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Operating Safely in the Fall

Health

Faculty, Staff and Workplace

Teaching and Learning

Flex@Pitt

Research

Meetings, Events and Travel

Resilience Framework & Operational Postures

Health

Pitt-Bradford is following the guidelines and guidance from the University of Pittsburgh’s Healthcare Advisory Group, which is overseeing the development of all health-related guidance and requirements and played a vital role in developing the operational postures.  

See the completed Health Standards and Guidelines.

Do Your Part

There are simple things all of us can do to help keep ourselves and our community healthy and safe.

  • Whether indoors or outdoors, practice physical distancing by keeping at least six feet of distance between yourself and others whenever possible.
  • Wear your face covering.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often.
  • If you need to cough or sneeze, do so in a disposable tissue or your bended elbow. 
  • If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that’s at least 70% alcohol. 
  • Frequently clean high-touch surfaces within your area, like your desk and office doorknob using the supplied materials. 
  • Try to use your elbow on high-touch public surfaces, like elevator buttons or push-open doors. 
  • Limit the time you spend with others in small spaces like bathrooms and elevators.

What Pitt-Bradford is Doing

We’re hard at work doing our part to help keep our community healthy and safe.

  • Enhanced cleaning protocols will be in place across campus. 
  • We’re reinforcing physical distancing by rearranging furniture, installing barriers and posting signage. 
  • The occupancy capacity of buildings, classrooms and offices are significantly reduced. 
  • Special attention is being paid to interior ventilation to ensure it supports a healthy and safe work environment. 
  • We’ve installed more than 400 hand sanitizing stations around campus.
  • We’re changing the way we think about teaching, learning, living, researching and working.

See the completed Health Standards and Guidelines. Additional Health Standards and Guidelines will be released in July.

Faculty, Staff and Workplace

We are grateful to our faculty and staff for their tremendous dedication and patience throughout these difficult and uncertain times. From engaging and supporting our students remotely to keeping our buildings safe and clean, the people of Pitt-Bradford have continued to provide students with an excellent and inclusive Pitt-Bradford experience while helping to keep our campus community healthy and safe.

Doing the Work 

Whenever possible, faculty and staff should continue working remotely for the duration of the pandemic. This allows us to bring back our students, while reducing our total population on campus. When faculty and staff must be on campus to teach classes, support our educational mission, our students and our operations, precautionary measures like staggered shifts will be taken, along with ongoing health and safety measures.

Accommodations 

We know many of you may have a need to request accommodations. If your work requires you to be on campus, but you are at higher risk for COVID-19 complications, live with someone who is, have transportation concerns or are facing child care challenges, we will work with you to find solutions. Supervisors, deans and department chairs will receive detailed guidance and resources for navigating these situations. 

Feeling Prepared

Any faculty or staff member who needs to come back to campus will be required to take a mandatory training to help familiarize them with the expected health and safety protocols

We’ve also worked with our departments across campus to provide resources for adjusting to remote work, staying active at home and staying connected to Pitt. And of course, we’re continuing to provide updates on teaching and learning as those decisions and plans are made.

Additional Standards and Guidelines will be released in July.

Teaching and Learning

Academic Standards and Guidelines are being developed. We will provide an update when final decisions have been made. The following information has been confirmed:

Academic Calendar

Following the recommendations of the university-wide task forces and public health and safety experts, changes have been made to the fall term calendar. These changes will bring students back to campus a few weeks earlier in August and allow in-person classes to conclude prior to Thanksgiving.

Key Dates:

  • Aug. 16: New student arrive
  • Aug. 16-18: New student orientation
  • Aug. 18 or Aug. 22: Returning students arrive
  • Aug. 19: Fall classes begin remotely
  • Aug. 24: Fall classes begin in person, when appropriate
  • Sept. 4: Course add/drop period ends
  • Sept. 7: Labor Day, classes will be held
  • Nov. 20: Fall term, on-campus classes end
  • Dec. 5: Fall term ends

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View our complete academic calendar.

