Frequently Asked Questions

Students

Updated: September 8, 2020

Table with lists containing FAQ section links

To submit a question for FAQs please email coronavirus@utrgv.edu.


Academics

Will the school year still start Aug. 24 and end May 6, or will the 2020-21 academic calendar be revised?

The university is currently following the 2020-21 academic calendar. We will continue to the monitor the COVID-19 situation and alter our plans when necessary.

Does the university offer any advice on taking a gap-semester?

As a university, we understand the importance of protecting your mental health and making the best decision for you. That said, please know that as a university, faculty and staff are working hard to make arrangements (both in how classes are offered and safety protocols) so you can stay on course in completing your education. If you would like to talk to someone about your options, please contact your academic adviser.

Will the Pass/No Pass grading option be available for the Fall 2020 semester?

No, the Pass/No Pass grading option is not available for the Fall 2020 semester.

Will there be a difference in tuition for those students taking in-person classes compared to students taking online courses?

Tuition will remain the same for all students. If you need financial assistance, please take advantage of the university’s Fall Relief Package, which will provide eligible students with $1,000 in CARES cash grants. You can find more information here.

Will a student ID be made available digitally? I am worried I will be restricted access because of lack of ID.

Contactless service is provided using our V OneCard GET portal. You can submit a request for your official university-issued identification card (known as V OneCard) using our Online ID Request Process. The GET portal allows you to upload your photo ID; an ID card will be printed remotely and mailed to your home address.

Will I still be charged the standard convenience fee if I pay my tuition bill online with a credit card?

No. UTRGV is waiving all convenience fees for tuition payments made online via credit card, until further notice.

I heard there was an update to the Tuition Advantage program. How is it different than before? I wasn’t eligible before; am I eligible now?

Beginning Fall 2020, through UTRGV’s Tuition Advantage program UTRGV will cover the cost of tuition and mandatory fees for qualified students with a family income of $95,000 or less. This is a $20,000 increase from our current plan, and the deadline to apply also has been extended to May 1.

UTRGV Tuition Advantage is open to all in-state undergraduate students, including incoming freshmen and returning and transfer students, who meet the program’s requirements. For more information, please visit www.utrgv.edu/tuitionadvantage.

How do I contact my Dean?
When will in-person classes resume?

  • Click here for Fall 2020 Course Offerings.
  • Click here for more information on Lecture Courses and Sections. 
  • Click here for the full Executive Summary.

What if students need special accommodations to attend classes online?

If you need special accommodations, please reach out to your professor immediately.

What if I have questions or concerns about my courses being online?

Updated 06/17/2020

Students with questions or specific concerns about their online courses should discuss their situation with their professor, as they will be able to address your questions or concerns.

What can I do to help this major transition?

Please communicate with your professor, and please be patient. We know this unprecedented transition is tough on many students, faculty, and staff. However, this is the best and most appropriate action to help protect our campus community from the coronavirus outbreak while maintaining academic continuity.



Accommodation Requests

What type of accommodations can be provided to students taking in person or hybrid courses that are immunocompromised or have a health condition that may be at elevated risk?

Accommodations would be determined on an individual basis.  For in person or hybrid courses, accommodations may include, but are not limited to, attendance flexibility and remote participation, unless it would be a fundamental alteration.  A fundamental alteration is a change that significantly alters the essential course or program requirements.

At Risk Students- Students who by diagnosis are immunosuppressed or, because of a medical treatment plan, including medication, may have a suppressed immune system. Current CDC guidance for elevated risk from COVID-19 includes those at high-risk for severe illness. According to the CDC, high-risk for severe illness includes those of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as individuals with:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Obesity (BMI of 30 or higher)
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
  • Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Type 2 diabetes

Please refer to the CDC website for frequently updated information. 

A student considered at risk and seeking accommodations should include documentation from their medical provider that describes the impact of the condition and risk factors and limitations due to COVID-19.

What type of accommodations can be provided to students that, due to a special health related circumstance, cannot wear a face mask, but are enrolled in an in person or a hybrid course?

Accommodations may include, but are not limited to, remote participation, unless this would be a fundamental alteration of the curriculum or program requirements. For a student who is immunocompromised and has medical documentation that sufficiently supports not wearing a mask/facial covering as an accommodation, SAS staff would communicate with course instructors to determine if the student could complete course requirements remotely.

What type of accommodations can be provided if a student enrolled in hybrid or in person courses has been diagnosed with COVID-19, is suspected of having COVID-19 , is waiting to get results, and/or has been directed to self-isolate or quarantine by a health professional?

A positive diagnosis of COVID-19 or being requested to isolate or quarantine by a health professional is not in itself sufficient to meet the definition for receiving ADA accommodations.  It may be possible for a student to continue their education remotely while they isolate or quarantine, wait for results, recuperate if asymptomatic, or experience minor symptoms that do not alter one or more life activity.  However, this can be addressed based on each instructor’s attendance policy, which can differ depending on the course, so please check each course syllabus. Instructors may excuse absences, provide the opportunity  to complete assignments, and provide a reasonable time to complete the assignment(s) in order for the student to make up the work that occurred during the missed class period(s).

If a student encounters health or medical complications as a result of COVID-19 that impact the student’s ability to continue his/her education, medical documentation which indicates impact on a major life activity as a result of the diagnosis should be provided to Student Accessibility Services so that reasonable accommodations can be evaluated for each course. The student should submit a request for accommodations through the mySAS portal located at www.utrgv.edu/mySAS.

Can an instructor ask a student for documentation of their illness, if a student requests an extension on classwork?

You can require documentation that the student was sick and could not come to class, however, you should not ask for a diagnosis.  There are other illnesses that a student may have and other reasons for excused absences besides illness, including absences for official university activities.  If an absence is excused, students should be given the opportunity to complete the missed assignments, quizzes/examination or other class work and provided a reasonable time after the absence to do so. 



