Academic FAQs for Fall 2020

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

Below is a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions related to undergraduate students. If you have outstanding questions after reading all of the FAQs, please contact your adviser or your college’s Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs:

Villanova will offer courses using several modes of delivery in order to meet social distancing expectations and accommodations approved for faculty and students.

  • On-campus (fully live) in-person courses in socially distanced classrooms
  • Simulcast courses – combination of students participating in person, in the classroom with a faculty member and those participating via live stream from any location with an internet connection 
  • Hybrid/Flipped courses – combination of in-person and online coursework. This can take on varying forms, but may include splitting students in two or three groups that alternate classroom attendance while the rest of the content is delivered asynchronously via the online learning management system 
  • Online instruction, reflecting best practices in online course design, including synchronous and/or asynchronous interactive experiences

All students—with the exception of first-year undergraduates—will be able to view their class schedules in MyNova, register and/or make adjustments by 12 p.m. EDT on Monday, July 27. First-year undergraduates will be able to view their class schedules in MyNova by Monday, August 10.

All courses on the master schedule have been updated with the new modalities (in-person, simulcast, hybrid, distance learning). The modality was entered into the system as an “attribute.” Students will be able to search the master schedule by course attribute:

Code

Description

INP

100% In Person

SIMU

Simulcast Format

HYB

Hybrid Format

DIST

Distance Learning


When students view their schedules in MyNova, the course modality (attribute) will not appear. In order to check the modalities of their classes, students will need to refer back to the Master Schedule.

Faculty teaching online courses are using best practice design principles when developing their fall course offerings. Given our robust footprint in online learning in the graduate programs’ arena, many faculty are accustomed to teaching online. This summer the university has also been conducting robust training for those who need to enhance their skills. Faculty are receiving support from the Villanova Institute for Teaching and Learning (VITAL) as well as instructional designers from Villanova’s Instructional Technologies team. The university has provided guidelines listing effective practices for faculty to use to prepare their online courses.  

Students will not be able to change their schedules until the Registrar has completed updating the Master Schedule with the changes to the course modalities. Our goal is to have the Master Schedule updated by July 27. Once the updated Master Schedule is opened, students may update their schedules prior to the start of classes and then also use the drop/add process through the first week of classes. Before changing courses, students should consult with their advisors to ensure the new courses fit into their curriculum. Students should review the academic calendar for important dates related to drop/add. 

Please note: Management of required adjustments to first-year student schedules have not yet been finalized. Information will be updated as soon as it is available.

Students may update their schedules prior to the start of classes and then also use the drop/add process through the first week of classes. Before changing courses, students should consult with their advisors to ensure the new courses fit into their curriculum. Students should review the academic calendar for important dates related to drop/add. 

Students with additional questions should contact their College’s Associate Dean or undergraduate advising office:

Please note: Management of required adjustments to first-year student schedules have not yet been finalized. Information will be updated as soon as it is available.

Students who do not have a university-approved accommodation may still take all courses online depending on the availability of 100% online courses. Before changing courses, students should consult with their advisors to ensure the new course(s) fit into their curriculum. The tuition for all course modalities is the same.

International Students please refer to the FAQ below prepared by the International Students Services Office related to enrollment issues and regulations.

Athletes and students receiving Veterans Benefits may have special restrictions related to the number of online courses that can be taken in a semester. These students must check with the appropriate department for further information and guidance.

Social distancing guidelines make it impossible for 100% of instruction to be provided in the classroom. However, the University’s extensive planning efforts should enable students to experience a portion of their instruction in a classroom setting through in-person, hybrid and simulcast modes of delivery.  Students will receive the same amount of credits toward their degree regardless of the modality of instruction: in-person, hybrid, simulcast or distance (online).  Academic support services and other critical student services are not being reduced regardless of the modality of instruction, including advising and career services, library services and student health and counseling services.

Tuition and fees are provided in exchange for accredited educational instruction, academic credit and certain non-academic services that Villanova will continue to deliver whether in person, remotely or in a hybrid format. If the University needs to move to a fully online format for all or part of the semester, the set tuition and fees will remain the same. The tuition and fees charged help fund ongoing University operations, including the delivery of instruction and the cost of services for Villanova students. Even as campus operations have been adjusted in response to COVID-19, many of the costs covered by Villanova’s tuition and fees will continue.

Yes, as long as you are not a part-time student.

