Advising Information for Spring 2020

This page contains the following important information about the Spring 2020 semester.

  1. Spring 2020 Registration and Class Delivery (Updated 2/13)
  2. Academic Options for Spring 2020 (Updated 1/31)​
  3. Distance Learning and Technology Support
  4. Placement Exams (Updated 2/4)
  5. FAQs (Updated 4/16)​

1. Spring 2020 Registration and Class Delivery

1) Distance learning registration

NO FURTHER REGISTRATION ACTION IS NEEDED. All courses listed in Albert will be offered spring 2020. Any cancellation updates should be minimal and will be communicated to enrolled students by the Office of the Registrar. After in-person instruction resumes, students will be invited back to the academic building. Students who are unable to return to Shanghai will be able to complete courses via distance learning. Faculty are aware of the challenges students face across different time zones and with various new technologies and platforms. Faculty are developing flexible course delivery that will assure we meet course learning objectives and maintain NYU Shanghai community to the fullest degree possible.

In addition, Advising and Health and Wellness have developed materials for you to consult with tips on how to be successful in distance learning courses, mindfulness, and managing stress. Resources will be shared with you over the next couple weeks. 

2) Course scheduling

Faculty are encouraged to provide both synchronous and asynchronous course delivery. Faculty will communicate synchronous/ asynchronous course expectations directly via syllabus and course communications (email and/ or NYU Classes). Faculty will make every effort to organize synchronous meeting times that are appropriate for our mix of time zones and for your class schedules. When possible, classes that want to meet synchronously are advised to use the original class time as noted in Albert. If a faculty member chooses another time to meet students, either in smaller groups or as a whole group, faculty will work with students directly to find another mutually agreeable time. Synchronous meetings may include class discussions, team meetings with fellow students, or 1-1 office hours with the faculty.

3) Course delivery​

Class instruction will use Zoom and NYU Classes. Zoom will be integrated for a/synchronous course delivery, including recorded lectures, office hours, and small group work.NYU Classes will be used to communicate course announcements; post course materials including readings, lecture slides, and course notes; host asynchronous discussion forums; and collect assignment submissions.

Exams: Students participating in courses via distance learning will take exams under supervision of remote proctor services, using the tool Examity. Examity assists students in ID verification and exam scene setting alongside synchronous video interaction with an online proctor, provided by Examity. Students will be provided guidance on times of exams and expected schedules of Examity portal access by their faculty member. 

4) Course details

Please consult the notes section in Albert for important updates about course delivery and synchronous requirements.

The following courses require some in-person course delivery therefore cannot be taken via 100% distance learning. Therefore, if you are planning NOT to return to campus, you should drop the following courses:

  • INTM-SHU 101 Interaction Lab. Students who are not planning to come back to Shanghai once the campus reopens and who are not at either NYU NY or NYU AD should drop the course and will get priority registration fall 2020
  • BIOL-SHU 314 Advanced Cell Biology Lab. Requires some in-person lab components after building opens
  • CHEM-SHU 128 Chemistry Lab II. Requires some in-person lab components after building opens
  • PHYS-SHU 94 Physics II Lab. Requires some in-person lab components after building opens
  • CCEX-SHU 203 Energy and Environment. Requires some in-person lab components after building opens
  • CHEM-SHU 226L Organic Chemistry II Lab. Requires some in-person lab components after building opens
  • EENG-SHU 251 Circuits. Requires some in-person lab components after building opens. There is an online alternative for the lab, but it is advisable to delay this course rather than participate in online substitution, if possible.

5) Add/ Drop and Academic Calendar

Per Associate Provost John Robertson's email (March 23, 2020)

For Spring 2020 Students choose one of these Options:

1. Receive the grades as entered by their faculty for their courses, this is the default outcome.

2. For Spring 2020 only P/F and W grade policy below:

  1. The deadline for requesting a P/F or W grade is 12 May.
  2. P grades will count for core, minor or major requirements.
  3. P grades may meet the prerequisite requirement for a subsequent course if the roster grade is a C or higher or if the student passes a placement exam for that class
  4. There is no limit on the number of courses students can P/F in spring 2020 and those credits do not count toward the 32 credits maximum students can P/F over their college career.
  5. Students can request Ws in multiple individual classes and will not be required to complete 12 credits worth of classes in which they are receiving grades (including P/F).  For policy on full withdrawal see 3 below.
  6. Students currently on probation or returned from leave or suspension may follow this policy and delay their probation semester till fall 2020.
  7. While NYU will put a notice on transcripts regarding the special challenges of this semester and NYU Shanghai can write letters of explanation or advocacy, students should be aware that P and W grades may affect graduate school applications.
  8. Students need to contact their advisor to be approved for P/F or W grades. The advisor reviews, discusses with the student before approving these requests.  The student may choose this option against advice but a conversation regarding choices and outcomes is required.
  9. Students receiving US federal aid should consult with the office of financial aid if they are considering more than one W to understand how it may impact satisfactory academic progress. 

