Fall 2021 Frequently Asked Questions


What is the status of Arcadia's fall 2021 semester? 

Arcadia University plans to be operational for as much in-person living and learning as possible starting this fall for the 2021-22 academic year. 

What if I need technical support to complete my coursework online?

The Information Technology website is updated regularly with guidelines and resources to help provide students, faculty, and staff with the best online learning experience possible. Visit their website to see vendor offerings of resources such as free wifi, software, etc. For technical issues, students can contact Helpdesk@arcadia.edu for additional needs.

How can I access various registration and academic forms?

Registrar forms are available online, If a form you need immediately is not electronically submittable, please email appropriate information to registrar@arcadia.edu

Vaccines, Masking, and Surveillance Testing

Will the University require students, faculty members, and staff members to be vaccinated for the fall semester?

Yes. Once a vaccine receives full approval by the FDA, Arcadia would require University community members to be vaccinated. With the FDA granting full approval to the Pfizer COVID vaccine on Aug. 23, all University community members who do not have approved exemptions are to receive their full vaccine dosage by Oct. 1. Any requests for exemptions should be submitted by Sept. 1, 2021. Anyone who does not upload their vaccination records will be automatically placed in weekly surveillance testing. Student Health Services has information on local COVID vaccination clinics. Athletic teams may have different testing guidelines based on NCAA recommendations and percentages. Exemptions will be made based on religious and medical issues. Students and employees should submit exemption requests to covidcareteam@arcadia.edu. 

What is Arcadia’s surveillance testing policy for the fall? 

Arcadia is using a scalable testing approach developed to balance the health and safety protection of our community members without infringing on any individual’s rights or personal choices. Vaccination rates, community spread of COVID, and public health recommendations are used to determine which level of testing we will use at any given time. Student-athletes may have different testing guidelines based on recommendations. For complete information on our testing policy, click here

Who is required to wear a mask on campus?

The overall University guidelines depend on Arcadia’s current Operational Tier and guidance from the CDC. As of Aug. 1, all individuals are required to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Students do not need to wear a mask while in their residence hall room but do need to wear masks in common areas. Masks are recommended outdoors for unvaccinated individuals and those more comfortable wearing one. Student-athletes should refer to the Athletics department for more information on how this is being implemented during practice and competition. Disposable masks are available in the Dining Hall, Chat, Public Safety, Library, Commons and Kuch Center front desks, and Easton Café. Reusable masks may be available in the Knights for Nutrition Food Pantry, depending on supplies. 

Campus Life 

Is campus housing available for the fall 2021 semester? 

For this fall we are returning to regular occupancy in both traditional residence halls as well as Oak Summit Apartments. Regardless of whether you purchase a meal plan or not (first-year students are required to purchase a meal plan) all students living in University Housing (including Oak Summit) will be charged a $200 fee for dining services food delivery. This is being charged, in case the need for the individual student to quarantine or isolate occurs. Students who are required to quarantine or isolate due to COVID will have food delivered to their quarantine space. If a student is not quarantined or isolated by the end of the semester this $200 fee will be credited back to their University Account.   

May I have a guest, if I live in the residence halls? 

Students can have overnight guests in their space within the guidelines of the regular guest policy (e.g., with agreement of roommates), if the guest is another member of the Arcadia community. Students can have non-University community members as guests for no more than two hours over a 48-hour period with agreement of roommates. It is expected that any non-University community member invited to residence halls will wear a mask and socially distance from other members of the University Community. Students are responsible for the behavior of their guests in alignment with the student code of conduct. Overnight guests from outside the Arcadia community are currently not permitted, unless part of a specific University program (e.g., overnight recruitment program).

Are community members required to be tested?

Any Arcadia community member who is not fully vaccinated or has not provided proof of vaccination will be required to undergo weekly surveillance testing beginning Aug. 23. As a reminder, this depends on the operational tier that is in effect at any given time. 

Student Health Services communicates testing schedule for students and employees. This testing will be weekly to start the semester; however, the frequency may change as the COVID-19 situation evolves through the semester. Students, staff, and faculty who test positive for COVID-19 and have been on campus within two days of the results must report it through the Self Disclosure Form.

Symptomatic testing is when a person displays symptoms; surveillance testing is used to monitor the state of COVID-19 on Arcadia’s campus and provides insight into the spread of the virus among certain groups of people. 

Arcadia’s COVID testing dashboard is available here

What's the status of Arcadia Athletics?

Arcadia Athletics had a successful Spring 2021 semester, in which it participated in over 98 percent of its scheduled contests despite ongoing challenges from the pandemic. Athletics will continue to follow regulations and guidelines from the NCAA and related sports organizations, as well as state and regional public health organizations. As of August 2021, Arcadia Athletics is planning for a full and complete sports schedule for 2021-22. For more information about protocols impacting varsity sports as well as general usage of athletics facilities, please click here.


