Academic Year 2020/21 FAQ

~~  Due to federal, state and University of Pittsburgh restrictions the advising office is closed to in-person traffic.  Advising office staff is available by email and will continue to provide advising services remotely throughout the spring term.  Please email your specific psychology advisor or the general email with questions.  You may also make use of virtual drop-in advising at ~~


General Questions About Classes 

Flex@Pitt is the University's adoption of a flexible instructional model to accommodate all students, faculty and instructors in their option to attend courses in person, online or a combination of the two during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have questions about which of your courses will have an in-person option or will be fully remote please contact your instructors directly. All undergraduate courses in the Psychology department will be remote only when the university is in the “high risk” or “elevated risk” posture. Please see here for all details:

All classes that are listed as WEB Based will be offered by remote learning only. Any course that has a classroom listed will be available to students to gather and interact with other students in the class and with the instructor during that class time. It is important to note that just as students have the option to attend in-person or online so do the instructors. You may find that should you decide to attend class in-person the instructor may also be there or they may remote in via Zoom. Physical distancing for all in-person course offerings will follow the CDC and University guidelines of staying at least 6-feet apart. You’ll notice in the link here that classroom capacity is greatly reduced:

There is no need to change your schedule to indicate that you plan to make use of the remote learning option. All students will have the option to take remotely if they feel unsafe or cannot come to campus for any reason. There are exceptions like departmental capstones, internships, and clinicals – BUT NO UNDERGRADUATE PSYCHOLOGY CLASSES FALL INTO THIS EXCEPTION CATEGORY. Faculty have been instructed to make sure courses are accessible remotely, synchronously and asynchronously, for those who want/need it. Some courses will be offered in-person with this remote learning option. Instructors will likely reach out to all of the students on the roster to discuss their particular set up for the term. For more information about the Flex@Pitt Model visit the University Center for Teaching and Learning webpage.

That isn’t necessary.  Instructors will most likely email all students enrolled in their course prior to the beginning of the term to discuss their intentions for the course and to ascertain the learning intention of those students.  

You do not need to choose one option or the other.  You may attend any course remotely or in person at any time throughout the semester provided the University posture is in Guarded Risk. In Elevated or High Risk postures, most instruction is remote. 

There are no additional grading options or extended deadlines for spring term. The University allowed late changes from LG to S/NC and vice versa in spring because everyone was taken by surprise by the change to remote course format. You should now know for certain how your class will be delivered (and remember – you always have the option to complete your courses remotely and asynchronously at any time you choose). If you have questions about a specific class and how content will be delivered, you should contact the instructor of that class directly – no one else has the answer. Any changes to your grading option must be made by 2/16/2021. You should know that once you make a change from e.g., LG to S/NC, you cannot change it back so confer with your advisor if you are unsure. Information about LG and S/NC can be found here: Pitt Grading Option Policy page.

If you plan not to return for fall term you should drop all of your courses before the end of the add/drop period (9/4/2020). This will negate all enrollment charges. All Dietrich School of Arts and Science students who do not enroll for two consecutive terms (counting only the fall and spring terms) and who have not attended another institution will need to apply for reinstatement. Please communicate with your advisor about your plan and discuss options and a potential timeline to return to Pitt. For more information about reinstatement, visit the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences Office of Student Records webpage. If you are an international student, you should contact the Office of International Services ( before making any changes to your schedule to discuss your decision as visa issues may arise.

In the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences, if a student wants to register for a class that will have a time conflict with another class they're already registered for, they need to acquire written (email) permission from both instructors stating each is fine with the time conflict/overlap and plans for how the student will make up class material/activities during the missed time. A time conflict/overlap may not be more than 15 minutes in length, even in situations where one or both classes will be held asynchronously. If a student has the documented approval from both instructors, they need to contact the DSAS Student Records Office at 412-624-6480 to make an appointment with an Assistant Dean who will consider the student's appeal for approval of the time conflict.

Canvas is not the official record of your enrollment – your Student Center is. Check there first to make sure you still see the class in your schedule. If you do, the instructor is probably still editing the Canvas pages and will make the course available as soon as it’s ready.

