Students FAQ

Student Emergency Grants

Sonoma State received $4.5 million from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security act to provide financial relief to our students impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Read more about these grants and how they will be distributed.

Academic Support & Advising

Even though your learning is remote, there is still academic support and advising for SSU students. Please send your questions to

SSU COVID-19 Call Center

(707) 664-2880

If you have any questions or concerns about SSU's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please call our COVID-19 Call Center. You may speak to someone Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-2 pm., or leave a message after hours. You may also direct your question to our COVID-19 email.

Academic Affairs Info Hub

Please see the COVID-19 Resource Guides and FAQs published by the Academic Affairs Division for additional information for students.

Campus Residents

How did the university determine housing refunds?

In mid-March, SSU made the recommendation that, if possible, students move to the safety of their primary non-campus residence and provided an incentive to do so. The incentive also released students from their contractual obligation to make the final housing payment on April 1. For April 1 payments already paid, the credits and/or reimbursements were made about April 10 and formed part of the early move-out incentive plan.

Do I need to move out of the residence halls?

It is increasingly clear that COVID-19 affects people of all ages, not just those with health conditions or those 65 and over. While the Residential Community will remain open, we strongly encourage all campus residents to move to the safety of their primary non-campus residence. We realize this may not be possible for some of our residents, and please know you will continue to have a home at SSU.

In response to the emerging health crisis, residents who choose to remain living on campus will likely be required to change their housing assignment and move to a new unit.


What should I do about my Purchased Voluntary/Block Meal Plan?

If you are not continuing to use your meal plan or block plan during the Spring semester, but plan on returning in the Fall, we will transfer your current plan to the fall 2020 semester for use from August 16 to September 30, 2020. If you are not returning to Sonoma State University for the fall 2020 semester, please contact Culinary Services at for details.

Remote Instruction

Will SSU continue remote instruction in Fall 2020?

Chancellor Timothy P. White has announced CSU courses primarily will be delivered virtually for the fall 2020 term, with limited exceptions for in-person teaching, learning and research activities that cannot be delivered virtually, are indispensable to the university’s core mission and can be conducted within rigorous standards of safety and welfare. There will be hybrid approaches and there will be variability across the 23 campuses due to specific context and circumstances.

If I’m learning remotely, do I need to come to campus?


What does it mean that my class is being taught remotely?

Classes may be taught remotely in many different ways. For example, some classes may keep meeting at the same time as they do now but use technology (such as Canvas) to deliver lecture material. This is called “synchronous instruction.” In other cases, the class may move toward self-paced work that does not require meeting at a specific time (this is called “asynchronous instruction”). Some faculty may provide assignments through email. Sonoma State professors will be communicating with students about the requirements of each individual class. They understand this is a difficult situation and everyone is doing their best to support our students during this unusual time. 

I am currently in an off-site clinical or field placement, including student teaching experience or internship. Should I continue in those experiences?

Due to the public health emergency, there will be no in-person labs, practica, service learning, clinicals or field experiences.

Should I drop all my classes at this point?

No. We do not recommend dropping courses. Our goal is help you to successfully complete your coursework this semester so that you can continue to progress toward graduation. 

Also, dropping classes has implications for your financial aid including partial repayment and not making satisfactory academic progress required for future financial aid eligibility. You should discuss any potential changes to your schedule with your Academic Advisor immediately.

Academic Resources

How do I order or return textbooks?

The University Store remains closed and will reopen when the campus resumes normal operations. You can still purchase learning materials and retail items from the University Bookstore. In addition, we are continuing to accept book orders for the summer and fall terms.

We offer a number of ways to return your textbook rentals. Should you need an extension to return your books, we have extended the grace period for rental returns through the first week of Fall classes. We will not be charging any students who were unable to return their books in time.

Does the university have any laptops available for students to borrow?

The University Library has a limited number of laptops that can be borrowed by students for remote learning on a first-come, first served basis. Students must be enrolled in Summer 2020 classes at SSU to qualify. While supplies last, you may request to have a Macbook laptop sent to your home address by completing this form. 

Laptops will be loaned for one semester, only. At the end of each academic term, all laptops must be returned to the library to undergo maintenance and repair for redistribution to remote learners for the following semester. All laptop loans must be returned by August 15, 2020 without exception.

