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Potsdam Prepared: COVID-19 Updates

Academic FAQs

Please use the following contacts if you have specific questions:

When I access my schedule, and it says “Virtual” instead of listing a classroom location, what does that means?

A “Virtual” class is one that will not have any face-to-face meetings.  All of your coursework, classes, etc., will be done remotely.

How do I find out which classes are fully online or virtual?

  • Both virtual and online classes are taught entirely remotely—meaning that there will be no face-to-face class sessions.  You can see which courses that you are currently registered for that are being taught virtually by looking at your class schedule, under “location.”  In addition, to search for courses that are virtual you can use these steps: 
    • Log in to BearPAWS
    • Click “Student Services and Financial Aid,”
    • Click “Registration,”
    • Click “Class Search,”
    • Select “Spring 2021” and click “Submit”
    • Select “Advanced Search”
    • Under “Attribute Type” select “Virtual Instruction”
  • To find an online course…
    • Log in to BearPAWS
    • Click “Student Services and Financial Aid,”
    • Click “Registration,”
    • Click “Class Search,”
    • Select “Spring 2021” and click “Submit”
    • Select “Advanced Search”
    • Under “Schedule Type” select “Distance Learning”





My class isn’t listed as either online or virtual. Does this mean that all class sessions will be only face-to-face?

No. If a class is not designated as either online or virtual, there will be some face-to-face experiences and will likely also be some virtual experiences, depending on the faculty member and the unique learning outcomes of the class.

What if I’m signed up for a face-to-face class, but I become sick and/or can’t attend class in person?

Most classes will be designed so that students can have virtual options, in the event that a student becomes ill or can’t attend class.  If you become ill and accommodations can’t be made because of the learning outcomes of a specific class, please see your advisor immediately.

If some of my classes are not either virtual or online, and therefore have some have a face-to-face components, can I still take the course if I need to be remote?

It is expected that most classes that have face-to-face components can still be completed remotely; however, this is contingent on specific requirements of the course itself.  If you have questions, please contact your department chair or your dean. Please also note that the campus is working to identify courses that will be taught entirely virtual or online so that you will have the option to attend the semester remotely.

How is it safe to have over 50 people in classrooms?

We will not be holding classes with over 50 students at a time. For courses with large enrollments, we are currently working on plans to split classes, alternating times when students meet face-to-face and remotely during the week. Classrooms are also being reassigned to ensure that proper social (physical) distancing can be maintained, following all current health and safety guidelines. Be sure to check your schedule for any changes to your course location!

Can off-campus students attend classes on campus?

Absolutely! We welcome all SUNY Potsdam students to campus for scheduled face-to-face classes.

What if I want to change my schedule?

First year students will need to work with the Student Success Center (SSC) at to make schedule changes; all other students can make changes yourselves though you are strongly encouraged to consult first with your advisor or department chair.

How will Crane School of Music students practice and/or participate in ensembles?

Crane faculty and staff are currently reviewing research that is becoming available regarding health and safety protocols specific to music programs. Right now, the Crane faculty are planning to provide some face-to-face ensemble experiences for students, following all current safety guidelines. However, it will not be possible to hold large ensemble practices (e.g., orchestra, concert band, choral etc.). The faculty and staff are also working to identify spaces on campus where students can safely practice their instruments.

Are instructors providing virtual office hours?

Yes, all faculty members are expected to hold virtual office hours.

If I am registered for a lab but am choosing to complete my courses virtually, how will I be able to do my lab?

Your professor will work to make the lab experience or an equivalent alternative accessible to you; in some instances, we may work with you to change your schedule in order to get the best learning experience possible.

If I am registered for an art class but am choosing to complete my courses virtually, how will I be able to complete the requirements with no studio?

Your professor will work to make your art class accessible to you whenever possible; in some instances, when it is very difficult to learn a particular art form remotely, we will work with you to find alternatives.

How do you participate in a foreign language class virtually?

Our language faculty are committed to supporting students’ language learning in a virtual environment. They will be providing live Zoom sessions and other means to ensure that you are able to learn and practice your language skills.