We will continue to add additional FAQs to this page as they are developed.

Fall Courses & Registration

What are my options for instruction during Fall Term 2020?

Students have several options for instruction during Fall Term.

  • Return to campus for hybrid in-person and online course instruction
  • Remain off campus and learn 100% remotely
  • Take a leave of absence
  • Defer your admission (first-year students)

Please communicate your plan for the upcoming term through this form no later than Friday, July 17.

Which classes will be conducted online and which will be conducted in person?

A preliminary course listing for Fall Term is now available online. Classes that must take place in person, such as studio arts, performing arts, or science labs, will often be held with smaller numbers of students than normal. Many courses will take place as a hybrid of in-person and online instruction. Some courses will be offered simultaneously to both in-person and online students (mixed mode). About half of our courses will be offered entirely online.

What will the grading policy be for Fall Term?

The college’s usual letter grading policy will be in effect this fall.

How is Carleton prioritizing international students?

On July 6, the federal government issued a rule prohibiting an all-online education for students on F-1 visas. To ensure our international students had the ability to remain in the United States, we communicated to them that they would receive priority registration for in-person, hybrid and mixed-mode courses.

Carleton was one of 180 schools to sign onto the amicus brief supporting Harvard and MIT’s lawsuit opposing the recent ICE policy. We did so with the President’s Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration and the American Council on Education.

On July 14, the federal government rescinded their rule prohibiting an all-online education for students on F-1 visas.

When can I register for fall courses?

A preliminary course listing for Fall Term will be posted online by early next week and will designate the mode of delivery for each class. More detailed information will be available during advising days (July 27-August 4). Course registration will take place August 3-8, with priority registration for in-person courses being given to international students on F-1 visas. We will also ensure that remote students can enroll in a full complement of online and mixed mode courses.

Will Carleton’s fall 2020 Off-Campus Studies programs go on as planned?

We have made the very difficult decision to cancel our fall 2020 programs – Spanish Studies in Madrid and Cross-Cultural Psychology in Prague.

The Madrid program will be offered next fall, as usual, and will be led by professor Palmar Alvarez-Blanco.  Students who were admitted to the Madrid 2020 program will receive priority consideration should they choose to re-apply to Madrid 2021.

We are moving the Prague 2020 program to fall 2021. Students who were admitted to professor Ken Abrams’ Prague 2020—except for current juniors who will graduate in June 2021—will receive priority admission to Prague 2021.

We recommend that students enrolled in non-Carleton OCS programs read all communications from their program provider carefully, and register for on-campus courses during your normal registration priority time while keeping the participation in your OCS program active. 

Housing & Move-In

When will I know if I can return to campus for Fall Term?

We first need to hear from you regarding your intentions for fall. Please complete this form by 5 p.m. CDT on Friday, July 17. Once we have this information from all students, we will have a better understanding of whether the demand for campus housing exceeds our capacity. If that’s the case, priority for campus housing will be given to first-year students, international students, and students who were approved to remain on campus this summer. Decisions about other individuals will be made after July 17.

What will housing options look like for students returning to campus?

Fall housing options for returning students are now posted on the Room Draw website. New students will be assigned rooms by the Office of Residential Life & Housing.

We will have traditional residence halls, townhomes, interest houses, and hotel stays available, in addition to the Northfield Option. To allow as many students to return to Northfield as possible, up to 100 students may be assigned to live in rooms reserved at three Northfield hotels: the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott and the Archer House Inn, which are within walking distance of campus, and the AmericInn, which will require personal transportation. Resident Assistants will be housed at each hotel. These hotel rooms will be assigned during the traditional Room Draw process.

Will I have a roommate?

We plan to have both single- and multiple-occupancy housing arrangements this fall.

May I request a single room?

We have a limited selection of single rooms on campus. Room selection for returning students will occur based on the lottery number you were assigned in February. New students will be assigned rooms by the Office of Residential Life & Housing.

When will Room Draw take place?

If you indicated you wish to return to campus this fall, Residential Life will email you on Monday, July 20, with details about the Room Draw process. You will use your existing lottery number to select housing.

Can my parents accompany me on move-in day?

Yes, however, family members will not be allowed in campus residences.

Health & Safety

What measures will the college take for testing, contact tracing and symptom monitoring for COVID-19?

All students, faculty, and staff will undergo a series of two tests for COVID-19 upon their initial return to campus, which together will minimize false negative results. Testing will continue throughout the term as symptoms and contact tracing require. A further regime of asymptomatic testing will be established to heighten safety. We are contracting with the Mayo Clinic to carry out this effort. Likewise, all on-campus students, faculty, and staff will be asked to self-monitor and self-report their symptoms daily in order to ensure swift action if signs of illness arise.

Will I have to pay the cost of my COVID-19 tests?

No, the college will supply and pay for COVID-19 tests on campus.

Do I need to bring my own mask to campus?

We will provide two masks, a thermometer and hand sanitizer to all students upon arrival to campus. We will have additional masks available, and you are encouraged to bring your own masks in order to ensure you always have a clean mask to use.