Accommodation requests based on a disability or health risk due to Covid-19 should be submitted to Nicole Subik, Director of the Office of Learning Support Services.

Accommodation requests based on other reasons, should be submitted to the student’s college.

List of college contacts:

VSBMelinda German, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programs

FCONDr. Catherine Lovecchio, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs

CLAS – Susan Jacobs, Assistant Dean, Office of Undergraduate Students

COE Dr. Andrea Welker, Associate Dean

CPS Academic Advising Team

International students should submit accommodation requests based on a disability or health risk due to Covid-19 and accommodation requests based on other reasons to the Mr. Hubert WhanTong, Office of International Students. Mr. WhanTong will forward information to Learning Support Services or the appropriate college contact for review and approval of academic accommodations.

We ask that students submit all requests by July 31st in order to adequately plan for the upcoming semester.

Students with an approved accommodation to learn remotely will receive from their faculty teaching in-person or hybrid courses the appropriate instructional materials which may include recorded Zoom sessions, recorded video with summaries of key information/concepts, comprehensive slides/handouts, and all supplementary instructional materials.  However, because some courses cannot be completed remotely, students may need to alter their choice of courses.

Students with additional questions should contact their College’s Associate Dean or undergraduate advising office:

VSB – Melinda German, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programs

FCON – Dr. Catherine Lovecchio, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs

CLAS – Susan Jacobs, Assistant Dean, Office for Undergraduate Students

COE – Dr. Andrea Welker, Associate Dean

CPS – Academic Advising Team

The class time changes were made in such a way to create a conflict free schedule. To accommodate for twenty minutes between classes, the class day was expanded – starting earlier and ending later – and courses were spread out within the expanded day accordingly.  Be sure to check your schedule in your MyNova account for your new class times.

Rather than enroll in Fall 2020, students may apply for a Leave of Absence (LOA) to the Dean of their college.

There are two types of LOAs: non-medical LOA and medical LOA.  Students may take a non-medical leave for a variety of reasons including, for example, to attend to academic, personal, or financial matters.  Students may request a medical leave of absence if they experience health situations that significantly limit their ability to function successfully or safely in their role as students.

Please note that while on a leave of absence, students may not take courses at another institution in order to transfer credits to Villanova. Taking a leave means you may need to adjust your timeline for your expected graduation date.  

In addition, if you take a leave of absence, you will not be a full-time student.  This means if you have received federal loans in the past, and you are not currently enrolled, your grace period for student loan repayment will begin.  The grace period varies by types of loan but is most typically 6 months and is retroactive to your last date of attendance.  It becomes likely that you may be in a situation where you will begin repaying student loans by December 2020 and continue to do so if you do not return for the Spring 2021 semester.  For more information on student loan repayment regulations, and additionally how a LOA will impact you, it is recommended that you contact the Office of Financial Assistance.  Your insurance may also be affected if it requires you to be a full-time student. You will also need to notify the Office of Financial Assistance as to your future enrollment plans so that an aid package can be prepared for your return.

If you enroll in fewer than 12 credits, your financial aid package may change. Eligibility for grant and scholarship funding is greatly diminished for part time students. You will need to carefully consider the implications of potentially changing your timeline for graduation and your aid eligibility. If you enroll in 9 or more credits, you are charged the full-time day tuition rate. Finally, part-time students may not reside on campus.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

FIRST-YEAR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

No, the recent litigation between Harvard/Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has resulted in DHS agreeing to fully rescind the United States Immigration and Custom (ICE) Memo, dated July 6 and ICE FAQ, dated July 7 and all implementing guidance. The requirement for I-20 revisions was rescinded with the above noted agreement.    

It is expected that students arrive in time to begin attending class on Monday, August 17, 2020. During the Fall 2020 semester, Villanova University is delivering courses in three formats: in person, hybrid and online. On Friday, July 24, 2020, ICE clarified its position regarding initial/new students outside the United States as noted in their March 2020 guidance. In ICE's update on July 24, 2020, the agency noted that initial/new students who are pursuing a full course of study at an institution that is 100 percent online should remain outside the United States and those institutions should not issue these potential students the form I-20. As previously noted, Villanova University is NOT a 100 percent online institution. Therefore, those students who have attained their F-1 visa in a timely manner may attempt entry at a U.S. Port of Entry to attend classes by Monday, August 17, 2020.

