|FAQs will continue to be updated in the coming days and weeks. We are leaving up some past questions that will remind you of many of the overall academic conditions we expect to be in place this spring.|
I need to make changes to my schedule. When and how can I do that?
Students who were dropped from or waitlisted for a course had an opportunity for replacing that course between Jan. 11 and 15 ("second-round preregistration"). Registration in BiONiC for academic and PE courses re-opens for all students at 8 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 8 and will remain open through the end of the first week of classes, Friday, Feb. 19. The Deans Office will offer additional virtual walk-in hours: Februrary 8 - 19. Please keep reading these FAQs, especially the more detailed questions about registration and enrollment below.
That said, there are still additional complexities in action because of the pandemic. Students should plan to make changes to their registration only when necessary.
Where can I find general BiONiC registration instructions?
Will the first days of this semester be like the first days of last semester?
Much will be similar. All classes will be set to allow guest access in Moodle, so you will be able to look at classes you are considering adding to get more information about the class, including the Zoom or other link for the class.
The biggest difference is that the first two weeks of all classes will be completely online. Because of that, it will be much easier to have interested students attend the first day of classes on Friday, Feb. 12 that are still open and that they are considering adding. Therefore, students will be able to make changes themselves to their registration through the end of the first week of classes (without having to fill in add/drop forms).
How can I get permission to take a fifth class?
Both Haverford and Bryn Mawr are limiting most students to 4.5 or fewer credits in order to reduce density in physical classrooms in the case of in-person classes and to reduce strain on faculty given the greater difficulties of conducting remote classes. Therefore,students will again need permission to take more than 4.5 units of credit this spring. The Registrar's Office has posted a request form on their website. The form asks students to identify a specific class and to provide a reason for why they need to take this class. Students are responsible for ensuring that the class has room or providing evidence that the professor has given them permission to add a closed class. If a student is approved, the Registrar’s Office will add them to the class.
Please note that it may take a few days for your fifth class to be added to BiONiC. While that registration change is pending, please take advantage of guest access in Moodle to access the course materials, or contact if your professor if for some reason that does not work.
I still need to take PE/swim class/the swim test. Will that be possible?
Yes. Any student who needs to do PE should look at the course listings in BiONiC beginning February 8. There will be courses available to both in-person and remote students, and students who still need to meet their PE requirement should sign up. That said, we want to reassure sophomores that there will be flexibility around the expectation that PE be fully complete by end of sophomore year.
There will also be ways to fulfill the swim requirement, including individual swim-test appointments for in-person students and a remote asynchonous water safety course for remote students who need to meet this requirement. More information will be provided in BiONiC and through the Daily Digest.
What do I do during the first week of classes (February 12-19) ?
Attend (via zoom, from the first day the class meets and onward) all courses you preregistered for (in December or in early January), the courses you added starting February 8, and any that you are waitlisted for. You may also attend classes you think may have room but that you were not registered for. Not attending the first day of class could cause you to lose your seat or make it impossible for you to add.
We hope that most students will have a set schedule very early in this week, but if you need to find a new class after the first class session has met, be sure to email the instructor to express your interest and (unless the instructor tells you not to) make sure to attend the next time it meets.
Where can I find zoom links for classes?
Professors have been asked to provide zoom links on their course moodle page. All course moodle pages are open to guest access, so even if you are not registered for the course, you should be able to access this information in Moodle. If you cannot find it or if you have any other questions, please contact the professor for the class.
Detailed registration scenario/ questions
I’m waitlisted for a course. How will that work?
It depends. Check your waitlist position by following the instructions on the Registrar’s website. (It is important that you follow these instructions! The waitlist number listed in your student center section of BiONiC is not accurate.) If you are still interested in the course you must attend the first class meeting. At Bryn Mawr, professors will provide permission numbers to students when a space opens. At Haverford, some professors may elect to use a function in BiONiC that automatically changes a student’s status from waitlisted to enrolled when a space opens. In both cases, if you’re not interested in remaining on the waitlist, please do drop yourself from the waitlist as soon as registration opens on Feb. 8.
If you want to take the course, do not drop yourself from the waitlist!
Students on waitlists were permitted to register for a back-up class during second round registration. Students should attend the first day of their back-up class in order to secure their seat. If a student gets into the course for which they were waitlisted, they should then drop themselves from the back-up class.
I'm searching for classes and see that some classes are listed as open but requiring instructor permission. What’s that mean?
Those classes have only a few spaces left and will require permission numbers. While you may email the professor in advance to express interest in the class, most professors will simply tell you to come to the first class. At that time, they will explain the criteria they will use to determine enrollment. Those who gain admission to the class should be given permission numbers and then be able to add themselves in BiONIC.
I found a class that is open and does not require instructor permission. Does that mean I definitely have a space in that class?
It depends. There are three possible scenarios:
- For many classes, this is the case. Some classes don’t have a registration limit (or enrollment cap) at all, and so if you add the course anytime up until the first day of class and attend the first day, you definitely have a space.
- Other classes have a limit but never reach it, so if that’s the case, you also have a space.
