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FIDM LA Campus Building

Fall 2021 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.

COVID-19 On-Campus Safety Protocols & Vaccination

1. Are students required to get the COVID-19 vaccination?

In preparation for the Fall 2021 quarter, FIDM is implementing a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirement for all students who wish to engage in in-person instruction, live in student housing, or participate in on-campus student activities. Please note the following:

  • The timeline to comply with FIDM's mandatory vaccination requirement is the end of September 2021. You should receive your second shot (Moderna or Pfizer) or single shot (Johnson & Johnson) no later than the last day of September (09/30/2021). You need to be fully vaccinated by the first day of classes (10/06/2021).
  • International students who cannot meet the September 30 deadline, please contact Ben Weinberg at ext. 3405 or bweinberg@fidm.edu.
  • To verify you've been vaccinated:
    • For Continuing Students - provide either your vaccination card or photo proof of your vaccination to the Security Desk in the Rotunda (desk by garage elevator on the main entrance level of the campus) and you will be given a vaccination sticker to put on your student identification to verify your vaccination.
    • For New students - email a photocopy of your proof of vaccination to FIDMIDCard@fidm.edu by September 30, 2021.
    • For students who are unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccination due to a disability or closely held religious beliefs should contact Kim Wetzel at kwetzel@fidm.edu or 213-624-1200 x3530 and ask for a COVID-19 Vaccine Request for Exemption/Accommodation Form.
    • To inquire about getting vaccination within the US see: https://myturn.ca.gov/

FIDM International F-1 Students

You must be fully vaccinated with a WHO or US approved COVID-19 vaccination which includes:

  • Pfizer/BioNTech - BNT1622b2
  • Astrazeneca - SKBio AzD1222 (also known as ChAdOx1s, SII Covidshield, SKBioScience) 
  • Serum Institute of India 
  • Janssen mRNA-1273 
  • Sinopharm COVID-19 Vaccine - Beijing Bio Institute of Biological Products 
  • Sinovac CoronaVac - Beijing Based Sinovac 
  • Moderna (US approved)
  • Johnson & Johnson (US approved)

If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact Kim Wetzel 213-624-1200 ext. 3530 or kwetzel@fidm.edu

2. What are the COVID-19 on-campus safety protocols?

The following safety protocols are in place in order to provide a safer environment in which to learn and work:

  • Sign-in at the Rotunda security desk
  • Temperature check at the Rotunda security desk
  • Face covering worn over nose and mouth when on-campus
  • Six feet or more distance between individuals at all times
  • Limited number (4) of individuals on elevator
  • Hand sanitizer stations at elevator lobbies and within departments
  • Frequent hand-washing and/or use of hand sanitizer
  • Daily sanitizing of work areas by housekeeping staff, including overnight cleaning
  • Stay home if you feel sick or have/have had a fever or cough
    • Vendors & Contractors who conduct business on campus must comply with all applicable guidelines above

If you have any questions, please contact kwetzel@fidm.edu, Executive Director, Human Resources

General Questions

1. When does the Fall Quarter begin and end?

The quarter begins on Wednesday, October 6 and ends Saturday, December 18.

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 is excited to offer in-person tutoring at the LA Campus in addition to our Zoom tutoring sessions!

  • Please e-mail IDEACenter@fidm.edu or call 213-624-1200 x4558 or x4554 if you have any questions
  • We are located in the Library on the third floor
  • Please follow the COVID safety protocol for check-in at the Security Desk

Quick Path to a Zoom Tutoring Session For

(English, Math, Merch Math, Financial Accounting, Illustrator, Photoshop, Intro to Adobe, Computer Sketching, Portfolio Prep, etc.)

Go to Canvas

Click on Courses or Dashboard on the left side

Click on IDEA Center

Quick Path to a Zoom Tutoring Session For

(Sewing, Pattern Drafting/ Draping, Computer Grading, Pattern Making etc.)

