Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Fall 2021
The following FAQs include commonly asked questions about The Fletcher School’s policies regarding –
b. Orientation Information
d. Tuition and Financial Aid,
e. International Students,
f. Living Accommodations, Buildings, and Dining Services,
g. Student Life, and
h. Health and Safety
For further complete information and updates on Tufts University’s COVID-19 policies and guidance, please consult these websites:
Circumstances and guidance may continue to change throughout the semester; these websites will always be your best source for updated information.
COVID-19 Policies & Testing Protocol
Arrival Quarantine and Travel
Fully vaccinated* students traveling internationally or domestically do not need to quarantine upon arrival into the US.
Students who are not fully vaccinated are required to quarantine for 7-10 days, whether traveling internationally or domestically. International students should either quarantine for 10 days, or for 7 days if they receive a negative result in a COVID test 3-5 days after travel.
* According to CDC guidelines, a person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after they have received all the vaccine doses recommended by the vaccine provider. For instance, you are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after you receive two doses of the Pfizer vaccine with a 3-week interval between the doses. Similarly, the Moderna vaccine requires a 4-week interval between doses. The WHO guidelines for Sinovac recommend a 2–4-week interval between the two doses.
E.g., if your first dose of the Pfizer vaccine was on May 1, your second dose would have been between May 20-25. You would have been considered fully vaccinated on June 10.
The Massachusetts government has issued guidelines on the correct way to quarantine (https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-isolation-and-quarantine-information#learn-about-quarantining- ). Please visit the link above to ensure your quarantine follows all guidelines.
If you have tested positive for COVID in the past 3 months and you have met the criteria to end isolation, you will not need to quarantine after arriving in the region. However, please continue to self-monitor for symptoms.
Additionally, you will not be required to test prior to international travel as long as you have documentation of recovery (proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html).
Finally, if you have tested positive within 3 months of arriving at Tufts, you should fill out this form.The testing team will exempt you from the testing protocol until it has been 90 days since the positive test. If you have questions about this, you can contact COVIDTesting@tufts.edu.
Fully vaccinated students can travel internationally without any additional requirements from the school and do not need to quarantine upon return to campus. Last year, we instituted a travel form where students submitted their reasons for personal travel during the height of the pandemic, but, with higher vaccination rates in the US, that travel form is no longer required for international travel during the school year.
However, you will likely be missing your routine COVID testing (which will be at least a standard once-per-week requirement). Please complete the test as soon as you arrive back from your trip and come to campus only after you receive a negative test result, which should only take 12 hours. You should also continue to monitor for symptoms and contact Health Service right away if you develop any symptoms. You can simply walk into the Campus Testing center to test (62R, Talbot Avenue, Medford).
Yes. All students who wish to access campus are required to complete arrival testing and participate in routine/surveillance testing. Please see additional information on testing here.
Yes. All students will need to complete “arrival testing” when they arrive on campus, even if they have been accessing campus throughout the summer. Students who do not yet have ID cards will receive them cards during arrival testing.
The Gantcher Center (161, College Avenue, Medford) is available for arrival testing the weeks of August 16, 23, and 30 during all weekdays with the exception of September 1. Please note that many students will be arriving on campus during this period, especially the week of August 30. You should plan ample time to receive your arrival test. Please find testing center hours on this website: https://coronavirus.tufts.edu/testing-at-tufts.
Fully vaccinated students who wish to participate in Orientation in-person must complete their arrival testing process during the week of August 23. Students who are not fully vaccinated who wish to participate in Orientation in-person must take their first arrival test no later than August 23 so that they can complete their quarantine and arrival testing prior to the start of Orientation.
All students should plan to take their arrival tests by September 3. However, there will be testing available either at 62R Talbot Avenue center after September 3.
