COVID-19 FAQ for Graduate Education

UConn Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

The worldwide pandemic involving COVID-19 (coronavirus) has produced unprecedented challenges in the UConn community and around the world. These unusual circumstances create significant uncertainty and unease in the professional and personal lives of our students, employees, alumni, and others throughout UConn Nation.

The latest official guidance and updates on UConn’s response to COVID-19 and itsm impact on the university community is being provided in real time at https://uconn.edu/public-notification/coronavirus/.

Last Updated: August 26, 2020

The Graduate School has developed this webpage with answers to frequently asked questions which may help as we all chart this uncertain territory. As everything is these days, these questions and answers are fluid and changing. We will update them daily with timely and accurate information.

If you have further or different questions, please email gradschool@uconn.edu and we will work to answer you directly and shape our page to assist others.

Prospective Students

How can I check the status of my application?

To check the status of your application, login to the application portal.

What do I do if I am having difficulty submitting my tests scores?

If you are having trouble sending your test scores to us, please contact us at gradadmissions@uconn.edu for more information.

Are information session or visit days which have been advertised as taking place on campus still happening?

In person information session or visit days are not happening on campus, but we advise you to contact event coordinators to determine whether sessions are being offered in a virtual format.  Faculty and staff may also arrange one-on-one conversations with individual students using Skype, Zoom, or similar technology.

I am unable to schedule an in person date to take a test of English proficiency. Are online options available?

Yes, online options are available for providing proof of English proficiency. The Graduate School now accepts the Duolingo English Test, and ETS is temporarily offering an online testing option.

ETS is temporarily offering the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test in selected areas. The test is identical in content, format and on-screen experience to the TOEFL iBT test taken at a test center. It is taken on your own computer at home and is monitored by a human proctor online through ProctorU®. More information can be found on the ETS website for TOEFL at Home.

The Graduate School now accepts the Duolingo English Test in March 2020 as proof of English proficiency. Duolingo allows any student with access to a computer and a webcam to test their English proficiency. This test is accepted by over 500 institutions, and results are available within two days.

I am unable to schedule an in person date to take the GRE or GMAT test. Is an online option available?

ETS is temporarily offering a GRE General Test at home option in selected areas. The test is identical in content, format and on-screen experience to the GRE General Test taken at a test center. It is taken on your own computer at home and is monitored by a human proctor online through ProctorU®.  More information can be found on the ETS website for GRE at Home.

If I apply for Summer or Fall 2020 and the University is still closed, will I still be able to start my coursework?

Some programs are developing options that may allow students to complete some or all of their coursework in Summer and Fall 2020 remotely. We suggest that you contact your individual program to determine whether remote coursework will be an option.

For the most up-to-date information on the University's Reopening Plan including considerations for students, visit reopen.uconn.edu.

I applied to my graduate program for a term I am no longer interested in. What are my options?

For prospective students facing this difficult dilemma, The Graduate School has 2 options:

  • You may defer your admission up to 1 full academic year from when your application was submitted.
  • Withdraw your application from consideration.

A request of a deferral or an application withdrawal should be made through the Accounts & Forms area of your Application Status page.  We encourage requests to be made by the first day of the semester you have applied to.  These requests are required to be submitted by the 10th day of the semester. Please review the Schedules of Classes for the term you have applied to. Confirmation will be sent to you once The Graduate School processes your request.


Admitted Students

Can I defer my admission to a later semester and begin my studies at a later time?

With approval from your admitted program, you may defer your admission up to 1 full academic year from when your application was submitted.

A request of a deferral should be made through the Accounts & Forms area of your Application Status page.  We strongly encourage requests for graduate students who have not been appointed as a GA to be made prior to the first day of the semester. Graduate students who have been appointed as a GA must submit their requests prior to the start date of their appointment. These requests must be submitted no later than the 10th day of the semester. Please review the Schedules of Classes for your admitted term.  Confirmation will be sent to you once The Graduate School processes your request, unless it is a declined deferral request, in which case your program will notify you of this decision.

If my embassy is closed and I cannot get a visa appointment, what should I do?

