Frequently Asked Questions

Last modified: July 30, 2020

How did you determine the details of the Safe Return plan?
Health and safety were the top priorities in determining all details of this plan. We also used the results of student, faculty, and staff surveys, which indicated that a majority of our campus community members would prefer to be on campus if they could.
Why is there a pledge?

A big part of ensuring health and safety on campus is getting everyone to follow our established health and safety protocols all the time. The pledge is really your individual commitment to do everything you can to keep everyone here safe and COVID-free.

Will the Health Center be open?
Yes, the Health Center will be open during regular hours (1-5 p.m., Monday through Friday). Students need to call ahead about any visits to the Health Center, 207-768-9586.
What will happen at UMPI’s Houlton Center?
UMPI's Houlton Center will follow the same guidelines and protocols as the main campus.
How are quarantine and isolation different, and what do they entail?

People quarantine by staying away from others if there is a chance they were exposed to COVID-19. Isolation happens when people are sick with COVID-19 and they’re separated from people who aren’t infected. Here's a good resource to learn more:

What is contact tracing?

Contact tracing is an important tool for slowing transmission. Learn more from the CDC here:


Health Protocols

Will students be required to wear face coverings and will these face coverings be provided by UMPI?

Everyone on campus will be required to wear face coverings. UMPI will be providing 1 face mask for each residence hall student at the beginning of the year, though they are encouraged to bring additional face masks of their own. Any other students coming to campus should provide their own face masks, or should connect with Student Life in order to obtain a face covering.

Who will need to be tested and how will that work?

The following groups will need to bring a test result with them, get tested upon arriving on campus, or perform a 14-day quarantine:

  • All students, staff, and faculty arriving from outside Maine
  • All residential students
  • Populations of special concern (i.e., student-athletes, etc.)

The most efficient way to do this is to get your test results within 72 hours before you return. We will have a testing site and testing dates set up prior to move-in day. The System has set up the opportunity for students to be tested at the closest UMS school prior to returning to their home campus; for more details, contact Fred Thomas at or 207-768-9580. At this time, individuals outside of the groups listed above will not be tested.


How will I be billed for Room and Board if we are leaving at Thanksgiving?

Your bill will be prorated with Nov. 20 serving as the last billed day on your bill.  This will result in your bill for the Fall semester being reduced by 20% for both Room and the Meal Plan to reflect the reduced amount of time on campus.

How will Work Study work?

Work Study will continue to function as it did prior to the disruption of campus operations during Spring 2020. Work Study students will be paid for the hours that they work during the semester. Due to the shortened on-site schedule, Student Financial Services recommends that students attempt to earn the majority of the fall allocation during the first 12 weeks of the semester. Students with a full allocation of $1,700 per semester, on average, would need to work 11.75 hours per week to earn the allocation during the first 12 weeks of the semester. Students with that same allocation would need to work 10.25 hours per week if they work for the full 15-week semester. After the Thanksgiving break, when students return home to complete their course work, those that can perform their duties remotely may make arrangements to continue to work until the end of the term.

What are the costs for online instruction vs. in-person instruction? Will there be a difference for residential students and what happens if I am an on-campus student and have to go home early?

Our costs per credit hour are the same for on-site and online classes; however, we will not be charging a distance education fee for any online classes. Instruction costs are the same for commuter and residential students. For any residential students who would need to go home early, we will do the conversion and then refund for room and board per diem. There will be no cancellation fee for dorm contracts.

Residence Life

How will it be determined if a student is from a “high risk” area and how will they be notified about quarantining upon their return to campus?

Whether or not you’re from a high risk area, COVID-19 testing will be conducted for all students from outside of Maine. Out-of-state students will receive information from the Residence Life Office about testing/quarantining processes in July.

Since classes begin on August 31, when do students come back to campus, especially athletes? When will the date for out-of-state athletes to return be announced?

Athletics and Residence Life have established move-in dates and shared information with residence students. If you have not received information, please reach out to Sarah Coyer at or 207-768-9518. 

Will I have roommates? Will I be able to request a single?

Because Park Hall will be utilized for potential quarantine/isolation space, residential capacity will be reduced by 25%. All remaining residence hall rooms will be set up for double occupancy, so you will have one roommate, no more or less, unless you have an approved accommodation for a single. The only single occupancy rooms will be medical singles.

What will move-in day be like for students and will parents be able to help?

Student move-in will occur in phases during the month of August to reduce the number of family and friends on campus at any given time. For each room, both roommates will need a negative test result within 72 hours prior to moving in. Those who aren’t able to test until they get to UMPI will receive testing and quarantine in their dorm room for 48-72 hours until negative test results are received. Once a negative test result is in hand, students may move freely about campus and the community. Each resident will be allowed to have two family members or friends help them move into their residence hall room. All helpers must wear masks at all times and will have a specific window of time to complete the move-in process. It will be very important for all helpers to follow any direction given by UMPI staff to ensure the health and safety of our community.

