Comets Choose option begins Monday, November 30

In support of heightened mitigation requirements for the state of North Dakota announced by Governor Burgum recently individual Mayville State students will be given the flexibility to determine whether they wish to attend classes in person on campus or to participate online for the remainder of the fall semester. This new option, Comets Choose, will begin Monday, Nov. 30. We recognize the seriousness of the current COVID-19 situation in the state and in our communities, and the decision to offer flexibility for students supports the mitigation efforts of the greater community by reducing the population density in classrooms. Further, we recognize that some students will travel a distance for the Thanksgiving break. This will provide them the flexibility to stay in place in their home communities through the Christmas break, if preferred by the student. This also reduces the potential opportunity to bring the virus back to Traill County during the current particularly difficult time of the pandemic.

Throughout the final weeks of the fall semester, faculty will continue to accommodate the needs of students, providing on-campus classes and meetings by request, and as arranged, for students enrolled in their on-campus classes. Residence halls will remain open and dining services will continue to provide meals. It is the student’s choice as to whether they wish to remain on campus and make use of these services. There will be no refunds of residence hall or dining services fees if a student chooses to be away from the campus for the remainder of the semester.

All campus offices will remain fully operational, providing services as needed. Supervisors should work with employees to determine proper coverage of their departments and offices.

Comet Athletics will move forward with practices and competitions as planned.

Full return for spring semester

We will return to on-campus course delivery and full on-campus operations for all students, faculty, and staff by the start of the spring semester on Jan. 11, 2021.


Click here to download a PDF containing the information below.

How will MSU deliver classes during the Fall 2020 session?

Due to the varied nature of MSU programs, there is no one-size-fits-all approach that will effectively meet the instructional needs of all program areas. MSU faculty have planned course activities to ensure essential student outcomes will be met using varied instructional options such as: 

• On-campus course offerings while adhering to social distancing

• A combination of on-campus and online instruction

• Fully online instruction

• Virtual simulations or other virtual instruction

• Industry-based fieldwork

 Available options for fall semester courses will vary across programs and by course. Students should contact their instructor, academic advisor, or division chair, to discuss available options for fall semester.

How will social distancing be promoted within on-campus classes and hands-on labs for fall semester?

All classroom and lab spaces planned for on-campus courses have been closely reviewed and measured to determine maximum capacity while adhering to social distancing. Modifications have been made to the classroom or course schedule as needed to allow for social distancing. Such modifications have included but are not limited to:

  • Reducing class sizes and expanding the number of available smaller course sections
  • Spacing of tables, desks and/or chairs to allow for 6-foot distancing between all individuals
  • Utilizing a classroom larger than originally planned.

Close monitoring of course enrollments will continue through fall semester start and additional modifications will be made as needed to promote social distancing.

How will cleaning and sanitation practices be enhanced in the classrooms to promote my health and safety?

Hand sanitizer will be available in each classroom, in offices, and in various public locations across campus. Routine daily cleaning and periodic deep cleaning of classrooms will be provided by MSU Facilities staff. Disinfectant spray, towels, and gloves will be available in each classroom to be utilized by students and faculty before and after classes to help to reduce the spread of illness within the classroom environment.

Will use of a mask, face covering, or face shield be required on campus?

In consideration of provided by the State Board of Higher Education and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mayville State University requires that all individuals on Mayville State University property or participating in official university events wear a face covering to contain potentially contaminated droplets while indoors. This mandate will go into effect on Monday, August 10 and be in force until further notice.

See the details regarding this requirement.

Download North Dakota State Board of Higher Education resolution regarding face coverings.

Will planned on-campus courses automatically be moved online for fall semester?

MSU remains focused on resuming full on-campus operations for fall semester and providing a meaningful and enjoyable on-campus experience for residential students and those who travel to campus to attend on-campus classes. A current plan has been established to offer on-campus courses as we have in the past while implementing social distancing practices. We are hopeful to provide our students with full on-campus experiences; however, instructors have been asked to prepared alternative teaching and learning strategies for implementation if course modifications are determined necessary including options such as a combination of on-campus and online instruction and/or fully online instruction for on-campus courses. 

How will my on-campus classes be adjusted if full return to online learning becomes necessary during fall semester?

Within the course syllabus, instructors will provide students information regarding the alternative teaching and learning strategies planned to occur should modifications to on-campus instruction become necessary.

Will the academic calendar be modified for fall semester?