Updated: June 18, 2020

Campus Facilities and Services

Am I allowed on campus?

Updated 06/18/2020

Students, faculty and staff may currently access our campuses and campus services until further notice as long as social-distancing measures, as recommended by the CDC, are being followed.

Will any campus facilities be available to students during this time?

Yes, please see the list here.

What is the protocol for building ventilation and air conditioning systems?

To address the potential for aerosol dispersion by HVAC systems in UTRGV buildings, modifications and/or upgrades listed below will be implemented in all UTRGV facilities, based on ASHRAE COVID-19 Building Readiness and Reopening Guidelines.

For more information, click here.



Counseling

Who can use the UTRGV Counseling Center services?

Anyone currently enrolled for at least one credit hour at UTRGV can utilize counseling services at no cost.

What Counseling Center services are available right now?

The UTRGV Counseling Center is currently offering individual counseling, as well as support groups, including:

  • The Vaqueros All In This Together support group for students to talk about the changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This support group is open to all UTRGV students and meets Thursdays at 2:30 p.m. via Zoom at https://utrgv.zoom.us/j/158763667.
      
  • The Collegiate Recovery Program is still offering recovery group meetings. The services are available online through Skype for Business and Zoom. To get the Zoom meeting link, students should email krystal.klein@utrgv.edu. Below is the current meeting schedule:

Monday
12 PM - Women's Recovery Support Group
6:30 PM - All Recovery Group

Tuesday
10 AM - All Recovery Group
6:30 PM - All Recovery Group

Wednesday
11 AM - SMART Recovery

Thursday
10 AM - All Recovery Group
12 PM - Growth Support Group

Friday
12 PM - All Recovery Group

Students can sign-up for a tele-counseling session by calling the UTRGV Counseling Center at (956) 665-2574.

What is the Vaquero Crisis Line?

The Vaqueros Crisis Line is a confidential helpline available to UTRGV students 24 hours a day and seven days a week. The number is (956) 665-5555.

Are there any self-help or self-guided counseling options?

The Thrive at UT self-help app is available free on Google Play and the App Store. When first opening the app, users can select UTRGV as their school.

TAO Connect (Therapy Assistance Online Connect) is a website offering a self-guided self-help tool. Students can sign up for with their UTRGV email address.



Course Modalities

How will courses be delivered this fall?

Courses will be delivered using six different modalities to provide students with options. Please visit our Fall 2020 Course Offerings and Safety Procedures webpage for more information.

Am I required to take traditional face-to-face classes?

You are not required to take traditional face-to-face classes but please be aware that some classes (and labs) cannot be effectively taught in a remote setting, and therefore, will only be taught in-person and on campus.

Rest assured, that the university has implemented social-distancing and other health measures to ensure your health and safety on campus. Our priority in every decision will always be the health and safety of our students, our campus community, and the communities we serve. We are monitoring the situation daily and will make changes to our plans, when necessary. 

What if a class that I need for my degree is only offered in a traditional face-to-face format, and I do not want to return to campus this Fall?

Review your degree plan to see if there are other courses you can take in the Fall.  If none are available, please contact your department or academic advisor for further guidance. 

Are changes to the class schedule still being made?

Yes, the schedule is still subject to change. We will make changes as needed to ensure your safety. 

Why is there an enrollment capacity limit for traditional face-to-face classes? Can exceptions be made?

Enrollment capacity limits have been implemented to comply with social distancing guidelines that will help ensure the safety and health of our university community. No exceptions will be made. 

Will the Pass/No Pass grading option be available for the Fall 2020 semester?

No, the Pass/No Pass grading option is not available for the Fall 2020 semester. 

If the class I need is already full, will more classes be added?

Academic departments continue to review the Fall course schedule to offer as many classes as possible, dependent on whether they have the appropriate resources to support instruction.  We encourage you to review the class schedule and register for courses with available seating. 

What if I have limited access to the internet and my courses are online?

Please be aware that the library and computer labs will be available on both Brownsville and Edinburg campuses during the fall. If you don’t want to access campus, WiFi is available at different parking lots on both campuses. View the map here.

If none of these options meet your needs, please reach out to your professor to make accommodations. More information on obtaining internet access on campus or from home, is available here.  

How do I know what technology I need for my courses?

This information should be provided by your professor. If you need additional assistance, please contact our IT Department or visit their student resource webpage.

How soon will we know how classes for the Fall are going to be offered?

Classes have been updated on Assist to reflect the six course modalities that will be offered this fall. You can log on already to check how courses will be offered. For more information on the different course modalities, visit our Fall 2020 Course Offerings and Safety Procedures webpage.

How do I select how I want to take my Fall classes?

Log on to Assist to view the classes offered. Each class will indicate on Assist how it will be offered, and you can choose from the class options listed. Click on the CRN for the course to see the class format. 

If I am currently registered, do I have to register again?

If you have already registered please log on to Assist to check if your course format has been changed from when you first registered. You can modify your classes based on your format preference. 

Can I change classes depending on what class format I prefer, even if I have already registered?

Yes, you can change your courses through Assist. 

I have followed the steps provided but I am still unable to see the course modalities of the courses I have already signed up for.

When looking at a course on Assist, please be sure to click on the CRN number, which will take you to the course description on how the class will be offered. For more on how to view classes in ASSIST and access Schedule View, click here.

Are changes to the class schedule still being made?

Most changes have already been made but additional changes might be made up until the first day of class. We continue to monitor the pandemic and will make changes as needed to ensure your health and safety. 

Am I required to take in-person classes?

You are not required to take in-person classes, but please be aware that some courses, due to their curriculum and accreditation standards, must be taught in a traditional face-to-face format. Only nine percent of UTRGV’s total fall course offerings will be taught in a traditional face-to-face format.

