Despite these uncertain times, we hope that you are excited about the Spring 2021 academic semester at the University of Pittsburgh. Although we are excited to welcome you to campus, we know that doing so may not be possible for some of you. The options listed below will ensure that you will have the best Pitt experience, even if you are unable to arrive in-person to a Pitt campus this upcoming term.
To all air travelers entering the U.S.: Effective January 26, 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will require proof of a negative COVID-19 test for all air passengers arriving into the U.S. The test must be conducted with a specimen collected within 3 calendar days preceding the flight.
To nonimmigrant travelers from Brazil, Iran, and China: The Presidential Proclamation which establishes a travel ban from these areas is still in effect. Therefore, if you intend to travel to the U.S. from one of these locations, you must first travel to a third country and remain there for 14 full days before traveling into the U.S.
To F-1 travelers from the Schengen Region, United Kingdom and Ireland: U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued the following document which verifies that F-1 students and their dependents may travel to the U.S. from the Schengen region, U.K., and Ireland under a National Interest Exception to the Presidential Proclamation travel ban. Students traveling from those countries are encouraged to print and carry this document when traveling into the U.S.
To undergraduate students living in Pitt residence halls: Please check University guidance regarding Spring 2021 arrival information.
Notice about SEVP Guidance: The U.S. Government first issued guidance regarding special COVID-19 related immigration standards in March 2020. These standards were in effect from March through the end of summer terms across the U.S. On July 6, 2020 and July 7, 2020, SEVP issued new guidance for Fall 2020, which significantly changed the March guidance. A lawsuit was filed against the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institution of Technology, challenging the government's guidance. On July 14, 2020, the Government and universities entered into an agreement which rescinded the July 6 and 7th guidance and which reinstated the March 2020 Guidance.
PLEASE NOTE: SEVP has indicated that for the Spring 2021 term, non-immigrant students should continue to abide by SEVP guidance originally issued in March 2020. Therefore, the FAQ’s below follow the SEVP Fall 2020 Guidance and FAQ’S. Students should frequently review the FAQs below that are pertinent to their situation. At this time, OIS recommends all students travel with a copy of this Spring 2021 Letter for Students.
Spring 2021 International Undergraduate Enrollment Options
Option 1: New Students Only: If you choose to attend classes in the United States, you must arrive on campus by January 19th. Please note that this will not be an option if you do not already have a student visa or an appointment to obtain one. Please confirm this information before selecting this option. You will be expected to participate in classes remotely prior to entry into the United States and throughout any mandatory self-quarantine upon arrival in the United States. All students coming to the United States for the first time for the spring 2021 term must be enrolled in at least one class that has an in-person component, as immigration guidelines state that students new to the United States may not be enrolled in a fully online program.
Option 2: Attend a Pitt on Location Program in your home country. International students in China, India, South Korea, and Vietnam will be offered a course of study through a Pitt Study Abroad partner. This course of study will be full-time and will include in-person classes taught at partner institutions in each country. Pitt on Location will also offer housing in university dorms or nearby university-style residences in each city where the program is offered. You must submit an application for this program by December 1st. More information can be found here: https://www.abroad.pitt.edu/onlocation
Option 3: Complete University of Pittsburgh Courses through Flex @ Pitt: Complete Flex @ Pitt courses in the US or your home country (please note: this option uses the learning management system Canvas which may not be reliable in China and other countries including India and South Korea). Technological support will be provided through the University for students’ pursuing this option. This will allow for access to on-campus coursework, advising, mentoring, and other important resources, in an entirely remote environment. This option is best if you are unable, or do not wish to, travel outside of your home-country. More information can be found here https://teaching.pitt.edu/
Deferral or Leave of Absence
• NEW STUDENTS: Any international student can opt to defer attendance to the Fall 2021 semester. Note that all deferrals must go through the formal process found here (https://oafa.pitt.edu/apply/admissions-process/deferring-admission/), and deferrals to Spring may not be guaranteed on-campus housing.
• CONTINUING STUDENTS: A continuing international student can take a leave of absence by February 5, 2021. If you are a continuing student who is still inside the United States, and you decide to take a leave of absence, you must depart the United States no later than February 3, 2021 (i.e., 15 days past the first day of classes).