Will dorms be getting cleaned?

 Deep cleaning of residence halls will be done twice a day. All contact surfaces, such as door knobs, handrails, elevator buttons, and light switches, will be cleaned multiple times each day. Residence hall bathrooms will be cleaned 4 to 6 times per day depending on building occupancy. Residence hall students will be responsible for cleaning their own dorm spaces; basic cleaning supplies can be provided. Disinfecting wipes will be available for wiping down common spaces and other frequently used items. All are encouraged to ensure surfaces are disinfected between use.

If someone’s roommate is feeling sick, should the other person stay in?

If your roommate is sick, please notify ResLife staff immediately. We would relocate the sick individual most likely to a quarantine space in Park Hall if there was a concern that they were sick with COVID-19 symptoms. If your roommate does in fact have COVID-19, we would put the person with the confirmed case into isolation, or they could go home if they choose, but we would also need to quarantine you until we are able to get you tested because of potential exposure.

What about visitors to dorms and going home on weekends?

To ensure the safety of our campus, outside guests and other students who live off-campus will not be able to enter the residence halls. The only people who should be in the residence halls are those who live there. In terms of going home on weekends, visits to other towns and cities within Maine are allowable, but if you do leave, you need to let Residence Life know. UMPI’s move to remote work and learning after Nov. 20 is meant to help reduce potential student travel earlier in the semester and better prevent potential exposure connected with that travel.

When students leave for Thanksgiving, will they have to take all personal belongings with them?

No, unless they are not planning to return for the Spring semester. Residence hall students will be able to leave their belongings in their dorm rooms during the winter break.


How will parking permits for students be handled this year?

For the 2020-2021 academic year, we will be suspending the need for students to buy parking permits in order to park your vehicles on campus. Designated lots are still in effect, so please continue to only use parking identified for student parking.


How do students pick the type of classes they want?
All students should work with their faculty and professional advisors on their class schedules to ensure their classes are in the modalities that work best for them, whether on-site, blended, online, or hyflex. Advisors will be reaching out to current and new students to help with any questions.
How will classes that really need to be done in-person (e.g., art studio courses and science labs) be handled?

Because UMPI’s art studio space is so large, art studio courses will be able to use social distancing and thus proceed in-person. For science labs, there will be a range of options including in-person (socially distanced), hyflex, online, and for specific courses (e.g., GIS) there will be the opportunity to VPN into computers.

For programs with intensive, hands-on lab training (such as MLT, PTA, and Exercise Science), labs will be conducted with fewer students and time frames may be shortened. Lab skills assessments will involve staggered appointments, a limited faculty-to-student ratio, and a requirement for PPE including face masks and gloves.

How will students be notified about schedule changes?

Changes in schedule, and other important updates, will be sent to you through email. Students are encouraged to check their email regularly.

Will we still have Fall Break in October?

No. In order to prevent potential exposure connected with student travel, UMPI will observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Canadian Thanksgiving on Oct. 12, but Oct. 13 will be a regular class day.

Are there any other changes to the academic calendar?

Friday, Nov. 20 will be the last day of live, in-person instruction for the Fall 2020 semester; all classes will resume online starting on Monday, Nov. 23. The Spring semester will begin a week later than usual, on Monday, Jan. 25, and, to again help prevent potential exposure connected with student travel, no full-week spring break will be recognized. The Spring semester will end as regularly scheduled on May 7. Click here to view the 2020-2021 academic calendar.

Will the Pass/Fail and Withdrawal options of last spring be the same for the 2020-2021 academic year?

In normal circumstances, students can elect to take one course per semester on a pass/fail basis. Courses in the General Education curriculum are normally excluded from this option, which must be exercised during the first two weeks of the semester. As a temporary academic policy for the Fall 2020 semester, through Dec. 28, students may opt to convert any course into a pass/fail option. Additionally, students may request a Semester Withdrawal through Dec. 28.

Will the add/drop period be extended?

The last day to add or drop a class will be Friday, Sept. 14.

I don't feel comfortable returning to campus… Can I take all of my courses in an online format?

Yes, though there may be some exceptions for students who need to complete specific on-site classes to make degree progress. In these instances, advisors and faculty will be working to find appropriate alternatives. There are also certain courses that will need to be done in-person, such as labs and studio courses, though most programs have an option for degree progress completely online.  Please contact your advisor or faculty if you have questions about a specific course. Your advising team will work with you if changes are needed to continue your progress toward your degree.

Can I sign up for an on-site class, but take it only in a hyflex online/Zoom format and not have to come to campus?

