Frequently asked questions
Oklahoma State University health officials are closely monitoring an outbreak of the coronavirus. Do you have specific medical questions about your health and the coronavirus? To self-report suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 related to campus, contact the OSU University Health Services nurse line at (405) 744-7665. For additional resources including the state health department's COVID-19 hotline visit the UHS website.
Most frequently asked questions
- Is the university closing?
To further support social distancing and to comply with Gov. Kevin Stitt’s March 24 executive order for all non-essential businesses to close, the university is closing all buildings on the Stillwater campus to visitors beginning 6 p.m., March 25 through April 15, unless extended or rescinded earlier. Employees will have access to their buildings.
Our dedicated staff and faculty will continue to provide services through telecommuting and, for some, on-campus work to support essential and mission-critical functions. These essential operations include research functions in labs which will continue to be open to our research personnel with the expectation that social distancing measures are in place.
To reach a particular professor or OSU employee, stop by directory.okstate.edu to find their email address and phone number.
If you need access to a building during this time, please contact your adviser, supervisor or dean.
- Is Edmon Low Library closed?
Yes, but many of its services are available virtually. Find more information here.
- Is the Student Union closed?
Yes, the OSU Student Union is closed until further notice. Many of the services provided in the union will still be available virtually as the majority of our campus employees are currently telecommuting.
If you have a question for a particular department or staff member, please visit directory.okstate.edu to reach him or her directly. Students who need supplies can order online at shopokstate.com. Orders will be shipped via FedEx Ground. Students who work in the Union and who have questions about their employment are encouraged to contact their supervisor.
- What dining options are open on campus?
For the small population of students who have opted to remain on campus and for employees who are working on campus, dining options are available at Kerr-Drummond.
- Will I need to move out of my residence hall?
Any student who can move home needs to do so. We are strongly encouraging a reduced occupancy in on-campus housing for the rest of the spring semester. This decision was made to protect the health of our entire campus community — students, faculty and staff. We recognize that moving out is simply not possible for a limited number of students. If you have no alternative, we will accommodate you although dining options will be limited. If this is your situation, please complete the form found here. Appropriate adjustments will be made on a case-by-case basis for housing and dining charges for all who move out. Specific information for on-campus housing residents has been emailed directly to the resident. If Housing and Residential Life can be of assistance or if you have any questions, please contact us at 405-744-5592 or by email at email@example.com.
Response times may be delayed due to reductions in staff.
Fraternities and Sororities have been provided the same guidance as Residential Life. Each house is making its own decisions as they are privately owned, but they have been asked to follow the same guidance as university-owned housing.
- Will computer labs be open?
To further support social distancing and to comply with Governor Kevin Stitt’s executive order all non-essential businesses to close, we are closing all buildings on-campus beginning March 25 at 6 p.m. through April 15
IT is closing its labs in the Classroom Building and Math Sciences. For questions about a computer lab in a specific college, please reach out to that college. If working remotely, IT provides the same software available in computer labs in their virtual labs.
- Will research labs be open on campus?
Our dedicated staff and faculty will continue to provide operational continuity through telecommuting and, for some, on-campus work to support essential and mission-critical functions. These essential operations include research functions in labs which will continue to be open to our research personnel with the expectation that social distancing measures are in place.
Labs are going to proceed, but the expectation is that many students will not be present to complete that coursework. Students will not be required to purchase any lab kits or go to a lab to complete these assignments. This also applies to other senior capstone and group projects.
Please be patient and communicate with your faculty member on details.
- What about my job as a student worker?
Any student or temporary worker (including work study) who wishes to work their normally scheduled hours may do so during the online learning period, even if that means changing their normal duties and/or days of work. Ask your supervisor if telecommuting is possible.
Students will receive pay for any hours worked, including hours worked via telecommuting options.
If students are not able to work, or are not able to work their anticipated regular schedule, pay will be provided up to their regular schedule for the week, or up to the average pay earned by the student employee for the Spring semester, whichever is greater.
No pay will be provided to students who have resigned from their positions or did not anticipate working following spring break; i.e., work was finished prior to Spring Break.
- Can I work from home?
We are instructing supervisors to continue to work with staff regarding options for telecommuting during this time. Individuals who have serious underlying medical conditions or adults over 65 years old should be instructed to shelter in their home unless they are performing a mission-critical function and can maintain appropriate social distancing in accordance with Governor Kevin Stitt’s order of “Safer at Home.” Supervisors, please prioritize the concerns of these groups and consult with your HR Consultant if there are questions.
