Penn State classes at all campus locations continue in their regularly scheduled mode of instruction for the summer 2021 semester. Summer classes are again using Penn State’s COVID-19 instructional modes, while maximizing the number of in-person courses. In addition to in-person courses there are some remote options, both synchronous and asynchronous.
More information about plans for fall instruction is available in the Plans for Future Semesters section below.
Testing for students
On campuses that have more than 25 students living in residence halls, students living on campus who are not fully vaccinated will be required to complete a COVID-19 test weekly starting after summer session begins and continuing through the summer. Unless they have been vaccinated, regular use of voluntary testing is strongly encouraged for any student living near any Penn State campus in May and throughout the summer.
Learn more about Penn State's summer testing plans and available testing options on the Testing and Support page.
Course modes and health requirements
Penn State remains committed to providing students with a robust learning experience during the summer 2021 semester. All classes are being delivered in their regularly scheduled delivery format. Courses are being offered via one of the following instructional modes, as indicated in LionPATH:
- In-Person Instruction (COVID In-Person) — Students meet in the assigned classroom at the time assigned in the course schedule.
- Mixed-Mode Instruction (COVID Mixed Mode) — Instructors deploy a combination of instructional modes to meet social distancing requirements.
- Remote Synchronous Instruction (COVID Remote) — Students attend all classes remotely at the scheduled time.
- Remote Asynchronous Instruction (COVID Web) — Course material is made available for students to work through on their own schedules.
Current masking and physical distancing guidance remain in effect
At this time, masking outdoors and physical distancing are not required. Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear face masks indoors, however, individuals who are not fully vaccinated are expected to wear face masks inside University buildings. Additionally, all individuals must wear a face mask while using public transportation, in accordance with CDC guidance, and in some additional settings such as when visiting on-campus health care facilities and when conducting in-person research involving human subjects.
Resources are available on our Students and Families page to help students have a successful semester. There students will find important information on academic support, student services, housing and dining, wellness and more.
For Faculty and Staff
Visit the Faculty and Staff page for resources and tools designed to help faculty to deliver their courses either in person or in a remote or mixed-mode format; to learn more about working on campus and working from home; for links to information from Human Resources; and more. On-campus research-related activities continue to operate according to their established safety procedures.
Plans for Future Semesters
After a phased return over the summer semester, Penn State is planning for a full on-campus learning environment for fall 2021. The University’s priorities continue to be the health and well-being of its students, faculty, staff and local communities, and the plans for expanded in-person classes have the flexibility built in to quickly respond to changing pandemic conditions, if necessary.
The University is preparing for a variety of scenarios if circumstances or guidance from the government and public health authorities requires a reassessment of the plan before the start of the fall semester. Expanded in-person learning is contingent on the latest health and safety guidelines, as they are adjusted over the summer and fall in response to the state of the pandemic.
The fall semester will more closely resemble Penn State’s in-person instructional experience, while continuing to offer a full range of web classes. Classes will be scheduled using the University’s non-COVID modes of instruction.
Future instructional impacts
Based on what has been learned about student and faculty needs and preferences, some asynchronous courses — in which students engage with instructors and course material on their own time — will continue to be offered in the summer and fall.
As of June 28, masks are optional inside University buildings for individuals who are fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated individuals must continue to wear masks indoors at all times. If you want someone to wear a mask when interacting with you in your private office, you can request they do so, but cannot require it. It is important to note that those who are visiting designated health care environments must continue to wear masks indoors and maintain physical distancing regardless of vaccination status.
In individual offices, staff members may post this sign if they wish to request that people entering wear a mask.
Students at University Park, Commonwealth Campuses and Dickinson Law can upload their vaccine information now into the MyUHS portal and are encouraged to do so as soon as their vaccine series is complete.
Employees and World Campus students can provide their vaccination status to the University using SalesForce Health Cloud, a secure online platform for collecting health data.
Your vaccine status is only available to University personnel directly involved in the COVID-19 response and mitigation efforts and to public health officials.
If you want to participate in the weekly drawings for vaccine incentive prizes, you must also complete an online form to become eligible for the incentive program. Weekly drawings will be held through August 23 for the following prizes, which are subject to taxes:
- $1,000 payment
- $100 gift card to Barnes & Noble (four winners per week)
- a football signed by Penn State Football coach James Franklin
Yes, unvaccinated individuals who have been in close contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive or suspected of having COVID-19 must quarantine for 7 to 10 days. They must quarantine for 10 days without testing if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring, or after seven days with a negative test on or after day five of quarantine and if they have no symptoms.
No. According to the CDC, fully vaccinated individuals do not have to be tested or quarantine but should monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days. If symptoms develop, employees should contact their personal health care provider.
Yes. Supervisors may ask about an employee’s vaccination status for adherence to current University masking protocols. Supervisors are not to take proof of vaccination, rather employees are encouraged to confirm their vaccination status via Salesforce Health Cloud. Supervisors are not to ask questions specific to reasons behind receiving or not receiving the vaccination. If supervisors or employees should have any questions, they should contact their unit HR. Technical services employees and other employees represented by a collective bargaining agreement should check with their unit HR to determine if there are other requirements applicable to them.