Fall 2021 Undergraduate FAQs

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about returning to campus for the fall semester. More information about each of these topics can be found on the websites hyperlinked below. Please continue to check back for more details about the fall semester as they become available.

Arrivals and Move-In

Q: When is move-in for first-year students?

A: First-year students should arrive on campus at their pre-scheduled move-in time slot on Saturday, August 21.

Q: When is move-in for returning students?

A: Move-in for returning students will begin on Saturday, August 28. Returning students must move in no later than Monday, August 30. There are no pre-scheduled time slots, but returning students must hit a hot spot and then go to the testing clinic before entering their dorm rooms.

Q: Who can I bring to campus with me for move-in?

A: Students may have family/friends assist them with move-in. Family/friends cannot accompany students to their COVID testing, which occurs before moving into rooms. Once family/friends have finished helping with move-in, they will need to leave campus and will not be permitted to attend any indoor events with the student or to return to indoor campus spaces on another day. All family/friends assisting with move-in must wear a face covering inside buildings.

For more information about Move-In, please visit the Housing FAQs page.

Q: How will the initial COVID testing process work? Where do students go for testing? Are students supposed to stay in their room until they get their first negative test result?

A: All students must get tested when they arrive on campus. During move-in, the testing clinic will be located on the lawn in front of the New South building, near Baker Rink. Students should review the testing clinic hours before arrival. If a student arrives after the clinic is closed, they must get tested the next day. Students are not required to quarantine while waiting for testing results, but they are encouraged to wear a face covering when attending crowded outdoor events until they receive their first negative COVID-19 test result.

Unvaccinated students arriving from international locations must complete the COVID Risk Assessment Form 3-7 business days before arriving to campus so that Global and Community Health at UHS can advise whether travel-related quarantine is required.

For more information about COVID-19 testing upon arrival on campus for the fall semester, including questions about travel-related quarantine, visit the Arrivals page.


Q: Are family members allowed to attend orientation activities?

A: We have two virtual orientation activities for families. The Class of 2025 Welcome Meeting for Students and Families will be held Sunday, August 22, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. on Zoom at this link: https://princeton.zoom.us/j/91013057740.

Families will also receive an invitation to a virtual welcome event led by their student’s residential college during the week of August 23.

Information for families can be found on the Families page on the Path to Princeton website.

Q: Will Orientation be in person, virtual, or a mix of both?

A: The majority of orientation events for the Class of 2025 will be in person, with some significant exceptions such as the Academic Expo. Students should consult the Orientation website for more details.

For more information about Orientation for first-year students, please visit the Orientation website.

Q: Will there be activities for the Class of 2024 after move-in?

A: The Class of 2024 has planned a series of welcome events beginning August 28. Students should check their email for a note from their class officers with the full “Tour de 2024” event list and schedule.


For the most up-to-date information regarding dining, including questions about meal plans, please visit the Campus Dining FAQs page.

Packages and Mail

Q: How do I pick up a package?

A: Students should check their email to determine whether their package is in a locker or behind the counter. If the package is in a locker, they should go to the specified locker bank and use the app or the self-service kiosk to open their locker. If the package is at the counter, they should go to the Oversized Package Room for pick up.

Q: How/Where do I pick up my mail?

A: To collect their mail, students should go to the Mail Service Window (Frist Room 106) and present their University ID.  Students will get an email notification only when they receive First-Class Mail.

For additional questions regarding packages and mail, please visit Print & Mail Services’ FAQ page.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

Q: Am I required to get a COVID-19 vaccination?

A: All undergraduates enrolled or otherwise present on campus during the 2021-22 academic year must receive, and provide proof of having received, a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the World Health Organization (WHO).

Please visit the Student Requirement FAQs page for more information.

Q: How many undergraduates are presently vaccinated?

A: As of August 18, 96% of undergraduate students have been verified as fully vaccinated. We expect this percentage to increase. 

Q: Will the University share a student’s vaccination status with other students or student organizations?

A: Students’ vaccination status will generally not be shared with anyone unless appropriate. University officials determine there is a compelling reason to do so. Of course, students may choose to share their vaccination status with others as they deem appropriate

COVID-19 Asymptomatic Testing Program

Q: Will undergraduate students take part in the asymptomatic testing program?

A: All fully vaccinated undergraduate students will be tested for COVID once weekly; students not yet fully vaccinated or who have received an exemption will test twice weekly. The University may adjust the testing requirement as circumstances warrant. 