Yes.  "Flex@Pitt will be employed for each academic year that is impacted by the pandemic."   You can read the policy on the COVID-19 Standards and Guidelines page.

There’s help! This isn’t a normal semester and everyone realizes that. Make a plan. Find a good place to study. Limit distractions. Manage your learning and time. Be an active participant! .

Top 10 Strategies for Academic Success

Psychology Academic Advising Questions 

The Psychology Undergraduate Advising Office will be in full force and operate remotely for the fall term. All advisors will continue to be available during their regular scheduled hours via email and for virtual appointments (zoom or telephone). Additionally, drop-in advising will be available via Zoom Mondays through Thursdays 10:00am – 1:00pm and Fridays 9:00am – 12:00pm.

Beginning with the fall term the Psychology Advising Office will use "Navigate Student" to schedule all appointments. You can download the "Navigate Student" app or log in through to see your advisor's availability and schedule an appointment. If you do not have an assigned psychology advisor please email your question to or visit us virtually during drop-in hours M-Th 10am – 1pm and Fridays 9am – 12pm via Zoom.

To download the app:

  • Search for “Navigate Student” in the App Store or Google Play Store
  • Once you download the app, you will be prompted to select your school (University of Pittsburgh)
    • You will be asked to sign in with your Pitt username and password
    • You will be asked to authenticate your login using two-factor authentication 
    • You will be prompted to fill out a short survey about your academic experiences and interests

To use the web version:

After you’ve taken these steps, use the app/website to schedule an appointment:  

  • Click on the purple “Appointments” button on the Explore menu
  • Click the blue “Schedule an Appointment” bar at the bottom of the My Appointments screen
  • Choose “Advising”
  • Choose “Dietrich School Departmental Advising”
  • Choose “PSY-Pre-Registration” or “PSY-Group Check In” or “PSY-Grad School and Career Planning” or “PSY-Academic Issues” or “PSY-Experiential Learning Exploration”
  • Choose the appropriate appointment type
  • Choose your assigned psychology advisor
  • Choose the date/time that works for you
  • Be sure to click the “Confirm Appointment” button to confirm your appointment

If you need to cancel or re-schedule an appointment:

  • On the Navigate student app/website, simply go to Appointments > Details > Cancel Appointment. 
  • Then you can use app/website to schedule another appointment

After the add/drop period (2/5/2021) the Advising Office will receive a list of all newly declared psychology majors and will then confirm completion of prerequisites to the major. Early in the fourth week of classes you will receive an email with instructions to participate in a mandatory virtual orientation and will be assigned a psychology advisor. If you have questions before you are assigned an advisor please email or visit us virtually during drop-in hours M-Th 10am – 1pm and Fridays 9am – 12pm.

The safety of our students is the primary factor in all decisions within our department. Field placement experiences in the surrounding community will be limited to remote opportunities only. Directed research opportunities will be guided by faculty who have an approved COVID-19 restart plan and who plan to continue their research on campus. Updates can be found on the Undergraduate Department of Psychology Experiential Learning website.

Unfortunately, given the COVID-19 pandemic some opportunities may be scarce throughout the United States as well as the in Pittsburgh area. The Department of Psychology can support a limited number of these opportunities for academic credit and will identify them on the Experiential Learning webpage. Please note that we highly value many internship and research opportunities, but are only able to offer academic credit for sites with which we have affiliation and relationships – these are the ones listed on the website. This is to ensure that each student gets the most educational value from the experience. Students may find other experiential volunteer opportunities, not for academic credit, through Handshake under the “jobs” tab. The Career Center is available for questions regarding these opportunities.

Learning Agreements have changed for Fall 2020! Please be sure to visit the appropriate experiential learning page for the most updated learning agreement. You can process your Learning Agreement and get a permission number by emailing the completed form to for the following courses:

  • Supervised Field Placement (PSY 1900)
  • Directed Research S/NC (PSY 1903)
  • Undergraduate Teaching Assistant (PSY 1970)
  • Honors in Psychology (PSY 1973 or 1975)

Learning Agreements for Directed Research LG (PSY 1907) should be processed by the faculty member supervising the lab.

