FIDM LA Campus Building

Fall 2020 FAQs

We have updated answers for the most Frequently Asked Questions we’ve received from you as a student community. Please read further for persons to contact should you have additional questions.

General Questions

1. When does the Fall Quarter begin and end?

The quarter begins on Wednesday, October 7 and ends Saturday, December 19.

2. Will there be a difference in the online classes available to students depending on campus?

No, there will be no difference.

3. How can I get tutoring help with my classes?

The IDEA Center will be offering tutoring in a variety of subjects such as: English/grammar, math, Excel, Fashion Sketching, Photoshop & Illustrator via online or remote.

You can get assistance from a tutor by doing either of the following:

Email: if you have any questions or to make a tutoring appointment.


Follow this Quick Path to a Zoom Tutoring Session:

Go to Canvas
Click on Courses on the left side
Click on Student Guide for Remote and eLearning Classes
Click on IDEA Center under Quick Access

You can then see the Zoom invitation link to the tutoring session that you wish to join. The tutoring schedule will be available on the FIDM portal.

*Most tutoring will begin as of May 11 but please email the IDEA Center prior to that date if you have any questions:

FAQs by Major

Please look for your major in the PDF below and carefully review the information pertaining to your program and courses. Each major has a contact person(s) for you to reach out to with additional questions.

PDF of course information by major

Online Learning, eLearning, and Hybrid Classes

1. What is the difference between a remote class, an eLearning (online) class, and a hybrid class?

FIDM Students will have three different types of courses available this quarter: Remote, eLearning, and Hybrid. FIDM has offered pure eLearning courses for more than 15 years and these online courses are designed to allow students flexibility in scheduling. Assignments and work are due each week at the same time, but can be done at any time during that week. These courses use online tools such as the discussion board and chat rooms to promote interaction with the instructor and peers while allowing students to access and do work at their own pace and time. Some of these classes will have live online web meetings one or two times during a quarter for presentations, but there are not scheduled required times each week.

Remote classes are classes that will be taught live at the same time and day each week as if in a classroom. Students access the class by entering through the Canvas course site and then clicking on a posted link for a Zoom meeting. The instructor and students will be online together and meet in real time. Each instructor will have live meetings throughout the quarter and will run the class as if it were in a classroom. Students should schedule a remote class as if it were on campus and be mindful of potential schedule conflicts.

Hybrid classes are Remote classes that also include some on-campus classroom meetings or labs, in accordance with public health guidelines.

Adding and Dropping a Class Plus Late Registration

1. If I want to ADD another class to my schedule once the quarter starts, what should I do?

  • If you are financially cleared, you will be able to register for the class through Web Registration. You will see a message if the section is closed or you have not met the prerequisite. If you have any questions about what to add, be sure to contact your Department Advisor, Department Chair or Department Director first.
  • Deadline to add a class: The second-class meeting (first class meeting if Saturday 5-week/6-hour class or one-unit MFTG elective).

2. How do I DROP a class?

  • It is the student’s responsibility to DROP the class through Web Registration. If you have any questions, be sure to contact your Department Advisor, Department Chair or Department Director first.
  • Deadline to drop a class: Third week of classes (second week if Saturday 5-week/6-hour or one- unit MFTG elective).

3. What if I'm having trouble getting into the FIDM Portal to ADD or DROP a class?

  • Please contact your Student Advisor and they will assist you.

4. What if it's the first day of class and I have not registered for ANY of my classes?

  • If you are financially cleared, you will be able to access Web Registration; if not financially cleared, contact the Student Advisement Office.

5. I just don't know what courses I should register for and I can't find my advisement sheet?

  • PLEASE contact your Department Advisor, Department Chair or Department Director. Registering incorrectly can affect your graduation date and financial aid.

6. When will Web Registration be available on the FIDM Portal?

Registration for current and returning students is only through the FIDM Portal. Dates apply to all campuses.

