Campus Life Reopen

Emory Forward

Below are some frequently asked questions related to the University’s plans for a Fall 2020 opening. Please bookmark this page and visit it regularly for updates about move-in, dining, student health, counseling and psychological services, extra-curricular activities, and other pertinent campus information.

June 23, 2020

Emory College Town Hall

On Tuesday, June 23, Enku Gelaye, vice president and dean of Campus Life joined Michael A. Elliott, dean of Emory College, in a virtual town hall for Emory students. Deans Gelaye and Elliott answered questions regarding fall 2020 expectations, course re-registration, housing and dining updates and more. The event was moderated by students Aditya Jhaveri, president of the College Council, and Riya Mehta, vice president of communications for the College Council.

June 22, 2020

Residence Life and Housing Operations

In planning for a return to residential learning, Emory’s leadership team consulted with public health experts and reviewed guidelines and other reference materials from the CDC and other authorities. The team also consulted relevant professional associations and explored various scenarios for housing and on-campus learning density. Decisions about residence hall capacity were made with the understanding that some housing must be reserved for students who are ill or need quarantine. We also considered Emory’s impact on the surrounding community, as well as the limitations on transportation and parking, and the availability of off-campus housing within a reasonable distance of the Emory and Oxford campuses.

In support of a return to residential housing, the following housing guidelines will be applied:

  • Students living on campus will be screened by Emory University by testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, prior to moving into their fall housing assignment.

  • We anticipate student move-in beginning approximately one week before classes start on August 19 and occurring over several days to accommodate physical distancing and testing. Students will receive additional instructions on move-in times in the coming weeks.

  • Residents will be required to wear face coverings in all residential common areas.

  • A maximum of two students per bedroom, or four to six students per apartment or suite, will be applied without exception.

  • Students may be assigned or reassigned by Housing Operations to reduce density, improve bathroom ratio and reduce opportunities for congregation in residence halls. As we reduce density in the residence halls as part of the assignment/reassignment process, we will try to accommodate roommate requests.

  • Single rooms will be available. Students who request these rooms due to medical conditions or circumstances will be prioritized for single-room assignments.

  • During the academic year, room changes will not be granted, except for emergencies or extenuating circumstances.

  • Communal bathrooms and other high-touch, high-volume common spaces will undergo enhanced cleaning protocols and schedules.

  • Occupancy in common spaces will be limited, based on Emory’s physical distancing guidelines.

  • Students will be required to sign the COVID-19 Addendum to the 2020-21 Housing Agreement and Residence Life and Housing Policies for on-campus living.

  • Students who no longer wish to reside on campus will be allowed to cancel their housing agreement until August 1. Additional information regarding the cancellation process will be provided in future communications.

  • During the week of June 22, students will receive an email from Housing Operations with access to a Housing Preference form in their MyHousing portal. If you wish to request a single room or cancel your housing agreement you may indicate so on the Housing Preference form.

  • Students may only be allowed into residential facilities in which they reside.

  • Quarantine and isolation spaces will be provided for residential students who have been exposed to COVID-19 or become sick. If a student has close contact with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19, the student will receive quarantine instructions from the university.

  • For students who are isolated or quarantined, they should expect to receive a temporary room assignment where they will receive academic support, meal services (inclusive of dietary and religious needs), and support from Student Health Services. Additional details will be provided later in the summer in email communications from residence life and housing operations.

  • All students are encouraged to pack light for the semester. Please refer to the “What to bring to campus” document on the residence life and housing website at: Students will also have the opportunity to ship items to campus. Additional details will be provided later in the summer in email communications from residence life and housing operations.

  • If a student lived on campus in spring 2020 and their belongings were packed and stored by Emory University, these items will be moved to their fall on-campus housing assignment. Unidentified or unclaimed items, or items belonging to students living off campus will be available for claim from a central location at a future date. Details will come in future communications.

  • Parking Services will do their best to accommodate campus parking requests, but space may be limited. More detail on parking will be available over the next two weeks at

For students living in residence halls, our testing-contact tracing-isolation-quarantine strategy will include providing necessary support services on campus such as dedicated housing away from well students, healthcare services, food delivery, laundry service, and access to an academic coordinator to help students maintain their studies. Students living off-campus will also have access to healthcare services and an academic coordinator.

To stay abreast of housing developments, visit

There will be no more than two residents per room, so students currently assigned to triple rooms will be reassigned.  Also, returning students who have been assigned to a double room, and incoming first year students who have requested a double room may request to be reassigned to a single room. All undergraduates living on campus may be reassigned housing as necessary, in order to de-densify certain areas, to set aside rooms for quarantine and isolation, and similar needs.

Yes, the university will allow students to be released from their existing housing agreements.

Housing is working on detailed plans and will have more information to share in early July.

In addition to releasing students from their housing obligations if they want to remain at home or live off-campus, Emory will have access to additional rooms at the Emory Conference Center and Hotel.

Yes, the university will have designated housing for quarantine and isolation.

As campus planning continues, we anticipate providing more details later this summer.

No.  COVID-19 has not been eliminated, and there continue to be a significant number of cases in Georgia. Even with physical distancing protocols, face coverings, and other best practices, there will likely be cases of COVID-19 among Emory students.

June 11, 2020

Campus Programs

Whenever possible, the Campus Life team will engage in virtual programming, and in-person programs will follow physical distancing guidelines and COVID-related university policies.

Officially approved student clubs and organizations should conduct meetings virtually, and any social gatherings should follow occupancy guidelines and observe physical distancing. All in-person campus events should comply with physical distancing guidelines.

