Pre-Arrival Testing

Additional questions:

What are the testing requirements for students?

Before students come on campus for the Fall semester, they will need to undergo COVID-19 testing with RT-PCR (not serology). This must be scheduled to be performed within 7 calendar days prior to arrival on campus (e.g. no earlier than July 25 for August 1 campus arrival; August 10 for August 17 arrival, etc.). Students with a positive test prior to arrival will not be allowed to be present on campus in person. Results from rapid RT-PCR/molecular testing are permitted. Antigen or antibody based tests, including rapid tests, are not acceptable forms of testing. Students should consult their provider prior to testing to confirm the appropriate testing will be administered. Students residing off-campus must have their test and result within 7 days prior to the first day of class (i.e. no earlier than August 12 for August 19 campus arrival). Students will submit their test results to Student Health Services via their myCU checklist. Through our partnership with St. Lawrence Health System (SLHS) and the MIT-Harvard Broad Institute, we plan to test the student body again after they arrive approximately 7 to 10 days after the specimen from their first test was collected.

Will rapid testing be available on campus?

We understand that students in some states/locations might have difficulty obtaining testing prior to arrival.  As such we are working with our local hospital on trying to make rapid testing available.  Please note that if this is available, it will be on a very limited basis.  We want to stress that we have not confirmed that rapid testing will be available. As such, we ask students to make every effort to obtain testing at home because we anticipate that if we are able to obtain rapid testing, it will be extremely limited availability. Those who cannot obtain testing prior to returning will need to contact and request rapid testing. Based on availability of testing, students on this list will be contacted and informed of the process.

If I cannot get tested with results back within 7 days prior to my scheduled arrival, what should I do? 

The University understands that some areas are experiencing delays in COVID-19 test results. Since students are required to take an RT-PCR/molecular test and receive a negative result within 7 days prior to their planned entry to campus, some students may have to delay their move-in date and/or first day of attending classes in person. If a student is not able to obtain this result within this 7 day period, they will need to delay their arrival to campus until this result is received and uploaded in myCU. As it is not within the student's control as to the time that it takes to obtain the test result, the University will accept delayed results as long as the test was taken within 7 days of their assigned arrival/start date.  

Example scenario:  Student A gets tested on August 11 for an August 18 move-in date. Student A does not receive results by August 18. Student A does not participate in move-in on August 18 and begins classes remotely on August 19. Student A receives their negative test result on August 20. Student A, having classes on August 21, decides it is better for them to move in on the 22nd and relays this information to Residence Life. Student A moves in on August 22.

When should I obtain my required RT-PCR/molecular test?

Students residing on-campus and moving in on August 16: No earlier than August 9
Students residing on-campus and moving in  on August 17: No earlier than August 10
Students residing on-campus and moving in on August 18: No earlier than August 11
Students residing off-campus and attending in-person classes beginning August 19: No earlier than August 12
Students arriving to campus late: No earlier than 7 days prior to accessing campus for Fall 2020 for the first time

What If A Student Tests Positive?

If a student receives a positive test prior to arrival they would submit their results to and follow all recommendations from their local Department of Health for isolation.  Once cleared please send documentation of clearance to  This can be an official letter, email notice, or other proof of release from isolation.  If you have any questions please reach out to the Dean of Students office at 315-268-6620 or email

If a student receives a positive test after arrival for quarantine, the student will either need to return home or arrange for isolation space.  Clarkson University will not have isolation space available until after the start of classes and most quarantine space does not meet requirements for isolation.

Ongoing Testing and/or Quarantine

Additional questions:

How will I know if there are positive cases within the University or local communities?

The University sends a Campus Announcement whenever we are aware of a positive case among any members of the University community. For information on the local community, see the St. Lawrence County website or Facebook.

How will the students be informed about ongoing testing?

Students will be notified via email by the University if/when they have been selected for ongoing RT-PCR testing. Students may be selected multiple times for testing.

During the semester, where can I quarantine if I am not able to return to my permanent home address?

We do encourage students who need to quarantine to do so at home, provided this is not internationally or to a state on the NYS Travel Advisory list. We have limited quarantine and isolation space available on campus. As space permits, students who are unable to travel to their permanent address will have priority for on-campus quarantining.

How will I know if I need to quarantine during the semester?

A staff member from the University or a member of the NYS Contract Tracing team will contact you via telephone. To expedite the contact tracing process, students should ensure their phone number is correct on myCU and carry their cell phones with them at all times. Instructions for quarantine will be provided by Residence Life as needed.