When you arrive, you will be required to take a rapid COVID-19 antigen test, the results of which will be known within 30 minutes. If you test negative, you can go about your on-campus activities, and begin your weekly COVID-19 routine testing program within 3 to 4 days. If you test positive, you will need to isolate for 10 days in your off-campus apartment or in the Mods. You will be put in touch with a clinician from Tufts Health Service, who will provide medical advice and monitoring.
Students who are not fully vaccinated should come to campus as soon as possible after arrival
If you are not fully vaccinated by your arrival date, you will be required to arrive early and complete a brief quarantine combined with testing. This includes students who receive an approved COVID-19 vaccine accommodation for medical or religious reasons. Students who need vaccination will receive information about how to register for a Tufts vaccine clinic.
Unvaccinated arrivals should plan to get tested as soon as they arrive in the area, at least 7 days prior to the start of classes. You will then begin self-quarantine in-situ (e.g. in your room), only returning to campus to take another test 4 days later. If both of these tests are negative, you will be able to leave quarantine on day 8 (so you will be in quarantine for a minimum of a full 7 days, even if you receive a negative COVID-19 test sooner). While in the quarantine period, you will need to stay in your room and participate in all activities virtually. Once you’ve completed quarantine, you will begin your weekly COVID-19 routine testing program.
Fletcher students who wish to access campus will likely be tested once each week. Students who wish to access campus must attend their regular tests otherwise they will be unable to access campus.
The University’s COVID-19 tests are processed by the Broad Institute and results are shared approximately 24 hours from when the test kit arrives at the Institute for processing.
The University is covering the costs of all routine testing. Symptomatic testing at Tufts Health Service will be billed to your insurance.
Yes. However, you must complete an arrival test when you first get to campus. Additionally, you should email Nora.Moser@tufts.edu so that she can ensure you are in the testing protocol.
Yes. Tufts/Fletcher requires that you participate in the Tufts testing protocols if you are accessing the campus and facilities during the semester.
Yes. Students can contact Nora.Moser@tufts.edu
Yes. Students can contact Nora.Moser@tufts.edu.
If a student’s COVID-19 test is positive, the individual will be contacted by phone by a healthcare clinician/provider and given instructions for appropriate next steps and care, and will be able to begin isolation, which also initiates the contact tracing process. Students local to campus will be given the option to isolate on campus in the modular units.
If the contact tracing process indicates that you have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you will be asked to quarantine and report any new symptoms or change of symptoms to Health Services calling 617-627-3350. More information is available at the Testing at Tufts website.
Students (including undergraduate, graduate, professional, and non-traditional students) will need to be vaccinated prior to participating in on-campus classes or activities.
Tufts will soon distribute information about immunizations for students who are not fully vaccinated. Vaccinations will occur in mid- to late-August. If you arrive in the Tufts area prior to mid-August, we encourage you to attend a local vaccine clinic.
Unvaccinated students can participate in orientation as well as classes as long as they fulfill the arrival testing and quarantine requirements and remain in the University COVID testing program.
More details about this policy, including information on how to submit proof of vaccination status, will be posted at go.tufts.edu/covidvaccine.
It will be possible to complete your vaccine series when you arrive, but it will need to be a US-authorized vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna). Please reach out to Health Service to discuss this, using these instructions https://students.tufts.edu/health-and-wellness/health-insurance/contact-us to email the immunization reviewer. They will answer your question or schedule a telehealth call if you need more discussion.
WHO-approved vaccines are accepted by The Fletcher School. You do not have to quarantine if you are fully vaccinated with the AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Sinopharm, or other vaccine that has been approved by the WHO. However, if you have received a non-WHO vaccine, you will be considered unvaccinated and will need to get vaccinated upon arriving in the US.
If you are receiving your final vaccine after July 1 and have not already filled out the COVID Vaccination Status Form, please email FletcherStudentAffairs@tufts.edu. You should submit your records to the Secure Health Portal as soon as possible after your final vaccine.
Please contact Health Services with questions regarding immunization requirements. This link contains instructions for using the Patient Portal to send questions to Health Services
Orientation for incoming students has two goals: to introduce students to Fletcher academic and student life, and to build community among our students, faculty, and staff.
