For Students

As of March 19, all instruction has moved to distance learning mode through the end of the Spring semester due to COVID-19. Below are resources to help students maintain academic continuity during this time.

Please also see the CUNY Continuity for Students page.

Please see the Information Technology Resources page for information on how to contact the Helpdesk, obtaining hardware and software for distance learning, Blackboard and Zoom resources, free or low-cost internet service, and assistive technology services.

As CUNY courses move to a distance learning format, all the library resources students are used to accessing remain in place and CUNY SPH librarian Emily Pagano is still available to assist with research. This includes remote database access and full-text article downloads, as well as inter-library loan service for electronic material. From a depositing standpoint, doctoral candidates can still expect to be able to deposit dissertations by the 5/22 deadline.

Please feel free to  email Emily Pagano ( with any questions or concerns or to set up an appointment for a phone call, skype session, live chat, etc.

Please note that all CCNY libraries are closed to in-person visits for the time being, and other libraries within the CUNY system are closed or running with limiting access. However, all CUNY librarians are will be working remotely to ensure all electronic resources remain available and that users are able to receive the assistance they need.

As always, please refer to the Library Research Guide for links and information.

We will continue to provide student advisement, writing, and quantitative tutoring services via phone/email and through use of digital platforms like Zoom. Please refer to the Student Academic Support page for more information on these services.

Community Outreach Program Director Susanna Marte ( is committed to working with students to ensure that each student is able to successfully complete fieldwork despite disruptions. If you anticipate that your fieldwork project will be disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak, let Susanna know ASAP.

In accordance with CUNY guidelines, fieldwork should be carried out remotely. In cases where fieldwork cannot be carried out remotely, students should contact the Office of Experiential Learning (OEL) at .

Please check this Fieldwork page for the latest info for students planning to complete their fieldwork in Fall 2020.

Due to the current situation with COVID-19, you may be activated. If this happens, please be sure to communicate with Lea Dias (, the SPH Registrar’s Office, and your course instructors.

We might be facing one of the following scenarios:

  1. National Guard students called up as early as April 1, 2020
  2. Military personnel may be activated in 30 days
  3. Military Units might be given notice of activation.

NOTE:  You SHOULD NOT drop your classes or abandon your Spring 2020 coursework in any of these scenarios. As per CUNY Military Policy 3.1 listed below, instructors can and should be making concessions for activated students. If a student Veteran is facing opposition on individual orders, please let me know.


CUNY Military Activation Policy

3.1 A student who is called to active duty in the armed forces of the United States or National Guard should be given every consideration around either making up the work for the course, obtaining an Incomplete, or being given the grade that he or she has earned at the time that he or she is called to duty.

3.2 At each college, the appropriated committee or other designated authority shall be empowered to grant the remaining number of credits required for graduation to a member of the graduating class who lacks twelve or fewer credits in elective courses to complete the requirements for the degree for those called to active duty in the armed forces of the United States. Credits should be applied from the service members JST (Joint Service Transcript) as MILT elective credit.

3.3 Colleges shall encourage students who enter military service to maintain their status as students by availing themselves of such opportunities as may be offered to them (by the colleges, by other accredited colleges, and/or by service agencies) to continue their studies while in Military Service.


VA Update

Senate Passes Legislative Fix to Protect GI Bill Benefits. You can view the actual bill here.

From the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

Councilman Deutsch’s message to the military-connected community regarding the coronavirus pandemic and our local Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals.


Articles on transitioning to learning management systems

Tips for Taking Online Classes: 8 Strategies for Success

Adjusting to Online College: 10 Tips for First-Timers | The Quad Magazine

7 Tips to Survive Your Online Classes – College Raptor

5 Successful Online Learning Strategies

We are changing our operations to distance education mode, which will continue through the remainder of the Spring semester. During this time, our Designated School Official (DSO), Lea Dias, will continue to assist and advise you remotely. She will be able to meet with you virtually, if needed, in addition to communicating with you via email, using She will also be able to exchange documents with you via regular mail.


Please note that the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has published a COVID-19 Guidance, allowing schools to change to full online instruction mode and students to remain in status while attending classes virtually. Given the extraordinary nature of the COVID-19 emergency, SEVP will allow F-1 students to temporarily count online classes towards a full course of study, even if they have left the United States and are taking the online classes from elsewhere. This way, you can continue to make academic progress during the spring semester without endangering your status. They also recognize that changes to workplace requirements may impact international students engaging in practical training (On-Campus Employment – OCE, Curricular Practicum Training – CPT, and Optional Practicum Training – OPT). SEVP encourages such students to consult with their employer to seek alternative ways to maintain training agreements, such as teleworking or other arrangements.


If you are planning on leaving the United States for any reason, please reach out to your DSO immediately. CUNY is discouraging students from traveling at this time, unless it is for an emergency or family request. Please keep in mind that, if you leave the US now, you may not get back in the near future. Countries are closing their borders and you may face challenges returning. Among a few scenarios, you may be requested to go into quarantine (incurring many unexpected expenses) or end up stuck in between countries. You may want to refer to guidance from the CDC, U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for specific port-of-entry screening processes, as well as any travel restrictions, before you make any plans.

Filing Taxes

Remember, April 15 is the deadline to file for your Tax Return for calendar year 2019. If you were in the United States in 2019, you must file for taxes now, even if you were not employed and did not have any income. All F-1 students are required to file taxes, no exception. So please work with a tax preparation organization that specializes in F-1 non-immigrant status and be sure to file before April 15, 2020.

Although the IRS announced on March 20th that they are extending the federal filing deadline to July 15th, some states have not made any announcements yet. And any changes to the state filing deadline may vary from state to state. So, it is still advisable to file by the original deadline of April 15th where possible.

Please note: It is extremely important that you maintain your status, keep your DSO abreast of your plans, and that you inform her, within 10 days, of any change in your:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Email
  • Phone number
  • Employer
  • Number of working hours
  • Supervisor
  • Position
  • Job title
  • Job responsibility
  • Immigration status

Student Wellness

In this stressful time, it is also important to be gentle with yourself. Read and watch things that relax and inspire you, take a walk in nature and largely open spaces, and stay connected with friends and family. Talk about joyful things and make plans for when this situation settles down. However, if you experience anxiety related to COVID-19 and other emotional health concerns, please reach out to our Student Wellness Counselor, Sherry Adams ( who can provide free confidential counseling to SPH students.

Student Wellness Counselor Sherry Adams is available to provide free and confidential counseling to students experiencing heightened anxiety related to COVID-19 and other emotional health concerns. Please email her at to schedule an appointment. Virtual counseling is available via phone.

Sherry is hosting the Remaining Resilient During the COVID-19 Pandemic Workshop Series for students. Students can sign up for sessions here and view videos from past sessions here:

Please also refer to the COVID-19 Wellness Resources page for additional helpful links.

Students who are in need of financial relief during the COVID-19 pandemic, may apply for a grant from the CUNY SPH Student Emergency Fund.  The CUNY SPH Student Emergency Fund is a year round fund which provides one-time grants, up to $1,000, on a case-by-case basis to students facing acute catastrophic financial hardship. Individuals who apply may be asked to submit supporting documentation to demonstrate their financial need. For more information and to apply, click here.

Questions? Concerns?

If you have questions or concerns not answered here, please reach out to Lynn Roberts, Associate Dean for Student and Alumni Affairs (