Fall Plans: FAQ for New Undergraduate Students

revised 8.11.2020

What is OSU’s plan for instruction in fall 2020?

What is OSU’s plan for instruction in fall 2020?

Oregon State University is allowing students great flexibility for the fall 2020 term, and we are encouraging students to make the best decision for themselves, based on the information available. We know that everyone has different experiences with COVID-19, and different individual situations make important choices about education very personal. Our primary concern is continuing to deliver the highest quality education in an environment that supports safety and success, while weighing and balancing information from scientists and public health experts and observing public health patterns that are changing daily.

For fall 2020 term, we plan to have approximately 90% of classes in Corvallis delivered via remote instruction or blended -- a combination of remote and face-to-face -- instruction. At OSU-Cascades in Bend, we will offer a higher percentage of classes in person or in blended delivery, but about half of those classes also will be delivered as remote sections.  For both campuses, it is still our hope to increase on-site learning for winter and spring terms.

Some OSU colleges and academic units are offering on-site teaching for first-year students who wish to study on campus. When those academic units are doing so, they are also providing students the option of studying remotely.

OSU Corvallis

Primarily remote: Approximately 90% of course sections will be offered in this modality (see below).  As previously announced, all classes at Corvallis will be held 100% remotely after Thanksgiving break.


Course sections will be offered in remote, in-person and blended formats, with about half being delivered remotely. Students will have the option to take all courses remotely.

Here is a summary of what the different instructional modalities mean:

  • On-site/in-person—Instruction is delivered in-person at the scheduled time (synchronously). This is the traditional on-campus learning experience.
  • Remote—Students attend class sessions remotely at scheduled times (synchronously) via Zoom for some or all components of the class.
  • Blended—A course format having both on-campus and remote elements. Some components include synchronous learning.
  • Ecampus—Fully online (asynchronous) participation via Canvas, our learning management system.

We are prepared to move to completely remote instruction if guidance from public health officials suggests that approach would be in the best interest of students, faculty, staff and community members.

We are neither encouraging nor discouraging students from living in Corvallis or Bend at this time. We want to stress that this will not be a traditional fall term for students who choose to live on campus. For those who either wish to or must live on-campus, residence halls will be open, and services and some buildings (such as dining, recreation, and the Memorial Union) will be available, provided health conditions permit, and with physical distancing measures and reduced density policies enforced. Our expectations include that all students, faculty, and staff will comply with OSU and state of Oregon directives regarding face coverings and physical distancing.

Advising services will be primarily remote. Other student services such as those offered by Student Account Services, the Office of Financial Aid and the Office of the Registrar, and Honors College will be delivered primarily remotely but with limited in-person hours also available to help students when remote interactions are not possible.  Buildings with classrooms and teaching laboratories for in-person instruction and applied learning will be open during fall term, along with the Memorial Union, Dixon Recreation Center, buildings that provide students with student services and study spaces, child care, health and wellness, food services and emergency assistance.

  • We will continuously test for the prevalence of COVID-19 with approximately 1,000 people per week being randomly selected to participate in TRACE-OSU prevalence testing at the Corvallis, Bend, and Hatfield Marine Science Center locations.
  • In addition to prevalence testing, we will monitor wastewater to track the prevalence of the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • Testing for symptomatic students and primary contacts will be available for Corvallis and OSU-Cascades students, either on campus or via a local health care provider.
  • We are still exploring providing initial baseline testing for students who choose to live on campus and students arriving from out-of-state hotspots.

Although we believe starting at OSU puts you on the best path to earning your degree and ensuring your academic progress is appropriate, new students admitted for fall 2020 have several options:

  1. Enroll in OSU in Corvallis or at OSU-Cascades and live on-campus.
  2. Enroll in OSU Corvallis or at OSU-Cascades and live off-campus or at home.
  3. Enroll in the OSU Degree Partnership Program via a community college in Oregon or Hawaii.

    If none of these options are good choices for you, we also offer these options:

  4. Enroll at another college with a plan to transfer to OSU at a later date (i.e., defer enrollment).
  5. Defer admission for a period of time that you determine without enrolling at another college, and enroll at OSU at a later date.
  6. Cancel your application for admission to OSU and enroll at another college with no intent to transfer to OSU at a later date.

Selecting one of the first five options will allow us to hold many of your OSU scholarships until a later term.  More details and a list of OSU scholarships we are able to hold can be found here.  We will not be able to hold some donor-funded scholarships, and state and federal financial aid cannot be guaranteed for subsequent years as eligibility is dependent on an annual application and the state and federal guidelines in place for that year.

