get closer to move-in.

Once the analysis of your test has been completed, you will be contacted by the Institute’s Student Health Center informing you of the results of your test either electronically or by telephone. For this reason, it is necessary that you update your contact information in SIS prior to your arrival, including your cell phone and local address.

For undergraduates living off campus who will have physical access to campus, testing will take place August 25-27.

Students living off campus are expected to remain in quarantine for 14 days after their test. They may only leave their off-campus residences for subsequent required tests.

During the 14-day self-quarantine, we recommend that students participate in a local grocery delivery service and only use contactless delivery services for any meal delivery. Please stock up on your food and medication supply prior to beginning the quarantine.

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