International Students

Information for International Students can be found here

Students Facing Financial Hardship Due to COVID-19

CIIS recognizes COVID-19 impact on our studetns and is committed to supporting our students as much as possible during this unprecedented time. For financial resources, click here

Staying healthy

Follow university guidelines for prevention, which are consistent with the CDC’s recommendations. Watch for these symptoms.

What to do if you have symptoms of coronavirus

Speak to a medical professional immediately. Contact Student Affairs, Yunny Yip:

Guidance for coursework

If your course is being delivered via ZOOM, please refer to instructions for participating virtual access.

Additional information can be found in Community Updates.

For information on the Library and resources, download here.

What to do if you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed

  • Make an appointment at one of our six low-cost counseling clinics.
  • Neolth: a digital health stress management platform founded by CIIS Somatics faculty Katherine Grill (includes personalized plans). All registered CIIS students will have access to Neolth platform.  For more information about Neolth. For instructions on how to use Neolith.
  • Contact SAMHSA’s Distress Helpline (related to any natural or human-caused disaster) is accessible 24/7 at 1-800-985-5990 or via text (send TALKWITHUS to 66746; Press 2 for Spanish).

Student FAQs


How long will courses be virtual? 

Courses are scheduled to be virtual through the end of Summer semester 2020.We have made this decision now to allow students and faculty to make their plans for summer.

Current intentions are for Fall semester to be face-to-face. However, it is too soon for public health guidelines to be set for Fall. We will continue to monitor the state directives and let everyone know if the situation changes. 

Intensives currently planned for August, September, or October 2020 will be held virtually; look for updates and information from your program about these plans.

Can I take a pass/no pass instead of a letter grade?

Yes. Because of the highly unusual COVID-19 situation, CIIS is allowing students to change the grading option for any Spring 2020 courses from letter grading to pass/no pass. This is true regardless of whether the course originally offered the option of letter grading or pass no pass. This applies to all classes in all four schools that currently have a letter grade. Note, the work must be equivalent to a B or higher to earn a passing grade. 

If you have questions about how a pass/no pass grade could be interpreted by external audiences, please speak with your advisor. You can make the change by submitting a Grade Option Change form. All forms are fillable, and typed signatures will be accepted. You can submit the form as an attachment to an email sent from your CIIS student email account.

The Grade Option Change form can be found here and on the Registrar’s Office Forms page of MyCIIS.

Contact the Registrar’s office for more information.

What is CIIS doing to ensure that students receive their clinical hours for graduation? 

We know that students in our licensure programs are very concerned about their ability to complete the clinical or practicum hours required for graduation. This includes ACTCM students (MSTCM and DACM) and SPPH students (MCP). These are statewide issues that require waivers from the appropriate state boards. To protect students’ paths to licensure, we must take direction from external regulators. Graduation decisions within CIIS must be aligned with our regulators. We are in communication with the relevant regulatory and advocacy bodies and will update students as we have more information.

For MCP students, the majority of students who are scheduled to graduate this Spring have sufficient hours to do so. For those students who need them, our Field Placement Office is working to find any additional, available placements. We are exploring all options for hours. If you plan to graduate in Spring or Summer and believe you will have insufficient hours, please contact the Field Placement Office as soon as possible ( MFT students should ensure that they are making full use of client advocacy hours (a maximum of 75)  as these will count toward their total hours. We are proactively seeking Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) updates and will inform students as soon as we receive anything.  For ACTCM students who are due to graduate in Spring, virtual Grand Rounds have been established to ensure that they have sufficient clinical hours to allow graduation.

We are committed to allowing all students' education to proceed with as few disruptions as possible. We will do everything we can to preserve your path to your chosen career.


I’m having technical difficulties with my online class? Who do I contact? 

Please contact Online Learning at  

Any student who has concerns about the quality of classes should contact their Program Chair. (Yunny Yip and Michelle Eng are additional resources for these concerns.) Please know that this has been a major transition with very little lead time. Faculty have worked extremely hard to ensure that classes continue without disruption or delay. We appreciate how understanding students have been. Please inform us of any issues. Please also remember to use the end-of-course Evaluation to provide feedback.

For privacy reasons, we are not able to record virtual webinar-based classes.

I am having difficulty navigating the virtual course format. What resources are available to me? 

Students may book a session with a Center for Writing & Scholarship Fellow via Zoom video conference to garner additional support during this time of virtualization (log on to MYCIIS-->Academics tab-->Center for Writing and Scholarship tab-->Schedule a Writing Consultation).  Anyone who would like support to set these sessions up can email

I have a health condition / disability that limits my ability to engage in virtual classes. Who should I contact for help?

Students with health conditions that impact their ability to engage in virtualized classes should reach out to Student Disability Services at 

What do I do if I don’t have internet or can’t afford it?

Free or reduced fee Wi-Fi hotspots are being made available to students by carriers. Check the  CIIS COVID-19 webpage for resources.

Can I access Canvas on other devices than my computer?

Yes. All courses can be accessed by smartphone using the Canvas app and/or by joining the course videoconference. This option has been helpful for some students.


What is CIIS doing to help students who are facing financial hardship due to COVID-19? 

CIIS recognizes COVID-19’s impact on our students and is committed to supporting our students as much as possible during this difficult time.  We have and are currently creating processes that can help students financially during this time. 


The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocates funds to support those affected by the pandemic and economic downturn. The Act includes several sources of funds for colleges and universities, including the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. CIIS will receive funds under this CARES Act to provide emergency grants to students for “ expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, and childcare).” 

The CIIS CARES Act Emergency Grant Application can be found here.  The Priority Deadline is 05/08/2020, when all applications will be reviewed and funding distributed.  Note eligibility requirements as outlined by the federal government below.  As we are aware that specific populations will not meet eligibility criteria, we are looking into additional ways to financially support those students. 

