Frequently Asked Questions

Northern Michigan University is working diligently to keep students, faculty, staff, alumni, and Marquette area community members informed about the decisions and actions it is making regarding the COVID-19 pandemic

What follows are some of the frequently asked questions about Northern’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and provides guidance and resources. This page will be updated as new information becomes available. New or updated questions will be identified with green text to allow users to stay up-to-date with changing information.

If you have a question that is not on this list, use this form to ask a question.

Current campus operations

Northern remains open, although most of our non-residence hall facilities will be closed for the next three weeks. NMU faculty and staff will be mostly working from home. Students can email or call NMU offices or units for assistance and services during normal business hours and the NMU Police Department 24 hours per day. You can find departmental email and phone numbers on departmental websites or the NMU online phone directory.


  • All residence halls and apartment buildings
  • Northern Lights Dining (carry out)
  • Wildcat Den (carry out)
  • Temaki and Tea (drive-thru only)
  • NMU Health Center
  • NMU Police Department
  • Service Building-Central Services (mail, warehouse)
  • Hedgcock - Open by Appointment: Dean of Students, Housing and Residence Life.

All other buildings are closed. However, card swipe access to closed facilities will be granted to students whose jobs require them to gain entrance to a specific facility. Requests must come through supervisors. This includes students working in NMU’s animal, plant and other research laboratories.

Northern is committed to the health and safety of its students and its campus community. NMU is working in accordance with Governor Whitmer’s executive “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order which is effective from Tuesday March 24 through Sunday, April 14. The full executive order is available at Executive Order 2020-2.

A “stay at home” or “shelter in place” order is a temporary requirement to “suspend activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life.” More simply put, citizens are to remain in their place of residence to the maximum extent possible unless they need to leave for essential activities and work.

This means many people will work at home, many businesses will close, and in-person gatherings and meetings are suspended. There are exceptions to business closures, such as grocery stores, banks, gas stations, health care offices, and such – places that sustain and protect life.

The “stay at home” order does not include going outside for outdoor activities as long as individuals are practicing social distancing and keeping six feet apart. But the intent of the order is for people to limit their travel from their place of residence (through April 30). The full executive order: Executive Order 2020-21.

Students have recently reported an increase in phishing attempts. Phishing is the name for a scam email or text message that seems like it is from a trusted source to attempt to persuade you to provide sensitive information. Phishing emails often ask you to do something immediately and sometimes threaten to suspend financial aid, bank accounts, or terminate an online account if you do not do what they ask.

Do not get scammed. Never input your username or password from a link provided in an email. NMU will always direct you to go to from a separate browser window to reset your password. We will never ask you to input your bank account number from an email link. Likewise, NMU faculty and staff will never ask you to purchase gift cards for them or their program. If you are in doubt if an email is actually from NMU, you can contact the NMU helpdesk at 227-2468 or

The Barnes and Noble-NMU bookstore will be closed March 24 through April 12. It will be offering limited online order processing during that time.

The NMU Police Department and the Services Building are serving as a drop off for several areas on campus during this period when buildings are closed. Between the hours if 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, you can drop off a computer for Micro Repair, an NMU Olson Library item for return or donations to NMU Food Pantry. The Services Building is located on Sugarloaf Avenue (between Wright Street and Hawley Street).

The 2020 Wildcat Relief Fund was created at the start of April by the NMU Foundation with support from Northern faculty, staff, retirees and alumni, as well as Marquette area community members. Information about how students can apply for emergency grants from the fund is described in the April 8 update on the COVID-19 information page. Anyone interested in contributing to the fund can do so here. On behalf of NMU students, thank you for your support.

Classes, labs, clinicals and other academic issues

Current-student-specific questions have been moved to the FAQ for Current Students page.

Canceled events and activities

A complete list of canceled NMU events are posted here

Converting classes to a distance format - Faculty

Yes. The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has extensive materials for all levels of technology user on its website, including how-to documents, videos, equipment lists and more. The CTL is also holding in-person and zoom workshops to assist faculty. Check out all of the online resources at

Yes. The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is offering in-person and zoom workshops for faculty, and drop-in sessions are also available. The CTL is located at 106 Harden Hall. Staff can also be reached at or 906-227-2483. Learn more at

Faculty should contact the Center for Teaching and Learning at at or 906-227-2483.

Students should the NMU Help Desk at 906-227-2468 or

Northern is waiving the technology equipment fees it has available for improving internet connectivity for NMU students and faculty members who need high-speed and consistent broadband to complete their course for the Winter 2020 semester. Contact the NMU Help Desk at or 906-227-2468.

Dining services and residential life

Current-student-specific questions have been moved to the FAQ for Current Students page.

Employees and workforce

The employees and workforce section has been moved to the NMU Human Resources site.

Events and Activities

NMU has suspended all in-person, on-campus gatherings of 10 or more persons, including lab classes, meetings, and events. Check the cancellation link provided in this FAQ under "Canceled events" for a complete list of canceled and rescheduled events and activities.

Check the cancellation link above (under canceled events and activities). It will be updated regularly.

The Center for Student Enrichment ( can assist in helping you develop a plan to cancel an event. This will include such steps as to contact the Northern Center and University Events to cancel room rentals, food orders, AV request and such. It is also suggested that you send a cancellation notice to all of the same groups you invited in the same manner that you originally invited them (email, Facebook, other electronic and social media channel methods) and edit your university calendar submission to indicate the cancellations.

The commencement ceremony scheduled for May 2 has been postponed and will be rescheduled for a future date that will be announced when details are finalized.

Financial matters for students

Current-student-specific questions have been moved to the FAQ for Current Students page.

