Graduate Admissions Questions Related to COVID-19

Updated June 2, 2020.

On This Page:

COVID-19 Impact at the University at Buffalo

Admissions and Admissions Process Documentation

Current and Future Course Format/Enrollment

Deferral Process

International Students

Master of Science in Management Information Systems Program Questions

Master of Science in Operations and Supply Chain Management Program Questions

MBA Program Questions

General Information

We are here to support you! Please bookmark this page and check back often. Answers will be updated as the situation evolves.

During this challenging time, we know you have questions about how the coronavirus (COVID-19) could impact your impending enrollment, especially if you are traveling to us. If you are planning to enroll in a School of Management program in summer 2020, fall 2020 or spring 2021, we want you to know that we are busy preparing and planning an impactful academic experience for you, and eagerly awaiting your arrival. However, as of March 17, 2020, we are not taking in-person meetings, appointments, walk-ins or information sessions. We have moved to a fully virtual system for all conversations, recruiting activities, information sessions and events.

For any questions not addressed in this FAQ, contact us directly:

  • For prospective MBAs, Master of Science and doctoral students, send an email to som-apps@buffalo.edu.
  • For prospective Professional MBA students, send an email to mgt-pmba@buffalo.edu.
  • For prospective Executive MBA students, send an email to mgt-emba@buffalo.edu.
  • For all conversations after your initial email, subsequent conversations may take place by telephone, WhatsApp, WebEx, Zoom and/or other digital means of communication.
  • Visit our Admissions Calendar often to see our list of 2020 events. We will be adding more daily.

COVID-19 Impact at the University at Buffalo

What is the current situation at UB regarding COVID-19?

At this time, the University at Buffalo is open and fully operational, and courses are being offered online for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. We are evaluating academic options for the summer and fall 2020 terms. For specific details on university operations and policies, visit the University at Buffalo COVID-19 FAQs webpage, the official channel of COVID-19 communication for the entire UB community.

How is COVID-19 affecting students’ lives who are planning to attend UB?

Admitted students have shared with us their fear of not being able to make it to Buffalo in time to start their academic program. We understand that it may be difficult to make plans for your arrival in Buffalo. As we receive information from various authorities, including the U.S.  and New York State governments and the University at Buffalo, we will share it with you in a timely and transparent manner through multiple communications channels: via this FAQ page, email and social media. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to connect with us on our social media channels.

Will 2020 semester start dates be impacted by COVID-19?

Summer 2020 courses will be delivered via distance learning where possible. At present, we have made no changes to the fall university academic calendar. The university is anticipating regular enrollment for summer and fall 2020. However, these are extraordinary circumstances and it is possible the situation will change. If any changes occur that impact your specific program, we will contact you directly via email regarding enrollment options. In addition, we will share information via our FAQ and social channels.

Admissions and Admissions Process Documentation

Are you still accepting applications?

If you are a U.S. applicant for the fall 2020 terms, we are accepting applications for MBA, Professional MBA, Executive MBA and Master of Science programs. Check the individual program website for appropriate dates.

If you are a non-U.S. applicant for the fall 2020 term, we are no longer accepting international applications. We encourage you to apply for spring 2021, summer 2021 or fall 2021 programs. Applications will open July 1, 2020.

Have you changed application or admission decision deadlines?

Yes, where possible, we have extended application deadlines. Check the Admissions page for your program to see if deadlines have changed.

I am a U.S. veteran. What is the status of the GI Bill?

President Trump signed into law S. 3503, March 21, which will enable the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to continue providing the same level of education benefits to students having to take courses online due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Students receiving GI Bill benefits are not required to take any action. Benefits will continue automatically. VA will work closely with schools to ensure enrollments are accurately certified and processed timely. Press release.

I am an admitted student. Should I pay my tuition deposit?

Yes, we recommend you pay your tuition deposit to secure your seat in the incoming class as soon as possible. Should you defer to the next enrollment term, your tuition deposit will be deferred to that term. We have extended our deposit date to July 1, 2020, for fall 2020 incoming MBA and MS students. For PMBA and EMBA students, your deposit dates are already July 15 and August 1, respectively. If any changes occur that impact your specific program, we will contact you directly via email. In addition, we will share information via our FAQ and social channels.