Orientation consists of two major components:
- Pre-Orientation Modules
The Pre-Orientation modules are designed to provide you with information necessary to succeed at Fletcher. These online modules contain information on registering for courses, planning your curriculum, health and wellbeing resources at Tufts, diversity and inclusion, student services, libraries, information technology resources, and more. The modules will be accessible online in advance and must be completed prior to the start of Orientation.
- Orientation Week
Orientation Week begins on August 30, 2021. Some events will be held in-person and others will be offered online. Orientation week includes sessions on academics, as well as various social activities for you to get to know your classmates. Additionally, during Orientation Week, you will be grouped into cohort groups of approximately 10-15 incoming students, with second-year students, faculty, and staff mentors. The cohort groups will meet throughout Orientation Week.
Please find the Orientation information, including the schedule here: https://sites.tufts.edu/congratulations/orientation-information/.
The Fall 2021 orientation will be fully accessible to students who must participate online. This is to accommodate students who are unable to be on the Tufts campus by August 30.
Students may arrive after Orientation starts, but they must attend all mandatory Orientation activities. Thus, students should not travel during Orientation week itself unless they are able to do so without missing any mandatory sessions. If students have extenuating circumstances that will cause them to miss parts of Orientation, they should reach out to the Office of Student Affairs (firstname.lastname@example.org), and we can work with them.
If students arrive late in Orientation week, they may participate online and then join in-person sessions as long as they are fully vaccinated. However, they will continue to meet with their online cohort groups. For instance, if a fully vaccinated student begins their Orientation online, and arrive on campus on Day 2, they would stay in their online cohort, but could eat lunch, or attend OEO sessions, along with an in-person cohort.
The Office of Student Affairs will need to know about late student arrivals and students planning to shift from online to in-person sessions in advance. Attendance will be taken for some mandatory sessions.
If an unvaccinated student is unable to quarantine for 7-10 days before Orientation, they must participate online. All Orientation offerings will have online alternatives, except campus tours and the Field of Studies Fair.
Most courses in Fall 2021 will be delivered in-person, with some remote learning options. A course schedule will be released on June 15, 2021, and it will be updated over the summer as needed.
In addition to our traditional face-to-face instruction, we will have two types of courses:
- A hybrid course has in-person class meetings and activities along with the ability to participate entirely remotely. There will be few hybrid courses offered in Fall 2021.
- A remote course is taught virtually at scheduled times and may include synchronous and asynchronous components. There will be some remote courses offered in Fall 2021.
SIS will indicate whether courses are in-person, hybrid, or remote. For hybrid courses, please contact the course instructor for more information on attendance policies and class format.
Tufts Technology Services will provide training and support on how to use Zoom and other technologies in classrooms and spaces. Please contact email@example.com for assistance.
Hybrid is an instructional delivery method for courses that will allow students to attend class and participate remotely or in-person, with classroom capacities and seating distancing maintained in accordance with health and safety standards determined by Tufts University in compliance with state and local public health guidance. All activities including instruction, discussion groups, presentations, simulations, review sessions, recitations, and examinations with have in-person and remote options for students.
Students should plan to attend their classes in-person during the published meeting times unless the modality indicates the course is taught remotely or has a hybrid instruction option. For hybrid courses, the in-person component will vary from class to class, and students are advised to check with the instructor if interested in enrolling in a hybrid course. All classroom capacities will be maintained in accordance with health and safety standards determined by the University in compliance with state and local public health guidance.
Yes. All courses listed as hybrid or remote will have a fully remote option.
If a course is listed in-person, students are expected to be in the classroom during the published meeting times, and a remote option is not available. All classroom capacities will be maintained in accordance with health and safety standards determined by the University in compliance with state and local public health guidance.
On June 15, a full class schedule will be published on the website, indicating which courses will be in remote or hybrid format, and including class meeting times and instructor information.