How will the college enforce physical-distancing for in-person classes?

Our plan for academic spaces is to promote six-foot physical distancing and minimize transmission through infected surfaces or aerosols. This includes both modifying room layouts by reducing the density of available seats and implementing behavioral changes, such as wearing masks. In-person class meetings will be limited to 30 students. In order to support physically distanced traffic flow, we are changing the daily class schedule to provide longer, 20-minute, breaks between class periods.

Campus Expectations

Do I need to wear a mask on campus this summer?

Yes. All faculty, staff, students and visitors on campus are required to wear a mask that covers both their nose and mouth at all times while in the presence of others or while in indoor public spacesMasks are required to be worn in outdoor public spaces when physical distancing of six feet or greater cannot be maintained. 

When in private spaces (dorms, offices, etc.) or spending time outdoors, you may remove your mask if physical distancing of greater than six feet can be maintained. When outdoors, you should have a mask with you at all times, with the expectation that you put it on when you come into close contact with other people and prior to entering any building.

Wearing a mask reduces the chance of unknowingly spreading COVID-19 to someone else. A mask is not considered personal protective equipment (PPE) and does not protect the wearer from the COVID-19 virus. A mask is just one protective measure and is not a substitute for physical distancing, regular 20-second hand washing and hand sanitizing, and additional cleaning protocols.

If you need a mask, you can make one from common household materials. The College has also received donations of homemade masks from generous community members. Donated masks can be picked up from the mail area in Sayles-Hill or the foyer of Hoppin House.

Am I permitted to have visitors in my on-campus residence this summer?

No. We aim to limit the number of people on campus.

Am I allowed to go to the Twin Cities or elsewhere in the state and return to my on-campus residence this summer?

We expect that you will remain on campus or in the surrounding community. Preventing the spread of COVID-19 remains our priority.

Cleaning & Sanitizing

What extra measures are being taken to clean campus buildings?

Custodial Services continues to clean and disinfect all public spaces daily in all buildings. Custodial Services is deep cleaning and disinfecting all vacant student housing.

Does the College have cleaning products that students can use?

Yes, all residential buildings have a supply of general cleaning supplies for student use.


What will campus dining be like this fall?

Our dining halls will shift to an all-day service model, allowing for greater flexibility and eliminating congestion in dining spaces. For those who wish to take their meals to go, Dining Services will deploy an app for ordering from Sayles Café and will provide to-go containers in the dining halls. Other safety measures in our dining spaces will include physically distant queues and seating arrangements; plexiglass barriers between dining staff and diners; and strict sanitizing processes for tables, utensils, and shared spaces. All diners will be required to wash their hands before entering food service lines.

What are the summer 2020 dining options and hours?

Sayles Cafe is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and is closed on weekends. A grill-out is offered every Wednesday.

Sayles is currently cashless, accepting meal plans, credit cards, and Schillers. Using Schillers qualifies diners for a 10% discount.

Dining halls will remain closed until students return to campus.

What is the College doing to limit the spread of germs in campus dining spaces?

Campus food handlers are specifically trained in proper safety and hygiene procedures. We follow all federal and state-level regulations. Additionally:

  • All diners are required to wash their hands before entering food service.
  • Pre-work temperature checks are being done for all dining managers and employees.
  • All dining staff members are wearing masks and gloves during service periods when in contact with students and as their jobs safely allow.
  • All meals are available to go.
  • We are sanitizing throughout each meal period.
  • We are changing service utensils every 30 minutes.
  • Self-service stations have been removed, including the salad bar.
  • We have adjusted seating arrangements in the dining hall to support social distancing guidelines.
  • All diners are invited to swipe their own card.

Can I use my meal plan to dine at St. Olaf?

Not at this time.

Services & Support

Which campus spaces do I have access to this summer as an on-campus student?

Exterior doors on all campus buildings are locked. All faculty, staff and students need to utilize their OneCard to gain access.

Students permitted to stay on campus have 24/7 access to their residential hall or residence. Access to additional campus spaces is as follows:

  • Arboretum, between dawn and dusk
  • Sayles Hill, from 7 a.m.–midnight, 7 days a week
  • Science Center and Weitz Center, atrium and study spaces only, 8 a.m.–8 p.m., Monday through Friday
  • Mail Services, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Monday through Friday
  • The Rec Center, Gould Library and all campus computer labs remain closed.
  • The Bookstore is closed to public access, but continues to take and fulfill online orders. Shipping is free, and online orders for students staying on campus can be picked up at Mail Services.

What services can Student Health and Counseling provide at this time?

SHAC is closed for medical and counseling services over the summer, but its 24/7/365 phone counseling service is available year round. Learn more.

Does Carleton’s student health insurance plan cover students while they are off campus?

You can locate an in-network provider or pharmacy via Wellfleet Student. Wellfleet also offers detailed information on its Coronavirus Updates page.

Can I still get support related to Title IX issues?

