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Academic Year 2020-2021 FAQs

This section was last updated on 1/19/2021 and will be updated regularly.

Since CSUN has been selected as a vaccination site, can CSUN students and faculty get our vaccines on campus?

While Los Angeles County is administering COVID-19 vaccines to eligible Los Angeles County residents using CSUN’s B1 and B2 parking lots, we want to inform you that the university is only providing a location for the immunizations; appointments for vaccinations must be made through Los Angeles County. Eligibility and the timeline for vaccination for individuals from the CSUN community are determined by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

For further information, please call the LA County Public Health’s call center at 833-540-0473, open 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., 7 days a week, or visit the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health webpage.

Instruction and Classes

What will Spring 2021 look like?

In an effort to preserve the safety of our campus and the broader community, CSUN’s period of fully virtual learning and remote working has been extended until February 15, 2021. We will start the spring semester as scheduled with classes beginning on January 25 in our current fully virtual environment other than the limited, critical activities and work already approved to take place on campus. On February 15, the small number of classes with an in-person component will be able to return to campus. The majority of spring classes are scheduled to be fully virtual and will remain virtual all semester

Does the recent pivot to fully virtual classes affect any additional campus closures?

Yes, please note that while the campus printing kiosk in the University Student Union (USU) and the Bayramian Hall service counter remain available, the study rooms in the USU and Extended University Commons previously available to students with face-to-face classes that have pivoted to virtual will no longer be available. Information Technology continues to provide students, faculty and staff with access to the technology and support needed to realize student success, including a device loaner program and other technology resources.

I am concerned about the quality of the virtual learning experience.

CSUN is committed to our core mission of student success and research.

CSUN faculty and staff will continue to offer a full slate of impactful academic offerings through high-quality virtual learning. Our faculty has completed professional development and training in virtual and distance instruction to ensure that regardless of format, CSUN students – both new and returning – will enjoy a robust and vibrant educational experience and momentum toward life-changing degrees and certificates.

Where can I find academic and technical support for virtual learning?

All Academic Support services are virtual, active and available. These services and include:

A range of resources and support services are available at through the Division of Information Technology.

  • Cost-free Device Loaner Program for currently enrolled students. This program will allow students to borrow laptops, webcams, hotspots and headsets.
  • Keep Learning website that will be continuously updated with additional resources on best strategies for online academic communications, and virtual resources and tools including off-campus internet connectivity.
  • The library of downloadable software will continue to be available through MyCSUNSoftware program.

What is the university's policy on requiring students to have Zoom on?

Scheduled Zoom classes are the equivalent of a regular university classroom session.  Faculty may require students to attend class (Zoom) sessions, and may give (or withhold) participation credit if participation is listed as a course requirement in the syllabus.  If participation is not listed as a course requirement, students are still strongly urged to attend because critical course information may be covered in class. 

Are Zoom classes mandatory, or are they asynchronous?

This depends on the class.  If the class was scheduled as synchronous (a regular meeting at a regular time) the expectation is that students are attending, as Zoom attendance would be similar to attendance at a regular class.  Participation credit would be dependent on the class-grading policy in the syllabus.  Very few classes are truly asynchronous, and they are listed as such in the course schedule. 

Do students have to have their camera on?

During class, students are NOT required to have their Zoom video/webcam on unless the requirement is listed in the course syllabus as a specific requirement for a specific function – e.g., during a test; for a performance; etc.  The CSU Office of General Counsel (OGC) has found that due to student privacy rights, faculty may not require students to have video on just as a matter of course.  If this is an issue, students should speak to their instructor to work out an accommodation, or speak with the department chair or college associate dean.   

Are students required to consent to being recorded for Zoom lectures?

For similar privacy reasons, classes may not be recorded without explicit permission from students.  Students are NOT required to consent.  Again, if this is an issue, students should speak to their instructor to work out an accommodation, or speak with the department chair or college associate dean. 

Tuition and Fees

Does CSUN offer a tuition payment extension?

No, CSUN does not offer a tuition payment extension; however, we do have tuition payment plans. For more information, please visit https://www.csun.edu/stufin/ucs-installment-payment-plan.

Can I request a refund on my Intent to Register deposit?

Submitting an Intent to Register is free at CSUN.

Is a discount available since instruction will be delivered virtually?

Across campus, CSUN faculty and staff are preparing to offer a full slate of impactful academic offerings through high-quality virtual learning, as well as the necessary modifications for those limited courses and labs that may be offered face-to-face. Since CSUN is providing students full academic credit for courses taken and delivered by alternative means, no portion of tuition or mandatory fees will be reduced, consistent with California Education Code.

The Student Experience

Will any events or activities be allowed on campus?

Although events are primarily taking place virtually, numerous departments, organizations and clubs continue to offer robust virtual events for a wide variety of audiences.

To learn more about these virtual events you can explore the following:
University Student Union calendar
Associated Students calendar
University calendar
USU Student Recreation Center classes
USU Oasis Wellness Center classes
USU Student Recreation Center Intramural Sports activities
Research and Sponsored Programs events
The Soraya

Requests for on-campus University events and activities, excluding instruction, must go through the mandatory Event and Activity Review Process. In addition, a COVID-19 Health & Safety Questionnaire must also be completed.