3. A student may choose to take a term withdrawal (Leave of Absence) from all classes according to the policies of the campus/program that they are currently registered for this term.

  1. Shanghai Enrolled - Deadline April 17th at 5pm. Leaves after this date will not be approved or considered. *Follows Shanghai Refund Policy.
  2. New York or Global Programs Enrolled - Deadline May 12th at 5pm or before any final examinations. *Follows New York or Global Refund Policy.

You should contact your academic advisor if you have any questions.

The revised add/drop and withdrawal deadlines for individual classes are listed in the NYU Shanghai academic calendar. Students on the Shanghai campus can fully withdraw from the semester, not individual courses, at any point in the semester. NYU Shanghai Students should direct any questions to their academic advisors. Study Away students can should direct questions to their home school advisor and study away student advisor Jenny Wang (

6) Academic Resource Center (ARC)

The ARC will offer workshops, one on one tutoring, and learning assistant tutoring sessions throughout the spring semester, both via virtual platforms and in-person once the building opens. Details from the ARC director to follow.

7) FAQ’s

a) What if I am located in a time zone that makes it impossible for me to join the course synchronously?

Students who are registered for distance learning courses not listed above should work with faculty to identify feasible times to join into alternative meeting times. If it is not possible to join synchronous course meetings, faculty may propose alternative ways to satisfy course requirements including office hours meetings and asynchronous course components.​

b) I have a time conflict between two classes I want to take. Can I take both?

If you are registered in all distance learning courses, you may NOT register for two courses taken at NYU Shanghai at the same time.

c) I am taking classes via distance learning, will my NYUSH classes run online for the whole semester?  

Yes, anyone who chooses to remain enrolled via distance learning may do so in all courses except those with laboratory components stated in the list above. Please check Albert. NYU Shanghai students can ask your advisor if you have any questions. Study Away students can can ask your study away student advisor Jenny Wang ( if you have questions.

d) Once the academic building opens, if I am studying remotely will I be required to return to Shanghai?

No. Students enrolled in distance learning courses may complete the semester remotely.

e) How do I secure my text books?

Refer to the email sent to you titled “Textbook Distribution for Spring 2020”. Email if you have any questions.

2. Academic Options for Spring 2020

Students have the following options for the Spring 2020 semester:

1. Start on February 17 in distance learning Shanghai classes, for at least the first several weeks. Our Provost and Faculty are working to ensure that most courses are offered in distance learning version, although some course adjustment may be required. Distance learning course offerings will be announced the week of February 10. The university is in constant contact with health authorities and will look to resume in-person classes as soon as practicable and appropriate. 

2. Start courses as approved at a NYU global site. Spring location notifications have been finalized. New requests to study away spring 2020 are no longer being considered. Study away in Spring 2020 does not count against your limit of study away semesters. 

3. Take a Leave of Absence for Spring 2020. Students should contact Dean of Students David Pe ( if they are considering a leave.

3. Distance Learning and Technology Support

Advising has prepared the following Checklist and Academic Success Strategies Campaign to help you prepare for and be successful in distance learning.

Our Library has prepared the NYU Shanghai Digital Learning Toolkit. The site includes: 

  • articles and tutorials on tools and advice on how to be prepared for the Digital Phase. 
  • a live chat service for you to get help with any technical questions from 8am to 12am Shanghai time. 
  • a link to the NYU Shanghai Google+ Community, where you can ask questions or exchange ideas with your fellow students on learning during this digital phase. 

4. Placement Exams

As an exception for the spring 2020, students who are not on campus may take math and computer science placement exams online in order to continue making degree progress. Check the placement test website for updates.

The math and computer science placement exam times in Shanghai have been updated. Students can sign up here.

Students who take the exams online may only use it for course placement. For example, students can take the Place-into-Calculus exam in order to take MATH-SHU 131 Calculus. They may not use it to place out of the Mathematics or Algorithmic Thinking requirement in the Core Curriculum.

5. FAQs

1. How can I register for classes that are showing "time conflicts" between Shanghai and my study away location?

Please fill out this Distance Learning Course Registration Request Form. The Registrar's Office will assist with enrollment. Your request may take a few days to process. Contact if you have questions.

Time zone differences are not recognized in Albert. Students can't enroll in two courses that start at the same time or have overlap in meeting times in their respective time zones.

Students can drop the Shanghai course, enroll in the in-person course at the site, and fill out the form above so we can administratively enroll you back into your Shanghai course.

2. How can I register for classes outside of Shanghai? What if Albert does not recognize my Shanghai course as the pre-requisite? (Updated 2/2)

Please carefully review the following resources about registering for classes outside of Shanghai.

Some of the classes you may hope to take may not be available; we encourage you to check Albert before making your final decision about studying away. In addition, you also have the ability to take a distance-learning course offered by NYU Shanghai faculty to meet a requirement. Please email with specific questions.