How can I be best prepared for the possibility of being quarantined during the semester?

We encourage students to always have a quarantine bag packed in their room. Your quarantine bag should include clothing and other essential items that you would need to quarantine for three to four days. If you seek medical care for COVID-19 symptoms, you should bring your quarantine bag, academic material, and any other essential items with you. In the event you are directed to quarantine, you will be required to immediately quarantine and will not be permitted to return to your residence hall to pick up any items. If you are quarantined, University staff will be in contact with you regarding delivering additional clothing and essential items from your room to your quarantine room. Due to safety precautions, University staff will not be able to pick up and deliver these items to you until you have vacated the room for approximately 3 days. Be advised that if any member of the family unit tests positive for COVID-19, the entire family unit will be required to quarantine immediately.

Will the University be providing flu vaccinations?

The University collaborates with a local entity to provide flu vaccines annually. Information with available dates and times will be shared via University announcements. If students opt to receive the vaccine on campus, student insurance plans will be billed for the cost.

Residential Student Move-In

Additional questions:

What is the move-in schedule?

For students who are eligible to participate in it [excludes students traveling from NYS Travel Advisory states, international travelers, and students residing in Price Hall], the “Early (belongings only) Drop Off” process will take place from July 22-29.

All move-in dates are 9:00am-3:00pm. Students quarantining on campus from states on the New York State Travel Advisory list will move in on August 1. First-year and transfer students will move in on August 16 and August 17. Students residing in even numbered rooms (i.e. Brooks 116) move in on August 16; odd numbered rooms (i.e. Cubley 125) move in on August 17. Returning students move in on August 18. All students must follow the University’s testing requirements prior to move-in.

Where do I check-in for on-campus quarantine on August 1?

Students quarantining can arrive on August 1 from 8:00am to 4:00pm. Students will check in at the Student Center (building 15).  Students arriving outside of these hours will check in at Campus Safety in the Educational Resource Center (building 16). A campus map can be found here.

What can I expect during move in?

The University will not allow any guests inside the residence halls or campus facilities after July 29. All move-in dates are curbside drop-off only for guests. The University encourages students from the same family unit (i.e. roommates) to help each other move in. Students will receive their keys at check-in. First-year students living in Cubley or Reynolds Houses enter on Clarkson Avenue. First-year students living in Ross or Brooks Houses enter on Route 11 at the main campus entrance. Transfer students, regardless of housing assignment, check-in at Walker Arena parking lot on Clarkson Avenue. The Clarkson School students will enter on Route 11 at the main campus entrance and go to Price Hall (Ormsby House & Farrisee House). Returning students check-in at their own residence hall.

Any student who cannot arrive between 9:00am-3:00pm will go directly to their assigned residence hall and check in with the Residence Life Staff member. Please communicate planned evening arrivals in advance to

What should I do differently for packing this year?

Due to the changing environment surrounding COVID-19, all students must be flexible.  The Residence Life Office is asking students to only bring what is essential for them to campus.

What will the restroom usage and cleaning be like?

All restrooms will have a maximum occupancy for usage.  Students will need to sanitize the restroom facilities before and after use. All traditional style residence hall restrooms (i.e. communal restrooms) will be cleaned twice per day by a Clarkson staff member.  All suite and apartment restrooms (i.e. housing with attached restrooms) will be cleaned by a Clarkson staff member once per week.  Any time a staff member is in your restroom or living area everyone must be wearing a face covering. 

What will the laundry room schedule be like?

All laundry facilities will have a maximum occupancy, and a cleaning schedule will be made by the Residence Life Staff.  The master schedule will be made by the Residence Life team, and the Resident Advisors will work with the members of their floor/area to allow students to pick their time slot to use the laundry facilities.

What is a family unit and can I have guests in my room?

A family unit is defined as the students assigned to a specific housing unit.  Therefore, for traditional style housing (Brooks, Cubley, Reynolds, Ross, Hamlin, & Powers) it is the students assigned to each individual room.  For suite style housing (Price Hall, Graham Hall, & Moore House) it would be the students who share the same restroom.  In the apartments & theme houses it would the students assigned to live in the apartment or theme house.  A guest would be anyone who does not live in the family unit.  The University is not allowing any visitation of guests inside a family unit.  Students will only have access to their assigned residence hall. 

How will residential violations be enforced? 

Violations of the Clarkson Regulations will be enforced through the Code of Student Conduct. Violations will be reviewed by the Dean of Students Office and the Residence Life Office on a case by case basis. Details regarding enforcement of the Clarkson Commitment can be found here.

