This site provides access to the most up-to-date information on Penn State's response to the coronavirus, as well as related campus-specific information.
KeepLearning.psu.edu: This dedicated website for students offers support for remote learning, resources for academic advising and tutoring, and contact information.
KeepTeaching.psu.edu: Course instructors visiting the site will find information on effective teaching, technology training, webinars and support as they update and teach their courses for the upcoming semester. The site also features a newly created guide for instructors specifically designed for preparing and teaching this fall.
VirusInfo.psu.edu: Penn State’s main website with links to the latest news and answers to frequently asked questions about the University’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The site’s resources page also contains links to dedicated resources for students and employees; information on testing, contact tracing and monitoring for the campus community; classroom and office guidance; and policies on masking and social distancing.
Penn State COVID-19 Compact: Before returning to campus, students are asked to verify that they understand the behavioral requirements and guidelines, via LionPath.
Table of Contents
- Spring 2021 Schedule, Class Scheduling, and Course Delivery Modes
- Weather Delays and Closures
- Required Testing for Students for Spring In-Person Learning Period
- Surveillance Testing Program
- Symptomatic Testing
- Environmental Health and Safety
- Classroom Policies for Spring 2021
- Campus Services
- Points of Contact at Penn State Harrisburg
- Student Care & Advocacy
- Access to Campus for Faculty, Staff, and Visitors
- Meetings, Events, and Gatherings
- Travel Requests
- Employee Support Resources during the COVID19 Pandemic
- The spring 2021 semester will start on Jan. 18; however, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, there will be no classes on this day.
- All classes will be delivered remotely starting on Tuesday, Jan. 19.
- On February 15, classes will transition to their regularly scheduled mode (Note: this date could change based on health and safety factors and guidance from the state).
- Students are strongly discouraged from returning to campus, off-campus locations, and group dwellings (e.g., apartments and fraternities) during the four weeks of the remote period. Students who must return to their campus community before Feb. 15 will be required to order and complete a free COVID-19 test before their arrival. See Testing Requirements..., below.
- There will be no spring break.
- Three Wellness Days, with no classes, have been added: Feb. 9, Mar. 11, and Apr. 7.
- The semester will end on Apr. 30.
- Final exams will be held May 3 through May 7.
Once the Schedule of Courses is posted on October 15, students should meet with their adviser to plan their schedules and ensure they are on track to meet their academic milestones. Students should consult the “Registration Timetable” on the Office of the University Registrar website to determine when they are eligible to register, based on the number of credits earned.
Instructors will deliver their courses using the same flexible instructional modes that were developed for the fall 2020 semester.
For the most current information on Spring 2021 plans, visit keeplearning.psu.edu/spring-2021
Weather Delays and Closures
Please review C-5 Weather Policy as well as additional information for closures during periods of remote learning.
Required Testing for Students for Spring In-Person Learning Period
Required initial testing prior to in-person learning
All students from all campuses, including those who are fully remote or online and live in Centre County or within a 20-mile radius of a Penn State campus, are required to participate in COVID-19 testing and have a negative test result from a University-provided test on file prior to their return to their campus community — this includes students who remained in their campus community after fall semester and throughout winter break. The test results must be received within the 72 hours prior to the students’ return to their campus. A negative result from a third-party test will not be accepted. Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the previous 90 days of their arrival are exempted from the required initial testing. Positive PCR test results can be uploaded in the “Know Your Status” Portal. Positive antigen tests are not accepted.
Students must log in to the “Know Your Status” Portal to start the required initial testing process.
For Students Who Must Return to Campus Communities Prior to Feb. 15
The University is urging students who live off campus to postpone their return to their campus community unless it is necessary for work, academic-program-specific reasons or other important circumstances. Students who must return to their campus community before Feb. 15 will be required to order and complete a free COVID-19 test before their arrival.
Please review the complete details of this process for students who must return to their campus community before the all-remote period ends.
Rapid Re-Testing, Feb. 15-17 at Penn State Harrisburg
The University will conduct free COVID-19 testing on Feb. 15-17 in the Capital Union Building (CUB) of all Penn State Harrisburg students who are taking in-person classes or who are taking a fully remote or online course load while living within a 20-mile radius of campus.
