Latest Update

Professional & Graduate Student FAQ: What you need to know about coming back to campus

This section last updated September 17, 2020. The information below pertains to incoming and returning professional and graduate students. 

COVID Testing & Monitoring

Where can I see how Duke is doing regarding COVID testing and cases?

The latest updates on COVID testing, cases, and quarantine/isolation numbers are posted each Monday to the Duke COVID Testing Tracker. The dashboard includes data on testing, quarantine, and isolation in our community, both weekly and cumulatively (from the start of classes). Weekly summary data are also published on Duke Today.

 

What is surveillance testing and am I required to participate?

COVID surveillance testing is an incredible opportunity that is being provided to keep our entire community safe. Duke will conduct regular surveillance testing of students and other campus community members who do not have any symptoms to assist in the early detection and response for potential COVID-19 cases on campus.More information on how the testing works and why it is so important can be found in this video. Critically, this testing regime relies on “pools” of tests which means if you do not show up, you mess up the inference for at least 4 other people.

As part of the Duke Compact, you have already agreed to comply with the testing requirements.  More information on the testing can be found here, including location of surveillance test sites.

Durham-based Students

  • Student are selected based on risk modeling run by a faculty group from mathematics, infectious disease, and other groups.  This selection is done each weekend for the following week.
  • If you are selected, you will be notified by text or email. It is likely that you won’t have more than 24 hours advance notice.  
    • If you absolutely cannot get tested on the day you are assigned you should immediately notify Nancy Kelly. You should make every effort to get tested on the day you are scheduled. There are very few acceptable reasons to miss an appointment. It will not be acceptable to say that you don’t normally come to campus that day so cannot be tested. Even if it means an extra trip to campus, we expect you to get tested on your assigned day.
  • There are 14 sites on campus that are open from 9 am to 4 pm.  You can show up at any site during those open hours on your testing day. The closest site to NSOE is the LSRC B-wing lobby.  But there are also sites at the Washington Duke Inn that you can visit and park for free if you are not coming into campus for class that day.
  • The test is self-administered and takes just a couple of minutes.  A video explaining the test can be found here.
  • If you do not complete the test on the day you are assigned, the school will be notified and your Duke Card will be immediately de-activated.
    • You will receive a call or email from Nancy Kelly to find out why you are not in compliance.  If there are technical issues or errors and you were actually in compliance, this will be your opportunity to clarify the situation and get those issues corrected.  Take the email or call from Nancy very seriously!
    • If you failed to show up for your test, you will be required to get tested the next day.
    • If you fail to show up again, you will be required to discuss your behavior and non-compliance with the Associate Dean for Professional Programs.  You will not be allowed on campus until your situation is rectified and you are cleared by the ADPP.
    • If discussion with the ADPP fails to motivate compliance, a hold will be placed on your registration for Spring 2020 semester.  You will receive an email from the Dean and the hold can only be lifted by the Dean upon determination that non-compliance issues have been resolved and will not occur again.
    • Repeated violations will be considered a violation of the Nicholas School Community Standard and can result in consequences up to and including suspension and expulsion. This process is subject to change.
  • Please note that you will only be notified if your test is positive; you will not be notified if your test is negative.

Beaufort-based Students

  • DUML’s self-administered surveillance testing will take place weekly and will employ the same surveillance testing protocol that is used on main campus. Testing information will be provided directly to DUML students.
  • Following guidance set in Durham, weekly testing is required for residential undergraduates.  As of September 8, surveillance testing is voluntary for graduate students, staff, and faculty who are on campus (this is subject to change, so please follow all updated guidance provided to DUML community members). Location: DUML Auditorium
  • Testing may be voluntary for much of our population, but the hope is that everyone on the DUML campus will participate.
  • If you are symptomatic or concerned  that you have been exposed, please report through the SymMon app so you can get a PCR test from a medical testing facility.
  • Please note that you will only be notified if your test is positive; you will not be notified if your test is negative.

 

What am I required to do if I intend to come on to campus (Durham or Beaufort) to take classes or to use Duke facilities?

You must complete the following two tasks, or you will not be able to access campus buildings: 

  • Agree to follow the student policies and the Duke Compact 
  • Agree to Duke’s COVID testing policies as they pertain to you 

See next accordion section for details. (Go to next section)

 

Do I need to get tested before I come to Durham/Beaufort area/campus (pre-arrival)?

All students who are returning to Durham from other locations will be asked to obtain COVID-19 tests if possible in their areas, prior to arrival. All students should self-quarantine for 14 days before coming to Durham. Students who receive positive test results, or are symptomatic, before their return to Durham will be required to stay in their current locations and not come to campus until they are cleared by their physicians or Student Health. Further details on this process are forthcoming.

 

Will I be tested for COVID-19 when I arrive in Durham/Beaufort?

All students who are planning to take courses in person and/or utilize campus facilities at any point during the semester, must submit to mandatory testing upon arrival. Testing for professional and graduate students will occur between August 17 and September 1. It is our understanding that graduate and professional students  will be tested on a priority schedule that will begin on or shortly after August 17. Stay tuned for an email about how to sign-up for a testing timeslot.

Testing dates and process for students in Beaufort may differ; please follow directions provided by DUML. We are arranging for the CEM and PhD students to get tested in Beaufort; you will not need to go to Durham first to be tested.

Duke ID cards will not be activated, and access to buildings will not be granted, until you have been tested and cleared to come to campus.

Continuing graduate students who are working in labs and are already registered in REDCap will not have their building access removed. Graduate students who have been on campus over the summer and already registered in REDCap will not undergo baseline testing; however, they will participate in surveillance testing and daily symptom monitoring. This largely applies to PhD students who have been working in labs on campus and in the SOM.

While awaiting testing results, you will be required to sequester for 48 hours or until testing results are provided by Student Health. Based on daily symptom monitoring results, Student Health may require additional testing.