Flex @ Pitt

The Flex @ Pitt concept allows for in-person, remote, synchronous and asynchronous approaches to courses that will build on the innovative ways instructors have already adapted to the ever-changing learning environment this year.

The Flex@Pitt model of teaching will allow us to be flexible through all operational postures. This model allows faculty and students to avoid coming to classrooms when they deem it unsafe for their personal circumstances or when the operational posture dictates. In addition, we are asking faculty and staff to work from home when they are not teaching or when it is possible for them to accomplish their research or administrative tasks remotely.

We expect most students will have an in-person experience at least once a week for each class, and for classes with fewer than 60 people, most students will be able to participate in-person every class if they choose. 

Classroom Scheduling and Technology

In order to maintain and support physical distancing not only in the classroom, but also in our halls, restrooms and shared spaces, our classroom capacity will be significantly reduced—and we’ll be finding some creative spaces to utilize as classrooms. Decisions about classrooms will be communicated by mid-July.

Faculty and staff will also be surveyed to assess technology needs and ensure they are met. 

Research

In order to accommodate an early restart to many research programs, the Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor Research at Pitt has compiled interim restart resources for researchers while final guidance is being prepared. 

All requests for early research restart currently in progress will be considered by the Resilience Steering Committee. In order to accommodate an early restart to many research programs, the Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor Research has compiled restart resources for researchers while final guidance is being prepared. All research must adhere to permanent guidance as it is finalized in mid-July.

Meetings, Events and Travel

Guidance on meetings, events and travel during the pandemic is forthcoming and will include questions on any quarantine requirements following travel. This page will be updated in late July.

Until further notice, only essential university domestic and international travel is permitted. Essential travel is defined as travel absolutely necessary to fulfill your core or primary job function and/or provides crucial support the university, such as research or lab work on a deadline. The determination of whether travel is essential can only be made by Responsibility Center heads.

Pitt Global Operations Support will assist you to minimize interruptions as well as explore and evaluate alternatives to travel for essential projects when feasible. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Ian McLaughlin, the Global Operations Support Manager, at ian.mclaughlin@pitt.edu or phone at 412-624-0125.

Inbound International Travel

At the recommendation of the Department of State, and considering the current travel restrictions, the Office of the Provost has suspended all new J-1 scholar programs until further notice and at least until Aug.1, 2020. Department administrators should coordinate with OIS in order to extend or cancel currently scheduled scholars.

On June 22, 2020, the White House issued a Proclamation 500 Internal Server Error

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As a globally focused institution, Pitt is concerned that limiting the availability of H1-B and other work visas will reduce American universities’ ability to attract international students and scholars, and harm overall U.S. competitiveness.

Fortunately, the proclamation expressly does not impact most J-1 Scholars in categories pertaining to employees or students. In addition, its impact on individuals currently inside the United States is minimal.  

As these restrictions are put into place, students, faculty, or staff who are unsure of their status should not hesitate to contact Pitt's Office of International Services (OIS). As always, OIS will be working to support our international community members, promote educational and research excellence, and continuously advocate for a humane and fair immigration system in the United States.

Resilience Framework & Operational Postures

The University of Pittsburgh is reinventing its operations to keep the Pitt community as safe and healthy as possible while maintaining a focus on building a better future for humankind. All of our planning is built within the Resilience Framework, which allows us to monitor the pandemic conditions globally, locally and on our campus, and establishes rules to guide our behavior. 

To do that, we’ve established three operational postures that drive our decision making and activity levels. We’re also creating rules and recommendations that will apply across our campuses and serve as the foundation for each office and department to prepare detailed plans addressing their unique needs.

Operational Postures

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Guarded Risk Posture meets the minimum standards of Pennsylvania’s green phase. Here, fewer restrictions are in place, while many mitigation measures remain. The activities taking place will account for chronic risk of operating during a pandemic, while continuing to prioritize health and safety. 

Elevated Risk Posture meets the minimum standards of Pennsylvania’s yellow phase. Under this posture, life on campus resumes at a minimal level, prioritizing activities that have high value but lower risk, such as certain research activities. 