This second round of universal testing is in addition to the required initial testing of all students and does not fulfill the requirement that students must have a negative COVID-19 test result from a University provided test on file 72 hours prior to their return to their campus community (as described above).
- Students will receive an email from [email protected] on Feb. 9 that will include instructions on how to schedule their free testing appointment.
- Upon receipt of the email, students will have 48 hours to schedule their testing appointment.
- Students should schedule their appointment as soon as possible in order to find an appointment time that best fits their schedule.
- Due to the large volume of testing, appointments are highly recommended.
- Students who test positive will be referred to isolation and the University’s contact tracing process will be initiated.
Surveillance Testing Program
Penn State Harrisburg is participating in the University’s surveillance testing program where asymptomatic individuals are being screened for potential exposure to COVID19. Students and employees who are learning, working or living on or near campus will be selected randomly and contacted by email and text message to answer a few screening questions and to schedule an appointment.
- If selected, students and employees are required to complete the free testing and should plan to do so within 24-48 hours after being contacted.
- Surveillance testing at Penn State Harrisburg is being conducted in Student Health Services, 220 Capital Union Building
- Testing is available M-F 12-5 in person, no weekends, through Feb. 14. Regular hours, M-F 8-5 will resume Feb 15
The University has contracted with a COVID-19 testing company to conduct rapid turnaround testing for symptomatic or suspected positive students. Penn State Harrisburg students who believe they are experiencing symptoms will need to:
- make a telemedicine appointment with Student Health Services at Penn State Harrisburg
- or the 24/7 nurse advice line at 814-863-4463, for evaluation
After this health screening, if a student is deemed in need of a test, they will be directed to the symptomatic testing center outside, adjacent to the CUB.
The testing results will be shared with the student as well as University Health Services, to enact contact tracing if needed. Contact tracing is supported out of University Park, and all individuals (students and employees) that were potentially exposed will be contacted and provided further instructions.
Faculty and Staff
Faculty and staff who believe they are experiencing symptoms should consult with their personal health care provider. If an employee receives a positive test result, they or their supervisor should contact Penn State Occupational Medicine at [email protected] or 814-863-8492, and Occupational Medicine will provide guidance on the next steps to initiate any work adjustments that need to take place, as well as initiate the contact tracing process.
Environmental Health and Safety
As part of the preparations for the return to campus of faculty, staff, and students, the college has undertaken numerous environmental health and safety measures, including:
- Upgraded air filters and increases to the amount of fresh air introduced into buildings through HVAC systems.
- UV air sanitizers installed in HVAC systems and portable UV air sanitizers to clean indoor air.
- Basic disinfectant materials located in classrooms, office suites and other common areas on campus.
- Use of CDC recommended cleaning materials to disinfect high touch surfaces on a regular basis.
- Installation of magnetic door hold opens for stairways, where feasible.
- Conversion of 20 water fountains to touch-free handwashing stations.
- Placement of 170 hand sanitizer stations throughout campus, with a focus on high traffic areas.
- Installation of Plexiglas barriers in some high transaction spaces as well as the installation of clear vinyl sheeting or a reconfiguration of some workspaces and suites to provide additional separation and minimize close in-person contact.
- High-visibility placement of safety and directional signage across campus.
Classroom Policies for Spring 2021
To help create a safer learning, living and working environment for all students, faculty and staff, new classroom policies will be in effect (starting Fall 2020) across Penn State’s campuses in alignment with public health recommendations and Gov. Tom Wolf’s requirements for higher education institutions. Specific policy guidance has been posted to the Office of Student Conduct website.
Changes to classroom and instructional delivery include:
- Limited seating in classrooms and labs, to continue social distancing.
- The addition of new, temporary classroom space in areas such as the CUB Events Room and Gallery Lounge.
- Remote delivery of any class with more than 100 students.
- A combination of in-person, remote and hybrid instruction, with accommodations made for students who miss class due to illness.
- Implementation of the University’s return-to-research protocols to maintain social distancing and other safety measures in all research labs.
- Expanded Wifi throughout campus and the creation of "Remote Learning Spaces" — areas with strong wireless connections where individuals can sit to virtually attend classes or do work with social distancing and mask wearing enforced.
To reduce the risk of widespread virus transmission, wearing face masks and social distancing will be required for all students and employees in classrooms, labs, offices and campus buildings. Students and employees also should practice social distancing, avoid large gatherings and wear face masks while on campus, as well as within their local communities in line with local and state requirements.
Two contact tracing student referral forms are now available; one allows students to self-report concerns and the other allows individuals to refer students who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who may have been exposed.
Complete details are available in a July 1 release from the University on Masking and Social Distancing Policies.
Admissions & Financial Aid
Prospective students: schedule a virtual visit! Connect with us and learn more about the admissions process, academic program options, student engagement opportunities, and what it is like to become part of the Penn State Harrisburg community.
The Penn State Harrisburg Admissions & Financial Aid team is also available Mon.-Fri. from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. to meet with prospective students and families via phone or online Zoom meetings.
- To schedule your appointment with an Admissions Counselor (First Year or Transfer), contact [email protected] or 717-948-6250
- To schedule your appointment with a Financial Aid Counselor, contact [email protected] or 717-948- 6307
Students can schedule a meeting with their assigned adviser through Starfish. If your adviser does not use Starfish, you will need to email your assigned adviser regarding appointments. If you don't know who your adviser is, you can find their contact info on the top right of your LionPATH homepage under "My Advisers."
As noted above, students are encouraged to consult with their academic adviser as they work to make changes to their schedule.
Advisers are able to meet with students over the phone, via Zoom, or through email. You will need to communicate with your assigned adviser to confirm how you will meet remotely. If you do not have an adviser listed, we can connect you to an adviser. Adviser assignment questions or any general advising-related questions can be directed to: [email protected]
The John Crain Kunkel Career Center will be available, remotely, to all students and alumni. We are here to help you with: resumes, mock interviews, internship and job searches, graduate school, and all other career/internship related needs. You may schedule your virtual appointment via email, [email protected] or by phone, 717-948-6260.
Housing and Food Services
Room and Board Rate Changes for Spring 2021
Room and Board rates for the Spring 2021 semester have been adjusted in recognition of the University’s decision to delay the start of in-person classes until Feb. 15.
The Penn State Harrisburg Library will continue to support faculty, staff, and students through a variety of remote offerings. Please review the Available Library Services page for complete details on textbooks, online databases, research consultations, and more.
Students can schedule an online tutoring session for Subject Area Tutoring, Writing, or Academic Success Coaching via Starfish. All online tutoring utilizes Zoom. A Zoom link will be provided on Starfish. All Subject Area Tutoring appointments must be made by 7 a.m. the day of the scheduled meeting time.
Questions about online tutoring or general Learning Center questions can be asked at [email protected].
|Questions concerning...||Referral||Phone Number|
|Student health||Student Health Services
Refer to SHS homepage for hours and full contact info.
24/7 Nurse Advice Line also available for after-hours care.
|Classes/Coursework - Students||
Students should contact their individual faculty members in the manner that they typically communicate with them (e.g. Faculty/Staff Directory as needed., email, etc.); refer to the
Please review the Student FAQ on the general PSU Virus Info site.
More hints and tips are available at
|Classes/Coursework - Faculty||Center for Teaching Excellence
|Computer labs, getting online||Refer to the ITS website for ways to seek help.|
|Academic advising and tutoring||
As noted above, students are encouraged to consult with their academic adviser as they work to make changes to their schedule.
|Counseling or psychological services||
CAPS staff is available via phone Monday through Friday, 8AM - 5PM.
|Disability services or academic accommodations||Student DisAbility Resources||717-948-6025|
|International student support||International Student Support Services||717-948-6273|
|Other student concerns||Student Affairs||717-948-6180|
|Safety and security||University Police & Public Safety||717-948-6232|
|On-campus housing and dining||Housing and Food Services||Food Services: 717-948-6241
Residence Life: 717-948-6269
|From the media||Marketing and Communications||717-948-4367|
|Library/Research Consultation||Penn State Harrisburg Library||717-948-6070|
|All other questions||Marketing and Communications||717-948-4367|
Please note that many offices and support units may have modified hours or contact methods during this period of remote instruction and social distancing.