June 22, 2020


Campus dining will be available and meal plans will be fully supported. To reduce risks for transmission of disease, we will make more dining available outdoors, and students will have more grab & go options.

We are also closely monitoring the supply chain that supports our food service operations to ensure we have sufficient stock on hand to meet student needs as well as those of the larger campus community.

Food service workers will have specialized training and will comply with all health and hygiene requirements on campus. Additionally, food service workers will have access to enhanced hygiene gear and any specialized personal protective equipment when warranted.

Emory campus dining remains committed to providing a full complement of dining choices and locations for the upcoming academic year.

  • The campus community standard of physical distancing will always be required in campus dining facilities.

  • Students will be required to sanitize hands before entering any campus dining location.

  • Face coverings will always be required when not eating.

  • Most dining locations will be take-out only; dining room seating will be limited or eliminated with occupancy based on Emory guidelines for physical distancing.

  • Self-serve stations have been eliminated across campus. All food will be either grab and go or served by staff following strict safety guidelines.

  • We remain committed to meeting the needs of all community members and will continue to offer Halal, Kosher, made without gluten, vegan, and vegetarian options. We will strive to offer as much variety as possible.

  • We are revising our campus meal plan requirements and offerings for all students to provide greater flexibility. Students assigned to housing on the Clairmont Campus will not be required to enroll in a campus meal plan this year. Students who live off-campus are not required to enroll in a campus meal plan.

  • To expedite service, Dobbs Common Table (residential dining commons) and Cox Hall Food Court will have scaled-down menus and during the first few weeks of the semester may be accessible to “students only” between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday - Friday.

  • The Dobbs Common Table menus will continue to be peanut-free, tree-nut-free, and shellfish-free.

  • Dining will offer mobile ordering for pick-up only at locations where it is possible and practical.

  • Meal swipes may be used in a to-go format at the Eagle Emporium in the Student Center, the SAAC, Woodruff Residential Café, as well as other new locations on campus.

  • Dining is working to bring additional mobile food vendors to campus during peak lunch hours on weekdays.

  • Vending machines on campus will accept Dooley Dollars.

For updated and additional information, visit

We hope to offer additional details, including meal plan pricing and requirements by end of June.

Yes, Dining Services will continue to offer options for specialized diets including Halal, Kosher, Vegan, Vegetarian and made-without-gluten, although variety and choices may be limited.

June 11, 2020

Community Expectations

Prior to course registration, students must submit (or update) their immunization compliance records online at the Student Patient Portal.

We understand the priority of medical management and containment in the event of new cases of COVID-19. Therefore, we are working closely with our Emory Healthcare colleagues and other subject matter experts to establish the protocols for testing, isolation of infected persons, and contact tracing and quarantine of close contacts of infected persons.

In addition, health monitoring processes are being established to engage students as we incorporate self-monitoring into our daily routines. More information on testing and monitoring will be forthcoming.

Emory Student Health will be providing both in-person visits and telehealth appointments, as well as COVID-19 evaluation and testing in the fall.

Before returning to campus, all students must complete a series of onboarding tasks to help them understand what is expected of them to do their part in keeping the Emory campus safe. Students will also be required to enroll in and attend an online training module.

New Student Programs is currently working with campus partners to re-imagine our orientation and move-in experience in a manner that is consistent with  public safety guidelines. As exact dates and details are determined, they will be provided on the Emory Forward and Campus Life websites. This information will also be shared with all incoming students via email.

All students will be expected  to adhere to safety and health-related guidelines, including but not limited to wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distancing.

Everyone is asked to wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth while on campus. Wearing a face covering helps prevent the spread of COVID-19 via respiratory droplets to others and is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The policy is a commitment to the health and safety of the Emory community.

No. While wearing a face covering, you must still practice physical distancing of at least six feet, perform frequent handwashing and avoid touching your face and face covering.

Emory is putting new policies and guidelines in place to better protect the health and safety of the community, relying on directives and recommendations of public health authorities.  Despite these measures, some individuals may become ill with COVID-19, and therefore we understand that some students may be fearful of returning to campus.  . If you are not comfortable with returning to campus:

  • There are online academic options for students who are unable to return to campus or are uncomfortable doing so. Please talk to your academic advisor, program director, department chair, or dean to express your concerns.  You may also contact the Office of Undergraduate Education  to make arrangements to complete the semester in a fully online format.

  • If you have been diagnosed with a condition such as anxiety and receive a medical certification, you may be entitled to accommodations on campus. Contact Accessibility Services.

  • If you need to speak with someone, Counseling and Psychological Services provides a range of services to help with your emotional health. Call (404) 727-7450 or visit

If you are unable to return to campus because you are in the vulnerable/high risk category OR you are living with an individual who is in a vulnerable/high risk category, you will need to make arrangements with your program director, academic advisor, department chair or dean so that you can continue to make progress toward your degree.

June 11, 2020

Future Decisions: More Answers to Come

Emory’s fall opening 2020 decision is a major milestone in moving forward as a community. It does not address additional important questions that you undoubtedly have, for example:

  • How will housing be assigned for students whose study abroad program was canceled?
  • What specific housing will be utilized for quarantine and isolation?
  • Will student lounge spaces be available?
  • When will facilities (ESC, Cox Hall, AMUC, WoodPec) be open?
  • What happens if my roommate gets sick?
  • What happens if we have to vacate campus again? What will trigger a closing?
  • Will I be able to participate in Athletics, Arts, and Greek Life, as well as other extra-curricular activities?

In the weeks to come, we’ll be sharing more information about the plans being developed. Please bookmark and visit this page regularly.

We look forward to seeing you back on campus!