Graduate Student Information
Boston University is seeking ways to establish modes of academic engagement that will satisfy advanced-degree students in complex times while keeping them safe. To that end, this fall will mark the launch of a new simultaneous in-person and remote hybrid teaching system called Learn from Anywhere (LfA), allowing many students unable to get to Boston by the fall semester to still fully participate and be completely up to date when they are able to return. Information specific to Questrom School of Business is outlined below by program. For more information on the general plans for the return to campus at Boston University, please visit the Back2BU site
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What is Learn from Anywhere (LfA)
For the Fall 2020 semester, Boston University will offer classes through a blended modality of remote and in-person learning known as Learn from Anywhere (LfA). This new modality will enable students to participate in the classroom, or remotely, when necessary.
BU is committed to providing a residential education as a matter of pedagogical principle. The LfA approach will allow us to comply with expected public health guidelines by de-densifying our classrooms, while still allowing for face-to-face learning and to accommodate COVID-19 related needs of individual students, faculty, and staff, as appropriate. In addition, this approach will allow us to accommodate international students who, due to visa challenges or travel restrictions, cannot arrive in Boston in a timely fashion. Finally, LfA will enable us to pivot quickly and smoothly to fully remote learning, should the public health situation deteriorate to an extent that such a move is required.
In the LfA model, some students will meet in the classroom, while others will participate remotely via Zoom. The number of students attending class in-person will be contingent on the classroom size, and we will need to alternate in-class attendance through a rotation plan. Therefore, you will not be attending in-person in every class session. Classes will also include significant remote components, including (for example) online lectures, discussion forums and remote office hours and TA sessions. Office hours and TA sessions will be scheduled to accommodate the needs of students participating remotely in different time zones.
What is BU’s plan for ensuring student safety if we are participating in person? Will there be testing?
For our on-campus sessions, Questrom will be adhering to recommended guidelines regarding social distancing for all classes and activities. Each classroom has a designated capacity to allow for social distancing, as do all common areas within the Hariri building. Students, faculty, and staff will be required to wear masks while in the building. We will share more concrete details as they emerge.
In addition, BU is implementing an on-campus COVID-19 testing facility for students, faculty, and staff, as well as contact tracing and increased hygiene.
The most up to date information, including testing information, can be found on the Boston University Back2BU website.
Of course, students will always have the option to participate remotely in classes if they do not feel safe attending in person.
How will Launch be handled for students in different time zones? Will virtual classes for launch be live or recorded?
LAUNCH for all programs will include both online content, which you can work through on your own time, as well as live sessions on Zoom. The sessions will also be recorded for those who are not able to attend live and they will not be mandatory. In addition, if local regulations allow, LAUNCH will include small group social gatherings on campus, as well as similar virtual events for those who are not able or willing to meet in person.
Will live remote classes be mandatory?
Our faculty are looking at ways to make live sessions accessible for students in different time zones. For example, faculty might run separate virtual sessions in the early morning or evening (EST) for international students who need to participate remotely. In addition, all sessions will be recorded and available for viewing asynchronously. For students who are not able to participate in the live sessions, alternative assessment for participation will be available.
How will exams be given? How will team deliverables be submitted electronically?
We will use ExamSoft to remotely administer and proctor exams. Course deliverables will be submitted electronically through our Questromtools learning platform.
Will students participating virtually have the same access to the same resources as on-campus students, including career services, office hours, TA sessions, academic advising, networking opportunities, and community building opportunities?
Yes! Over the spring semester, we had great success offering our on-campus services virtually. Students will be able to make virtual appoints for career services and academic advising, and career classes will be offered using the LfA format. Remote office hours and TA sessions will be offered. In addition, we will provide complete networking and job search support for our students participating remotely. As described above, we plan a full slate of community building opportunities to be offered to all students.
If BU is not able to offer in person classes in the fall, is the plan that all students will have to start the program virtually? Will we have the option to defer if all classes are virtual?
If, due to a resurgence of COVID-19, we are unable to offer in-person classes for some part of the fall semester, we would offer classes virtually until it was deemed safe to be on-campus again. Unfortunately, we cannot allow admission deferrals if this situation were to occur.
