Fordham Forward FAQs for Students and Families
How is the academic calendar affected for the fall semester?
The fall semester schedule has not changed. Classes began on August 26 for undergraduate students and various dates for graduate students. However, the University will break at Thanksgiving, and undergraduate students will not return to campus. Remaining fall classes, reading days, and final exams will be held remotely.
How is the academic calendar affected for the spring semester?
In anticipation of a national resurgence of the COVID pandemic this winter, Fordham has decided to modify its academic calendar for the spring 2021 semester.
- The first day of class for FCRH, FCLC, GSB, and GSAS students will be Feb. 1, 2021 – thirteen days later than previously scheduled, so as to reduce the risk of viral spread during the winter season.
- Spring break will be cancelled out of concern for the heightened risk of viral transmission concomitant with out-of-state travel, as well as to make up for the lost class days due to the delayed start of the semester.
- Fordham will observe only three University holidays during the spring semester:
- Presidents’ Day (Feb. 15)
- A mid-semester break day (March 10)
- Good Friday (April 2)
- Reading Days (May 6-7), Finals (May 10-17), and Commencement (May 22) are unchanged on the calendar.
Will spring semester classes be held in person?
Students will continue to have the option this spring to live on or near campus and take courses offered in person or through online or hybrid modalities. Alternatively, students can choose to live in a remote location and take all their classes virtually.
In the first week of November, students will be able to search for spring courses in Banner and view the modality (in-person, hybrid, or online) in which they will be offered. Academic advisors will help students build a class schedule that meets their personal and curricular goals. Registration for spring semester will begin the week of Nov. 16.
Why is the University postponing the beginning of spring semester classes for some schools?
The February 1 start date is designed to prevent in-person classes from overlapping with an expected winter resurgence of the virus.
Which schools are affected by the new calendar?
The changes in the Provost’s announcement apply to FCRH, FCLC, GSB, and GSAS. Deans of the other graduate/professional schools (School of Law, Graduate School of Education, Graduate School of Social Service, Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education, and the School of Professional and Continuing Studies) will be communicating their specific spring calendars directly to their students.
Does this mean the University will be closed before February 1? Can I come on to campus?
The University will be open on January 4. The Office of Residential Life will be providing more information about when students can move into the dorms. Labs, offices, and other buildings will be open as usual.
Will the Library be open before February 1?
Yes, Quinn and Walsh Libraries will open before February 1st.
If I am taking courses in a school different from the one in which I am enrolled (eg. a FCLC student taking a course at GSS or a FCRH student taking a course in PCS), which schedule would apply?
Courses within schools follow that school’s calendar. Thus, it is possible that, for a student in this situation, the first day of one class in one school differs from that of the others in a different school. Students should contact their advisors for more specific information.
I am in the BFA Dance program. Will my classes begin on February 1st?
Certain programs, like BFA or other cohort programs may start prior to February 1. Students should contact advisors for details related to these programs.
Can students who have to quarantine do so before the first day of classes?
Yes, as long as they quarantine for two weeks, students can opt to come to New York early so they are able to attend in-person or hybrid classes on February 1. Alternatively, they can begin their quarantine when classes start and attend remotely until their quarantine is over.
Will all classes be online for the first two weeks?
No. Students who are coming from areas that require a NYS quarantine may take the first two weeks of their classes remotely as they are quarantining. But instructors who are teaching their courses in person or in a hybrid modality may begin meeting with other students during this time.
Will Study Abroad programs run during the spring semester?
Fordham has made the decision to continue the current suspension of all study abroad programs through the end of the spring 2021 semester due to the resurgence in most regions of the world, as tracked daily by global epidemiologists and public health experts.
All students who were scheduled to study abroad in spring 2021 will have the option to:
- Defer their applications to one of Fordham’s summer programs in Granada, London, or Rome.
- Defer with priority placement to the same program in fall 2021 without reapplying or paying another application fee.
- Withdraw their application for a full refund of the application fee paid to Fordham.
Although sponsored international travel won’t be possible this spring, we are introducing a number of unique opportunities to support virtual global learning and intercultural engagement. The faculty who normally teach at Fordham London Centre or in Granada, Spain will be teaching some of their most popular courses virtually next semester. Any Fordham student will have the opportunity to engage with British, Spanish, and European culture through taking online courses taught by Fordham’s faculty in Europe.
In addition, Fordham’s London Internship program placements will proceed virtually for those who would like to have the experience of interning with a UK-based company. The International and Study Abroad Programs Office has also expanded virtual internship opportunities this year to other countries including Argentina, Australia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain.
Will Add/Drop be adjusted so students will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face prior to the Add/Drop deadline?
