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Graziadio Business School COVID-19 Updates

The Graziadio Business School is implementing plans to address COVID-19 for the fall 2020 semester in coordination with the Pepperdine Restoration Plan. Additional information will be shared by the school as it becomes available.

Latest Updates

Information for Current and Newly Admitted Students

  Full-Time Programs

New student preparation:

  • Online Pre-arrival Orientation will launch in July.
  • Program-specific orientations with faculty and staff via Zoom will be held in mid-August.

All students:

  • All classes for the Fall 2020 term will be conducted online.
  • Classes will primarily be offered Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 10 PM.
  • Participation in the remote live streaming is expected during the scheduled class time.
  • Modality for Spring 2021 term is TBD.

Contact: Dr. Abraham Park, Associate Dean, Full-Time Programs

Stan Woo, Director, Full-Time Programs

  Part-Time/Online Programs

Onsite Programs (BSM, MBAJ and FEMBA)

New student preparation: Program-specific orientations with faculty and staff via Zoom will be held in mid-August.

All students:

  • Classes will be offered Monday through Friday from 6 PM to 10 PM or Saturday from 8 AM to 5 PM.
  • Students can expect to attend class F2F and via remote live streaming on a rotational framework.
  • Participation in the remote live streaming is expected during the scheduled class time.
  • For students with compelling circumstances who are unable to attend F2F, we will offer the option to attend the course via remote live stream.

Online Programs (BSM, MBA, MSML, MSHR, and MSBA)
There is no disruption of our online course offering.

Contact: Dr. Ken Ko, Associate Dean, Part-Time Programs

Tasha Bruner, Director, Part-Time Programs

  Executive Programs

Executive MBA and Presidents and Key Executives MBA: 

  • Program kick-offs for new students will be held F2F.
  • F2F weekend intensive sessions are scheduled to end prior to Thanksgiving (unless health restrictions would allow for early December sessions F2F). All remaining work would be completed remotely.

MS in Organization Development:

  • Program kick-off for new students will be in late August held via Zoom as it has always been done.
  • F2F week-long intensive sessions are scheduled to end prior to Thanksgiving. All remaining work to be completed remotely.

Executive Doctor of Business Administration:

  • Program kick-off for new students will be held F2F.
  • F2F week-long intensive sessions are scheduled to end prior to Thanksgiving.
  • For any DBA, PKE or EMBA executive program students with compelling circumstances who are unable to attend F2F, we will offer the option to attend the course via remote live stream.

Contact: Dr. Ann Feyerherm, Associate Dean, Executive Programs

Bobby Patsios, Director, EMBA/PKE Programs

Sue Funkhouser, Director, MSOD Program

Sangeetha Rao, Director, DBA Program



  Remote Instruction

How will Spring 2020 classes be impacted?

Effective Saturday, March 14, and through the remainder of the Spring 2020 term, campus-based class sessions will shift to the online modality. The last day of in-person instruction on campus is Friday, March 13. Meanwhile, classes in our already existing online programs will continue to be delivered as planned.

Are my classes canceled for the remainder of the spring term?

No. Your classes will transition from meeting face to face to meeting virtually through the remainder of the spring trimester. Students should expect the possibility of meeting virtually using Zoom (referred to as synchronous learning), Courses (Sakai), and/or other means to engage with course content at your own pace within a given timeframe (referred to as asynchronous learning).

Your instructors are making every effort to ensure course continuity through the remainder of the spring trimester. For any class meetings/activities that may be canceled, your course instructors will be in contact with you with more details. Updates and announcements will typically be sent to the entire class roster or posted on your course page (Sakai), so please be sure to check for those frequently.

What should I be doing to prepare for the shift to online class sessions?

