Fall 2020 Information

The Fall 2020 semester at NC State will undoubtedly look much different than what anyone on campus is used to. That being said, our offices are committed to doing everything we can to do right by our students, faculty, staff, and visitors, in being able to provide both safe face-to-face classroom instruction as well as maintaining the high-quality NC State education with distance and hybrid learning this semester.

We have provided detailed information below, as well as answers to the questions we know you have, about what the fall term might look like at NC State. We will continue to update this page and add resources as additional decisions are made and information becomes available. We appreciate your patience during these unprecedented circumstances.

Census Date Extended, Undergraduate Classes Moving Online

The Census Date for fall has been extended to August 28. All fall undergraduate classes will move online on Monday, August 24.

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This information is subject to change.

The complete Fall 2020 Academic Calendar is available at go.ncsu.edu/academiccalendar. NC State announced on May 21, 2020 that the fall semester would begin on Monday, August 10, nine days earlier than originally scheduled. The semester will end on Tuesday, November 17 with final exams taking place over November 18-24.

  • Why was the calendar moved up?
    The university made the decision to start and end the fall semester earlier than originally planned for two primary reasons: to limit mass travel to and from campus, and to end the semester prior to a potential second wave of COVID-19 in the winter.
  • Why did the new calendar eliminate Labor Day, Fall Break, and reading days?
    The new calendar eliminates holidays and breaks because of the condensed timeline between the semester start and end dates, in order to meet accreditation requirements and hold classes on our required number of days.
  • Why are final exams shorter? Where can I find the updated exam calendar?
    Final exams have been shortened from 3 hours to 2.5 hours to accommodate for the reduced exam schedule to 5 days. There will be 4 exam periods per day rather than 3. The updated exam schedule is available at go.ncsu.edu/examcalendar.
  • Are the schedule revision and add/drop deadlines changing for the fall? What are they?
    Yes, add and drop deadlines have also changed for the fall semester. Full details are available on the Fall 2020 academic calendar at go.ncsu.edu/academiccalendar.
  • How was the decision made to change the academic calendar?
    The changes to the calendar were made by the Department of Registration and Records in conjunction with the Academic Calendar Task Force and other university leadership and administration.

Update, Thursday, August 20: All Fall 2020 undergraduate classes will move to online-only instruction beginning on Monday, August 24.

The majority of NC State’s course hours are already online, but the remaining in-person and hybrid classes will move to online-only instruction for the remainder of the fall semester.

Graduate courses and clinical education may continue to meet in-person or in a hybrid format. NC State’s research laboratories will remain open and fully operational, and research opportunities for students will continue.

  • Why have all undergraduate classes been moved online beginning August 24?
    Recent clusters of positive tests cropping up off campus and in Greek houses have made continuing with undergraduate in-person instruction untenable. The decision was made in consultation with the UNC System, the NC Department of Health and Human Services, campus health officials and university leadership. 
  • Why were some classes moved online?
    There are several factors that were evaluated when determining class delivery methods for this upcoming semester. While the number of students enrolled in the class is one of those factors, we also evaluated the times that classes end due to the building traffic flow at those times, the health and safety needs of instructors, the physical size and layouts of the classrooms available for physical distancing purposes, and several others.  
  • What is a hybrid class?
    Hybrid classes have both in-person and online components. Students may be split and meet in-person on alternating days; on the days in which students are not meeting in-person, they may be required to watch live lectures, pre-recorded lectures, or otherwise complete coursework online. Individual class details will be communicated to students by the instructor. 
  • What does synchronous vs. asynchronous mean? How do I know if a class meets synchronously or asynchronously?
    Synchronous: Distance-education (online) courses that meet on a set day(s) at a set time; will have a meeting day and time designated on your class schedule.
    Asynchronous: Classes that do not meet on set days at a set time; instead, students may be required to watch pre-recorded lectures or otherwise complete coursework on their own time. If a class meets asynchronously, it will simply be designated as online with no meeting time on your class schedule.
  • I don’t want to pay tuition and fees to go to school online. Why should I still stay enrolled for this semester?
    Our teams are actively working to ensure that students will have the ability to select from a range of course delivery offerings this fall, including online, hybrid, and face-to-face classes. Furthermore, the university will remain open and operational. All university staff and faculty are dedicated to providing an exceptional semester, and though it may look different, NC State will continue to provide essential services, unique programming, student support, and more.
  • Why should I [have to] live on campus if I don’t have any in-person classes?
    Our teams are actively working to ensure that students will have the ability to select from a range of course delivery offerings this fall, including online, hybrid, and face-to-face classes. First-year students should contact University Housing with questions or concerns regarding the first-year live-on requirement. There will still be immeasurable advantages to living on campus this fall and being with the Wolfpack community, and University Housing has resources and information available regarding health and safety of residents as well as housing options for students who want to live on campus.
  • None, or few, of my classes are available online and I am not comfortable with going to classes in-person. What am I supposed to do?
    Consider reaching out to your academic advisor or coordinator of advising to discuss other options regarding your registration, and whether there may be other courses available this semester being delivered online for you to enroll in. If you have a disability that prevents you from being able to go to class, contact the Disability Resources Office. NDS students should contact nondegreestudies@ncsu.edu.