Admissions testing has been suspended where I am. What should I do?

Complete your application with all materials except your scores. We will review your application materials on an ongoing basis. However, we encourage you to take advantage of online testing resources as soon as possible.

The Graduate Management Admissions Council has a new GMAT Online Exam. Learn more and register today. The online and proctored exam begins April 20.

The Educational Testing Service announced an online version of the GRE and TOEFL is available in specific countries and will likely be extended to other areas soon.

The Duolingo (DET) is an online test for English language proficiency for admission to all UB degree programs for fall 2020 and spring 2021. 

The UB School of Management will accept the online version of the above exams.

My GRE/GMAT score is valid until January 2021. I have an admit for fall 2020. In case there are visa issues and I have to start in spring 2021, do I have to take the GMAT/GRE again?

No, you will not need to retake the GMAT/GRE in this situation, as you would be an admitted student deferred to the next available term. However, if you decide to apply to a different program than the one to which you are admitted, you may need to retake the GMAT/GRE exam.

What if my school or university is closed and I can’t get my final transcript and proof of degree?

We understand there may be disruptions in services at other institutions related to COVID-19. We will evaluate each situation and be as flexible and accommodating as possible.

For the benefit of our entire community:

Current and Future Course Format/Enrollment

Will courses now be distance education/online learning or on-campus?

Summer 2020 courses will be delivered via distance learning where possible. Fall 2020 courses are scheduled to be delivered in their original format. However, the university is evaluating which additional courses may be converted to online or distance education to best serve our students. If any changes occur that impact your specific program, we will contact you directly via email regarding enrollment options. In addition, we will share information via our FAQ and social channels.

If I am unable to attend UB when my program is supposed to start, will I be able to take online classes to begin the program and then move to Buffalo after restrictions are lifted?

We admit students from many countries, and recognize that not all countries will lift COVID-19 restrictions at the same time, so we are currently evaluating all options for admitted students to begin their program on time. We are looking at both partial and full distance learning possibilities. If any changes occur that impact your specific program, we will contact you directly via email regarding enrollment options. In addition, we will share information via our FAQ and social channels.

Deferral Process

Can I defer my admission to spring 2021?

Some of our programs have both spring and fall start dates, some have a summer start date, while some of our programs are fall start only. Speak with your admissions team to find out if you are eligible for a deferral and what the next applicable term would be for your enrollment. As a normal policy, we allow any admitted student to defer admission for one year.

Would I have to go through the application process again if we have to defer admission due to COVID-19?

No, you would not have to go through the application process again. We can defer your application to the next applicable admissions term.

International Students

Note: If you are currently in the United States and plan to attend graduate school for summer 2020 or fall 2020, please DO NOT LEAVE the country. The State Department is currently advising that you will NOT get a visa to travel back to the U.S. in August.

Is the university going to send us I-20s?

If you have been admitted and uploaded all of your required I-20 documents, in accordance with U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement COVID-19 guidance, UB International Admissions will provide you with both a physical and a digital .pdf copy of your signed I-20. In addition, you have access to your SEVIS ID number and the SEVIS School Code for UB in the student portal. With this information, you can apply for a visa appointment when U.S. consulates reopen.  Original I-20s with physical signatures will be mailed/couriered as soon as we are capable of ensuring delivery.

Our UB International Admissions Office has started shipping original I-20s with physical signatures. You must select 'Express courier service' in your Student Application Status Portal to ensure timely delivery.

What is the last date to send documents for I-20 processing?

There is no specific deadline for submitting immigration documents. However, we encourage you to complete these steps as soon as possible so when shipping and visa appointments resume, you have the appropriate materials to move forward.

Can the DS-160 and SEVIS fee be paid now?

Yes, you can complete the DS-160 and pay the SEVIS fee now.

What if I pay the SEVIS fee and complete the DS-160 and admission is deferred?

The I-901 SEVIS fee remains valid regardless of the I-20 start date. If your admission is deferred, UB can also defer the I-20 to a future term. Visit fmjfee.com for more information on the I-901 SEVIS fee.

