Course Delivery

How will courses be delivered in fall 2020?

Classes for fall 2020 will be online. 

Will classes in creative production, the practical-technical classes, also be online?

Practical and technical classes have been designed as remote classes. While students who are in Doha may be asked to pick up equipment from the building occasionally, all students enrolled in the practical and technical classes will be able to participate fully without access to the NU-Q building or equipment. The practical-technical classes are:

  • MIT 376 Mixed Media Reality Design
  • MIT 330 Improvisation
  • MIT 330 Theater Directing
  • MIT 372 Editing
  • MIT 379 Digital Podcast Production
  • MIT 392 Documentary Production
  • MIT 393 2D Computer Animation 

Do I need to be physically present in Qatar to enroll in and participate in fall 2020 classes – including practical-technical classes?

Students may enroll and participate in online classes without being physically present in Qatar, including practical-technical classes. NU-Q faculty are developing courses that will support the learning needs of all students, regardless of their physical location.

Will grades be given for fall 2020 classes? 

Yes, students will receive grades for their fall 2020 classes.  

What are synchronous and asynchronous class sessions?

In a synchronous class session, all students and the instructor meet together online during the scheduled class time. For asynchronous class sessions, instructors provide materials, lectures, tests, and assignments that can be accessed and completed at any time. Students and the instructor do not meet together online during the scheduled class time for asynchronous class sessions.  

Will I attend my classes at the time they are scheduled, even if I am residing in a different time zone?

Yes. Classes will meet as scheduled, in the Arabian Standard Time (GMT +3).

As a NU-Q student, can I enroll in online classes at another institution for fall 2020?

As a NU-Q student, you cannot enroll directly in online or in-person courses at another institution. To do so, you would need to withdraw from Northwestern Qatar, and apply and be admitted to the other institution. This does not apply to EC cross-registration. Information about the withdrawal and readmission process can be found here.

Can I take online classes at Northwestern University in Evanston this fall?

As a NU-Q student, you cannot enroll directly in online or in-person courses at NU-E. To do so, you would need to withdraw from Northwestern Qatar, and apply and be admitted to NU-E.  Information about the withdrawal and readmission process can be found here.


Where can I find the academic calendar for 2020-2021?

The Northwestern Qatar academic calendar is available here.

How can I request an official transcript/e-transcript?

Official transcripts/e-transcripts can be requested using Parchment through your CAESAR self-service access.  The guidelines for using Parchment are available here.

Where can I access Academic Forms?

Academic Forms are available here.

Where can I find more information about how to use CAESAR?

The Student Records FAQs is available here. 



All returning students will be able to live on campus. For returning residents, please proceed with the fall housing application as normal. For returning students wanting to live on campus for the first time, please fill out the Housing Interest Form.


All student travel is currently on hold.


That will be determined with guidance from the Qatar Foundation.


Yes, and they are doing so now.

Health Care 


Students can request the support of NU-Q’s Counseling, Health, and Wellness office while studying remotely if they are living in Qatar. For information on student health insurance please visit this page.


Return to Campus

Do we have any exact/approximate dates on when we can return to campus?

Given the rapidly evolving nature of the pandemic, it is uncertain when we can resume normal operations on campus. We are planning a phased return to campus. More information on that can be found here. NU-Q plans to begin the academic year online on August 23rd, and continue that way into September, until further notice.

What is the status of the Media Majlis on campus for the public?

We are in discussions with the Qatar Foundation on when the public will be allowed into Education City and public spaces. Once opened, the museum we will have strict protocol for visitors and will limit the number of visitors at any one time.

What are my on-campus dining options during the Fall? Will the cafeteria be open?

The coffee shop is currently closed. During the phased return to campus, it will reopen to the community but will only offer pre-packaged foods and will only accept cashless transactions. The following protocols will also be implemented: acrylic dividers between service provider and customers, physical distancing signage directing where to stand while waiting in line for service, and rearranged furniture. In addition, all staff at the coffee shop will be required to wear PPE at all times, including masks and rubber gloves.

When will the bookstore reopen?

The bookstore will operate online with items available for pick-up.

Will the University hold any events this summer or during the Fall?

No on-campus events are allowed until further notice.

Are meetings allowed on-campus?

It is advised to continue holding meetings in a virtual setting, wherever possible. In-person meetings can only take place if two meters of distance can be maintained. No in-person meetings of more than 10 people are allowed in the NU-Q building until further notice.

Will precautionary measures against COVID-19 be necessary once we’re allowed back on campus?

Yes. We expect that precautionary measures will continue to be necessary in the building well into the Fall. Social distancing measures will be in place, masks will be required, room population densities will be monitored, and the frequency of cleaning and disinfection of all areas will increase.

What access control procedures will be available to monitor the health of everyone who enters the building when it’s open?

