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Academic FAQs for Returning Undergraduate Students

Returning undergraduate students should expect to see their revised fall schedules no later than July 3rd and every student should log into Student Planning so they can be aware of their new schedule. Click here for “Instructions for How to Review and Modify Your Schedule for Fall 2020.”  

Please note:

  • Registration for returning students is technically available through the drop-add period, but to ensure you have access to the classes you need and to have the decisions you need to make regarding housing, we recommend that you make any changes to your schedules by July 10th.
  • It is strongly recommended that you divide your schedule as evenly as possible between Session A and Session B. (Keep in mind that each course now represents double the amount of work because it is being taught in half the amount of time.) You must take at least 4 credits and no more than 12 credits per session.
  • If you need support using self-service, please contact regoffice@mcdaniel.edu.
  • If you need support with advising-related questions, please reach out to your academic advisor.
  • If there is a complex advising issue which cannot be resolved with your advisor, please reach out to academiclife@mcdaniel.edu.

For additional questions, contact the Academic Life Office at 410-857-2251 or academiclife@mcdaniel.edu.

How many credits should I take in Session A & Session B? If all of my classes are scheduled in one session, can I just leave my schedule as it is?

As a general rule, it is recommended that students take 16 credits each semester in order to be on track for graduation in 4 years. Taking fewer than 12 credits across the two sessions combined may impact financial aid, housing, and athletic eligibility.

If you are enrolled in fewer than 4 or more than 12 credits per session, you must make changes to your schedule by August 1st. We will do everything we can do assist, but failure to make a schedule change may result in credits above the limit of 12 to be dropped from your schedule. This is because it is highly unlikely for a student to successfully complete a full semester worth of work in only seven weeks.

My hybrid class looks like it will meet 5 days a week according to the schedule in Student Planning. Why isn't this just called an in-person class then?

Hybrid classes will include at least one in-person meeting each week. Most hybrid classes have been assigned 5 days on the schedule to provide the greatest flexibility for professors to determine how often they will meet with students in person. The fall time codes simply reserve a time when your professor might choose to schedule in-person meetings or synchronous online meeting for; such meetings may be for all students in the class at one time or to allow smaller groups to meet on different days. At the beginning of the semester, your syllabus should describe which days will be used for in-person meetings or synchronous online meetings. If you would like more information regarding specific courses in your schedule, you can reach out to your professor directly with questions.

Why does my online class have a time code and/or classroom?

For some online classes, professors may have requested a time code because they hope to hold synchronous meetings via Teams or Zoom so that students can gather virtually all at the same time. In addition, some online classes may include occasional, optional in-person meetings in the assigned classroom.

I have a time conflict between two of my classes. How should I resolve this conflict?

The first step is to make sure the classes aren’t actually at the same time in different sessions. Next, search for other sections of the classes to determine if you can simply move to a different section of the same course. If there are no other sections of the course, you will need to determine which one to drop and replace with a different class.

I need to drop and replace a class but am unsure which class to drop. What should I do?

If one of the classes is a requirement for your major and the other is an elective, you should drop the elective and replace it with a different class. If both of the classes are requirements for your major(s) and you are uncertain which class can be delayed to a later semester, you should discuss this with your advisor or the chair of your department. If you need to drop a non-major course which you were intending to take as McDaniel Plan requirement, keep in mind that there are many classes available to meet each McDaniel Plan requirement. You may also find it helpful to review the “My Progress” section on Student Planning to remind yourself what your remaining requirements are for your major and your McDaniel Plan. You could elect instead to fulfill a different McDaniel plan requirement.

I was placed into an in-person class or hybrid class but I am not able to attend classes in person. What are my options?

If you choose to take a hybrid course but cannot attend the in-person portion of that course, your professor will work with you to give you access to course materials and provide assignments and activities which you can complete from home.

However, classes designated as in-person will require that you attend classes on campus. If you do not plan to live on or commute to campus for classes, you should drop any in-person classes from your schedule and replace them with hybrid or online classes.

I was previously waitlisted for a course. Am I still on that waitlist, and is my rank on that waitlist still the same as before?

Yes, waitlists have been rebuilt. You ranking is either the same as it was before or it is possible that a space opened and you were added to the class.

I'm surprised that some classes which seem very hands-on are being offered online. How can I get a high-quality learning experience if these hands-on topics are taught online?

By the time the fall semester begins, all of our faculty will have completed a 4-week professional development course about online pedagogy and course design for hybrid and online courses. Faculty teaching online will be doing so in a highly engaging way to ensure a robust learning experience for students.

