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Spring Semester Student FAQ's

Class Schedules

When do classes end?
The last day of classes for the Day Division is Wednesday, May 5. There is a Reading Day on May 6, and final exams begin on May 7.

The last of day classes for continuing education and graduate courses is Tuesday, May 11. See more on the academic calendar.

If the university cancels spring break, will I be held harmless if I am unable to attend classes that week due to a pre-scheduled commitment? 
The university currently does not have any plans to cancel spring break.

Will there be a Pass/No Pass option available this spring?
At this time, grading for Spring 2021 will use the standard letter grading system. Note that the university catalogue does include a standard pass/fail policy:

Pass/Fail Credits

Students may elect to take one normally graded course for pass/fail credit during each of the junior and senior years under the following conditions:

  • Such a course may not be undertaken to satisfy major, minor, support, competency, or general education requirements.
  • A Pass grade will earn credit toward graduation but is not used in computing the GPA.
  • A Fail grade, however, will not earn credit toward graduation but will be used in computing the GPA.

A student must obtain permission to undertake such course work from both his/her instructor and the Chairperson of the department in which the course is to be taken and the permission must be submitted in writing to the Registrar’s Office within the first two weeks of classes. Thereafter, it may not be rescinded and no letter grade that carries a quality-point value may be awarded for that course.


COVID-19 Testing

When will on-campus COVID-19 testing begin?
On-campus testing is available during winter break on Wednesdays and Thursdays (January 6, 7, 13 and 14) for on-campus students and employees. Please use the CoVerified app to view the schedule and schedule a test. 

At the start of the spring semester, testing will be provided to residential students during their move-in beginning on January 18.

Commuter students with in-person classes can access testing beginning on January 25. Students can schedule their test using the CoVerified app. 

All students who are living on campus, taking an in-person class, participating in athletics, participating in an in-person placement, or working on campus should get tested every week. 

Free COVID-19 testing is available to on-campus students and employees who are not experiencing symptoms or have known exposure. Testing is available weekly Monday through Thursday. For more information about the schedule or to schedule a test, please use the CoVerified app. 

If a student is experiencing symptoms or if they believe that they have been exposed to COVID-19, they should not go to O’Keefe for testing. Instead, they should contact counseling and health services (CHS) through the health portal or call 978.542.6413. CHS will provide health care and public health guidance, and they will connect students with other testing options.CHS provides additional COVID testing for symptomatic of exposed residential students by appointment.  

What kind of COVID-19 testing is offered and how soon do we get our results?
The COVID-19 testing offered on campus is a molecular PCR test administered as a self-swab. Results are typically received within 24 - 48 hours and will be available in your CoVerified app. 

Is COVID-19 testing mandatory for commuter students taking in-person classes?
Yes. Commuter students taking in-person classes are required to get weekly COVID-19 tests for the weeks that they are on campus. Failure to meet this requirement will result in a RED, or “restricted,” CoVerified badge until they are tested and results received. 

What happens if a commuter student is not able to come to campus during the times that COVID-19 testing if offered?
If a commuter student with an in-person class is unable to come to campus during testng hours, they can get tested off campus at a community Stop the Spread* site and upload their results to the CoVerified app. In the app, under the “report” tab there is an opportunity to upload test results. Once the results are reviewed and accepted, the student’s CoVerified badge will indicate that they are “cleared” as long as they are also doing their daily symptom check and are not currently experiencing symptoms.

The Stop the Spread sites are free and available to Massachusetts residents who have no symptoms or known exposures. These sites use the same kind of test that is used on campus.

*Please be aware that most of the Stop the Spread sites have long waits, and that it will take a day to receive your results and another day for the results to be reviewed and accepted once they are uploaded. Since the testing on campus is fast and the process is integrated, we encourage students to commute to campus during testing hours if possible as this may be more convenient. 

Are all commuter students eligible to schedule an on-campus COVID-19 test or just those with in-person classes?
On-campus testing is available for all students with in-person classes or other in-person, on-campus responsibilities. For example, this could include student athletes or student employees. 