For continuing students who have two semesters or fewer remaining at Fletcher, your registration will begin on Tuesday, August 17 at 12:00 PM EST. All others will register on Monday, August 30 at 12:00 PM EST.
There will be a Shopping Day event held during Orientation on Friday, September 3. More information will be available in mid-August.
The first day of classes will be Tuesday, September 7, 2021. The academic calendar for Fall 2021 is available here.
No, the exception made during Spring Term 2020 was a temporary response with the goal of minimizing students’ stress during a rapid transition from residential to remote instruction and learning.
There are no changes to our policy on auditing Fletcher classes. Please refer to the Student Handbook and myFletcher for information on auditing a course.
There are no changes to our policy on cross-registration. Please refer to the Student Handbook and myFletcher for information on cross-registration. Note that each school has its own academic calendar, and students are responsible for knowing the registration deadlines and other key dates for enrollment. Students in their final semester are advised that their grades from cross-registration courses may not be submitted by the deadline for Fletcher grade submission, which will cause their graduation date to be changed.
Fletcher’s transfer credit policy applies for students who enroll at another institution. Please refer to the Student Handbook.
Most courses do not have enrollment limits. Fletcher reserves the right to cap enrollment on a course in accordance with health and safety standards determined by the University in compliance with state and local public health guidance.
All faculty will hold regular office hours with options for in-person and remote meetings with students. Faculty office hours will be posted on myFletcher.
Students in Fall 2021 should plan to enroll in a full-time course load. Students requesting an exception should consult with the Fletcher Registrar.
Students are permitted to take a fifth course and will be charged additional tuition on a per-course basis. MALD and PhD candidates are permitted on two occasions during their degree program to take five courses in a semester. MA, MATA, and LLM candidates are permitted to do so once. The fifth course does not permit a student to enroll in less than full-time in a future semester. Students will be charged on a per-course basis for the fifth course.
Pursuing five courses in a semester is optional, meaning that students are not required to take a fifth course (except for MIB degree candidates). Grading and transcript policies are the same for all courses. Fifth courses appear on students’ transcripts. If a student withdraws from an optional fifth course after the drop deadline, a grade of “W” is recorded on the transcript. Financial aid may not be available for students taking an optional fifth course.
Yes, students (except in the MIB program) can take 4.5 courses once during their Fletcher career with no additional tuition charge. The Fletcher School offers a limited number of half courses every year. Additionally, half courses are also offered at other institutions where Fletcher has cross-registration agreements. Please refer to the Student Handbook.
Students who miss a class or an assignment due to an illness or personal matter should contact their faculty directly and discuss how to complete any missed work. Faculty will be as fair and flexible as possible when receiving students’ requests.
Students have access to a variety of Tufts software and systems to learn, study, and engage with colleagues remotely. Visit Learning Remotely for a list of programs and tools available to all Tufts students. The Service Desk is open 24 hours, 7 days a week and can answer questions about Tufts technology systems or provide advice for personal computers and devices. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617-627-3376 for assistance. Ginn Library manages the technology environment at Fletcher. For specific questions about technology at Fletcher, email email@example.com.
Tuition & Financial Aid
Your tuition will be prorated to reflect the number of courses you are taking. Your scholarship will also be prorated to reflect the lower tuition cost. Students need to be enrolled at least part-time (2 courses, 6 SHUs) to be eligible for federal student loans.
Yes, requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Please reach out to the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details.
Yes. The deadline to request a personal leave of absence for the Fall 2021 semester is August 1, 2021. Students who wish to request a personal leave of absence should contact the Fletcher Registrar.
Students who are requesting a leave of absence due to medical reasons should submit a letter to the Director of Student Affairs (email@example.com) stating their reason and the duration of their request. A small committee of faculty and administrators will review leave of absence requests. For further information on leaves of absence, including applying for leaves, returning from a leave, financial aid considerations, visa considerations, and access to university resources while on leave, please refer to the Student Handbook.