Students are encouraged to view their class schedule and course modalities they register for. Determine as best you can what your situation will be in the fall and, if appropriate, register for in-person classes. 

Why is there an enrollment capacity limit for traditional face-to-face classes? Can exceptions be made?

Enrollment capacity limits have been implemented to comply with social distancing guidelines that will help ensure the safety and health of our university community. No exceptions will be made. 

When I first registered all my classes were traditional face-to-face. Now I want all my courses to be online, and I don't want to change my current schedule. What should I do?

Please contact your department or academic advisor for further guidance. 

Academic departments continue to review the Fall course schedule to offer as many classes as possible, dependent on whether they have the appropriate resources to support instruction.  We encourage you to review the class schedule and register for courses with available seating. 

There is no graduate-level Hybrid course offered for the fall for my graduate program. Will there be more course offerings?

Please contact your department or academic advisor for further guidance. 

Academic departments continue to review the Fall course schedule to offer as many classes as possible, dependent on whether they have the appropriate resources to support instruction.  We encourage you to review the Class Schedule and register for courses with available seating.

What if I don't feel comfortable attending a traditional face-to-face course, but no other options are offered for this course?

Please note that there may be some courses that cannot be taught online due to their specific curriculum or accreditation standards.

Review your degree plan to see if there are other courses you can take in the fall.  If none are available, please contact your department or academic advisor for further guidance. 

How is social distancing going to be enforced when walking around campus, in hallways or in doorways when class is dismissed?

The best enforcer of social distancing is yourself. Please take responsibility to properly wear a face covering and remain 6 feet away from others. There will also be signs posted remind students of these social-distancing standards, so please obey the signs.

Please note that there may be instances when students are closer than 6 feet (e.g. walking through a doorway; walking through the halls) for short periods, but CDC guidelines state that if you are properly wearing your face covering and you are not in close proximity to another person(s) for more than 15 minutes, your exposure to COVID-19 is minimized.

Will traditional face-to-face courses times be staggered to avoid releasing all of the students from different classes at once?

Traditional face-to-face courses are scheduled to take place during traditional class times but the on-campus student population will be limited because most fall courses will take place online. 

Please note that there may be instances when students are closer than 6 feet (e.g. walking through a doorway; walking through the halls) for short periods, but CDC guidelines state that if you are properly wearing your face covering and you are not in close proximity to another person(s) for more than 15 minutes, your exposure to COVID-19 is minimized.

Will the school year still start Aug. 24 and end May 6, or will the 2020-21 academic calendar be revised?

The university is currently following the 2020-21 academic calendar. We will continue to the monitor the COVID-19 situation and alter our plans when necessary.

Is the Financial Aid Office open?

The U Central Student Service Centers in Brownsville and Edinburg are open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. You need to sign in for service by clicking here.

Do not enter U Central until you are notified by text that an Enrollment Generalist is ready to assist you. You can email Financial Aid at finaid@utrgv.edu.

Why is there an enrollment capacity limit for traditional face-to-face classes? Can exceptions be made?

Enrollment capacity limits have been implemented to comply with social distancing guidelines that will help ensure the safety and health of our university community. No exceptions will be made. 

What if some of my classes were listed online but are now going to take place in a traditional face-to-face format? I want all my courses to be online, and I don't want to change my current schedule.

Please note that there may be some courses that cannot be taught online due to their specific curriculum or accreditation standards.

Review your degree plan to see if there are other courses you can take in the fall.  If none are available, please contact your department or academic advisor for further guidance. 

What if I don't feel comfortable attending a traditional face-to-face course, but no other options are being offered for this course?

Review your degree plan to see if there are other courses you can take in the fall. If none are available, please contact your department or academic advisor for further guidance.

Please remember that our top goal is to ensure your health and safety, so your fall experience is going to be different than past fall semesters. Most courses will be delivered online and courses that cannot be taught online due to their specific curriculum or accreditation standards, will be offered in a traditional face-to-face format.

What if I don't feel comfortable taking a majority of my classes online?

Review your degree plan to see if there are other courses you can take in the fall. If none are available, please contact your department or academic advisor for further guidance.

Please remember that our top goal is to ensure your health and safety, so your fall experience is going to be different than past fall semesters. Most courses will be delivered online and courses that cannot be taught online due to their specific curriculum or accreditation standards, will be offered in a traditional face-to-face format.



County Orders

Where can I get the latest county orders information?

Here are the county social media links:

Cameron

Willacy

Facebook: facebook.com/CountyofWillacy/

Hidalgo

Starr

My county/city has issued a shelter-in-place/stay-at-home order. How does this affect me?

UTRGV is an exception to the orders because we perform essential government functions as a state educational institution.

Nonetheless, we know this can be a confusing time.

Below is guidance in your role as a member of the UTRGV community during this shelter-in-place/stay-at-home order.

Students

  • Should continue staying home and continue taking classes remotely.
  • May continue accessing our campuses/facilities for student services (health clinics, computer labs, etc.), as needed.
  • May also access student services by phone or online communications.
  • Should continue reporting to work at our campuses/facilities, if deemed essential.
  • Should continue working from home, if previously authorized to do so.
  • Should carry a UTRGV ID at all times as evidence of your essential status with the university.

Employees

  • Should continue working from home or campus, if previously authorized to do so.
  • May continue accessing our campuses/facilities for essential services.
  • May continue traveling between campuses/facilities as needed for essential services.
  • Should carry a UTRGV ID at all times as evidence of your essential status with the university.



Updated: May 19, 2020

Financial Aid

I’ve heard there is a Student Emergency Fund that students can request financial assistance. Do I qualify?

We understand that the current COVID-19 situation has caused financial hardship to our students. We want to encourage our students to apply for the Student Emergency Fund.

