Fall 2023 FAQs

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve across the globe, our thoughts immediately turn to our admitted students in the areas most impacted. The Simon Admissions Team has care and concern for you, your family and friends, and all those affected. In an incredibly difficult season of life, please know we’ll be beside you as we continue to walk through these challenges together.

We know you likely have several questions about beginning your graduate business studies, so we worked on compiling some frequently asked questions by topic in the hopes they help clarify what you can expect for the fall semester. However, please note that guidelines on all of these topics may continue to evolve, so please check back regularly for the most up-to-date information.

If you still have questions, please reach out to the Simon Admissions team at admissions@simon.rochester.edu.

General

When should I arrive in Rochester?

You should plan on arriving to Rochester by the date indicated below. Make sure you are following all NYS and UR COVID protocols and guidelines (see below). Pending these guidelines, you may need to arrive sooner.

International Students: Arrive by the week of July 5 (note that if you choose to arrive earlier, you are able to enter the US up to 30 days before July 12)

Domestic Students: Arrive by the week of July 12

Keep in mind:

NYS Travel Guidelines: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory Keep a close eye on your email for the latest updates regarding University of Rochester COVID testing protocols and options for vaccination (if needed)

What dates are Welcome Week, Orientation, and Pre-Fall? Is attendance required?

Get settled into your new life in Rochester before Orientation and Pre-Fall begin! Join a campus tour and find the fastest route to Starbucks, hop on the shuttle to learn how to get to and from campus if you are not bringing a car, meet your career and academic advisors, check in at University Health Service, and more.

Welcome Week is designed to help you get through your to-do list. Though optional, your classmates agree that Welcome Week is a great way to get a head-start on your new chapter at Simon! We look forward to providing you with a more detailed schedule in our next email.

International MBA Orientation | July 12–13
Moving to the United States to attend an American MBA program is an exciting decision, and we are thrilled that your journey brings you to Simon. We not only pride ourselves as the #1 most diverse MBA program but also on the programming and services that we offer our international students. Throughout our mandatory International MBA Orientation, you will participate in programming designed to familiarize yourself with your new city, ensure your visa compliance, set the foundation for an effective internship search, and learn the nuances involved in being a part of the Simon classroom. Register Now.

MBA Orientation | July 19–24
All MBA students are required to attend Orientation for the MBA Class of 2023 from Monday, July 19, to Saturday, July 24. This will be an amazing experience and a chance for your new class to bond and share several interactive activities prior to the start of your academic program. MBA Orientation will feature key faculty and staff, team building events, an introduction to the Rochester community, and more. Register Now.

Pre-Fall | July 26 – August 20
Pre-Fall is an intense start to our MBA program with leadership development, an introduction to fundamental coursework, essential professional development for career success, and alumni engagement. Pre-Fall classes are a required part of the MBA curriculum.

Will Orientation and Pre-Fall be in person?

Orientation and Pre-Fall classes will be held in person, consistent with the broader university. A hybrid synchronous option will be available in case of illness/health accommodations or other extenuating circumstances. We expect you to attend Orientation and classes in person and take advantage of the opportunity to interact with your classmates and the faculty. Please keep in mind that the CDC, New York State, and the University have made a number of updates in their guidance and requirements over the past year, and we will continue to adjust our plans if required.

How early should I start looking for housing?

In normal years, graduate housing in Rochester is readily available. However, with the rise in working and conducting internships remotely, the housing market in mid-sized cities is becoming very competitive. We suggest you begin exploring housing and looking for roommate(s) at your earliest possible convenience.

If you entered the on-campus housing lottery and are waiting for an update, we recommend that you begin an off-campus housing search simultaneously to keep your options open. If you have been in touch with the housing office, be assured they are working through their inquiries in the order they were received, and you will get a response. Thank you for your patience at this very busy time of year!

Academics

What is my class schedule?

Check out the Full-Time MBA study plan, which include the sequence of classes you’ll take from Fall 2021 – Spring 2023.

What will my classroom experience be like when I arrive on campus?

