Info For: Current Students
Below doctoral and masters students in the Division will find links to some frequently used divisional and university resources. Questions about degree programs or degree requirements should be directed to individual departments.
Quick Reference of Remote Learning Resources
The University has postponed the start of Spring Quarter to Monday, April 6. The quarter will end as previously scheduled, on June 13, 2020.
Access and Technology
No courses will require students to be in the Chicago area during the Spring Quarter. Courses will be delivered via Zoom and Canvas, each online platforms for instruction, at the (Chicago) time specified in the Schedule of Classes https://registrar.uchicago.edu/registration/schedule-of-classes/ . Students should log in at the (Chicago) time that the course is scheduled.
- Zoom https://uchicagostudents.zoom.us is an audio and video conferencing platform for instructors, students, and staff to conduct video and audio meetings, classes, and events. Zoom will be integrated with the Canvas site for each course, and Zoom should also be used for virtual meetings with advisors, student collaborators, and many other sessions.
- Students do not need to have a Zoom account to participate in classes or meetings. Students are encouraged to claim a University of Chicago Zoom account to facilitate participation and to host gatherings of their own. Follow the link above for more information.
Please install the cVPN client from https://cvpn.uchicago.edu. By using the VPN, your computers are able to access campus-related offerings from the Library and other providers, and the traffic is encrypted between the student’s computer or end-user-device. A number of on-campus services are available over the VPN, but are inaccessible by other means.
- Students should NOT use the VPN when participating in Zoom or Canvas sessions. Zoom and Canvas already employ encrypted communications protocols and have been vetted by UChicago for use without the VPN. Using the Zoom over the VPN seriously degrades performance for all participants. Please turn off the VPN when using Zoom.
Wherever you may be, please consider your access to the internet. If you have not yet taken the technology and access survey for all SSD graduate students, please do so at https://uchicagosocialsciencesdivision.wufoo.com/forms/z1xha3aj15qqfaq/
Synchronous content will take place during the regularly scheduled class meeting. As faculty adapt to this new means of teaching, sessions may be adjusted in format. Instructors have been asked to record and post each session so that if a student misses part of a class meeting (due to an internet outage, for example) the material is available.
In some courses, elements of a course may be presented asynchronously, such as recorded lectures, post and review readings, and assignments.
Students may still take readings courses/independent study courses in the Spring. In-person meetings with the faculty member whom you’re working should be scheduled via Zoom or other online chat platform.
The Dean of Students Office is working with the Office of the Provost on solutions to replicate the course shopping period, and we expect a plan to be finalized soon. Similarly, we are working with department chairs and faculty regarding office hours, and will have a plan in place shortly.
Please visit https://www.lib.uchicago.edu/alerts/changes-library-services-light-coronavirus-updates/ for the latest Library announcements and information on how to access services and information remotely.
Health and Counseling Services
UChicago’s Student Health and Counseling has mental health clinicians available 24/7 at (773)702-3625. Students can call (773) 702-9800 for general information or to make an appointment with a clinician. Students seeking medical advice or in need of a medical appointment should still call the Student Health Service at (773) 702.4156. The University information line for inquiries related to coronavirus or Spring Quarter planning is (877) 744-4800.
The latest updates for Student Health and Counseling are at https://wellness.uchicago.edu/news/article/university-monitoring-coronavirus/
The Division is expanding the peer mentor program in all departments to offer additional support to doctoral students. Departments will be sharing more information about these programs soon.
The Master’s programs are also developing plans for maintaining peer to peer engagement in these difficult circumstances. MA students will hear from their preceptors in the coming weeks regarding this program.
Students who need additional funds for emergencies, or help in addressing significant computing costs of on-line learning, can apply for assistance through a program administered by the University Bursar. More information and the application form are at https://bursar.uchicago.edu/emergency-assistance-programs/
To sustain our intellectual community during the Spring Quarter, we are working with workshop coordinators to find ways to use Zoom and Canvas to continue holding sessions and other gatherings. More information on those plans will be shared soon.
Thus far, students and faculty have reported that Zoom works well for both intellectual and social engagement. Beyond class and academic purposes, please use these technologies to connect with colleagues and friends to offer and receive support. Again, https://uchicagostudents.zoom.us provides information on claiming your Zoom account and tutorials https://its.uchicago.edu/zoom-video-tutorials/ for effective use.
