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Return To Campus Plan

Lipscomb University's comprehensive plan to return to campus.

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Now accepting applications for the new Endeavor Program, a unique educational experience designed for you!

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COVID-19 Update

Lipscomb University Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 update and response.

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Return To Campus Plan

Protecting the health and wellbeing of our community while providing a great on-campus experience.

We have had a good fall semester and we are excited to look ahead to the spring semester! We are making deliberate plans to open safely again in the spring. This fall it took everyone in the Lipscomb community working together to take precautions to protect our health as well as the health of others in our community to remain open in person and we did it! Again, this spring will not be a “normal” semester, but it will be a wonderful experience! We are confident that each of us is willing to do whatever we need to do to bring our community back to campus again this spring. 

As you review the Return to Campus information, be assured that tremendous efforts have been taken and made significant financial investments to put plans, policies and procedures in place as preventive measures to protect the Lipscomb community and to create appropriate responses for when a COVID case is present on our campus. Our plans are based on the following premises:

  • Prevention: We are doing everything we can to prevent the virus from affecting members of our community. But know that no community can guarantee a COVID-19 free environment. 

  • Robust Response: We are prepared to respond quickly, effectively and medically in the event of a COVID case on our campus. 

  • Investment: We have invested millions of dollars to enhance the resources, supplies, facilities, and equipment needed to respond to the COVID environment we currently find ourselves in.  

  • Staffing: We have proactively increased both our medical staff and student support services staff to assist students during the semester as may be needed.  

  • Guidelines: As a community that believes in the value of knowledge and expertise, we have sought the best guidance from federal, state and local entities as well as higher education organizations focused on creating a safe learning community. 

Updated: January 1, 2021 - Lipscomb University will update the information on this page if aspects of the return to campus plan change.

Stage 4 plan

Download the Lipscomb READY app

This is a comprehensive app that will replace the current BisonAlert texting system for emergency messages. In addition, the COVID-19 resources have been added to the app and you can use the app to check your COVID symptoms daily. You can download the Lipscomb READY app here and read more about it here.


We are following local, state and federal guidelines to create a safe campus environment for students and employees. Guidelines we are following include:

In addition, we are fortunate to have Dr. Kevin Eidson, director of health and wellness, advising on all community health protocols. Dr. Eidson has been instrumental in creating our plans for and operating in the safest way possible so that we can all enjoy being a part of a healthy campus.

Respect Leads Community Value. At Lipscomb University, we value and respect each person and take seriously our responsibility to do what is good for the general welfare of our community. And, if we all lead with respect for others, things will typically work out for the best. We all want to stay on campus for the full semester and, while some of that may be out of our control with this pandemic, much of it is within the control of our community and how well we follow the health and safety protocols in place. We commit to approach situations of noncompliance with empathy and understanding and with a focus on education. However, cases of significant or consistent policy violation will not be tolerated as it puts the whole community at risk of having to return to remote learning as well as risking the health of vulnerable individuals within our community. In those extreme cases where policies are significantly or consistently violated, there will be the possibility of disciplinary action. Failure to adhere to any requirement may result in disciplinary action, including up to expulsion or dismissal for students and termination of employment for employees, depending on the facts and circumstances. Student violations will be reported to Tasha Coleman, director of community standards, and will be processed in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct. Employee violations will be reported to their supervisor and will be processed in accordance with the Employee Handbook.

Important Upcoming Dates

Here are some highlights of specific upcoming dates and other information that may be helpful.

Spring Calendar Update.

The beginning and ending dates for the spring calendar are the same as originally published with spring classes beginning January 11, 2021 and the last day of finals on May 5, 2021. A few graduate programs, such as pharmacy, will begin classes on January 4 as planned. We anticipate and are committed to providing a full semester of academic coursework so you can continue your academic career path. You can review the Spring 2021 schedule here.

Below is a high level summary of a few schedule changes you will notice in the spring semester. 

  • Spring Break and “Bison Break” days. Breaks within the spring semester have been changed on the academic schedule. The spring semester will mirror the fall semester with a later spring break the week of April 12-16. The addition of three “Bison Break” days will allow for rest during the semester to ease the physical and mental health toll on our undergraduate students and faculty. Offices will remain open but no undergraduate classes will meet. Students with lab classes or experiential classes, such as practicums, clinicals, and internships, that are scheduled on these days should consult with their faculty members regarding their class schedules for the Bison Break days. Bison Break days are February 10,  March 2, and March 25
  • Spring Break Closure Dates. The residence halls will be closed for  spring break from Saturday, April 10 - Saturday, April 17. All residential students must vacate the dorms for these dates. Any exceptions must be approved in advance by the dean of housing and residence life. 