If I am fully vaccinated and have approved access to campus, do I still need to be a part of COVID surveillance testing?

Employees should update their proof of vaccination records to the iSolved portal (instructions have been sent to employees via email). Those who do not upload their records will be required to participate in weekly surveillance testing beginning Aug. 23.

Students in my class have tested positive for COVID or have been determined to have had close contact with someone who tested positive; what do I do? 

Students who test positive for COVID or who are determined to have had close contact with someone who tested positive may not be able to attend class for a few days to a couple of weeks. In these cases, a representative of the Division of Student Success will contact you to let you know that the students will be missing class; however, the cause for their absence will not be disclosed. These students should not receive any penalties related to class attendance policies and should receive accommodations, including remote access, to help them stay fully engaged in the class. In the event that remote access is not possible, such as for some classes approved to be fully in-person, please provide recordings of the class. Students should reach out to you to make these arrangements. 

Please note that if a student mentions to you that they tested positive for COVID, but they have not notified the University, you should ask them to complete the Self Disclosure form.

Any student, faculty member, or staff member showing the following symptoms should stay in their residence hall or at home.
•     A fever of 100.4 F or greater, taken with an oral thermometer 
•     and/or signs of an acute respiratory illness (i.e., dry cough, congestion or runny nose, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing), 
•     and/or fatigue, muscle or body aches, sweats, or chills, 
•     and/or new loss of taste and/or smell, 
•     and/or headache, 
•     and/or sore throat, 
•     and/or nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting
When students with these symptoms contact you about missing class, they may or may not have been tested yet, or they may end up testing negative. If an individual tests negative for COVID, you will not be notified by the Division of Student Success about student absences. Because it is preferable for everyone in the classroom that students with these symptoms do not attend class, we encourage you to find ways to support them to stay in their residence hall or at home. For example, excusing their absence without penalties, providing them with remote access to class, or sending them information distributed during class, are all useful approaches. 


The Sept. 17 webinar on contact tracing, employee testing, and COVID FAQs with Arcadia leadership, faculty, and staff is now available. 

Study Abroad

Can Arcadia faculty members / students travel or go abroad? 

In June, the University announced that the domestic travel suspension is lifted for fully vaccinated faculty and staff, with supervisor permission. Given continued risks related to COVID, domestic travelers should wear a mask over their nose and mouth. Wearing a mask is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Travelers should also avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet / 2 meters (about two arm lengths) from anyone who is not traveling with you. Continue to wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60 percent alcohol).

International travel continues to be subject to the International Travel Policy, with travel to high risk destinations requiring a travel petition and review from the Travel Advisory Committee (TAC). If you have any questions about international travel at this stage, you may contact Scott Terry, Director of Global Engagement, at terrys@arcadia.edu. 

What programs are available from Arcadia Abroad for Fall 2021?

Information on Arcadia's programs from Arcadia Abroad for Fall 2021 will be shared shortly. 

What about Preview and Global Field Study courses in Spring 2022?

The Division of Civic and Global Engagement plans to offer Preview 2022 and Spring GFS 2022 courses in a traditional in-person classroom format, with field study travel to domestic locations in the US and select international locations. Courses and travel destinations will be announced early in Fall 2021, and will be subject to change as conditions necessitate. Need a passport? Apply at travel.state.gov soon, because processing can take 10-12 weeks.

Students with additional questions should contact the Global Engagement for more information: globalengagement@arcadia.edu

Prevention and Self-Care

What is the University's policy on masks? 

As of Aug. 1, all individuals are required to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Students do not need to wear a mask while in their residence halls, but they do need to wear masks in common areas. Masking approaches may change based on the COVID situation and as we learn more about the virus. 

What can I do to prevent COVID-19?

Getting vaccinated and practicing healthy hygiene habits is the best way to prevent the spread of illness while traveling, at home, and in school:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick or coughing.
  • When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Clean and disinfect “high touch” surfaces and objects every day.
  • Carefully consider the risks associated with personal travel and the potential for spreading the virus.
  • Do not attempt to travel if you have a fever or are ill. Be prepared to alter plans on short notice.
  • Get vaccinated.


Contact Information

Who should I contact if I have questions?
  • About study abroad: Scott Terry, director of Global Engagement (terrys@arcadia.edu).
  • About or for international students: Allison DeNoble, international student advisor (denoblea@arcadia.edu).
  • About student or campus life: email Andrew Goretsky, dean of Students (goretskya@arcadia.edu). 
  • About campus health and safety: email covidcareteam@arcadia.edu 
  • If you are a member of the media: Dan DiPrinzio, director of Communications (215-439-3338).
  • If you have questions about housing: email housing@arcadia.edu.
  • If you would like to sign up for Arcadia's weekly newsletter: email news@arcadia.edu