Hours are 6:00am until 9:00 pm unless otherwise noted:

  • Thursday, September 3 - Professional Designation, Advanced Study, Bachelors, Masters (or any day below)
  • Friday, September 4 - Two Year whose ‘Units for Web Registration’ are at least 71
  • Tuesday, September 8 - Two Year whose ‘Units for Web Registration’ are at least 52
  • Wednesday, September 9 - Two Year whose ‘Units for Web Registration’ are at least 32
  • Thursday, September 10 - Two Year whose ‘Units for Web Registration’ are at least 16
  • Friday,  September 11 - Open to all, including Two Year whose ‘Units for Web Registration’ are less than 16
  • Monday, September 14 - Open to all
  • Tuesday, September 15 - Open to all

‘Units for Web Registration’ = units completed + units in process + units incomplete + units transferred in


Make sure that you have checked the technology (both hardware and software) requirements prior to the quarter. Information can be found on the Student Portal.

Online Learning Technology Requirements

1. What software or apps do I need to have on my computer?

Students need to have Adobe Creative Cloud installed and working on their own computer. They must also have their LinkedIn Learning account set-up and working. You may go here to download Adobe Creative Cloud*:

2. What are the Recommended Computer Specifications for All Majors?

Please contact the Digital Media/Cinema department for specific computer specs.

If your major is not listed, students can purchase either a PC or a Mac with the minimum requirements outlined below.

Software (free or via educational discount)

  • Adobe Creative Cloud 2021 - All enrolled students receive a subscription to the latest version of the Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Office 365 Online - view and edit Office documents for free in your web browser or download the apps to your device (full version - up to two computers) with your Office 365 Outlook student email. MS Office 2019 (one-time purchase) can be purchased at an education discount rate.
  • SketchUp Make (Design, Interior Design, Visual Communications, Entertainment Set Design & Decoration majors)
  • Rhino 7 (Design major) — 90 Day free trial
  • Revit 2021 (Interior Design majors)
  • Autodesk software (AutoCAD, 3ds Max, Revit, & more) -
  • Vectorworks (Visual Communications and Entertainment Set Design & Decoration majors)

NOTE: Apparel Industry Management, Apparel Technical Design, Fashion Design, and Menswear majors are required to purchase a PC computer (with Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 32 or 64 bit OR Enterprise edition).

Interior Design, Merchandise Product Development, and Merchandising & Marketing majors are required to purchase a PC computer.

Windows PC Laptop/Desktop (e.g., HP, Lenovo, Dell, etc.)

  • Microsoft® Windows® 10 64-bit OS is required
  • 8 GB RAM (16 GB recommended)
  • Intel® i7 processor (recommended)
  • At least a 15" display, capable of 1920x1080 resolution
  • Dedicated graphics card with at least 2 GB of VRAM memory (e.g. NVIDIA)
  • 500GB (7200 rpm) hard drive and/or solid-state hard drive, with an additional external drive - 2 TB for back-up and storage

Apple MacBook Pro laptop or desktop (iMac, Mac Pro, or Mac Mini)

  • 15-16" MacBook Pro (recommended) or 13" MacBook Pro (minimum)
  • macOS Mojave 10.14 (minimum)
  • 8 GB RAM (16 GB recommended)
  • Intel Core i5 processor (minimum); Intel Core i7 or i9 processor (recommended)
  • AMD Radeon 5500M (for MacBook Pro) recommended - (most MacBooks have an Intel integrated graphics card)
  • 256 GB (512 GB recommended) SSD hard drive, with an additional external drive - 2 TB for Time Machine/back-up storage

Please note that tablets (i.e.: iPads or Android tablets) or Chromebooks are not suitable replacements for recommended computers.


  • Antivirus, Anti-spyware, Anti-malware software (e.g. Sophos Home or McAfee)
  • Broadband internet connection (cable, fiber, or DSL) highly recommended for accessing the FIDM eLearning System and online services
  • Webcam
  • Computer mouse (USB or wireless)

Additional Peripherals (Recommended)

  • Microphone/headset
  • WACOM Tablet (recommended for Textile Design and Graphic Design)
  • Printer
  • USB Flash Drive (64 GB recommended)

Discounts for Hardware/Software/Products

*All enrolled students receive a subscription to the latest version of the Adobe Creative Cloud 2020.