  • Remote After Spring Break. For undergraduate courses, the spring semester will continue with on-campus classes until spring break with classes after spring break and finals delivered in a remote format. Residential students will be contacted by Student Life regarding restrictions for returning to campus following Spring Break. Room and board fees will not be adjusted for the remote period following the spring break.

    Following Spring Break, graduate classes will meet in-person or virtually as determined by each course needs and following local guidelines in place at the time. 

  • May Graduation. We will monitor the regional guidelines to determine the format of the May graduation and will provide an update later in the spring semester. 

Spring 2021 Semester COVID-19 Testing Requirement.

  • January 2021 Pre-Arrival COVID Testing Requirement. All students, undergraduate and graduate, returning to campus in January 2021 must present to the Lipscomb University Health Center a negative PCR COVID-19 test. Students taking classes in a totally remote or online format are not required to provide a negative COVID-19 test. You can review more detailed information as well as the testing schedule here
  • Spring Semester Surveillance Testing. During the Spring 2021 semester, the Lipscomb University Health Center staff will conduct COVID-19 surveillance testing for residential students. Selected individuals will be notified via their Lipscomb email account and all tests will be conducted by the Lipscomb University Health Center at no cost to the patient. You can learn more here about the surveillance testing procedures and protocols. 

Academic Life

Faculty are excited to have welcomed students back to campus this academic year! Our faculty have created classes with a remote option to continue learning for students who have health concerns that limit their in-person class time and in the event of a continued COVID wave. Our students’ academic progress and learning are important and we are committed to helping them achieve their academic goals this semester! For more detailed information about classroom teaching plans, online options, student accommodations and more visit the Academic Life FAQs & Information page

Academic Life FAQs & Info

Student Life

While things were a bit different this fall, we will had an exceptional experience and are looking for another life-impacting spring semester. Will things continue to be a bit different this spring? Yes. But, the student life team continues to be hard at work to create new and different events, programs and opportunities for our community that are tailored to our new expectations. We know you want to know more about what The Gathering, breakout chapels, residence hall life, dining on campus, community life and many other aspects of student life will be like this spring. We also want to remind our community of the Bisons Student Care Plan, that will activate if a student needs to self-isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19 and will be administered by the student care coordinator in the Office of Student Wellbeing. Find details about these and other important topics at the Student Life FAQs & Information page

Student Life FAQs & Info

General Health Protocols

Protocols are in place for the health, safety and wellbeing of our community. Following health protocols is everyone’s responsibility and creates a caring environment where we are all doing our part to help keep our community healthy.  This spring on campus you will notice continued changes in sanitization around campus, daily screening and healthy protocols such as physical distancing, mask/face coverings and hand washing among other measures to create a healthy and safe environment for everyone. In addition, the Lipscomb's Office of Health and Wellness has developed a helpful guide for the Lipscomb community with information about what to do if you test positive for COVID-19 or come in contact with someone who has or if you need to self-isolate. Find all the details in the General Health Protocols FAQs & Information page.  

General Health Protocols FAQs & Info

COVID-19 Positive Case General Guidelines

The Lipscomb community has not been immune to the presence of COVID-19 among our population this academic year. Fortunately, to date, every COVID case has responded well to treatments and all individuals have recovered. In the fall, we followed our guidelines and protocols as we walked out testing, isolating and treatment in these cases and will continue to follow these protocols in the spring. Without a doubt, positive cases of COVID-19 have been disruptive in our community and will impact participation in classrooms, community events and athletic events. We will continue to have positive cases in the spring. When those cases happen, you can be assured that we have tested and verified guidelines and procedures to follow that everyone in the community can count on. These guidelines and procedures are based on advice and guidance from the CDC, the State of Tennessee and medical experts with whom we consult in matters such as this. We are using the best guidance available to protect our students and employees! So, when a positive COVID-19 case is identified within our community, we have developed guidelines to follow in ALL cases. Visit the General Health FAQs & Information page for complete details of this plan. 

