COVID Read – End of Semester Notes to Graduate Students

Dear Potsdam Graduate Students: 

As the end of the semester and the 2020 year is now in sight, we want to take this opportunity to thank our Clarkson Community for their dedication and diligence in maintaining a safe community. A special thanks to you and all of the graduate students for your commitment to University policies and protocols, and your work in setting an example for all students to follow. 

The information and resources below can be used as we close out the semester. 

End of Semester Notes

The last day of finals is Tuesday, November 24 for most semester-based graduate programs.  Our Health Sciences programs conclude on December 18, 2020.

  • Limited random and surveillance COVID-19 campus testing will be conducted for those accessing campus regularly – students will be contacted directly when selected.  
  • While currently closed through final exams, the athletic facilities will be open under limited hours.  All social distancing and mask requirements will be in place. The EZ facility system will be used to sign up for work out times during the break as well.  
  • Students may continue to access their labs and conduct research during the break. The main campus operations will be closed December 14 through January 4.  Campus safety and essential facilities employees will be on campus.  Students are reminded that, though labs may be accessed during this time, the full spectrum of services on campus will not be available (e.g., procurement, library, IT helpdesk).
  • St. Lawrence County Public Transit will continue to operate (with the exceptions of 11/26, 11/27, 12/24, 12/25, and 1/1). You can find the Clarkson shuttle schedule here.
  • Students will need to obtain their Spring Semester negative COVID-19 test result beginning December 28, 2020 to have continued access for the spring semester beginning January 4. Please see spring 2021 return notes below.
  • No food service will be available on campus from November 24 until the spring semester commences. 

Responses to FAQ

Q: If I live in Potsdam (year round), can I travel outside of the North Country?

A: We know many graduate students will be returning home for the break; however, we also have some students who maintain their residence in Potsdam. We realize that some travel may be required or undertaken to visit family, return home, holidays, etc.

If you reside in Potsdam and travel beyond our immediate region and will need to access campus, we ask that you follow New York State Travel guidelines. Please see additional guidance on the ability to ‘test-out’ of this directive. We know some graduate students need access to campus throughout the break, please contact with any individual questions and we will help identify solutions. 

Key University Dates

The University’s main operations will have limited service from December 14th – January 4th to allow time for Campus Community to recharge and reconnect. Campus Safety & Security will be on call 24/7 during the entire break, including these dates. Questions may be directed to

The University will remain open except for official holidays and winter break and will resume normal operations on January 4, 2021

  • The University’s official holidays are:
    • November 26 & 27
    • December 24, 25, 28 & January 1, 2021

Spring Semester 2021 Return

New York Residents: All continuing students who remained in Potsdam will be able to access the University on January 4, 2021 once the start of semester testing has been completed. All students residing in New York State will be required to submit a negative COVID test 7-days prior to your first date returning on campus. All students will receive a 2nd COVID test on campus. More information will be sent based on the program you are enrolled, start dates and your current status of being on campus continuously for research.

Out of State Arrival & Quarantine: Clarkson will again follow NYS COVID-19 Travel Advisory surrounding quarantine for the spring semester. All students entering NYS will be required to submit a negative test result and quarantine for a designated period of time. Currently, NYS has announced new guidelines allowing travelers entering NY to ‘test-out’ of the mandatory 14-day quarantine. All persons entering NYS will continue to complete the NYS Traveler Health Form

For any traveler to NYS from a noncontiguous state, US territory or CDC level 2 or level 3 country will be allowed to ‘test-out’ of the mandatory 14-day quarantine. 

Travelers must:

  • Obtain a test within 3-days of departure, prior to arrival to NYS
  • Upon arrival, quarantine for 3-days
  • On day 4 of their quarantine, students will obtain another COVID test on campus. Should both tests come back negative, the traveler may exit quarantine. 

Travelers from Connecticut, Massachusetts,  New Jersey,  Pennsylvania and Vermont are exempt from the current travel advisory but must still complete the NYS Traveler Health Form.  

Many other states are also implementing travel restrictions and testing protocols making it prudent to review those state websites before you travel as well.   See Pennsylvania and Massachusetts as examples.

Students are encouraged to use the Clarkson Future Ready site for University updates, FAQs, return testing, and Spring Semester Restart information. The information will be updated regularly after the conclusion of the current semester. 

We hope that students and families use this break to recharge and to spend time with one another. On behalf of the Clarkson Community, we are proud of and thankful for our students. We look forward to seeing everyone in the Spring Semester. 


Robyn Hannigan

Brian Grant
Vice President of Enrollment and Student Advancement 

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