Financial Aid

1. What happens to my financial aid to pay for housing?

Students who are eligible to receive financial aid to help with their Fall 2020 housing costs will receive their overage check during the first week of the Fall quarter which starts on October 7, 2020. Please contact FIDM’s Fiscal Operations staff if you have any concerns regarding your coverage at

2. I want to take a Leave of Absence, can I do that? How will that affect my financial aid?

A student can take a leave of absence as normal by initiating the process by contacting their Student Advisor. Financial Aid staff will then work with the student to determine their financial aid eligibility for their return.

Student Accounts/Tuition Payment

1. Will refunds or discounts be issued for Summer 2020 since we are moving from on-campus to fully online learning for this quarter?

Although we have no plans for refunding tuition at this time, all students have different financial arrangements and they should contact their Financial Services Advisor or their Student Advisor directly. Any decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, with attempts to accommodate students with course extensions or curriculum modifications.

2. How do I make a payment during school closure?

Although you will not be able to pay at the cashier, there are several methods of payment that can be used.

  • Checks or Bill Pay from your bank can be mailed to the following address. Please make sure to include the student name and identification number in the memo section.

    919 S Grand Ave.
    Los Angeles, CA 90015
    ATTN: Cashier office.

  • Credit card payments through the portal. There is a fee for this service.

    º Electronic check through the portal.
    º You cannot have more than $2499 in one transaction.
    º The only field that is optional is the check number.
    º The Driver’s License has to be entered exactly as the example on the form below the DL box. EX: TX1234567(No spaces)

  • Wire transfer. There is a $25 fee for this service. Please contact us at for instructions on how to use this.

3. How will I be able to clear for summer registration?

If you have a hold on your account, please send an email to Staff will be monitoring the mailbox.


How and when will Fall Orientation be conducted?

We will be conducting orientation online for new students starting Fall 2020 on Monday, October 5 and Tuesday, October 6. Look for an email at the end of September with details. New students will also be sent a zoom invitation from their Department Chair for their department meeting.


1. When and where will the graduation ceremony take place?

Please join us for a Virtual Commencement Ceremony to celebrate the Graduating Class of 2020 on Monday, September 21, beginning at 5:30 P.M. PST:

Watch it here.

Follow along on Twitter and Instagram using #FIDMGraduation.

2. What if I graduated last quarter? Will I still receive a diploma?

Yes, if you are Financially Cleared and have completed the online "Apply for Degree" that can be found under Graduating Soon on the Portal, you will receive your diploma within 4-6 months.

3. This is my last quarter, will this affect my graduation?

All students must complete all graduation requirements in order to graduate. If your required courses are not taught this quarter, it is important to contact your Department Chairperson to see if another course has been approved as a substitution or if you will need to take any remaining units in the Summer quarter.

Books & Supplies

1. How will I get my books and supplies?

Pick up your books & supplies at the Orange County Campus on September 29 through October 1 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. If you are not able to pick up during these hours, please contact Jorge Panameno ( or call Jorge at 949-851-6200 ext.1780 to arrange an alternate time.

Pick up your books and supplies at the Los Angeles Campus starting Monday, Sept. 21. Distribution hours are 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Students must fill out the Book & Supply Request Form and email it back to

Students may choose to have books and supplies shipped or to do the drive-thru distribution. Be sure to continue checking your email for confirmation or to provide additional information.

NOTE: Student who are within 30 miles of the FIDM LA campus will be responsible for shipping charges. Charges vary on the number of items shipped and shipment dimensions.

For out of state/country: the first $50.00 in shipping fees is waived, anything over $50.00 will be charged to the student account.

Digital textbooks access: Access to the Digital Bookshelf starts on the first day of classes Oct. 7, once instructor has posted your ebook.

2. How will I get my Tote Bag?

Tote Bags will be distributed when you return to campus.

3. How can I sell my textbooks back?

FIDM has partner with MBS Textbooks, one of the largest used textbook buyers of the nation. Buyback will start Monday, Sept. 21 during the Book & Supply Drive-Thru Distribution.

You may also check prices and sell your books online by visiting

For rental books please email to provide you with additional information. All books sold are subject to MBS term of service and policies, as applicable.