If a fully remote student wishes to come to campus to use the library or the fitness center, or to participate in an on-campus activity, they could participate in on-campus testing during those weeks that they come to campus. 

If a student is fully remote, they will also have access to the CoVerified app and their status will say “remote.” If fully remote students plan to come to campus, they can change their status to “return to campus” by selecting this option on the top right corner of the home screen and following the prompts. 

Badges will read “restricted” in RED until these students complete their daily symptom check and participate in COVID-19 testing. They can schedule a free COVID-19 test on campus using the app. Students must then receive a negative COVID-19 test result and not be experiencing symptoms in order to receive a“cleared” GREEN badge on CoVerified, allowing them to access campus spaces. 

How will COVID-19 testing be enforced?
Failure to meet the weekly testing requirement will result in a RED restricted CoVerified badge. The CoVerified badge may need to be displayed in order to access various on-campus locations and services this semester, such as classrooms, the library, the testing site, the Gassett Fitness Center, and Marsh Dining Hall.

Residential students who do not comply with weekly testing will also be referred to community standards. Continued noncompliance will result in the deactivation of the campus clipper card and students may face suspension from the residence halls or the university. 

Is daily symptom monitoring required for on-campus students?
Yes, residential and on campus commuters must report their symptoms daily on the CoVerified app when they come to campus. Students experiencing any new symptoms that could be associated with COVID-19 will be “restricted” and should not come to campus or go to class this day. Instead, they should contact counseling and health services at 978.542.6413 for additional guidance and support. 

How will daily symptom monitoring be enforced?
Failure to meet the daily symptom monitoring requirement will result in a RED restricted CoVerified badge. The CoVerified badge may need to be displayed in order to access various on-campus locations and services this semester, such as classrooms, the library, the testing site, Gassett Fitness Center, and Marsh Dining Hall.

The reporting of ANY new symptom will restrict an individual for 24 hours. You should NOT come to campus or access any in-person services without further consultation with counseling and health services at 978.542.6413 or by using the health portal to message a provider or schedule video telemedicine appointment.

Are faculty and staff who work or teach on campus required to be tested for COVID-19 and monitor for symptoms?
Faculty and staff who are working on campus can also use the CoVerified app for their daily symptom report, and they are strongly encouraged to get tested every week. Faculty and staff who experience any new symptom or believe that they have been exposed to COVID-19 should not come to work and instead should contact HR for guidance. 

Are all students required to get the flu vaccine?
Any student with an in-person class, job, or other on-campus responsibility is required to receive their flu vaccine prior to the spring semester. Students should upload their proof of the flu vaccine into their health portal.  

We will be checking to make sure students are compliant with the flu vaccine during move-in and during the first week of in person classes.

Are faculty and staff that work or teach on campus required to get the flu vaccine?
No, however it is strongly recommended that everyone receive the flu vaccine this year. 

Will there be flu clinics available on campus?
Flu clinics were available throughout the fall semester. We will have a few flu clinics during the last two weeks of January at the O’Keefe Center during COVID-19 testing times. Otherwise, appointments must be made on an individual basis with counseling and health services, pending vaccine supply. 

What is the deadline for getting the flu vaccine?
Residential students and students with an in-person class, job, or other on-campus responsibility are required to receive their flu vaccine prior to the spring semester. Compliance with the flu requirement will be verified during move-in for residential students, and during the first week of in-person classes for commuter students with in person classes. 

Housing/Campus Life 

Will I be reimbursed for housing and dining for the dates that I am no longer able to move in? 
The spring semester calendar was originally scheduled for residence hall move-ins on January 18. We added move-in dates on January 16 and January 17 prior to the Commonwealth's mandate to create more space between student move-ins. We were not charging students for these additional days. Once the Commonwealth’s mandate was issued, we returned to the original move-in date of January 18. Thus, there is no impact on student's bills as residence hall billing does not begin until January 18. 

