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Student Resources and FAQ

Updated 03/27/2020 12:30 p.m.

To our students: Our faculty and staff will be working with purpose to help you continue your path toward your degree. Thank you for your patience while faculty determine next steps in this transition. All questions regarding the university’s response to the coronavirus can be directed to Students needing special accommodations or additional support can contact the Cougar Care Network at or 760-750-7627. 

Health and Well-being

  • Has anyone at CSUSM tested positive for COVID-19?

    Currently, there have been no confirmed cases of a CSUSM employee or student being diagnosed with COVID-19. Fewer than 10 members of our campus community are in a precautionary self-quarantine, following recent travel.  
  • Is CSUSM screening students for coronavirus?

    CSUSM is not conducting medical screenings. The university continues to monitor the situation, providing education and timely updates, and analyzing risk. If you feel ill with a fever, cough and/or shortness of breath, please call your medical provider or Student Health and Counseling Services at 760-750-4915 and ask to speak to a nurse or medical provider for further guidance. 
  • What is CSUSM doing to protect the campus community?

    The health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff are our top priorities. We are continuing to follow the guidelines of the CDC, California Department of Public Health and San Diego and Riverside County Departments of Public Health. Effective March 20, the university will move traditional face-to-face classes to virtual instruction, and the university will reduce staffing in some areas, while preserving critical student services. 

    Given that this is a rapidly evolving situation, timely updates will continue to be posted on the COVID-19 Response website.  

  • What should I do if I feel sick?

    Students who are ill with flu-like symptoms must stay home and should contact their preferred medical provider or contact Student Health and Counseling Services at 760-750-4915. Students who live in CSUSM housing and become ill should contact Malik Ismail, director of Housing and Residential Education, at 


  • Are classes being canceled?

    No, classes are not being canceled.  

    From Monday, March 16 through Thursday, March 19, all previously face-to-face classes will be suspended. There will be no instruction of any kind for previously face-to-face classes during this four-day period, including virtual instruction. 

    This four-day suspension of instruction includes putting a hold on classes that have already transitioned to virtual instruction prior to the March 16-19 timeframe. During these four days, there will be no in-person classes, lab or studio sessions, exams, or faculty office hours. Students should not be asked to come to campus or complete virtual instruction during this time. 

    Traditional online classes (classes that have delivered online since the beginning of the semester) can continue without disruption during the four-day transitionary period at the discretion of the professor. 

    Starting Friday, March 20 through the end of the spring semester, all instruction will occur virtually. 

  • What resources are available to me to help transition to online classes?

    Many of the university's services have moved digitally. We have posted a full online directory of available services. The Office of Undergraduate has created a resource for how to be successful with virtual learning.
  • I have concerns that my professor is unable to answer. Who can I contact?

    You may contact the dean of the college for the class that is being offered.

    Jim Hamerly
    Dean, College of Business Administration  

    Emiliano Ayala 
    Dean, College of Education, Health and Human Services 

    Katherine Kantardjieff 
    Dean, College of Science and Mathematics 

    Elizabeth Matthews 
    Interim Dean, College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral and Social Sciences 

    Charles De Leone 
    Interim Dean, Graduate Studies and Research 

    Suzanne Moineau 
    Acting Dean, Extended Learning

  • I don’t have a computer or laptop at home. What should I do?

    Students who do not have access to a computer or tablet with a recent Windows or Mac operating system, or who do not have access to the internet, or rely on the campus library for textbooks, should contact

    If you have questions about technology and resources to assist you with your virtual/online classes, please contact Technology Support Services at or 760-750-4790. 

  • What days and times will virtual instruction happen?

    Time-specific virtual instruction should continue at the originally scheduled class meeting times to prevent overlap of instruction. 
  • What will be done about lab classes?

    From March 16-19, there will be no in-person classes, lab or studio sessions, exams, or faculty office hours. Students should not be asked to come to campus or complete virtual instruction during this time. Starting Friday, March 20 through the end of the spring semester, all instruction will occur virtually. In rare instances of licensing and credentialing requirements, there may be exceptions. Students should contact their professors for additional clarification.  

Campus Operations

  • What about spring break?

    Spring break will take place as scheduled, Monday, March 30 through Saturday, April 4. Campus will be closed in observance of César Chávez Day on Tuesday, March 31.  

    Government travel restrictions and public health measures are changing rapidly. We strongly urge extreme caution and judgment for your personal domestic travel. Please be cautious in making personal travel choices. Travel restrictions can change at any time, and you may encounter difficulties returning or be requested to self-quarantine based on where you travel to or through. You may check the latest CDC Traveler’s Health Notices and the WHO Information for Travel Page for the latest guidance and recommendations for each destination to be visited before you depart. 

  • Is the campus bookstore open?

    Access to campus facilities, including the bookstore, is currently restricted, as the university follows guidelines from the governor to shelter in place. However, the bookstore is currently offering free shipping, with no minimum purchase, to fulfill any academic needs. Follett, which runs day-to-day operations of the bookstore has additional information online related to textbook rentals, extensions, returns and more.
  • Will campus remain open when classes go virtual?

    All instructional activities, office hours and labs will now only utilize virtual platforms. Access to campus facilities, including academic, administrative and recreational buildings, is currently restricted, as the university follows guidelines from the CDC, California Department of Public Health and San Diego and Riverside County Departments of Public Health to implement telecommuting practices and increase social distancing.

    Student Health and Counseling Services remains open, as well as portions of university housing at UVA and The QUAD.

    To best serve students during this unprecedented time, the university is providing many of its services virtually. See the full list of services on the Virtual Student Support Services webpage.

    Continue to check the COVID-19 Response website for updates on business and service operations.

  • What about housing? Can I move out?

    Given the move to virtual instruction for the remainder of the semester, we want you to know that you have the option to terminate your CSUSM housing license agreement with no termination fee. This is optional, and housing will remain open for residents who would like to stay.

    You can find more information on our housing resource page.

  • Will campus eateries stay open?

    All campus eateries are currently closed. Please visit for updates. The City of San Marcos has a list of local restaurants open for delivery and/or takeout on its website.
  • Will tuition and fees be refunded because classes are being held virtually?

    University leadership is examining all fees and will share decisions once those are made. Many services funded through student fees will be remain accessible to students via virtual platforms and programming. 
  • Are events being canceled?

     Yes. All university-sponsored events held on or off campus and all external client events held on campus have been canceled through the end of May. Events scheduled on or beyond June 1 will be evaluated at a later date. All CSUSM athletic events have been suspended indefinitely.  
  • Will there still be a commencement ceremony?

    Yes, there will be a commencement ceremony. We are saddened to share that the 2020 Cal State San Marcos commencement ceremony scheduled for May 15-16 will be postponed.

    This very difficult decision was made with the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and guests at the forefront, and in consultation with public health experts and leadership from our 23-campus California State University system.

    We know how important commencement is and we are committed to moving this important milestone to a date later this year when it is appropriate and safe to do so. It’s not a question of whether, but when. In addition, we are committed to consulting with ASI student leaders as we move forward with any plans.

    We will share more information as soon as we can. We ask for your patience and understanding as we continue to find solutions during these unprecedented times.

    Updates regarding commencement can found at 

  • Can I get a refund for my parking permit?

    Students can request parking permit refunds on a prorated basis. Please note that although we are moving to virtual instruction, the campus will remain open with available services and your permit will no longer be valid once a refund is processed. Refund forms can be found at Please email the refund form from your CSUSM email to Once the refund form has been received, the parking permit be deactivated immediately. If you revisit campus, you will need to purchase a day pass. 
  • Will parking regulations still be enforced on campus?

     Yes. Please continue to follow all posted regulations. Hourly and daily permits will remain available.