Future Students

Information for future students regarding the application process, orientation, and other enrollment concerns can be found on the Admissions site.

Health matters

You should try to isolate yourself to avoid other people to the extent you can, especially if you have a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher. Get plenty of sleep and drink plenty of water. Contact the NMU Health Center (906-227-2355) to get advice on your best plan of action. Please call, don't go to the Health Center unless staff there feel an in-person appointment is necessary.

As of Wednesday, March 18 the NMU Health Center is operating on a call-ahead-only basis. Call 906-227-2355 and Health Center staff will collect information that will help the medical professionals determine your best course of action.

The best protection from getting COVID-19 is to practice proper hygiene etiquette and social distancing. For examples of either, see below.

Proper hygiene etiquette includes such things as:

  • Wash your hands often, using soap and water and scrubbing for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid close contact with sick people
  • Sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve, not into your hands
  • Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose and mouth
  • If you are sick, stay home, especially if you have a fever of 100.4 degrees or more. Do not go to class, work or attend university or community events.

Social distancing means to keep at least 6 feet between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Other types of social distancing include eliminating/avoiding large group gatherings, moving classes from face-to-face instruction to a distance learning format, elbow and fist bumping as greetings rather than handshaking. It is important that all members of the NMU community practice social distancing whenever possible to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Social distancing is why Northern put classes online, and why Michigan's governor closed all K-12 schools in the state and made gatherings of 250 or more illegal until April 5. The smaller the group you are in the midst of, the better. But also remember that groups of any size that are confined to a small, restricted area have the potential to increase the risk of spreading infectious diseases.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending any individual who has been in direct contact with a person diagnosed with the new coronavirus self-isolate for a period of 14 days. Contacting the NMU Health Center (906-227-2355) by phone (don't go to the Center) can help you decide if you should be self-isolating or not. If you are told to self-isolate and live on campus, the NMU Health Center will put you in contact with NMU Housing staff for moving into rooms and apartments identified for isolation purposes. If you live off campus, work with your roommates to separate yourself from them as much as you can. All individuals who have returned to the U.S. from a country the U.S. Department has categorized as Level 3 or higher will be required to self-isolate or will be quarantined. This may happen at the airport as you are re-entering the country.

International students and experiences

Current-student-specific questions have been moved to the FAQ for Current Students page.

Libraries, centers, museums, and theaters

Olson Library and the Archives spaces are closed until further notice. The Library and Archives will continue to provide virtual and online services. See for more information.

The Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center is closed until further notice.

The DeVos Art Museum will close as of Monday, March 16 and remain closed at least until April 3. Click here to learn more about current and upcoming DeVos exhibits and collections, or to get contact information.

No. The Bear Center services are suspended until April 15th.

No. Speech and Hearing Clinic services are suspended until further notice.

Research labs and tutoring centers

The vast majority of NMU’s lab classes have now been converted to a distance learning format. Students have been contacted by faculty on a class by class basis.

Northern has an emergency plan that includes details on where research labs are located, what type of research is done in specific labs, what type of animals/chemicals/particles/plants are part of the research, and what specific needs are to keep the research protected during emergency situations, including a possible COVID-19 outbreak where lab oversight might be challenged due to high levels of illness.

Recreation Services and Athletics

The Campus Sports Complex, the PEIF Recreation areas, and Fit Zone are closed until future notice. The NMU Sports Complex includes the Superior Dome, Physical Education and Instructional Facility (PEIF) and Berry Events Center.

  • Bike, ski and snowshoe checkout continues from the Fit Zone area.
  • Walking program at the Superior Dome for community members is suspended.

The Campus Sports Complex, the PEIF Recreation areas, and Fit Zone are closed until future notice. The NMU Sports Complex includes the Superior Dome, Physical Education and Instructional Facility (PEIF) and Berry Events Center.

  • Bike, ski and snowshoe checkout continues from the Fit Zone area.
  • Walking program at the Superior Dome for community members is suspended.

Not at this time. The University will re-evaluate rentals on March 30.

Northern’s spring sports seasons for men’s and women’s golf, lacrosse and outdoor track and field, along with spring football, have been canceled by the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) and its members. There are no home athletic events scheduled. Olympic Training Site camps for March and April have been canceled. Club sports spring seasons have been canceled.

Testing for COVID-19

On Tuesday afternoon (March 24), the Marquette County Public Health Department announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Marquette County, an individual who had traveled domestically and has since been self-isolated. There is also a presumptive case of an individual tested in Chippewa County on the eastern end of the U.P. As we’ve been saying for the past week, we had to assume it had reached our area and we have been advising that we all act as if we have the virus, doing everything we can to protect those around from getting it.

Yes. While testing information is private, a small number of NMU students, faculty and staff have self-reported being tested for the COVID-19 virus. Among those individuals, some had seasonal influenza and the other tested negative. As of right now, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among NMU students, faculty and staff.

Northern cannot share specific details on individual cases, but the University has been given self-reported information of a small number of students, faculty and staff who have been asked to self-quarantine as a precautionary measure due to possible exposure to COVID-19. As of right now, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among NMU students, faculty and staff.

If a medical professional orders the test, it is covered by NMU’s insurance.

Tests are only being given are to those who are considered at high risk for having been exposed to the virus. A medical professional must identify you as a candidate for testing. You cannot receive the test by personal request.

Travel matters

The travel matters section has been moved to the NMU Human Resources site.

Visitors to campus

Northern is under normal business operations. However, NMU is asking that all visits and events that bring people from outside campus should be canceled or handled via technology. Please contact the desired office for options.

In-person visits through the Campus Visit Program have been suspended, however, customized virtual campus visits can be arranged. View options and register at or contact

Additional information for future students can be found on the Admissions site.