COVID-19 FAQ for the USC Viterbi Community

Last Updated 3/24 – 6:44pm

Link to Student Advising Resources during COVID-19


Q: I am a student worker but my work cannot be done remotely? Will I be compensated?

A: All student workers, including those with federal work study grants, will be paid through the end of the semester. For more information, visit the Student Workers section of the Employee FAQ.

Q: How can I complete my thesis defense, qualifying exam or my dissertation defense if COVID-19 affects my ability to meet with my dissertation committee in person?

A: Remote participation in a dissertation or thesis defense is always an option for a limited number of committee members. The Graduate School and the Viterbi Dean’s office has approved that all thesis defense, qualifying exams and dissertation defense can be conducted entirely through Zoom or other video conferencing tools. The standard rules apply to the process which means that all committee members must be part of the same defense “meeting,” whether they are on campus or remote.


Q: I’m a student or faculty member and can’t return my books by their due date since library buildings are closed. What should I do?

A: Please see the Library’s COVID-19 operations page. It will continue to be updated frequently with details on library services.


Q: Are there Viterbi Career Connections recruitment events and activities available while we are not attending classes on the USC Campus?

A: The Viterbi Career Connections office will continue to offer a full suite of career services via virtual operations, including employer events and job and internship postings.

Access Viterbi Career Gateway for:

  • Job and Internship Postings
  • Apply for Virtual Interviews
  • RSVP for Virtual Employer Info Sessions
  • Schedule Video/Phone Career Advising Appointments
  • Attend Virtual Workshops
  • RSVP for Virtual Career & Internship Boot Camp

Virtual Zoom Drop-in Hours: Monday- Friday from 12 – 3 pm

Need Internship Credit or CPT? Make an appointment with Brittany Chu through Viterbi Career Gateway.

Contact the Career Connections staff at We will maintain regular office hours Monday – Friday, 8:30 am-5:00 pm.


Q: Are there new online access considerations for current DEN@Viterbi Students?

A: DEN@Viterbi students are encouraged to review the below FAQ, addressing all Viterbi courses. There are special considerations in the FAQ for our fully online, DEN@Viterbi students.


Q: I’m a DEN Student, and my testing center has been closed for my upcoming midterm or final examination. What options do I have?

A: Since the exam format and requirements may change or be postponed, we understand that this will create issues and inconveniences. We try to accommodate faculty as best we can with exams and it will affect DEN students who already had scheduled exams and apologize for issues this may create for you.

Please contact our DEN exams coordinator at 213-740-9356 or if you have additional questions or concerns. We also encourage you to review the Online Technical FAQ, available to all students.


Q: I am a student and thinking of staying away through the end of the Spring Semester (including the exam period). Can I expect that classes will continue being available on-line?

A: As of now, the University mandate is that all classes will be taught on-line only through the end of the semester. Students who have left campus will be offered an alternative to complete the course remotely.  The exact alternative offered will vary from class to class depending on the instructor and may include e.g., assignment(s) to be turned in, or the option of receiving the grade held in the course at that point as the final grade.


Q:  I am an international student, should I plan to go back to my home country? 

A:  All international students are welcome to stay here. The university is following CDC guidelines and does not recommend international travel at this point. Please also keep in mind the following:

  • International students who need their on-campus housing will continue to receive appropriate accommodations, dining, student health and safety services. Please contact
  • International travel is in a state of flux, as of this time, and new travel restrictions could arise anytime in the near future.
  • International students who nonetheless choose to return to their home country are strongly advised to check in prior to implementing their plans with the Office of International Services at 213-740-2666 or regarding visa status.


Q: Will classes moving online change my visa status?

A: For all students currently enrolled in classes that moved online, there will be no effects on visa status. However, this should not be interpreted as an encouragement to leave the country, for the reasons given above.


Q:  Will there be any issues/penalties on my academic record for taking classes online?

A: None at all.


Q: I am a graduate student conducting research. Am I expected to continue doing research?  

A: Please visit the university research website for answers to this and related questions.


Q: Will I be reimbursed for any university-supported travel that has been cancelled due to the current situation? 

A: Please visit the university research website for answers to this and related questions.


Q:  How can I get my work paycheck, if I don’t have direct deposit?

A: Business offices will continue with essential staffing at USC and the process of payments will continue as much as they are able. If you encounter any problems, please contact your academic department.


Q: I am on work-study. Can I work remotely? 

A: Please coordinate with your direct supervisor. In general, many of the work-study functions can be accommodated online and we will endeavor to make every accommodation possible.



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