Is BU anticipating that all students will be able to be on campus in Spring 2021? If we are unable to make it to campus will virtual options still be available?
At this time, we have no way of knowing whether all students will be able to return to campus in Spring 2021. Of course, that is our hope. We will continue to provide virtual options until students are able to return to campus.
Do the F1 visa rules allow students to arrive mid semester or will we have to do the entire first semester virtually?
Students in our full-time graduate programs will be able to arrive whenever they can get here (e.g., mid-semester). Students should work with ISSO in their plans and preparations to arrive on campus. This does not apply to our part-time graduate programs.
At what point will the university have more clear information available to students about public health guidelines about COVID and our safety on campus?
We expect the University to continue to release information as they receive more guidance from public health officials, though we are not sure of the time frame. We will continue to pass along information as decisions are made. The most up to date information can be found on the Boston University Back2BU website.
When will University housing be accepting new tenants?
University housing is not accepting any applications for new tenants in our full-time graduate programs at this time. For resources on housing options, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Is there a chance that the fall schedule will change?
Currently, the University plans to begin the fall semester as scheduled. We will inform you if the University makes any changes to the fall calendar. We recommend that you wait until the University makes an official announcement about semester dates before making travel plans for the winter break.
What happens if I am studying remotely from another country and Zoom becomes unavailable?
If Zoom is not available directly this fall to our students in another country, we will either provide them a unique VPN to use to connect to Zoom and/or use Microsoft Teams to connect to the Zoom class/office hour session.
Is there a point where the university would not offer an in-person option, for example if the number of interested students is very small?
The only reason that the University would not offer in-person classes is if there was a public safety issue. BU is committed to providing a residential experience for our students.
Full-Time MBA (FTMBA) Information
Will the August intensive courses be held using the LfA model or will they be remote?
Most August intensive courses will be delivered remotely. If you are registered for an intensive class, your instructor will reach out to confirm the format shortly.
How will cohorts and teams work?
Incoming students will be assigned to one of four cohorts, each comprising a quarter of the incoming class. At this time, we expect that cohorts will include a mix of students on campus and those participating remotely. Each class section will be comprised of two cohorts. For some classes, we may include separate discussion sessions for students participating remotely versus those attending in person.
Teamwork is a central part of the Questrom MBA experience. Professor Paul “Hutch” Hutchinson leads our teaming curriculum. Because working in a globally dispersed team is an important skill, teams will include both students studying on-campus and those participating remotely. The teaming curriculum will include content designed to support the virtual team experience
How are we providing opportunities for students pursuing the program in either format to interact with other students in the program?
We are working on many initiatives that will allow students to engage with others in our MBA community. Here are a few examples:
- Our Learning Communities are open to all Questrom MBA students, including students here in Boston (Full-time and PEMBA) and those participating remotely. These communities help students connect to activities, faculty, and alumni that are related to a specific sector or career interest. To provide an overview of activities, each Learning Community will have at least one meeting scheduled for the fall semester in the LfA format. In addition, Learning Community faculty leads will hold virtual office hours for students interested in that community.
- We will offer a full slate of extra-curricular activities, including student clubs, case competitions, and outside speakers. Many of these activities will be offered in a virtual format. For example, we are planning to offer virtual case competitions that would be open to all students. We will continue to offer MBA Book Clubs with faculty and staff, with meetings conducted virtually. We will also continue to offer our Questrom Insights webinars, which are open to all students and alumni. We will facilitate small group dinners and happy hours for students, based on a theme or topic in both virtual and in-person formats (consistent with public safety guidelines). We will also offer virtual group activities such as “escape the room”.
- We are developing a virtual space for students to “hang out” and meet with other students. This space might include designated breakout rooms to study for specific classes, as well as live events (e.g., live music from the community, speakers, wine-tastings, trivia nights, etc.).
If students are unable to come to the US in August but get their visa later, can they still do an internship in the US?
Currently, we do not have an answer to this question and are monitoring the situation. We are also exploring options that would allow international students to complete an internship if they arrive late—for example, by making the internship a program requirement (as in our HSM and Social Impact programs).
Professional Evening MBA (PEMBA) Information
What should expect for LAUNCH? Will virtual sessions for LAUNCH be live or recorded?