Go to Canvas

Click on Courses or Dashboard on the left side

Click on FIDM Student Hub in Canvas

Click on Lab Schedule

You can then see the Fall 2021 schedule and Zoom invitation link or room # for the tutoring session that you wish to join.

We look forward to seeing you!

On-Campus Classes, Online Learning, eLearning, Hybrid, and/or Remote Classes

1. What is the difference between a remote class, an eLearning (online) class, hybrid, and on-campus and/or remote class?

FIDM Students will have five different types of courses available this quarter: On-Campus classes, Online Learning, eLearning, Hybrid and/or Remote Classes. 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.

On-Campus and/or Remote classes, which are classes that will be available as both on-campus and/or remote for each class session.

Registration/Adding and Dropping a Class

1. 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:

  • Wednesday, Sept 1 - Professional Designation, Advanced Study, Bachelors, Masters (or any day below)
  • Friday, Sept 3 - Two Year whose ‘Units for Web Registration’ are at least 71
  • Tuesday, Sept 7 - Two Year whose ‘Units for Web Registration’ are at least 52
  • Wednesday, Sept 8 - Two Year whose ‘Units for Web Registration’ are at least 32
  • Thursday, Sept 9 - Two Year whose ‘Units for Web Registration’ are at least 16
  • Friday, Sept 10 - Open to all, including Two Year whose ‘Units for Web Registration’ are less than 16
  • Monday, Sept 13 - Open to all
  • Tuesday, Sept 14 - Open to all

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

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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).

5. 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).

6. 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.

Online Learning Technology Requirements

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

View computer specifications for your major.

2. Do I need to bring my own device to class?

No, FIDM has re-wired the Wi-Fi on the LA campus so that you will be able to bring your own device, if you would like to. If you do not yet have a device that is portable, you can still use FIDM lab computers when a computer is necessary. FIDM is encouraging students to begin bringing their own devices and in the future it will be necessary but as of now, it is not required.

However, because the Wi-Fi has been upgraded, you will be able to use FIDM Wi-Fi for at least 2 devices and will have Wi-Fi connectivity throughout all of the floors on FIDM, including the first floor and including the promenade by the park. If you need help accessing the FIDM Wi-Fi, please contact eLearning at eLearning@us.fidm.edu.

Financial Aid/Services

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

Students who are eligible to receive financial aid to help with their Fall 2021 housing costs will receive their overage check during the first week of the Fall quarter which starts on October 6, 2021. Please contact FIDM’s Fiscal Operations staff if you have any concerns regarding your coverage at fiscaloperations@fidm.com.

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.

3. How can I meet with Financial Services?

To request an appointment to visit the Student Financial Services Office, students may email financialaid@fidm.com, fiscaloperations@fidm.com, or call 213-624-1200 ext. 4210 at least 24-hours in advance. Scheduling ahead is encouraged as a limited number of students can be accommodated for walk-in appointments.

Student Accounts/Tuition Payment

1. How do I make a payment?

Payments will be accepted through the cashier’s office in Financial Services, but we encourage students to use one of the following payment options.

  • 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 fiscaloperations@fidm.com for instructions on how to use this.

2. How will I be able to clear for Fall registration?

If you have a hold on your account, please send an email to fiscaloperations@fidm.com, or call 213-624-1200 ext. 4210.


How and when will Fall Orientation be conducted?

We will be conducting orientation on campus for new students starting Fall 2021 on Monday, October 4 and Tuesday, October 5. Important details will be posted on the Portal. Any questions should be directed to your Admissions Advisor.

Orientation is only in person.

Books & Supplies

1. How will I get my books and supplies for the Fall Quarter?


  1. After you have completed registration, fill out the “Book & Supply Request Form”. This is a FILLABLE PDF.
  2. Email completed form to collegeservices@fidm.edu.
  3. Wait for email confirmation. Please allow 48 hours for email confirmation. Please check junk and spam as we may require additional information from you.

Shipping: Book & Supply shipping will start on September 13th. Students will be responsible for ALL shipping charges.

