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Summer 2021 Plan

UC San Diego’s Summer Session will begin June 28 and will offer one 10-week and two five-week terms providing educational opportunities through Sept. 4. The majority of courses will be presented remotely, with some hybrid and in-person formats.

Throughout spring, UC San Diego’s proactive strategies to detect and prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2 proved effective—the campus’s positivity rates have remained far below average.

Plans for an incremental return to campus have commenced, with the intent to resume full campus operations by the start of the Fall Quarter. These plans are being created in strict compliance with public health guidelines and with a commitment to keeping our campus community safe and healthy.

Campus Safety

Daily Screening

All UC San Diego employees and students who are coming to campus or any other physical UC San Diego location must complete and submit a daily self-screening for COVID-19 before arrival. 

Daily Symptom and Exposure Screening

All UC San Diego employees and students who are reporting to campus or any other physical UC San Diego location must conduct a daily self-screening for COVID-19 before arrival. You will receive a colored thumb after you complete the screening to signify if you are cleared to work and attend class on-campus, or if quarantine or testing is needed.

Green Thumb icon
  • No symptoms or exposure
  • Cleared to come to campus
Yellow Thumb icon
  • “Exposure”, not cleared for on-site work
  • Must quarantine for 14 days
  • Tested between 5-10 days after exposure
Red Thumb icon
  • Symptomatic, not cleared to come to campus
  • Triage with Health's Support line
  • Offered no-cost test via UC San Diego Health

Mask Policy

Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear face coverings outdoors unless they are attending large crowded events. Unvaccinated individuals are required to wear face coverings during most outdoor activities when they cannot maintain six feet of distance from other people. As the virus spreads more easily indoors, everyone, regardless of vaccination status, is required to wear face coverings indoors except in their private residences or office space. See more details about mask policies.

Learn more on the Campus Safety page.


Persons who are 12 and older are eligible for vaccination at any county vaccination site. For those who have not yet been vaccinated, please learn more on the Vaccination webpage about local opportunities.

COVID-19 Testing Requirements

  • Fully vaccinated on-site students and employees: no testing required.
  • On-site students and employees who are not fully vaccinated: weekly testing required.
  • Remote students and employees who are not fully vaccinated: weekly testing recommended.
On-site students and campus employees who have not been fully vaccinated may fulfill required COVID-19 testing through no-cost, self-administered test kits retrieved from campus vending machines (no appointment needed); provider-observed, self-administered testing at Price Center (appointment needed); or provider-administered testing via drive thru (appointment needed). Learn more on the Testing and Screening webpage.

Summer Instruction

We are tracking enrollment, classroom space and course modality changes in real-time, and working with departments and colleges to make necessary adjustments that give our students access to the classes needed for timely academic progress.

  • The majority of Summer Session courses are being offered remotely. Some classes are available in hybrid or in-person formats, with 76 in-person sections and over 780 remote offerings. Approximately 12,000 UC San Diego undergraduates and 600 graduate students have registered for Summer Session courses.
  • A limited number of in-person instructional activities have been approved to take place on campus in addition to Summer Session.
    • Summer Bridge will be offered in both a remote and hybrid format, serving a cohort of approximately 750 students.
    • A limited number of in-person summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) will serve approximately 100 students. Program activities are guided by an MOU to ensure that activities and students follow current campus health and safety requirements.
  • Occupancy for outdoor classrooms is capped at 50 to 75 students and the same safety protocols are observed as in indoor spaces. Indoor class size is limited to fewer than 50 students per class, or 25% of classroom capacity, whichever is smaller; many in-person classes will have fewer than 25 students. View a list of outdoor classrooms here.
  • Currently, there are six outdoor study spaces available on campus. These are capped at 35 person occupancy and available on a first-come, first-served basis. All face covering rules and protocols apply. View a list of outdoor study space locations here.
  • The campus's Laptop Loaner Program enables students to request a laptop, hotspot or other technical support. Likewise, the Computer Lab Lookup is continually being updated.
Learn more about summer instruction on the Academics page.

Student Housing

On-campus housing will remain open and operational during Summer Session. Students remaining in campus housing will be assigned to single-occupancy spaces.

Residents currently living on campus during the 2020-21 academic year can be part of the HDH acceleRATE Summer Program designed to help current UC San Diego students progress towards their degree more affordably. All summer housing residents must be enrolled in order to be eligible for on-campus housing.

  • The deadline to apply for Session I housing is June 9; move-in will happen June 26.
  • The deadline to apply for Session II housing is July 14; move-in will happen July 31

Students should consider living on campus during summer session ONLY if they satisfy at least one of the following conditions:

  • Those who are without access to stable housing;
  • Those who come from housing/food insecure households;
  • Those who are unable to travel home;
  • Those who are from areas highly impacted by COVID-19 or regions at risk for a COVID-19 outbreak;
  • Those who are unable to relocate without high risk to their safety;
  • And those who would be relocating to homes that lack infrastructure to accommodate virtual instruction.

All undergraduate and graduate students residing in campus-operated housing (HDH) must conduct a daily symptom and exposure screening. Residents who are not vaccinated are required to participate in no-cost asymptomatic testing once a week.