All classes in Durham and Beaufort will meet online during this first week of the semester while everyone is being tested—our hope is that our testing will be completed earlier in this period rather than later so we can transition to our in-person, hybrid and co-curricular activities by the second week.  Please understand that testing delays may mean that we will need to be online longer than that. Note: Pending the timing of testing this may vary for Beaufort-based students.

Graduate and professional students who will be attending classes or working on campus, and staff and faculty who frequently interact with students, will be subject to regular surveillance testing during the semester.

Any student, faculty, or staff member who becomes symptomatic, or is referred by either Employee Health or Student Health, will be tested.

For students arriving late to campus (and plan on accessing Durham or Beaufort campuses, you will be required to be tested. If this is your situation, contact the following before coming to campus with anticipated arrival dates:

No student will be allowed on campus until their test is confirmed negative, and you are cleared by Student Health.

 

If I will be living in the Durham or Beaufort area, but am only registered for online courses, do I still need to be tested?

No. Only students who are planning to take courses in person and/or utilize campus facilities at any point during the semester, must submit to mandatory testing upon arrival.

 

Who is required to complete the symptom monitoring and how do I do this?

  • All students who come on campus regularly (at least once per week) are required to complete the symptom monitoring survey every day (SymMon). If you plan to come on campus occasionally (i.e. once per month to access the library), you must complete the symptom monitoring survey only on the days you plan to access campus.
  • Faculty and staff who visit the Durham or Beaufort campus regularly (more than once per week) will also have to complete symptom monitoring every day.
  • When leaving campus, you must indicate as such on the SymMon app.
  • You can download the free SymMon app from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

 

What happens if I test positive for COVID-19?

  • Student Health will provide guidance and requirements for quarantine and care. Students who do not reside in Duke housing will be expected to quarantine or isolate in their private residence. Students will be monitored by health care professionals from Student Health, Duke School of Nursing, Duke School of Medicine, or Duke Hospital.
  • Students who test positive will hear from a trained contact tracer as part of their follow-up care and are required to participate in the contact tracing process. Contact tracers will help determine whether individuals who have come in contact with the infected person need to be referred for quarantine and testing. You will also receive daily check-in calls. 
  • The typical isolation period for a student who has tested positive is at least 10 days depending on duration of symptoms and the typical quarantine period for a student having been exposed to COVID-19 is 14 days. Student Health will determine the scope and duration of the isolation/quarantine directive on a case-by-case basis, based on available medical evidence at the time. You will NOT be able to attend classes in person during the quarantine or isolation period, nor utilize campus facilities or in-person resources.
  • Student Health providers must clear students before they can return to in-person classes and other Duke facilities.

 

I took a COVID-19 test in my home state and my infection and antibody results came back negative. Do I really need to be tested again when I arrive to Durham or Beaufort? Or will my earlier test results be acceptable?

If you plan to take courses in person and/or utilize campus facilities at any point during the semester, you must submit to mandatory testing upon arrival to Durham or Beaufort.

 

If I test positive for COVID-19 and need to quarantine, do my roommates also have to quarantine?

Student Health, in consultation with local health authorities as appropriate, will serve as the Duke authority to issue quarantine or isolation directives for students. You must comply with Student Health’s directives. Since the great majority of professional and graduate students live off campus, those directives generally will require infected individuals to remain off-campus in their residence for a designated period of time.

 

Will others know that I tested positive? Who is notified?

Medical experts at Duke will review each situation and determine whether those you have come into direct contact with need to be referred for testing or other actions.

The NSOE will NOT be informed of positive tests for students. Duke Student Health and/or contact tracers will be in touch with you to check on your health, as well as any other needs you may have.

If you test positive and would like assistance with academic matters (notifying your professors, getting homework, etc.) please contact the following: Durham professional students: Cindy Peters (petersca@duke.edu); Durham graduate students: Danielle Wiggins (danielle.wiggins@duke.edu); DUML: Stephanie Klein (stephanie.klein@duke.edu). You can also contact the Nicholas School Care and Support Team (serves both Durham and DUML students) at care+support@nicholas.duke.edu.  If you want this support, you must ask for it as your test results are protected health information and cannot be released to the school by student health.

 

What do I do if I have been exposed to someone with symptoms of COVID-19?

If you are feeling ill or have been in close contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, such as roommates or family members, you must contact the Duke COVID Hotline at (919) 385-0429 and choose the "student" option to speak with a medical professional. The COVID Hotline is available seven days per week from 8 am until 8 pm each day. For after-hours assistance please refer to the SymMon app or the Student Health website for up-to-date contact information.

 

If I must travel outside of the Durham or Beaufort area during the fall semester, will I be required to get re-tested and/or quarantine when I return to Durham or Beaufort? Am I allowed to travel outside of the Durham or Beaufort area on weekends for personal reasons, for example?

Students are not required to quarantine when they return to Durham or Beaufort. They should continue symptom monitoring and will be referred for tests if warranted.  Please note that if you travel from Durham/Beaufort to certain states (e.g., NY) those states require that you self-quarantine for two weeks upon arrival. Please check each state’s/location’s requirements.

Duke expects you to limit personal overnight travel, leaving the Durham or Beaufort area only for the most important reasons (e.g., family emergency), and after careful consideration of alternatives (remote interaction, delay, etc.). Any personal travel that does occur should take place in accordance with public health recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For more information, please review Duke’s Statement on Personal Travel.

Duke Compact & Student COVID-19 Policy Plans

I am being asked to attest to/sign electronically two documents? What are they?

You will need to complete TWO electronic attestations if you plan to come on campus in Durham or Beaufort to attend classes or use Duke facilities: 

  1. Attest to your intention to come to one of Duke’s campuses and if so, abide by the Duke Compact
  2. Attest to abide by the Master’s & Professional Student COVID-19 Policy Plan or the Graduate Student COVID-19 Policy Plan (as appropriate).

You will receive links to these electronic attestations in two separate emails. More information below.

