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Phased Return Common Questions

These questions supplement What You Need to Know: Academic Affairs and the Phased Return to Campus Announcement, where you can find more information.

Questions will be added and updated throughout the summer. If you can't find the answer to your question, please submit a question or email

Can I still use in-person resources (Libraries, etc.) even if I don’t have classes on campus?

Yes, but anyone who plans to use any campus facility, resource or service needs to be tested for COVID-19 and receive a negative result prior to physically being on campus.

Can incoming international students have online-only class schedules?

New international students must have at least one in-person course. If you are an international student and need guidance, contact the Office of Global Affairs at 304-293-6112.

Can upperclassmen withdraw or take a semester off?

We understand this semester may not be what you expected, but we recognize your right to make this decision. We hope that you will let us help you on your next steps and will reach out to your adviser and the Mountaineer Hub, as it may affect your financial aid status. They can work with you to develop an easier plan to return to campus when you determine it is the right time to do so.

Current students who have scheduled courses and are considering not returning should follow the Registrar’s withdraw policy to ensure course withdraw, housing cancellation (if necessary) and cancellation of financial aid.

If you are a first-time freshman, you have the option to defer admission.

Do I have to pay the online fee?

Students originally in online degree programs will continue to have online-only classes and will be expected to pay the online learning fee.

However, students in degree programs that would normally be learning on campus will not pay an online learning fee for any hybrid or online-only classes they have this fall.

I don’t want online classes. What can I do?

If you would like to modify your schedule, please contact your adviser to discuss your options. Classes can be changed up to the end of the first week of courses.

Related questions:

If a student is taking all online courses, are they required to have health insurance?

Fully online students are eligible for enrollment in the Aetna plan and will be automatically enrolled if they are registered for the minimum number of credit hours (6 or more credit hours for domestic students, and 1 or more credit hours for international students). If students are eligible for enrollment in the Aetna plan, and would like to opt out, they must complete the online student health insurance waiver.

If an online-only student has an on-campus job, how will that work?

Students will still be able to work an on-campus job even if they are taking all online classes. The student must follow the University guidelines for COVID-19 testing and work directly with their supervisor to finalize arrangements before reporting to work.

If I’m completely online and don’t plan to be on campus ever, do I need to take the COVID-19 test? And if not, how can I be sure I won’t be charged the $250 fee?

No, you will not be required to take a COVID-19 test if you won’t be on campus for the spring semester. You will not receive a $250 fee if you are not required to take a test and do not take one. However, we recommend that all WVU students who will be in Morgantown take advantage of the free COVID-19 testing to help minimize community spread within Monongalia County. If you are charged a $250 fee inappropriately, please contact Shared Services at 304-293-6006.

If my class schedule is all online but I plan to be on campus, do I need to get tested?

Yes, anyone who plans to be on campus in any capacity is required to be tested for COVID-19 and receive a negative result prior to physically being on campus.

What input have faculty had in the format classes are being offered in?

In some departments, faculty were consulted regarding which classes are best delivered online. The University chose to preserve certain courses in an on-campus delivery guided by reasons of discipline/professional accreditation, preserving the campus environment to enhance the success of our freshman students and ensuring optimal completion of learning outcomes.

Faculty who do not want to teach online have the option of filing an ADA accommodation or request exemption through Medical Management if they desire.

The Office of the Provost consulted with the academic leaders in each college to determine what remains in the classroom.

What is a "hybrid" course?

Hybrid courses have a mix of online and in-person content, activities, assignments and interaction. That specific mix is different in each course but what is true of all hybrid courses is that students can expect to experience the full range of normal learning activities in both modalities at the direction of the instructor.

Why is it safe for teachers to come back but not all students?

We have taken significant precautions to keep our faculty and students as safe as possible within the classroom, including plexiglass barriers, physical distancing and mask/face covering requirements. In addition, we’ve provided faculty with guidelines to assure that all students are following the necessary protocols. We understand that this situation is not ideal, but we know the importance of in-person instruction, and we are doing everything we can to continue that instruction.

Will on-campus classes still be available as hybrid if I get sick and can’t attend class?

WVU released a revised attendance policy and new emergency leave policy to ensure that students who become ill will be given the opportunity to continue their learning or create the best possible solution, depending on length of absence. Faculty and instructors have been provided a set of expectations and best practices to apply, which includes having a contingency plan in place for campus-wide or student-specific remote teaching.

Will undergraduate students be able to do research in labs?

We have developed plans that allow undergraduates to work in research labs under the guidance of their departments/programs, both to support others' research and to conduct their own where it is necessary to their programs in their program. Each program/department will have information on exactly how this will happen. Please contact your instructor and/or program for more information.