What is the current university travel policy?
All non-essential university-sponsored domestic travel is suspended until further notice. Interim updates have been made to the university’s international travel policy as outlined on the university’s Global website

What is the current university policy for international travel?
All university-sponsored international travel is suspended until further notice. This includes any travel connected to university activities or programs for all Starting July 31, 2020, the International Travel Oversight Committee will accept petitions for exception from faculty, staff and graduate/ professional students to pursue essential university-sponsored and supported international travel. Details including the definition of “essential” and the process to submit a petition for exception can be found here. All travel is subject to changes in travel conditions and public health guidance.

What about domestic travel?
All non-essential university-sponsored domestic travel beyond the St. Louis metropolitan area is suspended until further notice. This includes any non-essential travel connected to university activities or programs for all faculty, staff and students, whether that travel is funded by the university, an external grant or other source. Requests to engage in essential travel must be approved by the chancellor or the provost, a dean, executive vice chancellor, or vice chancellor. All approved essential travel must be registered through this website.

Students, staff and faculty planning personal domestic travel should be mindful of the spread of COVID-19 and follow COVID-19 restrictions and screening for campus access before coming to campus.

What constitutes essential travel?
The university will make decisions about whether university-sponsored domestic travel is essential on a case-by-case basis. All international university-sponsored travel is suspended. Decisions about whether other university-sponsored domestic travel is essential are based on a variety of factors, but some considerations include: Whether the travel is necessary for fulfillment of a research grant or other external funding; if the travel is needed to satisfy a legal obligation that university counsel feels must be honored; or if cancellation of a trip could result in serious damage to an institutional partnership or the loss of an academic, professional or other institutional opportunity that is highly unlikely to occur again in the foreseeable future. Requests for approval of non-essential travel must be approved by a dean, executive vice chancellor or vice chancellor. All approved essential travel must be registered through this website.

What should I consider if I’m thinking about personal travel?
The university encourages members of our community to think carefully about the risks of traveling while the COVID-19 outbreak continues to develop. Not only may there be a potential risk to your personal health, but there also may be additional travel restrictions imposed by many countries, including the United States. 

Study Abroad

What changes has the university made to its study abroad and international academic study programs in light of the COVID-19 outbreak?
Given the continued uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on worldwide travel and global health risks, the university has made the difficult decision to cancel all study abroad programs for Fall 2020. This decision is based on the health and safety concerns associated with international travel, restrictive entry requirements, interruption of visa processes and consular services, and potential disruption due to ongoing revisions to academic and program calendars. 

Is the university making any exceptions to this decision?
The University will not permit any exceptions for undergraduate students to travel for Fall 2020 study abroad, including for those programs with delayed start dates in September or October. Participants choosing to study abroad independently must take a Leave of Absence from Washington University and will have no university connection or support, international insurance and emergency support, and transfer of credit.

Graduate and professional students may submit a petition for an exception to the International Travel Oversight Committee, with approval from their dean or dean’s designee. Graduate and professional students considering petitioning for exception should understand that the circumstances under which an exception will be made are likely to be extremely limited. Graduate and professional students should not rely solely on international travel when planning their fall academic work, and should prepare alternate plans that do not involve travel.

If I applied to study abroad for Fall 2020, what happens to my application?We hope that conditions will improve so study abroad can resume for the Spring 2021 semester. If you would like to defer your application to Spring 2021 or Fall 2021, please contact your study abroad advisor to discuss this possibility. 

Now that I’m not studying abroad, what do I need to do?
If you have not already done so, register for Fall classes. In regards to housing, Residential Life is committed to ensuring students impacted by the cancelation of fall study abroad have the option to apply for Residential Life Managed Housing. Please contact your study abroad advisor for direction to access the application to add your name to the housing waitlist by June 30. The housing application will go live July 15, 2020, via the WashU housing portal for students only on the waitlist. If you have questions, please email 

Contact your study abroad advisor or program administrator with any additional questions. 

What about any withdrawal fees or deposits that may be associated with my program?Every program/ provider has different policies regarding application changes, withdrawal fees, and deposits. While many have adopted interim policies to reflect the fluid situation we are currently in,  it’s important that you reach out as soon as possible so as to not miss any deadline for refunds. Non-refundable deposits or unrecoverable program fees are the responsibility of the student.

How does the university make decisions about its study abroad and international academic study programs?
We take guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of State, our international security provider, and university infectious disease experts. When making decisions about specific programs, we also consider local conditions as well as input from peer institutions and our overseas partners.