For incoming students facing this difficult dilemma, The Graduate School has 3 options:

  • With approval from your admitted program, you may defer your admission up to 1 full academic year from when your application was submitted.
  • Withdraw your application from consideration.
  • Request permission for a late arrival 

A request of a deferral, application withdrawal, or a late arrival should be made through the Accounts & Forms area of your Application Status page.  We strongly encourage requests for graduate students who have not been appointed as a GA to be made prior to the first day of the semester. Graduate students who have been appointed as a GA must submit their requests prior to the start date of their appointment. These requests must be submitted no later than the 10th day of the semester. Please review the Schedules of Classes for your admitted term.  Confirmation will be sent to you once The Graduate School processes your request, unless it is a declined deferral request, in which case your program will notify you of this decision.

I have already submitted my official transcripts to the Graduate School’s Admissions Office.  Why does my application checklist list my official transcript(s) with a status of “Awaiting?” 

After you have accepted the offer of admission within your admission application, an official transcript line is added automatically to your application checklist for each school that you had listed when you submitted the application. At this time, The Graduate School’s Admissions Office staff is working remotely so the receipt of your transcripts will be delayed.

In the meantime, although you may choose to send us your official documents, the Official Transcript item(s) within your application checklist will continue to appear as “Awaiting” until we review the documents we have received, and updating checklists accordingly. As stated above, this process will experience a delay.

I am an international student, and I have many questions about my immigration and I-20 status. Where can I find this information?

Please follow the news feed on the International Students and Scholar Services website for more up to date information affecting international students and scholars, and refer to their frequently asked questions for information related specifically to COVID-19.

I am no longer interested in starting my studies in the term I was admitted to. What are my options?

For incoming admitted students facing this difficult dilemma, The Graduate School has 2 options:

  • With approval from your admitted program, you may defer your admission up to 1 full academic year from when your application was submitted.
  • Withdraw your application from consideration.

A request of a deferral or an application withdrawal should be made through the Accounts & Forms area of your Application Status page.  We strongly encourage requests for graduate students who have not been appointed as a GA to be made prior to the first day of the semester. Graduate students who have been appointed as a GA must submit their requests prior to the start date of their appointment. These requests must be submitted no later than the 10th day of the semester. Please review the Schedules of Classes for your admitted term.   Confirmation will be sent to you once The Graduate School processes your request, unless it is a declined deferral request, in which case your program will notify you of this decision.

 

I am an incoming student in an on-campus program, and I will not be able to arrive on time for the start of the semester I was admitted to. What should I do?

For incoming students facing this difficult dilemma, The Graduate School has 3 options:

  • With approval from your admitted program, you may defer your admission up to 1 full academic year from when your application was submitted.
  • Withdraw your application from consideration.
  • Request permission for a late arrival.

A request of a deferral, application withdrawal, or a late arrival should be made through the Accounts & Forms area of your Application Status page.  We strongly encourage requests for graduate students who have not been appointed as a GA to be made prior to the first day of the semester. Graduate students who have been appointed as a GA must submit their requests prior to the start date of their appointment. These requests must be submitted no later than the 10th day of the semester. Confirmation will be sent to you once The Graduate School processes your request, unless it is a declined deferral request, in which case your program will notify you of this decision.

COVID-19 Testing for Graduate Students

The Graduate School has been working closely with Student Health and Wellness (SHaW), Human Resources, the Office of the Provost, the Graduate Student Senate, and the Graduate Student Representative to the Board of Trustees to develop the following plan for testing members of the graduate school whose work will require them to be on campus. What follows is a summary of those procedures. Please note: Graduate students at UConn Health should follow the procedures in place at UConn Health.

