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Students and Families

Latest Updates

Reminder: Schedule Your Flu Shot (Oct. 23)

If you haven’t scheduled an appointment yet, do so now. And if you schedule your flu shot at the stadium now until Oct. 27, you can complete the required COVID-19 surveillance testing too. Read full update

Off-Campus Monitoring, Halloween This Year, Weekend Activities (Oct. 22)

We have just over a month to go until residential instruction concludes. To ensure we can remain on campus until that time, it’s on all of us to remain vigilant and committed to good health practices. We cannot be complacent. Read full update

Reminder about Fall 2020 Modified Calendar: Upcoming Sunday Instructional Dates (Oct. 22)

As a reminder to students, faculty and staff, there are two Sunday instructional dates remaining in the semester: Oct. 25 and Nov. 8. Read full update

More Information on Fall Semester Checkout, Zoom Sessions Scheduled (Oct. 20)

We are writing as a follow up to our Oct. 14 message regarding end-of-semester checkout procedures and to provide clarity about what is expected before students depart for winter break. Read full update

Next Round of COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Begins Oct. 20 (Oct. 16)

Beginning Tuesday, Oct. 20, the Syracuse University Public Health Team will begin a third round of COVID-19 surveillance testing for all residential students. All students—including those who live off campus—are required to participate in this important surveillance testing program. Read full update

Public Health Update and Status of In-Person Activities (Oct. 15)

Since early last week, when we first detected an emerging cluster of COVID-19 positive cases among students living off-campus, the Syracuse University Public Health Team and the Onondaga County Health Department have worked aggressively and urgently to mitigate the potential for additional exposures within our campus community. I’m writing today to provide you an update on those efforts and our current health and safety situation. Read full update

End-of-Semester Checkout Procedures (Oct. 14)

When you depart your on-campus housing for Thanksgiving, you will not return to campus again until January 2021. As such, your move-out experience will be considerably different this year. Read full update

COVID-19 Update: Travel Reminder, In-Person Learning, Health and Safety (Oct. 9)

Vice Chancellor Michael Haynie addresses the subject of travel outside Central New York and provides an update related to the current health and safety situation on campus. Read full update

See all updates 

More Information for Students and Families

For Prospective Students: There is currently no disruption to the Admissions process for our residential and online degree programs. For more information on these programs, visit the relevant Admissions page for the program of your interest.

Flu Shots: Flu shots are required for students—unless you have a compelling religious or medical exemption. Beginning Oct. 5 and throughout the month, flu shots will be available, at no cost to you, at two locations: the Stadium and the Skybarn on South Campus. Appointments for the on-site flu vaccine clinics are required. Students may also choose to receive a flu vaccine at a pharmacy or from another health care provider and provide the necessary documentation to the University. More information is provided here.

Pre-arrival COVID-19 Testing: All Syracuse University undergraduate and graduate students are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result before returning to campus (moving into on-campus housing or returning for in-person classes). This includes students who live off campus. The only exception to this requirement is for those who opted to enroll in online-only instruction and therefore will not be on campus or accessing campus facilities this fall. Learn more about pre-arrival COVID-19 testing.

Daily Health Screening Questionnaire Requirement: To comply with New York State requirements, faculty and staff coming to campus for work or research must complete an online Daily Health Screening Questionnaire prior to arriving on campus each day. Within the questionnaire, instructions are provided as to how those working on campus should proceed if they, or any member of their household, has been directed to self-isolate or quarantine or they are experiencing symptoms. Students must also complete a daily health screening prior to accessing campus through the Barnes Center at The Arch.

Campus Study Spaces: To provide students with more spaces for studying, participating in classes via Zoom and working on assignments in between classes, the University has identified more than 50 classrooms across campus, as well as other campus locations, that are open and available for students to use throughout the day. The full list of locations, and the dates and times these locations are available, can be found on the Campus Study Spaces webpage.

Virtual Engagement Opportunities and Resources: Students can find ways to connect via online resources like the Wellness Portal for health and well-being options, the Cuse Activities portal for student activities and organization information, and the University Events Calendar for virtual events. Students can also connect to services through the Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience, Hendricks Chapel and the Center for Learning and Student Success.

Additional Resources for Students and Families

Information for International Students

ICE Updates - Fall 2020 FAQs (Aug. 7)

The most recent Frequently Asked Questions about Fall 2020 enrollment for international students are here.   