Will my housing assignment be held if I decide to study remotely for the fall? 

The Residence Life Office will work to hold the rooms of the students who have decided to study remotely.  Should the Residence Life Office have to use a student’s room who is studying remotely, the Director of Residential Living & Learning Communities will notify the student and will work with the student to find housing for the spring semester.

NYS Quarantine Mandate: International and Designated States

Additional questions:

Who is required to quarantine prior to the start of classes?

Students who are residing and/or traveling from outside of the US and students residing in and/or traveling from a designated state on the NYS Travel Advisory are required to complete a 14-day quarantine. You may choose to do your 14-day quarantine in NYS or in a state not listed on the travel advisory. All students traveling from these areas must complete the New York State Traveler Health Form.  Please keep in mind that NYS reviews the criteria for this list daily and this may impact your arrival status if a state you are residing in or quarantined in is added to the list.  

Where should students perform their 14-day quarantine?

Due to the ever increasing number of states required to quarantine upon entrance to NYS and limited capacity for quarantining on-campus, students are recommended to quarantine off-campus in New York State or in a state not listed on the NYS Travel Advisory. In special circumstances or hardships, students may request permission to quarantine on-campus by contacting Residence Life at Quarantine space is limited and will be provided on an individual basis as space permits. Students who are approved to quarantine on-campus must arrive by August 1 and follow the pre-arrival testing procedures. Any student unable to start their quarantine on August 1 for any reason must delay their arrival to campus until after they have completed a 14-day quarantine off-campus in NYS or in a state not listed on the NYS Travel Advisory.

Most students who quarantine on-campus will quarantine in their fall housing assignment. Due to ongoing construction in Price Hall, some students may be quarantined in a temporary housing assignment. Students quarantining off-campus or in temporary housing will not be able to access their fall housing assignment prior to the end of quarantine.

Since I am providing a negative RT-PCR test, am I exempt from the required NYS quarantine?

The NYS Travel Advisory does not provide an opportunity to “test out” of the required quarantine period.

Can I use public transportation to get to campus? 

Students should be in contact with the companies they intend to travel with to confirm any restrictions.

How do I get mail/packages during the quarantine period?

When shipping belongings to campus prior to/during quarantine, please include your campus address (residence hall name and room number) on the shipping address. This will help University staff to sort packages for ease of delivering to outside of student rooms.

What are the requirements during the quarantine period?

Students quarantining on-campus cannot leave their rooms during quarantine housing other than to use their assigned toilet, sink, and shower. Specifics regarding food service, physical and mental health, and other important information will be provided to students who are quarantining on campus. Students are expected to leave their room during an emergency alarm activation, for medical appointments/treatment, or for emergency medical care. When making any medical appointment, students must inform the health care provider that they are currently participating in quarantine per NYS requirements. If an emergency alarm is activated, students must wear a mask and gather next to the Blue Light Emergency Call Station.

Students in quarantine must follow all NYS guidelines. Details can be found here. In addition, students are asked to have all members living at the residence quarantine with them. Students in quarantine must be able to self-isolate with a separate bedroom and bathroom if symptoms develop. If students must attend medical appointments/treatment or seek emergency medical care, they must inform the health care provider that they are currently participating in quarantine per NYS requirements.

How do I comply with the required 7-day follow-up RT-PCR test while I am quarantined?

The University will make arrangements for students to obtain this test. Information will be provided to students via email with the specific date, time, location, and any other instructions.

What happens if my state is removed from the NYS Travel Advisory while I am quarantined? 

If you are quarantining on campus, you will still be required to complete the 14 day quarantine. If you are quarantining off campus, you are not permitted to access campus and must follow any applicable NYS guidance.

Late Arrival

Additional questions:

I can’t arrive until after the start of classes, what do I do?

All students are requested to arrive by August 30, 2020 if you will be taking ‘in person’ classes or labs. Students who are not able to arrive by the first day of class must complete the Late Arrival form. Room and board charges will not be prorated based on late arrivals.

How can I keep up with classes if I have to delay my arrival?

Students should work with their professors to make sure they can access everything and to work through any potential issues. Students who are having difficulty accessing their courses virtually should contact the Dean of Students.


Additional questions:

When will finals be completed?

Final exams occur November 18-November 24. Additional dates can be found on the Academic Calendar.

Will students be allowed to study in groups? 