Pick-up at the Los Angeles Campus: Fill out the Campus Book & Supply Request Form and and select pick-up. Email to collegeservices@fidm.edu. Book & Supply distribution Drive-Thru will start on September 20th. Bookroom open hours are Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Closed Saturdays and Sundays. Closed on Holidays.

Digital textbooks access: Access to Digital content starts on the first day of classes October 6th.
Please follow instructions in your course in Canvas, on how to access digital content. Please use your FIDM email address when setting up your digital accounts.

2. Want to sell back your old textbooks?

Buyback will be open from September 20th – October 15th at the LA Drive-thru Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

3. How do I return Books and Supplies if I drop a class?

It is advised that if you drop a class, that you return all the books and supplies. The following conditions to return books and supplies must be met:

  1. You must be officially dropped from the class.
  2. Returned books and supplies must be unused and in perfect condition. Any damaged or used items that are received by College Services will not be accepted.
  3. Returned packages must be postmarked no later than the last day of Week 3 of the quarter.
  4. Include in the returned package your Name, Student ID #, Department and Course number of the dropped class.
  5. Send to:

College Services Book Return
919 S. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA. 90015

NOTE: In most cases course books and supplies from dropped classes can be used when repeating the class. However, if the Department Chairperson has changed any of the course books or supplies in a subsequent quarter, you will be responsible for purchasing the new items.

Veteran Student Benefits

1. How will Veteran students be affected?

Students receiving VA education benefits can check for the latest program updates at the va.gov 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 pmartinez@fidm.edu, or Lynne Stroner, School Certifying Official at lstroner@fidm.edu. 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 hybrid courses, or even face to face courses for the Fall 2021 quarter, as an F-1 student, can I continue to take all my classes online and remain in status with legal presence in the U.S.?

Nonimmigrant students who are continuing to pursue studies in the United States for the Fall 2021 school term may remain in the United States whether 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 (those who were already in status BEFORE the Fall 2020 quarter) students or those who transferred to FIDM from another U.S. institution and did not leave the U.S. before starting their program at FIDM. New initial students or transfer students who returned home before starting at FIDM for the Fall 2021 term cannot be issued an I-20, re-enter the U.S., or retain legal status unless they are specifically enrolled in face-to-face courses or a hybrid mode of instruction. This may change for the Winter 2022 quarter if FIDM reverts back to normal operating procedures.

2. As a continuing F-1 student being permitted to stay in status while taking all courses online during the Fall 2021 quarter, do I still have to maintain minimum unit requirements to stay in status?

Yes, you should take at least four courses (12 units) online during the Fall 2021 quarter if you are able, so that you can continue to make normal progress toward degree completion and retain your non-immigrant status.

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?

If F-1 students in "continuing F-1 student status (in status prior to the Fall 2020 quarter) are taking courses completely online, whether done from within the U.S. or their home country and maintaining their F-1 status for the Fall 2021 quarter, an absence of five months or more from the U.S. will not invalidate their I-20 if they were taking classes on-line from their home country at the time (since their absence from the US is still connected to study).

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

If 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 FIDM's 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 2021 quarter if FIDM has reverted to a pure online or hybrid mode of instruction?

If within the U.S., and employers are willing and able to keep you employed during the Fall 2021 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 U.S. employer has an office outside the United States, or the employer can assess student engagement and attainment of learning objectives electronically. Work done through CPT for the Fall 2021 quarter may be done remotely if authorized by your employer and approved by FIDM (As evidenced by a notation on your I-20).

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

As of now to apply for OPT you must re-enter the U.S. BEFORE your program end date and submit your I-765 application to the USCIS to request work authorization for OPT. You are still eligible, but you must file from within the U.S. and you have to be able to re-enter the U.S. before the program end date listed on your I-20 even though you have up to 60 days after your program end date for the USCIS to receive your application.

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 Fall 2021 quarter that would be before December 18, 2021).

9. If I need to re-enter the U.S. but my travel endorsement on my I-20 is older than six months (if you are on OPT) or one year (if you are a current student) or I never got one before I left how do I get a new signature?