  • All graduate students who are expected to be regularly on campus (Storrs or any regional campus) in order to participate in in-person course work or to fulfill their duties as GAs (including those RAs who have already been working labs as part of the summer research ramp-up) will be provided access to COVID testing without cost.
  • Graduate students who have no regular duties or coursework that require them to be on campus will not be tested. They are permitted to come to campus occasionally for very brief  periods during the semester. In general, however, they are urged to stay off campus and arrange for virtual meetings with faculty advisors or other colleagues.
  • Testing will be done by Vault Health. Eligible graduate students will receive an email link to their UConn email along with detailed instructions for how to order a kit by mail for collecting their own samples, which should then be mailed directly back to Vault labs for testing.
  • Students who have already had a test within the 14 days prior to the start of classes (August 31st) may instead submit a test result to SHaW directly here.
  • Over the next several days the Graduate School will be working with Human Resources, Departments, and the Registrar in order to identify all graduate students who fall within these categories. Therefore, please note the following:
    • Given our need to have accurate information about students being on campus due to enrollment in in-person or hybrid courses, it is very important that all graduate students complete their course registrations for the Fall 2020 semester by August 17th.
  • Test results will be sent to the students and will also be shared with Student Health and Wellness (SHaW). No further action is necessary if test results are negative, and students may come to campus. For Storrs students who receive a positive test result, contact SHaW at (860)486-4700 or your primary care provider to obtain medical attention and instructions on how to self-isolate.  For regional campus students who test positive, contact your primary care provider to obtain medical attention and instructions.
    • Students who are taking in-person courses should contact their professors to make arrangements to continue their studies online.
    • GAs who test positive for COVID-19 are expected to initiate a report directly to HR and are also expected to self-quarantine as instructed by HR. (Vault/SHaW will NOT be sending those results to HR due to HIPPA privacy laws. GAs are expected to report their positive tests results to HR by sending a note to hr@uconn.edu).

View Announcement


Current Students

COVID-19 Testing for Graduate Students

The Graduate School has been working closely with Student Health and Wellness (SHaW), Human Resources, the Office of the Provost, the Graduate Student Senate, and the Graduate Student Representative to the Board of Trustees to develop the following plan for testing members of the graduate school whose work will require them to be on campus. What follows is a summary of those procedures. Please note: Graduate students at UConn Health should follow the procedures in place at UConn Health.

  • All graduate students who are expected to be regularly on campus (Storrs or any regional campus) in order to participate in in-person course work or to fulfill their duties as GAs (including those RAs who have already been working labs as part of the summer research ramp-up) will be provided access to COVID testing without cost.
  • Graduate students who have no regular duties or coursework that require them to be on campus will not be tested. They are permitted to come to campus occasionally for very brief  periods during the semester. In general, however, they are urged to stay off campus and arrange for virtual meetings with faculty advisors or other colleagues.
  • Testing will be done by Vault Health. Eligible graduate students will receive an email link to their UConn email along with detailed instructions for how to order a kit by mail for collecting their own samples, which should then be mailed directly back to Vault labs for testing.
  • Students who have already had a test within the 14 days prior to the start of classes (August 31st) may instead submit a test result to SHaW directly here.
  • Over the next several days the Graduate School will be working with Human Resources, Departments, and the Registrar in order to identify all graduate students who fall within these categories. Therefore, please note the following:
    • Given our need to have accurate information about students being on campus due to enrollment in in-person or hybrid courses, it is very important that all graduate students complete their course registrations for the Fall 2020 semester by August 17th.
  • Test results will be sent to the students and will also be shared with Student Health and Wellness (SHaW). No further action is necessary if test results are negative, and students may come to campus. For Storrs students who receive a positive test result, contact SHaW at (860)486-4700 or your primary care provider to obtain medical attention and instructions on how to self-isolate.  For regional campus students who test positive, contact your primary care provider to obtain medical attention and instructions.
    • Students who are taking in-person courses should contact their professors to make arrangements to continue their studies online.
    • GAs who test positive for COVID-19 are expected to initiate a report directly to HR and are also expected to self-quarantine as instructed by HR. (Vault/SHaW will NOT be sending those results to HR due to HIPPA privacy laws. GAs are expected to report their positive tests results to HR by sending a note to hr@uconn.edu).

View Announcement

What enrollment options are available to me if I can’t or don’t wish to enroll in coursework for Fall 2020?

The Graduate School offers some unique courses that provide some enrollment flexibility to students.

Continuous registration is a zero-credit course that maintains active student status, even though the student is not enrolled in either coursework or research credits. This course also maintains access to university email and other resources, such as the library, so the student can continue making progress towards the degree. Continuous registration can be particularly helpful if a student is working on resolving Incompletes or in the writing stage of the thesis or dissertation. This course does not incur tuition; instead it has a flat fee, and students can self-enroll in the course through Student Admin (the courses can be found under the subject area “Graduate”). International students that are here on a UConn-sponsored visa must obtain ISSS approval before enrolling in continuous registration. For international students here in the U.S. or with an active SEVIS record, approval is typically only granted for the final semester of study. International students should contact their ISSS advisor if considering enrollment in continuous registration.

