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Advisory Regarding Coronavirus COVID-19

In order to deliver the best and safest program for our students, all programs will move to online learning for Summer 2020. We are excited to deliver dynamic and engaging courses and cocurricular activities online. Applications remain open, and we encourage students to apply. Learn More.
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COVID-19 Insights & Information

COVID-19 viruses

Resources for the Columbia Community

All classes for the remainder of the term are being conducted online. Please visit the COVID-19 Resource Guide for the Columbia Community for additional updates to campus and academic operations.

SPS Industry Insights Events

Our community of scholars and practitioners is coming to you. The Columbia University School of Professional Studies has launched SPS Industry Insights, a new series of dynamic virtual events featuring our distinguished faculty as well as leading professionals across a wide variety of fields and disciplines.

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Student FAQ

Will students earn letter grades for half term or block week courses that were completed prior to the COVID-19 disruption? 

Pass/Fail grades apply to all full-term courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. For courses that were delivered and completed in the first half of the Spring term, letter grades will be awarded. This applies to half-term courses where coursework was completed and grades were assigned prior to the 3/20/2020 announcement. 

Is pass/fail optional for the Spring term? 

Grades are important for showcasing performance--especially to future employers. Grading options were considered by the Provost and a working group of senior advisors.  In this context, it was determined that pass/fail is the only choice (undergraduate and graduate) students have for Spring semester. Students will be assisted in explaining their grading restrictions to future employers;  transcripts will have a denotation that indicates that classes were only available as a pass/fail grade. Pass/Fail grades are NOT included in the calculation of a student’s grade point average. 

Will pass/fail also apply to Summer 2020 if the entirety of the term will be offered virtually? 

The Summer Term will return to traditional letter grading. 

Should students anticipate that Fall 2020 will be offered virtually?

According to the W.H.O. and C.D.C., this virus is not yet contained. We do not know when we can physically engage again. We also do not know about any constraints for the Fall semester. For Summer, we have moved all courses online for the safety of all community members. 

Will tuition and/or fees be recalculated for the Spring 2020 term?

The University moved swiftly to ensure instruction continued throughout the Spring semester and students would earn credit for the semester's work pending their grade. Tuition and fees will continue to pay for the delivery of instruction, as well as the associated costs of academic support services. As long as instruction continues, tuition will not be refunded.

In recognition that some on-campus services and facilities are no longer available for the Spring term, the University will rebate a portion of the Morningside Facilities fee and Student Life fee that relates to printing services (for undergraduates only), Athletics and Lerner Hall (for all Morningside students). Undergraduate students will receive a credit for $144, and other Columbia students will receive a credit for $119. If students have a pending balance on their account, the fee will be refunded on the account and be deducted from the remaining balance. 

Are there new policies for financial holds for Spring 2020? Will they be lifted? 

The University did not assess late fees on unpaid student account balances in the March billing cycle and will not assess late fees in the April billing cycle. However, financial holds will remain.  If students have questions about their holds and/or pending account balances, please contact the Office of Student Financial Services

Can students be trained (or a demo shared) to utilize Big Blue Button on Canvas?

Absolutely! Our Online Curriculum and Instruction team offers a comprehensive video tutorial which can be found by clicking here. Additionally, if students need more personalized assistance, they may submit a help desk ticket at cusps.zendesk.com. 

Can the Career Design Lab build and host more workshops surrounding, “How to be Virtual” and virtual etiquette?

Yes! The Career Design Lab is actively offering educational programs to address the changes taking place in industry. As always, we encourage students to reach out to their career coaches who regularly address questions around virtual etiquette during weekly coffee chats as well as in individual coaching sessions.

Who are immediate points of contact if a student expresses that they are in crisis? 

If students are facing an emergency situation that needs immediate assistance, please contact local law enforcement at 911 or Columbia University Public Safety at 212-854-5555. In addition, please utilize the below campus resources. If this is a non-emergency situation, SPS students may contact their academic advisor or Danielle Pompili, Associate Director for Enrichment and Support at dmp2176 [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu ()

Medical Emergencies: If you are uncertain whether this is an emergency, contact Medical Services at 212-854-7426, available 24 hours a day. Urgent medical concerns are prioritized and will be assessed by a triage specialist, who will provide recommendations for care. Columbia University Emergency Medical Service, an ambulance service, is also available by calling 212-854-5555. This on-campus ambulance service is available 24 hours a day free of charge for the Morningside campus. It provides pre-hospital emergency medical care and transport to the Mount Sinai St. Luke's Hospital Emergency Room located at 1111 Amsterdam Avenue at 113th Street.

Mental Health: If you are experiencing an urgent mental health concern, please call Counseling & Psychological Services (CPS)  immediately at 212-854-2878, available 24/7. A clinician will assess your concern and recommend next steps for your care.

For immediate psychiatric care: Students may also go directly to Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital Emergency Room located at 113th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, 212-523-3347.

Physical Safety: If you are being stalked or threatened, or have immediate concerns about your physical safety, contact Public Safety at 212-854-5555. Public Safety also provides an escort service; request an escort by calling 212-854-SAFE.

If you would like confidential non-emergency support and guidance around issues of personal safety—stalking, interpersonal harrassment and threats, or other issues of personal security—contact Sexual Violence Response (212-854-HELP/4357) and speak with a survivor advocate, available 24/7, 365 days a year.

Does SPS have an Emergency Relief Fund? 

Yes! We would like to remind students of our long-standing SPS Emergency Fund, and to let you know that we have made changes to the program in response to the rising levels of financial need among SPS students as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. 

To be eligible, students must be currently enrolled in a Master of Science degree program, have completed at least 12 credits towards their degree and hold a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average. Additionally, students must have exhausted all other financial resources, including loans. Eligibility to apply does not guarantee and award. 

For more information on the fund and how to apply, please visit our website by clicking here. If you have questions about the fund please contact Danielle Pompili, Associate Director for Enrichment and Support at dmp2176 [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu.

About the School of Professional Studies

In the evolving world of work, SPS innovates market-forward programs to close the gap between what employers demand and what graduates can deliver. The school offers 17 master’s degrees and a variety of flexible courses and formats in disciplines ranging from Applied Analytics and Nonprofit Management to Business and Human Rights. In addition, the school offers courses through Columbia Summer and Programs for High School Students, both of which are being offered fully online for the summer.