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FAQ for Undergraduate International Students: Optional Remote Fall 2021

International undergraduate students who are unable to obtain a visa before September 1, 2021 may have the option to self-select into Remote Fall 2021 to start or continue their undergraduate program. Please read below for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of choosing a remote fall term?

Drexel is committed to providing an in-person learning experience for the fall term; however, we recognize that students may have challenges in joining us for a face-to-face program. Electing to participate in your fall term virtually gives you the extra time you may need in making the necessary arrangements to join us on-campus without having to postpone the start of your Drexel education.

How can I select the Remote Fall 2021 option?

International First-Year Students: To select the Remote Fall 2021 option, log in to your Discover Drexel portal and complete the form in the section titled “Your Admissions Status.”

Continuing International StudentsPlease log in to your DrexelOne portal and complete the form linked on the Welcome tab under Academic Alerts. When your time ticket opens, please also register for the courses to intent to take in the fall through the normal registration process.

What is the deadline to select the Remote Fall 2021 option?

First-year students must opt-in, via their Discover Drexel portal, by September 1, 2021. Continuing students should also make arrangements with their academic advisor by September 1, 2021.

If you are seeking on-campus housing for the winter term, we encourage you to apply by November 1, 2021 or earlier, to ensure the necessary housing arrangements. View more information about housing here.

How will my plan of study be affected by selecting a remote fall term?

By participating in a Remote Fall 2021, you will be able to begin your Drexel degree without delay. Your academic advisor will work with you over the summer to establish a fall term schedule that will meet your academic needs. Participating in virtual classes for your fall term will not add time to your Drexel program.

Is there a difference between taking a course remotely or on-campus?

The content covered in remote courses will be consistent with the content covered in on-campus courses. Remote courses will consist of a combination of synchronous and asynchronous instruction. View more information about the types of instruction here.

How will classes be instructed?

As one of the United States’ pioneers of online learning, Drexel University has a long and successful history of providing students with innovative, challenging, and impactful educational experiences in virtual environments. Remote courses consist of synchronous and asynchronous instruction utilizing numerous online and university resources.

Our virtual offerings not only provide students with an engaging and formative classroom experience in the safety and comfort of their own home, but they also provide vital resources and activities typically associated with on-campus experiences, including group classwork, lab opportunities, academic support, counseling and health services, and more.

What will my Remote Fall 2021 term schedule look like?

First-Year Students: Your fall term schedule will depend on several factors, including: your program of study, placement exam results, AP/IB/A level credits, and transfer credit evaluation (for Transfer students). Your academic advisor will work closely with you over the summer to create a schedule that will meet your academic needs and ensure you are making progress toward your Drexel degree.

Transfer Students: Your schedules will be determined on an individual basis, based on the coursework completed at other institutions. Connect with your admissions representative to determine if you are eligible to conduct the fall term remotely.

Will my tuition and financial aid stay the same?

Tuition and financial aid for the fall term will be the same. All scholarships and grants will be awarded, as indicated in your financial aid package. Please note that room, board, and university health insurance costs will not be charged to students during the remote term. 

Will I be charged for health insurance during the fall term?

All on-campus international undergraduate students are default enrolled into Drexel’s health insurance plan with Aetna (Drexel University Dragon Plan). Students who choose to attend their fall term remotely will not be enrolled into the Dragon Plan until the start of the winter term, and will pay a pro-rated amount (for coverage until August 31, 2022).

When will my immunization form be due?

For students who participate in a remote fall term, the deadline to submit the immunization form is January 31, 2022. You can review requirements here.

Will housing be available for students, starting in the winter term (January 2022)?

Housing is guaranteed for first-year students. Students seeking housing starting in the winter term will not be able to participate in Roommate Matching or Room Self-Selection. Students will be administratively assigned a room based on availability and their selected preferences (e.g. building preferences, roommate requests, and Living and Learning Community).

Housing is only guaranteed for first-year students. However, we will likely be able to accommodate returning and transfer students in the winter term. Students may email to check availability.

Should I complete a housing application if I am participating in Remote Fall 2021 option?

If you have already completed a housing application, Housing and Residence Life will update your housing application to reflect that you are participating in Remote fall. If you have not yet completed a housing application, you should wait till the start of the fall term to complete one for winter 2022 and spring 2022 quarter housing.

Will I be able to add a dining plan for the start the winter term (January 2022)?

Yes, dining plans are mandatory for all First-Year residents.

Should I complete the dining application if I am participating in Remote Fall 2021 option?

The dining application will be part of the housing application. You do not need to fill out a dining application for fall 2021 if you plan to participate in the Remote Fall 2021.

What is the deadline for my I-20 application?*

We recommend you apply for your I-20 as early as possible. The sooner you have it, the sooner you can request a visa interview appointment at your local U.S. embassy or consulate.

If you participate in Remote Fall 2021, your I-20 application deadline is November 1, 2021. If you are planning to attend on-campus classes in the fall term, your I-20 deadline is June 15, 2021.

If you receive your I-20, then later choose the Remote Fall option, Drexel will issue you a new I-20 with the adjusted start date of January 4, 2022.

If I start the fall term virtually and then receive my student visa during that time, can I switch and complete the term as an on-campus student?*

No, students who select the Remote Fall 2021 option must remain enrolled in this cohort for the duration of the term.

Do I need to apply for a visa for the fall term, if I opt-in to remote learning for the fall?*

No, if you elect to take classes virtually for your fall term, you do not need a U.S. visa, as you will not be in the U.S. for the fall term. In order to apply for a student visa (F-1/J-1) for the winter term, students will work with the Office of International Students and Scholars Services (ISSS) to apply for the necessary pre-visa documents (I-20/DS-2019).

However, if you are already inside the U.S. on a valid student status, then you must abide by the regulations governing that visa status (see below).

If I am already in the U.S. and hold a valid student visa, can I opt-in to remote learning for the fall term?*

Will selecting the Remote Fall 2021 option impact my ability to use my CPT (Curricular Practical Training)?*

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) allows F-1 students to engage in employment, as long as it is an integral part of their curriculum. Please review the International Students and Scholars Services webpage about CPT to learn about the eligibility requirements and procedures to obtain CPT. Students must have been lawfully enrolled full-time in a degree-granting program for one full academic year (3 quarters or 2 semesters) before applying for CPT.

If my visa is denied, will I be able to reapply for a new visa?*

You may re-apply for a new visa, but it is important to know why your application was denied. In most cases, the U.S. Embassies/Consulates advise applicants of reasons, in writing, for visa denials. We do not advise that you re-apply using the original application, but to do so only when you have additional evidence to support your case. For more detailed information about visa denials, including the list of potential visa denial reasons and other relevant information, please see the U.S. Department of State website.

I have additional questions about the Remote Fall 2021 option. Who can I contact?

For admissions-specific questions, please email or connect with your admissions representative directly. Continuing students should contact their academic advisors.

For visa-related questions, please see the International Students and Scholars Services’ FAQ page or email

*Please note: Immigrations-related guidelines are subject to change by these governing authorities: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and/or the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). 

vaccine information

For information on COVID-19 vaccination, please see Drexel's Response to Coronavirus page.