Will on-campus and work study jobs for students be available? What about auxiliary jobs?

Student Assistant and Work Study positions will be available for critical work that is needed for approved on-campus functions and for office work that can be performed at home. These positions, to be coordinated through each vice president’s office, are subject to the CSU system-wide slowdown and will require a presidential exception to hire based on work need and identified funding source.

In addition, the University Corporation’s student staffing plan will include the appropriate level of managerial and student staff to support the two campus dining locations open for fall semester: Geronimo’s and Matador Mercado in Student Housing. Both locations will serve meal plan students as well as other housing students and anyone from the campus community.

Students who support the research related to sponsored program and grant activities will also be hired as needed.

What opportunities will there be to meet other students?

Returning and new students will have engaging, interactive and community building experiences throughout the 2020-2021 Academic Year. There are numerous opportunities for social activities, personal growth, training and support:

Safety and Well-Being

Are CSUN students and faculty required to take a flu shot?

The CSU Office of the Chancellor and CSUN strongly recommend that all students, faculty, and staff obtain an influenza vaccination for the 2020-2021 flu season. Getting a flu shot may reduce your chances of getting influenza; and if you do get sick, your symptoms may be less severe. This winter, with the COVID-19 pandemic still active, it’s possible that individuals may become infected with both COVID-19 AND influenza. Per the CDC, those at high risk for flu are also at higher risk for COVID-19.

Will face coverings be provided?

Governor Gavin Newsom has required face coverings in California for all those who venture outside one’s home, especially in public areas.

Everyone is expected to wear a face covering, preferably of cloth that covers the nose and mouth, and to wash the cloth face covering at least daily. Employees working on campus will be provided with one or more face coverings that should be used in the performance of their duties.

Students can purchase their own face coverings from stores, online, or with a CSUN logo, from the CSUN bookstore. If a student or employee forgets a face covering when arriving for work or a face-to-face class, a disposable surgical mask may be provided on a one-time basis so that the individual may proceed with the activity.

What will be the cleaning protocols?

Physical Plant Management has implemented an enhanced facility maintenance program emphasizing “high-touch” cleaning and disinfection of common spaces. Our custodians will prioritize increased frequency of restroom cleaning, as well as wiping and disinfection of service counters, door handles, handrails, elevator buttons, etc. To support the success of our facilities staff in providing these services, the campus will be investing in improved equipment, technology, and cleaning products.

A protocol for the preparation and sanitization of campus offices and work areas was developed that allowed for compliance with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American College Health Association, and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Are there resources for combating stigmatization, bias and xenophobia related to the coronavirus?

Many of us are concerned about what the people in our communities may be experiencing, including possible stigmatization or discrimination based on racial bias or appearances. Please help others understand that the risk of coronavirus is not at all connected with race, ethnicity or nationality. Any bias incidents should be reported to the Office of Equity and Diversity.

Student Housing

Will students be allowed to live on campus?

Providing a safe and welcoming housing environment conducive to student health, wellbeing, and academic success is a top priority. Student Housing continues to be provided on a limited basis. Students will be chosen to live in student housing using five tiers of priority:

Tier One – students who are returning to CSUN Student Housing and are:

  • former foster youth
  • homeless veterans
  • students who would otherwise be homeless
  • international students
  • Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students

Tier Two – students who are First Time Freshman and First Time Transfer students and are:

  • former foster youth
  • homeless veterans
  • students who would otherwise be homeless
  • international students

Tier Three – students who are enrolled in classes scheduled to be held on campus

Tier Four – returning residents currently contracted

Tier Five – First-Time Freshman and First-Time Transfer students currently contracted

To learn more about housing and how to apply at CSUN Housing and Residential Life.

Will there be on-site residential staff?

Yes. Staff residing on campus includes professional Residential Life staff, Resident Assistants, and Academic Mentors. Managerial, administrative and other office staff and operational, grounds, and facilities personnel will work on-site.

Other questions

Is commencement still postponed?

When the Spring 2020 commencement ceremonies for the class of 2019-20 were postponed, it was our expectation that we would be able to safely return to campus at the end of the year and hold in-person ceremonies in late December 2020. However, for the health and safety of all, earlier this year it was determined that all 23 California State University campuses will offer primarily virtual instruction with minimum access to campuses through Spring 2021. That decision, in addition to Los Angeles Country Department of Public Health prohibitions against large public gatherings, means that in-person commencement ceremonies are not currently authorized.

In spite of our best efforts and intentions and after consultation with student, academic and administrative leadership, current circumstances have led us to the decision to plan for virtual commencement ceremonies for the classes of both 2020 and 2021. These ceremonies will take place in May 2021, and information about the virtual ceremonies will be communicated to graduates as more specific plans are confirmed.

Is the entire campus closed?

No. CSUN’s campus remains open to maintain critical operations including, but not limited to, Student Housing and related food service, the Klotz Student Health Center, the CSUN Food Pantry, Information Technology in support of virtual and alternate learning modalities, maintenance of laboratories conducting research, physical plant management, fiscal, payroll and other operations as approved by the appropriate vice president, and services to ensure the physical safety and security of campus.