The Student Emergency Fund provides limited financial assistance to students in order to support their ability to stay enrolled and focused on their academic career. Award amounts may vary and are only awarded once per year. Awards do not require repayments.

For a full listing of the eligibility criteria, please visit www.utrgv.edu/studentlife and click on "Student Resources".

COVID-19 Financial Aid FAQ

For additional frequently asked questions related to COVID-19, visit: https://www.utrgv.edu/ucentral/paying-for-college/financial-aid/covid-19-faq/index.htm



Graduate Students

I am interested in getting my master’s. Do I have to complete my GRE?

Due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on testing centers across the world, the UTRGV Graduate College will temporarily suspend GRE and GMAT test score requirements for graduate programs. Students submitting a graduate application to any master’s or doctoral program for any of the following semesters or modules will not be required to submit GRE or GMAT test scores.

On-Campus Programs:

Summer I & II 2020

Fall 2020

Accelerated Online Programs:

Summer 2020 Module I & II

Fall 2020 Module I & II



Health & Safety

Are members of the UTRGV community (students, staff, and faculty) able to conduct business travel domestically or internationally?

Please visit the current Travel Protocols for guidance and reporting processes.

How will I be informed if one of my on-campus classmates has tested positive for COVID-19?

Consistent with UTRGV protocols and federal privacy laws, anyone identified within our university community as being at risk of exposure from those who have tested positive will be notified by our COVID-19 Response Team and will be instructed to be isolated or tested. 

The COVID-19 Response Team is responsible for identifying and contacting others who may have been at risk. In addition, areas of exposure are thoroughly disinfected and cleaned as needed.

Please remember that, according to CDC guidelines, properly wearing a face covering over your mouth and nose, social distancing (staying six feet apart) and avoiding close contact (15 minutes or more within six feet) will minimize your exposure to COVID-19. 

In addition, UTRGV is providing weekly updates of confirmed COVID-19 cases on campus/off-campus facilities on this webpage.

What do I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms; have been in contact with someone who has tested positive or who is currently begin tested; or have tested positive?

Please follow the UTRGV Employee/Student Self-Screening & Reporting Process. See below:

Self-Screening

Each day, prior to visiting any UTRGV campus/off-campus facilities, university students and employees must review and answer the current version of the UT Health RGV screening questions regarding COVID-19-related symptoms.

Do not access the campus/off-campus facilities if: 

  • You answered yes to any of the screening questions
  • You have been exposed (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) to someone who tested positive or who is currently being tested for COVID-19 in the prior 14 days. 
  • You tested positive for COVID-19 and have not been officially released by a member of the COVID-19 Response Team.

Reporting

Instead of accessing campus/off-campus facilities:

  • Communicate with your instructor/supervisor (If you are a student employee please communicate with both you instructor and supervisor.)
  • Fill out the Preliminary COVID-19 Screening Form. You will receive an immediate email response from the COVID-19 team. A sample is below:
  • The COVID-19 Response Team is responsible for identifying and contacting others who may have been at risk.
  • Students or employees may not return to UTRGV premises until they are released by a member of the COVID-19 response team.

If you develop symptoms or start to feel unwell while on campus, follow the same process:

  • Leave campus/work immediately
  • Contact your instructor/supervisor so arrangements can be made with you to complete your academic requirements/work assignments. 
  • Fill out the Screening Form
  • Wait for instructions from the COVID-19 Response Team

Does UTRGV have any resources for screening and testing for COVID-19?

Yes. Please follow the UTRGV Employee/Student Self-Screening & Reporting Process.
See below:

Self-Screening

Each day, prior to visiting any UTRGV campus/off-campus facilities, university students and employees must review and answer the current version of the UT Health RGV screening questions regarding COVID-19-related symptoms.

Do not access the campus/off-campus facilities if: 

  • You answered yes to any of the screening questions
  • You have been exposed (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) to someone who tested positive or who is currently being tested for COVID-19 in the prior 14 days. 
  • You tested positive for COVID-19 and have not been officially released by a member of the COVID-19 Response Team.

Reporting

Instead of accessing campus/off-campus facilities:

  • Communicate with your instructor/supervisor (If you are a student employee please communicate with both you instructor and supervisor.)
  • Fill out the Preliminary COVID-19 Screening Form. You will receive an immediate email response from the COVID-19 team. A sample is below:
Screen shot of confirmation page
  • The COVID-19 Response Team is responsible for identifying and contacting others who may have been at risk.
  • Students or employees may not return to UTRGV premises until they are released by a member of the COVID-19 response team.

If you develop symptoms or start to feel unwell while on campus, follow the same process:

  • Leave campus/work immediately
  • Contact your instructor/supervisor so arrangements can be made with you to complete your academic requirements/work assignments. 
  • Fill out the Screening Form
  • Wait for instructions from the COVID-19 Response Team

Does UTRGV have COVID-19-related resources?

Yes. Please visit UT Health RGV’s COVID-19 (coronavirus) Resource Center.

Will there be any in-person university events this fall?

All indoor and outdoor in-person events on all UTRGV campus/off-campus facilities are cancelled through the month of September. The Event Task Force will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and provide updates when available. Policies around size of and requirements for campus events will be reviewed regularly, as changing conditions would direct.

May student, faculty and staff organizations have in-person meetings on campus?

No. All indoor and outdoor in-person events on all UTRGV campus/off-campus facilities are cancelled through the month of September. The Event Task Force will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and provide updates when available. Policies around size of and requirements for campus events will be reviewed regularly, as changing conditions would direct.

Is everyone required to wear face coverings?

Yes. UTRGV has implemented a Face Covering Protocol, which requires wearing face coverings that covers the mouth and nose when entering a campus building to protect others and themselves and create the safest possible campus. This protocol applies to all students, staff, faculty, contractors, vendors, suppliers and visitors.