International Student Concerns 

No. You should continue to follow all previous international enrollment guidance. The Flex@Pitt model will allow all international students to remain in compliance despite the University’s posture. If you have specific questions please refer to the OIS Q/A webpage or contact your advisor.


COVID-19 Questions 

Please bookmark for the latest in University updates regarding the response to COVID-19.You can also participate in and view previous virtual Town Halls here:


The University requires all Pitt students to complete the Health and Safety Training session whether you plan to return to campus or not. This is a requirement for every student who is enrolled for fall term even if you do not plan to be on campus.

Student leaders from the Pittsburgh campus have created the Pitt Community Compact and have asked students, faculty and staff on all campuses to take this pledge to emphasize our culture of adhering to behaviors to protect the community. The Compact focuses on individual health and well-being, impact on others and accountability. It ends with, “No matter your affiliation, we are all members of the same community. We are all in this together, and we will get through this together.” See more here:


Yes, if you plan to be on campus, the University has instructed all students returning to campus to shelter in place following one of the two options listed below:

  1. Shelter in place at home for 7 days before moving to campus and then 7 additional days once on campus.
  2. Shelter in place for 14 consecutive days before returning to campus.

These guidelines are for all students living on and off campus. In addition, all students returning to campus are required to monitor their health during their shelter-in-place period by using the Daily COVID-19 Health Check app. Completing your daily health check may be required for access to campus facilities. For additional information about shelter-in-place and the Daily COVID-19 Health Check please refer to Pitt's Return to Campus webpage.


The University has provided guidance on the Pitt Community Compact as well as on the Student Life page. You can find information about Prevention and Well-being also.

Updates to the Student Code of Conduct and instructions for reporting possible violations can be found here:


Yes, masks or face coverings secured over mouths and noses will be required in all University postures when in public, on campus, and in campus buildings at all times, except while eating or in an enclosed private, single occupancy space. COVID-19 Standards and Guidelines

See recent updates from COVID-19 Medical Response Office.


Tell someone! If you get sick during the term you should contact Student Health Services immediately. You can find health guidelines, instructions and resources for symptomatic and asymptomatic persons here:


Mental Health and Wellness 

Schedule a remote academic coaching or tutoring appointment with Study Lab.

Learn how to collaborate in a remote learning environment.

Check out on-demand videos that discuss testing anxiety, time management, note taking and more!

Register for these virtual workshops with the wellness center. Current topics include:

  • Stress Management 101
  • Coping Skills During Covid-19
  • Managing Racial Stress and Trauma
  • And more!

Enroll in virtual group counseling to discuss Racial Stress and Trauma, Anxiety & Depression, and Trauma Support.

Talk to someone from the Counseling Center for a free 10-15 minute confidential and informal conversation.


Additional Information 

No. The University of Pittsburgh plans to return to a traditional learning environment beginning Fall Term 2021. This means that courses will be taught in-person, as they had been before the pandemic accommodations went into effect.

Yes, a limited number of devices are available for temporary loan, with student requests taking priority. You may request a hotspot, a laptop, or both. If the request is approved and a device is available, it will be shipped to you along with the setup instructions.

Here is an insightful article from Wichita State University on Zoom Etiquette.

Yes. The Meal Scholarship Program is a new initiative from the Campus Basic Needs Committee, designed to provide an additional short-term food resource for students facing food insecurity caused by an emergency or other unforeseen circumstances. Students should apply using this formLinks to an external site., which takes about 15-20 minutes to complete. If you experience any issues with the new form, please reach out to so we can resolve the issue promptly. to an external site.

Emergency Funds available for students: Pitt will distribute this funding directly to approximately 15,200 graduate and undergraduate students who, as of February 18, 2021, had a 2020-21 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file, demonstrated financial need, met eligibility requirements to receive federal Title IV financial aid and had a federal student aid disbursement for spring 2021. More information about these grants and what can be expected is found here: