Required Re-Entry Testing

As we came back to campus for the Fall semester, at the directive of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department, we conducted one round of required campus re-entry saliva-based testing between August 15 and 22 for ALL students, faculty and staff, regardless of vaccination status.

After the first round of campus re-entry testing, those who have uploaded their vaccination information to the Vaccination Registry are exempt from weekly saliva-based testing. Similar to this spring, those who can document a recent case of COVID-19 or have a medical exception to saliva testing can also file an exemption from all testing.

Students, faculty and staff who will be on our Lincoln campuses and who have not uploaded their vaccination information to the Registry will be required to participate in several rounds of weekly tests in order to have access to academic buildings and many other campus spaces. The results from these initial rounds of testing will help us determine our testing posture for the remainder of the semester, in close consultation with LLCHD.

Testing and Reporting

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers free COVID-19 testing services. Any member of the university community who receives a positive test report should report their case to the Public Health Advocacy Team. For the health of the university community, please cooperate with any contact-tracing information requests you may receive.

For more information, please refer to our comprehensive resources on Testing, Reporting & Contact Tracing.

Voluntary Vaccine Registry and Fall 2021 Testing

To help us understand the breadth of vaccination rates in our community and more accurately prepare for Fall, we have created a voluntary COVID-19 Vaccine Registry. You must have completed your final dose in order to register.

To help us continue to monitor and prevent any spread of COVID-19 on campus in the Fall, we will again require weekly saliva-based testing for all students, faculty and staff who will be on our Lincoln campuses. Tests will be offered Sunday through Thursday each week and will remain required weekly for those without exemptions, until public health guidance advises that we may be able to pivot to random testing. Those who have provided documentation of their COVID-19 vaccination in the registry will be exempt from weekly testing.

Behavioral Expectations

As members of the UNL community, students are required to be responsible for knowing, understanding and following the university’s expectations, protocols, procedures, and requirements related to COVID-19 health and safety mitigation measures. Students are expected to comply with established safety expectations like the university’s face covering policy and testing requirements.

Violations of these expectations may result in disciplinary action. For more information, refer to Student Compliance with COVID-19 Expectations.

UNL Policy on Inbound International Travelers

  • All incoming international travelers must demonstrate a negative Covid test within 3 days prior to return to the U.S. and present it to the airline before boarding their flight, per CDC guidance.
  • Incoming international travelers must also test as soon as possible upon arrival and again 3-5 days later.
  • Unvaccinated individuals should wear a mask in public indoor spaces and get vaccinated as soon as possible.

If new international students follow these guidelines, they can participate in New Student Orientation and other programming. However, they should delay their visit to the University Health Center to get their tuberculosis test and fulfill the MMR immunization requirement, until after they have received a negative result from their 3-5 day test.

Vaccination Information

On-campus vaccination opportunities are available. Learn more on the Vaccination Information page.

Academics & Deadlines

What will fall courses look like?

University classrooms will return to full in-person capacity this Fall, as will our dining halls, Campus Recreation, Unions, Libraries, and other public spaces.

Students who have medical documentation of a health risk that cannot be mitigated through vaccination should submit a COVID-19 Academic Flexibility Request. Those with a disability and/or chronic health condition that makes them high risk for the virus should seek support via Services for Students with Disabilities. International students should contact the International Student and Scholar Office to discuss their options.

Class Attendance Policy for Fall

Faculty Senate has updated its class attendance policy for the fall 2021 semester to include the following preamble:

Although the attendance policy of the institution remains in effect, faculty are encouraged to not create course policies that incentivize students’ attendance while ill. Thus, for fall 2021 faculty may build in some flexibility in the “Attendance and Engagement expectations” they develop for their courses so that students can be academically successful. Students are advised that some learning cannot be easily moved online or reconstructed outside of the in-person classroom, or that an instructor is required to do so. In the event that absences are accumulating and/or the student feels unable to learn the material, they should consult with their academic adviser or the instructor as soon as possible to determine the best course of action.

Fee Reductions for Qualifying Students

Students will receive a "Fall 2021 Fee Reduction" if their total Online Course Fees plus Program Facilities Fees for that term are more than $736. The fee reductions do not include technology, library or other course and lab fees. Learn more about course delivery fee reductions.


  • An updated Travel Policy now allows limited pre-approved domestic and international travel for students. For international travel, submit travel requests well in advance of the purposed travel date to ensure the approval process does not delay travel preparations. For information regarding potential student domestic travel please see the Exemption Requests for Student Travel page.

University Libraries

Libraries are open. Learn more about specific library policies on the Libraries and COVID-19 page.