The covering must be worn in all hallways, public spaces, research labs, teaching/computer labs, libraries, classrooms, automobiles with a passenger, stairwells, elevators and common areas, as well as office spaces. In office spaces — when social distancing of 6 feet is possible and maintained — face coverings may be removed.

Face coverings also are required in outdoor settings, if safe social distancing and gathering practices are not possible.

Failure to comply with these procedures may result in disciplinary action through the appropriate processes.

For more information refer to the Face Covering Protocol.

Are there guidelines for the number of students per classroom?

Yes. All courses with 50 students or more will be taught online. In addition, classrooms will only be used to 35 percent of its capacity. For example, if a classroom holds 50 students, only 17 students will be allowed in the classroom to ensure proper social distancing.

Please see University Guidelines and Fall 2020 Course Options and Safety Procedures for any updates on classroom guidelines.

How often will classrooms, buildings and offices be disinfected?

Enhanced cleaning procedures have been added to help disinfect high-touch surfaces more frequently. 

  • Additional focus will be spent on all high-contact public spaces and surfaces, like entrance door handles, doorknobs, light switches, counters, faucets, paper towel dispensers, soap dispensers, toilet paper dispensers, toilet partition latches/handles, stair hand rails, open seating areas, benches, and elevator controls.
  • Deep cleaning of areas, such as classrooms, clinics and/or high-traffic contact areas in all campus/off-campus facilities will occur during every evening shift.
  • In addition, disinfectant wipes will be available for each academic space to clean your personal area.

Are student employees required to return to campus this fall?

We will continue to safely and gradually return our entire workforce back to campus. As we announced this summer, division leads and supervisors will work together to best determine when and how you return to campus. We understand that many of you may need to continue working from home based on a variety of factors, including health conditions and child care, and supervisors will continue to be prudent to your situations. Please work directly with your supervisor regarding your unique circumstance or contact the Office of Human Resources at hr@utrgv.edu.

Will student support services like the libraries, Rec Center and Student Union be open this fall?

Yes, with health and safety measures implemented based on CDC guidelines, these services will be available for fall. Find a complete list of student services available on campus and remotely, by clicking here.

Will there be a difference in tuition for those students taking in-person classes compared to students taking online courses?

Tuition will remain the same for all students. If you need financial assistance, please contact our Financial Aid Office.

Is UTRGV moving completely online after Thanksgiving break like several other institutions?

No. Our operations will continue as normal after the Thanksgiving break and throughout the fall semester.

The university is currently following the 2020-21 academic calendar. We will continue to the monitor the COVID-19 situation and alter our plans when necessary.

What is the COVID-19 Student Awareness Resources Module, and do I have to complete it if I am not taking in-person or hybrid classes right now?

Added: 08/25/2020

The module reviews new health and well-being protocols and helpful practices. The module is located under Organizations & Trainings on your Blackboard site. All students are required to complete the module.



Housing and Dining

Will students be able to move into their on-campus residence halls?

Yes. UTRGV’s Department of Housing and Residence Life has implemented health and safety protocols at every residence hall to ensure the well-being of our residence community.

Will UTRGV offer public transportation for students traveling campuses throughout the RGV?

Vaquero Express and VOLT services will operate in the Fall 2020 semester.

Schedule changes will be updated on our website and on Twitter @UTRGV_PTS.  

Valley Metro and B Metro continue to operate transit routes FREE to students, faculty, and staff in Brownsville and throughout the Rio Grande Valley. Real-time route information and links to route schedules for UTRGV, B Metro, Valley Metro, Metro McAllen, and Island Metro can be found on the Ride Systems website at mobile.ridesystems.net or through the Ride Systems app. Reach us at transportation@utrgv.edu or call (956) 665-2036 with any questions.



International Students

ICE Updated Guidelines for Fall 2020

As of July 14th, SEVP has rescinded the guidance provided on July 6th for fall 2020 enrollment. The following FAQ has been created to provide you with more information regarding this update.



Updated: 04/13/20

Online Payments

Will I still be charged the standard convenience fee if I pay my tuition bill online with a credit card?

No. UTRGV is waiving all convenience fees for tuition payments made online via credit card, until further notice.



Online Learning Student Privacy & Related Issues

Online Learning Student Privacy & Related Issues

Please click the following link to view the Online Learning Student Privacy & Related Issues PDF document.



Parking & Transportation

Will UTRGV offer public transportation for students traveling campuses throughout the RGV?

Vaquero Express and VOLT services will operate in the Fall 2020 semester.

Schedule changes will be updated on our website and on Twitter @UTRGV_PTS.  

Valley Metro and B Metro continue to operate transit routes FREE to students, faculty, and staff in Brownsville and throughout the Rio Grande Valley. Real-time route information and links to route schedules for UTRGV, B Metro, Valley Metro, Metro McAllen, and Island Metro can be found on the Ride Systems website at mobile.ridesystems.net or through the Ride Systems app. Reach us at transportation@utrgv.edu or call (956) 665-2036 with any questions.

Where can I park on campus? Do I need a permit?

Please visit the Fall 2020 Parking FAQs for questions related parking.



Return to Campus

What is UTRGV’s Commitment to Safety and Success?

UTRGV’s Commitment to Safety and Success is the university’s pledge to, first and foremost, keep our students, faculty, staff and visitors safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Secondly, the university wants to ensure the success of our university community:

  • For students, we will continue to support you, so you can continue pursuing your degree and not allow the impact of the pandemic derail your academic progress.
  • For faculty and staff, we will continue to make operational decisions that help protect your employment and allow you to effectively perform your job. The university is our people and we must preserve our people.

Are students expected to return to campus/off-campus facilities this fall?

Approximately 95% of our courses are in a hybrid or online modality, which will significantly lower our on-campus student population and will provide us with the flexibility to adjust to the health conditions in our community. For the remaining traditional face-to-face courses, each has been designed to meet CDC social distancing guidelines.