 

What is the Duke Compact and why do I have to sign it?

Duke expects that all members of our university community will enter into a compact, the Duke Compact, that recognizes our shared responsibility for our collective health and well-being. Committing to the Duke Compact means we care enough about each other to comply with new policies and protocols. All members of the Duke community must commit to The Duke Compact and agree to wear face coverings in any public setting, track and report symptoms through the designated app, avoid large gatherings, get a seasonal flu shot, and observe health and travel restrictions to protect each other and the most vulnerable members of our community.  

Commitments will be captured by electronic signature through a link in the email distributed on Monday, August 10th. You must attest by August 17th. You will receive daily email reminders until the agreement is signed electronically. Within the portal, you will be asked to indicate whether you intend to come on campus (Durham or Beaufort) to attend classes or use Duke facilities, and, if you answer yes, indicate your agreement to abide by the Duke Compact. If you have any questions related to The Duke Compact, you can email oarc@duke.edu or call 919-684-4743.

Review FAQs related to the Duke Compact

 

I am participating in class or work using remote technology only, do I still need to sign the Duke Compact?

You are always a part of Duke, even if you are working or studying remotely. We want everyone to affirm commitments to do your part for a safe and healthy community.

 

What is the Student COVID-19 Policy Plan?

Undergraduate, professional and graduate students will each have their own COVID-19 Policy Plan to review and sign, as well as staff and faculty. Each aligns with the latest and most reliable scientific information, experience, and local, state, and federal guidelines.

  • The COVID-19 Policy Plan applies to any professional or graduate student who, at any point in the fall semester, attends in-person courses on campus and/or utilizes resources, facilities, or services physically on campus, whether in Durham or Beaufort.
  • In order to participate in in-person educational activities and to access Duke’s campus and external facilities, students must attest that they have read and agree to the COVID-19 Policy Plan responsibilities and expectations, which includes, but is not limited to:
    • Perform daily symptom monitoring
    • Use your Duke Card to swipe in to access all buildings (for those at DUML, follow their procedures for island/building access)
    • Always wear a face covering while on campus, both inside buildings and outside. You must wear a face covering in hallways, bathrooms, common areas, and any other space shared with any other person. Students who have a medical condition that may affect their ability to wear a face covering should consult with the Student Disability Access Office (SDAO).
    • Practice good hygiene, including handwashing (hand sanitizer)
    • Follow all protocol administered by Student Health, including contact tracing, quarantine requirements, and isolation
    • Adhere to surveillance pooled testing
    • Get a flu shot
    • Limit travel and only do so in accordance with public health recommendations

 

What kind of equipment (mask, hand sanitizer, equipment wipes etc.) is Duke planning on providing to students and what kind will students have to acquire themselves?

Each student, staff, faculty member have/will receive 3 washable face coverings. You can use your own face covering, as well, as long as it is appropriate. Each student will also receive a thermometer. Hand sanitizer stations will be provided throughout the buildings and campus and will be monitored to ensure availability. Cleaning supplies for classrooms, computer labs, and common spaces will also be readily available and accessible for use, along with instructions on how/when to use them.

 

What should I do if I see someone on campus not wearing a mask and/or practicing social distancing?

If you feel comfortable doing so, the first step would be to respectfully ask the student, staff or faculty member to adhere to the policy about face coverings. Otherwise, you should contact the Speak Up Program (800) 826-8109 (24/7); online form). You may share anything, including ideas for compliance with the Duke Compact, violations that may be observed and pressure to disregard requirements. All contacts to the Speak Up program are confidential and, if you choose, anonymous.

We will communicate NSOE-specific reporting channels, as well. You can reach out to Sherri Nevius, Associate Dean, Student Services, with concerns (sherri.nevius@duke.edu).

 

What will happen to me if I am caught not practicing social distancing or not wearing a face covering?

Regardless of virtual or in-person enrollment status, student violations of Durham County or Carteret County and North Carolina COVID-19 regulations (both on- and off-campus) constitute violations of the Duke Community Standard and our COVID-19 Health and Safety policies. First time, minor violations of COVID-19 conduct expectations will be met with appropriate educational responses. However, anyone who fails to comply with the expectations more than once, or who flagrantly commits a serious violation that creates a health or safety risk to others in the Duke community, will be subject to more significant consequences, beginning with loss of the privilege to attend courses in person and/or loss of access to campus, and moving up to suspension or expulsion.

 

How will Duke determine whether campus activity needs to close entirely in response to health conditions?

Duke will continuously monitor a range of indicators, including local and national conditions, infection and severity rates, hospital capacity, state and local regulations, and community status to determine whether any changes need to be made to campus activity. Should conditions deteriorate we would first move to a “shelter in place” status, in which all in-person classes would shift online, activities would be canceled, and facility access restricted. Closing the campus and sending students home would be a last resort because of the potential negative impact on families and community health.

 

Will we be informed if any of our peers or faculty have tested positive for COVID-19?

Any student, faculty or staff member who tests positive for COVID-19 will have their case reviewed by trained medical contract tracing team. The contact tracers will determine who needs to be notified and tested due to potential exposure. You must respond to all requests for information from contact tracers and follow their instructions regarding further testing.

 

Will Duke share the number of positive cases and where ill students are living?

The university will provide information consistent with our commitment to protecting public health and student/patient privacy.

 

With all of this monitoring, what steps will be taken to maintain student data security and privacy?

Please review the Duke SymMon App privacy notice. Additional resources include: Acceptable Use Policy and Data Usage During COVID-19

 

Life On Campus

Am I allowed on campus (inside or outside of buildings) when not in class or in-between classes?

No student will be allowed on campus until their test is confirmed negative, and you are cleared by Student Health.

There will be designated seating spaces in Durham and DUML, inside and outside, that are spaced to provide social distancing, including the computer labs. The rooftop on GH will be open for student use; like other spaces, you must follow all posted signs and practice social distancing. In Durham, we are expanding our outside seating spaces. We will monitor our seating needs in both Durham and DUML throughout the semester and adjust accordingly, as able.