For our staff and faculty members over the age of 65 or vulnerable individuals with serious underlying medical conditions, we are here to assist you. Options for telecommuting will be prioritized for these individuals; however, if there are no options for telecommuting, please know that you will be provided administrative leave, as well as leave provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act once enacted. For staff and faculty who are unable to telecommute and are not in an on-campus essential/mission-critical position, administrative leave will be provided. If there are questions regarding this, please reach out to your supervisor and/or HR consultant for assistance and clarity.
- Does anyone at OSU have the coronavirus?
OSU was notified on March 29th, 2020 that a student on our Stillwater campus has tested positive for COVID-19.
Following CDC guidelines and directed by health officials, individuals who may have been in close contact with this person previously were contacted and provided information on next steps for screening and self-quarantine, if necessary.
- How do I do online classes?
Please refer to this page from ITLE for more instructions.
- Will students be reimbursed for tuition?
Like many institutions, OSU has shifted to online instruction for the reminder of the semester. While this is not without challenges for both instructors and students, it does provide students the opportunity to complete all of their coursework for the current semester. Given this, tuition refunds were not deemed appropriate.
OSU made efforts to identify fees directly associated with services students could no longer take advantage of and is in the process of distributing prorated refunds for these fees. However, while classes are no longer face-to-face, faculty and many other university employees are still working hard to ensure courses are delivered virtually. This requires not just people, but also facilities and equipment — all of which must be maintained throughout this time and for the future when we welcome students back to campus.
Health and prevention
- What is a Coronavirus?
There are seven known coronaviruses that affect humans. They’re named coronavirus because of the crown-like spikes on their surface. The first was identified in the 1960s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?
Patients currently being treated for Coronavirus report mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing.
Symptoms may appear as soon as two days after exposure or as long as 14 days after exposure, according to the CDC.
- How do I prevent Coronavirus?
You can limit your likelihood of contracting the Coronavirus with the same methods you would use to avoid the flu.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Wash your hands often. Use soap and water and wash for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue, then throw the tissue into the trash.
- Disinfect frequently touched objects or surfaces.
- How does the virus spread?
The Novel Coronavirus is believed to have originated in a large seafood and animal market in Wuhan, China in December 2019. It now seems to be spreading from person-to-person, in much the same way as the flu or other respiratory illnesses spread, via respiratory droplets produced when a person coughs or sneezes. The CDC believes it is spread between people who are in close contact.
- What screenings are being done by the university?
University Health Services is taking calls from individuals who have concerns about COVID-19. Any individual who feels as though they have concerning symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing), have been around someone being investigated for COVID-19, or have general questions can call UHS at (405) 744-7665 during normal business hours.
- I'm sick. Should I be tested for Coronavirus?
If you develop a fever, cough and/or shortness of breath and believe you have been exposed to COVID-19:
- Before going to a doctor’s office or to an emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your symptoms and your recent travel. Your healthcare professional will work with the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the CDC to determine if you need to be tested.
- Stay home unless you are seeking medical care. Avoid contact with others.
- Wear a mask if you need to leave your home when sick.
- What if I feel like I’ve been exposed to the virus?
Stillwater-based students who feel as though they have been exposed to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), are asked to stay home and call University Health Services (405-744-7665) during normal business hours, or your primary health care provider. A brief screening will be performed by a nurse over the telephone and further instructions on care will be given at that time. There is also an Oklahoma hotline through the Oklahoma State Department of Health for any individual with questions: 1-877-715-8336. If you are having a medical emergency, please go to your nearest emergency room.
Tulsa-based students who think they may have been in contact with someone who has or who is suspected of having the novel coronavirus and develop a fever with a cough or shortness of breath within 14 days of contact, call your physician immediately to discuss your history. Call first instead of going directly to the hospital, where you may infect other people. If you need information about free or low-cost health care clinics in Tulsa, please contact OSU-Tulsa Campus Life.
- What does it mean to "self-isolate?"
Based on the UHS screening, and in coordination with local and state health officials, travelers may be asked to self-monitor their health or be prepared to self-isolate for up to 14 days at home or another off-campus location. If you are asked to self-isolate after returning from a country listed on the CDC’s COVID-19 travel advisories page, you should stay home. Follow these guidelines for self-isolation:
- Report any symptoms of COVID-19 immediately to University Health Services, Monday thru Friday 8am to 5pm. If you have a health emergency, please go to Stillwater Medical Center.
- Stay off campus and stay home. Do not go to work, classes, athletic events, or other social or religious gatherings until 14 days after your departure from the country in question.
- Limit contact as much as possible. This also means limiting contact with persons living in your residence.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with your upper sleeve or a tissue. Never cough in the direction of someone else.
- Wash your hands with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand rubs after coughing or sneezing or throwing a used tissue in the garbage.
- Avoid sharing household items. Do not share drinking glasses, towels, eating utensils, bedding or any other items until you are no longer asked to self-isolate.
- Keep your surroundings clean. While the virus is not spread very well from contact with soiled household surfaces, try to clean surfaces that you share with others, such as door knobs, telephones and bathroom surfaces (or any other object that you sneeze or cough on), with a standard household disinfectant such as Clorox wipes. Wash your hands after cleaning the area.
- What countries are considered high risk?
The CDC evaluates countries based on the widespread community transmission and access to medical care in affected areas. Currently, countries are evaluated on levels. Level 1 is a watch and travelers should practice usual precautions. Level 2 is an alert and travelers should practice enhanced precautions. Level 3 is a warning and individuals should avoid nonessential travel to these areas. Travel to areas considered level 3 is highly discouraged. See all up-to-date travel notices from the CDC, or the CDC COVID-19 travel recommendations by country.
- Is virtual counseling available?
University Counseling Services has moved all counseling to video or phone counseling. Services are also available through MDLive. Click here for more information. If you have any questions, please call 405-744-5458.
- Will the OSU Testing Center remain open?
The OSU Testing Center will be closed to all testing starting March 24 until further notice for the safety of testers and staff and to encourage social distancing. If you have questions, testing center staff will be monitoring the firstname.lastname@example.org email address and will be answering phones 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday throughout this period.
- What is OSU doing to protect the campus community?
In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and to protect our campus community, the Stillwater and Tulsa campuses have transitioned to online learning the remainder of the semester. The clear guidance from our public health experts is that this step is a move to protect the health of our campus community.
- When the campus has transitioned to online learning, will the campus itself remain
The university remains open although many offices and departments on campus are telecommuting to promote more aggressive social distancing. Some services have also moved to virtual only. To reach a particular professor or OSU employee, stop by directory.okstate.edu to find their email address and phone number.
- If this outbreak continues, will the university close?OSU will follow the guidance of state and federal health organizations with regards to any closure recommendations. This is a constantly evolving situation. Students should watch their email for continuing updates.
- Will the transit system still run?
OSU Transit has suspended all services through April 15, including Stillwater and campus transit services, The Ramp (para-transit service) and The BOB (shuttle service to OSU-Tulsa).
- What is being done to clean general university areas?
In addition to their regular cleaning routine, ABM employees have started a more aggressive schedule of applying disinfectant to hand rails, knobs, handles, push plates, and crash bars in GU and common spaces of residence halls and academic buildings. ABM uses Virex II and Oxivir which are listed among the recommended disinfectants to use against COVID19.
- How has parking changed now that we have moved to online learning the remainder of
the semester? More specifically, will students get a ticket for parking in staff lots?
We have transitioned to summer parking rules though August 9. Those with a valid parking permit can park in any student surface parking lot. This excludes garages and Park and Ride permit holders. Tickets will be issued to those illegally parked in reserved parking spaces and staff or faculty lots during business hours. All lots return to their normal designation on August 10.
- How can student residents get their mail?
All packages and letter mail for the Griffith Center has been delivered to the Griffith Center during spring break. All of the other Res-Life facilities’ mail and parcels are being kept at University Mailing Services. Students may email UMS at email@example.com with the students name, Res-Life facility, and all of the tracking numbers. UMS will assemble the student’s packages and respond back to the student to arrange a time for the packages to be picked up at the UMS dock. A photo ID will be required. University Mailing is working with Res-Life to forward mail and packages to the student’s permanent address or returning to sender.
- How is University Mailing Services operating? How do I get departmental or personal
Mail delivery will continue as usual to all open departments.
If your department is closing and needs mail delivery suspended, please notify us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your department is closed, and you wish to pick up departmental mail/packages, please email us at email@example.com with the following:
- Department name
- Name of the person picking up the department mail
- Mail stop location
- Any known tracking numbers
If your department is closed, and you wish to pick up personal mail/packages, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the following:
- Name on package
- Expected address on package
- Tracking number
UMS will gather your mail and packages and email you when ready for pick up at the UMS loading dock. A photo ID will be required.
- Travel screenings
University affiliated travelers coming from CDC “Level 3” travel warning countries must complete a health screening over the phone with University Health Services 405-744-7665. Any individual who has recently traveled domestically or internationally is encouraged to self-isolate for 14 days.
The Tulsa Health Department recommends that students, faculty and staff who have traveled to areas with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19 should stay home 14 days from their return to self-monitor and avoid contact with others as a preventative measure. All 50 states have reported cases of COVID-19 to CDC and many have community-acquired cases where the source of the infection is unknown. Read more from the THD website. Please contact the OSU employee health nurse at OSU-CHS at 918-281-2755 for reporting.
- Where has the university limited travel?
Effective March 13, all university-sponsored international travel is prohibited until further notice. International travel for personal reasons is strongly discouraged. All in-state and out-of-state travel for university-related business or academic purposes is suspended until further notice, unless such travel is essential to the university and approved by the provost or the appropriate vice president.
Current students and parents
- Will OSU be holding spring graduation?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Oklahoma State University’s May commencement ceremonies will be held in Stillwater on Dec. 11-12. OSU administration approved the move for the Class of 2020 yesterday. A committee that included students, faculty members and administrators proposed the new arrangements. President Burns Hargis said every opportunity will be taken to recognize this class, from a video message in May to commencement and special activities in December.
- Since the university has moved to online learning the remainder of the semester, what
does that mean for the residence halls? Will campus be closed?
We are strongly encouraging a reduced occupancy in on-campus housing for the rest of the spring semester. We understand some students must maintain a physical presence on the Stillwater campus and we are committed to assisting them in every way possible.
For residence hall questions that are not answered in this FAQ, please email email@example.com.
- What if I have nowhere to go? Will I have to move out of my residence hall?
While we sincerely hope that you can make the decision to move out of the residence hall and return home, we recognize that is simply not possible for a limited number of students. If you have no housing alternative, we will accommodate you although dining options will be limited. If that is your situation, and you must remain in on-campus housing, please fill out this FORM.
- I’m ready to move home and need to check out of campus housing. What do I do?
If you need to check out of your campus housing, please follow the instructions sent to you via email on March 21.
Move out times will start Monday, March 23 and be available through April 3, 2020. Time slots are available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pick the slot that works best for you. It is recommended residents take one hour to move if you live in a traditional hall or single suite room, and 1.5 hours if you live in a multi-person suite or apartment.
Please bring as few people as possible with you to move. Again, this limits possible virus exposure and spread.
The Department does not have any expectations that you clean your living space. We want you to move your belongings and exit campus quickly.
Move out times for the residence halls are from March 23 to April 3. What if I can’t
be out by April 3?
If you are unable to pick up your belongings by April 3, please complete this FORM.
Will OSU be moving to a pass/fail grading system for the rest of the semester?
Students will have a choice for each course to have a letter grade assigned or to take a pass/no-pass option. Please visit our pass/no-pass-grading FAQ for details.
- I hear there is a new student support website. What does it include?
The Student Support website was created to put links and information in one easily accessible place. Stop by go.okstate.edu. It may have information or resources you didn’t know were available to you including changes to academic deadlines and links to resources to help you succeed including LASSO Tutoring, the OSU Writing Center, Math Learning Success Center and more. You’ll also find links to information concerning academic advising, bursar, scholarships and financial aid, technology resources and more. Is there a link or topic we’ve missed on the site that you believe would make a difference in your success this semester? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What is happening with study abroad programs?
The university has cancelled all university-sponsored travel because of this threat and the likelihood of future developments of the COVID-19 virus.
This applies to all university-affiliated international travel for students, regardless of its location or its nature. Faculty or staff international travel is also currently prohibited at this time. As the situation evolves, and at the guidance of the appropriate authorities and government agencies, we will revisit these restrictions as the situation warrants. If this restriction is lifted, we will notify the campus community immediately.
Effective March 13, all university-sponsored international travel is prohibited until further notice. We continue to monitor the outbreak and will make adjustments as they become necessary.
- What if my student is abroad and would like to stay put?
Although highly encouraged to return home, students who are abroad and believe they are safer staying where they are may do so as long as they are not in a country with a Level 3 travel warning from the CDC. Also, if the host organization or university has cancelled their classes, closed their student support offices, ordered students to depart or shut down access to housing and other essential facilities, these students abroad will also be required to return. The university remains in continuous communication with this group of students.
- I'm a student worker or involved in work study. What do I need to know?
Although some student employees have been able to maintain their regular work hours, many student employees are unable to work due to social distancing protocols. The university will pay student employees through the end of the spring semester (5/2/20). If students are unable to work, or are unable to work their anticipated regular schedule, pay will be provided up to their regularly scheduled hours for the week, or up to the average pay earned by the student employee for the spring semester, whichever is greater.