The Department of Registration and Records continues to work with the university’s reactivation task forces along with other university departments to ensure that we can safely accommodate face-to-face instruction this fall. Guidelines, strategies, and protocols are being put in place to ensure appropriate physical distancing, sanitation, and overall health of students and faculty.

Information about classroom and campus safety measures is available on the NC State Protect the Pack website.

Enrollment paused for all students for the month of June, and reopened for students beginning in early July. At this time, all eligible students should be able to enroll for the Fall 2020 semester, barring any course/class restrictions or holds on the student’s account.

  • I’m a Non-Degree Studies (NDS) student. Why won’t NDS students be allowed to enroll in on-campus classes this fall?
    Unfortunately because of the limited seating capacity available for on-campus classes this semester, we will be limiting on-campus enrollment to degree-seeking students. Please contact the NDS coordinators if you have any questions.
  • Will the Enhanced S/U and Late Drop options be available for the fall semester?
    Yes, the Enhanced Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grading Option and the Enhanced Late Drop Option will both be available for the fall semester.
  • Should I just request a term withdrawal for this semester and re-enroll when things go back to “normal?”
    We understand that students and families may have many concerns about continuing enrollment for this semester, be that because of perceived limited in-person enrollment options or because of health and safety concerns. However, we along with university leadership and the ten reactivation task forces remain committed to safely bringing the NC State community back to campus while also continuing to provide the highest quality NC State education via our online and hybrid courses this semester. While ultimately it is the student’s decision, along with your families, whether to withdraw from the university or continue enrollment, we strongly encourage students to speak with your academic advisor(s) about the best course of action for your individual circumstances.

Due to the earlier end to the semester and ongoing safety precautions, plans for a Fall 2020 commencement ceremony are currently under review and will be announced at a later date.

  • Is there going to be a commencement ceremony for summer and fall 2020 graduates?
    At this time, plans for a commencement ceremony for summer and fall graduates are to be determined. We will continue to update students and the university community as plans are evaluated and decisions are made.
  • Why haven’t you announced a commencement ceremony for spring 2020 graduates yet?
    The state of North Carolina is currently still operating under Phase 2 of lifting social distancing restrictions, which prohibits large gatherings. At this time, there has not been an announced date for when large gatherings will be permissible again. We will still be dedicated to providing the safest experience possible, and will need to evaluate all options for appropriate social distancing and seating arrangements.We are immensely proud of the accomplishments of our graduates, and the Spring 2020 graduating class’s resilience that they showed when faced with adversity. We look forward to being able to celebrate them, with them, when it is safe to do so.
  • How else are you celebrating 2020 graduates?
    Please check out the Class of 2020 website to see how we have been celebrating our 2020 graduates!

At this time, there are no plans to change the tuition and fee structure for the 2020-2021 academic year. Please see additional information below regarding tuition and fees for the fall 2020 semester.

