In addition to the frequently asked questions outlined below, several departments have compiled their own:
- COVID-19 Information for Graduate Students
- COVID-19 Information for International Students
- COVID-19 Information for Researchers
- Facilities Management: COVID-19 Information
- Human Resources: COVID-19 Information
- Instructional Continuity
- Registered Student Organizations: COVID-19 FAQs
- Registrar's Office: Pass/Fail Grade Option for Fall 2020
- Study Abroad: COVID-19 FAQs
MDHHS Emergency Order, Effective November 18–December 20
What is the MDHHS Emergency Order?
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Pause to Save Lives emergency order places restrictions on gatherings and establishes procedures to protect the public health. Some of these restrictions and procedures affect higher education and impact operations at Michigan Tech.
The order is effective from 12:01 a.m. on November 18 to 11:59 p.m. on December 8.
How will instruction at Michigan Tech be affected?
While the order is in effect, there will be no regularly scheduled in-person courses or exams—both must be conducted remotely.
What about student support services?
All student support services will be available virtually. Let us know if you need something.
How will research be affected?
While the order is in effect, all Michigan Tech researchers—including faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduates—must conduct research remotely if possible. Research that cannot be conducted remotely, such as benchwork, may be completed on campus if done in compliance with the guidance issued by the Vice President of Research.
Please reach out to your supervisor for further information. Research-related updates are also posted to the COVID-19 Research Information page on the Research website.
How long will MTU Flex last?
We are prepared to continue MTU Flex as long as necessary to keep our campus and community safe.
What are the plans for Midyear Commencement?
In-person ceremonies for Midyear Commencement have been canceled. However, we still want to celebrate our graduates and come together as Huskies for a virtual celebration that launches at 9 a.m. on Saturday, December 19. Join your classmates and be part of the event by creating your personalized graduate profile. Post your photo, send a message to fellow graduates, and share the moments that mattered most to you during your time at Tech. Please do that by December 16 to be sure you're included. Thank you—and congratulations!
Will I still be able to get practical, hands-on experience?
Yes. Procedures and protocols have been developed to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, and staff, while also ensuring that students get the education and experience for which Michigan Tech is known. We expect that labs and facilities will be available, with appropriate safety measures.
Will MTU Flex be accessible for students with disabilities?
Yes. Student Disability Services will be able to provide virtual support and resources. Students do not need to have documentation of a disability to meet with the coordinator. Incoming students should make a virtual appointment as early as possible in their first semester.
Who can I talk to if I have questions about MTU Flex?
You can email questions and comments to email@example.com.
How will classes be taught during spring 2021?
Learning will take place face-to-face (F2F), by remote instruction, or through a combination of the two.
The modality options for spring 2021 instruction are:
- F2F: Every scheduled class period is held in person. Instructors will have a plan to serve students who cannot attend in person for any reason.
- F2F-SPLIT: In-person class sessions will be scheduled regularly. However, a student's in-person attendance may be staggered due to COVID-19 classroom capacity limits. Instructors will have a plan to deliver course content and materials to students who are not able to attend a session in person.
- F2F-ONLY: Every scheduled class period is held in person. No remote instruction will be available to students. Instructors will develop a plan to ensure all enrolled students are able to attend in person.
- Remote: Every scheduled class period is held remotely. Remote attendance is required for these synchronous class periods; however, the course may also include asynchronous content, which can be completed at any time.
- Online: No scheduled class periods are held. Class instruction, activities, and assignments are completely remote and asynchronous, and can be completed at any time.
Will all instructors wear face shields?
When face-to-face instruction is permitted, instructors will wear face shields only while teaching credit-bearing courses where six feet of distance can be maintained. Instructors will be expected to wear cloth face coverings to and from class, but will be permitted to wear specially designed face shields while teaching credit-bearing courses where six feet of distance can be maintained. The face shields will allow for better airflow, allow students to see the instructor's face and will be equipped with headsets to enable remote learning for those students who are not able to be in the classroom.
How are remote and online classes different?
Remote classes are offered synchronously, which means they have scheduled meeting times that students attend virtually, usually through a conferencing system like Zoom.