We are currently only accepting requests for Summer 2020 loans. For information on Fall 2020 laptop loans, check back for updates on the Library COVID-19 Updates and Resources page. 

I don’t have reliable broadband/internet services at home. How am I going to complete my coursework?

Several cable companies are offering free internet for students for the next 60 days. AT&T, Comcast, Charter, Cox, Google Fiber, Spring, Verizon, and T-Mobile will not disconnect anyone for the next 60 days. They participated in the "Keep Americans Connected" Pledge (PDF)


Comcast is offering Internet Essentials package for free for 60 days during the coronavirus outbreak.


Sonic offers three months of free access to new member households with students and educators, seniors, healthcare and delivery workers, and any homes that have had a financial impact due to the COVID crisis. Contact Sonic for more information. 


Charter Communication announced it will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a subscription.

What if I need to access library books, journals and databases for a class project?

Many books and journals the library owns are electronic and can be accessed from any computer or device with an internet connection both on campus and off. Use OneSearch to find ebooks, journal articles, streaming media, and other online resources. Physical materials will be unavailable while the Library is closed.

While off-campus, you can use the free Interlibrary Loan service to obtain journal articles and book chapters which are needed but are not available in the Sonoma State University Library. Requested articles and book chapters will be delivered electronically via email. Due to limited services, staff, and closures of our partner libraries, some requests may not be filled and CSU+ lending services have been suspended at this time.

Students can get help from a librarian through the Library's 24/7 chat service. For in-depth help with your research, make an appointment for a remote consultation via phone, email, or video-conferencing with a Librarian who is a subject specialist in your area. No in-person research appointments are available at this time.

For the latest updates on what Library is doing to support the Seawolf community in these difficult circumstances, please visit the Library COVID-19 Updates and Resources page.


I need help learning how to navigate online learning. What resources are available?

Information Technology continues to operate and is ready to provide support to help you navigate our remote learning tools. You are encouraged to reach out to your instructors, teaching assistants, or embedded peer educators directly with questions about how to successfully navigate the online learning experiences in your classes. Additionally, IT has a series of FAQ’s to assist students, including one specifically for navigating Canvas. IT can also help answer technical questions for students about other technologies associated with classes by calling (707) 664-4357 between 8 a.m.- 9 p.m.

Are there tips for how to be successful in remote courses?

To be successful remote learners, students should practice a bit more self-discipline and initiative. Without your classmates or instructor physically present, you might feel disengaged during a lecture. Also, courses using tools for remote learning may challenge you to work with your classmates in virtual break out rooms or other online spaces. With that in mind, it is important to check your SSU email several times a day, log-in to courses on Canvas often, track requirements, and set calendar reminders. Because your instructors have changed to remote instruction in the middle of the semester, you should pay particular attention to any changes to the course syllabus and requirements. You may also find it helpful to complete any online coursework during the times you have typically set aside for your homework. Remember, while you can learn from anywhere, courses taught via remote instruction aren’t easier than face-to-face versions of the same classes.

Will tutoring still be available for courses?

Academic Advising, CAPS, tutoring and other student support services are available remotely for students.


Will Commencement be held?

SSU will postpone Spring 2020 Commencement and cultural celebrations. Please note that we are not canceling, just postponing graduation ceremonies until it is safe to celebrate our graduates. More details will be forthcoming.

I already ordered my regalia. Can I get a refund?

SSU partners with Herff Jones to provide academic regalia rental and other graduation mementos. If you already ordered your cap and gown for Commencement, please visit the Herff Jones Collegiate Regalia Return page or contact Herff Jones customer service team at 1-800-837-4235 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. -5 p.m. EST) to request a refund.


Can I turn in my parking permit for a refund?

All students have been contacted to request a refund by turning in their permits. For more information, see Spring Student Parking Refund Related to COVID-19 Information.

Health & Wellness

I have a listed condition that increases my risk for contracting COVID-19. Can I be on campus?


What do I do if I am feeling anxious and stressed about our current environment?

Anxiety and fear about health emergencies can take a toll on everyone’ s well-being. There are several resources students may consider for assistance.

