COVID-19 Guidance


The Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Programs continues to closely monitor the evolving COVID-19 developments and is regularly monitoring federal, state, and accrediting guidelines. If you have questions or need additional guidance, please contact Julie Kornfeld at [email protected].

MSCHE Middle States Commission on Higher Education

NYSED Coronavirus Guidance Colleges and Universities

United States Department of Education (USDE), Office of Postsecondary Education

USDE has extended its guidance to apply to terms that start on or before June 1. See Frequently Asked Questions Related to COVID-19 (Mar. 20, 2020) ("Given recent advice from the CDC about social distancing, we have determined that it would be prudent to extend this flexibility to students who enroll in payment periods that begin on or before June 1, 2020. We will continue to monitor the situation and will extend the timeframe for the guidance if appropriate.").

UPDATED guidance: USDE has extended its guidance to apply to terms that begin on or between March 5, 2020, and December 31, 2020 ("Many institutions have informed us of their intent to offer both the summer and fall terms using distance education. To provide the necessary flexibility for institutions to make timely decisions, we are expanding the broad approval for the use of distance education as provided in the April 3, 2020, EA to include payment periods that overlap March 5, 2020, or that begin on or between March 5, 2020, and December 31, 2020.").

CDC Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Institutions of Higher Education

School Plans. View summaries of school plans for Fall 2020 instruction, and a template for these plans (coming soon!)

Definitions for Methods of Instruction. Definitions for different instructional modalities available to schools.

Field Protocols Guidance for students participating in fieldwork during the pandemic.

The global COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 presented institutions of higher education with challenges in teaching and learning, as well as in the assessment of academic performance.  As a consequence of these challenges, Columbia University affirms the following principle: 

The University’s graduate and professional schools, as well as their respective admissions committees, will take into account the important disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak when reviewing student transcripts and other admissions materials as part of their customary practice of performing holistic reviews of individual applications or dossiers. Specifically, we will respect decisions made by institutions or individuals regarding the adoption of Pass/Fail or similar grading options during the period in question.

The Provost and University Deans adopted this principle to ensure that no applicants are disadvantaged by policy decisions made by their colleges/universities as a result of this unprecedented public health event.

Questions regarding this statement should be addressed to the admissions office of the school or to the departmental admissions committee of the program to which the applicant is seeking admission.