Given that U.S. Consulates have been temporarily closed since March 20, 2020, it is very difficult to secure an appointment at many U.S. Consulates. You should plan to start your Villanova academic career in the Spring 2021 semester, i.e. January 11, 2021. Villanova’s International Student Office would suggest not attempting to secure an Emergency Appointment, as these are reserved for family emergency situations such as a family member being ill or a death of a family member. If you have secured a visa appointment during the fall semester (before the spring semester), please contact the International Student Office so an updated I-20 can be issued and sent to you.   

Yes. You can begin your course of study remotely and then be physically on-campus to undertake classes on January 11, 2021. If you were notified that you will receive financial aid, the financial aid package will be adjusted to exclude room and board expenses for the semester. You may not attempt to enter the United States under the F-1 visa classifications until thirty (30) days before the spring program starts—December 13, 2020.  

 Yes. Your financial aid package will remain the same as your original offer if you return to campus.    

CONTINUING STUDENTS WHO REMAINED IN THE UNITED STATES (including SEVIS Transfer Students)

Yes. Students who do not have a university-approved accommodation may still take all courses online depending on the availability of 100% online courses. Before changing courses, students should consult with their advisors to ensure the new course(s) fit into their curriculum.

Students may submit a request for an accommodation to study remotely based on a disability or health risk due to COVID-19, or other reasons to Mr. Hubert WhanTong, Office of International Students. Mr. WhanTong will forward information to Learning Support Services or the appropriate college contact for review and approval of academic accommodations.

We ask that students submit all requests by July 31 in order to adequately plan for the upcoming semester.

No. Under the present F-1 regulations, you may not take a leave of absence and remain in the United States. If you have a medical condition that is documented and can be filed with the Office of International Students, you may be eligible for a reduced course load exemption under F-1 regulations.    

CONTINUING STUDENTS OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES (including SEVIS Transfer Students)

On an FAQ issued by ICE on July 15, 2020, the Agency indicated that F-1 students may remain in ACTIVE SEVIS status while studying outside the United States. As such, students who wish to maintain their F-1 status must enroll for a full course load at Villanova University for the fall 2020 semester. Students who begin the fall academic semester online should not plan to return to the United States until the Spring 2021 semester. If you were to reside on-campus during the Fall 2020 semester, you should contact Residence Life and Dining Services to make them aware you will not be returning for the Fall 2020 semester, but that you expect to return in the Spring 2021 semester. Otherwise, you may lose your opportunity for on-campus housing in the Spring 2021 semester.

Yes. You must file medical documentation in English with the International Student Office before the end of the add/drop period (i.e., August 23, 2020). During the fall semester, you will be placed on a reduced course load within SEVIS due to a medical condition.    

If you decide to take a semester or more leave of absence, please contact your Dean’s Office to file for your leave of absence, and the International Student Office. Once granted, your SEVIS record will be terminated and you should not attempt to re-enter the United States until your SEVIS record has been reactivated. Please contact the International Student Office as soon as you and your family determine when you wish to resume your academic career at Villanova. Reactivation of SEVIS records by SEVP can take upwards of 90 days or longer. If your SEVIS record is terminated for five months or longer, the International Student Office will have to produce a new SEVIS record (i.e. new I-20). You may be responsible to pay the I-901 fee again. You will have to seek a new F-1 visa at the U.S. Consulate that has jurisdiction over your case.

Financial aid packages are awarded each year based on costs and the required documentation submitted to the Office of Financial Assistance for that particular year. Your package may change year to year. Please visit the Financial Assistance website for filing deadlines.   

There is some concern among International Students that if they are absent from the United States for five (5) months they must reapply for a new F-1 visa. The five (5) month absence applies when the School (Villanova), which maintains the SEVIS (I-20) record terminates the SEVIS record. If Villanova were to terminate the SEVIS record, the International Student Office would have notified the student and only at the regulatory direction of ICE/SEVP or the student’s request (such as a request for taking a leave of absence). 

In ICE’s July 15 FAQ, ICE stated that a student’s SEVIS record may be kept as active within SEVIS by a School when the student is outside the United States and maintaining his/her F-1 status by enrolling in a full course of study and making normal progress towards attaining completion of the degree program.

GRADUATE STUDENTS

As announced in the Return to Campus Plan, the fall 2020 semester will begin on August 17, 2020, a week earlier than originally scheduled.  The University will not have a Fall Break and campus courses will conclude campus meetings on November 24, 2020.

