We know that you have questions about planning for the 2020-21 academic year and beyond. Read on for helpful information and updates or review our FAQ archive.

Reviewed 5/12/21

International Students
Information for Staff
Campus Protocols

International Students

What are the federal rules regarding international students during the pandemic?

F1 visa regulatory guidance differs for first year and returning students:

  • First year international students who can travel to Oxy for spring 2021 will enroll in a full load of courses (a minimum of 12 units) including at least one hybrid or in person class, as regulations require.
  • CONTINUING international students may enroll in a minimum of 12 units and remain in ACTIVE status whether they are taking courses from inside or outside the US.

Read the federal guidance.

Who is considered an international student? Is a U.S. citizen who lives abroad treated as an international student?

Officially, only F1 visa holders are considered international by the College, but many College departments are aware of Oxy students who are U.S. citizens living overseas. U.S. passport holders or U.S. permanent residents living abroad should make their situation clear in communications with the College.

Can international students take a Leave of Absence?

Find information about taking a leave of absence here. International students must first consult with IPO about taking a leave of absence. Your SEVIS record will be terminated for “Authorized Early Withdrawal.” Earned benefits of maintaining lawful F1 status may be interrupted. Seniors who will be applying for OPT (approval to work in the U.S. for 12 months after graduating) must have been enrolled for 1 full year prior to OPT application to be eligible.

Continuing students inside the U.S. – you will have 15 days to leave the country. First year students outside the U.S. – your SEVIS record will be deferred to arrival date for the next available semester.

When you are ready to return to Oxy, complete the Returning Student Application, then scan and send it to the Registrar's Office. Please also alert the IPO about your return so we can plan for new documents to be sent to you.

Information for Employees

Where will employees be working?

Employees who are working from home should continue to do so until the operational needs of the department dictate otherwise, as communicated and approved by the divisional vice president. Those employees who are expected to come to campus to carry out essential functions will continue to do so. We have established workplace operations and guidelines for staff and faculty who will be working on campus. You can also find a full description of health and safety measures and requirements.

What about working parents whose children attend public schools that are fully remote?

Hours of remote work during this time may vary due to business needs (e.g., calls in the early morning or evening) and/or the employee’s own obligations (e.g., caring for children during normal working hours). If you need an accommodation based on child care concerns, please contact Jacie Feigelman at jacalynf@oxy.edu.

Campus Protocols

What do I do if I get sick?

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, contact HR or Sara Semal ASAP to notify us so that contact tracing and quarantining can be conducted and community notices can be made (if warranted). Please note that your personal information and diagnoses will remain confidential.

Will campus remain closed to non-Oxy community members?

Yes, it will. Visitors are permitted on Occidental property within specific limitations. All visitors must be hosted and/or invited by a College employee, department, or registered student, and must follow the guidelines in our interim visitor policy as well as Occidental's health and safety protocols.

If an employee only come to campus for a short period of time, what protocols must they follow?

All members of the community who come to campus for any amount of time and for any reason ARE REQUIRED to do a daily health check online, wear a face covering, socially distance from others and follow all college health and safety protocols.

Are employees allowed to bring children to campus while working?

Personal visitors, including family members and friends of employees, are allowed on campus, but must be accompanied by an Oxy community member and follow all health and safety protocols including passing the health check prior to arrival on campus.

Family members and friends ARE NOT permitted inside any Occidental College buildings unless they are providing services required by the College and pre-approved by the appropriate vice president.

If you need an accommodation based on child care concerns, contact Jacie Feigelman at jacalynf@oxy.edu. View more information about visitors on campus and all required guidelines on our interim visitor policy.

What are the health and safety protocols for elevators?

No more than one person may enter or occupy an elevator at a time, so please use the stairs whenever possible. In some cases, employees with a relevant accommodation or condition may be accompanied in the elevator. If you are using the elevator, wear your mask or face covering and avoid touching the elevator buttons with your exposed hand/fingers, if possible. Wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol as the preferred form of hand hygiene upon departing the elevator.

What are the health and safety protocols for restrooms?

Use of restrooms should be limited based on size to ensure at least 6 feet distance between individuals. Some restroom stalls may be taken out of use. Wash your hands thoroughly afterward to reduce the potential transmission of the virus.


If you have questions that are not answered in our FAQs, please contact one of the following offices:

  • For questions related to financial aid awards, contact the Financial Aid Office at finaid@oxy.edu. Work study job opportunities will be listed on the HR website.
  • For questions related to course registration or leaves of absence, contact registrar@oxy.edu.
  • For questions related to fall housing, contact the REHS Office at resed@oxy.edu.
  • For questions related to student support, email deanofstudents@oxy.edu. For academic accommodations and support, email accessibility@oxy.edu
  • For questions related to academic courses and advising, contact advisingcenter@oxy.edu.
  • For questions related to student accounts and billing, contact Student Business Services at stuaccts@oxy.edu or 323-259-2610.