There may be access limitations to other buildings across campus, based on course registration and student population. Most social/hang-out spaces across campus will not be available and/or have been converted for other purposes, such as classroom space. As we know more, we will share this information.

 

When must you wear a mask on campus?

Unless you are alone in a private office (not a shared office space), or alone in your car, or are outside not likely to come within 6’ of another person, you must wear a face covering. Masks can be removed while eating or drinking, when following safety protocols.   Always wear a face covering while on campus, both inside buildings and outside. Per Duke guidance, face coverings may be removed while on campus ONLY under the following exceptions: While alone in a confined room such as an office; While alone

Unless you are alone in a private office (not a shared office space), or alone in your car, or are outside not likely to come within 6’ of another person, you must wear a face covering. Masks can be removed while eating or drinking, when following safety protocols.

Always wear a face covering while on campus, both inside buildings and outside. Per Duke guidance, face coverings may be removed while on campus ONLY under the following exceptions: While alone in a confined room such as an office; While alone in a vehicle, if the vehicle is not regularly shared with others; Eating or drinking, while following safety guidance; In open outdoor areas where social distancing is easily maintained and areas where individuals are not likely to pass in close proximity.

Removal of masks to eat is one of the greatest risk factors for transmission of virus and has been associated with community spread in work environments. If possible, please eat meals and snacks outside, at a distance from others. Whether eating indoors or outside, always maintain six feet distance, or preferably greater (i.e., 10 feet), from others.

If you are alone in your shared graduate student office space, you should still wear a face covering as the aerosol spread of the virus is still being studied; and, some graduate office spaces are small and/or do not have windows. It is recommended that graduate students and postdocs with shared office space work together to develop scheduled time in the office, similar to laboratory protocols.

Face coverings must be worn in classrooms. Eating and drinking is not allowed in classrooms. You may take quick sips of water while in class to stay hydrated.

Students who have a medical condition that may affect their ability to wear a face covering should consult with the Student Disability Access Office (SDAO).

Duke strongly encourages you to adhere to this practice while you are off campus. Appropriate use of face coverings in conjunction with physical distancing is critical in minimizing risks to others. Individuals can spread COVID-19 to others even if they do not feel sick. Duke will supply students with reusable/washable cloth face coverings for daily use.

 

Is the Duke campus open for me to go wherever I want?

No. Every part of student life will be unusual and much of it will look very different than prior years, regardless of whether you live on- or off campus. Graduate and professional students will primarily have access to their designated academic spaces, including laboratories, libraries, and essential health and support resources. Graduate and professional students will be able to access Student Health. If you are taking in-person classes at other Duke schools, you will have access to the appropriate buildings. Student compliance with health and safety expectations will be expected at all times, on and off campus, to protect the health and safety of all members of the Duke community, particularly our most vulnerable students, staff, and faculty.

COVID-19 demands the entire Duke community be united to look out for each other, and to take responsibility for our actions and the impact they will have on our friends, colleagues, teachers, and mentors, and particularly on the most vulnerable among us.

 

What are the cleaning procedures for classrooms and computer labs? What about general building cleaning?

Virex spray bottles are available in classrooms, conference rooms, and throughout the buildings. Use the Virex to spray your desk area. No wiping or drying needed. We ask that you do this before you leave the classroom, conference room, or seating area.

Duke established enhanced protocols and more frequent cleaning schedules for all public and common use spaces. Housekeeping teams will clean campus facilities based on CDC guidelines for disinfection and Occupational and Environmental Safety Office (OESO) protocols. Building occupants should also spray or wipe down commonly used surfaces before and after use with products that meet the EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19 and are appropriate for the surface. This includes any shared-space location or equipment (e.g. copiers, printers, computers, A/V and other electrical equipment, coffee makers, desks and tables, light switches, doorknobs, etc.).

Housekeeping teams will deep clean classroom and computer labs daily. Classrooms will not be cleaned between classes. You will be asked to spray the cleaning solution provided in each room on the work area when you arrive in class AND before you leave the room. Each classroom will have cleaning spray. The spray does not need to be wiped down. Just spray and go!

Review additional information about campus operations

 

How will access to the computer labs be adjusted?

Computer labs in both Durham and at DUML will have fewer computers available for use due to social distancing and to reduce density in enclosed spaces. Computers not in use are set up for remote use (virtual machines).

 

Will student groups or organizations be able to host social or other events on campus?

  • Currently, all Duke students are required to adhere to University requirements limiting gatherings to 10 persons or fewer indoors or outdoors. Regardless of what may be legally allowable where you are living, Duke regulations still restrict gatherings to groups of 10 people indoors or outdoors to protect the safety of the community.
  • All Duke and Nicholas School student groups must follow updated COVID-19 related policies from University Center for Activities & Events (UCAE) and Graduated & Professional Student Council (GPSC) for approved expenditures and reimbursements for all events, including virtual events.
    • Until further notice fall 2020 activities will be conducted through virtual platforms. No in-person meetings, activities, events, and/or programs should be conducted during this time. Additionally, please note that many policies have been adapted and/or changed to comply with COVID Guidelines.  All policies and procedures are subject to change in accordance with meeting the expectations of Duke University and COVID Guidelines.
    • Student group leaders should contact Nancy Kelly, nkelly@duke.edu, with questions about allowable events and expenditure of group funds.
  • In-person public events will not be permitted on the Duke campus until further notice. This includes any event to which individuals who are not Duke students, faculty, or staff would be invited or expected to attend. Additionally, in-person events hosted, sponsored, or paid for by Duke will not be permitted to take place off campus, either in Durham or elsewhere.
  • Students in local off-campus housing should closely follow Durham or Beaufort and state regulations. All graduate/professional students must adhere to the 10 persons or fewer guidance in alignment with on-campus policies. Students living on-campus must adhere to residential policies

Guidance for students, faculty, and staff at DUML is provided directly to those within the DUML community. For questions about DUML events and restrictions, please contact Katie Wood, katie.wood@duke.edu, or Stephanie Klein, stephanie.klein@duke.edu.