Please refer to your College-specific calendar for more details: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), College of Engineering (COE), Fitzpatrick College of Nursing (FCN) or the Villanova School of Business (VSB). Further general questions that you may have as a Villanova graduate student are addressed below.

Villanova will offer courses using several modes of delivery in order to meet social distancing expectations and accommodations approved for faculty and students.

  • On-campus (fully live) in-person courses in socially distanced classrooms
  • Simulcast courses – combination of students participating in person, in the classroom with a faculty member and those participating via live stream from any location with an internet connection 
  • Hybrid/Flipped courses – combination of in-person and online coursework. This can take on varying forms, but may include splitting students in two or three groups that alternate classroom attendance while the rest of the content is delivered asynchronously via the online learning management system 
  • Online instruction, reflecting best practices in online course design, including synchronous and/or asynchronous interactive experiences

All students—with the exception of first-year undergraduates—will be able to view their class schedules in MyNova, register and/or make adjustments by 12 p.m. EDT on Monday, July 27. First-year undergraduates will be able to view their class schedules in MyNova by Monday, August 10.

All courses on the master schedule have been updated with the new modalities (in-person, simulcast, hybrid, distance learning). The modality was entered into the system as an “attribute.” Students will be able to search the master schedule by course attribute:

Code

Description

INP

100% In Person

SIMU

Simulcast Format

HYB

Hybrid Format

DIST

Distance Learning


When students view their schedules in MyNova, the course modality (attribute) will not appear. In order to check the modalities of their classes, students will need to refer back to the Master Schedule.

Faculty teaching online courses are using best practice design principles when developing their fall course offerings. Given our robust footprint in online learning in the graduate programs’ arena, many faculty are accustomed to teaching online, and collectively have very many years of experience. This summer the university has also been conducting robust training for those who need to enhance their skills. Faculty are receiving support from the Villanova Institute for Teaching and Learning (VITAL) as well as instructional designers from Villanova’s Instructional Technologies team. The University has provided guidelines listing effective practices for faculty to use to prepare their online courses. 

Students will not be able to change their fall 2020 course registration until the Registrar has completed updating the Master Schedule with the changes to the course modalities. The goal is to have the Master Schedule updated by July 27. Once the updated Master Schedule is opened, students may update their fall course registration prior to the start of classes and throughout the drop/add period. Students should review the academic calendar for their program to determine important dates related to drop/add.  Where applicable, students should consult with their graduate office, advisors or program directors to confirm that selected courses meet program requirements and maintain progress toward degree completion. For instance, nursing graduate students should consult with key personnel in the FCN Graduate Office on any drop/adds that they are considering (Taryn Miller for MSN and DNP-NA courses and Rachel N’Diaye for PhD and Post Master’s DNP courses).

Except for international students (see next paragraph), students who do not have a university-approved accommodation may still take all courses online depending on the availability of 100% online courses.  Before changing courses, students should consult with their advisors to ensure the new course(s) fit into their curriculum.  The tuition for all course modalities is the same.

A student attending Villanova on an F-1 visa fall 2020 should consult the University FAQs for International Students for guidance on their status. Once the revised Fall 2020 course schedule becomes available, F-1 students should work with their programs to ensure they have a course schedule that meets the SEVP guidelines while also meeting their program requirements.

Athletes and students receiving Veterans Benefits may have special restrictions related to the number of online courses that can be taken in a semester. These students must check with the appropriate department for further information and guidance.

Graduate students attending Villanova on a Graduate Assistantship or Tuition Scholarship should consult with their academic advisors or department program directors regarding their assigned responsibilities (in the areas of research, teaching, or practical training). While it may be possible for the student to take all classes online, being on campus might be required to fulfill GA or TS responsibilities.

Social distancing guidelines make it impossible for 100% of instruction to be provided in the classroom. However, the University’s extensive planning efforts should enable students to experience a portion of their instruction in a classroom setting through in-person, hybrid and simulcast modes of delivery.  Students will receive the same amount of credits toward their degree regardless of the modality of instruction: in-person, hybrid, simulcast or distance (online).  Academic support services and other critical student services are not being reduced regardless of the modality of instruction, including advising and career services, library services and student health and counseling services.