Eligibility Criteria  

The federal government has set criteria for eligibility only to students who have already or are eligible to complete the FAFSA form. Federal guidelines have stated that students in online programs are not eligible for the grant. The amount of funding allocated to CIIS is fixed at $176,178. Students must be enrolled at CIIS during the Spring or Summer 2020 semesters and must show a loss of income or financial hardship due to COVID-19. Additional factors considered by the review committee may include student and/or family income, dependents, and fixed expenses. The request for emergency funding will be reviewed by a committee composed of representatives from the following offices: Financial Aid, Student Affairs, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and Academic Affairs. Information disclosed will be kept confidential.  

Submission Information 

Please email your complete application to  caresact@ciis.eduThe PRIOIRITY DEADLINE is 05/08/2020.  Note that it is very likely that all funds will be distributed at this time.  Applications received  after the priority deadline will be reviewed only if money is leftover and distributed until the funding is exhausted. 


Recognizing the financial impact that COVID-19 is having on many students in our community, we have created a petition that allows students who currently hold CIIS account balances to request their Business Office Hold be temporarily lifted in order to register for Summer 2020 courses.   

Students with balances are normally eligible to register for courses only after establishing payment plans with the Business Office. We recognize that this may not be possible at this time. Use this form to request an exception to this policy if your finances have been or may be impacted by COVID-19, and the shelter-in-place, industry cessations, and other measures used to address it. 

Students should submit the COVID-19 Hardship Form found here


Cash advance requests will be OPEN for the Summer 2020 semester effective April 1, 2020 at 12:15AM through June 5, 2020 at 11:45PM. 

Book voucher requests will be  OPEN for the Summer 2020 semester for the following schools 
              SUS / ACTCM opens April 10, 2020 and closes April 24, 2020 

              SPPH/SCT opens May 7, 2020 and closes May 22, 2020 

You must meet the following requirements in order for your request to be considered: 

You must be a current financial aid recipient. 

You must NOT be a new student – you cannot receive a cash advance/book voucher during your first semester. 

You must be enrolled during the semester in which you want to receive the cash advance/book voucher. 

You HAVE NOT received a cash advance/book voucher for the semester you are applying for. 

The form can be found here

​All requests are still subject ​to review by Financial Aid.​  Please ​submit the form and do not contact the Business Office for such requests or inquiries.  All requests will have to go through Financial Aid ​for review f​irst and only upon the department's approval they will be forwarded to the Business Office for your cash advance check and book voucher number to be processed and released.  This whole process may take 5 to 7 business days. 

For further questions, please contact Financial Aid. 

Note: Paper forms will not be accepted (the only exception is for the specific Veterans Cash Advance & Book Voucher Form, which can be attained and sent back to Yunny Yip at 

What external resources are available for students facing financial difficulties? 

*** CIIS curates and disseminates external financial resource information as a service to students and the CIIS community. Organizations are responsible for reporting information accurately, and CIIS cannot guarantee the completeness of such information. Listing by CIIS does not constitute an endorsement by CIIS nor representation of accuracy, authenticity, or other features by CIIS.  CIIS is not liable for any errors or omissions made in the compilation or distribution of this information, and expressly disclaims any and all responsibilities for problems that may arise with regard to such postings.  


To provide relief to student loan borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency, federal student loan borrowers are automatically being placed in an administrative forbearance, which allows you to temporarily stop making your monthly loan payment. This suspension of payments will last until Sept. 30, 2020, but you can still make payments if you choose. Read the   borrower Q&As  to learn more:    


It’s a short application with a chance to receive $200. They state: “Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and are subject to approval and available funds.” 


As a community foundation, SVCF is positioned to meet the ongoing needs of our local communities and take on unexpected challenges, including response to the alarming spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. In recent weeks, SVCF has been closely monitoring the rapidly changing situation and working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation, local public health agencies, our community partners to prepare for a potential outbreak. 

SVCF is leading an effort with our other Bay Area philanthropic partners on a regional response to this public health crisis. Our  COVID-19 Coronavirus Regional Response Fund  provides the community an opportunity to help our region meet the developing challenges linked with COVID-19 Coronavirus. Funds from SVCF’s COVID-19 Coronavirus Regional Response Fund will support lead organizations representing each of the ten Bay Area counties and their immediate efforts in addressing COVID-19 related challenges in their respective counties.  


United Way is committed to standing with our communities and supporting those impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.  The fund will help vulnerable populations receive financial and social service support (e.g., bills, rent, food). 


GrantSpace by Candid has started a list to point individuals and organizations to emergency financial resources.  Please note: 

We do not give out grants/make donations; this list is an informational resource 

This list is not comprehensive; we are adding resources as we become aware of them. 


What alternative plans are being made for 2020 graduation with the shelter-in-place order?

Planning for graduation was well advanced when the pandemic began. Unfortunately, we cannot bring 1,400 people together in one location to celebrate on May 16. We will celebrate our graduates; we are still figuring out how best to do that based on a student survey to ascertain their preferences. We will announce the decision in the coming weeks. Please check back.We are committed to finding ways of celebrating your achievements as you conclude and in the future.  There will be more to come.

I am an international Student and have questions about my situation. Who can I contact?

We know that our international students have an additional burden of distance and uncertainty to deal with. Please reach out to Jody O’Connor, our International Student Advisor, for information, guidance, and support:

What can I do to help the community address the COVID-19 challenges?

The San Francisco Department of Public Health is seeking healthcare volunteers to help in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Counseling and clinical psychologists, health coaches, and acupuncturist faculty and students are all needed. Find more information here.

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