If a conflict is created in my schedule and I need to drop a course, will this delay my graduation? Is there a guarantee that I will have the courses I need in order to graduate as planned?

No student should need to delay their graduation date specifically due to COVID-related schedule changes. If you are in a situation where you are concerned about this, make sure to reach out to your advisor to share your concerns. If alternative arrangements need to be made for you, it is important to have these conversations early and get approval from your department chair.

I have a job lined up for the fall semester which worked with the class schedule I had registered for and it may be challenging for me to work with a revised class schedule. What are my options?

Once you see your revised schedule, if the schedule no longer works for you, you will have the option to register for different classes. Make sure to note the modality of the courses. There are many classes that will be designated OL (online), which means students are not required to meet in-person, though many of these online courses do have optional in-person meetings. This should give you a fair amount of flexibility.

It sounds like class sizes will be smaller. Does this mean fewer students will have the opportunity to take each class? Will more sections be opened?

The overall class sizes are going to be the same, but, in many cases, faculty will only be meeting with half the students in a given class at a time. This is because of the social distance requirements issued by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Given the size of most campus classrooms, we are only able physically accommodate between 10-12 students in a classroom at a time. We are trying to bring on more sections of different classes, however, so that students have as many alternatives as possible in the event that their revised schedules no longer work for them.

Will tuition be reduced if I am taking many online or hybrid classes instead of classes which are entirely face-to-face?

Tuition charges will not change for the 2020-2021 academic year regardless of instructional modality and we remain committed to the low faculty-student ratio that is a hallmark of a McDaniel education. Courses will continue to be taught by McDaniel faculty, and although the total number of instructional days has been reduced, the number of class hours will be the same to ensure the quality of the academic experience.

How was it determined which classes would be offered in-person, hybrid, or online?

While most 1000-level courses are being offered either hybrid or in-person, some faculty are unable to teach in-person due to different COVID-19 related factors. To provide as much flexibility for students and faculty as possible, and to ensure the College is able to adhere to the social distance guidelines published by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), faculty teaching 2000+ level courses will teach their classes entirely online, online with some optional in-person meetings, or hybrid with weekly in-person meetings.

I would prefer not to take online classes. Can I take most of my classes in-person or hybrid?

You will be able to search and register for in-person and hybrid classes, if you prefer. However, some classes may only be offered in an online format. Even in online classes, many faculty plan to hold optional in-person activities with students throughout the session to deepen and enrich the educational experience.

I don’t plan to live on or near campus in the fall. Will I be able to take all of my classes online?

You will be able to search and register for alternative online (OL) classes if they aren’t already on your schedule. However, some classes may only be offered in a hybrid or in-person format. If you choose to take a hybrid course but cannot attend the in-person portion of that course, your professor will work with you to give you access to course materials and provide assignments and activities which you can complete from home.

If classes are only 7-weeks long, will we only learn half as much?

During a regular semester, there are 45 hours of class time for each class. In our 7-week sessions, students will still have 45 hours of class time for each class during a more condensed time frame in which they are taking fewer classes. Those hours could occur in-person or online. In summary, you will still be learning the same amount over the course of the semester.

How will you ensure that the online and hybrid classes will be high-quality educational experiences? Will they be different than what I experienced during the spring semester?

By the time the fall semester begins, all of our faculty will have completed a 4-week professional development course about online pedagogy and course design for hybrid and online courses. Faculty are all working diligently this summer to redesign their classes to be highly engaging, regardless of the modality. All students should expect a robust experience in the fall.

What will happen if I need to quarantine but my class has in-person meetings?

While each faculty member may have a different way to handle this, given the specific assignments and expectations for their courses, all faculty will work with students during quarantine so that students can continue learning and doing assignments virtually.  

What will happen if there is a spike of COVID-19 cases in Maryland? Will all classes shift online again?

We are working hard to ensure that, even if there are cases of COVID-19 on campus, we are able to safely handle them through a combined process of quarantine and testing without closing the campus. Unfortunately, it is possible that instruction may need to move online if the local health department makes this determination due to a significant outbreak. Should that need arise, the transition should be fairly seamless given the flexible way courses have been redesigned.

If I choose to take a leave of absence from McDaniel for the fall and/or spring semester, how would that affect my scholarships and financial aid?

For any questions about your financial package and to discuss your personal financial situation, contact the Financial Aid Office at (410) 857-2759 or your Financial Aid Specialist.