Student Update: Fall 2020 Plan

COVID-19 tests available free to all NDSU students and employees

The North Dakota University System (NDUS) in cooperation with the North Dakota Department of Health is arranging mass testing events for COVID-19 in multiple locations across the state. NDSU current students, incoming students, faculty and staff are encouraged to get tested.

The initial testing events are scheduled for Aug. 3-25 in Fargo, Bismarck, Grand Forks, Wahpeton, Jamestown, Mayville, Bottineau, Minot, Devils Lake, Belcourt, Fort Totten, Fort Yates, New Town, Williston and Dickinson. Exact testing dates, times and locations for each city will be announced later. Pre-registration at is encouraged to facilitate an efficient collection process and minimize your time at the testing site.

Tests are available to all current and new students, faculty and staff at any of the state’s 11 NDUS campuses. Individuals can get tested at the site nearest to their current place of residence, with the goal of getting the results prior to travelling to NDSU. NDSU is not requiring documentation of negative test results. If your results are positive, we ask you to follow public health guidelines and isolate at your home place of residence. 

Students and employees who live outside North Dakota also can participate by travelling to the nearest NDUS testing site. However, testing closer to home is encouraged if it is available and distance prohibits travelling to North Dakota. 

Additional details will be available when we get closer to the start of the testing events.


Wednesday, Aug. 5
Valley City

Thursday, Aug. 6
Minot, Grand Forks

Friday, Aug. 7

Monday, Aug. 10
Williston, Minot

Tuesday, Aug. 11
Dickinson, Bismarck, Minot, Devils Lake

Wednesday, Aug. 12
Mayville, Valley City

Thursday, Aug. 13
Minot, Grand Forks

Friday, Aug. 14

Monday, Aug. 17
Williston, Minot, Belcourt, Fort Totten, Wahpeton

Tuesday, Aug. 18
Fargo, Dickinson, Bismarck, Minot, Devils Lake

Wednesday, Aug. 19
Fargo, Mayville, Valley City, Grand Forks, Fort Yates

Thursday, Aug. 20
Fargo, Bottineau, Bismarck, Grand Forks, New Town

Friday, Aug. 21
Fargo, Dickinson, Jamestown, Bismarck, Minot, Grand Forks

Saturday, Aug. 22
Fargo, Dickinson, Jamestown, Valley City, Bismarck, Minot, Devils Lake

Sunday, Aug. 23
Fargo, Williston, Minot, Bismarck, Grand Forks

Monday, Aug. 24
Mayville, Williston, Minot

Tuesday, Aug. 25
Dickinson, Bismarck, Minot, Devils Lake

NDSU implements HyFlex instruction for fall 2020

NDSU will begin using a technology-enhanced instructional model that allows students and faculty to fully interact in person or remotely beginning fall 2020. The HyFlex Educational Model, announced by President Dean L. Bresciani, is a powerful tool during the pandemic as it allows for synchronous live participation in both modes, and students will be able to choose how to participate. 
“The HyFlex world is one where students and faculty that are vulnerable, in isolation or in quarantine, can still effectively teach, learn and be an active part of the NDSU community,” Bresciani said in his announcement. “We have heard the concerns of some faculty and students about returning to the classroom environment, and this model should help allay those concerns.”
Nearly every classroom on the NDSU campus will be equipped, and faculty will be supported over the summer to train and prepare to teach in this innovative model.
Incoming and returning students were informed about this plan for fall via email from President Bresciani. He also reminded students about their ongoing responsibility to continue to practice social distancing and hygiene habits that help avoid spread of Covid-19.  Students will be required to wear masks in classes, and the university is implementing numerous other changes to classroom sizes, furniture arrangements, disinfecting practices and more. Students are not required to change class registration, but should communicate with their advisers about labs.

Watch the video to learn more from NDSU Interim Provost Margaret Fitzgerald.

Guiding Principles

We are a student-focused, land-grant, research university, and remain dedicated to our role as an economic engine that educates students, conducts primary research, creates new knowledge and advances technology. 

We are committed to offering an in-person experience to students who choose it. Students who have health concerns about returning may contact Student Health Service for support.

This is a time to demonstrate our strengths as innovators and problem solvers, as we pursue the richest possible in-person experience for our students while minimizing risk to all.

We are guided by the best practices and advice from state and federal public health agencies. 

Academic Instruction

NDSU is currently:

  • We are analyzing classrooms and class sizes to determine options for social distancing
  • Evaluating potential adjustments to seating arrangements
  • NDSU will begin using HyFlex technology-enhanced instructional model that allows students and faculty to fully interact in person or remotely beginning fall 2020. 

Student Life

We are pursuing creative approaches to co-curricular activities, to foster learning and growth that comes from experiencing groups while following physical distancing guidelines. Learn more about Student Life at NDSU.


Learn more about event guidelines here.

Residence Life

Residence Life will continue to provide students the flexibility to choose between single or double rooms in the Residence Halls as available.