Yes. Carleton is committed to supporting all campus community members who have been impacted by sexual misconduct. Any Carleton student can access both on-campus and off-campus resources whether they are currently located on Carleton’s campus or studying remotely. Learn more.

I’m a recent graduate. How can I get support with my upcoming transition to the workforce?

We realize that recent graduates have unique challenges to deal with as we all face the COVID-19 pandemic together. Career Center staff will work with you to help you meet those challenges in the coming weeks and months. We are committed to supporting you as you create, and then put into action, a plan for your life and work after graduation.

Every recent graduate was matched with a career coach who is available to work with you and assist you in furthering your goals for after graduation. This is just one of the many ways the Career Center is able to support you.

How can I access technology support from off campus?

Information Technology Services has put together a technology support page for students describing how to set your timezone, how to access available software (to download or run remotely on a Carleton lab computer), how to scan and upload paper documents, and information about key resources like Zoom and the Google Suite. ITS also has a client portal from which you can create a problem ticket or ask for real-time help by chat. 

Extracurricular Activities

Will student groups and organizations be able to gather this fall?

Student organizations, traditions, and events are an integral and treasured part of the Carleton experience, and we are committed to making as many of these opportunities available as possible. Plans are still in development for field trips and other class activities, civic engagement and community work, and co-curricular activities and performances.

Will there be sports this fall?

Due to health and safety concerns, our varsity, club, and other athletic sports teams and organizations will not be able to participate in traditional competition this fall. Student-athletes will, however, be permitted to practice and train on campus, and our campus recreation spaces will be open with safety protocols in place.


What will New Student Week look like this fall?

We are currently planning New Student Week for the incoming class. The calendar of events will likely have fewer large events, however, as we learned this summer, there are many creative ways for students to engage socially and connect with the campus community. One of the key objectives of New Student Week is to provide incoming students with experiences and information that prepare them to thrive both academically and socially. We intend to provide a variety of events, programs, and services specifically designed for this incoming class, while at the same time, not losing sight of the health and wellbeing of our students, faculty, and staff.

It is likely that orientation for new students this fall will be unlike any other. It will be filled with purposeful opportunities to socially engage with others and learn about how to succeed at Carleton. There will be events for students to interact with each other, but within the guidelines outlined by the Minnesota Department of Health, such as wearing a face mask and maintaining physical distancing. Carleton has much to offer, despite the challenges presented by COVID-19.

Is the Office of Admissions still hosting campus visits and events?

The Office of Admissions has suspended all visit programs and visits to campus at this time. We are providing prospective students with other opportunities to experience Carleton.


Will there be a reduction in the cost of tuition?

Tuition for the 2020-21 academic year will remain unchanged. As was the case during the recent Spring Term, students who do not live in one of the College’s housing options will not be charged room and board. Our revised budget plan for the fiscal year 2021 incorporates reserves for financial aid, including contingencies for students with more financial need than might have been expected before the pandemic. We remain committed to meeting the full demonstrated financial need of every Carleton student.

I am facing a financial hardship. Can the College help me?

Yes. You may apply for emergency funding through the Dean of Students Office.


What should I do if I suspect I have coronavirus?

If you are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, you should self-isolate and:

Security is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and the Community Concern Form is monitored regularly.

What happens if someone on campus tests positive for COVID-19?

In the event that a member of our campus community tests positive for COVID-19, we will work with the Minnesota Department of Health to carry out tracing for close contacts both on and off campus. Affected students will follow quarantine and isolation protocols within campus residences that have been reserved for this purpose. Students in quarantine or isolation will have a designated Resident Assistant, receive meals in their residence, take their classes online, and have their health and wellbeing actively monitored by a member of our professional Student Health and Counseling staff. Those living in townhomes and interest houses will be considered family units and will quarantine together in the event that a house member is exposed to COVID-19. Affected faculty and staff will follow quarantine and isolation protocols at home.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

According to the CDC, people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever (100.4° F or higher) or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. 

What is the difference between physical distancing, self-quarantine and self-isolation?

Physical distancing is the act of limiting your interactions with others. It includes not shaking hands, avoiding crowds, standing 6 feet from others, working remotely when possible, and staying home if you feel sick.

Self-quarantine is for people who may have been exposed to COVID-19. You should self-quarantine for 14 days if you have traveled to a high-risk area within the past 14 days or if you have been in contact with a known or suspected case of COVID-19. During the self-quarantine period, you should stay home, take your temperature twice a day, and closely monitor yourself for signs of a respiratory illness.

Self-isolation is for people who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been confirmed to have the virus. During self-isolation, you should stay home, avoid contact with others, and closely monitor your health.

If I’ve been sick, when can I stop self-isolating?

If you have been sick with respiratory symptoms or fever, you should self-isolate for 10 days after the onset of your illness. You can stop self-isolating after that 10-day period as long as you have been fever-free for 72 hours (without the use of medication) and your symptoms have improved.

Where can I find more resources?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health are the most up-to-date sources of information on the coronavirus outbreak.