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MSDS - Fall 2020 Course Delivery Update

As we look forward to the start of our Fall 2020 semester, we wanted to share with you our plans for course delivery starting in September.

As you hopefully know, Ramapo College is required to adhere with the State of New Jersey’s phased reopening plan. This plan identifies which activities and classes colleges and universities may conduct on campus, and the precautions we must take.

Based on current public health conditions as of August 3rd, NJ is currently still in Phase 2 – which prohibits on-campus meetings for all courses other than laboratory (i.e. biology labs) and studio (i.e. theatre) meetings. Regrettably, this means our MSDS courses will not meet on campus this coming semester, and will be conducted virtually.

As you know, MSDS had planned for all three of our Fall courses (DATA 601, MATH 570, and CMPS 530) to meet for approximately one hour each Thursday evening, with the rest of the course instruction asynchronous and online. Our virtual instruction format will be quite similar – each of the three MSDS courses will include synchronous WebEx (or Zoom) meetings on Thursday evenings, as scheduled. The individual instructors for each course will soon be in contact with you concerning the details for their particular course. Each of us have experience teaching in this format, and while we prefer us all to be on campus in the classroom, we are confident the mix of synchronous and asynchronous online instruction will be a success.

International Students: Please contact the Roukema Center, specifically Rajesh Adhikari (, to discuss your student visa status. There have been a number of USCIS delays due to the pandemic, along with specific federal policy changes concerning visa status for students in 100% online programs. Rajesh Adhikari can discuss your options with you.

Many of you have already received a bill for the Fall 2020 semester. There are three fees associated with these bills that require your attention:

Health Insurance Reminder: As indicated in a previous email, your bill will include healthcare insurance students may purchase through Ramapo. If you already have health insurance, you may opt out. Click here to opt out or email the Office of Student Accounts at

Parking Lab Fees: Since we will not have classes on campus, most of you will not utilize campus parking unless coming to campus for other reasons. If you do not intend on coming to campus, you may complete a waiver to avoid parking fees. Parking charges are NOT REMOVED from student accounts; they are offset by the credit of the waiver transaction. STUDENT ACCOUNTS WILL REFLECT BOTH THE CHARGE AND THE CREDIT.

Course Lab Fees: We are in the process of reviewing all courses across the campus to determine which courses will still have computer lab fees – due to their dependence on remote / cloud hosted software that the College maintains whether students are physically present or not. Lab Fees for courses that do not fit into this category will be credited to your account. In all likelihood, MSDS courses will not have a lab fee. Please be patient as we work through this process.

As a reminder to all, the Fall schedule can be found here. For those of you who have not yet registered for your courses, or have not set up your Ramapo College email, please take a look at Admissions’ guide for admitted students. To complete the MSDS in 2 years, we advise students to register for DATA 601, CMPS 530, and MATH 570 in the Fall semester. DATA 601 and CMPS 530 are of particular importance, as they are prerequisites for courses you will take in the Spring ‘21 semester.

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