For students who want or need to maintain full-time enrollment status, The Graduate School offers GRAD 6960 and GRAD 5960. These research courses can be used towards the fifteen doctoral research credits or nine Plan A master's research credits required on the plan of study. The course is only three credits (and therefore only bills at three credits), but because it denotes full-time research, the student is reported as enrolled full-time, which can be helpful in maintaining visa status or meeting an enrollment threshold to receive financial aid.

For circumstances where it seems like temporarily stepping away from graduate study may be helpful, The Graduate School offers an academic leave of absence option. An academic leave of absence is a temporary separation from the university that holds the student’s place in the program for up to two semesters (with the possibility to extend the leave for an additional two semesters). Because academic leave typically represents a time of no academic engagement, it extends the student’s time to degree deadline. More information on academic leave can be found on our page for Voluntary Separation.

What options are available in changing the fee structure of the GRAD 6950 course to have an online designation?

The GRAD 6950 course currently has an “in person” designation which adds an additional $422 in fees, placing an additional burden on financially insecure graduate students. Given that many doctoral candidates will be conducting their dissertation research remotely this semester, are there any options to sign up for a GRAD 6950 course that has an online designation?

Provost Lejuez sent an email on August 17, 2020 to the graduate student community answering this question. Click here to read Provost Lejuez's statement about GRAD 6950.

Will Pass/Fail or Pass/W-Audit be an option for graduate students in Fall 2020?

No, the Pass/Fail and Pass/W-Audit options were approved as an exception in Spring 2020 after the pandemic resulted in an unexpected shift to online and distance learning. Students enrolled in a program that falls under The Graduate Catalog (graduate degrees, graduate certificates, and post-bacc programs) do not typically have the ability to convert a course to Pass/Fall.

What is the deadline to drop a class with a “W” for Fall 2020?

Dates and deadlines for Fall 2020 may be found on the Academic Calendar. The deadline to withdraw from a course with a “W” is the ninth week of the semester (Monday, November 2).

If I switched a class to pass/fail or audit or if I drop some of my classes in Spring 2020, will my financial aid be impacted in the future?

Switching a class to pass/fail, audit, or withdrawing from the class after the fixed enrollment date and all aid has disbursed (e.g. paid to your account) did not impact students' financial aid for the Spring 2020 semester.

However, withdrawing from, failing, or auditing a class could impact your financial aid in a future term if by doing so you no longer meet the meet requirement for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Students who do not earn a minimum 75% of all credits may not be eligible for financial aid. For more information regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress, including deadlines for appeals, please visit https://financialaid.uconn.edu/sap/.

I receive veterans benefits and have questions about how online courses may impact my benefits.

Any student using any sort of military-related educational benefit should contact the Veterans Affairs and Military Programs Office with questions, as well as prior to any withdrawal from a course. There have been some temporary changes to the VA regulations on how UConn will handle these situations due to COVID-19. The changes are in place until December 2020, and seek to alleviate any impact the change in modality, and withdrawals will have on our Military Affiliated Students. Please contact the office at veterans@uconn.edu

I will not be able to arrive on time for the start of the semester for my on-campus program. What should I do?

For current students in on-campus programs facing this difficult dilemma, The Graduate School has three options:

  • Request permission for a late arrival.
  • Request an academic leave of absence.
  • Request to discontinue your program. Please refer to this infographic.pdf for more information.

We strongly encourage late arrival requests for graduate students who have not been appointed as a GA to be made prior to the first day of the semester. Graduate students who have been appointed as a GA must submit their late arrival request prior to the start date of their appointment. Late arrival requests must be submitted through this form no later than the 10th day of the semester. Please review the Schedules of Classes for your admitted term.  Requests for academic leave or discontinuation must be made through the Voluntary Separation Notification (VSN) form.

For students who hold graduate assistantships, a late arrival could impact the ability to retain that assistantship appointment. Such situations will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Can graduate students return to their home countries?