No, those are three different course modalities. On-site classes require students to be in the classroom. Hyflex classes allow you to attend class meetings in the classroom, via Zoom, or by watching a recording of the class meeting. There are multiple course modalities that involve an online/Zoom format. To see the full list of course modalities and details on how they work, please check out this definition table.

We have this short video explaining the differences as well.

If a class is on a rotation schedule, how will students find out when they meet in-person and when they meet online?

Students will receive an email prior to the start of classes from their instructors about how their classes will be structured and scheduled. 

What about classes that will be live on some days, but distance on other days? Who will decide when the classes are live and distance, and how will students be informed?

Classes that are live on certain days and distance on other days are called Blended classes. College deans are determining whether classes will be on-site, blended, online, or hyflex, and students will receive email messages about this in July. Students can work with their faculty and professional advisors if they want to change their class schedule based on how their courses will be delivered.

Will UMPI provide me with a camera if Photography classes are not held on campus?

UMPI has a policy in place for signing out one of four University-owned cameras. Students will work with the Photography instructor to complete a sign-out form; a charge will be made on a student account in the event of a non-returned camera.

Faculty and Staff

Will face shields for faculty be permissible in lieu of a face mask?

No, they can be used in conjunction with a face mask, but will not replace face coverings. We currently have 50 face shields in stock.

Can UMPI set up a tent and physically distanced chairs outside for early fall courses?

UMPI will provide an outdoor classroom space in the tennis court parking lot. Faculty will work with the Deans to reserve this space.  Faculty would need to have a regular classroom as well for the remainder of the semester, unless they plan to transition to Zoom meetings.

What is the process for requesting access to the campus?

UMPI has a streamlined request process in place to provide timely responses about campus access.  If you need to come to campus on a one-time or temporary basis, please fill out the form at this link and click submit. Requests will be approved on a case-by-case basis. We will be working to add a link to this form in the Forms & Docs section of the UMPI Portal. If you would like to return to campus on a more permanent basis, please speak with your supervisor or dean. If you have any questions or concerns about the form or request process, please contact Human Resources.

How will parking permits for employees be handled this year?

In order to minimize the need to visit specific offices to obtain a permit, parking permits for employees will be handled differently this year. Instead of a sticker permit, temporary tags that hang on a rearview mirror will be issued. These tags are good for the entire academic year. To obtain a tag, complete this form, include the $10 fee, and mail to Fred Thomas. Please note that you will not need to purchase multiple permits for multiple vehicles. Once received, your request will be processed and your tag will be mailed to you. Be sure to include the address where you want the tag mailed. Please display the tag on your rearview mirror when on campus.

How should in-person meetings be approached?

In-person discussions, meetings, and general interactions should be minimized as much as possible. Instead of visiting another office as you may have done in the past, all employees should now conduct as much business via phone, email, and video conference as absolutely possible. To emphasize the point, all non-in-person options should be fully exhausted before meeting with someone in person.

Health and Safety Practices

Face coverings

Who will be required to wear a face mask on campus?

Anyone who is on campus must wear a well-fitted cloth or disposable mask or face covering. Coverings such as face shields, bandanas and gaiters/buffs do not meet the University of Maine System’s definition of acceptable face coverings. Because of the nature of campuses and the importance of face coverings in keeping individuals and the community safe, face coverings are required at all times on all University of Maine System campuses, property and facilities, both indoors and outside.

Are there any specific guidelines concerning homemade masks?

All employees and residence students will be provided with two face masks upon return to campus. All are encouraged to bring and use additional face masks of their own. Homemade masks are fine to use but must cover your nose and mouth and fit snugly against the sides of your face and under your chin.

If I have a medical reason that prevents me from wearing a mask, what are my options?

A student who cannot wear a face covering or mask due to a documented disability and would like to discuss possible accommodations should contact Mary Kate Barbosa in Student Support Services at or 207-768-9613 to discuss documentation and accommodation requests. Possible accommodations might include a change in class schedule or remote learning. Employees in this situation should contact Melissa DeMerchant in the Office of Human Resources at or 207-768-9462.

Safety measures and protocols

Is everyone (students/staff/faculty) going to have to test for COVID-19? If so, where will the testing be done?

Every resident student will be tested. All students, faculty, and staff arriving from outside Maine, as well as populations of special concern (i.e., student-athletes) will also be tested. Testing will be conducted at a designated site on campus during specified dates; those who need to be tested will be notified. For more details about testing, contact Fred Thomas at and 207-768-9580.

Will students and staff be provided with thermometers to do temperature checks or is this an out of pocket expense?

Individuals will be responsible for procuring their own thermometers. Employees, students, and any campus visitors should take their temperature and ensure that it is at or below 100.3 F before leaving their residence hall room or home and coming to campus.

How will cleaning be handled in the classrooms? Who will do the cleaning?

