Student Academic Resources

The University at Buffalo is maintaining a remote-learning format throughout the entirety of the summer 2020 sessions for the majority of courses. Use this page to find answers to common questions and to access resources you’ll need in the remote-learning environment. 

Please bookmark this page and check back often. We will update it as more information becomes available. UB’s primary focus continues to be supporting your success. Remember, you can always contact a department or office with questions. We are here for you!

Fall Schedule FAQ

When will the fall schedule be available?

The goal is to have the fall schedule finalized by mid-July. The university will release the fall schedule once it is finalized and our reopening plans have been approved by the state.

Who will communicate with me when the fall schedule is finalized?

Initial communication about the finalization of the fall schedule will be announced by the vice provost for academic affairs. You may also receive communication from your academic advisor. Updated information will be posted on the Office of the Registrar website and on this page.

What will I need to do once the fall schedule is finalized?

The university will share detailed instructions with students about the steps they need to take to finalize their fall registration. Students will need to review their schedule in HUB to note any changes to class times, class locations (including campus) and mode of instruction (remote, hybrid, in person). Students may need to make changes to their schedule to resolve any conflicts or register for select UB Curriculum courses. Students will work with their academic advisor if they have questions.

How will the university determine which classes are in person and which are remote?

Academic departments are determining which courses will be offered in person, in a hybrid format, or fully remote based on public health guidelines related to space and social distancing, curricular requirements, course learning outcomes and campus goals.

What measures will be taken to ensure the health and safety on campus?

Classroom capacities have been reduced to accommodate social distancing, resulting in classrooms being used at approximately 25% of their usual capacity. The course schedule has been modified to allow 20 minutes between classes to alleviate congestion in hallways and classrooms. The university is requiring individuals to wear face masks on any of UB’s campuses when a minimum of six feet social distancing cannot be maintained. All students, faculty and staff will receive a face covering from the university, and individuals are welcome to use their own face coverings. Additional guidance for students, faculty and staff regarding social distancing and the use of face masks in classrooms is forthcoming.

Should I plan to be in Buffalo this fall?

The university is working to provide the best academic experience for students while maintaining health and safety as a priority. Some courses may have activities that require you to be on campus. In addition to academic activities, student support services will be offered on campus. You may also have technology needs for select courses that require you to be on campus.

Is it possible to take all of my classes remotely?

The University at Buffalo is a place-based educational institution. Due to degree program and accreditation requirements, select classes cannot be taught in a remote environment. Therefore, there is no guarantee of a completely remote schedule.

How will I be notified of the technology requirements for my classes?

UB Information Technology has provided a list of minimum recommendations for technology. Technology requirements for specific classes are determined by the academic department and will be communicated by the instructor.

What on-campus, in-person academic support services will be available this fall?

Academic support services will have on-campus, in-person services where needed, while also continuing virtual interactions with students throughout the fall semester. Please review office websites to see how their services will be offered.

When is the last day I can drop or add a class in the fall semester?

Registration deadlines remain the same and can be found on the Office of the Registrar website.

Undergraduate Academic and Grading FAQ

Where can I get help if I have questions about course requirements?

If something is confusing or if you need help, reach out to your professor or TA through email or the method your instructor has requested. Creating a group chat with your classmates to share information and get help is a great idea!

Your academic advisor is also a valuable resource. Undergraduate students can locate their specific advisor or advising unit in the HUB Student Center in MyUB.

I am worried about how I am doing in my course(s), what should I do?

Academic support is available to all students. Take advantage of one of the many free tutoring options at UB. Talk with your professor and/or academic advisor.

Is tutoring available?

Tutoring through Tutoring and Academic Support Services will be available in the fall 2020 term.

I am having technology issues or other significant difficulties keeping up with my courses and am not sure I should remain enrolled. Do I have any options?

UBIT has information about access to technology and free internet. If your technology issues prohibit you from finishing your coursework, talk with your course instructor about the possibility of taking an Incomplete grade. As always, resigning from a course is an option, but one that you should discuss with your academic advisor. View the add/drop/resign deadlines for summer session courses on the Office of the Registrar website. 

If you are having significant issues across all of your courses and the above options are not feasible, you may want to consider requesting an academic withdrawal. You will need to work directly with your academic advisor to complete the necessary paperwork.

When would requesting an Incomplete be appropriate?

If you have experienced significant health or internet connectivity challenges, please discuss with your course instructor(s) to see if taking an Incomplete is possible. This will allow you to complete any outstanding coursework later. Incompletes must be completed within 12 months. The full policy regarding Incomplete grades is available in the Undergraduate Catalog.

I am an international student; do I still need to go through the Academic Reduced Course Load application process if I resign below full time?

Yes. International students in F-1 or J-1 status who are considering a drop below full time (12 credit hours in fall/spring) should consult with their academic advisor and International Student Services (ISS). The process for obtaining a reduced course load approval is available on the ISS website. The reduced course load application must be signed by an academic advisor and approved by ISS before a student is permitted to drop or resign below full time. The reduced course load form is a fillable PDF and may be signed electronically.

I received an Incomplete grade in spring 2019 or summer 2019 and cannot complete the work in time. What should I do?