General Health FAQs & Info


Faculty and staff have been diligent in following university protocols that helped lead to a successful fall semester. At this time, employees will return to campus on January 4 following the Christmas holiday break.  More details about the accommodations request process, changes in the work environment plans, reporting time, visitor protocols, what to do if you are sick and other important information may be found at the Employee FAQs & Information page

What are the event management protocols?

All Lipscomb University events whether hosted on campus or off campus will comply with all local guidelines and follow the specific guidance provided by

Additional guidelines for event management can be reviewed here. To ensure compliance with the most up-to-date guidelines, please review this guidance and consult with the Lipscomb University event management team before planning or hosting any Lipscomb related event. You may submit any questions about events to

Employee FAQs & Info

Travel Restrictions

As travel restrictions are changing often, please check the latest guidelines here

Tuition and Fees for 2020-21

The institution has gone to tremendous efforts to respond to and prepare for the COVID-19 environment we are all finding ourselves in. The millions of dollars we have invested are evident in the enhanced resources, supplies, facilities, equipment, and staff needed to support and assist students as needed. In the classroom we are prepared to provide students with multiple learning options (in class, remote and online) to fit your needs during this semester. Students will receive a high-quality education regardless of the delivery mode or course format. Lipscomb is committed to your academic and personal growth and will support your learning and development consistent with our mission to provide you with a rich learning experience that is innovative and inclusive. We are pleased to inform you that these additional costs are being absorbed by Lipscomb. The tuition and fees paid by students are in exchange for learning, academic credit and certain non-academic services that will be provided and will be the same whether courses are provided on campus, in a hybrid environment or in an entirely remote or online format. 

Room and Board Fees for 2020-21

We have received some questions about what will happen to room and board charges if conditions change during the COVID-19 pandemic and the institution decides or is required to move to a fully remote learning and living environment during the Spring 2021 semester. Credits or refunds for room and board charges will not be issued for limited remote periods, such as the remote period following the designated spring break or other short, interim remote periods. If there is a need or decision to change to a fully remote learning and living environment prior to the designated spring break week, Lipscomb will assess the situation and, at its sole discretion, will determine if a prorated room and board credit or refund will be provided. Any approved prorated credit or refund will be based on actual room and board costs billed by the University for the Spring 2021 semester, net of any scholarships, discounts, third-party payments and direct costs incurred by Lipscomb. Credits or refunds will also be administered in accordance with the University's Direct Cost Policy as listed in the University catalog. For graduating students who have already registered for May 2020 graduation, any eligible prorated credit will be first applied to any remaining balance and any excess will be refunded. For all other students, any eligible credit due to a student will first be applied to any outstanding balance and the remainder will be applied to the student's account for the Fall 2021 semester.

Video Resources

Things to Know: Health & Wellness


Things to Know: Dining Services


Things to Know: Counseling & Mental Health


Things to Know: Residential Life


Things to Know: Community Life


Things to Know: COVID Safety Tips


Things to Know: Academics


⚠️ COVID WARNING - Assumption of Risk

COVID-19 is a highly contagious and potentially life-threatening disease with no vaccine currently available. The highly contagious nature of COVID-19 means that being in close proximity with other individuals, or contact with surfaces that have been exposed to the coronavirus, can lead to infection. Additionally, many individuals who are infected with COVID-19 may be asymptomatic and unknowingly spread the virus to others. Because of its highly contagious and sometimes “hidden” nature, it is currently very difficult to control the spread of COVID-19 or to determine whether, where, or how a specific individual may have been exposed to the disease. 

Lipscomb University holds as paramount the health, safety and welfare of every member of its community. The university is engaged in numerous efforts to prevent, mitigate, and respond to the spread of COVID-19 on campus, and has put in place certain safety rules and precautions, which may be updated from time to time. Minimizing the spread of COVID-19 is a shared responsibility, and the university expects and requires all members of the Lipscomb community to do their part by following proper protocol. Despite the university’s best efforts, however, it is impossible to eliminate the risk of positive cases or an outbreak of COVID-19 on campus. The university cannot guarantee a COVID-19-free environment. Students, employees and guests who are physically present on the university’s campus or interact with other members of the Lipscomb community may be exposed to and contract COVID-19, which could result in severe illness and death, and voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.