With the beginning of the semester moving back two weeks, all of the other semester deadlines (e.g. the last day to Add/Drop, the deadline for designating a course Pass/Fair, the last day to withdraw without incurring a WF) will also be adjusted. The new dates are indicated on the school-specific calendars.
May I travel home to be with my family during the spring semester?
Travel will be discouraged in order to mitigate the spread of the virus. However, mindful of the need to quarantine for two weeks prior to returning to campus from NY quarantine areas, you will not be prohibited from travelling home during the spring semester.
The cancellation of spring break takes away a much needed reprieve in the midst of the semester. Would it be possible to restore a portion of spring break?
Spring break was cancelled to reduce the spread of COVID-19 due to travel out of state and to make up for the lost academic days at the beginning of the semester. The decision was not taken lightly but is necessary to protect the health and safety of our community.
Can I take summer courses for free?
Yes, the University will offer every full-time undergraduate student who is enrolled this academic year the opportunity to take up to two courses this summer at no additional cost.
What courses will be available this summer?
Fordham’s Summer 2021 course offerings will be expanded to include:
- A large array of courses required for graduation
- Special-topics courses that are not available during the academic year
- Undergraduate research opportunities for academic credit
- Distinctive internships in NYC and elsewhere that carry academic credit
- Opportunities to further your career through summer intensives offered by the School of Professional and Continuing Studies
Are graduating seniors eligible to receive these waivers?
Yes, graduates from the Class of 2021 may choose to take up to two of the Summer Session undergraduate offerings free of charge. However, they are not eligible to take graduate courses in summer 2021 free of charge.
Can graduate students take graduate courses for free in summer 2021?
No, graduate students are not eligible to receive the summer course waivers.
Are juniors (rising seniors) who take required graduate courses as part of a 4+1 Masters (which double count toward a bachelor’s and masters’ degree program) eligible to take Summer Session graduate courses free of charge?
Yes. undergraduate students who are enrolled in 4+1 programs may take up to two graduate courses, within their program, during summer session, at no cost.
Would full-time PCS students be eligible for the course waivers?
Yes, as long as they are registered full-time during the 2020-21 academic year.
Are students who did not matriculate for the full academic year eligible to take courses?
Students who were enrolled full-time for both semesters will have the option of taking two summer courses free of charge. Students who were enrolled full-time for one semester will be eligible to take one Summer Session course free of charge.
Can students take a reduced load in the spring semester if they are planning to take summer courses in order to maintain their progress toward a degree?
Academic year policies around maintaining full-time status are unchanged.
Is it possible to live on-campus during the summer?
We expect that students will have on-campus housing options this summer. Confirmation and details will be forthcoming from the Housing Office.
Will students have the choice of taking the free courses during Summer Sessions I, II, or III?
Yes, students may take the courses during Summer Sessions I, II, or III.
Are students eligible to take free summer courses at the London Centre?
Assuming that health and safety conditions allow for summer course offerings at the London Centre, students are eligible to take up to two free courses in London. Additional charges associated with summer study in London will apply.
What if the virus necessitates a shut-down of the campus mid-semester?
In order to be prepared for whatever the semester may hold, nearly every course at Fordham will adopt a flexible hybrid learning environment. This means that courses will have both synchronous and asynchronous elements. If a resurgence of the virus necessitates that Fordham suspends all face-to-face instruction for a period, the asynchronous portions of courses would be unaffected, while the synchronous portions would continue via videoconferencing technology with minimal disruption.
How is Fordham enacting social distancing measures in classrooms?
The judicious and safe use of learning spaces (classrooms, studios, teaching labs, etc.) requires attention to social distancing standards and other health and safety policies and protocols. The flexible hybrid learning environment plays a critical role in de-densifying classroom occupancy on campus. Other measures to reduce the density in classrooms include:
- Reducing seating capacity within each classroom to approximately one-third of its original value, as dictated by the 6-foot social distance standard
- Identify and assess non-academic space and possible off-campus space for repurposing as temporary classrooms to support the academic mission
- Adjust the quantity and placement of furniture (desks, podia, etc.) to achieve social distancing standard in each classroom
- Upgrade, as needed, the technology in classrooms and learning spaces to ensure academic readiness for flexible hybrid pedagogy
How will internships be affected?
Many internships are being offered as remote opportunities, reducing the barrier of physical location in selecting an internship. Handshake (through Career Services) will continue to serve as the main hub for these opportunities and updates.
Testing and Quarantine
Are students, faculty, and staff required to be tested for COVID-19? Will the University provide testing for COVID-19?
All students, faculty, and staff on campus were tested twice in the first month of the fall semester: once upon arrival and again after a two-week period. The University will conduct two more rounds of mandatory testing this semester. We expect to have similar requirements for the spring semester.
We will provide on-campus testing for students and employees with results within 24 hours, or as quickly as possible thereafter. Please see the Students and Families Testing and Quarantine FAQ for more information.
