CBE Intranet


LAST UPDATED: July 10, 2020

There are a lot of instances of misinformation and unsubstantiated rumors around COVID-19. Continue to rely on the UW coronavirus page as well as the UW Admissions and Autumn 2020 FAQs as the definitive source of all information about how UW is responding to this public health crisis, and the impacts on you. For technology specific resources, please refer to our Timely Resources page.

We will continue updating these FAQ’s and resources with the most accurate and up-to-date information. Please continue to check this page and your email for updates from our Dean and your departments.

If you have additional CBE-specific questions that are not addressed here, please send them to cberesponse@uw.edu. Find CBE-specific news and information and frequently asked questions about the novel coronavirus and Autumn 2020 and beyond, below.

Can I defer my offer of admission?

For graduate students, deferrals are allowed. However, students should communicate with their program chairs and advisors to identify what options are available, as degree programs may vary on duration.

For undergraduates, you may not defer your admission to another entry term. The offer of admission is valid only for the quarter you applied. If you do not wish to attend the UW at this time but wish to enroll for a future quarter, you will need to reapply. If you believe you have extenuating circumstances, please contact the Office of Admissions.

For specific departmental questions- please join us for our Autumn 2020 Town hall  with Dean Cheng on July 14, 2020. 

Graduate students should contact their program advisor. Undergraduate international students who confirmed enrollment by May 1 should request an I-20 for the F1 visa, sign up for Advising & Orientation and, arrange housing, and register for classes. Meanwhile, as the situation evolves, we encourage you to monitor visa processing and travel updates through your local U.S. consulate. If you are unable to begin autumn quarter classes due to visa or travel restrictions, you may contact the Office of Admissions after August 15 to request a deferral to winter quarter 2021, which begins January 4. If you do not wish to attend the UW winter quarter, then you will need to reapply.  

Can I defer my offer of admission if I do not want to do remote learning autumn quarter 2020?

Classes will begin as scheduled on Sept. 30, in a hybrid approach (meaning all courses will have a remote option). We are offering as many in-person courses as possible, prioritizing hands-on courses, such as studio, clinical and lab courses, and courses for first-year undergraduate and graduate students. You can check the time schedule which indicates the courses planned to be remote only. Please note time schedule is being regularly updated as we understand space availability and use. Whether classes are conducted in-person or via remote learning, the same outstanding, world renowned instructors will be leading your courses. For graduates, deferrals are allowed after contacting program advisors. For undergraduates, the UW is not deferring admission to another entry term due to a temporary change in course delivery method. If you do not wish to attend the UW for autumn quarter, but wish to enroll for a future quarter, you would need to reapply for that term.

What is my responsibility to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the CBE/UW/Seattle community?

Everyone is encouraged to practice social distancing. Students should avoid in-person study sessions and meetings. The UW’s guidance is that we have a shared responsibility to ACT by staying home, avoiding groups and crowds, and maintaining a minimum of 6 feet of personal space.

Remember: YOU have the power to protect others from COVID-19, but you have to ACT NOW. Help stop the spread. Stay home, maintain social distancing and you can help save lives. This aligns with advice from the federal government and the CDC, and Washington State.

What do I do if I’m feeling sick, having symptoms or have come in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?

See the UW COVID-19 website for guidance on health, wellness and prevention.

I’m feeling anxious about COVID-19. What should I do?

I’ve heard rumors that Seattle might be quarantined. I left town for spring break and in light of Governor Inslee’s “stay home, stay healthy” order, am now unable to get back to Seattle/UW, what should I do?

We strongly encourage you to review applicable travel warnings and in-country restrictions for your destination. We are uncertain on how long various travel restrictions will last so it is important to be well-informed before you travel.

CBE is actively discouraging all travel where you cannot practice effective social distancing (e.g., planes, trains, buses, etc.). While you may not have any symptoms, you may be a carrier of the virus, and you could spread it to someone else who is at greater risk of harm due to age or pre-existing conditions.

Despite widespread rumors about possible quarantines, those have all been debunked as rumors. There is a tremendous amount of misinformation out there — continue to rely on the UW coronavirus page as the definitive source of all information about how the UW is responding to this public health crisis, and the impacts on you.

Members of the Center for an Informed Public have provided advice on what we should all do: slow down and vet the source of the information you’re reading/hearing.

I’m worried about my summer jobs and internships or graduating into this market: what can I do?