 

Can we move the indoor and outdoor furniture in open spaces and in the classroom to better socialize and/or work together?

No. Furniture has been arranged to facilitate six feet of distancing requirements. Seating spaces with green check marks are approved seating spaces; seating spaces with a red ‘x’ are not to be used. Approved indoor seating space locations have been marked on the floor and should not be moved from these spaces.

 

I see that some of the fabric furniture has been removed from the GH and LSRC common areas. Can I still rest on couches even if they are stacked up in the hallway?

Furniture that has been marked with an “X” or has been moved to the side/stacked along walls/put in storage are not to be used. Do not move any furniture and for personal safety, please do not sit on/lay on furniture that is stacked. We realize students have long days, so consider bringing your own yoga mat to school to enable you to rest between classes in areas with little to no foot traffic (outside on the LSRC or DUML lawn, etc.).

 

I live with 3 other fellow students. Do we need to practice social distancing on campus even though we live together?

Yes. While on campus, you must maintain at least six feet physical distancing as well as wear your face covering. The same is expected when out in public in the Durham and Beaufort community, and surrounding areas.

 

Can we eat lunch together in order to socialize?

Removal of masks to eat is one of the greatest risk factors for transmission of virus and has been associated with community spread in work environments. If possible, please eat meals and snacks outside, at a distance from others. Whether eating indoors or outside, always maintain six feet distance, or preferably greater (i.e., 10 feet), from others.

 

Can I eat or drink while I am in the classroom?

No eating or drinking are allowed during class, as you can’t eat/drink while wearing a mask.  Students and faculty must wear their masks at ALL TIMES while in the classroom. Faculty and students can have water that they sip from to keep their throat from becoming parched as they speak; but this is the only exception and must be kept only to a minimum/necessity

 

Will I be able to use the kitchenettes? Will the refrigerators and/or microwaves be available for use?

  • Durham: The kitchenettes in GH and LSRC will be limited to one person at a time. You may use them at your own risk. You will need to bring your own utensils, plates, etc.  Surfaces will need to be sprayed with disinfectant (provided) after use (instructions are posted). Refrigerators and microwaves will be available for use. Use of the kitchenettes may change if safety procedures are not followed or if circumstances change.
  • DUML: Yes. Please follow all guidance posted.  

 

Can we use the showers in Grainger Hall and at DUML?

  • Durham: Yes. After use, you will be required to spray down the shower with the provided disinfectant.
  • DUML: Yes. Please follow all guidance posted.

 

If there are a group of us walking into a building together on-campus, can I use my Duke ID to allow all of us to enter the building?

No. As awkward as it may feel, you cannot hold the door open for anyone. Each individual must use their Duke ID to enter the building. This is necessary to support contact tracing. As a reminder, your Duke ID will not be activated until you sign the Duke Compact and the student Policy Plan.

 

Will we continue to use student mailboxes?

  • Durham: No. Because the mailboxes are in a hallway and are in a condensed area, we will not be using the mailboxes at least through the fall 2020 semester. Faculty will provide coursework feedback electronically. And, as always, we will continue to encourage you to have any personal mail or packages delivered to your place of residence, and not to the Nicholas School as it is possible that personal mail or packages will be delayed or mis-delivered. 
  • DUML: Yes. Student mailboxes are now grouped alphabetically. There is a capacity limit in the mailroom of one person at a time and there will be a sign posted – please follow the posted directions for access to the mailroom. We encourage you to have all personal mail and packages delivered to your place of residence.

 

Will we be able to use the student lockers in GH?

Yes, we will continue to offer lockers on the 1st floor of GH. Traffic flow and capacity limits will be posted; please follow posted directions.

 

Will the NSOE food pantry still be available for use?

  • Durham: Single-serve, non-perishable food items in the 1st floor kitchenette of Grainger Hall and the 2nd floor kitchenette in LSRC will be available to those in need. In addition, GPSC is maintaining pantry operations for students and is investigating ways to serve graduate and professional students who live out of the triangle. Visit the GPSC community pantry website for more information. 
  • DUML: View Beaufort area resources

 

Will students have access to community facilities on campus, such as the fitness centers, Bryan Center, and Brodhead Center?

  • The Bryan Center and Brodhead Center will most likely not be open to graduate and professional students. You can order food for mobile payment and pick-up. Duke Dining FAQ.
  • The Marine Lab Dining Hall will be open at reduced capacity. Mealtimes will be divided into two 30-minute shifts with a 15-minute break between each shift to allow for cleaning. Operational hours will be communicated on island.
  • Library buildings remain closed until further notice, but they continue to provide resourcesservices, and consulting online. The library is offering Takeout Service for faculty, staff, and graduate students to pick up books and other materials with minimal contact. More information about current library services is available on the Duke Libraries coronavirus page.
  • Duke fitness centers will be open as permitted by state and local regulations and will be introducing new procedures and safety features. Details are available at Duke Rec.
    • Note that some access limitations will still apply per the adjustments to student fees for the 2020-2021 academic year (including for graduate and professional students). For those who are unable to access our physical spaces and in-person programs, alternative opportunities for Duke Rec & P.E. programs and services can be found via our Digital Membership.

 

Will Duke buses be running in the fall?

To limit potential exposure to bus drivers and passengers, busses will be running with limited capacity (50%) between East and West Campus, and between Duke off-campus housing and West Campus. Bus schedules are also limited. Read announcement on Duke Today.

View full bus schedule

Duke Van Services will adjust their hours from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday. There will be no service on Sunday.

Graduate and professional student permit information

 

If buses are not running or reduced, will parking be available?