The campus also will be open to provide student support services; for the latest schedule of operations for our campus/off-campus offices, please click here.

For those students who must come to campus or who choose to come to campus, rest assured that:

  • there will be significantly less people on our campuses due to the new course modalities;
  • the university has implemented social-distancing and other health measures to ensure your health and safety on campus;
  • and we are monitoring the situation daily and will make changes to our plans, if necessary. 

For more information on course modalities and safety procedures, please visit our Fall 2020 Course Offerings and Safety Procedures webpage.

Why are we returning to campus?

We are returning to campus in a limited capacity to provide an additional course delivery option to those students who prefer learning in traditional face-to-face or hybrid formats. In addition, some courses/labs cannot be effectively taught in a remote setting based on curriculum or accreditation standards, and therefore, will be taught face to face.

We also know that providing student support services on campus, such as the library, dining hall, residence halls, and computer labs, will assist those students who might not have access to food, equipment and technology at home.

How many people will be on campus during the fall?

The university doesn’t have an exact number, but we expect the student, faculty and staff population on both our campuses to be significantly reduced as compared to a normal fall semester. Minimizing the amount of people on our campuses will help ensure everyone’s health and safety.

  • For students, more than 70 percent of the fall courses will be taught online; less than 10 percent are traditional face-to-face; and less than 20 percent are hybrid, with these hybrid courses likely meeting no more than once a week. Please confirm with your professors the specific meeting times for your courses.
  • For faculty and staff, we will continue to safely and gradually return our entire workforce back to campus. As we announced this summer, division leads and supervisors will work together to best determine when and how you return to campus. We understand that many of you may need to continue working from home based on a variety of factors, including health conditions and child care, and supervisors will continue to be prudent to your situations. Please work directly with your supervisor regarding your unique circumstance or contact the Office of Human Resources at hr@utrgv.edu.

What do I do if I am concerned about returning to campus because have a preexisting medical condition or live with someone with health issues?

  • For students, If you are concerned about returning to campus, you may choose to take all your classes online. The university is providing four different course modalities to provide options for our students’ needs. More information can be found on the Fall 2020 Course Options and Safety Procedures  
  • For faculty and staff: If you are concerned about returning to campus, please discuss your situation with your supervisor or email the Office of Human Resources at hr@utrgv.edu.
  • If you must return to campus, please rest assured that the university has implemented safety and health protocols based on CDC guidelines that will help ensure your well-being upon your return.



Student Employees

What is the status of student employees?

  • Student employees will not experience any disruption in their pay.
  • Students (and faculty/staff) returning to work from personal travel should fill out this form and wait at home for clearance to return to work.
  • Supervisors will work with student employees to arrange appropriate social-distancing measures, as recommended by the CDC.
  • Student employees with questions or specific concerns about returning to work should discuss their situation with their supervisor.



Student Success Services

I am having class conflicts I do not know how to resolve and am considering dropping out. How or who can I reach out to for help?

You have the following resources available to you. We can help you find a solution.

 

How can I get writing tutoring from the Writing Center?

We are offering both Zoom/Skype online tutoring sessions and asynchronous tutoring options. Directions for both options are on our websites: Zoom and Asynchronous tutoring.

Will the Center work with group projects?

Yes, we work with a group project if the entire group participates in the session. A Zoom session is the best option for this. We will also look at just the portion of a group project that you wrote if you submit your portion individually.

How can I gain access to Career Center services?

The Career Center is offering virtual services via Zoom. You may meet with staff member to discuss. Review all available Appointment Types here. You must set up your appointment on Handshake by logging into myUTRGV and clicking on the Handshake icon. Then click on the Career Center tab on the top right. Next, click on Appointments. You may schedule your appointment at a time and date convenient to you.

Can I stop by the Career Center?

Career Center staff are only available by appointment. You can access appointments via Handshake.  If you’re having problems with Handshake, you can email careercenter@utrgv.edu or call 956-665-2243. The Career Center is following safety guidance from the university and has limited staff at the Career Center to answer the phone or answer quick questions. Virtual Drop-In sessions also are available. 

The Career Center is accommodating students with extenuating circumstances for in-person assistance at the Brownsville Campus, BINAB 1.105, or Edinburg Campus, ESSBL 2.101. However, you must call the office in advance so arrangements can be made to ensure social distancing. 

Will the Career Center hosts any recruitment events on campus?

The Career Center is transitioning all Fall 2020 Career Expos to Virtual Career Expos. You can register and attend via Handshake under the “Fairs” tab. 

  • Government, Non-Profit and Small Business Internship Expo. 
  • Career Expo (All Majors). 
  • Graduate and Professional School Fair. 
  • Teachers Job Expo.

The Career Center will allow employers to visit the UTRGV campuses during the Fall 2020 semester under social distancing guidelines. The following on-campus recruitment events will be permitted, with appropriate social distancing: Information Sessions, Information Tables, Class Presentations.  

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, are external employers still hiring interns?

Because of the pandemic, it is difficult to know which organizations will continue to remain open to offer internship opportunities. We recommend communicating with your internship site for specific information. Additionally, if you had plans to complete an internship for academic credit, please contact your internship course instructor or academic advisor as soon as possible to discuss your situation. If your opportunity is unfortunately no longer available, please set up an appointment with a Career Advisor to discuss alternative methods of building your skills and exploring your career interests.

How do I connect with an Academic Adviser?

Most academic advisors are working remotely and are ready to meet with you by appointment via Zoom or phone. They also can be reached by email.

What are the hours of operation? When are advisors available for meeting?

The Academic Advising Center continues to maintain regular business hours, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

What can an advisor help me with?

You will want to contact your advisor to be sure you are prepared to register for classes. Academic advisors assist with academic planning, understanding graduation requirements, and pointing you toward the resources available to make your transition to remote learning successful.