Students on a leave of absence continue to have access to Tufts systems that require a username and password such as Box, Canvas, Fletcher CORE, and Library systems. Per University policy, students on a leave of absence, however, are not enrolled and do not have access to services for enrolled students, including opportunities to work for Fletcher or Tufts departments, take or audit classes, access Ginn Library, access the Office of Career Services, or serve in leadership positions in student organizations.
Scholarships will be carried forward and applied when you return from your leave. Federal educational loans will go into repayment after the six-month grace period is exhausted. Most private loans will go into repayment after 30 days.
If you are on a current leave of absence (non-medical leave), you should contact the Fletcher Registrar to request a return from leave. The last day to return from leave for Fall 2021 is Friday, September 3, 2021.
Students on leave for medical reasons should follow the instructions on their leave of absence letter to return from leave.
Bills for the Fall semester will be emailed during the first week of July 2021. Payment will be due approximately one month after they are sent out.
Based on U.S. federal government guidance announced on April 26, 2021, there is no change in the course-taking and visa status maintenance rule for the F-1 and J-1 international students: who are outside the United States will not be able to enter the United States to start new programs if the programs will be solely remote. If the new student studies on-campus by taking at least one hybrid course (combination of in-person and remote course session), he/she may apply for the visa at the US Embassy or Consulate office in the home country.
If you had originally received an I-20 or DS-2019 visa certificate from Tufts for the Spring semester and later had them reissued for the Fall 2021 semester, please contact the International Center to ensure your documents are in order. If you have not yet started the I-20 / DS-2019 application process, please request it via the International Center website. The deadline for the Fall 2021 semester visa document is June 30, 2021.
You may request a leave of absence following Fletcher procedures for a leave. Students who wish to take a medical leave of absence should contact the Director of Student Affairs (firstname.lastname@example.org) stating the reason and duration of the request. Students who wish to take a personal leave should contact the Fletcher Registrar (Andrew.Marx@tufts.edu). If your leave request has been approved, please contact the International Center (Reiko.Ohmura@tufts.edu) to be advised about your visa options.
In general, international students are eligible to take leaves, but since this may impact your ability to stay in the United States on a student visa, please explore your options with the International Center directly. International students who opt to take a leave of absence for any reason (except medical reasons) are required to leave the U.S. for the semester.
Yes, part-time enrollment is allowed while studying remotely outside of the United States. However, international graduate students cannot maintain the visa status on campus unless they take courses full-time.
Full time for international students is defined as a minimum of nine credits (9 SHU or the equivalent of 3 Fletcher courses) per semester. Please visit the International Center website for more information.
The Tufts University International Center website includes visa and immigration updates for the Fall 2021 semester. You may also contact Reiko Ohmura (Reiko.Ohmura@tufts.edu), International Student Advisor for Fletcher students, with your questions. The International Center will also continue to share information as they learn it by emailing the entire Tufts international student and scholar community.
International students will receive guidance directly from the International Center regarding immigration and visa-related questions as well as cultural adjustments and events information. The International Center is maintaining an information page that includes immigration updates and other notes specific to the Tufts international community.
If you are unable to come to the US for Fall 2021, but have already started the visa document (I-20) request process, contact the International Center regarding your specific situation. We will have to determine your options based on your prior US immigration history (if applicable), your specific program, and other factors.
Once obtaining your I-20 and not able to obtain the visa soon enough for the arrival by the I-20 start date due to the backlog at the US Embassy, please contact the Fletcher Admissions, Registrar and Reiko Ohmura as soon as possible.
Living Accommodations, Buildings, and Dining Services
All students can log into Tufts’ Off-campus housing portal to look at listings, search for roommates, and connect with real estate agents. For general off-campus housing resources, please go here. You can also join the Fall 2021 Incoming Class Private Facebook group to see housing postings by current students!
The Blakeley residential facility will be closed for the 2021-2022 academic year.