Be on the lookout for information and instructions from your professors regarding the alternative arrangements that are being made to continue your courses. Due to the need to rely on virtual instruction, you will need a computer equipped with a microphone and camera (either built in or externally added) and as well as access to a disruption-free environment during virtual class sessions. You should also familiarize yourself with Zoom, our video conferencing platform, and Sakai, our University-adopted learning management system. Find resources that you may find helpful in your preparations for online learning, including netiquette expectations, academic and student policies, and links to tech support and tutorials for tools used in each course, on the Getting Started with Online Courses for Students Google Doc.

How do I access Courses (Sakai)?

Think of Sakai as your virtual classroom space. You will access the course syllabus, submit deliverables electronically, and complete quizzes/exams through the platform. It is accessible via the Courses website or through Wavenet through the "Courses" module.

Additional information, including where to locate individual courses with Sakai and hot to navigate the platform, is available on this guide.

How will assignments and tests be managed for my classes now that we are meeting online?

This will vary depending on the nature of the course and the types of assignments/exams involved. Your professor will make the determination and inform the class accordingly.

Can students meet with faculty and/or staff face to face at one of our campuses?

In keeping with the practice of social distancing for the sake of our community health and safety, students are not allowed to meet with faculty on any of our Pepperdine campuses through the end of the spring term. Students are encouraged to meet with faculty virtually.

Does this transition impact school processes, procedures, or policies?

No. All academic policies and timelines, the Code of Academic Ethics, and Student Code of Conduct remain in effect.

I was scheduled to participate in an international study trip, which has now been canceled or postponed. How can I find out about alternatives for completing my program requirements and graduating on time?

Please contact your academic advisor to explore options for completing your program requirements.

Will the Spring 2020 commencement ceremony take place?

The Spring commencement ceremony has been postponed. However, your degree will still be conferred upon verification the requirements of your degree have been completed. Your diploma will be mailed approximately 90 days following the end of the term to the address you provided on the Intent to Graduate form.

If I have questions about my program, who do I contact?

  • Full-time MBA and MS programs: contact your academic advisor or Abraham Park
  • FEMBA, BSM, MSML, and online programs: contact either your academic advisor or Ken Ko
  • Executive Programs: contact Ann Feyerherm

Who should I contact if I have further questions?

Please contact Bernice Ledbetter, dean of students and alumni affairs, or Annie Carr, senior director of student academic services.

  International Students

What travel restrictions have been imposed by the University for students?

All student travel, domestic or international, has been suspended until further notice.

Will my F-1 visa in my passport be canceled if I return to my home country?

No. Your visa (in your passport) will not be canceled by the US government unless there has been a violation of status. The current situation due to the COVID-19 outbreak does not affect the validity of your visa whether or not you are in the US or return to your home country.

My F-1 visa will expire soon. Do I need to leave the US and obtain a new visa?

No. You may remain in the US for the duration of your F-1 status (in other words, while you are attending school or engaging in OPT) even after your visa has expired. If you leave the US, however, you cannot re-enter on an expired visa. You may be eligible for an exception if you are traveling to Canada, Mexico, or one of the islands adjacent to the US. Contact the OISS for more information.

What should I do if my passport is expiring?

You must maintain your passport's validity at all times. If you need to renew your passport, please contact the consulate of the country that issued your passport at least one year before it expires.

Can I stay in the US and take classes fully online for the remainder of the Spring 2020 term?

Yes, the SEVP (branch of the US Department of Homeland Security that oversees schools and students) issued a guidance on March 9 allowing schools and OPT employers to provide alternate, remote methods of course instruction or employment for a specified projected period.

Can I continue to live in the dorm?

If you need to continue living on campus or need more time to plan, you have to submit your request by filling out this form. Housing and Residence Life (HRL) will be in contact with you and give you instructions.

Alternatively, please find a list of off-campus housing options on the Pepperdine Graziadio Housing Guide.

Can I return to my home country to finish my Spring 2020 term online?

Yes, you can finish your classes online from your home country. Submit the Travel Permission or I-20 Update Request through the OISS portal. Call OISS if you are departing within 10 days of submitting your request. Make sure you inform your professors of any issues that may impact your learning online.