Academic advisors continue to be available remotely for assistance with student advising needs. Details about the college advising process can be found on the academic advising website. Students can also reach out directly to their advisors for information about scheduling a remote video, phone or e-mail appointment.

Support resources for advising continue to be available online in MyRED, MyDegreeAudit, Undergraduate Catalog and MyPLAN. The Enrollment Scheduler and Degree Planner are both available within MyRED.

Campus Transportation

Campus transportation options — from city buses to Zipcar rentals — remain available. University Operations is negotiating an additional contract for buses to transport students across UNL campuses in addition to the current STARTRAN provider. To meet increased ridership demand while protecting health, plastic covers have been installed on the backs of each seat.

Graduate Studies Guidelines and Updates

Masters and Doctoral student guidelines, exam information, and event cancellations and postponements are being updated on the Graduate Studies COVID-19 page.

Mental Health and Well-Being

For those seeking support, Counseling and Psychological Services offers various in-person and virtual services, including crisis support. Crisis services are available 24/7 at 402-472-7450.

Additional tips, apps and resources to help take care of yourself are available online. Students can find assistance through Big Red Resilience and Well-Being, and academic success coaches.

Access to well-being resources and support is also available through the well-being button in Canvas.

Health and Support Services

Emergency Funding Available

Students who are in need of financial assistance because of campus disruption due to COVID-19 can request emergency funds, including UNL's distribution of CARES Act funding, through the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. Students can find the application to request assistance in MyRED under the Financial Aid tab. Funds are limited and are reviewed as requests come in and are prioritized based on socioeconomic circumstances.

University Health Services

Students concerned about possible exposure should immediately limit interactions with others and contact — by phone or email — the University Health Center or a local health care provider.

Managing Financial Stress

This crisis brings with it many concerns beyond the COVID-19 disease itself. One way to stay healthy is to manage stressors, like finances. Many healthcare and other service providers have created supportive plans to assist through this national challenge. We suggest you check the websites of your healthcare provider, pharmacy, cell provider and other major service providers to gain a better understanding of your financial situation going forward and explore any available savings opportunities.

The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA) is available to support students and families and will make every effort to mitigate financial burdens created by this extraordinary situation. If you have incurred—or will incur—additional expenses or severe financial hardship, please contact Husker Hub at 402-472-2030 or to request a financial aid review.

For more information, visit COVID-19 Resources on the website of the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.

Importance of Self-quarantine and Social Distancing

Your health and safety continue to be our top priorities. As the spread escalates, it is extremely important that all students — whether living on campus or off campus — strictly adhere to university and local health directives to avoid virus transmission.

These directions must be followed by everyone for the health and safety of our community. Students who do not comply may face disciplinary action from the university. It is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct to engage in behavior that “unreasonably endangers the mental or physical health” of others. It also is a violation to fail to comply with the direction of university officials.

Student Housing & Facilities

In consultation with the University Health Center, university leadership, and the Lincoln/Lancaster County Department of Health, University Housing has established procedures to provide students an on-campus experience while abiding by local, state and federal health protocols. View University Housing's Health and Safety page.


Internships & Experiential Learning

The university has continued to monitor the impact of COVID-19 and has updated the following recommendations around student participation in internships and experiential education for the Summer 2021 session.

The university encourages all students to know, understand and follow the guidance from local governments and local health departments in the area where students may be participating in their in-person activities, particularly since the guidance can change rapidly.

Following CDC's and LLCHD's guidelines and recommendations on returning to an in-person office/business environment, we recommend that UNL students do the following:

  • If not fully vaccinated, bring their own face covering (mask or face shield) that covers the mouth and nose when around others in an office environment.
  • If not fully vaccinated, practice social distancing (within six feet) between themselves and others in the office environment.
  • Regularly and routinely wash their hands after in person contact to slow the spread.
  • Regularly and routinely clean and disinfect their office spaces.

Other key considerations:

  • Students in credit-bearing internship/experiential learning courses who choose to engage with an in-person experience assume the risk associated with that choice.
  • Students who choose to engage in face-to-face experiences should work with their internship/experiential learning provider to follow local, state and CDC health official guidelines.
  • Students who feel uncomfortable doing an in-person internship/experience should explore virtual options with their employer for completing summer 2021 experiences. Students can contact UNL Career Services if they need support or guidance on how to navigate this conversation.

Emails to Students

This is a list of all messages sent specifically to students. Please see the latest updates page of this site for university-wide messages.

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Since the beginning of this public health crisis, we’ve been answering your questions about how UNL is responding and planning. We’ve compiled a list of answers to frequently asked questions on the FAQ / Contact Us page.