Online classes are offered asynchronously, which means that although there are deadlines, students can complete class activities with time and place flexibility. There are generally no scheduled full class meetings, though students may need to connect virtually with peers or the instructor at times they arrange, and may need to complete assignments or take exams within specific windows of time.
What is the new Attendance Policy? How does it work for students who are ill from COVID-19?
In response to recommendations from the American College Health Association, Michigan Tech has changed our attendance policy so students who become ill will not be required to make unnecessary visits to a health care provider for the purposes of obtaining documentation.
These students will work with the Dean of Students Office for assistance and support. Each situation will be addressed on a case-by-case basis, but we are hopeful that even though a student is ill, symptoms will not be so severe that they are unable to keep up with classes remotely during the full period of isolation.
In addition, students no longer need to contact the Dean of Students Office for excused absences involving fewer than three consecutive days unless they missed a major assignment, examination, or other graded requirements of the class. Students can review the Attendance Policy for more details.
Where can students go to participate in remote classes while on campus?
Students can take part in remote classes in any of these locations:
- The MUB Ballroom, Monday–Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (seating will be socially distanced)
- Wireless lounges located across campus (see list of lounge locations)
- The Van Pelt and Opie Library
How can a hands-on lab or class adjust to remote instruction?
As an example, a typical online physics lab makes use of your camera phone and specialized software to capture frame-by-frame motion of a ball falling, rolling down a ramp, etc. After calibrating the video for scale, careful measurements are taken, graphed, and analyzed to determine the rate of acceleration of the ball. The marked-up picture, graph, and analysis are all submitted for instructor review and feedback. Again, your phone camera comes in handy here to scan and upload graphs, drawings and worked out equations. An online discussion board is available throughout the process as questions arise, or so you can discuss or compare results with your classmates.
Will Pass/Fail be offered for the fall 2020 semester?
Yes. For the fall 2020 semester, a Pass/Fail grade option similar to the system implemented in spring 2020 is being offered to both undergraduate and graduate students. Basic Pass/Fail info is provided farther down on this page in the Pass/Fail for Fall 2020 section. For more detailed information, please visit the Registrar's Office website.
I'm an international graduate student. What does this mean for me?
International Programs and Services (IPS) can give you helpful information about the international student experience at Michigan Tech, and also has a list of frequently asked questions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and how it may affect international students.
For specific questions regarding immigration, visa interviews, and travel, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to check the US Department of State website for the latest on visa application, wait times, and other announcements.
Pass/Fail for Fall 2020
How will Pass/Fail work for fall?
At the completion of the fall semester, faculty will assign letter grades. At that time, students will be given the opportunity to convert those letter grades to a Pass/Fail grade. The decision to convert a letter grade to a Pass/Fail grade should not be made lightly, as it could impact factors such as academic standing, financial aid, and enrollment in accelerated master's programs.
Pass/Fail grades for Fall 2020 will be SCV (Satisfactory COVID), LCV (Low Pass COVID), and ECV (Effort Unsatisfactory COVID).
How do letter grades translate to Pass/Fail?
Pass/Fail grades for Fall 2020 will be SCV (Satisfactory COVID), LCV (Low Pass COVID), and ECV (Effort Unsatisfactory COVID).
A, AB, B, BC, and C grades will convert to an SCV.
CD and D grades will convert to an LCV.
F grades will convert to an ECV.
How will a Pass/Fail grade affect my GPA?
SCV, LCV, and ECV grades are not included in the GPA calculation and have no impact on semester or cumulative GPA. If SCV, LCV, or ECV is elected, the original letter grade (A-F) that was earned this semester is also excluded from GPA calculations. Your GPA may go up or down, depending on the letter grade that is excluded.
What steps should I follow to change my letter grade to a Pass/Fail grade?
Students should log in to their Banweb account, select the Student tab, and then click on Student Records. Once there, select the COVID-19 Pass/Fail Grade link and follow the instructions provided on the page. This option will be available on Banweb from 8 a.m. Wednesday, December 23, through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, December 29.