Do I have to attend the commencement ceremony if I am graduating this Spring?

Students do not have to attend the commencement ceremony to graduate. If you applied for graduation, contact the Registrar's Office for more information. In turn, the Registrar's Office will be able to notify you in the event the commencement ceremony is canceled or rescheduled.

How can I extend my stay if I graduate in Spring or Summer 2020?

If you are graduating this Spring or Summer 2020, apply for OPT as soon as possible. Go to the OPT Manual Spring 2020 version on the OISS website. The OPT Workshops have been canceled for the rest of the Spring 2020 term. However, we recommend that you contact the OISS and speak to your DSO after you have prepared your application materials, to make sure you are not making any mistakes. If you do not plan to apply for OPT, but need additional time before you feel safe to travel outside the US, you can file an application for change of visa status to "visitor" status. Your application must be filed before your F-1 status expires. Consulting an attorney is strongly recommended.

What if I cannot come back to the US?

If for any reason you can not return to the US, please notify OISS for further instructions.

What if I cannot come back to resume OPT?

As long as you have not exceeded 90 days of unemployment, you are eligible to apply for admission to the US to continue OPT. However, if you have been employed but were working remotely from outside the US, your DSO should be consulted for the latest guidance from the SEVP regarding students on OPT who are working remotely.

Will I be able to conduct business with the Office of International Student Services (OISS) for the remainder of the spring term?

Yes. OISS will remain operational remotely Monday to Friday, from 8 AM to 5 PM PDT.

  Campus Resources

Will graduate campuses be open?

Beginning Monday, April 13, the Calabasas, Encino, Irvine, and West L.A. campuses will be closed, with no graduate campus staffing. However, critical support faculty and staff may continue to access these campuses to do essential work that must be completed on-site.

How do I go about accessing University or satellite campus resources?

The University remains open, and the full range of student services (e.g., Financial Aid, Student Accounts, Programs Offices, Career and Professional Development, etc.) continue to operate. Departmental contact information is available on the Pepperdine Community Faculty/Staff Directory.

How can I access library resources?

Pepperdine Libraries is excited to support students, faculty, and staff as we adapt to this online semester. Although the library buildings are closed, there are numerous online services available for teaching and learning remotely. If you need further assistance, don't hesitate to contact a librarian through online chat or email.

Where can I find counseling support?

Students may contact the Counseling Center via email or by phone at 310.506.4210. The Counseling Center provides free, confidential emotional/psychological support to all Pepperdine students.

Will I have access to tech support

Yes, tech support is available at our Pepperdine campuses and through Tech Central 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 310.506.HELP (4357). IT is also providing live, online group training on Zoom and Courses (Sakai). Please review the student online training schedule.

  Academic Support and Accessibility

How will I receive my accommodations during remote classes and assessments?

You will receive the same accommodations as when you were taking classes face to face.

  • Notes: Please check your Note-taker Network. Notify the note-taking services coordinator immediately if you are not receiving notes.
  • Exams: You will still receive exam accommodations. Please work with your professor(s) as assessment information is discussed. If you would like OSA to resend a copy of your accommodation letter to your professor(s), please send the names of your instructor(s) and classes to the Office of Student Accessibility.

What academic support resources are available to me in the online learning environment?

Student Engagement and Success is available to provide academic support to all students. We have a variety of online academic resources to help support your success:

Wyzant Online Content Tutoring
Faculty/staff can refer students to receive free online content tutoring with experienced tutors who have been pre-screened to have the appropriate academic/professional credentials. Please connect with your academic advisors with further questions about the online tutoring service.

Writing Tutoring and Presentation Support
Book an online appointment for free, one-on-one support with a writing consultant. If you cannot find an appointment time that works for you, please email the Student Engagement and Success office to arrange evening or weekend tutoring hours as needed.

Or, just drop in via Zoom (no appointment needed) during online "drop-in" hours. The online drop-in hours and Zoom link are posted on the student success section of the website.

Pepperdine Libraries Online Support
The Graduate Campus Libraries (Drescher/West LA/Encino/Irvine) are closed until further notice. In the meantime, online support is available through Pepperdine Libraries.

Website Resources
There are many additional writing, communication, and academic resources available to you on the Student Success section of our website.

Should you have any questions about the online academic support available, please contact Student Engagement and Success

  Financial Aid and Housing

What are my options to obtain additional funding due to changes in my financial circumstances?

You can seek loan options as long as you meet the eligibility criteria. Please visit the Financial Aid website to learn more about your options. You can also contact the Financial Aid office via email or by phone at 310.568.5530.

What are the implications of the U.S. bill S. 3503 signed into law on March 21st for student veterans?

The law enables VA to continue providing the same level of education benefits to students having to take courses online due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The law gives VA temporary authority to continue GI Bill payments uninterrupted in the event of national emergencies. This allows for continued payment of benefits even if the program has changed from resident training to online training.

Thanks to the law, GI Bill students will continue receiving the same monthly housing allowance (MHA) payments they received for resident training until Dec. 21, or until school resumes in-person classes.

Students receiving GI Bill benefits are not required to take any action. Benefits will continue automatically. VA will work closely with schools to ensure accurately certified enrollments and timely processing. Updates will be provided to students via direct email campaigns and social media regarding VA's effort to implement these new changes.

Will there be an impact on the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) that I receive as part of my veteran benefits?

Pepperdine University is approved by the State Approving Agency for delivery through an online modality. This means as of now, your BAH benefit payments will remain the same for the Spring 2020 term. If you were certified under distance learning or residence, BAH payments will be paid accordingly based on your enrollment certification.

I live on campus and will not be able to vacate my apartment by the March 15 deadline requested by the University. What should I do?

Requests for special consideration may be submitted via this form. Recognizing the challenges associated with students having to move out of on-campus housing on short notice, the University Office of Housing and Residence Life (HRL) has established a prioritization system for granting extensions. Among those who will receive priority are international students who may have concerns regarding visa, travel, and other safety concerns about traveling back to their home countries.

Does PGBS have a list of recommended off-campus housing options?

Yes. Please find a list of off-campus housing options on the Pepperdine Graziadio Housing Guide.

  Video Conferencing

How do I access Zoom?

All students have a Zoom Pro account allowing you to host virtual study groups and meetings with fellow classmates. You can access your account through the Pepperdine Zoom web portal. Additional information about the features and utilizing the tool is available on the IT Zoom webpage.

Can I share a Zoom session link with others?

Treat the Zoom session as a private event and share the Zoom meeting link only with the intended participants. Participants should not share the link publicly or with others who do not need to be in the meeting. Participants are also advised to not post the meeting link in social public forums. Faculty are encouraged to post the meeting link in their institutional learning management system for students to access.

How can I prevent "Zoombombing" during a Zoom session?

Some universities and school districts are reporting inappropriate and offensive activities known as Zoombombing, where unwanted participants enter the Zoom meeting room and screen-share and/or proceed to say or write very offensive things. Zoombombing can usually be prevented by following these best practices:

  • Assign screen sharing ability only to the host. In Zoom, click the upward arrowhead (^) next to Share | Advanced Sharing Options | Only Host.
  • Mute participants upon entry and disable their ability to unmute themselves. In Zoom, click Manage Participants | the "More" button and check both "Mute Participants On Entry" and "Allow participants to unmute themselves."
  • Allow participants to chat with the host only. In Zoom, click Chat | the "ellipsis" button and check "Host only."

What do I do if I experience offensive or disruptive activity during a Zoom session?

Zoombombing can happen in Zoom or any other video conferencing solution. If you experience such activities, please report the incident as soon as possible to a member of the University IT staff.