All faculty staff, students, contractors, and visitors will be required to show the EHTERAZ app on their phone. Only those with a green health code will be allowed into the building. Additionally, each person will have their body temperature taken as a precautionary measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19 before being allowed to enter NU-Q building. Each person will be screened by a trained security guard or check-in staff using a touchless forehead thermometer. If the person’s temperature is over 37.8C, entry will be denied. Those whose entry is denied will have the information recorded on the Health Screen Form which will be maintained confidentially for a specified period.

What if I want to return to campus earlier than the announced return date?

At the moment, access to the building is limited to work that can only be done on site; however, with safety as its guiding principle, NU-Q will begin a phased return of staff and faculty to the building as soon as possible.

What are the basic requirements to keep in mind when returning to campus?

All NU-Q staff, faculty, and students are required to complete the training on either myHR Learn and/or Canvas (TBD), which outlines basic guidelines for keeping everyone safe and healthy as well as onboard them into the new normal, before returning to the NU-Q building.

What will the University do about cleaning and disinfection if we return to campus?

Currently, NU-Q is equipped with wall-mounted hand sanitizer stations in common areas, soap dispensers in washrooms, gel sanitizers in offices and classrooms, and printed instructional posters and signages across the building. There are also a set of further recommendations related to cleaning protocols, which can be found here.

Will hand sanitizers, disinfecting wipes, and/or facial coverings be provided for students, faculty, and staff?

Hand-sanitizers and other hygienic supplies are readily available to faculty, staff, and students. In addition, we are encouraging faculty, staff, and students to frequently wash hands while reducing the number of access points into the building.

Will there be modifications to my physical work environment to allow for social distancing?

Yes. Space planning will focus on creating spaces that are, as much as practically possible, safe, healthy and embrace wellness principles and practices. Changes include: the sharing of office space will not be allowed; visitor seating in an office is adjusted for two-meter distancing, with alternate workstations assigned to faculty and staff, if possible. In an open space layout, a two-meter distance is required between workstations. Conference and meeting rooms are limited to essential meetings that require face-to-face interaction, with additional seating to be removed to ensure two-meter physical distancing.

What will NU-Q do about social distancing across campus?

NU-Q is reviewing work schedules including start and finish times/shift patterns, working from home etc. to reduce the number of faculty and staff on site at any one time as well as congestion during certain times. We are also implementing a foot traffic pattern to ensure two-meter physical distancing, where possible. In addition, staff will be advised to work remotely, when appropriate, to reduce the number of people in the building, and video conferences will be used instead of in-person group meetings where social distancing requirements cannot be met.

What will NU-Q’s response be should someone become ill due to COVID-19 after we return to campus?

NU-Q has developed an Infectious Disease Plan that includes emergency response protocols in case of incidents of suspected positive cases within the NU-Q building.

What should I do if I was diagnosed or came into direct contact with a person infected with COVID-19?

Inform NU-Q HSSE immediately.

What should I do in the event of a potential or secondary exposure to COVID-19?

Inform NU-Q HSSE immediately.

Upon receiving a reported instance of exposure, NU-Q HSSE will initiate a reporting and health monitoring procedure that includes conducting a risk assessment via phone/video conference, tracing the status of the case, and maintaining correspondence with affected community member(s), and all relevant parties.

What if I am in a high-risk group for COVID-19 or care for a household family member who is at high-risk? Will I be exempt from returning to campus when it reopens?

During NU-Q’s phased return to campus, remote work can continue if the essential functions of the position in whole or in substantial part (at least 75 percent of core duties) can be done remotely and the person satisfies one or more of the following conditions:

  1. The employee is at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 because they are over 55 years of age, pregnant, or have a serious underlying medical condition, such as chronic lung disease, a serious heart condition, an immunocompromising condition, severe obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, liver disease, etc.
  2. The employee has lost childcare coverage as a result of COVID-19, e.g., due to a school or daycare closure or other temporary loss of childcare, etc.
  3. The employee lives with or serves as a primary caregiver for a high-risk individual.

Can I continue working from home during the phased return to campus if I’m not in a high-risk group for COVID-19?

Flexibility is strongly encouraged in the current environment. Therefore, staff and faculty who do not meet the criteria above may still be permitted to work remotely, subject to the individual discretion of their manager (staff) or program director (faculty).

Working Remotely

What if my position requires me to be on campus to work during restricted campus access?

NU-Q staff will continue working in a hybrid manner—with those able to work from home continuing to do so, and with limited access to the building for work that needs to be done on site.

When should faculty and staff return to work after absences related to an injury, illness, or COVID-19 symptoms?

For COVID-19 symptoms, staff should contact their manager to request leave. Faculty should contact their program director. Students should contact Student Affairs.

Staff, faculty, and students may not report or return to NU-Q building while they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 (or other respiratory illnesses), such as cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, muscle pain or body aches, headache, or chills. The CDC maintains a current list of symptoms associated with COVID-19:

Staff who are unable to work due to personal illness should use available sick time. If an employee’s available sick time has already been exhausted, they should contact NU-Q Human Resources to discuss available leave options.

