Spring semester updates

Happy holidays to our Rhody community and congratulations as we approach the end of the fall semester. The University wants to notify students and their families, faculty, and staff regarding the plans for the spring 2021 semester. Below are important dates and requirements as we prepare to welcome community members back to our campuses in late January.

Spring semester classes

  • First day of classes: Jan. 26
  • All classes will be fully online from Jan. 26 through Jan. 29
  • In-person and blended classes will shift to or include in-person meetings starting Feb. 1
  • Nursing students: Off-campus clinical placements for spring 2021 will begin Jan. 26. Therefore nursing students will need to come back to Rhode Island/campus early to prepare for clinicals and meet the quarantine requirements. An update from the College of Nursing will be provided on Monday, Dec. 21.

Quarantine requirements for students

  • All students, including Rhode Island residents, will be required to complete a 10- day quarantine upon arrival in Rhode Island and returning to URI’s campuses. The dates for spring classes and move-in have been adapted to allow for the full 10- day quarantine for all students, no matter what state they reside in.
  • A variety of virtual career planning events will be scheduled during the quarantine period to give students access to important tools and skills when preparing for their careers after graduation. More information about these opportunities will be shared in early January.

On-campus move-in schedule

  • On-campus move-in will occur between Jan. 19 and Jan. 22.
  • Students will receive instructions from Housing and Residential Life (HRL) regarding signing up for their specific move-in day after Dec. 23.
  • Students moving into Greek housing are also required to be tested prior to move-in. Students will receive instructions regarding their specific move-in date and times and locations for getting their required test on move-in day.

Testing requirements for students

  • ALL STUDENTS are strongly encouraged to get a test 72 to 48 hours before moving back to their on-campus or off-campus housing. Getting a test prior to arrival at URI will help identify asymptomatic positive cases and students will minimize the spread of the virus. Students who test positive should remain home to complete their isolation prior to their return to URI and should contact their course instructors to make arrangements for their coursework while they isolate.
  • ALL STUDENTS residing in Rhode Island, including those taking online courses and those commuting to the state to take in-person and blended classes, are required to be tested at a URI testing center to start the spring semester.
  • On-campus resident students are required to get tested upon arrival for entry to their residence hall. Students will receive instructions on where to get their test to be given access to their residence hall.
  • Off-campus resident students are required to get tested for the start of the spring semester Jan. 19 through Jan. 22.  Testing for off-campus students during this time will be located at Keaney Gym on the Kingston Campus. In keeping with federal and state guidelines, off-campus students are strongly encouraged to remain at their off-campus residences once they return and refrain from going back to family or friends’ homes during the winter break and after classes resume.
  • On-campus resident students who test positive upon returning to campus will have to isolate in the hotels the University has rented for the purpose; off-campus resident students will isolate in their homes off campus.
  • On- and off-campus students are encouraged to continue getting tested on a regular basis during winter break at the Memorial Union testing site. Please check this website for the regular hours of operation during the winter break.
  • Exceptions to required testing. Out-of-state students taking completely online classes and not moving back to Rhode Island are not required to get a test. In addition, some students have received exemptions from testing through Disabilities Services for Students and those exemptions will continue for the spring semester.

Much of the planning for spring semester is based on the overall experience of the fall semester, the challenges that had to be overcome, and the lessons that have been learned about how to support the health of our community. We are especially grateful to our students for their compliance with the health guidelines this fall. The guidelines will remain in effect this spring. We also deeply appreciate our faculty and staff who were able to adapt many times during the semester to support our students’ success.

While the number of COVID-19 cases nationally and here in Rhode Island is very concerning, we remain hopeful that increased testing access at URI for the spring semester and strict compliance with mask and physical distance guidelines will help minimize the spread of the virus in our community. We are encouraged that students remain committed to their education and are staying on track to graduation. We will continue to provide additional resources and support to ensure students have every opportunity to fulfill their major requirements this spring and engage with their peers to support their mental and physical well-being.

Finally, we recognize that the fall semester presented many challenges, and there are many members of the Rhody community who are struggling now. If you need help during the winter break, we are here to support you and have listed a few contacts below to connect with resources and services. We wish you all a safe and healthy winter break and are eager to welcome you back to URI in January to reconnect and support each other.

Resources and Services available during winter break