No, currently MSU is not planning to modify the 16-week fall semester calendar.

How will courses and co-curricular activities requiring close contact be modified to promote social distancing?

MSU faculty and staff are working hard to establish creative approaches to continue offering courses and co-curricular activities that typically require close contact with needed modification to promote individual health and safety. We may need to modify the approach used to offer these courses and activities or there may be some changes from what we would normally offer so that we better align with social distancing guidelines, but we will continue to encourage students to get involved and get connected—just in different ways.

Will I be able to continue my on-campus coursework if I develop the need to quarantine at home for a period of time during the semester?

Yes, faculty will provide guidance at the start of fall semester regarding how students will be accommodated within their on-campus course should the need for quarantine at home be determined necessary by a medical professional. In all possible situations, students will be encouraged to continue remote participation and course completion if physical and medical conditions permit. Specific course attendance and absenteeism policies, along with associated COVID-19 considerations, will be shared with students within the course syllabus at the start of the semester.

Will I have the option to remotely connect to the live on-campus classroom instead of attending on-campus courses?

In some cases, remote connection within the live on-campus classroom via Zoom or other remote connection technology may be possible. Each course instructor will remain focused on ensuring student learning outcomes are met for each course while providing students with a meaningful and enjoyable on-campus learning experience while adhering to social distancing. Instructors will notify students at semester start if the option to remotely connect to the live on-campus classroom is available for their on-campus course.

How will students be able to work together in the classroom?

Some learning strategies, such as collaborative group work typically conducted in close contact to others, may need to be modified to allow for social distancing. In select courses where close contact may be unavoidable additional safety precautions, COVID-19 screening practices, and wearing of a mask, face covering, or face shield may be required. Specific course requirements and planned precautions to promote individual health and safety will be shared with students by the course instructor at the start of the semester.

What changes can I anticipate when I visit the MSU Byrnes-Quanbeck Library?

Library staff is back on campus and the building is open once again. You might notice a few changes within the library building as we have moved things around to encourage social distancing. Previously, we had 5 public access computers for anyone to use; currently, we have 3 but will monitor usage and set up the other 2 if necessary.

To help keep everyone safe while visiting the library, we are doing the following:

  • Quarantining returned items for three days as recommended by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
  • Providing disinfectant wipes in public areas and encouraging people to sanitize the space (especially the public computers before use).
  • Encouraging the use of the Library Chat feature, even when physically located in the library.
  • Posting signs at the Education Building entrance doors that encourage people to practice social distancing and not enter if feeling unwell.
  • STEM kits and other materials from the Education & Innovation Center (EIC) will not be available for check out in the immediate future.
  • The EIC area of the library will be open by appointment only.
  • Chairs have been removed and tables have been spread out.

To contact a librarian, use the “Ask a Librarian” chat available within the library website: from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can also email with an expectation of receiving a reply within one hour during the regular work day.

Will tutoring be available?

Available on-campus tutoring services are free to students who seek assistance in learning material for their courses. The tutors are upper-class students who have been recommended by faculty as experts in specific subject matter. Peer tutors are available also in a variety of courses during study sessions and by appointment. Peer tutoring focuses on helping students develop the problem-solving and analytical skills needed to understand, synthesize or apply complex material. Students who would like to utilize on-campus or peer tutoring services should contact Katie Richards at 701-788-4675 or

Smarthinking, an on-demand online tutoring program, is available free of charge to students. You can access a live tutor by logging into your Blackboard course.

Will Student Success and Disability Support Services be available?

The Student Success Center provides services in various areas of support to any student who would like to enhance his or her academic experience at Mayville State University and provides support services for students with documented disabilities. The Director of Student Success and Support Services will be available to students and faculty by appointment. For more information about services or to complete a disability support form, go to or contact Katie Richards at 701-788-4675 or

Accuplacer testing is available through appointments only.  To make an appointment, contact Katie Richards at

Is Information Technology Services still available to help me?

Yes, the ITS Service Desk will continue to be open during normal hours to assist you on-campus and remotely.  To contact the ITS Service Desk call 1-800-437-4104, Ext. 34739 or email: Please be at your computer or mobile device and connected to the Internet when you call.

Fall 2020 COVID-19 Classroom Guidelines for On-Campus Courses

A document outlining classroom guidelines for on-campus courses for the fall of 2020 has been developed.

Please click here to download the document.