Review our Contact Us page for a comprehensive listing of departmental contact information, or search our Campus Directory by name or unit.
Student Care & Advocacy
Student Emergency Fund
Penn State, in collaboration with Barnes and Noble College, has established a Student Emergency Funds Program to help meet the immediate needs of students experiencing crisis situations. Provided in the form of one-time awards, the value of the awards range in response to the specific needs of the student but typically does not exceed $1,000. Visit the Student Affairs website for information regarding eligibility or to share a concern. Direct questions to 814-863-2020 or [email protected].
WeCare Food Pantry
The on-campus Food Pantry is available to any Penn State Harrisburg student in need of food. To place an order, please complete the on-line order form on Engage. Please first complete the “Pantry Intake Form” if you haven’t already completed one for this year. Once your order is processed (within 2 business days), you will receive a notification of where and when to pick up your order.
Access to Campus for Faculty and Staff
Limited Access Requests
Faculty and staff may request one-time or recurring (limited) access to campus if a visit is required in support of remote learning or the delivery of instruction, mission critical administrative tasks, or similar. Note that access first needs prior approval by one's immediate supervisor, who will be copied on the access request form submission.
Faculty and staff should not visit campus without obtaining permission to do so, so that we can keep the campus sanitized and safe for our community.
Return to On-Site Work (ROSW) Requests
Faculty and staff who have been approved for Return to On-Site Work (ROSW) by their supervisor may be asked to complete a request via the form below. Please do not select this request option without conferring with your supervisor. Note that ROSW requests may require additional information after submission of this form.
Visitors, including Visiting Scholars
Limiting the density of the on-campus population reduces the chances of incidental contact that could spread illness. To further reduce the chances of exposure, the University has developed protocols to limit public access to campus buildings. Units are strongly encouraged to continue to engage with visitors remotely whenever possible.
Individuals wishing to have a non-employee visit campus for any period of time must make a request to their unit executive. Examples of visitors include, but are not limited to, those wishing to audit a class, those wishing to participate in a meeting in person, invited speakers, guest lecturers/speakers in a class, or research collaborators making a short-term visit.
Visiting Scholars, defined as those whose applications have been approved and have a visa stamp, may come to Penn State as planned. Those who have not yet obtained a visa stamp are asked to reschedule their arrival until Feb. 1, 2021. This guidance will be revisited monthly and revised as State Department and other public health guidance evolves.
More information is available in a July 6 directive from the University on meetings, visitors, and Visiting Scholars.
Meetings, Events, and Gatherings
Effective July 1, 2020, requests for meetings of more than 10 but fewer than 250 participants must be submitted for approval to unit executives. With approval, meetings can be scheduled at campuses located in counties that are in the “green” phase of reopening under commonwealth guidelines, taking into account the maximum occupancy of the meeting room, which must allow attendees to maintain at least six feet of distance between participants. No large events with more than 249 attendees may be scheduled.
Details on meetings at campuses that are in the “yellow” or “red” phase, or travel between campuses that are in these phases, can be found in the University's FAQ on meetings and in-person gatherings.
All Penn State employees must follow existing travel guidance.
Effective July 1, 2020, all Penn State employees must seek permission for University-affiliated domestic travel, including air travel, from their unit executive. Employees are asked to limit travel where possible and consider virtual options that might replace or reduce the need to travel.
Employee Support Resources during the COVID19 Pandemic
Penn State employees have access to many wellness services that could be especially beneficial during the current pandemic, a challenging time full of stress and anxiety. The Employee Support Team has compiled informational pieces to address a variety of needs, such as the Employee Assistance Program, tips for helping your child learn remotely, childcare resources, and more. Please visit the HR Health and Wellness page to see the resources available to PSU employees.