LAUNCH is a required orientation for all entering students at Questrom. The PEMBA LAUNCH program this year will be all virtual. The program will consist of a combination of both asynchronous and synchronous content. The asynchronous content will be released starting the week of 8/17 leading up to a day of synchronous content on 8/26 on Zoom. Our capstone LAUNCH event is a case competition that will start on 8/26. Students will be put in teams and the case will be released in the week of 8/17. The sessions will also be recorded for those who are not able to attend live and they will not mandatory.
Will live remote courses be mandatory?
Our faculty will make live classes accessible to all PEMBA students synchronously, whether in person or remotely. In addition, all sessions will be recorded and available for viewing asynchronously in the event that a student cannot participate in the live class session.
Executive MBA (EMBA) Information
Additional Information on EMBA and LfA:
Due to the size of the small size of your cohort and monthly calendar schedule, the student services team will be working with the Questrom Registrar Office to secure a classroom with the capacity so to allow all students to meet in the classroom who wish to do so. This may not be a classroom on the 4th floor and those details will be provided once available. Social distancing practices will be in place in the classroom and all will be required to wear masks. Again, LfA also allows those who need to participate remotely the option to do so.
Team learning, break-out exercises and collaboration are a major part of the EMBA academic experience – what will that look like this fall?
Due currently safety capacity restrictions, teams will not be able to be meet as a group in team rooms this fall. The student services team is also exploring larger space options with the Questrom Registrar Office. We do not know yet what additional spaces will be free. However, students should also expect to meet with their teammates virtually for breakouts and project work as well. Please bring your laptop and headsets to every class weekend.
Will live remote classes be mandatory?
All sessions will be recorded and available for viewing asynchronously. For students who are not able to participate in the live sessions, alternative assessment for participation will be available. Please contact the course faculty as well as the director when you have an attendance related concern.
Will students have access to resources including career services, office hours, academic advising, networking opportunities, and community building opportunities?
Yes. As you work through your final year in the program we will continue to provide networking and job search support for our students participating remotely and on-campus. We have held select 4-6pm timeslots as TBD on your Mod 3 schedule for career, additional academic and community building related activities. In October you will also begin sessions with our Global Perspectives faculty, who is working to integrate the most current events into his curriculum. These schedule plans will be updated in August.
If you would like to work 1:1 with our career consultant, please email the program director, email@example.com for his director contact information.
What will be the experience of staying at the hotel be like? What additional precautions are in place?
Below is the Hyatt standard they are following quite thoroughly and they are also taking into consideration guidelines set forth by the state. If a particular state mandate exceeds one of the steps noted below (as well as the URL with more info) were incorporating the states required extra measures.
Updated information will be provided in advance of the first class weekend, including check-in procedure details. https://www.hyatt.com/info/care-and-cleanliness-americas
Which hotel amenities are open and available?
As of 7/9/20 the pool and fitness facilities are closed. The restaurant is open for food and spirits, but the bar area is closed. Their open-air patio is also open. Guests can order take out from the restaurant as well, but currently room service is not being provided.
Decisions regarding the opening of the EMBA Student Lounge will depend on the latest guidelines prior to the class weekend. If the lounge cannot be open, the program and hotel will partner on providing alternate ways to access the food and beverage benefits it provided.
Contact at the Hyatt*: Aaron Currier, Group Sales Manager
T +1.617.441.6484 E firstname.lastname@example.org
*Please include a telephone when leaving a message or sending an email.
Will on-campus beverages and meals be available while I am on campus?
The student services team is in regular contact with the Catering on the Charles catering manager who has been a long-standing partner to the program. We do not have a more detailed update at this time, other than to say that they currently are able to offer contactless boxed meals. As catering’s plans progress, we will provide updates as well.
Will I be able to use my previously issued BU Parking Pass?
We have put in the inquiry with the BU Parking Services team and will provide more information prior to your arrival on campus.
How do I direct questions I have about the fall tuition charges?
If you have questions regarding processing sponsorship payments, deadlines, and payment plans please continue to work with the program director.
Please know that that at Boston University decisions about tuition and fees are made centrally, not at the level of individual schools and colleges. Any questions related to the tuition charge are now being
directed to the Office of the President. To have your question forwarded to that Office, please email Barbara Bickart, Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Programs, email@example.com. You can expect to hear from that Office.