Per recent University guidance, classrooms will be at full capacity. All individuals must wear a mask while indoors to maintain the health and safety of everyone. Hand sanitizer stations will be available in every building.

What protocols should students follow if they think they’re sick or have contracted COVID-19?

Students should email their professors to let them know they’re sick. If students are showing COVID-19 symptoms, follow University guidance.

What if I’m unable to get to Rochester for the start of the semester? What are my study options?

The school is continuing to evaluate the location and situation of our students on a semester-by semester-basis, particularly those students who are unable to get to Rochester for reasons beyond their control. There will be a virtual option for individuals who have not been able to travel to Rochester and/or who have an excused absence—otherwise, in-person class attendance is expected. We will continue to be in close communication with students about travel plans, and we’ll continue to offer an online option as long as we have students who need it to complete their degree.

If I’m outside of the US currently and unable to get to Rochester, what can I expect from the timing of my synchronous classes?

We are a global business school, so to the extent possible, class times will be scheduled in the morning or evening Eastern Time, which we hope will accommodate as many time zones as possible.

Office of Student Engagement

What kind of social activities can students expect?

Clubs have submitted business plans that focus on providing in-person events that follow all safety guidelines and will utilize Zoom for events that feature alumni who are outside of the Rochester area. For international students who are not able to travel due to visa restrictions, there will be hybrid programming when possible.

What Experiential Learning activities does the Office of Student Engagement have planned for the fall semester?

The Experiential Learning team will offer many great ways to actively learn and reflect on the experience this fall!

Case Competitions: We are identifying case competitions during the fall term that are both external (at other schools) and internal (Simon only) that will more than likely be virtual. We will also be providing training to students on team formation, teamwork, and problem solving to support the participants in these competitions virtually and in person where possible.

Leadership Learning: There will be opportunities to participate in leadership discussions and problem solving to gain experience in the traits most sought after by recruiters—agility, listening, communication, and more.

Professional Student-Led Clubs: Experiential Learning partners with the professional clubs to bring real and active learning and reflection to students. For instance, the student-led Simon VISION Consulting is sourcing projects for MS and MBA students to engage with clients in the fall, either virtually or in person where possible, and the Simon School Venture Fund is also sourcing companies for fall reviews for their fund.

Will I be able to schedule 1:1 meetings with academic advisors?

Academic advisors are available to meet via Zoom or in person, following safety guidelines; appointments can be scheduled via email.

Career Services

What kind of support can I expect from the Benet Career Management Center?

The Benet Career Management Center team continues to be available to students. SimonWorks will continue to house information about upcoming professional development activities, including Career Action Team schedules. All Benet Career Management Center activities will be offered virtually and in person and in compliance with guidance from the University, the CDC, and state and federal regulations.

Will I be able to schedule 1:1 meetings with career advisors?

Career Advisors will maintain a schedule for 1:1 meetings, and students will register through SimonWorks. The 1:1 meetings will be hosted through Zoom for the time being.

As a student, am I required by the University of Rochester to get the COVID-19 vaccination?

The University of Rochester is requiring all students—undergraduate and graduate—who plan to be on any campus for the 2021-22 academic year, to be vaccinated against COVID-19. University students, living both on-campus and off-campus, are expected to have received both doses of a two-dose vaccine, or the single dose of a one-dose vaccine, by Aug. 1, 2021.

The University’s full announcement is available here.

You may direct any questions about testing/quarantines/guidelines to: UHSCovid19@uhs.rochester.edu.

What vaccines are acceptable to meet the requirement?

We encourage all students to be vaccinated for COVID-19 at their earliest opportunity. The University will require COVID-19 vaccines for all students on campus starting August 1, 2021. The University will follow New York State and CDC guidance for COVID-19 vaccines, and will recognize students as fully vaccinated who have received vaccines approved for emergency use by the CDC, which currently includes the vaccines listed on the World Health Organization (WHO) emergency use list (click on button: Status of COVID-19 Vaccines within WHO EUL/PQ evaluation process). University leaders are continuing to monitor relevant guidance and will update requirements as new information becomes available.