Tuition and fees are provided in exchange for accredited educational instruction, academic credit and certain non-academic services that Villanova will continue to deliver whether in person, remotely or in a hybrid format. If the University needs to move to a fully online format for all or part of the semester, the set tuition and fees will remain the same. The tuition and fees charged help fund ongoing University operations, including the delivery of instruction and the cost of services for Villanova students. Even as campus operations have been adjusted in response to COVID-19, many of the costs covered by Villanova’s tuition and fees will continue.

Students may update their schedules prior to the start of classes and then also use the drop/add process through the first week of classes. Before changing courses, students should consult with their advisors to ensure the new courses fit into their curriculum. Students should review the academic calendar for important dates related to drop/add. 

List of college contacts for graduate students:

Accommodation requests based on a disability or health risk due to COVID-19 should be submitted to Nicole Subik, Director of the Office of Learning Support Services.

Accommodation requests based on other reasons should be submitted to the student’s college. 

List of college contacts for graduate students:

VSBManuel Nuñez, MBA, Associate Dean of Graduate Programs

FCNMarguerite K. Schlag, EdD, RN, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs

CLASOffice of Graduate Studies

COEGerard Jones, PhD, Sr. Assoc. Dean for Graduate Studies and Research,

We ask that students submit all requests by July 31 in order to adequately plan for the upcoming semester. 

Students with an approved accommodation to learn remotely will receive from their faculty teaching in-person or hybrid courses the appropriate instructional materials which may include recorded Zoom sessions, recorded video with summaries of key information/concepts, comprehensive slides/handouts, and all supplementary instructional materials. However, because some courses cannot be completed remotely, students may need to alter their choice of courses.

To accommodate social distancing between class changes, daytime class time changes were made to allow for more time between classes. Every effort was made to create a conflict free revised schedule. To accommodate for twenty minutes between classes, the class day was expanded—starting earlier and ending later—and courses were spread out within the expanded day accordingly. Many evening graduate courses were not affected by the change to the daytime schedule, but some were. Be sure to check your schedule in your MyNova account for any adjusted class times.

Rather than enroll in Fall 2020, students may apply for a Leave of Absence (LOA) to the Dean of their college.

There are two types of LOAs: non-medical LOA and medical LOA.  Students may take a non-medical leave for a variety of reasons including, for example, to attend to academic, personal, or financial matters.  Students may request a medical leave of absence if they experience health situations that significantly limit their ability to function successfully or safely in their role as students.

Please note that while on a leave of absence, students may not take courses at another institution in order to transfer credits to Villanova. Taking a leave means you may need to adjust your timeline for your expected graduation date.  

In addition, if you take a leave of absence, you will not be a full-time student. This means if you have received federal loans in the past, and you are not currently enrolled, your grace period for student loan repayment will begin. The grace period varies by types of loan but is most typically 6 months and is retroactive to your last date of attendance. It becomes likely that you may be in a situation where you will begin repaying student loans by December 2020 and continue to do so if you do not return for the Spring 2021 semester. For more information on student loan repayment regulations, and additionally how a LOA will impact you, it is recommended that you contact the Office of Financial Assistance. Your insurance may also be affected if it requires you to be a full-time student. You will also need to notify the Office of Financial Assistance as to your future enrollment plans so that an aid package can be prepared for your return.

First-time incoming students for Fall 2020 may request deferred admission to Spring 2021 or Fall 2021. Requests for deferrals must be made in writing to the appropriate graduate student admitting office. Contacts to request deferrals by college for Graduate Students:

VSB – Manuel Nuñez, MBA, Associate Dean of Graduate Programs

FCN – Marguerite K. Schlag, EdD, RN, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs

CLAS – Office of Graduate Studies

COE – Gerard Jones, PhD, Sr. Assoc. Dean for Graduate Studies and Research

Part-time or full-time student status differs by college and individual program. Students should consult with their graduate program director to determine what constitutes part-time or full-time status.

Students dropping from full to part-time status should consider how this might impact their eligibility for financial assistance in the form of federal loans. Please review the Office of Financial Assistance website to determine eligibility. Any questions should be directed to finaid@villanova.edu.

Graduate students attending Villanova University on a Graduate Assistantship or Tuition Scholarship should also consult with their academic advisors or department program directors to determine how many credits constitutes full-time status to meet the requirements for maintaining their funded position.

Finally, international students must review the University FAQs for International Students and then consult with Hubert WhanTong, International Student Advisor, to determine the number of credits required to maintain status on their F-1 student visa.