School of Education: Guidelines for fall courses

July 15, 2020

Dear SOE Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Yesterday, President Ronald J. Daniels shared the good news that the federal government has reinstated its policy affording international students the flexibility to take classes online and remain legally in the country with student visas.

After a prolonged week of uncertainty for our students and colleagues from other countries, the news came as a tremendous relief. Our international students are an integral part of our community, and we remain committed to ensuring that all of our students have the opportunity to advance in their studies.

While there will still be challenges ahead, this news helps us move forward in our academic planning with clearer guidance for all of our students who wish to study with us this fall.

We have consulted with public health and medical experts and have determined that we can resume selected in-person activities this fall. However, all academic offerings will be offered in an online format this fall, with the exception of in-person courses for the International Teaching and Global Leadership (ITGL) in Baltimore and some field experiences or clinical practicums.

Important to Remember

  • Students’ fall course schedules are available for review in the Student Information System (SIS). ITGL Cohort students will receive registration information by the end of July.
  • Financial aid, advising, new student mentoring, and many other supports and services are available now and throughout the summer.
  • Our plans may need to change at any time before or during the semester if the public health situation demands it.

Academic Schedule and Classes

  • Classes are scheduled to begin August 31 and end December 21. No abbreviated semester schedule is planned.
  • Courses will be offered in an online format, with the exception of in-person courses for ITGL Cohort students in Baltimore. Students engaged with outside entities, such as schools or agencies, for professional experiences or clinical practicums will need to consult with their respective programs for guidance on interactions at these sites.
  • Please note that for all online classes that are listed with day and time, students will be expected to participate virtually at that day and time. If there is no day or time listed, students will be able to view the class at any time.

Health and Safety

  • Students returning to campus may be required to undergo virus testing.
  • Face coverings will be required both indoors and outdoors while on campus.
  • Students and employees will be asked to monitor themselves for symptoms daily.
  • Testing will be available for all affiliates with COVID-19 symptoms who meet the testing criteria set by the CDC and Johns Hopkins’ Department of Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control.
  • If you feel ill or are concerned about exposure to the coronavirus, you are encouraged to call the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Call Center at 443-287-8500, seven days a week, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. This center serves all members of the Johns Hopkins community, including students who were previously instructed to call their respective student health centers.
  • We understand that some students are at higher risk of negative outcomes from COVID-19, or must stay in close contact with those who are. We ask that they consider not returning to campus this fall, and we will offer full support to ensure that anyone who cannot or does not wish to return in person this semester can continue to progress in their education.
  • We have adopted an extensive set of control measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus on campus, including mandatory face covering at all times, physical distancing, new cleaning protocols, and enhanced building ventilation, but they will be effective only if we are all committed to following them.

Financial Aid and Billing

  • Renewal of financial aid packages have been emailed to all students last week. If you were expecting a financial aid package and did not receive one, contact the Financial Aid Office immediately.
  • The billing date for fall semester charges has been moved to Monday, August 3, with a due date of Friday, August 28.
  • Students whose financial situations have changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, or who need additional support to complete their course work remotely, should contact the Financial Aid Office.
  • Students who have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19 also may apply for a limited amount of short-term financial assistance through the Student Emergency Fund.

International Students

  • While the reinstated federal policy again allows international students the flexibility to take classes online and remain legally in the country with student visas, some students may have specific issues or obstacles. We have been working to create clear pathways for all of our international students to earn their degrees with us. Please contact your adviser and/or program director to confirm the course option that suits your situation and program of study. Support is also available from the Office of International Services.  
  • Please refer to the revised guidance for all JHU students with an active, initial, change of status or transfer-pending F-1 record, released by the Office of International Services this morning. 

Throughout our planning for the fall, we have been guided by commitments to excellence in the graduate educational experience, to equity and inclusivity, and to the health and safety of all members of our community. The full details of the university plan for graduate students are available on the JHU Coronavirus Information website, and details specific to the School of Education can be found on our Student COVID-19 Updates Page.

Thank you for your patience, your persistence, and your willingness to invest yourselves fully in creating a different and unparalleled Johns Hopkins experience for fall 2020.


Christopher C. Morphew, PhD
Dean, School of Education

Hunter Gehlbach, PhD
Vice Dean of Academic Affairs