Academic FAQs for 2020-2021

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:

The Spring 2021 semester will begin on Monday, January 25, two weeks later than previously announced. For complete semester details, please visit the University’s Academic Calendar webpage.

Registration for the Spring 2021 semester will likely take place in November. Specific dates will be announced at a later date. 

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. Courses designated with the asynchronous (ASYN) attribute do not require students to attend class at a set time.

All courses on the Master Schedule list the modality (in-person, simulcast, hybrid, distance learning, asynchronous). The modality is entered into the system as an “attribute.” Distance courses designated with the asynchronous (ASYN) attribute do not require students to attend class at a set time.

Students will be able to search by course attribute in both Nova Schedule Builder and the Novasis Master Schedule:

Code

Description

INP

100% In Person

SIMU

Simulcast Format

HYB

Hybrid Format

DIST

Distance Learning

ASYN

Asynchronous


Course modality is displayed when students view Student Detail Schedule in MyNova. 

Students approved for a learning accommodation to learn remotely in Fall 2020 do not need to re-apply for Spring 2021. Their learning accommodation is extended through Spring 2021. If you want the learning accommodation for Spring 2021, you do not need to do anything.

If you do not want the learning accommodation for Spring 2021, you must email the appropriate Associate Dean of your college (see list below) by October 9, 2020, to indicate you do not want the accommodation. 

List of college contacts:

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

Nursing students should send their request to:  Dr. Catherine Lovecchio, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs.

The other colleges have created a form to request an accommodation to remotely:

International students should submit all accommodation requests whether based on a disability or health risk due to COVID-19 or 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 to learn remotely.

The deadline to apply is October 9, 2020 (midterm). This deadline provides enough time to process all requests before advising and registration begins.  

Students approved for an accommodation to learn remotely should not register for courses designated as “in-person” in the Master Schedule. Students should try to register for courses designated as “distance” in the Master Schedule. 

If you need to enroll in a course designated as “hybrid” or “simulcast”, please consult with the Associate Dean of your college listed below to ensure you can complete the course remotely. 

List of college contacts:

Students without an approved accommodation may only participate remotely in courses designated as “distance learning,” unless they have an excused attendance under the class attendance policy. For COVID-19 related needs, this is defined as a 10-day self-isolation or a 14-day quarantine. 

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

Faculty teaching online courses used best practice design principles when developing their 2020-2021 course offerings. Given our robust footprint in online learning in the graduate programs’ arena, many faculty are accustomed to teaching online. 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.  

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 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.

Yes, students studying and working remotely are expected to maintain the University’s standards of academic integrity. Visit the University’s Academic Integrity webpage for full details. 

The Office of the Provost has a dedicated webpage listing all on-campus study spaces. While this page includes all of the formalized spaces, we also encourage students to be creative. The tents on campus have Wi-Fi and lights during the week.

Buildings are locked after midnight (12 a.m.) so that deep cleaning of classrooms can occur. Cleaning effectiveness is reduced if students or occupants remain in the building during that process. We will continue to monitor this situation and will adjust, if possible, to accommodate need.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

Students studying remotely from international locations should access all necessary course materials (textbooks, Blackboard content, etc.) as soon as class starts. Please download material regularly to ensure local access in case of internet outages or other issues related to network access. 

Internationally based students can access via the internet using the Zoom link provided for your class sessions. Students in countries where internet access is restricted for legal or technological reasons can access Zoom meeting rooms via phone audio. You may do so by calling the international dial-in number, then entering the meeting ID number which will be provided by the instructor. 

Internationally based students should notify their professors of any restrictions or challenges they may be encountering. Faculty will work with students to make necessary accommodations. 

Internationally based students should touch base with their professors, so that you can coordinate an effective method of communication for office hours or other academic meetings related to your class. This is particularly important for those in time zones that are more than three hours different from ours. 

FIRST-YEAR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

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.

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 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

Please refer to the below pages for college-specific graduate calendars:

  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS)
  • College of Engineering (COE)
  • Fitzpatrick College of Nursing (FCN)
  • Villanova School of Business (VSB)

 

Registration for the Spring 2021 semester will likely take place in November. Specific dates will be announced at a later date. 

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. Courses designated with the asynchronous (ASYN) attribute do not require students to attend class at a set time.

All courses on the Master Schedule list the modality (in-person, simulcast, hybrid, distance learning, asynchronous). The modality is entered into the system as an “attribute.” Distance courses designated with the asynchronous (ASYN) attribute do not require students to attend class at a set time.

Students will be able to search by course attribute in both Nova Schedule Builder and the Novasis Master Schedule:

Code

Description

INP

100% In Person

SIMU

Simulcast Format

HYB

Hybrid Format

DIST

Distance Learning

ASYN

Asynchronous


Course modality is displayed when students view Student Detail Schedule in MyNova. 

Students approved for a learning accommodation to learn remotely in Fall 2020 do not need to re-apply for Spring 2021. Their learning accommodation is extended through Spring 2021. If you want the learning accommodation for Spring 2021, you do not need to do anything.

If you do not want the learning accommodation for Spring 2021, you must email the appropriate Associate Dean of your college (see list below) by October 9, 2020, to indicate you do not want the accommodation. 

List of college contacts:

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

International students should submit all accommodation requests whether based on a disability or health risk due to COVID-19 or 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 to learn remotely.

The deadline to apply is October 9, 2020 (midterm). This deadline provides enough time to process all requests before advising and registration begins.  

Students approved for an accommodation to learn remotely should not register for courses designated as “in-person” in the Master Schedule. Students should try to register for courses designated as “distance” in the Master Schedule. 

If you need to enroll in a course designated as “hybrid” or “simulcast”, please consult with the Associate Dean of your college listed below to ensure you can complete the course remotely. 

List of college contacts:

Students without an approved accommodation may only participate remotely in courses designated as “distance learning” unless they have an excused attendance under the class attendance policy. For COVID-19 related needs, this is defined as a 10-day self-isolation or a 14-day quarantine. 

Faculty teaching online courses used best practice design principles when developing their 2020-2021 course offerings. Given our robust footprint in online learning in the graduate programs’ arena, many faculty are accustomed to teaching online. 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.  

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 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.

Yes, students studying and working remotely are expected to maintain the University’s standards of academic integrity. Visit the University’s Academic Integrity webpage for full details. 

The Office of the Provost has a dedicated webpage listing all on-campus study spaces. While this page includes all of the formalized spaces, we also encourage students to be creative. The tents on campus have Wi-Fi and lights during the week.

Buildings are locked after midnight (12 a.m.) so that deep cleaning of classrooms can occur. Cleaning effectiveness is reduced if students or occupants remain in the building during that process. We will continue to monitor this situation and will adjust, if possible, to accommodate need.