Information for Students

Find information intended for students to answer questions that members of the Penn State Smeal community might have regarding the college’s response to the evolving COVID-19 situation.

Dean's Message


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Fall Semester

Important Updates

The following information is intended to answer questions that members of the Penn State Smeal community might have regarding the college’s response to the evolving COVID-19 situation. Updates will also be available on the Penn State Coronavirus Website.

  • Will classes continue as scheduled?
  • Will I still be able to schedule an advising appointment?
    • Yes, undergraduate students should work with their adviser through e-mail or schedule a Zoom web conferencing appointment through Starfish. All previously scheduled appointments will automatically be moved to a Zoom appointment in Starfish. Students will receive an e-mail with instructions on how to access Zoom. 
  • Can I still connect with Smeal's Business Career Center?
  • Will the University relax any policies or requirements for doctoral students?
    • The Graduate School has identified several policies and other requirements that will be impacted by the current situation and is prepared to offer exceptions or other adjustments that will allow students to continue to make progress toward their degree. Find the Graduate School’s academic and administrative policies here. Doctoral students should register their need for an exception or adjustment by emailing Dana Campolongo.
  • Is there a way to access e-textbooks?
    • Yes. You can now get access to most of your books as e-textbooks on Bookshelf from VitalSource. This access is granted to Penn State students who were enrolled in courses as of March 16, 2020 and will be available through May 25, 2020. Follow these steps to ensure your access:
      • Visit bookshelf.vitalsource.com where you can either log-in or create a Bookshelf account.
      • If you are accessing Bookshelf for the first time, instructions on creating an account can be found here. After creating an account, log in and click on the “Explore” tab in the upper left corner of the screen. This tab provides access to the freely-available e-textbooks.
      • If you already have an existing Bookshelf account through your Penn State email address, log in and click on the “Explore” tab in the upper left corner of the screen. This tab provides access to the freely-available e-textbooks.
      • If you already have an existing Bookshelf account but it is not linked to your Penn State email addressan article explaining how you can access your Bookshelf account and change it to a Penn State email account is available here.
    • If you have additional questions, please visit Penn State’s Remote Learning FAQ website.
  • If you or a fellow student are experiencing emotional distress, financial hardship, difficulty accessing food, or a similar challenge, please consider the following resources:
  • Town Hall Information Will the university offer refunds for housing and meal plans?
  • Please visit the Penn State Coronavirus FAQs webpage for information about the following:
    • Tuition, housing, and meal plan refunds
    • Returning to on-campus and off-campus housing
    • Required credits for graduation (i.e. lab, internship)
    • Student wage positions

 Updated Thursday, September 24