To stay current on housing updates, please visit the HDH COVID FAQ webpage.

Isolation Housing and Quarantine

In the event a student living in on-campus housing tests positive for COVID-19 at any time during the academic year, they will be moved to designated on-campus isolation housing, where Student Health and Well-being Services will provide care and ensure basic needs such as food delivery are met. Graduate students may choose to isolate themselves in their apartment with their family with consultation from Student Health Services. Learn more about quarantine and isolation housing.

Sequestration Following Unmasked Off-Campus Activity

  • Any student who resides in campus-operated housing and who engages in any off-campus unmasked activity (sharing a meal, recreational activities, gatherings, etc.) is required to sequester for up to 14 days within their residential unit upon returning to campus.
  • Sequestration requires students to be masked and distanced within the residential unit (with the exception of their personal bedroom and the shower), to complete the daily symptom and exposure screener, as well as undergo additional COVID-19 testing on days 1, 5 and 10 after returning to campus.
  • Students can use the online self-scheduler to select a convenient testing time for a provider-administered test or they may pick up a self-administered test at any COVID-test-kit-vending machine on campus.

Campus Dining

  • Indoor dining at campus eateries is open.
  • Guests are required to wear masks when they are not eating or drinking.
  • Dining Services offers a mobile ordering platform, Triton2Go, where campus community members can place their orders in advance to help limit crowds and wait time.
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers are placed at the entrance of all dining facilities and markets. 
  • All payments have moved to cashless transactions and near-field communication card readers for reduced contact at point of sale for students and employees.


Employees working remotely should continue to do so

The health and safety of our employees is a priority at UC San Diego. We are grateful to employees who have remained on campus to complete critical functions throughout the pandemic and to those who shifted to remote work to support social distancing on campus.

Campus Staff Employees

Plans are underway for a safe and gradual return to full campus operations this fall. Between June 1 and September 1, campus staff employees will be invited by their vice chancellor and other leaders to gradually return to campus for on-site work. Managers will do their best to provide 30 days’ advance notice of changes to current work arrangements, and afford flexibility for staff.

This phased return provides us with an opportunity to reimagine how we work going forward. In the spirit of continuous improvement, vice chancellors are thoughtfully considering how to best support the university’s mission, building upon what was learned over the past year and with valuable input from staff, faculty and students.

As we reimagine the workplace to support staff engagement, we will continue to explore innovative and flexible work approaches through the lenses of equity, quality of life and sustainability. All of our decisions will be guided by the intent to nurture a caring environment in which our entire campus community can thrive.

A Return to Campus Support Desk has been established to address any questions and concerns campus staff employees may have about returning to campus. Return to Campus Support Desk staff are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Contact the desk by phone at (858) 246-3570 or by email at

Visit the Flexible Work Arrangements page for more information and resources.

Faculty and Researchers

Certain low-density research and other endeavors may resume on campus

Phase I of the Campus Redensification Plan is underway and focuses on increasing the number of faculty and principal investigators (PIs) permitted to use their individual labs, offices and studios for academic, research and creative work. 

All on-site research activity requires a research ramp-up plan, which will be reviewed by department chairs, deans, Environmental Health and Safety, and Research Affairs. If you are working alone in your office or in ensemble performing arts, you do not need a research ramp-up plan, but do need to fill out a Work Location Status form. Read more about on-site performing arts guidelines on the Research Ramp-up website

Research groups no longer need to observe density restrictions (such as the 50% cap previously in effect). All personnel must follow campus safety guidelines, including wearing a mask and working at least 6 feet apart from one another at all times, unless a Training Risk Mitigation or Alternative Risk Mitigation form has been submitted as part of an approved Research Ramp-up plan. Faculty and PIs can learn more details about returning to campus on the Research Ramp-Up website.

The removal of population-based density restrictions does not mean that research personnel should be working in close proximity; if your space cannot accommodate all of your lab members while maintaining physical distancing, then you cannot schedule all personnel to work simultaneously. A minimum of 6 foot distancing and use of masks at all times, are required. Indoor meetings are limited to a maximum of 10 people, maintaining 6 feet of physical distance between them. Food and beverages should not be consumed at indoor meetings.

Researchers are reminded to follow all safety requirements, including completing the daily symptom and exposure screening, and weekly testing for those who are not fully vaccinated.

Administrative staff who have been successfully working off-site should not be expected to return to campus prior to June 1; their return should be planned in accordance with the campus Return to Campus process.

Students may be included in a Research Ramp-up plan if they are willing to participate. This includes students doing a substantial rotation in the PI’s lab or research program. Students may not be required or pressured to participate in person.

Plan Updates

Due to the dynamic public health situation, UC San Diego will remain flexible. As has been the case since the beginning of this unprecedented challenge, the University’s plans may change as the pandemic evolves and government and public health authorities respond. While the California reopening plan is executed and assessed at each phase, UC San Diego will notify campus community members of any changes to their learning and work situations as appropriate. In all decisions, the health and safety of students, employees and local communities will be paramount.