  • Is tuition going to be reduced if all of my classes are online this semester?
    At this time, there are no plans to change the tuition and fee structure for the 2020-2021 academic year. As has always been the case, tuition and fees are charged at the beginning of the semester and will remain in place regardless of any changes in instructional format. Tuition and fees will not be refunded in the event that instructional format changes for any part of the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • I’m an out-of-state student and all of my classes will be online and/or hybrid delivery. Is my tuition going to be changed to the distance education rate?
    At this time, there are no plans to change the tuition and fee structure for the 2020-2021 academic year. As has always been the case, tuition and fees are charged at the beginning of the semester and will remain in place regardless of any changes in instructional format. Tuition and fees will not be refunded in the event that instructional format changes for any part of the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • Will I have to pay fees for campus services if I won’t be on campus? Are any of these fees going to be eliminated or reduced this semester, such as transportation, libraries, recreation, etc.?
    At this time, there are no plans to reduce, eliminate, or refund student fees for the fall semester.
    Student fees contribute to providing support for essential services and resources for all NC State students. Without the support of student fees, these services would see a detrimental loss of quality and funding and would not be able to properly serve the NC State community the way they are designed to.
  • Will you waive the registration pre-pay hold for the fall semester? I want to see what the class schedule will look like before I enroll.
    We will not be waiving registration pre-pay for the fall. You can still add classes to your shopping cart if the prepay hold is on.

Fall charges began posting to student accounts on July 1 with a July 28 due date. The full detailed Billing Calendar is available here. Students who had not enrolled in a tuition payment plan, accepted financial aid, or otherwise disclosed an alternative payment method/timeframe with our office may have had their Fall 2020 class schedules cancelled if payments were not received by the billing due date(s). Please refer to the detailed Billing Calendar or contact our office if you have any questions or concerns.

  • Can you offer a different payment plan option for students and families experiencing hardships due to COVID-19?
    We are approved for one monthly payment plan. This is to ensure that 3 payments are successfully made prior to the first day of classes. Please visit go.ncsu.edu/mpp for details.
  • Can you extend the tuition payment deadline due to COVID-19?
    If you have an extenuating circumstance, please email studentaccounts@ncsu.edu with your issue and your plan for payment and we will review it. Note that you may incur penalties and interest on balances that are 90 days past due, and you will not be able to register for a future semester if payment is not made.
  • If I won’t be on campus for any classes, will I have my fees refunded?
    At this time, there are no plans to change the tuition and fee structure for the 2020-2021 academic year.  As has always been the case, tuition and fees are charged at the beginning of the semester and will remain in place regardless of any changes in instructional format. Tuition and fees will not be refunded in the event that instructional format changes for any part of the 2020-21 academic year.

Students receiving financial aid for the fall semester should view the following information. Any additional updates will be thoroughly communicated to students receiving financial aid awards.

  • Will my financial aid award be reduced for the fall because of the shortened calendar?
    No. The shortened calendar will not have any effect on the amount of your financial aid award offer.
  • When will my financial aid be disbursed for the fall? When will I receive my refund?
    Financial aid for the fall semester is scheduled to disburse to students meeting disbursement requirements on August 5th. Refunds for excess financial aid should be available by the first day of fall classes
  • What will happen to my financial aid if all of my classes are online and/or hybrid?
    Nothing will happen to your financial aid if all of your classes are online and/or hybrid. Your financial aid offer is currently based on what we expect your tuition and fees charges to be. If a decision is made to change the billing structure for students participating in on-campus programs but enrolled in online classes, an adjustment to your financial aid may become necessary because the expenses you incur will be reduced.
  • My classes are online. I want to live at home with my family rather than live on campus or in an off-campus apartment. Will that have any impact on my financial aid?
    If your financial aid was determined with the expectation that you would live on campus or in an apartment/home other than your family home and you decide to live at home with family, your cost of attendance will need to be adjusted and there may be an impact to your financial aid. If you are in this situation, please contact your financial aid counselor so that they can review your individual case.
  • What will happen to my veterans education benefits if all of my classes are online and/or hybrid?
    S.503 allows schools to certify courses transitioned to online learning as residential through December 2020. This change protects on-campus Post-9/11 and Vocational Rehabilitation students’ housing rates for fall 2020.Courses that are listed as “Online Delivery” will be counted as residential, which will allow Post-9/11 GI Bill students to receive on-campus housing stipends. Courses that are listed as Distance Learning (DE) will be counted as online only; if a student is enrolled in all DE courses, they will not receive the full housing rate (Chapter 33). Please contact the Veterans Education Benefits team for more help.