Students who have concerns with living on campus are asked to discuss options with Residence Life.

Students will have two options for move in. There will be early drop off, or scheduled move ins from Aug. 20-Aug. 22.  Sign up here:

Students who need to quarantine will do so in their own rooms. Rooms will be set aside for on-campus students who may need to isolate at any point during the semester. Meals will be delivered to the rooms and Residence Life will provide daily wellness checks to students in these situations.

Planned day-to-day operational adaptations include providing disinfectant stations for student use and scheduling additional sanitation by campus custodians. We may limit the number of students in lounges, and reconfigure furniture in common areas.

Learn more at NDSU Residence Life.


Dining areas are planning a number of modifications, including: 

  • Signage to encourage social distancing in lines
  • Seating areas arranged to meet health department criteria for distancing
  • Thorough cleaning and disinfecting on a regular and frequent basis, following state and federal public health agencies guidelines, utilizing EPA approved cleaners, sanitizers and disinfectants
  • West Dining Center will continue to be an allergen friendly facility free of tree-nuts and peanuts with Clean Eats station offering items free of the top 8 allergens. Students with food allergies may contact Hannah Prigge for specific meals/needs.
  • Take-out meals to allow students to eat in their rooms
  • Food will be served and not available for self-service
  • Crowd size will be limited to ND health department restrictions, currently at 75 percent capacity, managed by dining staff

Learn more at NDSU Dining Services.

Student Health Service and Counseling

Student Health Service has well-established protocols, updated and adapted to COVID-19, for screening, testing and working with patients who report symptoms. Residence Life, Dining and other student services have experience with and are prepared to support any students who are affected. Learn more about Student Health Services.

North Dakota Department of Health will conduct contact tracing for any positive cases of the virus in an employee or student.

  • To protect all students who come through the Student Health Service, students are screened for COVID-19 using guidelines published by state and federal public health agencies. If the student meets the criteria, the student’s symptoms are reviewed and determine if a COVID-19 test is required.
  • Student Health Service is able to provide thermometers to students if one is needed.
  • Proper cleaning is performed as the student transitions to each area of the Student Health Service, including the door handles, chair in lobby, exam room and any other surfaces a patient may have come in contact with.
  • All students will wear face coverings while in Student Health Service.
  • Both in-person and telehealth appointments will be available with providers.
  • NDSU’s Counseling Center will continue to offer one-on-one counseling through telemedicine and in-person as possible.
  • Support groups will be offered virtually for a variety of mental health concerns.

Well-being Resources on Campus and in the Community
As a member of the NDSU community, resources are available for you should you need help in dealing with adverse reactions to things happening in the world today.  A variety of resources are listed below:

For students on campus and remotely (telehealth):
Counseling Services: 701-231-7671
Disability Services: 701-231-8463
Student Health Service: 701-231-7331

In a crisis or emergency situation:
Call University Police: 701-231-8998
Call 911
Go to a Hospital Emergency Room
Go to Prairie St. Johns  for a Needs Assessment: 701-476-721 (510 4th St. S.)
Call the FirstLink Help Line: 1-800-273- TALK (8255) or 2-1-1
Call Rape and Abuse Crisis Center: 701-293-7273

Reducing Spread

Campus Community:

Effective on Monday, NDSU will be modifying its guidance to expand the use of face coverings on campus. A copy of the new guideline along with some FAQs can be found here. We are instituting this new guidance to better protect our campus community against the spread of COVID-19. We know this is short notice, so we are expecting campus to fully comply over the course of a few days next week.

We did not take this decision lightly. We relied on public health experts, including the CDC, who have stressed that face coverings are a critical prevention technique. Reflecting the importance of this issue, campuses across the Midwest are implementing similarly stringent policies.

We all want to have a successful Fall semester, and to help make that happen, each of us needs to remember that our personal decisions influence the overall health of the community. Wearing a mask is a small act, but collectively, it can have a huge impact. If we all work together, we can help Protect the Herd.

Students and employees should plan to supply their own face coverings and may wish to have more than one on hand to allow for adequate laundering. Students will receive one cloth face covering in a welcome package at the start of the year.

Follow CDC guidelines on handwashing, respiratory etiquette, as well as social distancing.
Students and employees will be reminded to stay home when sick. 

We are exploring the following facility modifications.

  • Evaluating Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and controls for improved air quality options
  • Adjusting seating arrangements in classrooms
  • Installing physical barriers in areas like coffee shops, dining and One Stop
  • Distancing reminders will be posted in areas where people wait in lines for services
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be located in high traffic public areas in every building. Disinfecting solutions also will be available for students and faculty who want to clean desks, chairs or other surfaces
  • Hygiene reminders will be posted throughout campus
  • Remote work will continue for employees who need to remain home
  • Custodial cleaning and disinfecting will be enhanced for restrooms and classrooms, as well as areas like door handles, elevator controls, water bottle filling stations, hand rails and light switches.


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