FAQ Archive

Find past FAQs related to COVID-19 from Spring & Summer 2020.

Academic Support & Enrollment

Since I am completing the Spring 2020 semester through distance education, do I need to maintain full-time enrollment?

Yes.  To maintain your status, you must continue to study full-time (12+ credits, or less than 12 credits with an approved Reduced Course Load authorization or Full-time Certification) and engage in your course work as outlined by your professors.  Failure to maintain status can result in a termination of your SEVIS record.

UB has extended the last day to resign courses to May 16, 2020 (the last day of classes for the Spring 2020 semester). How does this impact me?

Before resigning any course, you need to ensure that you maintain status and continue to be registered for a full-time course load (12+ credits, or less than 12 credits with an approved Reduced Course Load authorization or Full-time Certification).  If you resign below full-time (even on the last day of the semester), you will fail to maintain status.  Failure to maintain status can result in a termination of your SEVIS record.  Please contact ISS if you have question or concerns about course resignation before you resign any courses.

Summer 2020 will be my final semester. Is it ok that all my classes will be done through distance education?

Based on SEVP guidance the limitation that you cannot take all online courses in your final semester is temporarily suspended for Spring and Summer 2020. 

You must continue to make progress towards your degree and maintain a full time course load. If you need fewer than 6 credits in summer 2020 and will graduate September 1, you must still complete a Final Semester Reduced Course Load.

Travel & Restrictions

My Spring classes will be through distance education, can I return to my home country to complete the semester?

While SEVP has issued guidance stating that F-1 students may continue to pursue their program of study remotely, either from within the U.S. or abroad, ISS recommends students consult with their academic department before choosing to depart. If you choose to leave the U.S. to continue your spring semester courses remotely, please closely monitor the entry requirements related to COVID-19 for your destination country abroad.

I am considering returning home for summer break, what should I do?

We strongly advise that anyone planning personal or non-essential travel overseas consult current CDC Travel Notices before departing, particularly older adults and people with chronic medical conditions. Because the situation is changing daily, it is possible that the CDC will add more countries to the list.

Students planning to travel abroad are advised to have contingency plans in the event of major disruptions, such as the possibility of being unable to return to the U.S. due to in-country quarantines. Please carefully weigh the risks and benefits of any international travel, and review U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention information on COVID-19 to learn more.

Campus Operations

If I remain enrolled but leave my on-campus residence will I get a refund?

ISS recommends reaching out to your Campus Living Staff for more information on Campus Living policies.  Please click here for more information about COVID-19 Campus Living Information.

Are UB's commencement ceremonies still happening at the end of the Spring 2020 semester?

Out of concern for the health and safety of our campus community, the University at Buffalo’s May 2020 commencement ceremonies were held in a virtual environment this May. 

Click here for more information about UB's commencement ceremonies.

How will summer and fall classes be offered?

On April 6th President Tripathi announced that "[t]o the greatest extent possible, UB will maintain a distance-learning platform throughout the entirety of the 2020 summer session. Please stay posted for additional details."

On June 25th President Tripathi announced that "UB is planning to return to campus in the fall in a modified in-person capacity, which will include a mix of in-person instruction – within distancing and public health guidelines – and online courses." As more details become available students will be updated.