How can I schedule an appointment?

There are 3 easy ways to make an appointment.  Choose what works best for you. 

  • Option 1:  Download the “Navigate Student” app. It’s free on Apple and Android Smartphones. 
  • Option 2:  Go to myUTRGV.edu and scroll down to select “Navigate” in the Resources box. 
  • Option 3:  Contact us via email or phone. 

Email:  academicadvising@utrgv.edu
Phone: (956) 665-7120

How are advising sessions being conducted?

Virtual advising sessions are available.  Sessions are conducted via Zoom or phone.  You may also opt to connect with an advisor by email.

What do I do about an advising hold or TSI hold?

Mandatory Advising holds are placed for select students who require additional support and serve as a reminder to meet with an academic adviser. The hold will be lifted after completing an academic advising session, where you will meet an academic advisor to go over many of the academic policies and procedures students must be aware of as part of their UTRGV experience. If you have a TSI hold, please contact us to schedule an appointment with an academic advisor.

How do I schedule an appointment with the Graduation Help Desk?

Students can email graduationhelpdesk@utrgv.edu for assistance. The GHD personnel will respond to emails in 24 to 48 hours and may provide campus departmental referrals if needed. If an appointment is needed, someone will reach out to you regarding your availability to schedule a Zoom session.

I would like to know when I am graduating or have questions about completing my degree. Should I contact the Graduation Help Desk?

For questions about when you will graduate or general questions about degree completion, please reach out to your academic adviser or the Academic Advising Center at academicadvising@utrgv.edu. If you encounter an obstacle that requires further investigation and support, your academic adviser will refer you to the Graduation Help Desk.

Do I have to visit with the Graduation Help Desk in person to seek assistance?

You do not need to visit the GHD in person. You may email graduationhelpdesk@utrgv.edu and we will contact you about your next steps. However, if you would like to request a face-to-face meeting, a Zoom session may be scheduled.

When is the Engaged Scholar Symposium taking place?

ES2 takes place annually in April during the spring semester, and will take place during National Undergraduate Research Week, April 19 -23, 2021, either on campus or virtually, depending on the current COVID-19 situation. Check utrgv.edu/es2 for more details and up-to-date information as we approach the conference dates.

I submitted an abstract to the 2020 Engaged Scholar Symposium, but it did not occur due to COVID-19. Can the abstract be used for the 2021 proceedings?

Yes. If you submitted to ES2 2020 and were accepted, you will be invited to present your scholarly work at ES2 2021 without needing to resubmit.

I applied for an Engaged Scholar and Artist Award. Where and how will the interview take place due to COVID-19?

All Fall 2020 applicants who passed the review phase will be interviewed via Zoom.

Where and how will Welcome Sessions be done due to COVID-19?

All Fall 2020 recipients will be required to participate in a scheduled virtual Welcome Session. For details on scheduled sessions, please refer to communication received from esaa@utrgv.edu.

I have questions about my ESAA award. What are the methods of communication being used due to COVID-19?

Please communicate with the Engaged Scholar and Artist Awards (ESAA) Team via email at esaa@utrgv.edu. You can ask questions via email, or request a Zoom session for further assistance with your questions or concerns.

If there is a conference in Fall 2020 where I would like to present my work, will I be able to attend?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, travel is currently restricted.

If I am not able to travel to a conference Fall 2020, can I attend a different conference for Spring 2020?

If UTRGV allows travel in Spring 2020, then funding can be used for a different conference in Spring 2020.

If a conference is cancelled, can I use my funding for another expense, such as wages or materials?

Budget revisions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Please email esaa@utrgv.edu for further information on budget revisions and to request a Budget Revision Form.

What precautions are being taken to protect students from COVID-19 in service-learning courses?

All service-learning activities through the end of Summer II will be hosted remotely. Service-learning activities in the upcoming academic year may occur in person if guidelines are in place at community organizations, but remote opportunities will be encouraged for classes integrating service learning.

Can I perform my service-learning hours at any community organizations I choose?

All service-learning activities must be approved by your professor and must meet course objectives. Only opportunities that have been screened and are in accordance with health and safety guidelines outlined by the university will be approved.

I have a service-learning course that is asking students to attend a face-to-face service opportunity, but I have underlying health issues, what should I do?

Please know that we have communicated with all organizations hosting needs on Engagement Zone to ensure that our students are able to learn in a safe environment. Additionally, our service-learning faculty are also understanding and provide alternatives for students in your circumstance. Given your underlying health issues, it is important that you speak with your professor to seek alternative ways to participate in your service-learning experience.

What are the current precautions being taken at community organizations to ensure the service learner’s safety.

The Office of Community Engagement is in direct communication with partners showcasing needs on Engagement Zone. All partners have received our Return to Campus Guidelines and Best Practices. Additionally, partners have been asked to provide their health and safety protocols via their Engagement Zone profile and the Needs posted. Please communicate with the organization about any agency-specific protocol questions and remember to adhere to CDC guidelines for maintaining social distance, wearing a face covering and proper hand washing.



Updated: May 12, 2020

Support and Resources

I lost my UTRGV student ID. Can I get it replaced?

In response to current health safety protocols and recommendations related to COVID-19, One Card Campus Card Services is providing a way to request a replacement V OneCard online through the V OneCard GET Portal. Fees will be temporarily WAIVED for V OneCards issued during the COVID-19 crisis.

Students can log on to the myUTRGV portal, upload their photo, and select from 3 delivery method options. For more info, please visit www.utrgv.edu/vonecard. You may also visit one of our office locations for assistance.

What if I need a computer to conduct my classes remotely?

UTRGV is providing computer labs on both its Brownsville and Edinburg campuses for students to use. The computer labs will be observing social distancing and cleaning computer stations after each use. The following computer labs are currently accessible:

  • Edinburg Campus: Academic Services Building Room 2.106
  • Brownsville Campus: Main Building Room 1.508
Computer lab hours of operation are subject to change during the current situation.

