*Published on December 14, 2020*

Dear Northeastern University Students,  

Congratulations on approaching the end of a successful fall term, and thank you for the daily actions you took to Protect the Pack! As we look forward to the spring term, Northeastern has several requirements to help students make a safe transition to the winter break and then back to classes next month.

Winter Break Testing Requirements

Complete the pre-departure travel form for your winter travel and complete the return form upon your return. Students living on the Boston campus or in the Boston area are required to complete the travel form by December 21 to let us know about your plans for the break and your return for the spring. Every Boston-based student should complete the travel form, including those who have already left campus and those who plan to stay on campus. Your answers will help Northeastern provide you with detailed guidance and reminders about your testing requirements.

If you are traveling away from Boston for the break, please set your status to “primarily remote” in the COVID-19 Test Scheduler for the time you are away and don’t forget to switch back to “primarily in-person” as soon as you return to Boston. This video gives a brief guide on how to switch your status in the COVID-19 Test Scheduler.

If you are a student living on the Boston campus or if you live off-campus in the surrounding zip codes during the winter break, you will be required to continue testing every three days over the break. This includes students living off-campus in the zip codes of 02115, 02118, 02119, 02120, 02130, 02215, and 02121. Cabot Testing Center will be open throughout the break with adjusted hours of operation.

Spring Term Testing Requirements

All Boston-based students are required to complete tests on Days One, Three, and Five at the start of the spring term. The first COVID-19 test you schedule after January 4 will prompt the start of your spring term testing cadence. You will complete your next test on Day Three and another test on Day Five before you resume the regular three-day testing cadence.  

Quarantine is required until your first negative test result. Students arriving on the Boston campus should get a test on the day of their arrival and move immediately into quarantine. Students living in university housing are permitted to go out to pick up food, get testing or medical care, or use shared hall bathrooms or showers, but must otherwise stay in their room until they receive a negative result from the test. Students living off-campus will be responsible to follow state guidance and to quarantine in their off-campus residences.  

Three negative tests are required before resuming in-person classes. Once students receive their first negative test result, their quarantine is lifted. They can be out on campus with masks but are still restricted from fully resuming campus activities. Students will need to have three negative tests before attending class and fully resuming campus activities.

These requirements will help protect everyone’s safety during the winter break and as we reconvene for the spring. We urge everyone to stay safe during the break. Practice healthy distancing, minimize contact with people outside of your household, and wear a mask any time you leave your room or residence.

Please reach out to NUCovid19Qs@northeastern.edu with any questions related to COVID-19, and check the Northeastern COVID-19 website for the latest updates.



Ken Henderson
Chancellor and Senior Vice President for Learning


David Madigan
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs