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COVID-19 Information for Students

In-Person Teaching for the Fall 2020 Semester

Southwestern Oklahoma State University intends to resume in-person teaching, learning and residential life for the Fall 2020 semester.

CARES Act Funding

Students who meet basic eligibility criteria for federal financial aid will receive a cash grant from SWOSU as part of the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund through the CARES Act passed by Congress. A recent announcement provides more details. If you have questions such as if you are eligible, please contact the Bursar’s office at (580) 774-3019 or email

Fall 2020 Schedule

Classes will start on the currently scheduled date – Monday, August 17. Campus will be closed on Labor Day, Monday, September 7. Fall Break will be cancelled and classes will meet on October 15 and 16. Commencement (delayed from May) will be held on November 20-21 with limited guest participation. Classes will meet as usual on November 23 and 24.

After Thanksgiving Break, in order to minimize the spread of the virus from potential holiday travel, all classes will transition to virtual. There will be three days of virtual Dead Days, November 30-December 2. Virtual finals will start on Thursday, December 3 and end on Wednesday, December 9.

Masks and Shields

SWOSU will require cloth facial coverings for students, faculty, visitors, and staff in hallways and classrooms for the fall 2020 semester. Students who choose not to wear a mask are encouraged to enroll in sections that will not require on-campus attendance. Students with questions regarding this requirement can contact Dean of Students Joshua Engle at 774-3767 or at

Thank you for taking the SWOSU face covering mandate seriously. You are helping us combat the spread of COVID-19 and remain open; it truly is the new normal to wear a mask indoors.

Gaiters will be allowed as face coverings, but we ask that you double them (fold the tube inside itself to provide two layers). A single thin layer may not be enough protection.

Safety Measures Within Classrooms

We are adjusting classrooms to maintain at least four feet between students. In some classrooms, we are placing clear plastic at the front of rooms and in front of podiums. SWOSU will provide hand sanitizer in hallways and classrooms and ask that students use it frequently throughout the day. We will also ask that faculty develop seating charts and track attendance at each class.  This will aid preventative measures in the event of a positive case among class members.

Learning Online

Students who have questions about learning in a virtual environment or about courses are encouraged to 1) check the course Canvas pages; 2) stay in contact with your professor through Canvas messaging or email; and 3) visit the frequently-asked question links.

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning has many resources for students.

Ensure you will have access to the Internet. If you do not have access at home, you can use a wifi locator such as WiFi Map to identify free wifi near your home.

SWOSU Commencement 2020

Graduation ceremonies that were scheduled to take place in May will be postponed to Saturday, November 21. This decision was based on the recommendations of the CDC to cancel/postpone large group events.

Protect Yourself from Becoming Infected

The most important precaution all of us can take is being mindful of our personal health by practicing good hygiene, such as washing hands frequently. We continue to follow guidance from the CDC and state and local health authorities and encourage everyone to take reasonable, common-sense measures to keep yourself healthy.

Health and Counseling Services

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, call your medical care provider as soon as possible. Remember to call ahead and tell the health care provider’s office about any recent travel, symptoms, and concerns. Please also avoid contact with others and do not travel unnecessarily. To find out if you should be tested and where, call the Oklahoma State Department of Health Coronavirus Call Center at 877.215.8336 or visit the state’s coronavirus web site.

If you are on campus and experience flu-like symptoms, please call Student Health Services at 580.774.3776.  You will be asked screening questions over the phone. If a flu test or strep test is needed, an appointment will be made. Patients needing a flu or strep test must wear a mask upon entering the waiting room.

In order to limit traffic in Health and Counseling Services, counseling appointments will be held by Zoom only. Anxiety-reducing resources can be found at The Jed FoundationThe Conversation, the Child Mind Institute, and the American Psychological Association.

We’re Here to Help

If you have any health concerns, please call 580.774.3776.