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2020 Graduating Students

We understand the stress and disappointment in having changes made to when and how classes are held and the cancellation of university events and gatherings. Please know that we are making decisions based on our desire to protect the health and safety of our community from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Following is important information to assist you as we seek to respond to this unprecedented public health issue.

Frequently Asked Questions


Vanderbilt launched online/remote classes on Monday, March 16. Assignments and assessment resumed that week. Faculty are aware of the difficulties many students are facing as they move off-campus or cope with other significant changes in their lives resulting from the current crisis. Faculty too are trying to manage many challenges, and we are asking students to be patient as faculty work to continue to teach.

We made the decision to cancel classes on Monday, March 9, because several students returned to campus who have since reported being exposed to an individual who tested positive for COVID-19. The individual who tested positive is being treated at home and did not return to campus. Based on our desire to protect the health and safety of our community from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), all university classes are canceled March 10-13. Out of an abundance of caution and based on public health recommendations and best practices, we will move fully to online and alternative learning for the remainder of the semester. Online and alternative learning will launch Monday, March 16, for undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

Campus and General Questions

For more information on Commencement and conferral of degrees for the Class of 2020, including FAQs, visit the Commencement website.
  • The Southeastern Conference has announced that all athletics activities, including competitions, team and individual practices, meetings and other organized gatherings, will be suspended through at least April 15, due to continuing developments related to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • SEC athletics programs will cease practices, individual and team workouts effective the end of the day Friday, March 13. Team meetings shall conclude no later than 5 pm local time on Monday, March 16.
  • SEC member institutions will continue to provide their student-athletes with care and support to meet needs in areas including academics, medical care, mental health and wellness, nutrition and housing as needed.
  • The program schedules impacted by this announcement are those of baseball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, and track and field. Events involving two Vanderbilt programs affiliated with other conferences—bowling (Southern Bowling League) and lacrosse (American Athletic Conference)—are suspended.
  • Vanderbilt Athletics has suspended numerous activities. View an ongoing list of what actions have been taken.

COVID-19 Exposure, Health and Wellness

  • Those who believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should self-isolate per doctor's guidelines.If someone has come in contact with individuals who are known positives and the individual displays symptoms of COVID-19, they should immediately seek medical testing.
  • Students on campus should contact the Student Health Center, while faculty, staff and postdocs on campus should contact the Occupational Health Clinic for further evaluation.
  • The CDC has issued information regarding symptomsprevention and treatment, as well as a number of other frequently asked questions and answers.


  • Vanderbilt Student Health Center has monitoring in place for students who have traveled internationally within the past 14 days or otherwise come in contact with a case of COVID-19. Student Health will extend its hours on an as-needed basis and notify the student body through email communications.
  • Students should complete the self-report/self-monitoring survey at if they have been exposed to COVID or have travelled internationally

  • Students who have left the Nashville metro area should contact their local health care provider.

Campus Residents

  • Campus residents who have traveled to or through any country outside of the United States within the past 14 days should self-isolate with their families in the USA.

  • Campus residents who do not have a family home in the USA or who have otherwise come in contact with a case of COVID-19 should contact the Office of Housing and Residential Experience (615/322-2591, at least 72 hours prior to their arrival on campus.

  • Any student not complying with Vanderbilt’s notification and self-isolation practices would be subject to immediate disciplinary procedures through Student Accountability.