Veteran Student Benefits

1. How will Veteran students be affected?

Students receiving VA education benefits can check for the latest program updates at the website, or by calling the GI Bill number at (888) 442-4551 to speak to a VA Education Counselor.

For questions regarding your VA education benefits at FIDM, please contact one of FIDM’s Certifying School Officials: Patricia Martinez, Coordinator, VA Education Benefits at, or Lynne Stroner, School Certifying Official at Please allow 24 to 48 hours for a reply to your questions, and please include your student ID number on the subject line.

International Student Instructions

1. Since FIDM plans to provide some hybrid courses for the Fall 2020 quarter, as an F-1 student, can I continue to take all my classes online and remain in status?

Nonimmigrant students who are continuing to pursue studies in the United States for the Fall 2020 school term may remain in the United States even if their educational institution switches to a hybrid program or to fully online instruction. The students will maintain their nonimmigrant status in this scenario and would not be subject to initiation of removal proceedings based on their online studies. If a student violates U.S. laws or regulations, they could potentially be subject to removal. This is true of continuing students but not new initial studies for the Fall 2020 term.

2. As a continuing F-1 student being permitted to stay in status while taking all courses online during the Fall 2020 quarter, do I still have to maintain a minimum unit requirement to stay in status?

Yes, you should take at least four courses online during the Fall 2020 quarter if you are able, so that you can continue to make normal progress toward degree completion.

3. Normally for an F-1 student, any absence from my program of study or from the U.S., that exceeds five months makes my I-20 invalid. If I take courses online from my home country, but am gone from the U.S. for more than five months, will I need a new I-20?

As long as F-1 students are taking courses online, whether within the U.S. or their home country, and maintaining their F-1 status for the Fall 2020 quarter, an absence of five months or more will not invalidate their I-20.

4. What if I need longer to graduate now because I can not take the same amount of courses that I had planned, since everything is online now?

As long as you maintain your F-1 status, your I-20 can be extended to give you more time to complete your program. Make sure you notify the International Student's Office that you need your I-20 extended BEFORE it expires (prior to the program end date currently listed on your I-20).

5. Can I still be approved for CPT during the Fall 2020 quarter when FIDM has reverted to a pure online or hybrid mode of instruction?

If within the U.S., employers are willing and able to keep you employed during the Fall 2020 quarter then you are eligible. Make sure you submit the offer letters and have FIDM Internship approval noted on your I-20 before starting the employment. If you are taking courses online from your home country, you may be authorized to engage in CPT if either the employer has an office outside the United States or the employer can assess student engagement and attainment of learning objectives electronically.

6. If I finish my last quarter online from my home country can I still apply for OPT?

As of now in order to apply for OPT you would have to re-enter the US BEFORE your program end date and submit your I-765 application (make sure you use the new forms effective as of 08/25/2020) for OPT.

7. Must students cease engaging in OPT if they are now working fewer than 20 hours a week due to the economic impacts of COVID-19?

For the duration of the COVID - 19 emergency, SEVP considers students who are working in their OPT opportunities fewer than 20 hours a week as engaged in OPT employment, even if less than minimum hours that would normally be required.

8. If I finish my last quarter from my home country will I still be able to re-enter the U.S.?

Students who continue to make normal progress in their course of study remain eligible for admission into the United States. However, because of the changing array of travel restrictions, students should refer to their local embassy’s website through the U.S. Department of State for any updates about visa issuance. Also, DHS and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) websites provide information about current travel restrictions to the United States. If re-entry is possible, students should be able to re-enter the U.S. in F-1 status before the program end date listed on their I-20 (for those who complete their program during the summer 2020 quarter that would be September 21, 2020.

9. If I need to re-enter the US but my travel endorsement on my I-20 is older than six months or I never got one before I left how do I get a new signature?

SEVP has stated that electronic signatures may be issued to facilitate travel endorsements. FIDM will utilize the method of emailing a scanned version of the physically signed Form I-20. Which will remain valid until students have a need for an updated I-20 after face to face instruction resumes or for the same period of time an originally signature is valid for (12 months for F-1 students).