While the current situation is different and scary, there are both lessons to take from other times when the economy has had a sharp downturn, and it is still very early to tell how our current situation will unfold. Many firms that we are in contact with are still busy.  There have been other downturns from which there have always been recoveries, including deep downturns in early 1990’s and more recently in 2008, shallower dips in mid 1980’s and 1999. On a personal note, our dean has noted that she graduated into a downturn, many other senior leaders in the industry have seen multiple downturns. In these situations, many offices actively worked to avoid or minimize layoffs and continue to hire recent grads. We are here to help and will do our best to connect you to resources and provide support through our networks. If you are looking to do something now to be prepared, it’s always good to have your portfolio and/or cv up to date, keep up your networks, and continue to deepen or expand your mentor relationships.

Enrollment & Class Management

What’s happening with spring quarter?

The UW has announced that Spring quarter will begin as scheduled on March 30, with remote instruction that will continue through the end of the quarter. There is a detailed FAQ to provide facts and information regarding spring quarter 2020.

Will my class be offered spring quarter?

All CBE classes will be offered spring quarter in an online format. In the rare case a class cannot be offered, you will be notified by the instructor or program that the class has been canceled or postponed. Spring quarter will start on time and we will use the first week to ramp up to the new online format, during this time, no written assignments will be due.

Will my studio be offered?

Yes! (in almost all cases) Faculty have been extremely energized and inventive in considering ways to adapt design instruction to online format. There are a few studio formats that may be more challenging, but the majority of studios will be running.

Will my Design/Build studio be offered?

We are committed to find ways if at all possible. For example, some instructors are looking into formats where students issue drawings for the instructors to build on camera, demonstrating the translation of drawing into building. More soon!

Are we still having “field classes” or field trips as part of class?

Due to public health concerns, field trips with groups of students will not be held but we are looking into alternative ways for students to engage in site experiences, for example pairs of students could have the option to video document sites or use Zoom to engage with community members.

How is CBE helping faculty transition to remote instruction?

The faculty’s priority is on helping students progress to graduation. Their focus in the near-term will be on preparing their classes for remote learning.

This will not all be smooth, and you need to be patient and expect some bumps in the road with respect to issues with the technology and pedagogy in online spaces. Our faculty (and faculty across the UW and faculty across the country and world) are being asked to do this with only a few weeks notice. We have a wonderful support at CBE providing group workshops and 1:1 sessions to help faculty prepare to teach remotely. These will cover technology issues and instructional design for an online medium, and everything in-between.

We made a commitment to you when you joined the University of Washington, and CBE, to provide you the best possible education and help prepare you for your future career. We believe in that commitment and stand by it, especially in these challenging circumstances.

How is CBE helping students transition to remote learning?

CBE students have been asked by their departments about their Wi-Fi, technology and software access in surveys. These surveys will provide useful feedback to help us best support our students remote learning needs for spring quarter 2020.

Will classes be held at the same time they are listed on the time schedule?

Yes. If changes need to be made after the first day, faculty will discuss this with you.

What happens if one of my classes is canceled?

If your class is canceled or postponed, you will have the option of enrolling in another course. Your program adviser can work with you to find the best alternative possible. Make sure to check your UW email account for the most up-to-date information. Be sure you are checking your UW.edu email address regularly for these important updates and information.

Can I still “shop” for classes?

Yes. But if you are not enrolled in a class, first look to see if the time schedule lists a Zoom link for you to join. If not, you will have to contact the instructor and ask them to “Invite” you to a Zoom session. They will need your email address to do this. If they are not using Zoom, you should still contact the instructor and ask to be included. You may also ask for a copy of the syllabus and class description. All drop/add and withdrawal fees will be waived, but you must still file the correct forms. Withdrawals will still appear on your transcript. Drop/Add deadline will be delayed.

How do I enroll in a class?

Enrollment processes are not affected. Enrollment will be through the normal online enrollment process.

How do I get an add code?

To get an add code, please refer to the Time Schedule – in the notes section, it will indicate who to contact for add codes. In some departments this will be an adviser, while in other departments it may be the course instructor.

Will CBE Buildings still be open? Can I use the Digital Commons, Fabrication Lab, and CBE library?

All CBE buildings – Gould Hall, Architecture Hall, and the Design Building – are closed to students as of April 1. Access may be available by appointment. If you need access, please contact your faculty or adviser. The Digital Commons and ArchNet are also closed, although IT personnel are available remotely by emailing be-info@uw.edu. The library is not open to visits but students can access online library resources through UW library portals. The Fabrication Lab is closed to student visits but we are working on a way to provide some functions remotely and to add a “service bureau” function. The Photo Lab, including the darkroom and lighting studio facilities, is not staffed and is not open to visits.

Can I defend my thesis/dissertation during spring quarter?

Yes. We believe remote format will be very effective for defenses. Please contact your thesis faculty advisor if you would like to discuss alternative options that also meet public health directives.

My family prefers that I live at home right now. Will I need to be in the Seattle area to complete my classes?