You can track the number of COVID-19 positive cases on Fordham's COVID-19 Dashboard.
I am traveling from another state or country to return to Fordham in the spring. Will I have to quarantine upon my arrival?
Students who enter New York from designated states or countries are currently required by New York State to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Please see the Students and Families Testing and Quarantine FAQ for more information.
How is Fordham enacting social distancing measures in the residence halls?
Fordham’s Housing Operations staff have created several different occupancy scenarios to reduce density within the residence halls informed by the review of room configuration guidelines from other universities and states that have proceeded ahead of New York in re-opening. Measures include:
- Eliminating converted triple spaces in all first-year halls
- Invoking contingency plans to provide additional housing in case demand for housing exceeds supply due to reductions in overall occupancy
- Suspending all non-resident guest visitations and capping inter-residence hall visitation at least through the Fall semester
- Introducing new policies and procedures for student programming to allow for the development of community while reducing the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission
Will I have a roommate?
The University will provide housing accommodations consistent with our residence hall design capacity. Resident students will have roommates and suitemates, but there will be no oversubscription (additional assignments to individual rooms when demand exceeds normal capacity) and rooms are capped at their normal design capacity.
When can I move in for the spring semester?
Resident students will soon receive information from the Office of Residential Life announcing detailed information on housing arrangements, move-in and move-out dates.
What should I bring to campus?
We strongly recommend that you keep the personal belongings you bring to campus to a minimum. We want you to be comfortable, but we also want you to be prepared to move quickly if we find ourselves in a situation similar to last March, when circumstances beyond our control forced us to close the campus and clear out the residence halls without advanced warning.
Will visitors be allowed in the residence halls?
All visitation and overnight guest passes for the Fall semester for all non-Fordham individuals will be suspended; residence hall visitation will be limited and capped.
Are parents allowed in the residence halls?
Parents are allowed on campus following a health screening upon entering, but they are not allowed in the residence halls.
Can I move into housing and then later decide that it is not for me and move out with a 100% refund?
The University will refund the housing fees on a pro-rated basis for anyone who moves out in the first 2 weeks of the semester and then refunds will be given according to the published refund schedule.
Will the gym be open?
Upon the governor’s approval, gyms, weight rooms, and athletic facilities will be open with appropriate social distancing and sanitation measures.
Will student clubs meet?
Yes. Student clubs and organizations are meeting and planning programs and events for you to engage with your peers, both in person and online.
I’m a commuter student. Will there be a place for me to study and relax in between classes?
In addition to the library, the Student Involvement areas on each campus have planned for spaces in which commuter students can study and rest between classes and socialize in a safe manner.
What should I do if I don’t feel well?
Any student experiencing symptoms (which may be similar to the flu or common cold, and may include fever and coughing) should self-isolate and call (rather than visit) University Health Services (UHS) immediately:
Lincoln Center: 212-636-7160
Rose Hill: 718-817-4160
How is the University working to encourage students and other members of the Fordham community to follow the safe practices outlined on these pages?
- We have developed policies that are specific to COVID-related expectations, which address the wearing of masks and face coverings, social distancing, and gathering, on and off-campus behavior, and more.
- Community members will be expected to sign The Ram Pledge that they understand and will adhere to these expectations, in their on-campus and off-campus behavior.
- We will have signage and awareness campaigns in place to remind the members of our community of these expectations.
Am I eligible to receive aid under the CARES Act?
Fordham University has signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement Form and is eligible to receive up to $8,147,184. Under the agreement, Fordham University intends to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
- Potential eligible students: 10,067
As it relates to Emergency Financial Aid Grants, as of October 27, 2020, the University:
- Will receive $4,073,592
- Has distributed to students: $2,979,232
- Total # of students receiving Emergency Financial Aid Grants: 2,091
The University has set aside funds to assist students who have expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. The CARES Act identifies the following as eligible expenses: food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare.
Students should complete the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Security Act (CARES Act): Emergency Grants to Students Application to request assistance. The request includes a detailed statement and an itemized list of eligible expenses incurred (in some cases receipts may be required later). The Office of Student Financial Services will review and respond to each request as quickly as possible.
View more on the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.
I’m a prospective student. Can I visit campus?
Admission offices offer a full complement of virtual events until further notice and plan to support self-guided tours with limited building access.
How is the University helping students for whom the pandemic has caused undue financial hardship?
The University has established the Student Emergency Fund and is seeking donations to help students facing financial challenges brought on by the spread of the coronavirus in New York City such as campus closures and the transition to distance learning. 100% of contributions to this fund will aid these students as they confront travel expenses, sudden loss of housing, medical emergencies or mental health crises, temporary loss of income, short-term food needs, and much more. You should contact your dean’s office about applying for these funds.