Where can I find free Wi-Fi on campus?

The UTRGV campus Wi-Fi is available across all locations. Wi-Fi access has been recently implemented on the Edinburg Parking Lots E3, E6, E9, E12, E14, and E16. See Edinburg map.

Wi-Fi Access in Brownsville Parking Lot B1 surrounding the BINAB building. See Brownsville map.

Wi-Fi is also available at campus computer labs. The following campus computer labs are currently available:

  • Edinburg Campus: Academic Services Building Room 2.106
  • Brownsville Campus: Main Building Room 1.508

Computer lab hours of operation are subject to change during the current situation.

I forgot my mask at home. Where can I get a mask?

If you forget your mask, please ask your course instructor for a spare single use face mask, or you can purchase a mask at the nearest vending machine at a nominal cost.

Numbers refer to buildings in the campus maps for Brownsville and Edinburg.

Brownsville Campus (2)
1. Main Building – BMAIN
7. Life & Health Science – BLHSB 

Edinburg Campus (6)
10. ESSBL – Student Services Building   
17. ESTUN – Student Union
21. EENGR – Engineering
31. ESCNE – Science
33. ELIBR – University Library
50. EUNTY – Unity Hall

Harlingen (1)
HCEBL – Clinical Education Building



Screening and Testing for COVID-19

Updated: September 8, 2020

If I am not enrolled in an in-person or hybrid course and therefore not attending any in-person classes, and I answer yes to any of the questions found on the current version of the UT Health RGV Daily Self-Screening Questions, do I have to complete the Preliminary COVID-19 Screening Form?

All students, staff and faculty who answer yes to any of the questions found on the current version of the UT Health RGV Daily Self-Screening Questionsmust complete the Preliminary COVID-19 Screening Form. Completing the Preliminary COVID-19 Screening Form allows UTRGV to help each individual receive the proper guidance, care, and testing to protect themselves and those around them.

What do I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms; have been in contact with someone who has tested positive or who is currently begin tested; or have tested positive?

Please follow the UTRGV Employee/Student Self-Screening & Reporting Process. See below:

Self-Screening

Each day, prior to visiting any UTRGV campus/off-campus facilities, university students and employees must review and answer the current version of the UT Health RGV screening questions regarding COVID-19-related symptoms.

Do not access the campus/off-campus facilities if:

  • You answered yes to any of the screening questions.
  • You have been exposed (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) to someone who tested positive or who is currently being tested for COVID-19 in the prior 14 days.
  • You tested positive for COVID-19 and have not been officially released by a member of the COVID-19 Response Team.

Reporting

Instead of accessing campus/off-campus facilities:

  • Communicate with your instructor/supervisor (If you are a student employee please communicate with both you instructor and supervisor.)
  • Fill out the Preliminary COVID-19 Screening Form. You will receive an immediate email response from the COVID-19 team. A sample is below:
    Response sample.
  • The COVID-19 Response Team is responsible for identifying and contacting others who may have been at risk.
  • Students or employees may not return to UTRGV premises until they are released by a member of the COVID-19 response team.

If you develop symptoms or start to feel unwell while on campus, follow the same process:

  • Leave campus/work immediately.
  • Contact your instructor/supervisor so arrangements can be made with you to complete your academic requirements/work assignments.
  • Fill out the Screening Form.
  • Wait for instructions from the COVID-19 Response Team

Who should I contact if I think I need to be tested for COVID-19?

Students should follow these steps:

  • Do not access any UTRGV campus/off campus facilities.
  • Communicate with your professors, program or clerkship directors.
  • Fill out the Preliminary COVID-19 Screening Form.
    • Do not call Student Health for COVID-19 appointments.
    • Your completed Preliminary COVID-19 Screening Form will be sent to and reviewed by a member of the COVID-19 Response Team.
    • Based on the results, you will be contacted to determine the appropriate plan of action and told to either quarantine, isolate, get tested, or return to UTRGV premises.
    • Students may not return to UTRGV premises until they are released by a member of the COVID-19 response team.

What do I do if my phone/online screening determines I need to be tested for COVID-19?

If the preliminary screening determines that you need to be tested:

  1. Your information will be reviewed, and a member of the COVID-19 Response Team will reach out to you to provide further guidance.
  2. Students may not return to UTRGV premises until they are released by a member of the COVID-19 response team.

What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

If you test positive for the virus:

  • You must continue isolation. 
  • You will get a call from the UT Health RGV clinical team confirming your positive results.
  • Contact your Primary Care Provider immediately for continued care.
  • You might be contacted by the State Department to identify any contacts you have had. 
  • If you have trouble breathing, chest pain, etc. go directly to the Emergency Room.

Any individual testing positive must self-isolate and will not be permitted to return to in-person activities until are cleared for return by UT Health RGV personnel.

What should I do if I test negative for COVID-19?

If you test negative for the virus:

  • Guidance will be provided by UT Health RGV personnel based on circumstances.
  • Contact your Primary Care Provider for continued care, especially if any symptoms arise.

What should I do if I am a Healthcare Student (medical, nursing, social work, rehab, PA, etc.)?

  • You may be required to get tested even if you do not show symptoms.
  • You will need to contact your school or department and follow their respective process.
  • You will fill out a form, which will be sent to the Call Center (1-833-UTRGVMD)
  • You will be contacted by phone and provided an appointment time to get tested at one of the four UT Health RGV COVID-19 Testing Drive-Thru sites.

What does “close contact” mean when social distancing?

Added: September 8, 2020

Close contact means that a person has been within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more of anyone with a confirmed COVID-19 case in the last 14 days. The CDC recommends avoiding close contact with others to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by properly wearing a face covering and keeping 6-feet distancing from other people at all times.