Page last updated:  1/12/21 . The latest information will be at the top of the page.

Have classes changed to remote instruction for Spring semester?

No. Recognizing the concerns raised by the pandemic and the recent crowds and celebrations after the football championship, faculty/instructors and students have the flexibility to voluntarily choose remote instruction if needed for the first two weeks of classes (Jan. 13 to Jan. 22).

Will ALL classes be remote in the Spring semester?

No. It is intended as a temporary, flexible approach. Faculty/instructors who are scheduled to teach face-to-face are permitted to change to interactive audio/visual (e.g., Zoom) if they choose for these two weeks. Those who do so should provide additional opportunities for students who may need assistance during this time. This is voluntary. Some may choose to continue to teach face-to-face during these two weeks. Students should also be granted the flexibility to participate in class via interactive A/V during these two weeks if at all possible, and we encourage faculty to offer that option (e.g., simultaneous interactive A/V session or recorded A/V). Faculty will notify students of any changes as soon as possible.

What options do students have for the first two weeks of classes?

Students have the flexibility to participate in class via interactive A/V during these two weeks if at all possible, and we encourage faculty to offer that option (e.g., simultaneous interactive A/V session or recorded A/V). Contact your faculty member if you have questions about your class.

How long will the flexible option for remote instruction last?

On Monday, Jan. 25, all courses will return to the mode of instruction as originally described during registration, unless changes in the mode of instruction are approved by the dean and Office of Academic Affairs. Registration included a number of courses of all modes – online, face-to-face, and hybrid options were available.

Are all students required to have a negative test before returning to campus in January?

Students who will live on campus, including Greek houses, for the Spring 2021 semester must test for coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) prior to resuming classes or other on-campus activities. Testing must be done within seven days of arrival, no later than Jan. 19. UA will offer a free PCR test on campus, or students may elect to test at home or through a personal physician prior to returning to campus. The PCR test is required.

What are the requirements for ALL students to return to campus in January 2021?

All students must complete required Spring 2021 training and participate in UA Healthcheck. On-campus residents (only) must have a negative reentry test. The Test+Train+Check=Welcome Back! initiative will help facilitate a safe return of the campus community.

Are adjustments available if I’m at high risk of contracting COVID-19?

Students meeting CDC criteria for being at risk of contracting COVID-19 may begin making requests for temporary adjustments for the spring semester using the online COVID-19 student application. Those seeking remote course access should register for online and audio-visual courses to ensure remote participation is available. The request process for spring semester requires documentation of CDC risk criteria from a medical provider, and the deadline to complete requests is Jan. 18, 2021. Contact the Office of Disability Services at for more information or if the deadline cannot be met due to extenuating circumstances.

Are visitors still prohibited in residence halls?

Campus visitor and travel restrictions are outlined in the Spring 2021 Reentry Plan.

When can I move back into my residence hall in January?

With the start of classes on Wednesday, Jan. 13, the residence halls will open on Saturday, Jan. 9, at 10 a.m. Check the Housing and Residential Communities website for updates and information.

Are students permitted to eat together in the dining halls?

All dining locations currently offer to-go options only.  To clarify what this means to meal plan participants, we will no longer have on-site seating, but our residential all-you-care-to-eat dining facilities will remain open, and serve the same hot meals and menus they usually do. Visit the Bama Dining website for details, menus, locations and hours of operation.

Will the Counseling Center be open?

Yes, the Counseling Center will resumed services with a number of changes to accommodate current situations.  Please visit the Counseling Center’s website to find information about current services for students, instructions for existing clients, and information for faculty and staff

Will the Ferguson Mail Center be open?

The Ferguson Mail Center will be open when classes resume Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

What are my privacy rights in Zoom classes?

All meetings held in Zoom that include course content or student information are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. 

For class sessions recorded during the COVID-19-related remote instruction period, students will be notified. If students do not want their likeness during class participation included in the recorded class session, they may elect to not participate in the video recordings. If a student participates in recorded online class sessions with their camera engaged, or uses a profile image, they are agreeing to have their video or image recorded. If a student is unwilling to consent to have their profile or video image recorded, it’s their responsibility to keep their camera off and to not use a profile image.