  • Students who select Option #6 above will not be eligible to have their OSU scholarships held for a later term. When you inform us of your plans, we will withdraw your application for admission and cancel your scholarships.
  • Students who have paid an Advance Tuition Deposit (ATD) can request a refund until end-of-day Sept. 1, 2020. After that date, no refunds will be made.
  • Students who have not paid an Advance Tuition Deposit have until end-of-day on Sept. 1, 2020 to decide and to pay the deposit. After that point, any scholarships and other aid may be cancelled.

Students planning to enroll in fall term courses must confirm their enrollment. Prior to registering for classes, students must sign up for and proceed through START, which is OSU’s virtual new student orientation program that includes advising and course registration. 

Students not planning to attend OSU at all or planning to defer enrollment (take a term or year off before enrolling), should also let us know those plans. Please note our policy above regarding holding scholarships for those who defer their enrollment officially on or before September 15.

Students wishing to confirm their enrollment after September 1 for the Fall 2020 term are encouraged to do so, but any deposit paid will be non-refundable after September 15th.  Late confirmation of enrollment reduces the time needed to progress through new student orientation modules and get advised and registered.  Please plan accordingly.

Students signed up for START (new student orientation) will have their START registration cancelled if/when they cancel their admission.

Students with active housing applications and contracts also will have those cancelled if they cancel their admissions. However, students with an active housing and dining contract who wish to defer their enrollment to a future term should contact housing to update them of your plans.

Students who now wish to defer or cancel their enrollment but have already registered for classes must withdraw from all classes by following the steps for dropping a course.  Once your courses are dropped, you should cancel your admission.

The Degree Partnership Program (DPP) allows students to be dual-enrolled at both OSU and one of our community college partners in Oregon or Hawaii. DPP students are able to either take courses at both institutions concurrently or may choose to start at the community college first. While enrolled, transcripts are shared between institutions so that credits are transferred, and students can work with OSU advisors on progress toward an eventual OSU degree.  

Students can live outside of Oregon and participate in the DPP program for the fall term provided they are enrolled at OSU, one of our partner community colleges, or both. 

Information about how participating in DPP impacts your eligibility for OSU scholarships can be found here.

Admitted students can add DPP by following the instructions found here. Students should apply for DPP by Sept. 1 for fall term.

Students wishing to explore DPP as an option are encouraged to reach out to our transfer and Degree Partnership Program staff at partnerships@oregonstate.edu.

Ecampus courses are fully online and designed to be taught in an asynchronous manner. Participation occurs via Canvas, OSU's learning management system, and does not occur at specific times. Campus based remote courses require students to attend class sessions remotely at scheduled times (synchronously). When other remote work is performed outside of the scheduled meeting times, it is done asynchronously so as not to conflict with another class or scheduled event. Students participate via Zoom for all or some portions of remote courses.

All classes receive the same credit, but enrolling as an Ecampus student can cause you to lose your eligibility for OSU scholarships. Please check here to read more about this.

Students interested in courses taught in a specific modality can search and filter courses this way using the Schedule of Classes.  Using the same tool, students can look up specific courses and sections to see how they are being taught this fall.

We will not modify tuition rates for the fall term; fees associated with Student Fee-funded programs are now under review by student leaders. Information on any student fee reductions will be provided after the student fee committees complete their review. The OSU Board of Trustees is making some limited additional financial aid available to students with extreme need based on the effects of COVID-19.  We will provide additional details as soon as they become available. 

Non-resident students who defer their admission may have some OSU scholarships held for a later term as specified above. Qualified students from WUE states who defer their admission will be considered automatically for a WUE Scholarship for the year in which they enroll. Since the OSU WUE Scholarship is a competitive scholarship that offers a limited number of awards each year, however, there is no guarantee that a WUE Scholarship will be awarded to students who defer their admission to fall 2021 or later. More details about how deferring your admission effects OSU scholarships, including eligibility for the WUE Scholarship, can be found here.

In recognition of the current pandemic reality, Oregon State University respects the decision of students to make alternate plans if they feel those plans are in their best interest. To this end, OSU is significantly adjusting the first year live-on policy so that all students otherwise subject to this policy can make the choice to remain at home rather than be required to live on campus if they believe that remaining at home is their best option. If first year students choose to remain at home to attend OSU remotely, no exemption request is required.

Students who already have a contract with housing and now wish to stay home must cancel their contract by emailing housing@oregonstate.edu or housing@osucascades.edu to ensure no housing and dining fees are assessed on their fall bill. If you cancel your admission, housing will be notified of your intent not to enroll for fall term. However, if you are deferring your enrollment to a future term, please contact the appropriate housing office to let them know.

University Housing and Dining Services also maintains an extensive FAQ site to answer your questions. Students living at OSU-Cascades can visit FAQ.

We encourage you to use the following form to ask your specific questions.  Thank you for your patience as we answer everyone’s questions during this time.


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OSU-Cascades Student Specific Information


Please refer to campus-wide updates here.