Students will have access to indoor and outdoor spaces outside of the residential areas that may be used for studying or group projects, but are reminded to follow social distancing and facial covering guidelines located in the Clarkson Commitment.  Additionally, we recommend students conduct meetings and study sessions virtually when feasible. 

Can academic buildings be accessed 24/7? 

Access to academic buildings will remain open, however, classrooms will be locked after the custodians have sanitized them, to be unlocked again in the morning before the first class starts. 

How will lab classes be affected if a student is placed in quarantine?

Students should work with their instructors per the guidelines provided in the course syllabus to complete lab requirements.

Will professors still hold office hours for extra help?

Yes, Instructors are required to maintain office hours to be accessible to their student (either via distance or in-person according to safety guidelines). These hours are required to be listed in the syllabus.

Will tutoring services be available? Will they be in-person? 

Yes, tutoring services will be provided. We will offer tutoring virtually and in person, where social distancing and space allows.

Student Life

Additional questions:

Where can students travel in the fall semester?

Individual students may travel throughout the North Country region.  If a student needs to travel outside of the North Country Region they must fill out the Travel Request Form. Students may travel with registered clubs or organizations by filling out a registration form on Knight Life. Students are encouraged to visit local businesses and community resources within the downtown Potsdam area.

When is Family Weekend?

Clarkson continues to follow NY State and public health directives regarding large gatherings and events. Based on current guidelines and our plans for the fall semester, visitors will not be permitted on campus after August 19. While it is unlikely that we can have a Family Weekend gathering in-person this year, more information will be shared with families on options for engagement this fall after the academic year begins. Please continue checking this website for updates.

What will the campus dining experience be like? 

Students will order food in advance via smartphone app or website for pick up. All food service locations will be open. As an all you care to eat dining venue, students are permitted to order multiple meals at one time from Ross-Brooks. Limited seating will be available at each dining venue. Additional seating will be available at locations throughout campus, as well as outdoors. Dining staff will clean eating surfaces between each use. KnightCard will not be accepted at Campus Dining locations for 2020-2021. KnightCard can continue to be used at community locations and campus vending. Additional information can be found here. Contact with questions.

Who does the Clarkson Commitment apply to? How will it be enforced?

All students, including those residing on- and off-campus, are required to abide by the Clarkson Commitment. Details regarding accountability can be found here.

What social opportunities will exist for students?

Students may socialize with peers and partake in club and organization activities while maintaining physical distance and wearing appropriate face coverings in indoor locations and, when physical distancing is not feasible, in outdoor spaces. Additionally, many Clarkson departments will be hosting virtual and limited in-person social programs for students.

Will students be permitted to visit fraternity and sorority houses?

Current plans require that students who do not reside in a fraternity or sorority house may not enter the building, however a limited number of guests will be permitted to visit outdoor spaces (e.g. lawns) outside of fraternity and sorority houses. 

Will campus athletic facilities such as the Fieldhouse, Fitness Center, and Alumni Gym be open to students?

The University will follow NYS guidelines for use of these facilities.

Webinar Recordings

Clarkson University Family Student Webinars

As part of Clarkson’s Future Ready Restart Plan, we recently held two different webinars for students and families to help respond to commonly asked questions and acclimate students for the Fall Semester. You can watch recordings of those sessions here.

Provost Robyn Hannigan and representatives from the Clarkson faculty spoke on what classes and co-curricular learning will be like in the fall, with some innovative new approaches. Find out how we are integrating digital learning components with in-person education. Access the webinar recording here.

VP for Enrollment & Student Advancement Brian Grant and the Student Affairs & Residence Life Restart Team held their webinar on plans for residence life, student safety and COVID-19 monitoring, campus dining and student engagement. Access that webinar recording here.

Other Issues

Additional questions:

Can I switch from remote to in-person learning or vice versa mid-semester?

Students should contact the Dean of Students to discuss possible options. It is not guaranteed that someone will be able make the switch, due to space availability, lab requirements, etc.

What are the travel restrictions for employees?

Employees and their households are discouraged from traveling outside of approved regions. If an employee or anyone in their household does travel outside of these areas, the employee is required to submit a form to Human Resources and quarantine for 14 days prior to returning to campus.

Will the University provide students with face masks?

The University will provide each student with one Clarkson branded face mask. Students are encouraged to also bring their own cloth face masks to showcase their individual personalities.

Is my family permitted to visit me on campus?

Families may come to campus only to pick up or drop off their students. Only students are permitted to enter University buildings or access University facilities (including outdoor facilities). Families are encouraged to participate in local outdoor activities in the area, such as hiking, walking, kayaking, etc.