Back to School: A Comets Guide for Starting Fall Semester Safe, Strong

Banners displayed on light posts around campus.

UT Dallas’ fall semester will begin Monday, Aug. 17, and the last day of classes will be Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Whether you are new to The University of Texas at Dallas or returning from summer break, here are resources — from on-campus information and online learning tools to details about health and safety — to help keep Comets united this fall semester.

Campus Operations

Signage regarding use of hand sanitizer and masks.

UT Dallas is committed to ensuring a healthy environment for work, study and research on campus. Face coverings will be required in classrooms, study rooms, hallways, restrooms, common spaces, elevators, front desks, office suites, and open and closed lounges. Social-distancing measures have been implemented, and hand-sanitizer stations have been installed across campus.

Health screenings and COVID-19 tests: Daily health screenings will be required for all students and employees on campus. Also, the Student Health Center will offer COVID-19 tests for students who are exhibiting symptoms consistent with the coronavirus. Tests will not be available for employees. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or had close contact with someone who has, please fill out a COVID-19 self-report form.

Masks and cleaning supplies: Facilities Management will provide University departments with requested masks, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies. Staff and faculty can learn more on the supply request webpage. University Housing will provide students living on campus with masks, hand sanitizer and informational cards. Student masks also will be distributed at the following locations: Visitor Center and University Bookstore lobby; Student Services Building lobby; Eugene McDermott Library lobby; Student Union lobby; Dining Hall West lobby; Naveen Jindal School of Management building atrium; and Engineering and Computer Science West building atrium.

A classroom with seats marked off for social distancing.

Classrooms: Each campus classroom has been reconfigured with reduced seating capacities to ensure that a distance of 6 feet or more is maintained between individuals. Diagrams have been posted in each classroom for clear instruction. Learn more on the classroom safety webpage.

Research: Research operations have transitioned to limited research activities. Learn more on the research continuity webpage.

Housing: Campus housing will be operating at full capacity for incoming students. Learn more about occupancy limits, distancing requirements and sanitation protocols on the student housing guide webpage.

Food delivery robots on campus.

Dining: All dining venues will provide food services this fall. In Dining Hall West, staff will serve diners at each station, and seating has been reconfigured. Some venues will only offer mobile ordering with remote location pickup. Starship robots will be available for deliveries and sanitized after each delivery. Learn more on the dining webpage and Auxiliary Services’ tips sheet.

Bookstore and Tech Store: The bookstore and tech store are both open. In-store customers must wear a mask and maintain a 6-foot distance from everyone else. To limit the amount of time students are in the bookstore, they will check in at the front of the store. Staff will use a mobile device to pull textbooks and course materials while students wait. Students are highly encouraged to pre-order their materials. Lines for walk-ups and pre-order pickups will be clearly marked at the store. Learn more on the Auxiliary Services’ tips sheet.

Shelves of books in the library.

Eugene McDermott Library: While the building remains closed to patrons, the library offers curbside delivery of books from the main stacks. Requests should be made online. The staff will email the user with a date and pickup location in Lot G. Books can be returned in drop-off boxes.

University Recreation: The Activity Center is open for students, and Recreation Center West is open for students living on campus, both with reduced hours. Patrons will be required to make a reservation for a fitness workout through the IMLeagues mobile app. The SPN Wellness Center is closed this fall. Learn more on University Recreation’s COVID-19 webpage.

Updates: Students, faculty, staff and community members are encouraged to monitor their University email, UT Dallas’ primary social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube) and news outlets (UTD Today and News Center) for any significant changes to campus operations. For updates about the University’s response to COVID-19, visit the COVID-19 information webpage.

Helpful Links


Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].