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 Family Center for Business Education will be open to members of the Johnson community by the start of the fall semester, however access to–and use of–all spaces will be subject to strict adherence to University guidelines to promote the overall de-densification of campus and social distancing. Specific guidelines for all spaces in Sage Hall and the Breazzano Center are still being finalized and will be communicated soon.
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
Yes, given the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) guidance of July 7, all students will be issued a new Form I-20 indicating Cornell’s fall 2020 mode of instruction as hybrid.
Please note that Cornell has until August 4 to make this annotation, and ICE has asked schools to prioritize delivery of updated documents (electronic delivery is permissible) for new students. This is a significant administrative task, and the University asks for your patience.
If you cannot arrive in the U.S. prior to August 23, and/or cannot get a visa appointment prior to August 23, we can issue you a second I-20 with a start date of November 16. We will not issue you that second I-20, however, until you are 100% certain that you cannot arrive or get an appointment with the earlier date.
We have been told by Cornell’s Office of Global Learning that as long as you arrive during the fall semester, you can use fall as a semester on F-1 status for CPT eligibility.
We are working with the University to understand if this is possible, and will update you as soon as we have more information.
Further instructions regarding the dissemination of re-issued I-20s will be shared once we confirm details with the University.
For the duration of the COVID-19 emergency, the U.S. Department of State and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) will allow electronic issuance and signing of I-20 forms. Please print your I-20 prior to boarding your flight.
Cornell has created a downloadable Hybrid Academic Program Confirmation letter that confirms we will be operating with a hybrid instructional model for the fall 2020 semester. Please print and carry this letter with your I-20.
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 that the application period for Cornell “Study Away” is now closed. Applications are under review and applicants will be contacted with updates as soon as is feasible.
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.
Requests to defer admission should be submitted in writing by 5:00 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, July 16, 2020, to Stephan Douglas-Allen, Admissions & Application Coordinator. Please include a detailed explanation of your request and appropriate supporting documentation, if applicable.
Deferral requests are considered on a case-by-case basis and typically granted for reasons of health and/or medical emergency, military service, or enrollment in a Cornell dual degree program with a defined (delayed MBA program start) degree sequence. Deferral requests are typically not granted for financial reasons (i.e., needing more time to secure funding), educational reasons (i.e., studying elsewhere), or work obligations and/or changes to employment status.
As Cornell University is providing hybrid instruction with options for delayed arrival to accommodate all incoming students, we will conclude our review of deferral requests for the 2019-20 admissions season with the July 16, 2020 deferral request submission deadline.