International graduate students should consult their ISSS advisor before returning home. Travel restrictions change frequently, and a graduate student who travels outside the United States may face difficulties returning whether or not they currently hold a visa that allows re-entry. The benefits of returning to their home country must be carefully weighed against the risk of a delayed return. Graduate students unable to return to the United States before the beginning of the fall semester might be required to take a leave of absence from graduate studies and to forgo support from a TA or an RA until Spring 2021 or later.

I am an international student, and I have many questions about my immigration and I-20 status. Where can I find this information?

Please follow the news feed on the International Students and Scholar Services website for more up to date information affecting international students and scholars, and refer to their frequently asked questions for information related specifically to COVID-19.

If I have plans to travel over Summer or Fall 2020 for academic or research purposes, what should I do moving forward?

All University-sponsored out-of-state travel has been suspended indefinitely. This includes research-related travel of faculty and students. Graduate students should contact Dean Holsinger (kent.holsinger@uconn.edu) if they believe they may qualify for an exception to the policy. Please refer to the University’s Travel Suspension FAQs for more information.

If on-campus research is restricted again, what happens to the research for my thesis or dissertation?

To stay up to date with the status of on-campus research and the guidance regarding the phased reopening of research, please visit the Office of the Vice President for Research’s webpage, Guidance for the UConn Research Community.

To the extent possible, students should continue any part of their thesis research that can be conducted remotely, such as literature reviews, data analysis, and writing/revising. In lieu of in-person meetings with thesis advisors, students should arrange virtual meetings. Please consult with Academic IT (ait@uconn.edu) if you need assistance in choosing a technology option for virtual meetings.

We realize, however, that despite these efforts to continue research remotely, some components of thesis research may simply have to be put on hold until on-campus restrictions are lifted. You should work with your advisor to determine what progress you can, and cannot, reasonably make during this time, given those restrictions. The inability to make the same progress as originally anticipated this semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic should not affect your grade for research credits such as GRAD 5950 or 6950.

For additional resources, visit our page of advice for faculty and students Coping with the Suspension of Many Research Activities. This page addresses such topics as: "What should graduate students do for the rest of the spring semester?" and "What should students do if “normal” research activities don’t resume in Summer 2020?" This resource also includes guidance graduate students may find useful as they develop contingency plans.

I live off campus and I am having a hard time accessing food resources for different reasons. What resources are available to me?

If you are unable to purchase or access enough food for yourself and your family, your local community may provide assistance to residents in need. You can find a listing of local food banks here (make sure to call ahead, as some are modifying hours and operations during the pandemic).

What health and wellness resources are available to me?

The Medical Care team is a health resource for students. UConn students, including those on our regional campuses, may speak to a nurse with health questions related to COVID-19 by calling 860-486-8987 during SHaW's regular business hours. Messages will be returned within one business day.

The Mental Health team is also a resource for students. Please visit their website for tips and resources for self-care as well as information about meeting with a staff member.

The University-wide initiative uKindness is intended to inform, engage, and connect with students throughout the University during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This situation has had an unexpected impact on my finances. What resources are available to me?

Short Term Loans are available for graduate students through the Graduate Student Senate.

The Students First Fund  allows students to request help after unforeseen misfortunes have occurred (e.g., fire, accident, illness). Funds may be used to pay expenses; to provide a student with assistance during a time of need (e.g. books; clothing; food), and/or to cover other reasonable and typical expenses as would be appropriate in times of loss.

GAs and TAs

Graduate students spend only a small portion of their time in in-person classes. How is the rest of their activity affected by recent COVID-19 policies?

The University encourages all members of the community to work remotely to the extent possible. The next several weeks are an opportunity to analyze data that have already been collected, conduct literature reviews that have been sitting on the shelf, write up parts of dissertations or theses where analyses are complete, participate in virtual writing groups, and similar activities. The University also recognizes that many graduate students may need to use specialized equipment or reagents, to care for research animals, to maintain cell lines or cultures, or engage in other activities that require them to be present on campus. We urge you to work closely with all other members of your research group to arrange schedules in ways that minimize person-to-person contact.

