back to news March 13, 2020

Updates, resources and information for students

LAST UPDATED: March 23, 2020

The university’s decision to suspend all face-to-face instruction and to prohibit or limit other kinds of activities creates challenges for all of us: faculty, staff, students and families. We appreciate that this is a time of uncertainty and significant disappointment for many of you. The information below is intended to help clarify changes that are underway, and to provide resources to help you manage the transition, practically and personally. We will update this letter as additional information becomes available, and we encourage you also to reach out to your academic advisor if you have specific questions about your situation.

Resuming the spring term – pass/non-pass option

The university has proposed several changes that give students new options for grading during this semester. These changes, which are pending approval by the University Senate later this week, include: 

  • Extending the deadline for students to request the Pass/Non-Pass option (PA/NP) until April 17, 2020
  • Expanding the range of classes eligible for the PA/NP option to include GE courses (the option previously was available only for electives) 

Learn more about these changes, including how to request a Pass/Non-Pass option, in this message from Dean Ritter.

Taking classes remotely
Arts and Sciences faculty are working as rapidly as possible to make the contents of the courses they teach accessible to you remotely. All of your professors have been asked to update their Carmen sites: When that work is completed, you should have access to the syllabi for all of your ASC courses, as well as assignments, course materials, and grades.

Some courses lend themselves to remote delivery more readily than others, and you should expect some variation in the solutions adopted by departments and individual faculty. Their shared goal is to meet as well as possible under the current circumstances the learning goals of the courses in which you are enrolled.

In some cases, this will require adjustments to the kinds of work you are asked to do, and the weight given to different assignments in the final grade. In no case should this require an increase in the overall amount of work you are asked to do. Many faculty will use Zoom or other platforms for remote access to deliver parts of their courses or to facilitate discussions. The university has created a webpage with information and advice for students on working remotely:

Additionally, the end of the academic calendar for spring semester has been adjusted so that there are nearly the same number of days for education:

  • The final day of classes will be Friday, April 24.
  • Finals will be conducted from Monday, April 27, through Friday, May 1.

Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation that no large events be scheduled over the next eight weeks, the university has postponed spring commencement. A new date has not yet been selected, but leaders continue to evaluate the situation and hope to make a decision soon.

Other educational situations
The university is developing guidelines for internships and service-learning courses, which students may opt to continue in most circumstances. Similarly, students are expected to continue with clinical assignments and educational placements that are connected to licensure requirements. All education abroad programs for the upcoming summer have been canceled. Please contact your program or advisor for further information.
Advising, office hours, signatures, oral exams
Undergraduate academic advisors will be available for appointments by telephone or Zoom. To make an appointment, please call 614-292-6961. Honors students should call 614-292-5104; Scholars students should contact their program managers.

For advising offices that use OnCourse for appointment scheduling, you can continue to schedule appointments using OnCourse as well. For previously scheduled appointments, you may wish to confirm that advisors have your current contact information.
Faculty will be encouraged to hold virtual office hours. Please check with your individual instructors or consult CarmenCanvas for information on hours and procedures.

Career Success is continuing to provide access to virtual career coaching, which can be done virtually and scheduled through Handshake. Graduating seniors and students in need are highly encouraged to schedule.
Processes that normally require signatures, including applications to graduate and honors contracts, will be handled electronically. Students and faculty may be asked to approve documents by sending an email in lieu of a signature.
We expect that rules governing undergraduate thesis defenses, graduate candidacy exams and dissertation defenses will be relaxed to allow them to be conducted remotely.

Facility closings

The university is closing the following facilities through at least Tuesday, March 31:

  • All recreational sports indoor facilities
  • Thompson Library
  • The Ohio Union
  • The Younkin Success Center
  • University bookstores (Gateway, Ohio Union and Tuttle)

The 18th Avenue Library will have a modified schedule for students, faculty and staff in order to provide Wi-Fi to support course work. All library services will be provided virtually, and processes for materials access and delivering materials will be shared. For information about dining services on campus, visit

Emotional wellness
The suspension of face-to-face teaching and other campus activities will also disrupt the experience of community that is a vital part of any university. If you find yourself feeling isolated, anxious or overwhelmed, please know that there are resources to help:
Nothing is more important than taking care of yourselves and each other.

COVID-19 Resources
Information about coronavirus and the university’s response
Guidance for students, faculty and staff
Resources for faculty
Resources for students
Resources for staff