Spring 2021 Information


  • Mines began its Spring 2021 semester as scheduled on Tuesday, January 12.
  • While some adjustments may be required based on local and state conditions, the spring semester calendar has not been altered, including Spring Break from March 27 to April 4.
  • More than 70 percent of spring classes have an in-person component, with an overall increase to in-person instruction expected compared to Fall 2020.

Spring Semester Testing Plan

Students Living in Mines Housing

COVID nasal swab test

  • Students living in Elm, Spruce, Weaver, Maple, Randall, Thomas, Bradford and Morgan will be required to test on the day of their residence hall check-in, in addition to the required pre-semester test. Students will be asked to limit social interactions until they receive test results (only socialize in person with your roommate, take meals back to your residence, etc.). The campus testing site will be open Jan. 9-10 for students living in these residence halls only.
  • Students living in 1750 Jackson are asked to test upon arrival and again the first week of classes. They will also be required to test weekly during the spring semester as part of the Mines COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Program.
  • Mines Park residents should get a pre-semester test as indicated above and may test as required or desired throughout spring semester.

Fraternities and Sororities

  • Students living in a fraternity or sorority house will be required to test weekly during the spring semester as part of the Mines COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Program.

Random Surveillance Testing

  • Mines will expand its surveillance testing program to include other students taking in-person classes. Students who are not already part of another group regularly testing will be randomly selected to test each week as part of Mines’ COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Program.

Other Undergraduate and Graduate Students

All students living locally are able to get tested through the Mines COVID Testing program via this website.

What We’ve Learned

The Mines Pandemic Response Team has learned a lot this fall about managing the spread of COVID-19 on campus. See how those lessons are being built into Mines’ spring semester plans.  

What to Expect in Spring 2021

Students wearing masks

The Spring 2021 semester will operate similarly to the Fall 2020 semester; here are a few essentials to note:

  • All students, faculty and staff working on campus will perform a daily health check using the COVID-19 symptom self-screener before arriving on campus or leaving their residence hall.
  • Face masks will continue to be required at all times for all persons on the Mines campus—both indoors and outdoors.
  • Employees are expected to continue to work remotely until otherwise directed by their vice president, dean or supervisor.
  • University travel is not permitted, except for travel paid through a research contract or an external source.
  • Meeting and event guidance will depend on state and local health orders. Please see this page for updated information.
  • The Student Recreation Center will remain open and operations/occupancy limits will conform to Jefferson County Public Health Guidance for gyms.

Preparing for Spring 2021

Learn what to pack and how to prepare in case you get sick or quarantined.

Questions & Answers

Below are answers to common questions we’ve fielded or are anticipating. The Mines Climbs Together FAQ has also been updated for Spring 2021 as well. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Please submit a question using the form below.

I tested positive for COVID-19 already. Can I still get quarantined?

It depends on when you tested positive. Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 (PCR test only) within the last 90 days will not be subject to new quarantine and does not need to test again until their 90-day period has ended. You will need to provide a screenshot/copy of your test result to CRIT.

I tested positive for COVID-19 already. Do I have to wear a mask?

Yes. All Orediggers regardless of their COVID-19 status are required to wear masks whenever they are outside their homes or around others they do not live with. 

When and how will Mines students get a COVID-19 vaccine? Will faculty and staff also have access to this?

It’s still too early to say. Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment has ordered doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Once approved by the FDA, a small number of doses will be distributed to states as early as mid-December. Colorado’s Draft COVID-19 Vaccination Plan lists critical workers (healthcare workers, EMS, police) as its top priority (see page 22), followed by highest risk individuals. The draft plan lists “Students living in college dorms or other congregate housing” in phase 3.

Are masks still required in the spring 2021 semester?

Yes, face masks are required at all times while on the Mines campus—both indoors and outdoors. All Mines community members are expected to follow the Oredigger Promise and follow social distancing guidelines, participate in our COVID-19 testing program, contact tracing activities and to isolate or quarantine as needed, and be supportive of others. 

How often will students be tested for COVID-19 during the spring semester?

All students will have access to COVID-19 testing through Mines’ testing program in Spring 2021. Information on accessing testing is available here.

On-campus residents, including those living in Mines Park, 1750 Jackson and FSL houses, will be required to test weekly during the spring semester as part of the Mines COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Program.

Student-athletes will test at least weekly and possibly more frequently as required by their sport.

Mines will expand its surveillance testing program to include other students taking in-person classes. Students who are not already a part of another group regularly testing will be randomly selected to test each week as part of Mines’ COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Program.

Can other members of the Mines community get tested for COVID-19 through Mines’ testing program?

​Colorado School of Mines partners with COVIDCheck Colorado, a social benefit enterprise of Gary Community Investments, to provide testing for students, faculty and staff. COVIDCheck Colorado operates a test site on the Mines campus, and numerous other sites in the Denver Metro area. The test site on the Mines campus has a significant portion of its testing hours that are accessible only to Mines students, faculty and staff.

Mines students, faculty and staff can sign up for testing at any COVIDCheck testing site here. A Mines CWID is required.

COVID testing is provided to Mines students, faculty and staff at no cost to testing participants.

