This page features information relevant to Catholic University's response to the novel coronavirus.

Commencement 2020 Update

Commencement will be postponed. Read the letter from President Garvey.

Spring 2020 Student Account Credits/Refunds

President Garvey sent a letter regarding credits and refunds for the Spring 2020 semester.
Read his letter.


Catholic University Live

President John Garvey and Vice President for Student Affairs Judi Biggs Garbuio answered questions about the University's response to the COVID-19 crisis in a livestream presentation on April 3.  
Watch a recording of the livestream event

Frequently Asked Questions

For Students and Parents
For Deans and Faculty 
For Staff and Faculty

Coronavirus update | Commencement 2020

April 2, 2020

To Our Graduates,

The class of 2020 will always be remembered with a certain irony. Exceptionally clear vision is 20/20. We say hindsight is 20/20 to imply that you should have seen something coming. Yet here we are, months from your graduation, and nothing is clear, and nobody saw the coronavirus coming.

I write this note reluctantly. We need to accept the reality that it will not be possible to hold an in-person Commencement ceremony on May 16. It is also not possible to hold Law School Commencement on May 22. The District of Columbia, the State of Maryland, and the Commonwealth of Virginia have all issued stay at home orders that may be in place for a month or more. Virginia’s extends until June 10. This is not a decision we take lightly. Commencement is, in many ways, the most joyous part of University life. 

All that said, we are committed to ensuring that your accomplishments are celebrated. To be honest, we’re not sure how this will look. We consulted our graduating class of 2020, and got almost 700 responses. There was a strong preference for an in-person Commencement. We agree, though given the current lockdowns in our area, we don’t want to set a date that we will later need to adjust.

I know this is disappointing. And I understand that the uncertainty makes it difficult to plan ahead. Since the overwhelming preference is for an in-person Commencement, I ask that you wait until the end of April for us to set a date. Our hope is to hold Commencement during the summer.

My prayers and thoughts are with you all. Please keep safe and healthy, and on top of your assignments.

John Garvey

Watch a video of Catholic University Live 

March 31, 2020

COVID-19 Catholic University Live label

President John Garvey and Vice President for Student Affairs Judi Biggs Garbuio answered questions about the University's response to the COVID-19 crisis in a livestream presentation on April 3.

Watch a recording of the livestream event. 

Coronavirus update | Spring 2020 Student Account Credits/Refunds

March 27, 2020

Dear Students and Parents,

I hope this letter finds you well and safe. 

We all understand that this is a time of heightened anxiety and uncertainty. I am very grateful for the efforts of our faculty and staff to support our students as we all navigate such uncharted waters.

I know that the topic of reimbursements is among the most pressing for students. This has been a priority for us since it first became clear that we wouldn’t resume classes on campus this semester.  We want to make sure that families do not bear the costs of services students have not received as the result of the coronavirus. Here is the plan.

Room, Board, and Parking. The University will provide a pro rata credit to student accounts for room, board, and parking charges. Room and board will be credited for the final eight weeks of the spring 2020 semester. Student parking charges will be credited for the period April through August 2020. All account credits will be reflected in Cardinal Students by Wednesday, April 15th.

  • Graduating Seniors. Graduating seniors’ accounts will be credited by Wednesday, April 15th. These students can anticipate receiving a refund of their net account credit in late April.
  • Returning Students. Accounts of returning students will also be credited by Wednesday, April 15th. Credits will be automatically applied to current charges (Spring 2020), or to future semesters (Summer 2020 or Fall 2020). If you prefer an immediate payment of your credit to your bank account, please complete this form

Credits will not be given at this time for tuition or for other fees, because these funds (for labs, technology, etc.) will still be used for their intended purposes, to maintain the academic and student experience at the high level to which the University is committed.    

Graduating students should be on the lookout for an upcoming survey about commencement. As we continue to think about how commencement will happen this year, we want to know what’s on your mind and could use your help in envisioning that event. So start thinking and we’ll be in touch.

We appreciate the patience and understanding of all our students and parents during these unprecedented times. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to

Please know that Jeanne and I are keeping our community, and especially our students, in our prayers.

John Garvey

  • Solutions to Academic Challenges

    Answers to questions about advising, tutoring, requesting an incomplete, and pass/fail options.

    Learn More
  • Travel Restrictions

    Learn More
  • Updates Regarding Catholic University Athletics

    Learn More
  • University Advancement and Alumni Association Events Updates

    Learn More
  • Touch-Point Cleaning

    Learn More
  • Novel Coronavirus Updates Archive

    Previous updates issued by Catholic University on the COVID-19 outbreak.

    Learn More