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COVID-19 FAQs - Student Section

Updated on April 4, 2020 | 8:45 a.m.



Are there any confirmed cases of COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) on the University of Wyoming campus?
Four cases have been reported in Albany County as of April 3, but there are no known connections with UW.


What is UW doing to help support students, staff and faculty?
In response to Gov. Mark Gordon’s declaration of a statewide emergency on March 13, and in preparation for the likely arrival of COVID-19 in our community, UW has established an incident command structure. This will allow us to respond to the situation most effectively and efficiently. Our primary objective remains keeping faculty, staff and students as healthy, safe and informed as possible and addressing the public health needs of the broader community. Pertinent communication for UW staff, faculty and students will be sent via the official UW communication email system, and any new information will be updated on


How are classes being handled after spring break?
Beginning March 30, all classes are being delivered remotely, primarily by using WyoCourses, the university online student management system. Faculty have emailed or are emailing students enrolled in their courses with plans for course continuation.


When does the semester end?
The spring semester will end as scheduled. The last day of classes is May 8, 2020. Finals week ends May 15, 2020.


Will this impact UW’s spring 2020 graduation?
The May commencement ceremonies will not take place on campus as had been scheduled. Instead, the university is making plans for a virtual ceremony, and other options are being developed for UW’s spring 2020 graduates to celebrate their accomplishments.

What does a virtual ceremony entail?
Our virtual ceremony will be in the form of a live video streamed May 16, which graduates and families can watch online. For students that opt in, the university will mail a commencement package so that graduates can have a “tassel-turning” moment during the virtual ceremony and take photographs.


When and how will students receive their diplomas if there is no in-person ceremony?
Graduates have always received diplomas by mail after their degree verification is complete. This process can take up to three months. We don’t anticipate any changes to this process.


Do students have to opt in to receive their commencement packages? If so, how and when?
Graduates will need opt in for these packages. Further instructions will be emailed to all students who have declared a spring 2020 or summer 2020 graduation date in WyoWeb. Students should expect to receive this email before April 10.


Will students have to pay for these commencement packages?
Students will not have to pay for the virtual ceremony package. Final details of the packages will be in the email with instructions to students. Students can optionally purchase extra regalia components, such as a robe, extra tassels, etc., if they would like.


Will my graduation fee be refunded?
The $25 graduation fee charged to your student account is for your degree evaluation and diploma processing. It is not related to the commencement ceremony.


Do students who want to walk in December 2020 or May 2021 need to notify anyone?
Students do not need to do anything to notify the university at this time. They should check the commencement website during the normal registration windows (October 2020 or March 2021) for instructions on how to register. Questions can be directed to the commencement coordinator, Courtney Thomson-Lichty, at (307) 766-5123.


Can I request a change in the way my course is graded, from the traditional method (A-F) to pass/fail (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory)?
Yes. However, if you are an undergraduate student, you must consult with and obtain approval of your instructor and academic adviser before making this change. If you are a graduate student, you must consult with and obtain approval of your major professor before making this change. This would be a good item to discuss with your adviser in your upcoming advising appointment. An exception request to change your grading option will be available on the Office of the Registrar’s website, and it must be filled out by you and electronically signed/approved by your instructor and academic adviser, if undergraduate, or major professor, if graduate.


If I change grading of a course to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, how will that affect my GPA and progress toward my degree?
Neither a “satisfactory” nor an “unsatisfactory” grade has an impact on a student’s GPA, but an “unsatisfactory” grade does not allow the student to receive course credit. If you are applying to a graduate school, including professional schools, or if your life is not dramatically disrupted by the coronavirus crisis, it may be beneficial for you to have letter grades displayed and calculated into your GPA. You should discuss possible federal aid impacts with your adviser and/or the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid before requesting the switch.


If I am not feeling well, what should I do?
If you are sick with COVID-19, waiting for a test result on COVID-19 or showing symptoms associated with COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath), please stay away from campus, self-isolate and contact your health care provider for care. You should go to this site -- -- and fill out the form so that the university can get in touch with you.


Will campus activities, events and visits be canceled?
Effective immediately, all university events are suspended until further notice. All athletic activities, including competitions, team and individual practices, and meetings and other organized gatherings are suspended until further notice.

Campus Visits and Recruiting Events Information. Campus visits and events are currently suspended until further notice. Admitted Student Day will be an online live event. Online recruiting events will be announced, and virtual campus tours will be held.

Scholarships and Financial Aid. Telephone and video conferences with students are being planned for the purpose of reviewing student financial status.



Will there be a reduction in student tuition as compensation for the lost week of material/reduced quality of remote education?
Courses will be revised to ensure that all key student learning outcomes can be met; therefore, there is no need to reduce tuition. 