3. Can I take School for Professional Studies (SPS) course in New York (e.g.: XXX1-UC)?

Our Bulletin states: "Credits from any courses taken in NYU’s School of Professional Studies will not be counted toward major requirements, the GPA, or the minimum 128 credits required for graduation." If you have questions about this, consult your advisor.

4. Can I take an EAST-UA Chinese Language course in New York?

You are advised to take the Shanghai Chinese language courses offered in distance learning format. The language of instruction will be in Chinese and the courses are distinctive. Therefore, students may have difficulty with their language progress if they don’t continue on the track created by NYU Shanghai. Please keep in mind: Upon your return to NYU Shanghai, the final decision of your placement in Chinese language courses is up to your instructor and the corresponding Level (i.e., Intermediate Level) Coordinator.

5. Will MATH-UA 121 Calculus 1 count for our Calculus requirement for different majors?

In general, NYUSH recommends that students take courses for which they have met prerequisites and that meet their graduation requirements as closely as possible. Computer Science, Data Science, Economics, Math, and Science majors should take the NYUSH version online. Business, Social Science, IMA, Humanities, and Global China Studies majors can take MATH-UA 121 Calculus 1 to fulfill the core curriculum requirement.

6. If I want to take a course in New York that has Calculus as the pre-req, can I take the math placement exam in Shanghai to fulfill the pre-req?

Students in New York can see if they can take exam offered in New York. See information here. Students are advised to await the admissions decisions and then see what is needed for registration, placement, etc. If possible, students can take the distance learning course offered by Shanghai instead of courses in New York that requie prerequisites that they haven't met.

7. What is the format of our distance learning courses?

Some professors will be making pre-recorded lectures, others will be streaming classes by Zoom, others will be using other techniques. For all of them, however, you should be able to keep up with the class from a distance until you feel comfortable returning to Shanghai.

8. Can students add or drop classes in New York after their add/drop deadline (February 9)?

We do not advise students to add or drop classes after the add/drop deadline at their location. It is better to attend all courses you are considering taking, so you don't miss too many classes.

9. I am interested in studying away spring 2020, how do I indicate my interest?

The deadline to submit interest has passed. New requests to study away spring 2020 are no longer being considered.

10. If I study in NY/AD or another global site will I be able to get the same or adequate credits that I would receive in Shanghai?

Yes, you will be able to earn full-time credits. Course availability is limited to current open course options in Albert and distance learning offerings offered by NYU Shanghai (to be announced by week of 2/10). Our faculty are working to offer nearly all NYU Shanghai courses in distance learning format.

If students receive a Spring location notification, they can decide to take a combination of distance learning courses offered by NYU Shanghai and in-person courses offered at a global site or campus in accordance with visa and local educational requirements.​

11. Will study away spring 2020 count against my study away semesters? 

No, spring 2020 will not count against your maximum allowed study away semesters.

12. How many distance learning courses can I take in Shanghai if I am in NY/AD/ global site?

You can take as many distance learning online courses as you will need to make degree progress in accordance with visa and local educational requirements. Students will need to maintain full-time status. There may be limited exceptions for certain sites and visa types. In those cases, global programs and advising will work with students to identify appropriate coursework.

13. How can I find courses at global sites? Which courses fulfill NYUSH requirements?

To find courses at global sites, you can look in Albert Public Course Search and select your location under the “Global & Other Study Away Sites” pull-down list. For core courses, you can consult our global courses at NYU sites resource.

14. Questions regarding housing, mobility, flight change credits or health and wellness should be directed to Student Life.

15. Is there a GPA requirement for spring 2020 site decisions at this time?

Global program admissions has finalized all decisions. New requests to study away spring 2020 are no longer being considered.

16. How will tuition work?

Tuition stays the same as in Shanghai for Spring 2020 at any NYU location.

17. Will placement exams be offered online?

As an exception for the spring 2020, students who are not on campus may take the placement exams online they need to move forward with their planned coursework. More information forthcoming.

18. When will students hear back about their application to study away at a site?

Students who submitted applications as recommended have been notified. New requests to study away spring 2020 are no longer being considered.

19. Is IEP still an option?

No. Only NYU campuses and sites are eligible.

20. Can a student study away in the last semester if the required course is only offered in Shanghai and New York? 

Spring 2020 only, students are granted exceptional permission to study away in their final semester.

21. May I participate in graduation ceremonies?

Graduating seniors are invited to participate in the graduation ceremony in Shanghai, however they are not required to attend.

22. If I take a Leave of Absence (LOA) will I be able to study away Fall 2020?

Students who take a personal LOA will be able to study away (see below for details applying ONLY to 4th semester students). Students who take a medical LOA will require a recommendation from Health and Wellness in order to be permitted to study away fall 2020.

4th semester students who take a LOA will not be permitted to study away in NY/ AD Fall 2020. Our policy states that 4th semester students may study at global sites, but not at portal campuses. In that case, students may delay their admission and/or request a change of their fall study location to a global site.