Undergraduates are asked to submit tests on a schedule based on the residential college to which they were assigned as a first-year, regardless of where they currently live on or off campus.

Q: Where do I pick up my COVID-19 test kits this fall?

A: Upon arrival, students can pick up test kits at the testing clinic on the New South Lawn. Additional pick-up locations are at Frist Campus Center (four days a week) and Dillon Gym. Please use a ballpoint pen when filling out the test kit label, as gel pen ink wipes off when sanitized in the lab. 

For more information about COVID-19 testing, please view the Taking the Test page.

Q: Will students face disciplinary action for missing one asymptomatic test?

A: Students who miss their test deadline must submit a test as soon as possible. Missing required testing may result in disciplinary action. Students will be subject to discipline for missing multiple tests. 

Q: Can you describe the process for students who are vaccinated and test positive for COVID-19 and the process for students who are exposed to said student?

A: All students, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, who test positive will have to go into isolation. Isolation will be 10 days, regardless of the individual’s vaccination status. 1967 Hall will serve as an undergraduate isolation dorm. A student in isolation will have a single room and will be delivered meals three times a day. A designated staff member will regularly interact with students and work with them to meet other types of needs.

UHS contact tracers will work with the student who tests positive to identify individuals with whom they may have had close contact. Close contact means being within six feet for at least 15 minutes cumulative over 24 hours.

Close contacts who are not fully vaccinated will need to quarantine for 10 days from the date of exposure. Close contacts who are fully vaccinated but do not test positive will not need to quarantine.

Q: How will COVID monitoring and isolation work for students off campus?

A: Students off campus will have the same testing requirements as students living on campus. Students off campus will have the option, but not be required, to use the isolation dorm.

For more information about the mandatory asymptomatic testing program, please visit the Taking the Test page.

COVID-19 Policies/Face Coverings

Q: Will there be a social contract for fall 2021?

A: No. There is no social contract this semester, but the University has added language to Rights, Rules and Responsibilities that holds students responsible for following all public health guidelines. Students must follow those guidelines and help keep our campus community safe.

Q: Do I need to wear a mask in my dormitory? 

As of August 11, all faculty, staff and students, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a face covering indoors in buildings occupied by the University. Exceptions to this indoor face covering requirement include when in one’s own dormitory room or suite, when working alone in a room or cubicle or when actively eating or drinking. 

​​Q: Will social distancing be required on campus?

A: Social distancing is currently not required on campus nor have we established capacity limits for indoor gatherings beyond the regular fire safety limits. Subject to public health guidance, we do not intend to have occupancy limits or requirements for social distancing in classrooms, dormitories, or other University spaces.

Q: What is the policy regarding campus visitors, particularly those in campus dorm rooms? 

A: People who participate in the University asymptomatic testing program are not considered visitors and are allowed in all buildings, including dormitories and dorm rooms.

With few exceptions, visitors (as defined by the Visitor Policy) must be approved prior to entering campus buildings and must be fully vaccinated. Notably, overnight guests in undergraduate dormitories who are not in the University’s asymptomatic testing program are not approved visitors and may not enter campus buildings. 

For more information, see the Visitor Policy.

Q: Do students have to wear a certain kind of face covering (e.g., N95 vs. cloth)? Will the University provide students with face coverings?

A: No. Students may wear cloth or disposable face coverings that meet the requirements in the policy. They must completely cover the nose and mouth with at least two layers (preferably three) of fabric and must not have an exhalation valve. N95 and KN95 masks are not required or recommended.

Q: Will students face disciplinary action for violating the face coverings policy?

A: Students found to be in violation of this or any policy may be subject to discipline in accordance with Rights, Rules, Responsibilities.


Q: Are there any restrictions on personal travel during the semester?

A: There are no longer any restrictions on domestic travel. Undergraduate students may not travel internationally for personal reasons between August 31 and December 15, 2021, unless granted permission by their residential college Director of Student Life (DSL) for compelling personal circumstances.

For more information regarding travel policies for the fall semester, please review Global Safety & Security’s FAQ page.

Q: As an international student, I expect to return home at the end of the fall semester. Do I need permission from my DSL to make that personal international trip when I am ready to leave campus?

A: Travel home for international students at the conclusion of the fall term does not require DSL approval. Please note that only students who meet the criteria for Continuous Housing will be able to remain on campus between the end of the fall term and the start of Wintersession.

For international students with additional questions, visit the Davis International Center’s FAQ page for more information and resources for international students.

Transportation & Parking

Q: How can I get around campus?