How will exams and grading work while I’m taking classes remotely?
Exams and assignments will be completed through your WyoCourses course shell. Your instructor will provide additional instructions on how to complete assignments and exams.


What about courses that involve work off-campus, such as student-teaching, internships?
Students will follow protocol of the host institution or employer. Students should check with their dean’s office on any exceptions that may emerge. If the host institution cancels a placement, the department and college will determine how to ensure learning outcomes and required contact hours will be met in alternative locations or alternative times, pending emerging guidance from national accrediting bodies and boards, including the Professional Teaching Standards Board.


If I'm sick and miss class, do I need a doctor’s note?
UW policy does not require doctor’s notes in cases of illness. Faculty should work in good faith with students to allow them to make up learning outcomes missed during an illness in the interest of public health.


I don't own a laptop. How do I access a computer?
Students should contact the IT Help Desk at 766-4357 (766-HELP) for assistance.


What if I don't have internet at my home?
Please take this survey that assesses limitations and accessibility of technology: This survey can be completed on any mobile-friendly device (e.g., smartphone, tablet, etc.).

Faculty have emailed or will email students enrolled in their courses with plans for course continuation. In the event that you do not have internet access, your instructor will work with you to develop alternative approaches for submitting course assignments.

Charter’s COVID-19 response includes free Spectrum Broadband WiFi access to students’ homes for 60 days in homes that do not have existing Spectrum service level up to 100 Mbps. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.

If you are outside Laramie, please use this site to help find internet providers in your area:

The following are offering discounts or free access for a limited time:

Home network services:

Cellular data services:

For classes that require physical attendance (labs, dance, art, etc.), how will a remote class be conducted?
Faculty will design alternative approaches to teaching and assessing the skills students acquire in these types of courses. For example, if the focus of a lab course is on learning techniques and their application to specific experimental situations, students may be asked to engage in online simulations that may cover at least portions of, if not the entirety of, a protocol. If the focus is on  interpreting experimental data, faculty may extract datasets from the published literature that are aligned with the experiments students would have encountered in the lab and develop problem sets that focus on the interpretation of the data. If the focus is on  project-based lab research, students may be switched to the culminating assignment now with an emphasis on interpreting the data they have already gathered; or, if they have not generated their own data yet, focus on having them predict their experimental outcomes and design the next experimental steps in detail. In some cases, faculty may use video capture to record a procedure and students will view the video to learn the steps in the procedure. This is a strategy that the LIFE Sciences program is currently implementing. 


How am I to write a research paper if I can't get to campus to do research?
Various online resources, including online articles and databases, are available at UW Libraries has deployed extra workers over the next two months to do scanning of print materials; they will email documents to borrowers. All research, reference and library instruction services are online through the remainder of the semester. Students and other library users are encouraged to call the Library Help Desk (main circulation) to discuss special library needs and other library information. 



I’m in a residence hall now. When do I have to leave?
All undergraduate residential students should make plans to move out of the residence halls. The residence halls will remain open for checkouts through April 5. However, as COVID-19 continues to spread across Wyoming and the country, we now recommend that students complete an exception form, and Residence Life will work with you to remove your belongings at a later date. Instructions for checking out of your room are  here.


I am in the campus apartments. Do I have to move out?
The University of Wyoming Apartments (Bison Run Village, River Village, Landmark and Spanish Walk) will remain open at this time.


I live in a fraternity or sorority house on campus. Do I have to move out?
National organizations are guiding fraternity and sorority residences. Students are encouraged to contact their chapter housing corporation team for guidance.


Can I get a refund for my residence hall and meal plan fees?
Prorated housing and meal plans will be credited to student accounts by mid-April and will pay any outstanding balances. If you are anticipating a refund, please click  here and set up a direct deposit.


What should I do if I am unable to leave campus?
Students unable to travel home will be asked to complete an exception request to stay on campus. Exceptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Custodial staff will clean and sanitize our residence halls, which may require residents still on campus to consolidate into one building.


Will food service be available if I’m granted an exception to stay on campus?
Washakie Dining Center will continue to operate on a limited schedule for students in residence. Brunch runs daily from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., and dinner is served daily from 4:30-6 p.m.


What if I can’t leave campus and become ill?
UW’s Student Health Service will be open to treat students who do remain on campus; those experiencing fever, cough and shortness of breath are directed to call before visiting the clinic. Student Health Service can be reached at (307) 766-2130.


What if a student is currently overseas in a Warning Level 3 location?
Please  contact UW Education Abroad for more information.


If a student cannot return to a UW residence hall, but needs to self-quarantine, where do they go?
Please contact so arrangements can be made for students in this situation.