COVIDCheck Colorado also offers free testing to the general community through funding provided by the state of Colorado. Those without a Mines CWID (including family members, non-Mines roommates, etc) can sign up for a COVID19 test using this link: Schedule an Appointment for COVID-19 Testing

Where can I get a COVID-19 test?

Testing for the general public/family members is available at any of the COVIDCheck Colorado sites, including on the Mines campus. Mines community members (if you have a CWID) can sign up for testing here: https://www.primarybio.com/a/mines

Is Mines doing surveillance testing in spring 2021?

Mines will expand its random surveillance testing program to include other students taking in-person classes. Students who are not already a part of another group regularly testing will be randomly selected to test each week as part of Mines COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Program.

I’ve tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies. As a student living on campus, do I still need to get tested?

According to the CDC, it is unknown if people who recover from COVID-19 can be re-infected, and antibody results “do not confirm whether or not you are able to spread the virus that causes COVID-19.” Therefore, we are asking students living on campus, including those who have received a positive antibody test result, to continue to be tested.

That said, people who have tested positive for COVID-19 (PCR test only) should not test for 90 days from their positive test date unless directed to test by their health care provider.

I’ve had a positive COVID-19 PCR test. As a student living on campus, do I still need to get tested?

If you have previously tested positive for COVID-19 via a molecular PCR test (nasal swab), please email your test results to the Student Health Center at shc@mines.edu. Based on current guidance from the CDC and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, you may be exempt from testing for 90 days from the date of your last test. The Student Health Center will follow up with you, and you should not schedule a test until you hear from them.

How are classes being delivered in the spring 2021 semester?

Around 70 percent of spring classes will have an in-person component and most of our lab, studio and design project-focused courses will be in person. Operating within state and local health guidance, Mines has optimized our classroom capacity to offer in-person learning while conforming to COVID safety precepts. As was the case this semester, those students wanting or needing to participate in their courses remotely will still be able to do so.

Where can students find virtual tutoring, advising and professor office hours?

Faculty and staff will continue to hold virtual sessions for one-on-one and group discussions, office hours and more. Students should consult professors individually for availability.

Details about tutoring services and academic support can be found on the Center for Academic Services and Advising website.

Is the Mines Testing Center open and available for exams?

The testing center is open and available by appointment to allow for reduced occupancy limits.

Where can I find available study spaces on campus?

The Return to Mines Taskforce created a building-by-building list of all designated study rooms on campus—including some larger classrooms that can safely accommodate study groups.

What support services are available for students?

Mines will continue to provide access to the many support services on campus, including advising, tutoring, mental health counseling, career services and more. Because of capacity restrictions, many services are by appointment only or may be offered in a virtual format.

How is Mines supporting students’ mental health?

The Mines Counseling Center offers an array of enhanced remote services for students—all of which can be accessed by students from their home on-campus or off. Among the planned offerings are daily options for drop-in office hours with a counselor and peer support groups via Zoom and an assortment of remote 30-minute skills seminars on topics such as coping with grief, anxiety, mindfulness, stress relief and managing screen time. Students who require individual sessions with a counselor will also be able to access those appointments through a private tele-therapy platform. More information is available on the Counseling Center’s website.

Will Mines Market and the Periodic Table be open during the spring semester? Will takeout options still be available?

Yes, our dining facilities will be open with safety precautions in place. Mines Dining will continue to offer carry-out options across campus dining facilities throughout the spring semester. Dining rooms will also be open for in-person dining as permitted under state and local guidelines — with configurations and lower seating density to ensure appropriate physical distancing. Under “Stay at Home Level Red” restrictions in Jefferson County, all indoor seating areas will be closed in Mines Dining locations with carry-out available.

Are reservations required for the Student Recreation Center?

Yes, to use equipment in the SRC’s Fit Lab and Isaacs Room, you must use the online reservation system. Reservations run in one-hour time blocks. Each block will open up 23 hours prior to the start of the reservation window, and registrations can be made up until five minutes before a time block starts. A reservation is not needed to enter the building.

Will there be a spring break in 2021?

While some adjustments may be required based on local and state conditions, the spring semester calendar has not been adjusted. Spring Break will still occur March 27-April 4. Students, faculty, and staff advocated for keeping Spring Break as scheduled as it is a highly valued and much-needed break from classes. We also plan on a return to campus after Spring Break. 

View 2021 Spring Break and E-Days Guidance »

How will Mines continue to support on-campus student activities?

As we did this semester with the Student Recreation Center and the climbing wall, we will continue to look for opportunities to expand on-campus student activities. Student input has been valuable in identifying these options and developing plans for safe implementation.

If I withdraw after Census Day, will I receive a tuition refund?

Starting in Spring 2021, Mines will no longer refund tuition and fee charges for full semester withdrawals after Census Day. To receive a tuition refund, students must drop their course(s) and/or submit a withdrawal request by Census Day of each semester. Withdrawal requests submitted after Census Day will still be processed through the withdrawal deadline, but no tuition refund will be granted. For specific semester drop dates, visit the “Tuition Refund Schedule” page on the Bursar’s website. Questions regarding this new policy should be directed to bursar@mines.edu.

Will athletics activities resume in 2021?

Where allowed, Mines has already restarted NCAA sport competition for some winter sports and hopes to continue that throughout the spring semester.

Submit a Question

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