Taking your courses online

Getting Started

  1. Watch for communication from each of your instructors.
  2. Familiarize yourself with MSU's instructional technologies (Canvas, WebEx)
  3. Monitor Coronavirus Information website

Additional Steps

Stay informed regarding how long the campus event may last and how it may affect your classes. Plan for the longest case scenario.

  • For the best online learning experience locate fast and reliable internet service.
  • Download the Canvas Student and WebEx mobile apps.
  • Additional technology may be needed to take your course, such as web camera. Check with your instructor.
  • Some resources such as many library resources and some MSU software licenses will require using the campus VPN.

Continually check for updates to your syllabus based upon campus conditions. Be flexible with all changes.

Background Image Alternative Text: Student on laptop in the union

Getting Help

FAQs for Students

Questions

Why is the University extending spring break for a week? Will we return to class on March 23? How long will classes be offered online? Will we return to the classroom this semester? Will this week’s closure add more time to the semester? I traveled over spring break. What do I do? I am a student employee on campus, can I come back to work at my job? My home does not have reliable internet. How can I do online classes? I do not have a computer. How can I complete coursework? I have studios or labs. Can studios or labs be completed online? I have never taken online courses before. What do I need to do? I live on campus. Can I return to my residence hall? I live in a fraternity/sorority house. Can I return to live in my fraternity/sorority house? I depend on campus dining services for my meals. Are these services still open? Concerned about refunds on housing, meal plans, tuition, etc? I left my computer in my residence hall. Can I return to get it? I am a graduate teaching assistant, research assistant, service assistant. Can I return to my job? I am registered with Disability Support Services for accommodations. How will I receive those in an online environment? I am scared and don’t know what to do. Who can I talk to? What if I get behind in my course work due to being sick? How will grades be assigned if the University has to close for an extended period? (Graduation) Will the concerns over COVID-19 affect my graduation? (Registration) Has the registration process or deadlines changed for the Summer terms or for the Fall? Financial Aid

Why is the University extending spring break for a week?

Mississippi State University is being proactive in helping prevent the spread of COVID-19. These actions are consistent with other universities across the country and will allow faculty to make plans for courses to be offered online beginning March 23. 

Will we return to class on March 23?

Classes will resume in an online or alternative format beginning March 23. 

How long will classes be offered online? Will we return to the classroom this semester?

This is a continuously evolving situation. We are working with local and state health officials and with the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning to return to in person instruction as soon as possible. 

Will this week’s closure add more time to the semester?

Currently, we do not expect the semester to be extended. 

I traveled over spring break. What do I do?

For all MSU faculty, students or staff returning from travel abroad, from a cruise, or from an area that you believe to be highly impacted by COVID-19, MSU is following the recommendation of the CDC in requiring that you stay home for 14 days. As of today (March 16, 2020), that list includes the countries below and a list of European countries, and those returning from a cruise.  However, we realize that some domestic locations may also pose a risk at this time.

If you are returning from travel abroad, from a cruise, or from an area that you believe to be highly impacted by COVID-19, please contact the Longest Student Health Center at 662-325-2055 before returning to campus.  A health center employee will pre-screen you before you are cleared to return to campus.

Employees returning from level CDC Level 3 countries or cruises will be required to stay home for 14 days, monitor their health, and practice social distancing.  Employees with a high risk of exposure returning from other locations may be asked to stay at home as well.  If you are sick with fever, cough, or have trouble breathing, please call the Longest Student Health Center at 662-325-2055. Please notify your supervisor.  You will need to provide proof of your travel and you will be required to work from home to the extent possible until you have been home and symptom free for the required 14 days.  

As of March 16, Level 3 countries are:

As indicated here https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html

Site to search status of all countries: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/

I am a student employee on campus, can I come back to work at my job?

Student employees should consult with their supervisors before coming to campus.  It may be possible for some student worker duties to be done remotely. 

My home does not have reliable internet. How can I do online classes?

The University remains open and internet access will continue to be available. Students who live in Mississippi may also access internet services at their local county extension offices during normal business hours. Locations for those offices can be found at http://extension.msstate.edu/county-offices. Several internet providers have offered free services during this time period. 

I do not have a computer. How can I complete coursework?

The University’s Learning Management System, Canvas, is mobile-friendly and most features do not require a computer. The Mitchell Memorial Library is open and computers can be accessed there. In addition, MSU is procuring additional laptops that can checked out from Mitchell Memorial Library.

I have studios or labs. Can studios or labs be completed online?

Your faculty member will contact you with details about your coursework. Each course is different, so alternative course formats will be communicated to you by your faculty member.

I have never taken online courses before. What do I need to do?

Your Instructor will provide information about what online program will be used for your course. Classes will be using Canvas, the University’s Learning Management System.

Instructions for getting started with Canvas can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWvWRqxQfgg&feature=youtu.be.

You can also contact the ITS Service Desk at 662-325-0631 or https://servicedesk.msstate.edu/TDClient/45/Portal/Home/.

I live on campus. Can I return to my residence hall?

Based upon recent updates, we recommend that all students return home or to their permanent residence and not return to their on-campus residence at this time. Students should retrieve items they may need to begin their online courses March 23 and access to residence halls will be available to do so.
 
Students who have specific needs that require them to return or remain in their on campus residence hall room, must complete the form entitled “COVID-19 Housing Intention Form” found in the MSU Housing Portal which can be found at the top right side of Housing & Residence Life’s website [https://www.housing.msstate.edu/

These forms will be reviewed and a member of the Housing & Residence Life staff will follow up with each student to confirm them remaining in or returning to their on campus residence. Campus dining and other services will be available to students on a limited basis.

I live in a fraternity/sorority house. Can I return to live in my fraternity/sorority house?

Based upon recent updates, we recommend that all students return home or to their permanent residence and not return to their fraternity or sorority house as a resident at this time. Students should retrieve items they may need to begin their online courses March 23 and access to houses will be available to do so. Fraternity & sorority houses will be closed except for the retrieval of belongings.

Students who have specific needs that require them to return or remain on campus will be accommodated in on-campus housing through the Department of Housing & Residence Life. Should a student have a specific need, please complete the form entitled “COVID-19 Housing Intention Form” found in the MSU Housing Portal which can be found at the top right side of Housing & Residence Life’s website [https://www.housing.msstate.edu/].  These forms will be reviewed and a member of the Housing & Residence Life staff will follow up with each student to confirm a housing assignment. Campus dining and other services will be available to students on a limited basis.

I depend on campus dining services for my meals. Are these services still open?

MSU Dining will be open. The Marketplace at Perry will offer breakfast or brunch along with dinner every day. Modifications have been made to menu offerings to reduce self-service and social distancing while picking up food is required. Starbucks & the Union P.O.D. will be open from 8 am to 2 pm. For full hours of operation visit dining.msstate.edu.

Concerned about refunds on housing, meal plans, tuition, etc?

The University has been directed by IHL, our governing body, that no decision can be made at this time and that all universities must await further guidance from the Department of Education.  Currently, the University remains open with students having access to housing and the ability for students to use meal plans.

I left my computer in my residence hall. Can I return to get it?

Yes. If you have any items in your residence hall you may return to get them. 

Please do not return to campus if you are sick. Contact the Longest Student Health Center at 662-325-2055.

I am a graduate teaching assistant, research assistant, service assistant. Can I return to my job?

GTA's, GRA's and GSA's should discuss with your supervisor whether a return to your job is possible.

I am registered with Disability Support Services for accommodations. How will I receive those in an online environment?

As part of the training made available to faculty, how to accommodate students with disabilities online will be included. Disability Support Services is reviewing all accommodations and will reach out students as needed about the provision of accommodations through alternative formats.  If you have any concerns, please reach out to Disability Support Services.

I am scared and don’t know what to do. Who can I talk to?

Mississippi State University understands this can be a stressful time. If you need to speak to someone about the medical concerns, please call 662-325-2055.

Student Counseling Services is operating and accepting student appointments. If you would like to reach the Student Counseling Services, please call 662-325-2091.

You can also contact the Dean of Students at 662-325-3611.

What if I get behind in my course work due to being sick?

The University has policies and procedures for helping in these situations. Contact your faculty by email or other channels if you are sick so they can assist you in planning. You can also contact the Dean of Students office at 662-325-3611.

How will grades be assigned if the University has to close for an extended period?

The University has no plans to close at this time. However, if a closure is needed, we will communicate plans for assigning course grades at that time.

(Graduation) Will the concerns over COVID-19 affect my graduation?

The University has made no changes to the commencement schedule. However, we continue to monitor developments. Information will be provided if any adjustments are needed. We do not expect any negative impact on academic progress or graduation status.

(Registration) Has the registration process or deadlines changed for the Summer terms or for the Fall?

No changes have been made to the registration process. All deadlines are posted on the Registrar’s website: https://www.registrar.msstate.edu/

Academic advisors are prepared to advise you via phone call, Webex, or other technology enabled formats. For students being advised by the Undergraduate Academic Advising Center:  At the time of your appointment, your advisor will call you at the number you list. Email communication may be used to complete the advising process. At the conclusion of your appointments., the advisor will release you to register for the summer & fall 2020.

Financial Aid

At this time we do not expect to suspend University operations. The University’s Financial Aid Office is monitoring developments and we will provide more information if conditions change. For more information, you can visit:

Student Financial Aid
662-325-2450
https://sfa.msstate.edu

Center for America’s Veterans
662-325-6719
https://veterans.msstate.edu