Many banks are closed due to the COVID-19 situation. I am having issues getting bank documents for I-20. What should I do?

We understand the challenge you may have securing appropriate financial documentation due to COVID-19 closures. You should continue, to the best of your ability, to work to get your bank documents and other I-20 documents as soon as possible. We can begin processing your I-20 once we receive all of your required documentation.

Will I be able to apply for a U.S. visa?

All visa issuance questions should be directed to your local U.S. consulate office. Visa appointment and issuance are regulated by the U.S. government. Information about visa appointment wait times, news and alerts can be found at the U.S. Department of State website. You can also contact your local U.S. consulate office for specific information about the impact of COVID-19 on visa issuance in your area.

Visa Information from U.S. Department of State

U.S. Consulate Office Contact List

Note, if you are considering using a private visa documentation processing firm, be aware that their specific calendars are separate from those of the U.S. Department of State or consulate offices. Private visa processing firms may have different availability and dates.

U.S. visa appointments are currently suspended indefinitely. When will they begin issuing appointments?

U.S. embassies and consulates have cancelled all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments as of March 20, 2020. Embassies and consulates will resume routine visa services as soon as possible, but are unable to provide a specific date at this time. Students are encouraged to check in with the embassy and consulate regularly to monitor visa appointment changes.

What if I can’t get a visa due to suspension issues and am unable to reach Buffalo by the time my program starts?

If your arrival in Buffalo is delayed by any COVID-19 related issue, we will continue to inform you of your enrollment options and ask that you work with your admissions team to understand the impacts for your specific program. You can also refer to FAQs on course format, enrollment options and deferral process.

Master of Science in Management Information Systems Program Questions

Where can I learn about the COVID-19 impact on the MS in MIS program?

I am in the process of applying but not yet admitted. How do I complete my application?

I am an admitted student with a summer 2020 start date. What changes are in effect?

  • All students scheduled to begin the MS in MIS program in summer 2020 are deferred and will now begin in the fall semester on Aug. 24, 2020. 
  • Our admissions team will work with you one-on-one to generate new admissions letters and, if you are an international student, new I-20 documentation for your student visa application. Because this new start date is within one year of your original start date, you will not need to provide new financial documentation.
  • By matter of policy, all admitted students may defer enrollment up to one year, allowing you to start the program in the fall 2020, spring 2021 or summer 2021.
  • Based on your feedback, we have opted to not provide an online alternative to the 2020-21 MS in MIS program at this time. However, we may re-evaluate that decision in the future, should it become necessary.

 

I am an admitted student with a fall 2020 start date (including summer 2020 deferred). What changes are in effect?

  • If the university has reopened campus for the fall semester and you are able to get here, we warmly welcome you to attend classes in person. At this time, we intend to run a full, on-campus academic schedule for fall 2020.
  • If extended federal, state or local public health guidelines prevent us from reopening our campus for fall 2020 in-person classes or you are not able to get here for any reason, we will defer your enrollment to spring 2021. 
  • By matter of policy, all admitted students may defer enrollment up to one year, allowing you to start the program in the spring, summer or fall of 2021.
  • Based on your feedback, we have opted not to provide an online alternative to the 2020-21 MS in MIS program at this time. However, we may re-evaluate that decision in the future, should it become necessary.

Master of Science in Operations and Supply Chain Management Program Questions

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, applications for fall 2020 admission to this program have been suspended.

I have applied and been admitted for fall 2020. What do I do?

You have several options.

I have applied but not yet received a decision. What do I do?

You have several options.

I was planning to apply for fall 2020. What do I do now?

You have several options.

MBA Program Questions

Do I qualify for the GMAT/GRE waiver?

To ensure that those who are interested in pursuing an MBA are not hindered by any restraints to sit for the GMAT and GRE, the University at Buffalo School of Management is temporarily waiving GMAT/GRE test requirements for experienced or accomplished fall 2020 applicants to its full-time MBA program.

Fall 2020 applicants may also submit expired GMAT/GRE or SAT/ACT scores in lieu of a current GMAT/GRE score.

Learn about the specific waiver requirements.