Deadlines to complete work for Incomplete grades earned during spring 2019 and summer 2019 have been extended until Dec. 31, 2020. Contact your course instructor to discuss completing the work in time to meet this extended deadline.

Graduate Academic and Grading FAQ

How do I complete and submit my M-form or petition remotely?

We are offering as much flexibility as possible in turning in graduate school forms electronically. Completed forms should be emailed to grad@buffalo.edu.

Here are a few options for gathering signatures and sending forms electronically:

  • DocuSign is an electronic signature (e-signature) platform that you can use to sign and send your documents securely to the appropriate signor/recipient.
  • Adobe Acrobat can be used to collect signatures electronically and sent via email. 
  • Completed and signed forms can be scanned or photographed and submitted via email.
  • If a scanned or DocuSigned M-form or petition is not obtainable, committee members can email grad@buffalo.edu from their UB email account stating that they approve a thesis, dissertation or petition.

How can my oral defense of my thesis or dissertation be made public if conducted remotely?

Master’s thesis and PhD dissertation defenses occurring this year may be conducted remotely and should still include a public presentation component by being available to other students and faculty via an online meeting tool such as WebEx, Zoom or Skype. UB has enterprise licenses for both WebEx and Zoom.

I am having technology issues with my courses and am not sure I should remain enrolled. Do I have any options?

  • Research free internet options offered through local internet providers.
  • Consider electing S/U grading for some of your courses. Students who wish to be graded on a basis different from the one announced by the instructor must submit a written request to the instructor by the fourth week of class. The instructor's decision will be final and will be delivered to the student in writing. If technology issues prohibit you from finishing your coursework, talk with your course instructor about the possibility of taking an Incomplete grade. (See next question.) 
  • As always, resigning from a course is an option, but one that you should discuss with your academic advisor. The deadline to make this decision has been extended. You now have until the last day of final exams to elect this option. 
  • If you are having significant issues across all of your courses and the above options are not feasible, you may want to consider requesting an academic withdrawal. You will need to work directly with your academic department to complete the necessary paperwork.

When would requesting an Incomplete be appropriate?

If you have experienced significant health or internet connectivity challenges, please discuss with your course instructor(s) to see if taking an Incomplete is possible. This will allow you to complete outstanding coursework at a later date. Incompletes must be completed within 12 months. The full policy regarding Incomplete grades is available in the Graduate School Policy Library.

I received an Incomplete grade in spring 2019 or summer 2019 and cannot complete the work in time. What should I do?

Deadlines to complete work for Incomplete grades earned during spring 2019 and summer 2019 have been extended until Dec. 31, 2020. Contact your course instructor to discuss completing the work in time to meet this extended deadline.

I am an international student; do I still need to go through the Reduced Course Load application process if I resign below full time?

Yes. International students in F-1 or J-1 status who are considering a drop below full time should consult with their academic advisor and International Student Services (ISS). The process for obtaining a reduced course load approval is available on the ISS website. The reduced course load application must be signed by an academic advisor and approved by ISS before a student is permitted to drop or resign below full time. The reduced course load form is a fillable PDF and may be signed electronically.

Academic Advising and Support FAQ

How can I contact my undergraduate academic advisor?

A full range of advising services is available remotely. Students can schedule an advising appointment online through Navigate or call or email their advisor/advising center directly for assistance.

How do I access library resources?

UB Libraries are unable to supply physical items or allow access to physical collections at this time. Please see the Access to Library Resources & Services guide for more information on accessing materials. If you are unable to utilize the above resources, we are happy to investigate purchasing or borrowing an eBook. Please submit your request via Delivery+.

Remote Learning FAQ

How do I know how to access my class?

Your course instructors will contact you with instructions for accessing course content.

How do I access UB Learns?

While online platforms will vary across courses, you will likely access your courses through UB Learns powered by Blackboard. You can also access UB Learns through a link in MyUB. Your UB Learns username and password is the same as what you use for your UB email. Visit the UBIT website for further guidance on using UB Learns.

How often should I check email and UB Learns while I am taking a course remotely?

Often! Staying on top of your academic responsibilities is imperative while taking remote courses. Check your email at least two times a day, if not more. Log in to UB Learns, or whatever online platform your course uses, every day. Checking your course modules frequently is how you can stay on top of your work and any updates or changes.

What technology will I need for a remote course? What campus technology and software resources are available to students?

To complete remote courses, you will need a computer and internet access, at a minimum. Please visit UBIT’s Remote Learning Technology Resources for UB Students page to find information on software and other recommendations. UB Libraries can also offer resources for students who remain on campus. Please visit the UBIT website for regular updates on technology offerings. If you are experiencing technical difficulties, contact the UBIT Help Center and/or your instructor.

How does the university uphold academic integrity when classes are offered remotely?

Instructors work diligently to ensure the best possible learning experience for you in a remote setting. As a student, your responsibility is to complete your work in an honest fashion, upholding the expectations your individual instructors have for you in this regard. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that you learn the content in your courses in accordance with UB’s academic integrity principles, regardless of whether instruction is live or remote. Thank you for upholding your own personal integrity and ensuring UB’s tradition of academic excellence! For more information, please visit the Office of Academic Integrity website.