What tools are there for managers in managing a remote workforce?

Guidelines and resources are available on this site. In addition, Northwestern in Evanston has a number of online resources that can be found here.

What resources can NU-Q provide to staff adjusting to working from home? What technology might be helpful?

Northwestern in Evanston has a number of resources to assist you and can be found here.

What happens if I am working remotely and my availability for work changes?

When working remotely, faculty and staff are held accountable for their assigned job duties and responsibilities and must adhere to manager/supervisor’s expectations. They should be available during core work hours, must meet deadlines and complete projects with excellence, and maintain communication with their manager/supervisor and co-workers. They must be available to attend scheduled meetings and participate in other required office activities at the home office as needed.

Remote working is not designed to be a replacement for appropriate childcare. Although an employee’s schedule may be modified to accommodate childcare needs, the focus of the remote work must remain on job performance and meeting business needs and requirements.

Can an employee return to their campus office to conduct work if they choose to work on site?

At the moment, access to the building is limited to work that can only be done on site.

Employee Benefits

What benefits does NU-Q provide to support faculty and staff wellbeing?

NU-Q offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), free of charge, to all faculty, staff, and their dependents. The Employee Assistance Program provides free counseling and resources to employees on a variety of topics. Additional information on NU-Q’s EAP, as well as contact information, can be found at

Additionally, Faculty and Staff can enroll in Headspace at no charge. Headspace is a meditation app that can provide users with tools to manage stress, improve sleep, and promote physical health. Faculty and staff can sign up for the service at

Is testing and/or treatment for COVID-19 covered by the University’s health plan?

CIGNA International – CIGNA International covers all COVID-19 related medical expenses, regardless of location. Those within Qatar may be transferred to Hamad Medical Corporation’s Communicable Disease Center for treatment and monitoring, as directed by the Ministry of Public Health.

Qatar Life and Medical (QLM) - If you are under QLM, your insurance will cover up to the point of diagnosis while in Qatar. Once diagnosed, you would be transferred to Hamad Medical Corporation’s Communicable Disease Center for treatment and monitoring. Hamad Medical Corporation is the government healthcare sector In Qatar, which offers residents low-cost healthcare. Charges incurred through Hamad Medical Corporation are not covered under the QLM plan.

Outside Qatar, QLM will only cover COVID-19 related expenses up to the point of diagnosis. Once diagnosed, QLM will no longer cover COVID-19 relates medical expenses as outlined in the Policy Exclusion document available on SharePoint. If you are concerned about having coverage for COVID-19 outside of Qatar, NU-Q recommends that you purchase a travel insurance plan that covers COVID-19 related medical expenses.

Who can I contact with questions about my NU-Q health plan?

You can contact NU-Q HR for more guidance and assistance on this matter.

Does our medical plan offer telehealth options?

Yes, telehealth options are covered under both medical plans. However, it would be best if you inquired with the provider regarding their ability to direct bill your insurance.


Will faculty and staff be allowed to travel for business and professional development purposes if we return to campus in the Fall?

No. NU-Q sponsored travel is suspended through December 31, 2020. This restriction may be extended as appropriate.

What decision has the University made about international travel?

NU-Q sponsored travel is not allowed through December 31, 2020. This restriction may be extended as appropriate. Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to enter their personal travel plan in TACIT. Students should provide their information here

Where can I find more information about University-sponsored travel?

Currently, all University-sponsored travel is suspended at least through December 31, 2020 and may be extended as necessary. An update will be provided when available.

Production and IT

How can I check out equipment I need to support online instruction or working remotely?

While the Cage will remain open, the process of checking out will be regulated, and all equipment reservations must be made 24 hours in advance. The main entrance of the Cage is now limited to checking out equipment only, while the back door will be used for equipment check-in.

Supervisors will allow one person to check-in or check-out equipment to avoid congestion and maintain social distancing. Time slots for equipment checking in and out will be offered every 30 minutes, at the top and bottom of the hour. Returned equipment will be quarantined in a designated area (when possible) and disinfected before the next user.

What is the process of purchasing work-related technology during remote work?

All new technology purchases required for remote teaching or work are governed by the IT Supplemental Technology Request process. Assets will not be reimbursed without first completing this process.

I’m outside Qatar and need help with NU-Q provided hardware. Who should I speak to?

Faculty and staff who are stranded outside of Qatar and experience issues with NU-Q issued computing hardware should contact the NU-Q Helpdesk to assess the available international repair and replacement options.

Hiring and Employment

Can new staff still begin their employment as scheduled?

If a new employee’s job duties can be completed remotely, they can start as initially planned. NU-Q HR and IT departments will schedule a brief remote orientation for all new staff that begin remotely. Once it is feasible, the standard onboarding process will be completed for all new hires. For staff relocating to Qatar, the process of securing document attestations and entry visas remain in place. Delays in these processes could cause delays in the planned relocation. Please contact NU-Q HR should you have questions.