Updates on Coronavirus Effect on Students

UK moves to online or alternative class delivery for the rest of the spring 2020 semester.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 19, 2020) — University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto on Tuesday announced that UK will move to online or alternative formats for classroom instruction for the rest of the semester in response to the continued spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Based on the advice of health experts, guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and directives from Governor Andy Beshear, the university is moving quickly to be responsive to the needs of everyone in the UK community.

“We have a responsibility to do everything we can to stem the tide of this disease,” Capilouto said. “It requires us to make significant changes to honor our most important principles: protecting the health, safety, and well-being of everyone in our community; and enabling our students, faculty, and staff to succeed.

Below is a list of adjustments that will impact students:

Instruction and learning, housing and dining refunds

  • Instruction will move to online or other alternative learning formats, effective March 23 through the end of the spring 2020 semester.
  • UK will continue to communicate with faculty, students and their families about how the university  can support them in the transition to online instruction for the remainder of this semester. 
  • Students should make plans to return to their residences away from campus to continue their studies remotely through the end of the semester.
  • UK is requiring students who live on campus to return to their homes unless they receive approval to remain on campus. The form for that process can be accessed here: https://uky.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5anzHcU9XYAHP1P.
  • UK is developing a process for refunds for housing and dining, and details will be communicated widely.
  • For 24/7 technical assistance, please contact ITS Customer Services at 859-218-HELP (4357) or visit the Technology Help Center at http://techhelpcenter.uky.edu . For assistance with non-urgent matters, email 218help@uky.edu.


  • As both the CDC and the governor have advised, in-person events will be canceled or postponed until the end of the semester. Organizations may continue to meet remotely when possible.
  • UK is postponing Commencement to ensure the safety of students and their families, as well as staff and faculty who participate. There will be a Commencement to celebrate the remarkable achievements of the Spring 2020 graduating class; UK will announce Commencement details when they are complete and in plenty of time for families to make travel plans.
  • This does not change the semester completion date for students, nor does it affect the timeline for students earning their degrees.

Please consult UK’s special website for the latest information about the university’s response to this health challenge: https://www.uky.edu/coronavirus/.

President Capilouto’s full campus message can be read here: https://www.uky.edu/president/sites/www.uky.edu.president/files/3-17-2020_final.pdf



The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.