  • Counseling and Psychological Services is available remotely, and students can still schedule appointments with a counselor. If you are feeling overwhelmed, please know that there are people at SSU who care and want to help. Visit the CAPS tips for managing Coronavirus concerns page for help in managing stress during this time.
    CAPS also sends out a monthly newsletter that contains resources for students and a list groups and workshops that they can join. The April edition of the newsletter (PDF) is now available.
  • The state of California has published a series of guides to help manage stress that you might find helpful.
  • Sonoma County has established a warm line that is available to any county resident experiencing emotional side effects of the pandemic and/or the shelter in place order, or knows somebody who is. This free and private warm line is available seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. by calling 707-565-2652. Service in Spanish is also available as well as telephone interpretation for other languages.

I am running low on food. Is Lobo's Pantry still open?

Yes, Lobo's Pantry will be open Tuesdays and Fridays from 3:30-6 p.m. It is located in parking Lot E.

Should I wear a face mask?

The Sonoma County Health Officer requires that everyone must wear face coverings in any indoor facility besides their residence, in any enclosed open space, or while outdoors when unable to maintain a six-foot distance from another person at all times. For more information, read the order from the county health officer.

Please remember that non-medical grade face coverings are intended to protect others from the wearer’s respiratory droplets, and are meant to supplement — but not substitute for — measures such as physical distancing and frequent hand-washing, which continue to be the most effective methods for reducing the spread of COVID-19. Public health officials continue to ask that people not use N-95 or surgical masks for these purposes, since those are in short supply in the health care community.

There continue to be ongoing discussions among public health officials and other experts as to which are the most effective face mask materials; the university supports and encourages  the use of acceptable options, including bandanas, neck gaiters, scarves and homemade face coverings that have tightly woven fabrics, such as cotton T-shirts and tea towels. The CDC has published helpful instructions for making your own face covering (PDF).

The university has placed an order for non-medical cloth face coverings and has a system in place for all on-site essential employees to receive face coverings as needed. On-site essential employees who do not have a face covering and are in need, please contact

Travel & Study Abroad

What is the university doing to support SSU students who are studying abroad?

All study abroad students have been instructed to return to the U.S. and most have already returned stateside.

All CSU campuses are assisting their study-abroad students with repatriation and continuation of their academic studies. We are supporting students at SSU who fall under CDC guidelines for self-isolation and need to be housed appropriately for the requisite time. We are following CDC guidelines in ensuring that those who have been in high-risk countries follow proper self-isolation procedures and protocol. Upon returning to the United States, students are to check with their CSU campus health center and/or the local public health office closest to their home regarding isolation procedures, as requirements vary from county to county.

I have personal travel plans. Should I go?

Given the evolving situation concerning coronavirus (COVID-19), Sonoma State University encourages students, faculty and staff to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of State recommendations for travel.

Wherever you go, we encourage you to follow the same protective measures you have been taking here on campus to protect against influenza-like illness and respiratory infections. These include the following suggestions:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based rub and avoid touching your face as much as possible.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes, and if you use your hands to do that, wash them afterwards or use an alcohol-based rub
  • Get a flu shot, if you have not already done so. 
  • If you take medication or receive medical treatments that result in immunosuppression, contact your health-care provider for advice and guidance regarding any additional measures that might be recommended for you. 

Whether you are at home, on campus or traveling and you feel sick, reach out to your local health-care provider by phone for advice on what steps to take to protect yourself and the community. Students can call the Student Health Center for advice at (707) 664-2921.

Future Students

What do I do if I was planning on attending Seawolf Decision Day or Orientation?

Seawolf Decision Day has been rescheduled as a virtual event on Saturday, April 25. Please see Virtual Seawolf Decision Day for more information and to register.

Orientation and registration programs and services have been moved online. The Orientation team remains here to support your transition to campus, provide valuable resources, help you connect with other incoming students, and assist with course registration for Fall classes.

If you have a current orientation reservation, you will receive an email with instructions about the new online orientation experience. If you are newly committed to SSU and haven't chosen an Orientation session yet, we will reach out to you in the coming days.

Please email Orientation and Family Programs if you have any questions. We are here to serve.

Admitted students can email or for one-on-one conversations and help. We will respond as quickly as possible.