As a Graduate Assistant, I am required to complete state-mandated Diversity Awareness and Sexual Harassment Prevention Trainings and my deadline to complete is coming up. What should I do and how will it impact my employment?

In-person trainings have been cancelled at this time, however trainings will be made available online. More information on trainings required for GAs may be found on The Graduate School website. GAs must timely complete all University-mandated trainings as assigned.

Can TAs work from home countries, or does “home” mean their local home?

TAs should be allowed to work remotely, provided that they can provide the support expected of them from the location where they choose to work. It is reasonable to expect that they remain in the general area to allow for in-person meetings or on campus duties associated with their assignment. It is required is that they perform the duties associated with their assignment. In any case, the benefits of returning to your home country must be carefully weighed against the risk of  being able to perform all duties associated with your assignment (i.e., poor Internet  quality or reliability, complications due to time-zone differences, etc). Failure to perform all duties satisfactorily could lead to termination of your appointment. TAs should discuss their desire to return home with their course instructor in advance of departure. TAs who cannot reasonably assure continuity of duties should remain in the US (or resign their TA).

If a current GA does not receive funding for Fall 2020, what is going to happen to their health benefits?

If a current GA completes their Spring 2020 appointment, their current health insurance coverage will extend through August 31, 2020.

Students Planning to Graduate this Semester

University policy requires that master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation defenses include a public presentation. How can this requirement be met given COVID-19?

The University’s first priority is the health and safety of its students, faculty, and staff and of the communities in which they live. As a result, all participants in master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation defenses (students, faculty, and audience) should attend via teleconference. A URL providing access to the teleconference should be included in the public announcement of the defense on the University calendar. Academic IT (avt@uconn.edu) can provide advice on technology options that are suitable for virtual defenses. In choosing a technology option for the defense, remember that:

  • The defense must be open to any interested person with the ability for any member of the audience to ask questions of the student.
  • Doctoral defenses must be publicly announced on the University calendar with information provided about remote participation. Master's defenses need not be publicly announced.
  • All members of the advisory committee must participate in the defense simultaneously.

Please remember that "Not fewer than five members of the faculty, including all members of the candidate’s advisory committee, must participate in the final examination, unless written approval for a lesser number has been secured in advance from the Dean of The Graduate School" (quoted from the Graduate Catalog).

If you have questions about available technology options please contact Academic IT at avt@uconn.edu or 860-486-4357.

Please refer to Steps to a Successful Graduation: Graduate Programs for additional information about graduation requirements. 

What security or privacy precautions should I take when setting up a virtual defense?

Here is advice that the University provided in its March 31 email update for faculty, staff, and students:

USING ZOOM SECURELY: UConn strongly encourages the use of centrally contracted and supported software and services when possible. However, we recognize some people might prefer other collaboration technologies. If someone chooses to use a tool such as Zoom, it is their responsibility to ensure it is done safely and responsibly. Information is available to help with these efforts, including tips on preventing uninvited visitors from joining and disrupting the online event. Confidential or protected institutional data must still be stored on UConn-supported resources.

If you have questions about security or privacy precautions available through University supported software and services, please contact Academic IT at avt@uconn.edu.

How do I get signatures for degree audit?

For Thesis or Dissertation Approval Pages

Graduate School rules require original signatures (“wet ink” signatures) on the thesis or dissertation approval page. Due to the current extraordinary circumstances, until further notice this requirement can be met by any one of the following means:

  1. Original wet ink signature on an approval page, mailed to the Registrar’s Office
  2. Scanned image of an original wet signature or an electronic signature on the approval page emailed directly from the faculty member’s UConn or UCHC email address to the student’s degree auditor*
  3. An email sent directly to the student’s degree auditor* from the faculty member’s UConn or UCHC email address indicating approval.

All members of a student’s advisory committee must provide an original signature in one of these ways; however, signatures may be on different pages (or come from multiple faculty emails).

For All Other Forms

For all other forms (such as Plans of Study, General Exam reports, etc.) signatures can be submitted in any one of the following formats:

  1. Original wet ink signature on the form, mailed to the Registrar’s Office
  2. Scanned image of an original wet signature or an electronic signature (not a computer font of the advisor’s name) on a copy of the appropriate form emailed to the student’s degree auditor*
  3. An email sent directly to the student’s degree auditor* from the faculty member’s UConn or UCHC email address indicating approval.