Likewise, students who un-mute their audio input during class and participate orally are agreeing to have their voices recorded. If students are not willing to consent to have their voices recorded during class, they must keep their mute button activated and communicate exclusively using the chat feature, which allows students to type questions and comments live.

Recordings will be available for viewing during the remote instruction period subject to the following:

  • Only students enrolled in the subject class during the remote instruction period may view the recording.
  • Students may not post or use the recordings in any other setting (e.g., social media) for any purpose. Students who violate this will be subject to student discipline, up to and including expulsion.
  • Without prior approval from the instructor of this course, students may not record course content and/or post course content publicly, including on social media sites. Students who record and/or post course content without instructor approval may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for disciplinary action.

What if I need information specific to COVID-19 and Disability-related concerns?

Students who have COVID-19 and disability-related concerns should visit the Office of Disability Services to see a list of available resources.

Is the Aquatic Center open?

Yes, the Aquatic Center is open for lap swimming only. Advanced reservation is required. For more information or to sign up for a reservation go to the University Recreation website.

What if I test positive for COVID-19?

If you receive a positive test result for COVID-19, see the What if I Test Positive for COVID-19? page for information on what you should do.

What if I have symptoms of COVID-19?

If you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, see the What if I Have Symptoms? page for information on what you should do.

What if I have been exposed to someone who has COVD-19?

If you have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, or if someone in your hall or house has tested positive, see the What if I Have Been Exposed? page for information on what you should do.

What does close contact mean?

Close contact is defined as (1) anyone who spent at least 15 minutes within 6 feet of a COVID-19 positive or suspected COVID symptomatic individual while not wearing a mask (either you or the other individual or both); (2) anyone who has had frequent bodily contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive or who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19; or (3) anyone having direct contact with secretions (e.g., cough, sneeze, etc.) of a COVID-19 positive individual or suspected COVID symptomatic individual.  Anyone who is a close contact and is experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 will be treated as a suspected positive unless a negative test proves.

How do I know if I should self-quarantine or self-isolate?

  • Know the difference between isolation and quarantine.
  • If you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you should self-quarantine, which means:
  • Staying at home/residence hall room until 14 days after your last contact
  • Checking your temperature twice a day and monitoring yourself for any symptoms of COVID-19
  • Stay away from others, particularly those individuals who may be at high risk for becoming sick from COVID-19.
  • If you are sick or have tested positive for COVID-19, you will be provided isolation accommodations and you should:
  • Stay in the isolation accommodations until (a) all of your symptoms have resolved, (b) you have been fever free for 24 hours without taking fever reducing medication, and (c) it has been at least 10 days since your symptoms first appeared or you tested positive.
  • Stay away from others and use a separate bathroom as available.

What are some COVID Symptoms?

See the ADPH or CDC website for the most current list of potential symptoms. Here are a few:

  1. Temperature higher than 100.4
  2. Fever or feeling feverish
  3. Cough
  4. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  5. Chills or repeated shaking with chills
  6. New unexplained muscle pain
  7. New or atypical headache
  8. Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  9. Sore throat
  10. Congestion or runny nose
  11. New loss of taste or smell

Are students permitted to attend church?

Yes. Students should follow guidelines by wearing a mask and maintaining a 6-foot distance from others.

Can students gather in study groups outside, play sports outside or eat together outside in small groups?

Yes. Students should follow guidelines by wearing a mask when possible and maintaining a 6-foot distance from others.

Can Greek house residents sit outside on the lawn or house steps to eat their grab-and-go meals?

Yes. Students should follow guidelines by wearing a mask when possible and maintaining a 6-foot distance from others.

Is the Rec Center open?

Yes. Patrons should follow guidelines by wearing a mask when possible and maintaining a 6-foot distance from others.

Can students share a ride in the same vehicle?

Yes, but they should wear masks.

Are any Bama Dining locations open?

Yes. Access information on Bama Dining locations, hours of operation and menus. More information about Bama Dining can be found on their website.

Are University libraries open?

Operating hours for University libraries are provided on the libraries website.

Before going to any of the University libraries, read the guide to UA Library Services.

Is the Student Health Center open?

