Updated: March 31, 2021 at 8:38AM

Testing Overview

The University's testing protocol is part of a comprehensive strategy to limit the spread of COVID-19 on campus. The following Spring Semester guidelines relate directly to additional components within the University’s strategy including the University Testing Center at the Joyce Center North Dome and the Daily Health Check.

Pre-matriculation Testing

Undergraduate and professional students completed a pre-matriculation test on campus at the University Testing Center. Because the majority of doctoral and masters students remained on campus over break (and participated in weekly surveillance testing), pre-matriculation testing was not required, but was encouraged and available.

To avoid contagion, each student taking a pre-matriculation test was expected to avoid contact with others to the greatest extent possible until they received their test results. Students who tested positive entered the University’s isolation protocols. Any students determined to have been close contacts were asked to quarantine in accordance with University procedures.

Surveillance Testing

Surveillance testing involves testing people from across campus to identify asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic individuals and help avert potential outbreaks before they occur. Spring semester surveillance testing will begin on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at the University Testing Center, Gate 2 of the Joyce Center.

Do not participate in surveillance testing if:

  • You have tested positive in the last 90 days (if testing off campus, students must upload test results to the UHS patient portal)
  • You are already being tested because you have a red pass on your Daily Health Check
  • You are in quarantine or isolation

Undergraduate and Professional Students

As was recently announced, undergraduate and professional students (Law, ESTEEM, Graduate Business, and Graduate Architecture students) will participate in mandatory weekly surveillance testing.

  • Schedule your weekly appointment beginning on Saturday, Jan. 23, beginning at 12 p.m. EST.
  • The appointment day you select will be your weekly testing day for the entirety of the semester. Account for your class schedule and all activities before choosing a test day as you will not be able to change your test day throughout the semester.
  • Saturday, Jan. 30, is the  last day you can schedule or change your test day.
  • On Monday, Feb. 1, anyone without an appointment will be randomly assigned a day of the week for required testing.
  • There will be a limited number of testing appointments available per day. Once appointments are filled on a specific day, that day will no longer appear as an option in the appointment calendar.
  • Saliva testing will be the primary surveillance testing method but testing center personnel will supplement with nasal swab testing as needed.
  • Students who fail to show up for scheduled surveillance appointments will be subject to consequences as outlined in the Campus Compact. It is important to note that missed testing appointments will be tracked throughout the semester.  In other words, If you miss your testing appointment on Week 1, show up for your tests on Weeks 2,3 and 4, but miss on Week 5, you are subject to the consequences for a second missed test.

More on student surveillance testing

Faculty, Staff, Post-docs, Doctoral, and Graduate Students

As announced in a recent letter to faculty, staff, post-docs, PhD, and graduate students who will be on campus for two or more days each week during the spring semester are strongly encouraged to participate in surveillance testing once every two weeks.

  • If you are working remotely, you should not participate in surveillance testing.
  • Schedule a testing appointment starting on Monday, Jan. 25, beginning at 8 a.m.
  • There will be a limited number of testing appointments available per day.
  • If a conflict arises with your appointment, you can reschedule it here. You must re-schedule in advance of your testing day and it must be scheduled for a day within the same week. If you have missed your testing day please come to your next scheduled appointment in two weeks.

More on faculty & staff surveillance testing

Supplemental Surveillance Testing

In an effort to identify the onset of possible clusters or hot spots, you may also be notified to take a supplemental surveillance test within days of your regularly-scheduled surveillance test. As was true last semester, this testing follows a Bayesian approach that adjusts whom we call in to test based on what the most recent data tell us regarding risk profiles across the community. Such groups might include, for example, a specific floor of a residence hall, a group of roommates who live off campus, or a group of staff members who work in close proximity. No one will be called for a supplemental test on the same day as their scheduled surveillance appointment. You may be called for supplemental testing multiple times throughout the semester. It is extremely important for the safety of our campus community that you participate in testing whenever notified. If you are notified to participate in a supplemental test, you are required to do so.

Diagnostic Testing

Diagnostic testing involves testing those who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Diagnostic Testing is available at the University Testing Center via Gate 3 of the Joyce Center North Dome, by appointment only.


Students who indicate on their Daily Health Check that they are exhibiting one of the big three symptoms (fever greater than 100.4, shortness of breath, or loss of sense of taste or smell) will receive Red Pass A and will therefore be automatically scheduled for testing without need for a telehealth consultation. Always read the instructions on your pass fully and carefully. Students exhibiting other symptoms should complete a telehealth screening through University Health Services (UHS). UHS will then schedule an appointment at the University Testing Center.

Faculty and staff who are experiencing COVID symptoms or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID may utilize telehealth services through the Notre Dame Wellness Center,  or seek care from their primary care provider. The Wellness Center can schedule a diagnostic test at the University Testing Center. Local physicians may also refer eligible faculty and staff to the Testing Center with a test order.

More on Diagnostic Testing

Additional Information