Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions

About the 2019 Novel Coronavirus


What is the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (CoV)?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2019 Novel Coronavirus website for more information.  

What is the current outbreak situation?

There is an ongoing outbreak of respiratory illness first identified in Wuhan, China, caused by a novel (new) coronavirus. Thousands of cases are reported in Wuhan and severe illness, including death, have been reported. This outbreak began in December 2019 and continues to expand in scope and magnitude, now involving cases in a number of other countries, including several cases in the US.  

Who is at risk for CoV?

Individuals who have traveled to China (or any other area with ongoing transmission of the virus as reported by the CDC) in the last 14 days OR have had close contact with a person (such as with a roommate or family member) who has traveled to Asia in the last four weeks.

Is CoV contagious and how does it spread?

CoV is highly contagious and is now known to spread from person-to-person. Additional details of the virus, such as how it spreads and its incubation period, are still being investigated. 


What are the symptoms of CoV?

Symptoms include, but are not limited to, fever, coughing, difficulty breathing, and other respiratory symptoms.

Is this a global public health emergency?

The World Health Organization declared the spread of the virus a public health emergency on January 30, 2020.

What should I do if I think I am beginning to develop symptoms of CoV?

The University recommends individuals who have traveled to China (or any other area with ongoing transmission of the virus as reported by the CDC) in the last 14 days OR have had close contact (such as with a roommate or family member) who has traveled to Asia in the last four weeks and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, take the following actions: 

  • Seek medical care right away, but call the doctor’s office or emergency room before going and tell them of your recent travel and symptoms. If you are an enrolled student, call the Student Health Center at 310.506.4316 and select option 3. 
  • Avoid contact with others and do not go to class or work until you have been evaluated by a medical professional. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (and not your hands) when you cough or sneeze. 
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. 
  • If someone reports to you that they are feeling sick with a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, and they have recently traveled to China or any other area with ongoing transmission of the virus reported by the CDC, encourage them to seek medical care using the steps listed above.


Where can I find more information about CoV?

University officials will continue to monitor the coronavirus outbreak and will update the community if conditions impacting our community significantly change via the University’s Emergency Information Page. Further information can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Novel Coronavirus 2019 website.


For Students Currently Enrolled in the Shanghai Program

Why has the Shanghai program been suspended?

Pepperdine and Seaver College officials suspended the Shanghai International Program for the spring 2020 term based on available information, including the known spread of the coronavirus and related travel warnings and restrictions, as well as the University’s academic needs and our deepest care for the safety, well-being, and experience of our students.

Where should I go?

Students should return home to their families at their permanent residences as soon as possible, but arrive no later than Monday, February 3, 2020, the original date of their scheduled return to the Shanghai campus. Students can contact Corniche Travel at anytime for assistance with travel arrangements home, which will be provided at no cost. Corniche travel agents are available 24/7 at or +1.310.854.6000. Provide Corniche with the following information: traveler name, current location, destination (home), and preferred departure date. Parents may request a flight through Corniche, but students will be required to confirm the flight with Corniche from their Pepperdine email addresses. Corniche will only book reasonably direct routes and economy seats. 

Will I be able to attend class for the rest of the semester?

Yes. Students who participated in the Shanghai program will return to classes in Malibu on Monday, February 17, 2020. No in-person or online class sessions will be held for these students until that time. The semester will end with the regular Seaver College Malibu semester on April 30, 2020. 

When should I plan to return to Pepperdine’s Malibu campus? 

Plan to arrive on Sunday, February 16, 2020. The University will make flight arrangements for Shanghai program participants to return to Los Angeles from their permanent residences. International Programs staff will contact students with further details.

Will I have a place to live when I return to Malibu? 

Housing and Residence Life will make arrangements for room and board on the Malibu campus for the remainder of the term.

Can I switch to another IP location for the spring 2020 term?

No. We are unable to provide a continuity of educational experiences at our other International Programs campuses. 

How can I obtain my belongings from the Shanghai program Jia?

Arrangements are being made for each student’s personal items in the Shanghai Jia to be shipped to him or her. Additional information will be sent to Shanghai students.


Should I visit a doctor when I arrive back in the United States?

Students have been asked to follow the risk assessment and healthcare recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Novel Coronavirus 2019 website.


What should I expect as I travel back to the US?

Coronavirus screenings are taking place at multiple international airports across the US including LAX. The University encourages students to ensure ample time during your initial layover in the US (if applicable).

What other resources are available?

Students may contact the University’s travel services company, International SOS, with medical and travel safety concerns at or +1.215.942.8226


Can I enroll in the Shanghai program for next term?

The Shanghai international program has been suspended through summer 2020. The University will evaluate at a later date whether to resume the program for the fall 2020 semester.

How will my tuition, room and board, and International Programs fees be managed?

Financial information will be shared with students as it becomes available.

What are important dates I need to know this semester?

Students returning from Shanghai should be mindful of the following dates as they complete the spring semester on the Malibu campus:

  • February 16 – Shanghai Students Return to Malibu Campus
  • February 17 – Classes resume on the Malibu Campus
  • March 2–6 – Spring Break (no class sessions)
  • April 24 – Last Day of Classes
  • April 27–30 – Final Exams