High Risk Posture meets the minimum standards of Pennsylvania’s red phase. In the High Risk Posture, the University is open, but activity is heavily restricted to help stop the spread of the virus.

On July 13, Pitt-Bradford will move from our current modified emergency status and into the Guarded Risk Posture.

Guidelines for Responding to Symptomatic Individuals

Confirmed Positive Cases

Prevention and Well-Being

Campus Cases

Guidance for Supervisors of Symptomatic or Positive Employees

Guidelines for Responding to Symptomatic Individuals

The following is a general response to individuals anywhere on the Pitt-Bradford campus who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.
When the symptomatic person is a:

Faculty or staff member anywhere on campus:

  1. The symptomatic individual must go home immediately. If the symptomatic individual does not have immediate access to transportation, have them avoid contact with others by waiting alone in a room with the door closed until transportation arrives.
  2. The symptomatic individual should promptly call their supervisor, health care provider and MyHealth@Work (Pitt’s employee health clinic) at 412-647-4949 upon arriving home.
    • The health care provider and MyHealth@Work will provide guidance on managing symptoms, accessing testing and other care needs.
    • If the individual tests positive, MyHealth@Work should be notified. MyHealth@Work will then provide updates to the necessary areas and monitor the individual’s progress and recovery.
    • Symptomatic individuals or those who test positive must quarantine or isolate away from campus until medical clearance is obtained from their health care provider and MyHealth@Work.
  3. The individual’s supervisor should contact the Office of Facilities Management at 814-362-7670 so the room(s) can be temporarily closed and then cleaned by designated personnel. 
    • Any room where the person spent more than 15 minutes on the day symptoms appeared or in the 48 hours prior will be closed for 24 hours, if possible.
    • After the closure period, Facilities Management will notify custodial staff to have the rooms cleaned and disinfected. If the closure for 24 hours is not possible, the room will be promptly cleaned by designated personnel. 

Student in a residence hall room:

  1. The symptomatic student must stay in their room and avoid contact with others.
  2. The symptomatic student should promptly call Health Services at 814-362-5272.
    • Health Services will provide guidance on managing symptoms, accessing testing and other care needs.
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  3. Health Services will notify Panther Central and Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) (Should this be facilities management?), will coordinate closure and cleaning of any affected areas.
    • Any room where the person spent more than 15 minutes on the day symptoms appeared or in the 48 hours prior will be closed for 24 hours, if possible.
    • After the closure period, Facilities Management will notify custodial staff to have the rooms cleaned and disinfected. If the closure for 24 hours is not possible, the room will be promptly cleaned by designated personnel. 

Student anywhere on campus other than a residence hall room:

  1. The symptomatic student should immediately return to their residence, avoid contact with others and call Health Services at 814-362-5272.
    • If the student resides in a residence hall, follow the steps above.
    • If the student resides off campus, Health Services will advise on next steps.
  2. The faculty or staff member who was with the student at the time symptoms developed should report the building and room number of the encounter to Environmental Health & Safety (should this be Facilities Management?) at 814-362-7670 so the room can be cleaned by designated personnel. If a staff or faculty member was not with the student at the time of symptoms developing, Health Services will work with the student to obtain this information and notify Facilities Management.
    • Any room where the person spent more than 15 minutes on the day symptoms appeared or in the 48 hours prior will be closed for 24 hours, if possible.
    • After the closure period, Facilities Management will notify custodial personnel to have the rooms cleaned and disinfected. When the closure period is not possible, prompt cleaning and disinfection by designated personnel will occur. 

Authorized Visitor in a Pitt-Bradford building (vendor, contractor, service provider):

  1. The symptomatic individual must go home immediately.
  2. The host department or unit must promptly call Facilities Management at 814-362-7670 so the room can be cleaned by designated personnel.
    • Any room where the person spent more than 15 minutes on the day symptoms appeared or in the 48 hours prior will be closed for 24 hours, if possible.
    • After the closure period, Facilities Management will notify custodial personnel to have the rooms cleaned and disinfected. When the closure period is not possible, prompt cleaning and disinfection by designated personnel will occur. 

An individual calls to report symptoms but has not been on campus within the last 14 days.

  1. Ask the individual to remain off campus and contact Health Services and MyHealth@Work 500 Internal Server Error

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  2. You do not need to take any additional action at this time.

Confirmed Positive Cases

If a Pitt-Bradford community member calls to report a positive test for COVID-19 and has been on campus within the last 14 days:

  1. Ask the individual to contact Health Services or MyHealth@Work (faculty and staff). Additionally, the individual needs to contact  the Office of the President.
  2. Facilities Management will manage any cleaning and disinfection of areas where the person spent considerable time in the 48 hours prior to experiencing symptoms.

If a Pitt-Bradford community member calls to report a positive test for COVID-19 and has not been on campus within the last 14 days:

  1. Ask the individual to remain off campus and contact Health Services at 814-362-5272 or MyHealth@Work 500 Internal Server Error

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  2. You do not need to take any additional action at this time. 

While most COVID-19 cases do not require response by emergency medical services, in the case of a life-threatening or severe medical emergency, please call 911 or Campus Police at 814-368-3211. Please let EMS/campus police know about your COVID-19 symptoms so they can wear appropriate PPE.

As always, we must ensure compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and prioritize patient privacy. Additional guidance for supervisors is available Office of Human Resources.

Prevention and Well-Being

Symptoms

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have reported mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms including:

  • fever or chills
  • cough
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • fatigue
  • muscle or body aches
  • headache
  • new loss of taste or smell
  • sore throat
  • congestion or runny nose
  • nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea

Anyone who is experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 or who thinks they have been exposed to the virus via travel or contact with others should call their health care provider to talk with a medical professional as soon as possible.  

Students should call Health Services at 814-362-5272.
Faculty and staff should call MyHealth@Work at 412-647-4949

Prevention

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. Everyday preventive actions help prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses:

  • Whether indoors or outdoors, practice physical distancing by keeping at least six feet of distance between yourself and others whenever possible.
  • Wear your face covering.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often.
  • If you need to cough or sneeze, do so in a disposable tissue or your bended elbow. 
  • If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that’s at least 70% alcohol. 
  • Frequently clean high-touch surfaces within your area, like your desk and office doorknob using the supplied materials. 
  • Try to use your elbow on high-touch public surfaces, like elevator buttons or push-open doors. 
  • Limit the time you spend with others in small spaces like bathrooms and elevators.

People Who Are at Increased Risk

The CDC identifies older adults and people with underlying medical conditions as being at higher risk for becoming severely ill if they contract COVID-19. Some of these underlying medical conditions include:

  • Blood disorders (e.g., sickle cell disease or on blood thinners)
  • Chronic kidney disease as defined by your doctor. Patient has been told to avoid or reduce the dose of medications because of kidney disease or is under treatment for kidney disease, including receiving dialysis
  • Chronic liver disease as defined by your doctor (e.g., cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis) Patient has been told to avoid or reduce the dose of medications because of liver disease or is under treatment for liver disease.
  • Compromised immune system (immunosuppression) (e.g., seeing a doctor for cancer and treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation, received an organ or bone marrow transplant, taking high doses of corticosteroids or other immunosuppressant medications, HIV or AIDS)
  • Current or recent pregnancy in the last two weeks
  • Endocrine disorders (e.g., diabetes mellitus)
  • Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders)
  • Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease)
  • Lung disease including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (chronic bronchitis or emphysema) or other chronic conditions associated with impaired lung function or that require home oxygen
  • Neurological and neurologic and neurodevelopment conditions [including disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerve, and muscle such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy (seizure disorders), stroke, intellectual disability, moderate to severe developmental delay, muscular dystrophy or spinal cord injury].

The CDC maintains a complete, up-to-date list and guidance for these individuals.

Campus Cases

To date, there have been no positive cases reported on campus. The PA Health Department has reported 20 confirmed and/or probable COVID-19 cases in McKean County, the county in which campus is located. 

