Spring 2022 COVID-19 FAQs for Students
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This page provides information about academic issues and resources for students related to the COVID-19 pandemic for the Spring 2022 semester.
For the latest public health guidance and more information, visit coronavirus.upenn.edu.
The University continues to monitor the evolving public health situation and this guidance will be updated as needed.
Last updated: April 18, 2022
As of Monday, April 18, 2022 all members of and visitors to the Penn community are required to wear masks while indoors in public or shared spaces, including in classrooms, until further notice.
The University's masking guidance will be based on the City of Philadelphia's COVID Response Levels and rates of positivity on campus. This information will continue to be updated based on the latest Public Health Guidance; see the latest mask guidance for more information about masking.
Penn Environmental Health and Radiation Safety provides guidance on Universal Mask and Cloth Face Covering Precautions.
We strongly encourage you to wear a surgical mask or KN95/KF94/N95 mask, as these masks have been shown to be more effective than cloth masks. See Universal Mask and Cloth Face Covering Precautions for more information.
No. Students must keep their masks on for the entirety of the class period.
Often a simple reminder to mask can be an effective way to address this situation. If the individual still will not comply with the requirement, you may report the incident on the Mask Violations Page.
Classroom and Attendance
If you are sick and cannot participate in classes or finish assignments, notify your instructor via email or Canvas as soon as possible. Undergraduate students should use the Course Absence Report system to report absences for both online and in-person classes.
Refer to the Classroom Exposure FAQ for more information about contact tracing and the risk of exposure in classrooms.
Current public health guidelines do not require any distancing in the classroom. In person classes are operating at 100% capacity in their assigned rooms for the Spring 2022 semester. The University is continuing to monitor public health guidelines and adapting accordingly. Information on what we are doing to keep our facilities safe can be found in the Facilities Resumption FAQ.
Each building at Penn has specific heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Facilities and Real Estate Services and Environmental Health and Radiation Safety have conducted building-by-building HVAC systems condition and performance reviews. All occupied on-campus buildings are in compliance with the prevailing International Building Code and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers standards for ventilation. More information on your HVAC systems and other facilities resources can be found on the Facilities and Real Estate Services website. The University is continuing to monitor public health guidelines and adapting accordingly.
As announced on December 23, 2021, undergraduate classes for Spring 2022 will begin as scheduled on January 12 in virtual formats online (except for clinical courses), and then transition to in-person classes on January 24.
After January 24, undergraduate instruction for the Spring 2022 semester is in-person with very limited exceptions.
For information about graduate and professional programs, contact the program or school.
The University continues to monitor public health guidelines.
During the period of online instruction until January 24, online course content can be provided synchronously (live sessions for the entire class at the same time), asynchronously (recordings or material that can be watched or completed at any time), or by a combination of both methods.
If your instructor chooses to provide synchronous online content, it must be offered on the same day(s) and time(s) as your course is regularly scheduled during the semester (in Eastern Time). If you will be participating from a different time zone, please alert your instructor.
Instructors must make sure that all students can engage with course materials, even if they cannot participate synchronously.
No, the University is not mandating that classes be recorded. Check with your department or school for additional information.
Students should contact their academic advisors and/or school-based advising offices.
Academic policies regarding grading remain at their pre-COVID standards, as was the case for the Fall 2021 semester. The special grading policies surrounding pass/fail from the Spring 2021 term are no longer in effect. Information about grading policies is available from the program or school.
Penn will again offer a virtual shopping period on Canvas in Spring 2022 so that students can “visit” different courses as they finalize their course selections. This feature will be available starting on the first day of classes, Wednesday, January 12 through Tuesday, January 25, the last day to add a class.
Undergraduate classes will generally be visible; students in graduate and professional programs should consult with their program for more information.
Students should remember that visiting a course’s Canvas site during the shopping period is not the same as being registered for the course. Students visiting a course will not be able to participate in the course discussions or submit assignments in Canvas, and will need to ask the instructor for permission to “sit in” on any virtual synchronous class sessions.
Final exams postponed from Fall 2021 will be conducted in the same format as the original exam: for exams delivered in-person, the postponed exam will be conducted in person. For exams delivered online, including all exams scheduled for December 20-22, the postponed exam will be conducted online. Students should consult with their instructors for more information about their postponed exams.
In-person postponed exams will be scheduled during the period of January 26-February 4. A detailed schedule with times and room assignments is still being developed and will be posted on the Office of the University Registrar’s Final Exam page.
For online postponed exams, instructors may use the time noted on the original final exam make-up schedule or determine a mutually agreeable time with the student to conduct the exam. We encourage instructors to complete online exams as quickly as possible, and all postponed final exams must be concluded no later than February 4.
Students who have been approved through SDS for accommodations on final exams should consult with SDS for further information.
The final exam period for Spring 2022 is May 2-10, 2022 as listed on the Academic Calendar. Students in graduate and professional programs should contact their program for additional information.
Students wishing to request an accommodation should contact Student Disability Services.
For the Spring 2022 semester, graduate students who are fulfilling TA or teaching roles as part of their academic requirements and have medical concerns about participating in in-person classes as a TA or an instructor should be referred to Student Disabilities Services. Graduate groups should not ask students for details about their medical conditions. SDS will handle the evaluation process and work with the graduate group on a plan for accommodation that aligns with the University’s commitment to in-person, undergraduate course delivery.
Accommodations might range from holding online office hours, grading assignments, or other activities that do not require in person attendance. If these assignments are not possible or not needed for the purposes of the course, then students should be allowed to make up teaching requirements at a later semester. Students who are taking on TA and/or lecturer responsibilities independent of their academic requirements should be accommodated to the degree possible, but departments are not required to do so.
Special dissertation defense and deposit instructions continue to be in effect for the Spring 2022 semester. Dissertation defenses may be in-person or presented via remote conferencing. All forms required for depositing will be submitted electronically and title page signatures are not required. A printed copy of the dissertation will not be required and the dissertation must be submitted electronically.
Refer to information on Graduate Degrees for additional guidance.
For Penn-affiliated travel, Penn Global provides COVID-19 travel guidelines and procedures for both domestic and international travel.