Fall 2020 COVID-19 Updates

Please review the information below for updates regarding the fall 2020 semester, including updates about student fees, F-1 visa requirements and practicum guidelines. If you have questions, please email SPHAnnounce@uth.tmc.edu

Coming to campus: All students

Any student coming to campus for any purpose, including class, meetings with advisors or work, must fill out the UTHealth COVID-19 Screening Form and receive clearance from Student Health Services before coming on campus.

Students must follow all safety guidelines and protocols issued by UTHealth when visiting campus for any reason. If you already know that you will be attending class in-person due to special circumstances, such as lack of internet access, or accessibility requirements, please complete a short survey describing the circumstances and proposed accommodations so that the School can plan accordingly. The survey can be accessed here: Fall 2020 Special Accommodations Request for Returning to Campus. Please note that the Fall 2020 Special Accommodations Request for Returning to Campus Survey is separate from the UTHealth COVID-19 Screening Form

F-1 and J-1 students: New updates 

See the Fall 2020 Return to Campus FAQs discussed during the 9/8/2020 SPH & OIA Town Hall.

F-1 and J-1 students must come to campus periodically throughout the semester to maintain their visa status. As part of this process, F-1 and J-1 students will also need to log their visits to campus. Signs with QR codes will be placed throughout all the campuses prior to the first day of class. Students will simply scan the QR code using their smartphone’s camera, and fill in the linked Qualtrics to log their visit. For those who do not use a smartphone, the URL for the survey will also be provided on the signage. Please note that the form should only be accessed and completed while on campus. F-1 and J-1 students should contact their international advisor for more information, including how frequently they should expect to visit campus.

All F-1 and J-1 students must reside in the same city as their assigned campus during the semester, and should register for in-person classes as they have in the past to comply with their visa status for Fall 2020. F-1 and J-1 students cannot enroll full-time in online courses; when registering for courses using myUTH, in-person courses are those with either PH, PHM, or PHD prefixes. International students with questions or concerns about courses can contact Kate McMillan.

Fall 2020 course delivery

Because of how our courses are structured, we are able to be creative in how we choose to deliver classes. While faculty will have the option to teach from their home or campus depending on their class needs and requirements, all in-person courses will be available via WebEx, as they were in the summer. Some courses may be delivered using other modalities; faculty will reach out to their students with specific instructions if applicable. Generally, the guidelines for the fall semester are as follows: 

  • The majority of in-person/ITV courses (courses with a PH, PHM, or PHD prefix) will be hybrid and utilize WebEx to host class. 
  • Some lab-based or practice-based courses may be held in-person; faculty will reach out to students directly with plans for these courses, including precautionary and preventative actions that will be taken to ensure the safety of students and faculty.
  • Online courses (courses with a PHW, PHWM, or PHWD prefix) will continue to be delivered totally online as usual.
  • Students enrolled in independent studies, PH 9997 Practicum, PHM 9998 Culminating Experience/Thesis Research, PHD 9999 Dissertation Research should work with their faculty advisor or supervising faculty member to make appropriate arrangements.

Faculty and staff will be reaching out to communicate new procedures and etiquette for their classes before the start of the term. If you have any questions about how your course will be delivered, please contact your instructor directly.

Fall 2020 course registration

The Fall 2020 course schedule will be available for viewing using the interactive course schedule on July 1, 2020. Registration for fall 2020 begins on Wednesday, July 15th, at 8:00am. The myUTH Student Registration Guide will give you step-by-step instructions for searching and registering for courses in myUTH. For additional important registration dates and deadlines, see the list of Fall 2020 Enrollment Dates.

Joining a streaming class in WebEx

A link to the teaching faculty member’s personal WebEx room used for hosting the class will be placed on each course’s Canvas page prior to the first day of classes for the fall term. Step-by-step instructions for how to join a streaming class are available on the SPHCOVID19 Resources page on the School of Public Health Intranet, along with contact details for technical support teams. You must use your UTHealth credentials to access Intranet.

Practicum updates

The University has lifted regulations and restrictions surrounding practice-based experiences for the Fall 2020 term. Practicum experiences for fall 2020 will follow traditional guidelines and expectations, with the exception of international practice experiences, which will be subject to international travel restrictions put in place by the CDC and U.S. Department of State. Given the circumstances, students who would prefer to pursue a remote experience are welcome to do so. For additional information and guidance, visit the Practicum Overview page on mySPH.

Student fees

In general, fees will continued to be charged if the service is being offered, regardless of whether individual students are taking advantage of the service(s). The following fees will continue to be charged as these services are still operational:

  • Shuttle Bus fee: The Shuttle Bus is still running and available to all students.
  • Student Health and Counseling fee: These services are available remotely for students throughout Texas and are especially important during these challenging times.
  • Writing Support Services and Library fee: All library and writing services are available remotely. 
  • Recreation Center fee: The recreation center is open and available for use as of August 17.