In most cases you will not need to be in the Seattle area to continue your classes. However, keep in mind that moving to a different time zone may make it more difficult to participate in synchronous classes and activities. Also keep in mind that some classes may require limited interaction with local resources, but we are working on alternatives since we know many students may not be in Seattle. If you are not sure if you should be in the Seattle area, or if you know you cannot be, please discuss this with your instructor at the beginning of the quarter.

I still have personal belongings in my locker or studio: how can I get them?

Students retain Husky Card access to Gould and Architecture Hall winter studios through March 31. After April 1, staff will work to box identifiable student studio belongings and safely store them in department suites for collection at a date TBD or until Autumn quarter. Once facilities are accessible again, please coordinate with Rob Pena (rbpena@uw.edu) or Vanessa Lee (vnl2@uw.edu) to make collection arrangements.  Personal furniture will not be saved after April 1, but sent to UW Surplus Properties. Lockers will remain untouched until September 20. Email Meegan Amen (meegan@uw.edu) for arrangements or questions.

Will there be a CBE Graduation Ceremony?

We understand there are questions regarding commencement ceremonies for the UW’s three campuses this year. We are carefully considering how we can recognize the achievement of our graduates in a way that is meaningful to them and their families, and also helps ensure their health and safety, as well as that of the wider community amid the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak. No decisions have yet been made, and we will provide updates regarding graduation ceremonies in the coming weeks.

What if an instructor becomes ill with Coronavirus part way through the quarter?

We always have contingency plans for continuing the class if the instructor is unexpectedly not able to teach, this year we will be extra vigilant in our planning. We have alternative assignments in place for those faculty with related expertise.

What if a member of my thesis/dissertation committee becomes sick and is unable to continue?

We always have contingency plans for continuing the class if the instructor is unexpectedly not able to teach, this year we will be extra vigilant in our planning. We have alternative assignments in place for those faculty with related expertise. In the case of an absent committee member, you should work with your adviser, we expect there would be little disruption to your work or time to degree.


Technology Questions

What technology do I need to participate in an online class?

To participate in an online class, you will need access to a computer with a webcam and microphone as well as access to wifi. In some cases, you will need to download additional software. Your instructor will let you know what software is required for the course.

What should I do if I don’t have access to reliable Wi-Fi?

CBE students are asked to work with their advisors or chairs about their Wi-Fi, technology and software access. This information will provide useful feedback to help us best support our students’ remote learning needs for spring quarter 2020.

Several internet service companies are offering expanded services that may allow you to get connected.  Learn more about offerings from Comcast, Charter Communications, Spectrum and Verizon

I have a disability that requires accommodations. How can I complete my courses as expected?

Please coordinate spring quarter accommodation through UW Disability Resources.

If you have any issues related to device access, internet connectivity, or a disability due to the move to remote learning, immediately contact your program advisor for assistance.

How do I log on to a class?

Most classes will be offered through Zoom and Canvas. Instructions for both of these are available here. Your instructor will also email you additional instructions before the start of class, including the Zoom meeting time and ID number associated with your course. If you have questions about how to join a class, please contact your instructor.

What software will I need for my class?

Most classes will be managed through Zoom and Canvas. Some may also include additional communication tools. Most will not require any additional software beyond what you typically use to do your work. If a class does have specific software requirements your instructor will let you know this during the first week of class or earlier.

How do I get the additional software I need for my class?

Most software should be available through the CBE Resource Page.

If I need to borrow a computer, where can I get one?

The UW has a computer loaner program run out of Kane Hall. Students can reserve laptops for the entire quarter. You can find more information here. However, supplies are limited. Additionally, CBE will have a limited number of computers available for students to borrow. More information on this will be coming soon.

What do I do if my computer doesn’t support software required for my course?

Most of the software required for CBE courses is available for your use on the CBE Citrix Application Server. This allows you to use software without installing it on your computer. You will, however, need to install the Citrix receiver software. To do this, please follow the instructions in the “How to Connect to the Citrix Application Server” section.

If your computer is too old to support Citrix Applications, please email your instructor or CBE IT for help at behelp@uw.edu.

What if I don’t have a camera or microphone?

CBE does not have webcams to loan at this time. However, you may purchase an inexpensive webcam that connects to your computer from local retailers or online vendors. You do not need an expensive webcam. A simple, low cost webcam will be sufficient for most applications. If you need financial assistance, please contact your department chair.

Can I use the Digital Commons/Fabrication Lab/or CBE library for my work?

The Digi Coms, Fabrication Lab, and CBE library will not be accessible in person. CBE is working to develop a system for remote use of the Fabrication Lab. More on this will be coming soon or refer to CBE Resource Page.

Transcripts, Legal & Financial Questions:

How will academic transcripts, graduation requirements or financial aid be impacted by CR/NC grades?

