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FAQ for Undergraduate International Students: Optional Remote Fall 2020

International First-Year students admitted to Drexel University for Fall 2020 have the option to self-select into a virtual fall term to start their Drexel degree program. Please read below for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of choosing a remote fall term?

We recognize that students are in an unprecedented situation. Electing to participate in your fall term virtually gives you 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.

This option is particularly ideal for international students who need additional time to complete the visa application process.

Who is eligible to request a remote fall term?

International First-Year students are eligible to opt-in to a remote fall term.

Transfer students and newly admitted First-Year students who are U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents should connect directly with their admissions representative to determine if they are eligible to conduct the fall term remotely.

How can I select the Remote Fall 2020 option?

International First-Year Students: to select the Remote Fall 2020 option, log in to your Discover Drexel portal and complete the form in the section titled “Your Admissions Status.”

All other students: Connect with your admissions representative, to determine if you are eligible to conduct the fall term remotely.

What is the deadline to select the Remote Fall 2020 option?

Students must opt-in, via their Discover Drexel portal, by September 1, 2020.

If you are seeking on-campus housing for the winter term, we encourage you to opt-in by August 1, 2020 or earlier, to ensure the necessary housing arrangements.

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

By participating in a Remote Fall 2020, 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.

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 2020 term schedule look like?

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 unimpeded progress toward your Drexel degree.

Transfer students’ 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. See more information about health insurance below. For students who opt-in to the Remote Fall 2020 option, the removal of these additional costs can significantly reduce your overall costs for the fall 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 of approximately $1,800 (for coverage until August 31, 2021).

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, 2021. You can review requirements here.

Will housing be available for students, starting in the winter term (January 2021)?

Yes, housing is guaranteed for first-year students. The priority deadline for housing is May 15, 2020. Students who submit their housing deposit and application after that date are still guaranteed housing, but may not be able to participate in Roommate Matching or Room Self-Selection. Students who do not select their room will be administratively assigned a room based on availability and their selected preferences.

We do not guarantee housing for transfer students however, we will do our best to accommodate each request.

Should I complete a housing application if I am participating in Remote Fall 2020 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 may complete one in the fall for winter 2021 and spring 2021 quarter housing.

Will I be able to add a dining plan for the start the winter term (January 2021)?

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

Should I complete the dining application if I am participating in Remote Fall 2020 option?

The dining application will be part of the housing application. You do not need to fill out a dining application for fall 2020 if you plan to participate in the Remote Fall 2020.

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 2020, your I-20 application deadline is September 1, 2020. If you are planning to attend on-campus classes in the fall term, your I-20 deadline is June 15, 2020.

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, 2021.

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 2020 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?*

You can opt-in to remote learning for the fall term, but you cannot remain inside the United States for the fall term and you will forfeit your F-1 or J-1 status. You will need to need to apply for a new initial I-20/DS-2019, pay a new SEVIS fee, and may potentially have to apply for a new visa if your old one will expire before you plan to return for classes in January.

F-1 or J-1 students already inside the U.S. holding a valid status and pursuing a Drexel I-20/DS-2019 are required to abide by F-1/J-1 regulations. Regulations stipulate that undergraduates must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits, and at least 9 credits must be in face-to-face courses.

F-1 and J-1 students still must be enrolled in the above-cited ratio of face-to-face courses. For the protection of all of Drexel’s F-1 and J-1 status-holders, these international students must continue to adhere to the previous rules of face-to-face enrollment.

Will selecting the Remote Fall 2020 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 2020 option. Who can I contact?

For admissions-specific questions, please email

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

*Please note: These FAQs only pertain to Drexel-sponsored F-1 and J-1 visas.