Dean of Students Staff
The Dean of Students staff is available by email, and desk phones have been forward to cell phones. For reference, the Dean of Students’ general telephone number is (773) 702-8414, and the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Brett Baker, Assistant Dean of Students: general inquiries and registration; email@example.com, (773) 702-8414, (773) 795-4317
- Jackie Hill, Financial Assistant: inquiries about stipend and payments; firstname.lastname@example.org, (773) 795-3941
- Kelly Pollock, Associate Dean of Students: general inquiries and questions about funding and policies; email@example.com. (773) 795-3238
- Chaevia Clendinen, Assistant Dean of Students: general inquiries and questions about special programs and policies; firstname.lastname@example.org (773) 834-6026
- B. Patrick Hall, Dean of Students: general inquiries, policies, funding; email@example.com 773-702-0394
Students must maintain full-time registration to be eligible for tuition scholarship aid. Students must be registered for at least 2 courses to be eligible for educational loans. Changes in Spring quarter registration may be made through April 17, the end of the 2-week add/drop period.
Stipends and Tuition Scholarships
All fellowship stipends and tuition scholarships will be disbursed on their regular schedules. Students with teaching appointments will be paid on the regular bi-weekly schedule.
The Graduate Financial Aid Office has a COVID-19 FAQ available at https://financialaid.uchicago.edu/covid-19-faq
The University has reduced the Student Services fee for Spring Quarter to $125. The Division of the Social Sciences automatically waives the fee for students whose local address is more than 50 miles from campus. For more information about getting a waiver, contact Assistant Dean of Students Brett Baker firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leaves of Absence
Students may take leaves of absence if otherwise eligible. To apply for a leave of absence, contact Assistant Dean of Students Brett Baker email@example.com . Students have until the end of the second week of the quarter, April 17, to apply for a leave. Students who need to reduce their course load or take a leave of absence due to health issues or other reasons after April 17 should contact Brett Baker or Dean of Students Patrick Hall firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students are not eligible for University health insurance (Uship) while on leave of absence and are also not eligible for federal student loans. If your loans disburse before you decide to take a leave of absence, loan funds must be returned immediately.
International students on F-1 or J-1 visa status can maintain their status by enrolling in 3 UChicago courses, even if those courses are taken outside the U.S. For more on travel while in F-1 or J-1 status, review this web page https://internationalaffairs.uchicago.edu/page/travel-0 .
From the Office of International Affairs regarding online courses: “This will not impact your eligibility for CPT in summer quarter or OPT if spring quarter 2020 is your final quarter before graduation. If you decide to leave the U.S., please review your I-20 or DS-2019 to ensure your program end-date is in the future and the travel signature provided will be valid for entry back into the U.S. over summer or leading up to autumn quarter 2020.
International students should also consider additional factors when deciding whether to take a leave of absence, and we strongly recommend that any international student considering a leave of absence consult the Office of International Affairs (OIA) Frequently Asked Questions related to coronavirus page: https://internationalaffairs.uchicago.edu/news/oia-faqs-coronavirus-updates and speak with the OIA advisor, Amima Diagne (email@example.com)
- While OIA prefers, under normal circumstances, that students let them know about leaves of absence 2 weeks in advance, students can file for a leave of absence at any point for Spring Quarter. For practical purposes the deadline for international students to request a leave of absence is the same as for domestic students – the end of add/drop for the quarter (April 17).
- International students cannot remain in the United States during a leave of absence.
- After taking a leave of absence international students can only return to the U.S. to resume full-time study (3 courses/quarter). While this resumption could theoretically take place in the summer, for most it will be in Autumn Quarter given the limited number of courses offered during Summer Quarter.
- Returning in autumn would mean that the leave was longer than 5 months, so the student would need to again go through the I-20/DS-2019 request process again, and if needed, re-apply for a visa stamp from a U.S. consulate/embassy abroad.
- CPT requires 3 consecutive quarters of full-time study. For most international students, taking a leave of absence means that they will not be eligible for CPT upon return, depending on how many quarters they have remaining after the leave.
- Students who had been planning to graduate in Spring 2020 and now wish to take a leave and graduate later should consult OIA about implications for OPT.
- Questions about leaves of absence and the effect on immigration status should be directed to Amima Diagne (firstname.lastname@example.org).