Return to Campus - Spring ’21

Updates and Protocols

In most cases, UB’s plans for the spring semester will mirror operations in the fall. UB’s goal continues to be delivering the best educational and research programs possible while protecting the health, safety and well-being of the university community. 

Class Format

  • Spring courses will be delivered as a mix of physically distanced, in-person classes and online instruction.

Academic Calendar

  • Feb. 1: Spring semester begins.
  • May 7: Last day of classes.
  • There will be no spring break.
  • Decisions on spring commencement will be announced at a later date.

Screening and Testing Protocol

The FAQ further explains how UB will implement this plan and what it means for students, faculty and staff. 

Spring ’21 Semester:

Students must get tested before they return to campus

Free campus testing will be available by appointment weekdays from 1/25-2/5 for eligible students. Students may also submit outside test results. 

Read Spring ’21 Mandatory Return-to-Campus Testing for more information.

Need To Know

FAQ

  • What are UB’s plans for the spring semester?

    UB’s goal continues to be delivering the best educational and research programs possible while protecting the health, safety and well-being of the university community. The university’s plans for the spring semester will largely mirror operations in the fall in that UB will follow a modified in-person format. That means courses will be delivered using a mix of in-person (in accordance with physical distancing and public health guidelines) and online courses. UB’s plans for the spring were announced on Dec. 17 in a university-wide email from President Satish K. Tripathi and Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs A. Scott Weber.

    Updated February 2, 2021

    spring plan
  • What factors were considered in developing the plans for the spring semester?

    UB’s plans for the spring semester build upon the lessons learned and successes from the fall semester, which saw a low number of positive coronavirus cases on campus throughout much of its course. The university’s plans were developed by the 23-member Campus Planning Committee, which coordinated the work of several subcommittees composed of 137 members of the UB community, and incorporates guidance from SUNY and state and local health officials.

    All determinations about the spring semester will align with SUNY’s reopening guidance for spring and will be dependent on Western New York’s color-coded zone status. Up-to-date information about the university’s plans, including specific guidance for employees and students returning to campus, is available at UB’s COVID-19 planning and response site

    Updated December 17, 2020

    Spring return plan
  • What is the schedule for the spring semester?

    The spring semester will be held from Feb. 1 to May 15, 2021, for undergraduate, graduate and pharmacy students, with classes scheduled through the week that had been previously designated as spring recess. For professional school calendars, please visit the websites for the schools of dental medicine, law and medicine.

    Updated December 17, 2020

    spring schedule
  • Why was spring break canceled?

    The spring 2021 academic calendar was carefully determined by the university administration and the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, with multiple, complex considerations taken into account. The main concerns were the health and safety of the campus community and the need to align with academic continuity guidelines issued by SUNY. Those guidelines state that spring holiday periods will not be permitted given the associated risks pertaining to the spread of COVID-19. 

    Students are encouraged to plan ahead; to assess their course selections and workloads; to communicate regularly with their advisers and professors; and to seek support whenever needed. A variety of resources are available, including academic support, virtual wellness workshops and mental health counseling.

    Updated December 17, 2020

    spring break
  • What steps must I take before returning to campus for spring semester?

    UB will follow the systemwide mandates SUNY announced recently. These include:

    Updated January 13, 2021

    Spring return testing
  • Where can I get tested to meet winter session and spring semester return-to-campus test requirements?

    Students must get tested before they return to campus

    Free campus testing will be available by appointment weekdays from 1/25-2/5 for eligible students. Students may also submit outside test results. 

    Read Spring ’21 Mandatory Return-to-Campus Testing for more information.

    Off-campus testing may be available through your health care provider, an urgent care center or your local and/or state health departments. Please call the testing organization before going to the testing site to inquire about the cost, time it takes to receive results and other criteria.

    Within Erie County

    Within New York State

    Before making a test appointment or going to a testing site, you are advised to check with the testing site and your health insurance plan to determine the cost of testing and what your financial responsibility will be.

    Updated January 15, 2021

    spring test testing
  • Can the on-campus pooled saliva testing be used to "test out" of travel-related quarantine?

    No, the pooled saliva testing available on-campus cannot be used as the required test used to "test out" (shorten) of travel-related quarantine.  The pooled saliva testing does not meet the NYS Travel Guidelines requirement of an individual, diagnostic COVID-19 test. 