10. If I am a brand new (initial) F-1 student at FIDM for the Fall 2020 quarter can I enter the US?

In accordance with March 2020 guidance, F and M students in new or initial status after March 9, 2020, will not be able to enter the United States to enroll in a U.S. school as a nonimmigrant student for the fall term to pursue a full course of study that is 100 percent online. If you have hybrid courses for the fall 2020 quarter you can qualify to apply for an F-1 visa and enter the US to begin study. If you are a brand new student for the fall 2020 quarter and all your courses will be on-line, you can not enter the US and should start your program remotely from your home country.

Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for SEVP Stakeholders About COVID-19 located at: for more details or the most current guidance for the Fall 2020 quarter at: for more details.

Disability Accommodations

1. I have a condition that may require me to have accommodations, is that possible if I'm taking classes online?

Yes, for students who already have approved reasonable accommodation(s), many of the accommodations will be available for the online classes. Others may not be needed. Your instructors will receive notification regarding your approved accommodation(s). Please contact Julie Ann Otteson, ADA 504 Compliance Coordinator at for further information.

2. How do I apply for disability accommodations with FIDM's online classes?

Visit the link available on our website, under Student Services and Student Policies for FIDM’s Disabilities Accommodation & Grievance Policy.

Personal Counseling

1. Will students still be able to make an appointment with a Personal Counselor when attending classes online?

Yes, students may email Personal Counselors Jessica Cattani,, Kristina Nakamura,, or Lora Caldwell,, to schedule a confidential phone or video counseling session.

2. How will the Personal Counseling Department offer mental health workshops online?

The Personal Counseling Department will offer mental health workshops accessible through Zoom throughout the quarter. All workshops will be pre-recorded.

3. Where can I find off-campus resources related to health and mental health service online?

Counseling and safety resources, including a self-care list are available on the Student Portal under Student Services/Counseling & Safety. Currently, the Personal Counselors are working with FIDM Social Media and Student Activities to post wellness and support tips, tools, and resources on Instagram @FIDM. We are also working on collaborating with eLearning to post pre-recorded webinars for everyone to view.


1. I live in FIDM Housing, will I be allowed to take my classes online?

Yes, as long as you are enrolled and remain in a minimum of two online classes for the Fall 2020 quarter, you will be able to remain in housing for the Fall 2020 quarter.


1. Can students still get help from a librarian?

Absolutely, we're here to help you! For research help, questions about using any of our resources, or any other Library-related questions, please email us at You may also call 213-486-2009 and leave a voicemail, and we will return your call shortly.

2. Can I access library resources online?

Yes! You still have access to our research and trend services. Find them on the student portal by clicking on Student Services, then Library Services, and select Research and Trend databases from the left-hand menu to access trend forecasts, business and market research information, and magazine and journal access.

3. What about ebooks?

The library has a large collection of ebooks available to read on your device. Many ebooks can be found right in the catalog; limit your search to Format: ebooks. For specialized ebook collections, check out the Library eBooks page under Library Services, or get detailed information from our ebook guide at

4. Are there other online library resources?

Our Library Research Guides are easy to use and provide overviews of our best bet resources for your subject. Find the Library Research Guides link with others on the Library Services tab.

5. Do I have access to the Library’s DVD Collection?

You have access to more than 66,000 streaming video titles spanning the widest range of subject areas including business, fashion, film, health, history, music, science, and more. The widest variety of titles is available through Academic Video Online, a select collection of documentaries can be found on Docuseek, and a small curated selection of recent feature films and documentaries can be found on Kanopy. All of these services are available from the Research & Trend Databases list on the portal.

6. Are there Library resources available to me on Canvas?

Yes! Navigate to the courses you're enrolled in, and click on the Library Resources course for information about how to get access to our digital collections.

7. I have books checked out, what should I do with them?

You may keep them, fine-free, until the campus re-opens, or mail them to FIDM Library, 919 South Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90015. If you mail your books to us, please email us at with the tracking number. Please note that if you return them by mail, they will not be removed from your account until the campus re-opens.

8. I have Library fines, how can I take care of those?

Please contact us at We will waive all fines accrued due to the campus closure.