A: Most of campus is within a 15-minute walking distance of student housing. We recommend walking or biking. Students who don’t own a bike can arrange a semester or year-long bike rental through the Princeton University Bike Library, based on availability.

Personal bikes and scooters brought to campus must be registered with the University so that students may be contacted in case of construction, events, or theft. Scooter use is expected to comply with University’s Personal Electric Vehicle policy and scooters may not be operated inside any University building.

TigerTransit, the University’s shuttle service, is available for trips that are not feasible on foot or by bike. Masks are required on TigerTransit.

Q: Can I bring a car to campus?

A: Undergraduate students are generally not eligible for annual parking permits. However, students facing extraordinary hardships or otherwise demonstrating a compelling need for access to a personal vehicle on campus may apply for a permit.

For more information about transportation and parking on campus, please visit the Transportation & Parking Services website.

Campus Life

Q: How will student groups be permitted to operate, and will there be any restrictions on their activities?

A: Student groups may function normally but must adhere to all campus guidelines in place at the time. For more information, reach out to Mitchel Charles, ODUS program coordinator.

Q: Will in-person musical and dance performances happen again next semester? Will masks be required for attendees?

A: There will be in-person musical and dance performances, and we will welcome audiences back. Audience members will be required to attest that they have been vaccinated and to adhere to campus public health requirements, including face covering requirements, in place at the time. Recommendations on face coverings for musicians can be found on the Supplemental Guidance page.

Q: What will athletics look like and how will club and school sports treat students from other schools in terms of COVID?

A: Participation in club and varsity sports will be permitted, subject to requirements for face coverings and asymptomatic testing. Student-athletes from other schools will be permitted on campus, following University and Ivy League requirements for testing, travel, face coverings, etc. Additional, specific guidance is forthcoming.

Q: Will the eating clubs be open? Will there be any restrictions in their operation?

A: The eating clubs will be open. Eating clubs must abide by the public health practices dictated by the State of New Jersey, and students participating in eating club events must abide by University rules.

Student Employment

Q: What will on-campus jobs look like this semester and when will students be able to apply for them?

A: We expect student employment will be normal and in-person for the fall semester. Some positions are already listed on the portal. The Office of Student Employment has sent detailed instructions to students about how to apply for jobs and what documentation will be necessary.

Return to In-Person Instruction

Q: What if I have to isolate or quarantine due to COVID and cannot go to class?

A: Students who are required to isolate or quarantine will not be penalized for being absent from the classroom. The residential college deans and directors of studies will verify for faculty those undergraduate students who are unable to be present in the classroom due to COVID-related situations.     

Faculty will support students in isolation or quarantine through one or both of the following ways, depending on the size, format, and pedagogical goals of the course:

●    Invite a remote student to “attend” via a Zoom link that they activate on their laptop 
●    Record their lecture or class and post it to Canvas

These arrangements are intended only for students who are required to be in isolation or quarantine due to COVID and should be used for the duration of their absence from class. Students absent for other reasons should arrange to make up missed work through typical means.

Q:  How will I complete my work if I am too sick to engage with remote instruction?

A: Students who are too sick to engage with class work remotely during their period of isolation should inform their residential college dean or director studies, who, in keeping with our normal policies, will work with students and faculty to arrange a make-up schedule for classwork and homework assignments.

Q: What will singing and other music classes look like next semester?

Classes involving music and performance will take place as usual this fall, following the policy for face coverings and bell covers for instruments. Please visit the Supplemental Guidance page on Environmental Health and Safety's (EHS) website for more information on face coverings in the classroom.

Any student with an exemption from the vaccination requirement must contact EHS about participating in a course where playing a musical instrument, singing, dancing, or performing in close quarters is safe for them and other students.

Q: Will the reservation system for study spaces in the library continue this fall?

A:  The library reservation system has been discontinued. For more information about the Library’s policies, please visit the Library’s website.

Q: What will I need to do to get my coursebooks?

A: Labyrinth has coursebooks ready either for online orders via Canvas with in-person pickup, or directly for in-person shopping. Students should wear a mask when getting their books. To avoid crowds and increase safety for everyone, returning students are encouraged to get their books before the first week of classes if possible. Online ordering started August 18. 

Q: Is there any chance that fall break will be shortened?

A: We anticipate that the University will maintain a full week break at the midterm, as set forth in the Academic Calendar.

Q: What are the grading policies for the fall term?

A: The University will return to regular grading policies as set forth in the Undergraduate Announcement.