    Updated January 6, 2021

    spring test testing
  • What if I am traveling from outside of New York State?

    Several states in the U.S. and many regions of the world are experiencing a high number of cases of COVID-19. The university is strongly recommending that UB faculty, staff and students avoid traveling to regions that are being impacted by the virus.

    Updated December 31, 2020

    spring test testing
  • Will UB continue surveillance testing for students, faculty and staff during the spring semester?

    Yes. The university will continue the surveillance testing program under the updated SUNY policy that now requires the administration of weekly testing of all students, faculty and staff who live on campus or who will be on campus regularly during the spring semester.

    Updated January 25, 2021

    spring testing surveillance
  • Are there any changes to UB’s health and safety guidelines for the spring semester?

    UB will continue to follow its health and safety guidelines, which are updated regularly based on the latest guidance and scientific knowledge. As was the case in the fall, all members of the UB community will be required to wear a mask at all times, maintain physical distance, wash hands frequently and stay home when feeling sick.

    UB has limited in-class student instruction to 25% capacity to help maintain a safe level of density on campus. The number of employees commuting to campus has been reduced by at least 50%. There will be approximately 3,000 or fewer faculty, staff and vendors on campus daily.

    Updated December 17, 2020

    spring health safety guidelines
  • When can I move into on-campus housing for the spring semester?

    Move-in for the spring semester will begin on Jan. 29. Earlier move-in dates will be available for students who need to complete quarantine on campus before the start of classes. Residents will be required to schedule a physically distant move-in time before arriving on campus. Appointment instructions will be emailed to students in January. Other important dates for residential students can be found on the Campus Living website

    Details on move-in and pre-arrival quarantine requirements will be communicated by email once they have been finalized. 

    Campus Living will continue to follow all health and safety guidelines to ensure a safe experience on campus. As was the case in the fall, all members of the UB community will be required to follow these guidelines. Occupancy rates in residence halls and campus apartments will be limited to approximately 60%, with the number of residential students on campus ranging between 4,500 and 4,700.

    Updated December 17, 2020

    spring housing dorms residence
  • What is the plan for on-campus clubs and activities for the spring semester?

    On-campus clubs and activities will be permitted to continue in person next semester as long as they follow NYSDOH guidance on physical distancing, spaces and gatherings.

    Updated December 17, 2020

    spring clubs activities
  • What is the spring semester plan for Campus Dining and Shops?

    Campus Dining and Shops (CD&S) will remain open and will follow all federal, state and local safety regulations, as well as UB’s health and safety guidelines. The dining format will depend on state and local health and safety regulations. Meal plans and dining points are active beginning Jan. 25, 2021, so students may begin selecting their meal plan now. This spring, CD&S is adding four new locations where students can use their meal plans via mobile ordering: Stacker’s, Blue Dragon at C3, The Bowl and Bravo Pasta II at The Cellar. Big Blue and Little Blue food trucks will also provide to-go dining options later in the semester.  Visit Campus Dining and Shops for updates.

    Updated December 17, 2020

    spring campus dining shops food
  • What is the spring semester plan for campus Transportation Services?

    The spring semester Stampede and shuttle schedules go into effect on Monday, Feb. 1.

    Stampede bus service will run daily from 6 a.m. to 12:20 a.m. Spring schedules for the buses and shuttles will be posted online at buffalo.edu/parking. In addition to the posted shuttle schedule, on-demand shuttle service will be available using the TransLoc app on the North Campus shuttle line, the Friday Apartment Mall/Market shuttle and the South Campus Safety Shuttle. The Mall/Market shuttle and the Asia Food Market Express will continue regular service, and the Friday Apartment Mall/Market will resume on Feb. 5.

    Updated December 17, 2020

    spring transportation bus shuttles
  • Will athletics continue during the spring semester?

    Athletics activities will continue as scheduled, strictly following NCAA, Mid-American Conference and UB health guidelines.

    Updated December 17, 2020

    spring athletics sports
  • What are the commencement plans for the spring semester?

    Decisions about commencement activities will be announced at a later date.

    Updated December 17, 2020

    spring commencement