THE University of Newcastle will close its Callaghan, Ourimbah and Port Macquarie campuses and its six regional offices on Tuesday, "based on forecast catastrophic weather conditions and bushfire risk".
HMRI will also close, as will Blackbutt Reserve.
UON chief operating officer Nat McGregor said the decision to proactively close campuses was "carefully considered and without precedent".
"We are taking this proactive step as part of our standard operating procedures and a well-developed bushfire management plan," Mr McGregor said.
"We are well aware that this is a critical time of year for our students, some of whom have exams, but ultimately their safety, and that of our staff and others, is what matters most.
"Alternate arrangements have been made and we are providing support and special consideration for disrupted students.
"We will return to normal campus operations as soon as it is safe to do so."
UON said in a statement the closures will impact all non-essential services and facilities run by the university and other providers, including childcare, retail and fitness centres.
"Our thoughts are with all of our communities who are affected by these fires and extreme conditions," it said.
"We ask that members of the community avoid visiting our campuses on Tuesday 12 November and we appreciate their understanding.
"We are updating students and staff directly, as well as providing information via our website at www.newcastle.edu.au/alerts."
UON has asked its staff to stay home - and work from home where possible - and make alternative arrangements if they were planning to host visitors on campus.
Staff providing essential campus services - security staff, 2NUR broadcast staff and staff with responsibility for animals on campus - must check in at IFS at Callaghan and Ourimbah.
The City of Newcastle said the "unprecedented bushfires across NSW and a catastrophic fire warning" had prompted the closure of Blackbutt Reserve on Tuesday.
It said an emergency plan of management had been coordinated to ensure staff welfare and wildlife were prioritised during the closure.
It followed the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service's decision to close the state's national parks north of the Hawkesbury River, including the Glenrock State Conservation Area.
UON said all students will be given an additional 24 hours to complete any assessments that are due on Tuesday.
If they require additional support beyond this they can fill out an adverse circumstances form online.
Exams scheduled for Tuesday at Callaghan and Ourimbah have been rescheduled to the same time and room on Saturday.
Students preparing to sit exams at Port Macquarie and Taree will be emailed with details as soon as their exams are rescheduled.
The Port Macquarie campus is closed today.
Students unable to make their new exam date must submit an adverse circumstances form online.
Students with placements in or near bushfire affected areas should contact their placement coordinator and if concerned, should not go to the area until advised it is safe to do so.
UON will keep its residences open and continue to monitor the situation.
Residences will have security staff and after-hours officers on site 24 hours a day to support residents.
For support, residents can call 15888 from a help phone or 4921 5888 if they live at Callaghan or 4348 4222 if they live at Ourimbah.
The shuttle bus will run from Callaghan to New Space but the timetable may be affected.