Fall 2020 Academics

What will the grading system be in fall 2020?

We anticipate grading will return to our usual system for fall semester 2020.

In spring 2020, we experienced an unexpected interruption halfway through the semester and therefore faculty decided the grading system needed to adapt. Although some decisions remain for the fall, our faculty will have some time to plan if a portion of instruction needs to be online.

Following our usual practice, grading systems will be determined by the faculty as part of their role in our governance.

Student Questions: Academic Year 2020-2021 Study Abroad

Is Spring 2021 Study Abroad proceeding?

After careful review, planning, and assessment by the Pomona College Travel Risk Advisory Committee, Study Abroad Committee, and Office of Study Abroad, the College has made the difficult decision to extend the suspension of study abroad through the spring 2021 semester.

Pomona College continues to be deeply committed to the value of study abroad, and the Office of Study Abroad staff is available to support students with plans to study abroad in a future semester. If you had been approved to study abroad in spring 2021 prior to this decision, please reach out to sabroad@pomona.edu to let us know if you would like to reapply for study abroad in fall 2021, and study abroad staff will work with you on updating your Pomona and program applications.

Will Study Abroad be available in Fall 2021?

Currently, the College is allowing students to apply for study abroad programs for fall 2021. It is important to keep in mind that it will take significant improvement in traveling and public health conditions in order to move ahead with study abroad for fall 2021. Pomona College will make a final determination for fall 2021 study abroad on May 1, 2020, for programs beginning in June and July and on June 1, 2020, for programs beginning in August and afterwards.

As we continue to monitor and evaluate the viability of fall 2021 study abroad, the Office of Study Abroad will remain in close communication with study abroad applicants regarding timelines, decisions and situational updates.

Interested applicants should be aware that as of March 3, 2020, the College does not sponsor travel to countries designated with a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory at Level 2 or higher due to COVID-19. In addition, the College will not support study abroad in any countries with a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Warning Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel.

What should I do if I’m interested in Studying Abroad?

At this time, students will be allowed to proceed with applications, except to programs in countries with a U.S. Department of State Level 4 (Do Not Travel) Travel Advisory. While applications will be allowed to proceed for programs in countries with a U.S. Department of State Level 2 (Exercise Increased Caution – due to COVID-19) or Level 3 (Reconsider Travel) Travel Advisory or a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Warning Level 3 (Avoid Nonessential Travel), final approval is contingent on sufficient improvement in health, safety, and travel conditions by the program’s decision date.

Students interested in applying for study abroad should schedule an advising meeting with a study abroad advisor to discuss their goals and interests for study abroad along with current risks; health, safety and travel considerations; and program operations.

As ever, students with health or disability accommodation needs should plan in advance with a study abroad advisor and their program provider to learn about what current resources are and are not available at the programs and locations they are considering.

What factors will the College consider in making a decision about Fall 2021 Study Abroad?

Pomona’s Office of Study Abroad, Travel Risk Advisory Committee, Study Abroad Committee, and our program partners abroad continue to follow U.S. government advisories, local in-country advisories abroad, and other indicators to determine when to resume travel and international programming.

It is important to keep in mind that it will take significant improvement in traveling and public health conditions in order to move ahead with study abroad for fall 2021. Below is a list of some of the primary factors the College is considering along with resources to guide your own research.

  • U.S. Department of State Country-Specific Travel Advisories
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Country-Specific Travel Health Notices
  • Ability to obtain a visa or study permit for the program (if required). Refer to information provided by the host country Embassy in the U.S.
  • Availability of sufficient and predictable flight operations.
  • Travel restrictions on entry (border closures, quarantine, proof of negative COVID-19 test, etc.). Currently, several countries are restricting entry to travelers, particularly those from the U.S. and other highly impacted countries. The U.S. Embassy sites have country-specific COVID-19 information pages with key information about local restrictions, travel information, quarantines, border status, and more. See also IATA and Kayak maps.
  • Ability and capacity for the local health infrastructure to support current or potential demands due to COVID-19, in addition to regular health care, as well as accessibility for study abroad students.

What if I need to apply for a passport (new/renewal)?

Routine processing has resumed for U.S. passports. International students should check passport processing timelines with their passport-issuing country. If you do not currently have a passport or if your passport is expiring within six months after the end of your intended program, you should begin the application/renewal process as soon as possible. Keep in mind that in most cases, you would need a valid passport in order to apply for a student visa and to book a flight.

Am I eligible to participate in Study Abroad after a leave of absence?

Students on leave are not eligible to apply for study abroad. Students who have been on leave status must successfully complete one academic semester (fall or spring) of full-time coursework at Pomona before participating in a study abroad program. Due to the unusual circumstances of the pandemic, the Study Abroad Committee will consider requests for exceptions on a case-by-case basis. Petitioners must meet with a study abroad advisor to discuss their plans and must demonstrate to the Committee that the semester following the leave is the only feasible semester for study abroad in their case. Requests for exceptions must be submitted by the application deadline for the study abroad semester.