How will cohorts and teams work?
Incoming students will be assigned to cohorts based on the final number of students enrolled in the program. Students are likely to attend course sections with their cohorts, although the exact format may vary depending on how faculty deem most appropriate for their specific courses while meeting the general LfA model. For some classes, we may include separate discussion sessions for students participating remotely versus those attending in person. For any questions related to your assigned cohorts or class meeting times, please reach out directly to the faculty (professor) teaching the course.
How are we providing opportunities for students pursuing the program in either format to interact with one another?
We are working on many initiatives that will allow students to engage with others in our MSBA community. Here are a few examples:
- Questrom will offer a full slate of extra-curricular activities, including student clubs, case competitions, and outside speakers. Many of these activities will be offered in a virtual format. For example, we are planning to offer virtual case competitions that would be open to all students. We will continue to offer MSBA social and networking events, likely using a combination of small group and virtual format (consistent with any public safety guidelines in effect). We will also continue to offer our Questrom Insights webinars, which are open to all students and alumni.
Is there an opportunity to pursue an internship as part of the MSBA program?
Yes! In fact, we have a dedicated class, BA890 Analytics Practicum, which students can fulfill by submitting a reflection paper about a relevant internship. the MSBA program is quite intensive with classes taught full-time across summer, fall and spring. Therefore students would either have to find a part-time internship in the spring semester (<20hr/week), or they could request to postpone their graduation by one semester to pursue a full-time, terminal summer internship. Note that in order to postpone graduation and extend your program by one semester, students will have to register for 1 extra credit hour and incur an extra cost of 1 credit tuition. Alternatively, students are also allowed to submit a research paper based on an independent study around a relevant business analytics topic. [/av_toggle] [av_toggle title='As an international student enrolled in MSBA, will I still be eligible for OPT?' tags='' av_uid='av-5vbnkh'] Students should monitor and consult our ISSO team regarding OPT and CPT rules and work authorization. Some important information, however, is that post-completion OPT eligibility requires 2 semesters as full-time student. Our MSBA program consists of 3 full-time semesters (>= 12 credit hours). ISSO is waiting for information from USCIS to understand whether LfA in the fall would have any impact on OPT. The MSBA program is also a STEM-designated program. For any additional questions, please visit the ISSO website and reach out to them directly with your specific context and a detailed question.
As an international student enrolled in MSBA, would I be eligible for CPT?
Students should monitor and consult our ISSO team regarding OPT and CPT rules and work authorization. However, the MSBA program currently has a required course, BA890 Analytics Practicum, which is meant for students to try to acquire practical experience, if possible via a part-time or full-time internship. International students should be eligible for CPT to complete a part-time or full-time internship as long as they are registered for BA890 in the same semester.
How will Capstone Projects be impacted?
We do not expect Capstone Projects to be significantly impacted. Company partners may not permit physical meetings and/or be in work-from-home mode themselves, but presentations, as well as team meetings with company partners and faculty advisors, will be conducted virtually unless all team members are available in person and agree to meet in person.
How will MF 610 (Mathematical Finance Career Management) be affected by LfA?
The following components of MF 610 will be delivered in person and remotely in the Fall of 2021, so long as circumstances warrant:
- Quant Interview Preparation
- Financial Marker Seminars
- Visiting Speaker Series
We will continue to provide students with the opportunities to grow their professional networks and to develop career prospects through online events with industry representatives and alumni and a variety of trading and case competitions.
How will my ability to interact with my peers, mentors and faculty be affected by LfA?
We are committed to providing students with a full slate of opportunities to interact with fellow MSMFT students by means of the Math Finance club, class-specific discussion rooms, and virtual and in-person social events with peers, faculty, and mentors.
How will courses be delivered?
All courses will be delivered in a face-to-face format. In certain circumstances, international students who indicated remote attendance by August 1st for the Fall 2022 semester will remotely attend classes synchronously.
How will projects operate?
Students will meet with their teams and clients in person, with remote meetings as needed.
How will social events be delivered?
Social events will be in-person.
PhD program-specific information may be found at BU’s site for returning to campus for PhD students.