Students have choices in how to pay for parking this year. You can still secure a year-long parking pass for the Science Drive garage at a cost of $486 per year. This year there are also flexible parking passes available at a variety of lots around campus. Passes are available daily at a cost of $8 or $21 for a multi-day pass. You must purchase your parking passes online in advance. You will be able to print the pass for immediate use. Visit Duke Parking for more information.

Academics & Research

Will faculty be teaching with masks on? I worry that it might be tough to hear them while lecturing.

All faculty will be required to face coverings while on-campus, including while teaching. We understand that this will take some time getting used to and that everyone in in-person courses will need to speak loudly, slowly. Students should feel comfortable asking faculty or their peers to repeat anything, as needed. All teaching classrooms have microphones for faculty to help ensure they can be heard even through the mask.

 

Will I be required to wear a face covering during my in-person class?

Yes. Always wear a face covering while on campus, both inside buildings and outside (exceptions: when eating, exercising outdoors in a place where appropriate physical distancing is possible, and while occupying a study room by yourself). You must wear a face covering in hallways, bathrooms, common areas, and any other space shared with any other person. Students who have a medical condition that may affect their ability to wear a face covering should consult with the Student Disability Access Office (SDAO).

 

Will graduation requirements be adjusted if I can no longer take a course that I was planning to in order to fulfill a requirement?

If you have concerns about your courses and the ability to fulfill degree or certificate requirements, you should reach out to your academic advisor immediately. When needed, faculty will work with you to ensure you get the coursework you need to meet requirements. We do not want any COVID-related course changes to prevent anyone from graduating on time.

 

I’m concerned about having adequate transition time between rooms and buildings. What will the process be for social distancing during transit between classes?

Follow posted signage in each room and entry/exit signs for rooms and hallways. While navigating between classrooms and spaces, be cognizant of your surroundings and maintain 6 feet of distance from others. Frequent handwashing (or sanitizing) between classes is recommended.

 

If I become sick with COVID-19 during the semester and need to take several months to recover, will I get the option to receive a pass/fail grade for my classes?

We will work with you on an individual basis to find a solution that best fits your needs. That may include a course-specific pass/fail option, taking an incomplete and finishing the work later, or some other option.

NSOE will NOT be informed of positive tests for students. Duke Student Health and/or contact tracers will be in touch with you to check on your health, as well as any other needs you may have. 

If you test positive and would like assistance with academic matters (notifying your professors, getting homework, etc.) please contact the following: Durham professional students: Cindy Peters (petersca@duke.edu); Durham graduate students: Danielle Wiggins (danielle.wiggins@duke.edu); DUML: Stephanie Klein (stephanie.klein@duke.edu). You can also contact the Nicholas School Care and Support Team (serves both Durham and DUML students), care+support@nicholas.duke.edu. If you want this support, you must ask for it as your test results are protected health information and cannot be released to the school by student health.

 

Can students in quarantine or isolation continue their course work?

Yes, students in quarantine or isolation will be able to continue their studies remotely. You will NOT be able to attend classes in person during the quarantine or isolation period, nor utilize campus facilities or in-person resources.

The NSOE will NOT be informed of positive tests for students. Duke Student Health and/or contact tracers will be in touch with you to check on your health, as well as any other needs you may have. 

If you test positive and would like assistance with academic matters (notifying your professors, getting homework, etc.) please contact the following: Durham professional students: Cindy Peters (petersca@duke.edu); Durham graduate students: Danielle Wiggins (danielle.wiggins@duke.edu); DUML: Stephanie Klein (stephanie.klein@duke.edu). You can also contact the Nicholas School Care and Support Team (serves both Durham and DUML students), care+support@nicholas.duke.edu. If you want this support, you must ask for it as your test results are protected health information and cannot be released to the school by student health.

 

If I'm participating remotely at the start of the semester, can I change my mind and participate in person mid-semester? What if I’m an international student taking courses in my home country online – can I come to Durham or Beaufort and participate in person mid-semester if I obtain my visa?

If you are not in the U.S., you should be enrolled in the online section of a course only and not the in-person sections. If you can get to the U.S. at some point during the fall semester, we may be able to move you to the in-person section of the course as long as there is still physical space in the classroom. Given the fluidity of the status of COVID-19, testing and quarantine requirements, and limits on classroom size, we cannot guarantee there will be availability to join the in-person section. Prior approval from the instructor is also needed as there may be concerns in introducing a new student to an in-person section, such as health concerns, or group dynamics. The decision is up to the instructor’s discretion. It is strongly encouraged that you reach out to your instructor before you confirm travel plans to the U.S.

Students in the U.S. participating remotely should be enrolled in the online section of a course only and not the in-person sections. Should you want to change course sections and attend courses in person, you must get prior approval from the instructor first. Given the fluidity of the status of COVID-19, testing and quarantine requirements, and limits on classroom size, we cannot guarantee there will be availability to join the in-person section. Prior approval from the instructor is also needed as there may be concerns in introducing a new student to an in-person section, such as health concerns, or group dynamics. The decision is up to the instructor’s discretion.

 

If I am registered for an in-person or hybrid course but am no longer comfortable meeting in person at any point during the semester, can I change to the online section of the course?

Yes, if such a section exists. In the case of truly in-person classes you will need to work with the professor for accommodation.

 

For hybrid and in-person courses, can I participate in them fully online or is being present in the in-person components required?

Our goals are to promote equity, accessibility, and to honor our commitment to offer true in-person learning experiences for students as well as high-quality online instruction. These goals can, and do, sometimes conflict.  Equity may suggest that all students be accommodated in all courses, but this may limit faculty willingness to teach in-person/hybrid courses and/or reduce the experience for students who are in person and it may be worse for the student than taking a course that was designed to be offered remotely.