We will let you know if we become aware of a member of the Pitt-Bradford community testing positive for COVID-19, but we are committed to maintaining the privacy of individuals who are affected. Therefore, we will not provide any additional information regarding any individuals whom we are aware have tested positive.

Pitt’s Healthcare Advisory Group is developing an enhanced virus monitoring program as we move into long-term planning and in anticipation of welcoming members of the Pitt-Bradford community back to campus. Ongoing updates to the university’s reporting process are expected. More detailed information will be shared on this website.

Updated: Wednesday, July 2, 2020

Guidance for Supervisors of Symptomatic or Positive Employees

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 814-362-5272 or MyHealth@Work.

The Office of Human Resources will continue to provide training and support for supervisors to ensure they are educating their team on COVID-19 mitigation measures, prevention steps and proper procedures.
 

We know you have questions, and we’re working to get you answers as soon as we can. We will share more information as soon as it becomes available.

Updated 7/6/20

How many positive cases have there been on campus and in Bradford?

To date, there have been no positive cases reported on campus. The PA Health Department has reported 20 confirmed and/or probable COVID-19 cases in McKean County, the county in which campus is located.

Health and safety measures

What kind of face covering can I wear?

Cloth face coverings that fully cover the nose and mouth and fit snuggly around the sides of the face are acceptable for use in most situations. If a specific type of mask or PPE is required, such as in a laboratory setting, those directions will be communicated by your instructor or supervisor.

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Masks will be provided to anyone who does not have one.

Will students have to wear masks in the residence halls?

Students will be expected to wear masks in the residence hall common areas, such as hallways and elevators. However, they will not be required to wear masks in their own room.

If one student in a suite tests positive, are all of their suitemates or roommates treated as a family unit and quarantined?

Yes. Students in a suite, apartment, or wing -- depending on building style -- will be treated as family unit. If a student tests positive, they will be isolated in a different location. The students in their family unit will be required to quarantine in place in the suite/apartment/wing for 14 days.

Will professors wear their masks while teaching?

Yes. They will wear masks in the classroom while they are interacting with students and in meetings with students, faculty and staff.

Will students need to wear masks in class, even when they speak?

Yes. Students will wear masks for the duration of class.

What will happen if a student, faculty or staff member doesn’t wear a mask on campus?

Our goal is to provide an excellent and inclusive educational experience while also adhering to guidelines to protect the health and safety of the entire Pitt-Bradford community. Therefore, we are setting the clear expectation that everyone will wear masks and practice social distancing. Health and safety interventions will be handled respectfully and as discretely as possible for those individuals who are not wearing a mask.

Do I always have to stay six feet apart from other people?

You must always stay six feet away from others, wherever possible, and this applies whether you are indoors or outdoors. Only in situations where six feet of physical distance is not possible – such as with dorm or apartment roommates or with others in a lab setting – are you exempt from staying six feet apart. Additional guidance on these situations will be provided in the coming weeks.     

Do I have to wear a mask and stay six feet apart when outside? What If I am going for a job or playing sports with friends?

While outdoors or during outdoor exercise, a face covering is not required as long as six feet of physical distance can be maintained.  

What changes will be made to ensure social distancing across campus?

In the coming weeks, we’ll announce how we’re going to de-densify campus, including residence halls, dining halls and classrooms and to modify and restrict these spaces and other campus facilities. De-densifying the campus means that at any given point in time, fewer people will be sharing the same space; people will be more spread out.

What happens if a student becomes ill?

We will have sufficient spaces on campus to quarantine and isolate ill students.

Will parents be called if a student becomes sick even if the student is over 18?

We will notify whoever the student identified as an emergency contact. Therefore, it is important that the student’s emergency contact information is accurate and up to date. It is also helpful for the student to sign a FERPA waiver form. In an emergency, a signed form allows us to share a student’s personally identifiable information, without prior written consent, to those who need to know to protect the health and safety of the student and others.

If one student in a suite tests positive, are all of their suite-mates or roommates treated as a family unit and quarantined? 

