A message from our Vice Dean, Nora E. Lewis
June 25, 2020
Dear LPS Students,
The University of Pennsylvania announced its plans for the reopening of campus in fall. In accordance with the guidelines and safeguards outlined in the University’s message, LPS programs are engaged in detailed and careful planning to ensure the continuity and excellence of our academic mission while also protecting the health and safety of you and all members of our community.
We are delighted to be able to welcome students to campus for fall, but there will be many changes from past fall terms. Most courses and other programmatic activities will be offered entirely online; a few may include a mix of in-person and online delivery. New safety precautions will be in place for all students, faculty, and staff who come to campus, and provisions will be made for those students who are not able to return in person in September. We are aware of the special challenges facing our international students in particular, including visa delays and travel restrictions, and are working closely with the University’s International Student and Scholar Services office to provide guidance and support on those issues.
As each program at the College of Liberal and Professional Studies is different, you will hear directly from your program in the next few days with details about how your program will work for the fall 2020 semester.
I know you have many questions. We will do our best to respond to those questions as quickly and fully as possible; we are setting up a special page on the LPS website with an FAQ and resources related to all things fall 2020. We will update this webpage regularly throughout the summer and fall. We will provide a link to the page in the message you receive from your academic program.
I ask for your patience while we work out the many details required to ensure a successful and safe fall semester across LPS and Penn. The COVID-19 situation is ever-evolving, and new information may emerge that requires us to adjust our plans. I am confident that with your partnership we will navigate whatever challenges present themselves…together!
LPS students are passionate, committed, strong, and resilient in their approach to life and in the pursuit of their educational goals. I and all of my colleagues at LPS are honored to have the opportunity to help you reach your goals. We can’t wait to be in the classroom—on campus or virtual—with you again soon.
Nora E. Lewis
Vice Dean, Professional & Liberal Education
A message from the University President
A message to the community about Penn’s plans for the fall semester from Amy Gutmann, President; Wendell Pritchett, provost; and Craig Carnaroli, executive vice president, was announced on June 25, 2020.
Frequently asked questions
Will my tuition be reduced since my courses are being offered fully online?
Tuition and general fees remain as published on the LPS website. The value of a Penn course unit is the same whether the course is delivered on campus, online, or in a hybrid format. Penn LPS Online is a separate and distinct program from other LPS programs and therefore has a different tuition.
Will my financial aid change since my courses are being offered fully online?
Some elements used to determine cost of attendance may be adjusted for students who are studying fully online for fall. Please see information on the Student Financial Services (SFS) website. Questions should be directed to SFS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do I have to enroll in the Penn Student Insurance Plan if I will not be living in Philadelphia?
All full-time and dissertation-status students, exchange students here for a semester or more, and all students on a J-1 visa, must carry comprehensive health insurance as a condition of student enrollment at the University of Pennsylvania. If you have your own insurance coverage, you may waive enrollment in the Penn Student Insurance Plan. Please refer to information on the Student Health Services website. Contact the Insurance Office at (215) 746-3535 or email@example.com with any questions.
How will remote/online study affect international students?
Please visit the fall planning information on the Office of International Student & Scholar Services website and direct questions to ISSS. If you have any questions, please reach out to ISSS at (215) 898-4661 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information is available on the University’s Fall 2020 Planning Webpage.
What protocols are being put in place to ensure the safety of the Penn community?
See the section on the University Announcement of Plans for the Fall Semester titled, “Measures to Promote and Sustain Campus Health and Hygiene” located on the Fall 2020 Planning Webpage.
Are students required to return to campus to continue taking courses?
Students do not have to return to campus in order to be enrolled for the fall term. We anticipate the majority of courses being offered online, though there may be some in-person instruction as well. Read more about returning to campus on the Penn Provost’s website.
What are the guidelines as to what will constitute a class size that will meet online versus one that will mostly meet in person?
All LPS undergraduate and most College of Arts & Sciences classes will be offered entirely online. For information about LPS graduate courses, please consult your program director. Read more about class sizes on the Penn Provost’s website.
Is there an official policy to ensure that academic offerings are available at reasonable times for students in different time zones? Will instructors be able to use a synchronous model for class? Will class occur at scheduled times?
It is up to individual instructors to decide whether their classes will have a synchronous meeting time. Online course content can be provided synchronously (live sessions for the entire class at the same time), asynchronously (recordings or material that can be watched or completed at any time), or by a combination of both methods. If an instructor chooses to provide synchronous online content, it must be offered on the same day(s) and time(s) as the course is regularly scheduled during the semester (in Eastern Time). Students participating from a different time zone should alert their instructor. Penn also is requiring all instructors of undergraduate fall 2020 courses to record all in-person instruction so it will be available for students to review at any time. Read more about class schedules on the Penn Provost’s website.
Will I have the option for pass/fail again if my class is only available online?
The expanded pass/fail option applies to fall 2020 courses. Individual school and program policies regarding pass/fail will apply. Read more about grading policies on the Penn Provost’s website.
Will I have access to the library?
Penn Libraries' digital resources and services as well as librarians are still available. Visit the Penn Libraries’ Virtual Support and Phased Re-Start FAQ pages for a full summary of current services and additional information about forthcoming services. Read more about library access on the Penn Provost’s website.
Will there be a modified code of academic integrity given to students in online programs?
The University’s Code of Academic Integrity remains in force for the fall 2020 semester. The University FAQ includes a link to the University’s copyright policies as well. Read more about academic integrity on the Penn Provost’s website.