The UW registrar has announced that there will be a notation added to transcripts. “Transcript Comment: The COVID-19 outbreak impacted Winter 2020 grades. Some courses display CR/NC rather than numeric grades.”

Students receiving a CR/NC grade will be accommodated when degree requirements are being reviewed for graduation. Winter quarter courses converted to CR/NC will satisfy the Graduate School’s requirement of at least 18 numerically graded credits of 400- and 500-level coursework (excluding 499). The Office of Financial Aid and the Veterans Education Benefits Office have confirmed that receiving all/some CR/NC grades will not negatively affect a student’s financial aid and/or VA benefits for the next quarter of attendance. More details on these and other issues are available on the UW Registrar’s FAQ site.

Please note, however, that spring quarter online classes are just as “real” as face-to-face classes and will be included in your GPA and counted towards your graduation requirements.

Will online learning impact my time to degree?

No. Online classes format will not affect your time to degree in CBE programs. However, if you are enrolled in a class that is canceled or postponed, you may need to enroll in a different class to meet your graduation requirements. If you have questions or concerns regarding fulfilling program requirements, please contact your program adviser.

I’m an international student, veteran, and/or student on financial aid. How will the transition to online instruction impact my visa, OPT, CPT or financial aid?

There will be no change in financial aid for full-time students enrolled in spring quarter who qualify for and planned to receive it.

Student Financial Aid has created an FAQ to support students with information related to financial aid, as well as benefits for veterans. Students should direct their questions to osfa@uw.edu for general financial aid questions and veteran@uw.edu for Veterans Education Benefits.

For international students: The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) has updated requirements in light of the COVID-19 emergency. International Student Services maintains a page with coronavirus-related updates for international students. Please consult that page and with ISS staff for more information specific to your individual circumstances.

Will there be a refund for tuition or fees due to the change of format?

Every available resource is being utilized to continue providing an uncompromising education for our more than 50,000 students in light of an unprecedented health crisis that has disrupted every facet of life, not only nationally but also globally. With remarkable skill and flexibility, our faculty members are moving to alternative means of engaging with students so that everyone is kept safe, healthy, and able to continue their educational journey with minimal disruption.

We understand that for some people there is an initial sense that a financial adjustment is due because of these necessary adaptations. We hope, on further reflection, that you will understand we are going to great lengths—including increasing investments in technologies and virtual tools —  striving to provide high quality of education through different means of communication. This requires not only full tuition support, but also public support, for which we thank you. We have chosen to reaffirm our commitment to every student’s educational excellence, which will ultimately become the future success of our local communities, state, and nation.

Thank you for supporting that commitment.

I have a graduate student assistantship or TAship offered by a CBE department or program to help with teaching. Now that classes are online, do I still have a job?

Yes. We will honor all RA and TA teaching contracts. However, it is possible that you will be asked to modify your work from what was originally expected, including supporting a different class. All changes will be made with advanced written notice and will be appropriate to your expertise and interest. If this happens, the program employing you will contact you directly. Otherwise, you should assume you will continue working with your assigned course.

I’m employed by a professor or department in CBE in an hourly student position. My tasks can’t be done online. Do I still have a job and do I get paid?

We are working hard to ensure that all student workers have the hours they expected. We expect we will find alternative teleworking paid work for all hourly workers. Please work directly with your supervisor for more information.

Getting More Help

Will faculty/TAs have office hours?

As usual, faculty and TA’s will be available outside of regularly scheduled class times. However, it will be up to each instructor to determine how to manage this time. In general, if you need to meet with your instructor or TA you should email them and request an online or phone meeting. If you cannot reach your instructor or TA and it is an urgent matter, please email the program adviser.

How do I reach my professor/TA?

The best way to reach faculty is generally through email, though some faculty may specify other preferred forms of communication. All faculty email addresses are available from the department websites. If you have trouble locating a faculty member, please contact your program adviser.

TA contact information should be listed on the course syllabus. If you have difficulty reaching a TA, please contact the course instructor or the program adviser.

How do I talk to an adviser?

All program advisers will be available online. Please email your adviser if you have a question, need help with something, or want to set up a meeting. Due to the increase in email volume, advisers may take longer than normal to respond, but be assured that we will do our very best to support you during these challenging times. You can find an adviser for your program here: http://be.washington.edu/academics/academic-advising/

Will program applications and admissions be impacted?

See the page for the program you are applying to for current information.

What if I have a question about the coronavirus?

For all questions related to the coronavirus, including how to minimize your exposure, how to recognize symptoms, and what to do if you expect that you or someone you know has been exposed, please go to the UW Novel coronavirus & COVID-19: facts and resources page at Washington.edu/coronavirus.