What happens if students can’t easily get access to vaccines where they live—in the US or abroad—can they get vaccinated when they get to Rochester?

Yes. All efforts will be made to provide the vaccine to students who arrive to campus—or who are already on campus—and have not yet been vaccinated. If a student has only received one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna two-dose vaccine upon arrival to Rochester, there are multiple options at Rochester-area pharmacies to receive the second dose. Here are two options nearby River Campus:

CVS on Mount Hope Avenue in College Town offers Pfizer 2nd dose Walgreens at 1575 Mount Hope Avenue offers Moderna 2nd dose

 

Here are several community locations where you can obtain your COVID-19 vaccination free of charge:

CVS (1431 Mount Hope Avenue in College Town)—walking distance to graduate on-campus housing; can schedule an appointment or walk in   Walgreens (1650 Elmwood Avenue)—can schedule an appointment or walk in Walgreens (1575 Mount Hope Avenue)—can schedule an appointment or walk in Wegmans (any Rochester location)—walk in

Students seeking a second dose should bring with them the proof of their first dose/vaccination card.

Right now, it is not expected that unvaccinated students will need to quarantine. All students, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear a face mask. Students should honestly answer the daily Dr. Chat Bot screening about any international or domestic travel into New York State, allowing UHS to make an informed decision on whether a quarantine is recommended. As a reminder, we encourage you to begin the vaccination process as soon as possible if you have not already done so. (If you have received a COVID-19 vaccine that is not approved by the CDC or WHO, follow up with UHS for guidance on receiving your approved vaccine.)

How can I show proof of vaccination?

You will provide your proof of COVID-19 vaccination on your Health History Form. See the University Health Service requirements page for details about accessing this form.

Yes, as noted in the announcement, students may request a medical or religious exemption. Exemption requests must be approved by UHS and should be made to UHS by July 15, 2021.

Students claiming a medical exemption will need to submit to UHS a letter from a physician prior to arrival on campus this fall describing the medical condition. Of note, the only medical contraindications listed by the FDA are allergy to the COVID vaccine itself or proven allergy to a component of the COVID vaccine.

Students claiming a religious exemption will need to submit a statement to UHS prior to arrival on campus this fall stating that they have a sincere and genuine religious belief that prevents them from being vaccinated. Additional documentation may be required by UHS depending on the circumstances.

If an exemption is approved, it is important to note that that students who have chosen not to vaccinate will be required to maintain the same level of health and safety protocols that have been in place throughout the duration of the 2020–21 academic year, including wearing a face mask and practicing social distancing, as well as any others that may be recommended or required by New York State and the CDC. For additional information and to speak to a professional within University Health Service about your concerns, please feel free to contact them directly.

Will there be remote/virtual class options for students who are enrolled in the fall but aren’t vaccinated?

The University is not preparing remote learning options for students who are not vaccinated. Generally, status as an unvaccinated individual does not entitle a person to an accommodation of this nature.

I’ve already had COVID-19. Do I still need to be vaccinated?

Even students who have had COVID must be vaccinated. This is guidance from the CDC.

Health and Safety

What am I required to do before arrival from a health and safety perspective?

Make sure you are following all NYS and UR COVID protocols and guidelines (see below).

NYS Travel Guidelines: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory Keep a close eye on your email for the latest updates regarding University of Rochester COVID testing protocols and options for vaccination (if needed)

 

Guidelines may continue to change, so we recommend that you check back frequently to adjust plans before arrival if needed. There may be different pre-arrival requirements for domestic students and international students.

Requirements Fully Vaccinated Partially Vaccinated Not Vaccinated Approved Vaccine Exemption
  Two weeks after your second dose of a two-dose series OR two weeks after a single-dose vaccine Received one dose of a two-dose series OR received the second dose of a two-dose series or one dose of a single-dose vaccine less than two weeks ago
Have not received a vaccination.
Have received a vaccination that has not been approved for emergency use by the WHO or CDC.
Have applied for an exemption that has not yet been approved.
Have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 90 days.
Have not received a vaccine but have received an approved medical or religious exemption from the University
Masking Required Required Required Required
Dr. Chat Bot Complete Daily Complete Daily Complete Daily Complete Daily
Proof of Vaccination Status Prepare to Show UR COVID-19 Vaccination Status App or Photos (Front and Back) of Your Vaccination Card Prepare to Show Photos (Front and Back) of Your Vaccination Card N/A Prepare to Show Approved Exemption
PCR Test (within 72 hours of coming to campus) N/A N/A Required one time for the start of Orientation Required one time for the start of Orientation

 

Where can I get a PCR test?