*All forms related to master’s and certificate programs should be sent to Sandra.Cyr@uconn.edu and all forms for doctoral students should be sent to Jenn.Horan@uconn.edu.  Students are encouraged to include the appropriate Degree Auditor when emailing the forms to their advisors for approval.

Have deadlines to complete degree requirements or submit final paperwork for graduation changed?

There are currently no extensions to the deadline. Please refer to the academic calendar for submission deadlines.

What are The Graduate School’s plans for commencement?

The Graduate School is working closely with the University Events’ commencement planning team.

When diplomas are mailed out, they will also come with diploma covers, which are usually something that the candidates who attend the ceremonies get.

University Events is also planning a celebration gift to send out to graduating students sometime over the summer.

Also, there will be a number of activities that people can either remote into or attend personally a weekend in October. If the University decides to hold commencement in the future and you an international student who has already finished or completed the degree program and you are no longer in the United States, you can apply for a visitor visa or V2 visa. Or you can return through what is called the Visa Waiver Program, if you will be or are from a country that is eligible. Do note, that once a student does complete the degree and has left the US already, that current I 20 immigration document you have is no longer valid at that time.

The best place to look for information is at commencement.uconn.edu, where we post the most up to minute information on what we plan on doing.

It's important to note that students should continue to apply for graduation within Student Administration. We are still auditing your degrees and will confer your degrees. To do so, you must apply to graduate. If you don't apply, we cannot send you information about participating in any commencement exercise.


Faculty & Staff

See also the COVID-19 FAQ for Instruction from the Office of the Provost.

Can programs have on-campus “Visit Days” where they bring prospective graduate students to campus as a recruitment activity and/or a method of evaluation?

No. The University's priority is to protect the health of our students, faculty, and staff. Current CDC guidelines recommend that any gathering of more than 10 people be postponed or cancelled.

Virtual events for prospective and admitted students can be held through The Graduate School's online application and CRM system. Please contact marie.leblanc@uconn.edu for more information. Virtual events can include virtual infosessions or virtual orientations.

Academic IT (avt@uconn.edu) can also provide guidance on technology that supports simultaneous participation of many potential students, which may allow you to organize a "Virtual Visit Day".

Alternatively, faculty and staff may arrange one-on-one conversations with individual students using Skype, Zoom, or similar technology.

What should you do if students cannot finish the work required for a given class by the end of the semester? Can I give a student an incomplete grade?

“Incomplete” grades can be used when a student has not completed all of the work for a given course but the work that has been completed is of passing quality and a make-up schedule has been agreed upon with the instructor. Circumstances may make it difficult for some students to complete the required work, justifying a grade of Incomplete.  In such cases, it is the student’s responsibility to reach and to maintain an understanding with the instructor concerning the timely completion of the work. The Graduate School will not consider Incomplete grades in Spring 2020 when determining any graduate student’s academic standing at this point or the student’s eligibility for a graduate assistantship in Fall 2020.

How can I advise graduate students who are experiencing a suspension of research activities?

Please visit our page for advice for faculty and students for Coping with the Suspension of Many Research Activities. This page includes guidance graduate students may find useful as they develop contingency plans. It also includes guidance specific to faculty and staff advising graduate students.

The university has decided to not have in-person classes to reduce the risk of transmission. What about other kinds of gatherings (e.g., workshops, seminars, meetings, general exams, etc.)?

On March 20, Governor Lamont announced that he is ordering all employees at all "non-essential" businesses to stay home. His order is effective through at least April 22. Consistent with the Governor's order,  all gatherings (e.g., doctoral general exams, master's final exams, advisory committee meetings, etc.) should be  be held via teleconference or videoconference. Please contact Academic IT (avt@uconn.edu) if you need guidance on selecting appropriate technology.


I have a question about COVID-19 and graduate education that isn’t answered here. Who can I talk to?

Please contact The Graduate School at gradschool@uconn.edu or 860-486-3617 and we will do our best to answer your question.

UConn graduate students, faculty, and staff may also submit a question using the form below. Questions may be answered on this FAQ or in another format.

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