Washington University is closely monitoring the global outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). As the situation continues to develop, the university is making recommendations and putting new policies in place to help guide decision-making about events and visitors to our campus.
WashU Olin 2020/2021 Academic Updates
As we monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, we are actively taking steps to ensure our students have a successful transition to Olin.
Graduate programs FAQs for new students
When is the new start date?
The first day of classes will be September 14. However, all WashU Olin programs require mandatory orientation. Orientation start dates vary by program. These are the mandatory orientation dates:
Full-time MBA: September 8, 2020—September 11, 2020
Specialized masters: September 9, 2020—September 11, 2020
Professional MBA: September 11, 2020—September 13, 2020
Will fall classes be in person or online?
We have every intention of teaching courses in the classroom this fall. Our planning is focused on returning to in-person instruction at the start of the new academic year. At the same time, we know the fall semester will not be business as usual. It will look and feel different, and we all are going to have to be flexible as we make any necessary modifications to allow for social distancing and other precautions that will be required to keep our students, faculty and staff safe. It’s possible we will need to conduct some courses—particularly those traditionally held in large lecture halls—online, or through a hybrid model with some students in the classroom and others participating remotely. We still need to work through numerous details, and plans may change along the way depending on how the situation develops. But our ultimate goal is to bring students and faculty back into the classroom as much as possible. For students who would prefer to continue to take classes online, we will offer remote options for most courses.
If classes happen in person will social distancing be followed?
Yes. Olin will implement all measures recommended by Washington University, the city of St. Louis and the state of Missouri to ensure students have a productive and safe learning environment this academic year.
If classes happen to be online, will there be changes to fall tuition?
We do not anticipate any changes to fall tuition, regardless of the mode of instruction (in person, hybrid or virtual).
Timeline on a final decision for fall course delivery
We are eagerly looking forward to welcoming our students and their families back to campus for the start of the fall semester. In order to allow everyone time to plan for their return to St. Louis, we will provide additional details about our plans for fall no later than July 31. At that time, we will share specific information about how instruction will be delivered, the health and safety measures we all will follow upon our return, and additional information, including plans for student orientation, residential housing, dining and other campus services.
International students: How will this later start date affect my I-20?
All I-20s will be issued with the correct start dates or updated accordingly. If this is a new F-1, you will go through the process of securing a visa appointment when visa offices open. When you are able to secure a visa, you may arrive in the United States 30 days prior to the “start date on your I-20” listed for your graduate program. For example, specialized masters degree students may arrive on August 9, 2020.
If you are transferring your SEVIS to WashU, please do so immediately. Please note that you are still required to submit your VEF packet to OlinGradAdmissions@wustl.edu
. The government has made some accommodations on the timeline: If you are outside the five-month window from your graduation date, you should still be eligible to transfer without returning to your home country to have a new visa issued.
When can I arrive in St. Louis?
International students on a visa are eligible to be in the United States 30 days prior to their orientation start date. These are the earliest dates you may arrive if you are traveling to the United States on a visa:
Full-time MBA: August 8, 2020
Specialized masters: August 9, 2020
All domestic students may transition to St. Louis at their convenience as long as they arrive by their orientation start date.
What will I do between my arrival date and the start of the program?
Olin’s Graduate Student Services, Weston Career Center and Enrollment Management teams will offer a number of optional pre-fall engagement activities, including opportunities to meet with your academic advisor and career coach, excursions to help familiarize you with the city of St. Louis, and ways to connect with your classmates and the Olin community. Programming will run from August 8 to September 14. Watch for more information in June on this calendar of activities and for sign-up links.
Specialized masters students only: Does this affect Passport and Career Stamp?
No. Passport, Career Stamp and SMP start will all launch on the Canvas online platform on July 1. If you have questions about these programs, you can reach out to your academic advisor.
Specialized masters students only: When will Passport/Career Stamp fees and tuition be billed?
1. Passport and Career Stamp program fees will be billed in June 2020 with a July 2020 due date.
2. Tuition will be billed in July 2020 with a September 2020 due date.
*Please note that any tuition deposits, awards or credits to your account will be applied to your July 2020 tuition bill.