Here are a few locations close to campus where you can obtain a PCR test:

CVS (1431 Mount Hope Avenue in College Town)—walking distance to graduate on-campus housing; use link to schedule an appointment Walgreens (1650 Elmwood Avenue)—use link to schedule an appointment

 

Please note that results can take 1–2 business days, so please prioritize getting your PCR test with enough lead time before you plan to be on campus.

Are there guidelines I should review about carrying out a quarantine period? What do I need to know?

Right now, it is not expected that unvaccinated students will need to quarantine. All students, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear a face mask. Students should honestly answer the daily Dr. Chat Bot screening (see more below) about any international or domestic travel into New York State, allowing UHS to make an informed decision on whether a quarantine is recommended. As a reminder, we encourage you to begin the vaccination process as soon as possible if you have not already done so. (If you have received a COVID-19 vaccine that is not approved by the CDC or WHO, follow up with UHS for guidance on receiving your approved vaccine.)

What do I need to do when I plan to be on campus?

The University has deployed a daily symptom check using the Dr. Chat Bot tool for all University students, faculty, and staff. Dr. Chat Bot is an online tool that was implemented by the University’s Medical Center to screen Medical Center faculty, staff, and trainees for COVID-19 symptoms before reporting to work. The back end feeds to University Health Service (UHS), and UHS staff follows up with anyone who reports symptoms each morning to assess whether testing is needed. The Dr. Chat Bot daily screening process takes less than two minutes and can be completed on a computer, tablet, or smartphone with internet access.

Special guidance as you complete Dr. Chat Bot: If you respond “YES” to Dr. Chat Bot’s question about travel, you will automatically be advised not to come to campus. Please ignore this message and come to campus! However, if the answers to your other Dr. Chat Bot questions pose a COVID concern—i.e., you are experiencing symptoms or are a close contact of someone who has tested positive—please do not come to campus and call UHS at (585) 275-2662 for additional guidance.

Masks are required for all individuals indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

Will personal protective equipment (PPE) be available?

Masks will be available to all students and employees. You will also receive a mask at Orientation. In addition, hand sanitizer will be available in building entryways and common areas. Disinfecting wipes will be available outside of all classrooms so that you can wipe down your area upon arrival.

Do I have to wear a mask even if I’m fully vaccinated?

Yes. Per current University guidelines, all individuals must wear a mask while indoors on campus.

What is expected in terms of physical distancing?

Per recent University guidance, physical distancing is no longer required. This means that classroom capacity will return to normal and there are no limitations on gathering sizes.

What building protocols will be in place for in-person classroom attendance?

As previously stated, with the removal of physical distancing requirements, classrooms will return to full capacity. All individuals are required to wear a mask.

In addition, disinfecting wipes will be available at the entrances to all classrooms so that students can clean their personal space upon arrival.

Will students be able to utilize common areas and shared spaces?

All common spaces are available to students, but mask requirements apply.

What dining options will be available on campus?

Campus Dining has a wide variety of dining options on campus that will be open for the fall. The University of Rochester’s dining experience is regularly ranked among the best in the nation. In addition, The Brew Café, located on the first floor of Schlegel Hall, is slated to open August 25.

Will there be any restrictions on dining and eating on campus?

With the recent guidance from the University that removed physical distancing requirements, all campus dining activities are expected to return to normal capacity and operations. Learn more.

What will on-campus transportation look like when students return to campus?

With the recent guidance from the University that removed physical distancing requirements, the campus shuttles will resume operations at full capacity. Please note: masks are required on any campus shuttle regardless of vaccination status.