Responding to COVID-19: Spring 2022

Vaccination Requirement for Students

All students are required to be vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 by January 31, 2022 unless they have an approved exemption. Students who have not already done so should upload their COVID-19 booster documentation to the Student Health portal. The University is holding a multi-day clinic to provide free booster shots; learn more at

COVID-19 Testing

Pre-Arrival Testing
All students are required to complete pre-arrival testing 48 hours before returning to campus. A PCR test is preferred, but rapid tests are also acceptable. Those who receive a positive PCR test result must email their result to and report their positive result through PennOpen Pass. Those who receive a positive rapid test result must report their result through PennOpen Pass. Anyone with a positive pre-arrival test should complete their isolation at home before arriving to campus. Negative test results do not need to be submitted to the University. Those who do not have access to a pre-arrival test should immediately test upon arrival to campus and quarantine until they receive a negative test result. 

Gateway Testing
All members of the Penn community who will be on campus and/or enrolled during the spring semester are required to complete a gateway test after returning to campus and no later than January 31, regardless of vaccination status or result of pre-arrival testing. Those arriving to campus after the end of January should test on the day they arrive to campus. This test must be completed through the Penn Cares testing system. Anyone with a positive result from a gateway test will be required to isolate and cooperate with Penn’s contact tracing efforts. All University community members can schedule their gateway test on the Penn Cares website.

Ongoing Testing

  • In Fall 2021, all vaccinated graduate students were required to get a COVID-19 screening test twice per month (every other week). For Spring 2022, screening information for those who are fully vaccinated will be forthcoming, after initial positivity is assessed via pre-arrival and gateway testing.
  • Anyone who is not fully vaccinated or has received a vaccine exemption is required to get a COVID-19 screening test twice per week.

To schedule a testing appointment at DuBois Tent or in Houston Hall, visit Penn's COVID-19 website. Failure to adhere to the required testing schedule will result in a Red Pass for non-compliance through the PennOpen Pass system.

Classes, Studios, and Academics

The Weitzman School of Design will begin spring 2022 classes and studios as scheduled on Wednesday, January 12 virtually (following a Monday schedule) and then resume in-person classes and studios beginning on Monday, January 24, 2022.    

During the period from January 12, 2022 through January 23, 2022, the following Weitzman Labs, resources and services will be closed or unavailable: 

  • Robotics Lab 
  • Fabrication Lab 
  • All digital and photography labs in Addams Hall 
  • All computer labs 
  • All printers and plotters 

Please note that IT staff will be working remotely during this time. Please email if you have questions or concerns, or visit the IT Services section of the Weitzman website.  

The use of Weitzman buildings during the period when classes and studios will be held remotely is strongly discouraged. However, if you need to retrieve equipment, materials, or personal belongings, or if you are unable to complete studio or class work at home, you may enter Weitzman buildings between the hours of 8:30am and 5:00pm Mondays through Fridays from Wednesday, January 12 through Friday, January 21, 2022. PennCard access will not be available for students outside of those times, with the exception of students who have a private, enclosed workspace. It is extremely important that students entering any Weitzman building MUST adhere to the following guidelines: 

  • Complete their pre-arrival testing 48 hours prior to returning to campus;
  • Complete PennOpen pass prior to entering and DO NOT enter if you have a red pass; 
  • Adhere to correct masking  at ALL times (layer a cloth mask on top of a disposable mask or wear a KN95 or N95 mask;
  • Refrain from eating; 
  • Wash hands frequently; 
  • Practice social distancing. 

Weitzman staff will be monitoring all buildings to assess adherence to these guidelines. Violations may result in disciplinary action. 

To facilitate remote access and accommodate students who may need to miss class due to illness or other reasons, class sessions may be recorded. In these instances, students should contact the instructor for questions about potential recordings or other accommodations if COVID-19 protocols keep them from attending class. In instances where classes are recorded, the recordings are usually made available through Canvas for the duration of the semester, and are solely for students’ personal, educational use and may not be shared, copied, or redistributed. Note also that students are not allowed to record class sessions themselves. This policy is part of the Remote Learning Guide from IT.


Health & Mental Health Services

Any student who is showing COVID-19 symptoms, has tested positive, or has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 should complete PennOpen Pass. This system will connect students with the COVID-19 Resource Center to advise about next steps. PennOpen Pass should be completed on a daily basis, even when students do not come to campus.

For more health guidance, please visit the University's COVID-19 site.

For mental health and counseling services (both virtual and in person), contact the Counseling Center.

International Students

International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) has updates specific to policies and impacts pertaining to COVID-19, including information about international travel, visa status, and OPT/CPT eligibility. International students are advised to review the ISSS COVID-19 web page or reach out directly to their ISSS advisor. (ISSS advisor names are listed on students’ iPenn landing page.)

"Learning From" Address in Penn in Touch

Students should keep their “Learning From Address” updated in Penn in Touch. Although students have now returned to learning from Philadelphia, the "Learning From Address" can be updated if anything changes. To update your “Learning From” address:

  • Go to Penn in Touch
  • Click on “Profile, privacy, and Emergency” in the left column
  • Click on “Address Information” in the dropdown menu that appears
  • Click on the “Learning From Address” tab and fill in your updated address
  • Click “Update” at the bottom of the page to save your changes

Financial Aid

Loan Repayment Assistance

Current students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents borrowing Federal loans and/or have Federal loans from prior academic study may qualify for assistance with your loan payments from the U.S. Department of Education. To learn more about the options available to you, please visit the Federal Student Aid website dedicated to COVID-19 updates and information here.

Please note: if you have questions about your specific loans, you should follow up directly with your loan servicer. If you are unsure who your loan servicer is, you can find that information by logging in to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) website. The Weitzman School of Design Financial Aid Office and Penn’s Student Financial Services Office do not have access to your loan servicer information.

For answers to other frequently asked questions, visit the web page about Tuition and Financial Aid.