What are the requirements for international student enrollment in the Fall 2020 semester?
Continuing students (had Active SEVIS records and were enrolled on March 9, 2020) inside or outside the U.S. may enroll full-time (undergrads = 12 credit hours*; graduate students = 9 credit hours**) in in-person, hybrid and or online courses from within the U.S. or outside the U.S. and maintain their SEVIS records.

New students inside the U.S. must enroll full-time (undergrads = 12 credit hours; graduate students = 9 credit hours) to maintain immigration status but cannot be enrolled 100% online.  They must take some course(s) in person or in hybrid format.

New students outside the U.S. may enroll part-time or full-time online.  U.S. immigration rules regarding enrollment do not apply to you because you do not have an immigration status.  Your U.S. immigration status will only begin when you come to the U.S. to pursue your studies.

What happens if the University switches to completely online instruction during the Fall 2020 semester?
International students pursuing studies in the U.S. in the Fall semester would be allowed to remain in the U.S. and complete the semester fully online (like they were allowed to do in the Spring 2020 semester). They will maintain their immigration status in the U.S.  They will not be subject to removal proceedings based on their online study as long as they otherwise maintain their status. 

What are the consequences to my immigration status if I cannot return to/arrive in the U.S. for Fall 2020 semester but am enrolled full-time for online courses?
Continuing students will continue to have “Active” immigration records if they are enrolled full-time.  We will not terminate your immigration record.   The Fall 2020 semester will count as a semester of full-time enrollment toward the required one academic year (Fall and Spring or Spring and Fall) of full-time enrollment (in the U.S.) required for eligibility for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT).  The Five Month Rule that requires a new SEVIS record if a student’s record is terminated and he/she remains outside the U.S. for five months or more will not apply because your SEVIS record will remain Active.

New students who cannot arrive in the U.S. for the Fall 2020 semester will not have an Active immigration status until they arrive in the U.S. to study.  You will need to be enrolled full time in the U.S. for two semesters (Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 or Fall 2021 and Spring 2022) to be eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT).     

If I am a continuing student and am enrolled online for the Fall semester, will I be able to enter the U.S. on any day during the Fall semester?
While continuing students are allowed to enroll in all online courses within or outside the U.S., immigration has not provided guidance on entry to the U.S. after the semester has begun.  Immigration records include the start date of the semester.  Our best advice is that even if you begin the semester online but plan to come to the U.S., you arrive in the U.S. as close to the semester start date as possible.  Significant delayed arrivals will likely result in questions at the port of entry.  Visa issuance delays or the unavailability of flight tickets might explain a reasonable delay. Port of entry officials might question whether you need to enter the U.S. at all if you have spent most of the semester in your home country taking classes online.          

What do I need to enter the U.S. for the Spring 2021 semester if I enroll full-time online from outside the U.S. for Fall 2020 semester?  
Continuing students will need their valid passport, a valid F-1 visa and an I-20 signed for travel from within the past 12 months.  A travel signature obtained more than 12 months before the date you will arrive in the United States in January 2021 will need to be updated.  The Center for International Services will announce procedures for obtaining an updated travel signature if you need one after the Fall semester begins. 

New students who were initially admitted for the Fall 2020 semester who studied online in the Fall semester will need their valid passport, a valid F-1 visa and a new I-20 with a January 2021 program start date.  The Center for International Services will begin issuing replacement I-20s for Spring 2021 arrival after the Fall semester begins.  An F-1 visa may not be issued more than 120 days before the program start date indicated on the I-20.  You will not be able to apply for a visa for the Spring semester that begins on January 19, 2021 until or after September 20, 2020.

What do I need to do if I was admitted to the University for Fall 2020 semester but wish to defer my attendance to Spring/Summer or Fall 2021? 
Students admitted for the Fall 2020 semester who will not begin their studies in the Fall 2020 semester should contact their academic department (graduate students)/School or College academic advisor (undergraduate students) to defer their attendance to another semester.  A new I-20 will be issued with a new program start date.  You will use that I-20 to apply for an F-1 visa, which you can do no more than 120 days before the start date of the semester.    

Contact Information

Syracuse University Center for International Services: 1.315.443.2457 or

Additional Resources for Students and Families