  • Any student with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection (cough, fever or shortness of breath) should be tested.  Any student who has traveled to a CDC Level-3 country within the past 14 days or has had contact with someone who has been infected with COVID-19 is expected to self-report by completing the self-report/self-monitoring survey at and abide by self-isolation practices.
  • Students who believe other students have failed to comply with self-notification and self-isolation practices should report their concerns to the Office of Student Accountability or the Office of the Dean of Students.
The Office of the Provost is working with students to minimize disruptions to their academic progress during the isolation period. Staff should contact their HR consultant to discuss how to find the appropriate solution so that they can self-isolate. Staff can find their HR consultant here: Faculty should contact their dean to seek assistance while they must remain away from work. Postdocs should be in touch with their faculty advisor for assistance.
A team of university officials, including Vanderbilt’s Global Safety and Security Manager and Vanderbilt Incident Response for Travel (VIRT) team, is monitoring the outbreak of the respiratory illness COVID-19 worldwide. Since this crisis first began, the university has been working closely with infection control experts at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and local and state public health officials, and has been reviewing all guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as it does with all public health concerns. We are in regular communication with the Vanderbilt community regarding travel restrictions, policies and recommendations. Information has been shared with students, faculty, staff, postdocs and parents, including specific considerations and guidance for international students and scholars. We have developed protocols to limit potential exposure, working with officials in Student and Occupational Health to provide information to returning travelers regarding self-isolation and health care monitoring procedures. The university is also working continues to prevent the spread of illness through enhanced cleaning and disinfection. Staff are cleaning these areas following the normal cleaning protocols for each type of space, followed by application of the disinfectant cleaning products Oxivir Five 16, Oxivir 1 Wipes and PURELL Professional Surface Disinfectant Spray. All disinfectants meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s criteria for use against COVID-19. Facilities has designated additional personnel resources to help assist with this enhanced cleaning and disinfecting process. The university has identified the following priority spaces that are being cleaned and disinfected more frequently due to being located in high-traffic areas:
  • Restrooms, locker rooms and showers
  • Lobbies, lounges, break rooms and hallways
  • Classrooms, conference rooms, lecture halls, dining sitting areas and libraries sitting areas (spaces where large groups of people congregate)
  • Private offices
Certain areas in these locations are receiving increased attention twice a day, including high-touch points such as door handles, light switches, handrails, interior doors, door push plates and the flat surfaces in common spaces. Staff also have begun to power wash restrooms in common areas, locker room showers and multiple-use shower rooms throughout campus. Campus early childhood care and education facilities and athletic facilities locker rooms and showers are being deep cleaned and then electrostatic fogged using a disinfectant product. The university is working with vendors and contractors to maintain these products and services to continue this cleaning schedule moving forward. Free-standing hand sanitizing stations have also been installed across campus. In addition, campus-wide changes include:
  • All classes moved fully to online and alternative learning for the remainder of the semester.
  • All undergraduate residential students were required to move out by Sunday, March 15.
  • Any remaining students who were granted an extension due to extenuating circumstances must stay in their residences as much as possible, avoid congregating in common spaces, and practice social distancing.
  • The university restricted access to dining facilities and implemented new safety protocols to promote social distancing for all remaining dining and food delivery on campus.
  • Vanderbilt instituted an initial remote work period for staff and faculty and recommended they work remotely following their manager’s and/or department chair/dean’s instructions.
  • On-campus university research laboratories are transitioning to only essential activities by Wednesday, March 18, at the latest.
  • VandyRide service has been suspended. Vanderbilt University Public Safety will continue to provide an on-call medical transportation service.
  • The David Williams II Recreation and Wellness Center is closed until further notice.
Vanderbilt is committed to creating and sustaining a safe and inclusive campus community. Students should not hesitate to contact the Title IX & Student Discrimination Office. Faculty, staff and students should contact the Equal Employment Opportunity office to file a report about such conduct.

General Information about COVID-19

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses. CDC does have specific guidance for travelers.

Move Out

All undergraduate residential students should make plans to move out by March 15. We are actively working on plans to assist undergraduate residential students with move out and are evaluating an approach to address on-campus housing and dining fees for the remaining month of classes. We will send details about those plans to the students and families. Students who need to remain on campus beyond this date will receive further information.


No new visitors should be hosted on campus during the remote work period that lasts until April 11, 2020.  Once visitors are allowed back on campus, any visitor who has traveled abroad within the past 14 days must self-isolate for a total of 14 days before coming to campus.

No. However, the university strongly recommends that everyone reconsider even personal travel abroad at this time.  Anyone returning from international travel will be required to self-isolate for 14 days before returning campus.
Consistent with CDC guidance, Vanderbilt is instructing those community members to self-isolate for 14 days. Those who need to self-isolate are being instructed to notify the university in order to receive healthcare monitoring and support and to protect the health and safety of our community.


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