I am an international student and have returned to my home country -- how do I retrieve my belongings?
International exchange students should contact (Education Abroad), and all other international students should contact (International Students and Scholars) to make arrangements and for questions regarding retrieval of their belongings.



I’m an hourly student employee (not federal work-study) who is very excited to hear that the university is going to pay me for the rest of the semester. How is this going to work?
First and foremost, decide whether you want to continue working. If this is the case, and your job lends itself to working remotely, make arrangements with your supervisor to do so. Your hours will be paid at their regular rate. If you decide not to continue working, the process is simple. You’re eligible to be paid for the rest of the semester if all four of the following elements apply to you: 1) you are a full-time student; 2) you are not federal work-study; 3) you were on an active assignment on March 19; and 4) you were scheduled to work through the rest of the semester. If these four conditions are met, the university will work with your supervisor to determine your normal schedule over a typical two-week period, and you will be paid for the rest of the semester for that schedule, at your established rate of pay. You will not have to enter any hours; this will all be done automatically. Your supervisor will approve your normal schedule in the system every two weeks, and you will receive a paycheck on April 15, April 29, May 15 and May 27.


I’m an hourly, non-benefited student employee (not federal work-study). My hours have NOT been reduced due to COVID-19, and I continue to work. Based on Acting President Theobald’s April 1 announcement, do I have to continue working?
No. However, we encourage you to continue working, if you can do so remotely. Whether you decide to continue working or not, please notify your supervisor of your decision. If you don’t continue to work, you will be paid for the rest of the semester at your established rate of pay for your normal two-week schedule.


I’m an hourly, non-benefitted student employee (not federal work-study), and my hours HAVE been reduced. Based on Acting President Theobald’s April 1 announcement, what are my options?
Please continue to work your reduced schedule if you want to work. Also, work with your supervisor to arrange remote work, if your job lends itself to doing so. And, don’t forget to explore the possibility of picking up other duties to provide additional opportunities to continue working. However, if you decide to stop working altogether, please notify your supervisor of your decision. If you stop working altogether, you will paid for the rest of the semester at your established rate of pay for your normal two-week schedule.


I’m an hourly student employee (not federal work-study) who has left Laramie to return home for the rest of the semester. I was scheduled to work after spring break, but I’m no longer in town. What should I do?
If you’d like to continue working, discuss the possibility of remote work, if your job lends itself to doing so. If you don’t continue to work, please notify your supervisor of your decision, and you will paid for the rest of the semester at your established rate of pay for your normal two-week schedule.


I’m an hourly student employee (federal work-study) who has left Laramie to return home for the rest of the semester. I was scheduled to work after spring break, but I’m no longer in town. What should I do?
Per guidance issued by the federal government, UW can pay students Federal Work Study (FWS) wages for hours that students were scheduled to work but were unable to complete as a result of the coronavirus threat. The Student Financial Aid Office will communicate to FWS supervisors and students.


I am a work-study employee, and I’m worried about supporting myself during COVID-19. How will the university help me? 
Per guidance issued by the federal government, UW can pay students Federal Work Study (FWS) wages for hours that students were scheduled to work but were unable to complete as a result of the coronavirus threat. The Student Financial Aid Office will communicate to FWS supervisors and students.

Note: The federal government has passed new legislation regarding leave and the coronavirus. These frequently asked questions are being updated to reflect the new law. Please continue to check back for updates.



How will the Veterans Services Center handle financial aid for veterans and dependents?
VA benefits are processed through the Scholarships and Financial Aid Office. Benefits have been certified for this semester, and moving to a total online delivery will not impact their Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for the remainder of this semester. If students have any questions, please call Dori Gallegos 307-766-2525 or email  For additional veterans support, please call Marty Martinez at 307-766-6908.


Are mental health resources still available for students or employees who are experiencing a crisis?
Yes. The University Counseling Center offers student counseling services including crisis intervention free of charge to currently enrolled University of Wyoming students. Clinic hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. After-hours crisis hotline: (307) 766-8989. The University will also offer remote counseling support.  For questions, call (307) 766-2187.

The University of Wyoming offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that provides benefited employees and their household members with professional counseling, as well as legal and financial assistance. UW partners with MINES and Associates of Littleton, Colo., to provide services at no cost to UW employees. Access any of the services by visiting, or by calling 1-800-873-7138. 

Other FAQs

In this time of uncertainty, we’re dedicated to helping answer your questions based on the latest information regarding the COVID-19 (novel coronavrius) pandemic.


>> Student FAQs

>> Staff FAQs

>> Faculty FAQs

Additional Health Information

UW’s interdepartmental task force is diligently monitoring events worldwide to try and anticipate and prepare for potential changes. Here are some essential resources for global travel alerts and warnings to visit before you travel abroad:

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