Please carefully review the following information about how we are managing the start of your program with respect to COVID-19.
Fall 2020 Instructional Plans and Dates
Consistent with Cornell University President Martha Pollack’s announcement on June 30, Johnson will adopt a hybrid class delivery model for the fall semester. Both students and faculty will have the option to elect to participate in fall classes virtually. As a result, some classes will be held in person and some exclusively virtually, but all in-person classes will provide for virtual participation.
In the classroom, students and faculty will need to observe social distancing protocols. We will be working with Cornell’s central administration and our College to specify those protocols for our classes. At this point it appears clear that students must wear masks in our buildings—including inside classrooms—and faculty will wear either a mask or a face shield while teaching.
Because of the need to safely social distance, classes with an in-person component may need to allow for rotating student attendance, as capacity within each classroom will be reduced. We are working on a flexible and equitable solution to this complex issue.
We are currently designing the first-year fall core course schedule to account for these changed circumstances and associated time zone challenges. We will provide an update on Core class schedules by late July.
While Cornell University has announced that fall classes will commence on September 2, Pre-Term for the incoming Two-Year MBA Class of 2022 will still start on Sunday, August 23, as previously announced. First-half fall semester core classes (Accounting, Marketing, and Microeconomics), will begin after Pre-Term on Monday, August 31, and will run uninterrupted, without a fall break, until the Thanksgiving holiday (Wednesday, November 25 – Sunday, November 29). After Thanksgiving, all classes will be held exclusively online from Monday, November 30th through the end of the term.
We expect that Sage Hall and the Breazzano Center will be open to students, faculty, and staff, subject to strict university-wide de-densification, sanitization, and social distancing procedures, by the start of the fall semester.
We know that harmonizing class times and co-curricular/extra-curricular offerings across time zones will be challenging, but crucially important. We are gaining tremendous experience with that this summer, as our One-Year and Johnson Cornell Tech MBA programs began in a fully-virtual environment in mid-May. To accommodate their diverse time zones, we shifted our schedules to adapt.
We plan to take our experience and success from the summer and apply it to the fall as needed. The bottom line is we will work closely with all of you to ensure we are delivering excellence, whatever our constraints might be due to these extraordinary times.
In order to provide a fair, equitable, and positive experience for our students and corporate partners, all of our fall recruiting activities, including company visits, coffee chats, interviews, etc., will be 100% virtual. We are confident that this is the best decision for the fall, as any students with COVID-19 travel delays or who might be immunocompromised will not be disadvantaged in any way. Additionally, many companies had already requested a switch to virtual recruiting, so this meets their needs as well.
Our Career Management Center team has a lot of experience with this already, as they transitioned to fully virtual networking and interviewing in March of this year. They have found that companies are very comfortable with the format. Additionally, the vast majority of alumni networking at Johnson has always been virtual. As such, we do not anticipate any issues with respect to alumni or corporate access, and we’re excited about new opportunities that have opened up for us as a result of being virtual.
Co-Curricular and Extracurricular Life
Just as with classes, Johnson is committed to ensuring all students have equal access to co-curricular programming and events throughout the year. Any event or session, including small group events involving only a few people, held on campus must allow for virtual participation by members of the community who are not physically present, but wish to participate. This commitment is firm, and we will work to make sure it is implemented. This policy will be strictly enforced.
Because of the need to follow public health protocols related to physical distancing and maximum group size, we do not expect to be able to host large, school-wide group social gatherings. While that is a change for us, we are committed to working creatively to ensure that we have ample virtual social opportunities for our community. We’ve gained tremendous experience with this over the summer with our One-Year and Johnson Cornell Tech MBA program communities, and our Student Services team is excited to support many activities during fall semester. Professional and social clubs will meet virtually, and we are working to allow small-group gatherings, subject to current social-distancing and group size restrictions.
Summer Prep Programs
We remain committed to offering additional quantitative preparation to incoming students who could benefit and are actively considering our options in light of the change in our program start date. We will be in touch with updates.
Yes. Please keep an eye on our Pre-MBA Programs page and the New Students Slack community for information on opportunities.
International Student Questions
International Student Orientation
Yes, but we expect this will be a virtual program and that we will move it closer to our new start date. We are actively considering options now and will keep all international students updated on our plans in addition to posting updates on this page.
Visa and CPT Questions
If you do not already have an I-20 with an August 23 start date, one will be issued to you shortly. If you are unable to secure a visa appointment prior to August 23, a new I-20 will be issued to you with a start date that coincides with the first day of classes for the second half of the fall term. Specific questions about your situation should be sent to Cornell’s Office of Global Learning.
We have been informed by Cornell’s Office of Global Learning that as long as you are able to arrive in the United States on an F-1 visa at some point during the fall semester, you should be eligible for CPT during summer 2021. As a back-up plan, we have now added a summer internship to our MBA program degree requirements, and are working with Cornell’s Office of University Counsel and the Office of Global Learning in the hopes that this addition will enable our international students on F-1 visas to utilize CPT for internships even if they are unable to arrive in the United States this fall.
Yes. You can begin classes from your home country while you await a student visa.
In the event this occurs, we would work with you individually on next steps.
As announced by Cornell President Martha Pollack on June 30, the university has worked to arrange for international Cornell students, including MBAs, to complete Cornell coursework remotely while living at—and participating in student life in—several partner institutions around the world.
A placement in study away represents a commitment for the entire semester. Therefore, we advise incoming international MBA students to only consider this option if they believe they will be unable to arrive in Ithaca before or by mid-October. Remember, students facing visa and travel-related delays will be able to join any Johnson course virtually and with accommodations as to time-zone outlined here, so students who face travel restrictions do not need to participate in the study away program to be able to make progress on their Johnson MBA and be involved in the Johnson community.
MBA students who are citizens or permanent residents of China, Vietnam, or India are eligible apply for Study Away at the following institutions in their home countries:
Please note the deadline to apply for Study Away is Friday, July 10, 2020.
Yes. As previously announced, Johnson has recently added the option to pursue a Management Science MBA. This newly STEM-designated degree qualifies graduates for the STEM OPT (Optional Practical Training) extension, which would enable you to work in your field for a total of up to 36 months in the United States.
No. We automatically enroll every student in our fall core curriculum, so you do not need to take any action right now. After you finish the fall core, you will need to complete a minimum number of Management Science-designated courses before you graduate. This will be a very clear process, and we’ll work with you each semester when it’s time to register so we can make sure you’re on track.
Yes. The STEM designation is tied to the courses that you take at Johnson, not the mode of instruction.
Deferral requests are considered on a case-by-case basis. Requests to defer admission should be submitted in writing to Stephan Douglas-Allen, Admissions & Application Coordinator. Please include a detailed explanation of your request and appropriate supporting documentation, if applicable.