- There are some classes that looked like they still had lots of space on February 8, but then fill. Please be aware that in this case, registering for the course is a good way of indicating your interest in the class to the professor, but it does not guarantee you a space. Instead, you should attend the first day to find out if you have a space or if there needs to be a lottery. The professor should provide further information on the first day. This scenario is more common at Haverford than at Bryn Mawr, but it can occur at both schools.
I found a class that is waitlisted. I can’t add myself to the class but I can add myself to the waitlist. Should I?
You are welcome to, but it may not help much. Look in BiONiC to see how many other students are on the waitlist. You will be at very bottom of the list. Please note that this scenario exists only with Haverford courses.
I also see classes that are listed as open but that have a waitlist! How is that possible?
This is one of those strange effects of how BiONiC operates. The important thing is to realize that there is a waitlist so the course is not really open.
I want to make one or more of my Fall 2020 courses Credit/No Credit. How do I do that?
Instructions and information about the policies for the 2020-2021 academic year are available on the Registrar's website.
How do I check to see which courses are being offered In Person, Remotely, or both?
Instruction Mode is now a search option in BiONiC. The options are In Person, Remote or Hybrid. Additional information from the faculty about what format the course will take (synchronous, asynchronous, periodic meetings, etc) can be found in the course notes in BiONiC.
What’s the difference between remote, hybrid, and in person courses?
Remote courses are available to all students and are entirely online. They may be taught synchronously, asynchronously, or employ some combination. Students planning to enroll remotely should think about how they will manage synchronous elements given possible time zone differences.
In person courses are designed only for students who will be able to attend in person. Please note that even in-person classes may include some online elements. For example, science courses may have lectures online and then meet in person for labs.
Hybrid courses are available to all students, whether studying in person or remotely. They will include some learning experiences that students living on or near campus will be expected to attend in person, but which will be made available online to students studying remotely. Again, students planning to enroll remotely should think about how they will manage synchronous elements given possible time zone differences.
What are the new time blocks?
To make be sure we could accommodate as many in person classes as possible we have adjusted the course times to a Block schedule. Courses will run from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. as always but are scheduled into 90 minutes blocks of time. Three- and five-day a week courses will still meet for 50 minutes per day, but the next block will start a half hour later. Bryn Mawr and Haverford will be using the same blocks. Two-day a week classes will meet on Monday-Thursday, Tuesday-Friday and Wednesday-Saturday.
Why are there lotteries for courses that are being offered remote or hybrid? After all, there’s no limit to how many people fit in Zoom.
Professors are planning their online and hybrid classes to have many of the same features that all Bryn Mawr classes aim for: interactive learning, the possibility for individual attention, thoughtful feedback, collaborative work, and more. Many of these require a limit on the number of students, even when the course is not in person.
If I take my courses virtually at Bryn Mawr but live remotely, can I take just one or two courses?
No. As always, all enrolled students are expected to enroll in a full-time course load (normally 4 units per semester). This will be true this fall no matter where the student is living.
I need help with BiONiC!
The Registrar’s Office is happy to help you with any questions about registration and Bionic!! Email them at Registrar@brynmawr.edu. Look for their email with a link for their Zoom office hours.
FAQs about attending remotely or taking a Leave of Absence
I signed up to study in person through Bryn Mawr this spring but I am no longer able to do so.
Please contact your dean to explore studying remotely or taking a medical or emergency leave.
My family wants me to return home before the end of the semester. May I attend in person but leave early?
We strongly urge all on-campus students to plan to remain through the end of the semester. We do not recommend any plan that restricts on-campus students to hybrid or remote courses or that requires a student to miss even one class meeting due to travel. Consider instead living at home and attending classes remotely throughout the semester.
I signed up to take a Personal Leave of Absence this spring and want to take courses elsewhere during my leave.
Our policy allows students to transfer back to Bryn Mawr up to two courses taken elsewhere during a semester of leave, provided they meet certain standards. For students on leave in the spring of 2021, an exception will be made to the College’s transfer credit policy regarding online courses: in-person courses that must be taught remotely, due to an extension of COVID-19 reduction efforts, may be transferred.
FAQs for international students attending remotely or taking a Leave of Absence
I am an international student who cannot return to the U.S. this spring, and I don't want to fall behind in my studies. What are my best options?
Studying remotely through Bryn Mawr will enable most students to make the smoothest progress towards the degree. Your courses have been created with Bryn Mawr’s graduation requirements in mind. You can be certain which courses will count towards your major or towards general requirements like the Approaches, and you can be confident that your course will prepare you well for courses at the next level at the college. Your faculty have spent the summer creating hybrid and remote courses that will challenge you, engage you, and support your learning. And the College has created a schedule that mitigates the challenges of the different time zones.
That said, we recognize that some international students may face unique challenges with connectivity, time zones, software, or course availability that make it difficult for them to progress towards the degree through remote learning at Bryn Mawr. For these students, we have received permission to make an exception to our leave of absence policy to allow them to take a personal leave from Bryn Mawr, enroll this spring as a guest at a college in their home country, and transfer back up to four courses rather than the usual one or two. Students who want to explore this option should follow our usual transfer credit policies (https://www.brynmawr.edu/registrar/transfer-credit-policy) and consult their deans and major advisors for guidance about which courses might transfer back towards which requirements.
In either situation, please consult the International Student FAQs.