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This resource is intended to help keep MS students informed during the COVID-19 crisis. Below you will find answers to Frequently Asked Questions that are relevant to Business School MS students. We will also post key communications that were sent by University Administrators, the PhD/MS office, or the Business School’s Leadership.
If you have questions, please direct them to Elizabeth Elam (email@example.com)
University COVID-19 Updates
Table of Contents
What do I need to do to attend classes virtually? (last updated: 3/17/20)
By now you have received several messages about how to setup zoom for online classes. Please make sure that you can access that account before classes start. As a reminder, you will have your own Zoom account with CBS. If you do not have Zoom already installed on your laptop, you can download the client from https://zoom.us/download. Within 4 hours of registering, you will receive an email directly from Zoom with instructions for login. Your username will be your GSB email address (please do not use Google or Facebook).
What is the attendance policy? Does it apply if I am in a vastly different time zone? (last updated: 3/23/20)
For MS classes, the attendance policy continues to be at the discretion of the faculty member. Following the MBA directive, we encourage synchronous attendance. The exceptioon to this are students in time zones where class falls outside the 6am to 10:30pm local time window. If your class falls outside this window, you may attend class asynchronously by watching the recording on Echo360. Students who need to attend asynchronously due to their time zone should contact their professor and cc Elizabeth Elam and specify their location.
What is the add/drop policy? (last updated: 3/23/20)
So that you can make changes to your schedule before classes begin, we have expanded add drop to start on Monday, March 23 at 8:00 am EST ending on Friday, March 27 at 4:00 pm EST. Please be sure to pay close attention to the add/drop deadlines for B-term. Add/Drop runs in real-time, so please plan accordingly – seats in classes can become available throughout the entire add/drop round, therefore it’s important to monitor email and keep an eye on your email during this time. As is the case with in-person classes, you will be able to attend the first class session of classes that you hope to be enrolled in during the add/drop period via Zoom. Links will be made available on the Announcement section of BOSS during add/drop so you have the opportunity to “shop” for classes. Once add/drop is over, only registered students may continue to attend classes. All currently enrolled students will be able to access their course Zoom links via Canvas.
What is the grading policy? (last updated: 3/23/20)
All University classes will be graded pass/fail for this semester to recognize the complications that remote instruction in a now global classroom presents. For further clarification and as it relates to CBS, all A-term courses will be left as letter grades that impact your GPA. All B-term and full-term courses will be graded pass/fail. We will work to address any issues which arise as a result of this poliicy.
Anything to keep in mind as I am registering for BOSS courses? (last updated: 3/23/20)
When adding classes to your schedule, please make sure to note any required pre-or co-requisites. BOSS will allow you to add courses to your schedule for which you do not have the appropriate pre- or co-requisite, but MBA OSA will remove you from these courses at the end of add/drop if you do not fulfill requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet the requirements of the class. Course conflicts cannot remain on your schedule following the end of add/drop. If you have an MBA conflicting class on your schedule after add/drop ends, MBA OSA will resolve the conflict by removing you from the MBA class.
Visa and ISSO Questions
We will be updating this page as policy changes are made. Note that there will likely be a brief delay before that can take place. Your first stop for all visa- and ISSO-related questions should be their website: https://isso.columbia.edu/content/covid-19-hub
How do I maintain my visa status if the Federal Government requires that I maintain an in-person, 12-credit course load? (last updated: 03/15/20)
ISSO contacted all international students to inform them that the federal government intends to be flexible about how students maintain their F-1 visa status. For the Spring 2020 semester, students are allowed to maintain their visa status through online coursework.
How do I obtain a travel signature from ISSO if the office is virtual? (last updated: 03/20/20)
ISSO has posted more information about who actually needs a signature and how to obtain one while they office is operating virtually. See here for more information
Health and Mental Health Questions
Whom do I contact if I or a friend feel overwhelmed and stressed during these times? (last updated: 3/24)
We understand that with all of the challenges facing students, some may feel overwhelmed or anxious. Counseling and Psychological Services continues to offer individual virtual appointments and virtual support spaces across a variety of topics. We encourage you to use the services offered through CPS to help you maintain your balance as you adjust to all of the changes to your normal routine related to COVID. See here for information on how to make an appointment.
Socializing with Community Members during the Outbreak
I think I need to socialize with my peers. Are there any mechanisms for doing so? (last updated: 03/25)
This is something that we will ask the MS Council to look into. We will send an email and update this page as soon as we get more information. In the meantime, we encourage you to check the University Life page for information about how to connect with other students at the University during the crisis.
Important Email Announcements
March 25th, 2020: University Life Forum: Update on COVID-19 for the Columbia Community.
March 20th, 2020: Message from Dean Maglaras regarding B-term courses