For federal work-study students, pay will be provided up to their regular schedule for the pay period in accordance with work-study guidelines. If you are able and willing to work, please contact your supervisor for assistance or contact OSU Human Resources at 405-744-2909 for assistance in locating work on campus during this semester.
- Am I eligible for pay under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act?
All employees, regardless of classification, are eligible for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Beginning April 2, the provisions of FFCRA will be provided to all OSU employees for COVID-19 related absences for illness, care of dependents who are ill or care of dependents due to disruptions to childcare. More information related to this topic will be provided prior to April 2.
- Is there anything limiting students congregating in large groups?
We are following CDC guidelines to limit groups of more than 50 individuals. President Trump advised on March 16 that people shouldn’t gather in groups of more than 10.
- Will the LASSO center and Supplemental Instruction be available while the university
is doing online learning?
Yes! LASSO’s free tutoring for undergraduate courses, Supplemental Instruction (SI), and academic success coaching has transitioned to online-only instruction. There will be no in-person appointments.
Students who wish to utilize supplemental instruction during this time will be able to access their SI leaders through NEW course specific SI Canvas Communities. SI Leaders will hold regularly scheduled SI Sessions and Office Hours virtually using the Canvas “Conferencing” tool. Virtual SI will officially begin Monday, March 23, and students can “self-enroll” in their courses’ SI Canvas Community by using the link(s) provided by their course instructor, their SI leader, or those located on the LASSO website.
Students can schedule individual LASSO tutoring and success coaching appointments through STAR, as they always have. All meetings will occur through Zoom and students will receive detailed instructions to download and access their specific Zoom meeting space after they schedule an appointment.
- Where can I find more information about financial aid, student loans and withdrawing from classes?
- I have questions about my Graduate Research or Teaching Assistantship. Where can I
find this type of information?
Visit the Graduate College’s FAQs for answers to questions related to GRA and GTA positions.
- What is the status of campus tours and admission events?
For the safety of our guests, staff and students, all of our guided campus tours have been suspended through April 5. However, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions is open and our staff is working hard to meet the needs of our prospective students. We encourage you to schedule a visit sometime in the future when our tour program is fully operational. In the meantime, you can visit our beautiful campus virtually.
- What is happening with my application for admission?
Although our students are studying online, our staff in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions is on campus and here to assist you. We are still accepting applications, evaluating transcripts and admitting students, and our admissions counselors are ready and waiting to answer your questions. Reach out to your admissions counselor with any questions you may have about your admission status.
- Have deadlines been extended for things like the ACT for scholarship consideration,
enrollment deposits, scholarship acceptance deadline and the final scholarship deadline?
Yes. To better assist you during this time:
- We will now accept the July 18 ACT national test for scholarship consideration.
- We are extending the enrollment deposit deadline to June 1, 2020 (previously May 1, 2020).
- We are extending the scholarship acceptance deadline to June 1, 2020 (previously May 1, 2020).
- The Final Scholarship Deadline has been extended to August 14, 2020 (previously July1, 2020).
- What is the status of campus tour?
Since we are practicing social distancing, our on-campus tour experience is not available until further notice. We have virtual experiences that you can join from the comfort and safety of your own home. Once our campus tours are available, we want you to visit campus and experience OSU for yourself.
- Will Junior Day be held virtually?
Yes. Junior Day, which is scheduled for April 18, will be held online as a virtual event. We are still working through the details for an exciting event. We want high school juniors and parents to continue to register for the event. We’ll send you more information as we get closer to event day.
- What do I need to know about transfer orientation programs?
In light of concerns for the health and safety of our guests and campus community, we are moving some of our transfer orientation programs (April 13, 17, 24 and May 7) to an online format. Please register for the date to enroll for which you qualify based on your earned credit hours and we will send you information on your next steps for enrollment.
- I need to talk to my admissions counselor. How do I do that?
- What’s happening to freshman orientation and enrollment?
At this time, we are still planning to hold summer freshman orientation and enrollment in person, and we encourage you to register for a program if you have not already done so. However, we are continuing to monitor the situation and will send you updates as they are available if we must shift to an online/virtual experience.
Register at our site for First Year Success.
- What if I have applied or want to apply to a graduate program at OSU?
To find the answers to questions related to admissions and more, the Graduate College has developed a list of FAQ’s for prospective graduate students.
Faculty and Staff
For work-related questions and other resources, please visit this page.