I no longer wish to live on campus due to this change. Is it still possible for me to pull out of my housing contract? 
Students that cancel their housing between January 6 -17 will be assessed a $250 cancellation fee per their housing license agreement. Residential students were notified of the January 5 housing cancellation deadline in their license agreement email from residence life. This deadline was also included in the fall semester closing information. Residential students who wish to cancel their spring housing will need to email residence life from their SSU email address along with the reason for their cancellation. The email for residence life is

What can I do on campus this semester as a residential student? Will there be any in person events or activities?  
The campus life and recreation and residential life departments are continuing to plan for in person activities with limited capacity, as well as virtual programs. The Gassett Fitness Center is scheduled to reopen in early spring (hooray!). The Frederick E. Berry Library, Marsh Dining Commons, and Starbucks will also be open. 

Are students able to dine together?
In-seat dining will continue to be available in accordance with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ guidelines. At this time, indoor dining will be available daily until 9:30 pm. Students are able to sit together if they choose to do so, although there cannot be more than six people together at a table. Students need to wear masks when entering and moving around the dining hall and should only remove their masks when eating and drinking. 

We encourage students to be mindful of being in close contact with others, including while dining. Being in close close proximity (six feet or less) with someone for more than 15 minutes could lead to exposure and the need to quarantine if the other person(s) were to test positive for COVID-19.

A reminder that students should access the dining hall only if they are not experiencing any symptoms and have been following the campus health and safety protocols, including weekly testing. Students may have to show their CoVerified badge to demonstrate that they are cleared prior to entering the dining hall.  

Will the Gassett Fitness Center be opening this spring? 
The Gassett Fitness Center is working on safely reopening at a limited capacity for the spring semester. At this time, reopening is slated for mid-February and will be available by reservation only. All plans are subject to change based on state and local guidelines. 

Are off-campus students allowed to come to campus to use the library or eat a meal in the dining hall? 
Yes, commuter students who are fully remote can come to campus if they comply with our health and safety protocols and are able to present a “cleared” badge on their CoVerified app. 

Students who are fully remote have access to the CoVerified app and their status will say “remote.” If a remote student plans to come to campus, they can change their status from “remote” to “return to campus” by selecting this option on the top right corner of the home screen and following the prompts. 

Once the student’s status is changed to “return to campus,” the badge will say “restricted” until their COVID-19 testing and daily symptom checks are complete. Students can schedule a free on-campus COVID-19 test using the CoVerified app. If they receive a negative test result and are not experiencing symptoms, they will receive a “cleared” badge on CoVerified. A “cleared” badge may be required to access various campus spaces such as classrooms, the library, the Gassett Fitness Center and Marsh Dining hall. 

Will the university be expanding opportunities for students to connect virtually? 
During the spring semester, students will be able to engage with their peers in a variety of ways. A list of student engagement opportunities, student organizations and interest groups can be found here.

In addition, campus life and recreation continues to provide a variety of engagement opportunities through its “Bringing SSU to YOU!” programming, including take and make, ship to you and virtual events. Full details about “Bringing SSU to YOU!” can be found here.

Will we still have spring break? 
Spring break is still planned as scheduled. The dates are March 13-19, 2021.

When does the library reopen? And what are the library’s hours?  
The library reopened on January 5, 2021. The library hours are located here.

Student Navigation Center

Will this scheduling change affect my financial aid?
No, this change has no impact on your financial aid.

What happens to my financial aid if I decide to take the spring semester off? 
If you are not enrolled for the spring 2021 semester in the minimum required credits to be eligible for aid, then your aid package will be cancelled. 

Can I take the spring semester off and return in the fall? What is the process for this?
Students who wish to take a leave of absence for spring 2021 may do so by meeting with an academic advisor in the Center for Academic Excellence (CAE). During the first two weeks of January and during the add/drop period, the CAE has open virtual advising hours during regular business hours held through Zoom. No appointment is necessary. An advisor will provide details on your return for fall 2021. All leaves must be taken before the end of add/drop to prevent charges and withdrawals on your student record. 

When will I be able to purchase and/or pick-up books, including rental books?
Spring 2021 book/supply sales are already underway. For your convenience, items can be purchased online. The current bookstore hours for those wishing to purchase materials in person are Monday - Friday, 9 am - 4 pm. The bookstore is located at 121 Loring Avenue (central campus). You may contact the bookstore at 978.542.3808.