Graduate Student FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 Semesters for Grad


Will FPU be face-to-face for the remainder of the Fall 2020 semester and the Spring 2021 semester?

Given the spike in coronavirus cases and the signals we’ve been getting from the governor, the remainder of FPU’s Fall 2020 semester and the Spring 2021 semester will be fully online. Check with your Program Director for updates.

What services are open to assist me while being fully online?

Will my tuition be reduced because of going online?

Moving classes online can pose a challenge for some students and be beneficial to others. In either case, our main concern, next to safety, is to help every student succeed in their educational goals. To this end, FPU has chosen not to discount tuition, which would force a reduction in student support, but rather to take proactive steps to help students succeed in an online environment. Some of these steps include:

  • Increasing IT hours until 7:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday
  • Increasing the level of support in the Academic Success Center
  • Providing faculty additional training in online course development and teaching
  • Bringing in outside experts to help improve the quality of our online classes
  • Implementing software to improve our online interactions with students
  • Hiring extra faculty to keep section size low
  • Making emergency grants available to students experiencing financial difficulty because of the coronavirus

What about Student Fees?

Degree Completion and Graduate student fees help offset a variety of student support services that will continue in the online mode.

My family has had financial challenges because of the Coronavirus situation. Is there financial assistance available to help me?

FPU has emergency funds available for students who qualify for federal financial aid and who need help paying for their education because of the coronavirus (e.g., the student lost a job). Please contact Student Financial Services for details at 559-453-2041 or

Do I need to change my course schedule to online classes?

Please check your schedule and verify with your program director.  Most courses will continue as scheduled but be moved to an online modality.

If I start online and it is not working out, can I withdraw? Are there fees?

While we don’t like to see students go, yes, you can withdraw if done before the drop deadline. Keep in mind that there are certain fees depending on when you withdraw. You may drop during the first week of classes at 100% refund. After the first week, the amount drops significantly, so please make sure that if you are thinking of dropping you do so during the first week. We encourage you to meet with your program director before dropping to see if there is anything we can do to assist you and provide support for you before you drop. If you withdraw, your financial aid will be adjusted, and funds may need to be returned. Please consult with your financial aid advisor to determine how a withdrawal will affect your financial aid before withdrawing.

I don’t have internet access or a computer. I am concerned that I won’t be able to keep up. Are there resources to assist me?

We have loaner laptops for use at any of our regional campuses, as well as free wi-fi. Campus availability Monday through Thursday from 2:00-6:00 p.m. and may be accessed for printing, drop off, lap-top use, wi-fi use, etc. Students must follow campus safety protocols while on any of our campuses. Please call your regional campus for details.

  • Bakersfield: 661-617-4500
  • Merced: 209-351-5900
  • North Fresno: 559-573-7800
  • Visalia: 559-302-4100
  • Main: 559-573-7800 or 559-453-2000

If I am a student with a disability, what type of accommodations will I receive?

If you are approved to receive accommodations or have questions about any of our disability services, please contact Melinda Gunning, Director of Disability Access and Education, at

How can I pay my bill?

Students can pay their bill online by going to and clicking on the Online Payments tile. This is the preferred method. However, beginning August 17, 2020, the cashiers window will also be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to take payments in person or over the phone.  

Will classes be held virtually at their regularly scheduled time with professors and classmates or can they be done at my own time? 

Check your course syllabus for directions on how your coursework will be delivered.

How will I be able to connect with my professor’s face to face if I have a problem?

You will receive a class syllabus for each of your online classes. It should give you contact information for your professor including email and office phone – in some cases even cell phone numbers. While professors may not physically be in their offices, our phone system is set up to ring to their device via Skype for Business. Their office phone number is not tied to a landline phone. In addition, most faculty members will list office hours. These office hours times can be used to schedule one-on-one virtual video or phone conferences. Professors may also give you additional ways to contact them in the syllabus or during your online class.

We realize there may still be questions you have and ones we are still working on answering for you. Please check back for updates to this FAQ list as more will be posted as information is released.