If the travel endorsement section of your I-20 has been signed before then it is valid for six months for those on OPT and one year for those who are current students. The 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.

10. If I am a brand new (initial) F-1 student at FIDM for the Fall 2021 quarter, can I enter the U.S.?

In accordance with current 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 2021 term to pursue a full course of study that is 100 percent online. If you have hybrid courses for the Fall 2021 quarter, you can qualify to apply for an F-1 visa and enter the U.S. to begin study.

11. As a non-immigrant F-1 student at FIDM do I have to have medical insurance coverage?

All FIDM International Student's mandatorily must have health insurance coverage while they are pursing studies at FIDM.  FIDM International students need to either verify their existing coverage in the US while studying purchased prior to attending or purchase a FIDM/International Students Insurance policy at: https://www.internationalstudentinsurance.com/school_requirements/1210/Fashion_Institute_of_Design_%26_Merchandising.html.

12. Do I have to have a COVID-19 vaccination to enter the FIDM campus, housing facilities or participate in FIDM events in person for the Fall 2021 quarter? 

All FIDM students, faculty and staff must be able to verify a WHO approved COVID-19 vaccination before being permitted to be on the FIDM campus, in FIDM housing facilities or participate in any in-person FIDM events.

Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for SEVP Stakeholders About COVID-19 located at: https://www.ice.gov/coronavirus under the Nonimmigrant Students & SEVP-Certified Schools, Frequently Asked Questions section you can download the applicable PDF form.

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 Kim Wetzel, ADA 504 Compliance Coordinator at kwetzel@fidm.edu for further information.

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

Visit the link available on our website FIDM.edu, 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 Kristina Nakamura, knakamura@fidm.edu, or Lora Caldwell, lcaldwell@fidm.edu, or Katherine Besignano, kbesignano@fidm.edu to schedule a confidential phone or video counseling session. Please check with the Los Angeles Personal Counselor about the availability of on-campus appointments effective Fall’21. This is subject to change if the status of the pandemic in L.A. County changes.

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.

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.


1. May I live in FIDM Housing and take my courses online?

Yes, as long as you are enrolled and remain in a minimum of two classes for the Fall 2021 quarter, you may remain in FIDM Housing.


1. Is the Library open?

Yes! The Library is open Monday  Friday from 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. No appointment is needed.

2. Can students get help from a librarian remotely?

Absolutely, we're here to help you wherever you are! For research help, questions about using any of our resources, or any other Library-related questions, please email us at library@fidm.edu. You may also call 213-486-2009 and leave a voicemail. If there’s no answer, please leave us a voicemail and we will return your call shortly.

3. Can I access library resources online?

Yes! We have a wide range of resources available online. Find the Library on the student portal by clicking on Student Services, then Library Services. For databases, select Research and Trend databases from the left-hand menu to access trend forecasts, business and market research information, and magazine and journal articles.

4. 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 https://fidm.libguides.com/ebooks.

5. 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.

6. Do I have access to the Library’s DVD Collection or streaming video?

You can visit the library to check out DVDs, and you also 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.

7. 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.

8. If I have books checked out from 2020, what should I do with them?

Please return them to campus when you are able, 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 library@fidm.edu with the tracking number.

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

Please contact us at library@fidm.edu. We will waive most fines accrued until we are operating normally. Any fines associated with overdue materials will be waived upon return of the materials.

Visiting LA Campus

1. What are the requirements for visiting the LA Campus?

Visitors will be required to:

  • check in at security in the rotunda
  • wear a face covering at all times
  • have their temperature checked
  • answer the following questions:
    1. Are you feeling sick today?
    2. Have you experienced symptoms such as fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting in the past 48 hours?
    3. In the last 14 days, have you been in close contact with anyone who is known to have tested positive for COVID-19 or anyone who has symptoms consistent with COVID-19? (Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of an infected/symptomatic individual for a cumulative total of 15 minutes within a 24-hour period.)