Can I choose to get some letter grades and some Pass/Fail grades?
Yes. Students may choose to receive an SCV, LCV, or ECV for as many courses as they wish, on a course-by-course basis.
What happens if I take a Pass/Fail grade, but then change my mind? Can I change back to a letter grade?
Yes. If you take an SCV, LCV, or ECV grade, you can decide to change it back to a letter grade within seven days after final grades are posted. In order to do so, you will need to contact the Registrar's Office by sending a message to email@example.com. The opportunity to change grades will close at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, December 29.
If I take an Incomplete in a course for fall 2020, can I switch to a Pass/Fail grade after I earn my letter grade?
The Pass/Fail option is only available through 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, December 29. Final letter grades submitted after this time are not eligible to be changed to SCV, LCV, or ECV.
When is the last day to change my letter grade to a Pass/Fail grade?
Students will have one week after final grades are posted to elect an SCV, LCV, or ECV grade for any of their courses. The opportunity to change grades will open at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, December 23, and close at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, December 29.
When is the last day to withdraw from a course for fall semester 2020?
The deadline to withdraw from a course and receive a W is 5 p.m. on Friday, December 11 (the Friday before final exams).
Are graduate students still able to conduct research?
Yes. However, the specifics of research activities will vary depending on the type of research activities, equipment, and whether fieldwork is involved. Research may also be impacted by the University's current Health and Safety Level.
If the Health and Safety Level has changed and you are not certain whether your research is impacted, contact your supervisor for guidance. Research-related updates are also posted to the COVID-19 Research Information page on the Research website.
What resources are available to support my graduate research?
The specifics of research activities will vary depending on the type of research activities, equipment, and whether fieldwork is involved. Here are some of many resources you can contact for more information:
- Your graduate program director or department.
- Information Technology, for technology support to work remotely or on campus.
- The Graduate School resources archive, compiled to assist students with research and professional development.
- Michigan Tech Van Pelt and Opie Library offers information on the research process, reference help, citation and copyright documentation. It hosts workshops and consultations on citation software, data management, poster design, company research, etc. The library also provides remote access to electronic resources and research guides on special topics.
I'm a master's degree student and my thesis research has been delayed. Can I switch my degree to coursework-only?
Master's students whose graduation is delayed because of research progress this semester may want to consider converting their degree to a coursework option. The Graduate School can allow research credits to be considered toward a coursework degree. Please reach out to your graduate program director for additional details.
Will I still be able to get a research assistantship?
Yes, in almost all cases. Students supported through assistantships funded through the University are continuing to be paid, even as access to campus is restricted to all but essential personnel. Teaching assistants are helping with online instruction; research assistants have adapted to the online only environment in a variety of ways. Research involving interaction with human subjects is restricted in some ways that other research is not. Funds to support this type of research may be delayed. Check with your program for details on whether you are impacted by this.
Will the disruption caused by access to campus/facilities/laboratories increase my time to degree?
Michigan Tech is committed to ensuring that all students graduate in a timely manner. Research never goes exactly the way you intend. There are always unforeseen circumstances. Projects are constantly being reimagined and refocused. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. We are encouraging all students and faculty to examine their research goals and adjust so that students may finish their degrees in a timely manner.
What resources are available for remote instruction?
Instructors are using Zoom, Huskycast, Panopto, and specific lab-focused software
for remote instruction, and are being assisted by staff in IT and the Jackson Center
for Teaching and Learning through instructional continuity tools and consultations.
Through Husky Innovate, Michigan Tech IDEA Hub, and other resources, faculty is collaborating with colleagues on campus and around the world; tag @mturesearch on Twitter to help share ideas.
What can I do if I don't have reliable high-speed internet access or a computer at my permanent residence?
Will the Library be open?
The Van Pelt and Opie Library building will be open in accordance with the University's current Health and Safety Level, as state mandates permit, and with all safety protocols in place. In instances when our library building is not able to be open, it will continue to serve our community with online resources, as it has throughout the pandemic.
To check the status of library operations, visit the Departments, Events, and Services: Status Updates web page.