Full-time and Professional MBA: When will tuition be billed?
Tuition will be billed in July 2020 with a September 2020 due date. *Please note that any tuition deposits, awards or credits to your account will be applied to your July 2020 tuition bill.
International students: If I can’t get a visa in time for a September start, can I start in January or defer?
Specialized masters students only:
If a student is not able to secure a visa to travel to the United States by the start of the program, the student will be able to either start classes online or defer to January 2021. Deferring to January 2021 is only available for students who are unable to secure a visa. This will not be available to all students. Documentation will be required.
Full-time MBA only:
Students will not be able to defer to January 2021. If the student is unable to arrive by the start of the program, they will need to contact the admission office at OlinGradAdmissions@wustl.edu
to discuss options.
International students: How will CPT and OPT be affected?
Specialized masters students only:
For our 18-month programs:
1. Students who start the program while residing in the United States in September 2020, and who are in active F1 status, will have the opportunity to pursue CPT in May 2021.
2. Student who are not able to arrive in September and start in January 2021 will have the option to pursue CPT in January 2022.
*These options do not affect OPT.
Students who start the program while residing in the United States in September 2020, and who are in active F1 status, will have the opportunity to pursue CPT in May 2021.
Full-time MBA only: How will this affect the global immersion?
We have shifted the global immersion to spring 2021. Full-time MBA students will have the same coursework in the fall and spring semesters they would have had previously and will spend the same number of days traveling in the upcoming spring semester— traveling to Washington, DC; Barcelona, Spain; Paris, France; and Lima, Peru. If you have additional questions about the global immersion, please contact your academic advisor.
Executive MBA only: How will this affect my fall start date?
Executive MBA Class 56 will start on September 20, 2020 as scheduled. For more information, please contact Olin graduate admissions at OlinGradAdmissions@wustl.edu
Undergraduate Program only:
Graduate programs FAQs for current/returning students
Can I do my third semester online/can I opt for virtual learning opportunities if classes are offered in person, but I’m uncomfortable coming to campus?
For students who would prefer to continue to take classes online, we will offer remote options for our courses. As you are considering this option, please note that we will provide additional details about our plans for fall no later than July 31. At that time, we will share specific information about how instruction will be delivered, the health and safety measures we all will follow upon our return, and additional information, including plans for full-time MBA reorientation, dining options and other campus services. Please reach out to your academic advisor for more specific concerns.
Will my graduation be in January if I was scheduled to graduate in December?
Yes. Because of the delayed fall semester start on September 14, the fall semester will conclude in January 2021. The university must wait to certify students for graduation until all final grades are in. Degrees will be conferred in January.
How will this impact my I-20?
Your I-20 will be automatically updated with the schedule change by our Office of International Students and Scholars in the fall semester.
Why are there different start dates for other WashU schools?
Washington University in St. Louis’ Brown School and Law School will begin classes in a hybrid in-person and online format on August 24, 2020. These schools will begin their fall semester earlier than other schools on campus. Because they only enroll graduate students, they have a smaller student population and can more easily implement appropriate social distancing practices. Other schools at WashU—which, like Olin, enroll both graduate and undergraduate students—were provided more time to ensure students could arrive on campus safely, and to implement appropriate health and safety measures that account for the larger populations.
Where do I find information on employers’ recruitment plans for the fall?
Partnering with our students to build a successful internship, job and career plan is a top priority. Weston Career Center staff members are working with employers to confirm current plans. WCC will post recruiting schedules and events in CareerLink (BSBA/SMP) and OlinConnect (MBA) as information is received.
Leave of absence?
Students who wish to take a leave of absence should contact their academic advisor to obtain policy guidelines and appropriate paperwork.
I’m a full-time MBA student. When is the deadline to decide on graduating in January or May?
October 15. The full-time MBA advising team will communicate with students early in the fall semester about the upcoming fall graduation. Please note that students finishing their program in the fall semester will now have their degree conferred in January.
I’m a current student and still have questions.
Please reach out to your academic advisor with any additional questions you may have.
For up-to-date information on the university’s response to the coronavirus, please visit the COVID-19 information page or call the COVID-19 information hotline at 314-935-8300 or 888-234-2863.