Being present in the in-person or hybrid components is required.  Professional students, if you want to take an in-person or hybrid class and cannot attend in person, please contact the Associate Dean for Professional Programs (ADPP), Tim Johnson, timothy.l.johnson@duke.edu. Graduate students, if you want to take an in-person or hybrid class and cannot attend in person, please contact the Senior Associate Dean for Research and Doctoral Programs, Nicolas Cassar, Nicolas.Cassar@duke.edu. Tim and Nicolas will work with you to either identify an alternative course, or if the in-person/hybrid course is required, work with the faculty member to find an accommodation for you.

 

The schedule time for my online course (synchronous) is not conducive to my participation (i.e., very late night or very early morning). What are my options?

Synchronous online courses require participation at the assigned time.  We encourage you to register only if you can attend at that time.  Otherwise you should work with your academic advisor or the ADPP to find a different course that better fits your schedule.

 

Can I register for an in-person discussion/lab section and then attend the online discussion section instead? 

No. It is important that you register for the discussion/lab sections you plan to attend. Duke needs need to know who is in which classes for contact tracing should someone test positive for COVID-19. For incoming students on a F-1 visa in the U.S., this is particularly important that when you register for an in-person or hybrid course that you attend the in-person section to maintain compliance with the ICE guidance.

 

Can I register for two synchronous online classes that overlap in time?

No.  Online synchronous classes require attendance, just as in-person classes would. Students cannot register for classes that overlap in times.

 

I’m worried about an inequitable return to office spaces for PhD students because I’ve heard that some PhD students will be allowed to return to their desks while other students may not be if their desks are in a more populated office. Is this true? If so, how will the school ensure that all students have equal access to resources, faculty, and a quiet space to work?

  • Durham: Any student who wants to come to GH or LSRC to work will have a space available. Those with shared office space should work together to develop scheduled time in the office that enables at least six feet of physical distancing, surface cleaning protocols, etc., similar to laboratory protocols. Contact Nicolas Cassar, Nicolas.Cassar@duke.edu, if you have any issues with workspace.
  • DUML: The Marine Lab has been working with Facilities Maintenance Department to measure spaces and classrooms to ensure physical distancing guidelines can be followed appropriately. Any student who wants to come to the Marine Lab will have a space available. A meeting is being scheduled with the PhD student representative and Marine Lab administration to discuss these issues.

 

How will social distancing and cleaning be implemented in labs?

Open laboratories have already gone through the process of having personnel schedules approved to enable 6 feet of social distancing. Cleaning protocols for common surfaces are also in place, and disposable masks are available to all lab personnel.  Your PI and/or lab manager will train you on new safety protocols.

 

Will I still be able to do field work?

Duke has established limits on Duke-related overnight travel, requiring a demonstration that any proposed trip is essential, that it cannot be reasonably postponed or avoided, and that the individual has planned to minimize the health risks of traveling amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Laboratories with active field work have gone through a multi-step approval process to receive permission to continue field work. Discuss your field work plans with your PI, they will formally request permission if the research is deemed necessary.

For more information on this policy, please review the Duke Global Travel Policy – COVID-19 ADDENDUM.

To apply for an “essential travel” designation if you are in The Graduate School, see this form on the Graduate School website.

Graduate students with questions about research field work requests should contact Shila Nordone, Director of Research Development, snordone@duke.edu. Visit the Nicholas Intranet for information about Field Work protocols.

 

I will be defending my dissertation this fall. Will that be process be completed in person or virtually?

If there is a public component to a defense, such as a seminar, university social-distancing guidelines must be followed. Guests can participate remotely using Zoom. Additional information can be found on the Graduate School COVID-19 and Fall 2020 updates page

 

Will course field trips still be available for the fall? If I don’t feel comfortable participating in a field trip associated with one of my courses, what are my options?

  • Durham: Courses with mandatory field trips are very limited this fall and almost exclusively restricted to Master of Forestry students who need these courses for their degree.  There may be optional field trips in other courses, but these trips are optional, and participation is not required and will not be graded.
  • DUML:  DUML-based courses may have field trip components; please refer to course descriptions for details on field trips and requirements for DUML courses. 

 

As a returning student, can I choose to take a leave of absence?

  • Continuing Professional Students: The Nicholas School has always permitted professional students to take up to two semesters leave of absence for personal reasons. Amid the uncertainty created by COVID-19, some returning students may be considering a leave of absence for the fall 2020 semester. Students wanting to request a leave of absence must do so by August 10, 2020. Please review the Nicholas School Leave of Absence Policy and Process for details and the form to submit.
  • Continuing PhD Students: Leave of absence requests are managed by the Graduate School. Leave requests must be received in the Graduate School prior to the first day of class in the semester for which you are requesting the leave.

 

Is it possible for faculty members to change in-person courses to hybrid or online delivery?

Yes, course designations may change as a result of several factors, including availability of the faculty member, campus and local conditions, and the composition of the students enrolled in the class.

 

Will course workloads and expectations of me as a student be adjusted given the stresses of COVID-19?

We understand that the current situation is stressful and will impact students in different ways. We encourage you to communicate early and often with your faculty and TA’s.

It is important to take care of yourself and to reach out for support. You can always reach out to Student Services (Durham: Sherri Nevius, sherri.nevius@duke.edu; DUML: Katie Wood, katie.wood@duke.edu). You also can reach out to the Nicholas School Care and Support Team, care+support@nicholas.duke.edu (serves both Durham and Beaufort-based students). Access to student support services are available to all students, regardless of on-campus or remote participation.

View a list of current Duke services and how to access

View additional resources available to students at DUML

 

If I am a Durham-based student and I follow all the required safety protocol and I am not sick, can I visit the Marine Lab (and vice versa)?

Unfortunately, no. You need to stay in your primary area at this time.

 

What will happen in the Spring 2021 semester?

The fast moving and unpredictable nature of the virus means that Duke must make final determinations later in the fall. Duke will be closely monitoring campus, local, and national indicators to make this decision.  We will communicate what we know as we learn about it.

International Students – Studying in the U.S.

I am an incoming, new student, can I study in the U.S. via online formats only?