Yes. Students in a suite, apartment, or wing -- depending on building style -- will be treated as a family unit. If a student tests positive, they will be isolated in a different location. The students in their family unit will be required to quarantine in place in the suite/apartment/wing for 14 days.

Do I need to return to work on campus?

All staff and faculty who can work from home should do so, to the maximum extent possible, for the duration of the pandemic, except when their presence on campus is needed to support students, research and other operations.

Who decides if I need to return to work on campus?

Decisions about personnel required for on-campus work should be made by supervisors, deans and department chairs. 

What if I: 

  • Am at higher risk for COVID-19 complications?
  • Live with someone who is at higher risk for COVID-19 complications?
  • Am having trouble finding child care due to COVID-19 closures?
  • Am uncomfortable taking public transportation?

The Office of Human Resources has provided guidance to supervisors for working with employees who may need a health or courtesy accommodation.

What precautions will be taken if I do need to return to campus work? 

  • All faculty and staff members who need to return to campus work will take a mandatory training. 
  • Face coverings and physical distancing will be required.
  • Maximum occupancy will be restricted, and steps like staggered shifts will be taken to minimize the number of individuals on campus and in shared spaces. 

Moving on campus

When should freshmen report to campus?

New students will arrive Aug. 16 and check into housing.

What time should new students arrive?

We’ll send you additional information regarding your move-in time as soon as those details are finalized.

When is new student orientation?

New student orientation will be held Aug. 16-18.

When can returning students move in?

There are two separate move-in dates for upper class students: Aug. 18 or Aug. 22. Students will select a date and time to ensure social distancing. We will provide an update on the sign-up process soon.

When can student-athletes return to campus?

Tentatively, athletes will return Aug. 8. A final decision will be announced the week of July 20.

When will RAs arrive and check into housing?

RAs will arrive Aug. 7-8.

Will international students be able to return to campus?

We have the same plan for all international students as we do for our other students in returning to campus in the fall. The Office of International Studies will provide updated information as it becomes available.

By what date must students check out of campus housing?

All students must be checked out by 5 p.m. Nov. 25.

Academics

If students have been exposed or are sick, how will they access classes during quarantine?

Our professors are working to provide instruction in different ways – in person, remotely and a hybrid – which will accommodate students in these circumstances.

What happens if a professor gets sick? Will someone else take over the class?

Plans are in place for each academic division to make sure classes are covered if any professor gets sick.

Will students have the option of attending class remotely if they have a health risk, live with someone who does or prefer not to physically come to campus?

A: Yes. The Office of Academic Affairs is working closely with professors to provide instruction in different ways – face-to-face, remotely and a hybrid – to accommodate students.

Will students be able to meet privately and confidentially with a professor, advisor, tutor or counselor?

Yes. However, those meetings will not take place in small office spaces that do not enable social distancing. Larger meeting spaces are being identified and will be used that will enable both confidentiality and healthy communication.

Activities

How will students be educated and encouraged to maintain social distancing when they’re not attending class and on the weekends?

We’ll be sharing important health and safety information in a variety of ways. We’ll distribute standards and expectations to students, who will be required to sign an agreement that they will honors them. There will be signs on campus. We’ll provide educational programming – both online and in small groups. Additionally, our staff will provide regular updates.

What is the status of fall and winter sports? 

We hope it will be possible to have varsity and recreational sports. We’re currently working on a “Return to Sports” plan to determine what the fall, winter and spring sports seasons may look like. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we develop a plan we hope will allow our athletes to compete safely.   

Will all activities be virtual or will some be held in person?

We are planning to offer both. Any in-person activity will be in small groups with appropriate mitigation measures in place. When planning in-person events, we will adhere to the guidance and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state and the university. 

Even though we have suspended all face-to-face campus visits and online programming, our admissions and financial aid offices are fully functioning remotely.

During this time, we will continue to serve you and your family through other means, including phone, email, live chat and social media. Though the best way to experience our campus is in person, you can take our virtual tour, which will give you a feel for what Pitt-Bradford is like.

FAQs for Admissions During Social Distancing