The Fletcher complex and Ginn Library are open to students who are part of the campus testing program. Entrance to the buildings now requires swiping a Tufts ID that has been activated to allow campus access. Students will have their ID activated when they participate in the testing protocol. The University may deactivate the ID cards of students who miss required follow-up tests. Access to campus buildings will be restored after the student has completed the follow-up test. Ginn Library is open only to Fletcher students at this time. New occupancy restrictions limit the number of individuals who can be in the library at one time to about 100 and a reservation will be required to use the facility.
The Ginn Library circulation desk will be a no-contact service point. Students can either use a self-checkout system or submit an online request to have books pulled from stacks for contactless pickup. Research and reference support will be provided through the Ask a Librarian portal on the Ginn Library website. Visit the Ginn Library website for hours of operation and current library policies.
Mugar Café is open for community members, with a new traffic flow to comply with COVID safety. Vending machines and water fountains are available. Find out which other locations are open and their hours on the Tufts Dining homepage.
Yes. Fletcher will hold events and conferences both in-person and remotely. Keep an eye on the myFletcher Calendar for upcoming events! To help organize an event, be on the lookout for emails from conference organizers, student clubs, or Fletcher’s centers.
Absolutely! Student organizations and extra-curricular activities are part of the core Fletcher experience and will offer hybrid activities. More details on student organizations and activities are available here.
Yes. Students and organizations will be able to meet and hold meetings or events in person provided they follow all campus safety guidelines.
All student services offices throughout Fletcher and Tufts are ready to support students remotely. For further information please navigate to the specific office below:
Health & Safety
Health Service will provide telemedicine and in-person appointments for students living locally on campus. Students outside of Massachusetts will have access to some medical telehealth consultation. Please call 617-627-3350 or visit the website for additional information.
The Health Service business office will continue to help students with their insurance needs and answer medical billing questions. They will also help with immunizations and assist with healthcare-related financial issues.
The CARE Office and Health Promotion will operate in person and remotely. The CARE Office offers consultation for students dealing with sexual misconduct issues regardless of location.
Counseling and Mental Health Service (CMHS) is available to all students. CMHS offers individual in-person and telehealth appointments, remote support groups/workshops, and/or assistance with referral, as appropriate. To schedule an appointment, call 617-627-3360, or for more information, visit its website.
The University Chaplaincy is available to all members of the Tufts community for emotional and spiritual support. Please email the chaplaincy (email@example.com) to connect with a chaplain in person, by phone, Zoom, or WebEx.
Tufts students will be billed for student insurance as they have every year but may waive the University’s insurance if they have their own qualified, comprehensive plan.
Students who have health insurance and choose not to enroll in the University’s plan will need to complete the Health Insurance Waiver on their SIS account on the “Bills & Balances” tab.
Yes. The Health and Wellness Fee is required of all students per the university’s policy.
There is, however, an exception to the policy for the 2021-2022 academic year for Fletcher students during this unusual year. The cost of the health service fee will be implemented in two tiers, depending on where the student is physically located for the semester. The full fee will be charged for students residing in Massachusetts. Students residing outside of Massachusetts, whether in the U.S. or internationally, will be charged 75% of the normal fee if they are not enrolled in the university’s student health insurance plan. Those students who enroll in the University’s student health insurance plan will be assessed the full Health and Wellness Fee, regardless of location.
The reduction in the fee for students living outside of Massachusetts will be applied to student accounts, after Fletcher has worked with Health Service to determine who should receive the reduced fee. Those who anticipate that they will qualify for a refund have two options: pay their bill in full and then use the credit toward charges for the spring semester; or pay the bill in full, minus one quarter of the Fall Health and Wellness Fee, so that the bill will zero out after the credit is applied.
Payment of the Health and Wellness Fee provides access to the following: University Health Service, Counseling and Mental Health Service, the CARE Office, and the Health Promotion department. Students who are remote have access to telemedicine services (including teletherapy through the Counseling and Mental Health Service), though certain legal restrictions may apply depending on your location.