Details about the Student Health Center, including operating hours, are available on the SHC website.

Is the Student Recreation Center open?

Yes. Visit COVID-19 UREC Updates for available opportunities and restrictions.

Wear your mask. Facial coverings that cover the nose and mouth are required at all times when inside a UREC facility.

Does the Student Health Center have testing kits for COVID-19?

The Student Health Center offers COVID-19 testing by the medical opinion and discretion of the provider after a full evaluation of the patient. Drive-through testing is now available by appointment only. Please call 205-348-0386 for a screening and to schedule an appointment.

What does a “hybrid” course look like?

How a hybrid course is offered will depend on many variables, including the course topic, the class size, the current environment, expert guidance, etc. One example may be a large Monday/Wednesday/Friday lecture class where social distancing is required. A third of the class may attend in person with seating spread at least six feet apart on Monday, the next third attend the classroom on Wednesday, and so on, while video capture and recordings remain available to all of the enrolled students.

Will all courses be hybrid?

No.  We are planning for in-person classes where possible. Nobody can predict exactly what the health environment will look like later, and we must be nimble to adjust to changing circumstances. We are cognizant that risk mitigation can be achieved with prudent planning. Such planning includes social distancing, the use of masks and hybrid and remote delivery for appropriate classes or segments of courses.

Will hybrid courses or those that change to online only be offered at a cheaper rate?

The course content is being developed for multiple scenarios of delivery. The tuition rate has been set and will not change.

Is the Women and Gender Resource Center (WGRC) open?

Yes. Information about the WGRC, including contact information and operating hours, is available on its website.

The Tuscaloosa SAFE Center is open and providing forensic exams to victims of rape and a WGRC victim advocate may be able to be on-site to support students through exams. The SAFE Center can be reached at 205-860-SAFE (7233).

Do student conduct rules apply in online classes?

The UA Student Code of Conduct prohibits “disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, or other University activities.” Any related behavior will be reported to Student Conduct for disciplinary action. Please help your fellow students and faculty create a safe and effective learning environment for our entire campus community.

What if a student needs emergency financial assistance or support?

UA students currently in need of financial assistance because of the pandemic should submit an Emergency Assistance Application. When submitting the application, include documentation demonstrating the loss of income. Please note that  immediate financial assistance may not be available.

In the event of severe weather, will UA storm shelters open?

Yes. In the event of a tornado watch or warning, the University will open storm shelters and best available refuge areas (BARAs) for students who may still be in Tuscaloosa, faculty and staff. 

Even with the extraordinary social distancing precautions, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) recommends that your first priority should be to protect yourself from a potential tornado. If a warning is issued for the campus area, you are more likely to be affected by the tornado than the virus. 

Facial coverings are required in all UA storm shelters and BARAs.

Certainly, wherever you choose to shelter from severe weather, you should use as many precautions as possible to inhibit the spread of COVID-19 as best as you can. 

Campus storm shelters can be located by using the UA Safety App or by visiting

What about students who don’t have internet access at home?

Campus facilities with internet access will remain available for those who remain local.  Students from areas without high-speed internet or other means of receiving remote instruction should discuss their circumstances with their instructors. Arrangements will be made to assist with meeting course requirements.

What resources are available to help students with distance learning?

The Office of Information Technology has a number of resources available for students to help facilitate remote learning.

I am an international student and cannot return to my home country. What can I do?

Accommodations will be made for international or other students who cannot travel. If you have not already done so, please contact Housing and Residential Communities.

Will Bama Cash still work for off-campus students who are staying / living off campus?

Yes, Bama Cash will still be available during the break and during this period of remote instruction.

What should I know about social distancing?

Social distancing is staying away from large crowds or congregations of people with the intent of minimizing transmission of infectious disease outbreaks. Follow CDC guidelines about avoiding and slowing the virus spread.

  • Stay home if you are sick or have been around someone who has been exposed or diagnosed.
  • Try to avoid close contact with others (maintain a distance of about 6 feet).
  • Avoid gatherings or meetings of 10 or more people.
  • Wear a face covering over your mouth and nose.
  • Wash your hands often and/or use a hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces regularly.