Facilities team members will conduct the cleaning of classrooms between scheduled classes. Faculty and staff who have just utilized a classroom or are about to use the space can assist with these cleaning efforts as they are available and when time constraints require a quick turnaround of the space. 

Will there be flow control (e.g., classroom transitions and traffic flow) for Folsom/Pullen Hall and other buildings?

Yes. Floor markings will be in place so students can maintain a social distance of 6 feet as they leave and enter classes. A traffic flow pattern has been established for all buildings, with specific entry and exit points as well as dedicated stairwells for going up and dedicated stairwells for going down. Accessibility needs have been addressed as part of this planning work; an accessibility-focused floor plan identifying access points and traffic flow has been created for each building. Please note that each building has a specific entry/exit point for only individuals with ADA needs in order to mitigate risk; do not use these entry/exit points unless you are an individual with ADA needs.

How will access to buildings be handled?

Because our focus is on serving our students in the coming months and we do not plan to open to the general public at this time, we are planning to keep many of our buildings locked to minimize the risk of walk-in traffic. Folsom/Pullen Hall, Wieden Hall, and Gentile Hall will be unlocked during the day, but other buildings will remain locked.


How will information about UMPI’s Safe Return plans be disseminated?

Information will be shared in a variety of ways. Safe Return plan details, updates, and other resources can be found at Information will also be shared through frequent email messages to campus, town hall meetings at various points throughout 2020, UMPI’s social media channels, and printed materials posted throughout campus.

Is there transportation from PQI to campus?

If you require transportation from the airport to our campus, please reach out to us beforehand and we will provide it.

What happens with students, faculty, and staff who would normally commute to UMPI?

Faculty and staff who would need to commute to campus from Canada may do so as travel for delivering education is considered essential. Faculty and staff traveling from a state other than New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut need to follow quarantine protocols or have a negative test result before returning to work. This is not the case for students. Students may not commute daily from Canada, or a state other than NH, VT, NY, NJ, or CT, as attending class can be done remotely and is not considered an essential reason for their travel. Immediate questions should be directed to Fred Thomas at and 207-768-9580.

Will Conferences and Special Programs be hosting events this fall? Will tables and chairs for events that occur in the Campus Center be cleaned on a regular basis?

We’re planning to resume events of 50 people or less as long as campus opens as planned in late August. All tables, chairs, and other frequently used surfaces will be sanitized regularly.

Will Wieden Hall be open?

The building itself will be open, though facilities such as the gym and athletic training room will only be open for specific uses, primarily for academics and athletics purposes. There will be arrows to indicate traffic flow for movement throughout the building. Student athletes will need to pre-schedule visits to facilities such as the gym and athletic training room.

Will Gentile Hall be open?

Gentile Hall opened to current UMPI students, faculty, and staff on Aug. 10. The facility will not open to community members at this time. Access will be limited to only active, enrolled, and current students and employees; access will not be permitted to individuals outside of these groups, to include family members. Health and safety protocols will be in place for those students and employees using Gentile Hall, including requirements to: complete a health screening checklist prior to entry; arrive dressed to exercise as gym bags will not be permitted; bring water; and wear face coverings at all times, including while exercising.

The facility will have stringent safety measures in place as well, from social distancing expectations to rigorous cleaning schedules to limits on the number of individuals allowed in the building at one time. In addition, certain areas of the facility will not be available, such as the pool, rock wall, locker rooms, and showers, in order to allow staff to best manage the health and safety protocols in place for the building.

What if I need any academic or campus accommodations this fall? How will that work with Safe Return plans?

Students requiring academic and campus accommodations due to a documented disability should make an appointment with Mary Kate Barbosa in Student Support Services at or 207-768-9613 to discuss needs for the fall. Please note that reasonable approved accommodations might look slightly different depending on which of the several modes of course instruction your courses will be using.

Will I need to go to Student Financial Services to validate my ID so I can use Gentile Hall this coming semester?

No. First time students will have a validation sticker placed on their IDs at the time they are produced by Student Services Staff.  Returning students will have their validation stickers applied when they first access Gentile Hall.

If we are going home at Thanksgiving, will we return to campus for the Spring semester?

Fall classes will transition to online only after Nov. 20. Our plans are to return to campus for the Spring semester, with a start date of Jan. 25. 

Click here to view the 2020-2021 academic calendar

Help us add to this FAQ. Have a question and don’t see it here? Email with your question. And thank you for helping us to make this a comprehensive resource.

Despite efforts to minimize risks, the University cannot categorically guarantee that any person entering University campuses or facilities will not contract COVID-19 or any other communicable disease and any such person must assess and accept the risks of illness or injury for themselves.
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Campus Emergency Contact Numbers

If you need to reach someone on campus, please call the following numbers:

207-768-9532 Weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

207-768-9600 Holidays, weekends, and weekday evenings between 4:30 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.