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.
When does preregistration for Spring 2021 happen?
Preregistration opens November 16 and is scheduled to close on November 20. We expect that we will be able to extend or subsequently reopen it to allow a broader time frame of preregistration, but we do not yet know the details. We encourage students who are ready to preregister to do so.
Where can I learn more about the mechanics of preregistration?
Check out the email sent by the Registrar Kirsten O'Beirne on Friday November 13.
What are the essential things I need to know?
- Students may register for up to 4.5 academic units of credit.
- PE registration will happen in January before classes begin.
- Students may take Swarthmore courses remotely; Penn courses are not available.
- First-years who have not already done so should make preregistration advising appointments with their deans (info on Dean's Office Advising in Moodle); juniors and seniors, as well as declared sophomores, should consult their major advisers. Undeclared sophomores are encouraged to check in with their deans or to contact faculty in possible majors about course selection.
When will I know more about "shopping week," adding a fifth class, etc?
Planning is happening on these issues, and more information will be posted in December.
I am studying remotely in a distant time zone and will be taking some classes asynchronously. But BiONiC won't let me register for two courses at the same time. Is there anything I can do?
In these circumstances, some professors may be willing to have you enroll asynchronously. If a professor is OK with that plan, you should email them to ask them for a permission number. That should enable you to register for a second class that meets at the same time as the first class.
I have heard about Swarthmore's J Term and have seen the information on the Registrar's Office website. What else should I know?
Swarthmore is offering courses during a 3.5 week period in January 2021 that will be open to Bryn Mawr and Haverford students on a space available basis. These are condensed version of regular Swarthmore courses with the same rigor as semester-long versions. Interested students should
- be prepared to learn a full semester's worth of material in 3. 5 weeks! That means spending about 8 hours per day / 5 days per week on your coursework.
- during those 3.5 weeks, expect reduced academic and other support services at Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore.
- accept that you will not be able to participate in any other college-sponsored activities during these 3.5 weeks.
- accept that you will not have a BREAK between January 4 and May 8.
- plan travel to avoid missing class during January 4 - January 28.
- like the idea of spreading your spring coursework out over a longer period of time.
Where can I find BIONIC registration instructions?
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 AM to 10 PM 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 fall 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 earlier than November 20. May I attend in person but leave early?
We strongly urge all on-campus students to plan to remain through November 20. 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 fall 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 fall of 2020, 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 US this fall, 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 fall 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.