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Prepare to Return

Our ultimate goal is to carefully and deliberately return our community to campus, while also protecting the health of our students, faculty and staff and aligning with federal, municipal and local guidelines as well as COVID-19 best practices.

When it is time to return, based on both internal and external factors, use these webpages to begin preparing to return as an individual or unit. 

For Individuals

Familiarize yourself with requirements for returning to campus.


Students returning to campus must follow certain community standards while on campus. These include abiding by safety standards, complying with COVID-19 testing efforts, health monitoring and more. See details.

Faculty and Staff 

Faculty and staff returning to campus should refer to the University's Return to Campus Policy. It covers conditions for returning to campus. An Alternative Work Policy is also available as an option for faculty and staff required to return to in-person campus work activities or who support ongoing academic research.

For Schools, Units and Offices

The Fall and Winter Return to Campus Refresh Plans outlined intentions to support an expanded Northwestern community in a way that was safe and healthy for everyone.  Now, while we expect the Spring Quarter to be very similar to Winter Quarter, we are asking schools/unit to review their plans and make necessary adjustments to support our community, and to accommodate faculty and staff who are willing and eager to be on campus, through June 20, 2021. Units are asked to submit their Spring Quarter Plans to the Return to Campus Workgroup by March 22, 2021 only if they are significantly different from their submitted Winter 2021 Return to Campus Plans. 

A toolkit of planning resources for schools and units is available, and even if you aren’t leading the planning for your department, a review of these materials may help prepare you for what things may look like when you return to work.