No. Per ICE guidance and Duke’s response on July 25, all new, incoming international students on an F-1 visa must register for at least one in-person or hybrid class. Students on J-1 visas are not affected. This policy change does NOT affect or pertain to continuing international students who were actively enrolled in a U.S. school on or before March 9, 2020. Incoming students on F-1 visas who are enrolled in an NSOE program of study that is fully online for the Fall 2020 semester will not be able to enter the U.S.  Incoming F-1 students who are enrolled in an NSOE program of study that includes in-person, hybrid and online components may enter the U.S. if they are registered for at least one in-person or hybrid course in the fall semester. For our incoming MEM and MF international students who plan to study within the U.S. in the fall, at this time there will be in-person and hybrid course options that will satisfy your program area or degree requirements. You will need to register for the in-person or hybrid section of at least one 500-level (or above) course to be in compliance with ICE guidelines. Incoming international graduate students should consult with your academic advisor regarding course options.

 

Will I need an updated I-20?

We are told that incoming international students will not need an updated I-20.  However, Duke Visa Services Office will provide a letter confirming that Duke will be a hybrid institution in the fall. Please reach out to Duke Visa Services directly for this letter if you need one.

 

What happens if Duke goes fully online in the fall?

Should Duke need to revert to a full course of online study during the fall semester, any international student already in the U.S. and enrolled in at least one in-person or hybrid course may remain in the U.S. to finish their course of study.

International students should refer to the international student section of the Keep Learning website for more specific guidance, FAQ for International Students. As well as using the International House as a resource.

 

General / Miscellaneous

If I am engaging in all courses remotely for the fall semester, do I need to let Duke know that I will not be on campus?

You will register for all online courses. You will not be able to access any Duke buildings without being tested (Duke Card will not be activated) and testing is not required for any student who does not take courses in person and/or plans to utilize campus facilities at any point during the semester.

The Bursar’s “Student Location Survey” has been assigned to all students in DukeHub. You can access the survey by selecting the link on the homepage. This survey will NOT block course registration. Any questions regarding the survey should be directed to the Bursar’s Office. All students are required to complete the survey related to residency for the fall 2020 academic semester. Failure to do so could result in inaccurate billing of tuition and fees.

 

Will there be any changes in tuition or fees for the fall semester?

  • Tuition – MEM and MF tuition will be frozen at the same level as the 2019-20 academic year and the planned increase for this year has been rescinded. Additional information can be found in the email from Dean Steelman on August 4th.
  • Fees – Several student fees set by the University have been reduced or will be waived for the fall term depending on whether students are in residence or studying remotely. Professional students can find updated tuition and fee charges for the 2020-21 academic year on our website.

All students can view any changes by going to DukeHub and looking at your student account history - this information should be available by the end of the week of August 10th.

It is critical for ALL students to complete the survey from the Bursar found in DukeHub. Accurate information will ensure you are charged the correct fees for the fall term.

 

What plans are being developed for networking events and other career services events?

  • For professional students, the Career and Professional Development Center (CPDC) is planning many virtual events to help students develop career skills.
    • We will be offering one-on-one career coaching appointments, delivering workshops on many career-related topics (networking, LinkedIn, etc.), and presenting in seminar.
    • In term of networking events, the CPDC will be hosting various employers at our Nic ECO (Exploring Career Options) Week starting on Monday, October 12th and ending on Friday, October 16th. During this week, we will highlight employers in a different sector of environmental careers. These employers will be offering information sessions and holding office hours to network with professional students.
    • Outside of the CPDC-led events, there are other opportunities to connect with alumni and employers in the Nicholas School and outside of the Nicholas School. For example, Energy Initiative SPARK career fair and Leading the Change speaker series. If you have specific questions, reach out to CPDC at careers@nicholas.duke.edu.

 

Has the ventilation in GH and other buildings been adjusted?

Yes. Where possible Facilities and Maintenance have been adjusting the ventilation system within buildings to promote fresh air.

 

Will I still be able to participate in work-study or assistantships in the fall? What about other campus employment opportunities?

Yes, but it will likely look different than in past years. All assistantship positions will be able to be conducted remotely. Other campus employment opportunities, including work-study, will be available but may be limited and/or required to be completed remotely.

 

Will we be able to submit our payroll paperwork remotely if we do not plan to be in Durham or Beaufort?

Payroll set-up will be managed electronically. We will do in-person “physical examination” of documents, when Duke advises us to do so.

 

How do we connect with staff/administrators? Will they be available for walk-ins on campus?

Each department will have their own way to connect with students either remotely, or in person. You should expect that most interactions with staff will be facilitated through remote means: Zoom, email, phone, Teams, etc. Be on the lookout for communications from those you often interact with on how best to communicate with them. Consideration will be made, to the extent possible, to accommodate students in different time zones.

View information about visiting and contacting the Duke Graduate School Offices

For other Duke offices, check their website for information on how in-person and remote visitor/connection information.

 

Will the IT help desk be open?

For IT and AV support/assistance in both Durham & DUML – even for your personal computer or devices – email it@nicholas.duke.edu. Your ticket will be assigned to the group and staffer best able to help you.

View additional Nicholas IT information

 

If my family or friends would like to visit campus during the semester, is that possible?

No. Unfortunately, visitors are not allowed on campus until further notice.

 

I am a student at the Marine Lab. What happens if there is a hurricane that requires us to evacuate? Where will we stay?

The Marine Lab is working closely with Duke on emergency preparedness and evacuation procedures in case of a hurricane this fall. The Marine Lab will communicate early and often to help all students in the area to plan accordingly and to be prepared. DUML students should review and be aware of these two preparedness documents (these will be emailed to all DUML students, as well):

Should there be a need to evacuate Beaufort, Duke will provide campus housing in Durham for Marine Lab students. We ask that all Marine Lab students closely follow guidance and directions provided by the Marine Lab.

 

Where can I find more information on Duke operations, safety protocol, etc.?