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Covid-19 Information for Current Students

We recognize that, as graduate students, in addition to taking traditional classes, many of you also participate in research, teaching, and scholarship as part of your responsibilities, below are questions to help guide you for future registration decisions. 

Registration Questions

What is the deadline to drop a Fall 2020 course without receiving a W?

The last day to drop a course from the current term without a grade of W has been extended to December 18. This deadline applies to full-semester courses, POT B courses, and non-standard courses with an end date after December 1, 2020. Most course drops can be made using Student-Self Service.

Students who want to drop a course without a W for a Fall 2020 course that has an end date before December 1, 2020, may make a request through the Graduate College petition process.

Can I change a Fall 2020 course to Credit/No-Credit?

The last day to elect Credit/No-Credit for a course is now January 5, 2021. We encourage students to have a discussion with their academic advisor to understand what grading options are in their best interest.

When can I register for Spring?

Spring 2021 registration will open on November 30. Most graduate students will be able to register starting on December 2. More information about spring registration is available on the Office of the Registrar's website.

I am studying away from campus this fall, can I register in absentia?

Continuing students who are studying at least 50 miles away from campus, they may choose to register in absentia. In absentia registration assesses only the General Fee. Students who are registered in absentia will not have access to student health insurance or McKinley services. An in absentia registration request form must be submitted online prior to February 5, 2021.

For newly admitted international students who will be remaining in their home country and enrolling online for the Spring 2021 semester, the Graduate College will update your registration status to in absentia. The regular in absentia forms and approval process will not be required. However, if you wish to have health insurance, you must notify your graduate program prior to February 5 so that we may cancel the in absentia designation.

Assistantship / Employment Questions

I will be starting classes away from campus in the , can I hold an assistantship? If so, how will I receive my stipend?

Talk with your department and hiring unit. It may be possible to start an assistantship while away from campus but it depends on several factors, such as whether the duties can be performed remotely and federal regulations that pertain to some countries.

Fellowship Questions

I have a fellowship and am starting the semester away from campus, can I keep my fellowship? If so, how will I receive payment?

It may be possible to receive a fellowship while away from campus depending on the terms of the fellowship and the granting agency. Reach out to your department or to the Graduate College Business and Fellowship Office at

Fee-related Questions

I am starting the semester away from campus, what fees will I be assessed?

Fee information is available on the Office of the Registrar’s website.

See also the information above about in absentia registration.

Health-care Questions

Will I have health insurance?

Graduate students enrolled in on-campus programs this spring—even if their courses are online—will be assessed the Student Insurance Fee and be enrolled in the University Student Insurance plan unless they are registered in absentia. Students can opt-out of the plan if they have comparable coverage. See additional information about student insurance.

New international students beginning the term away from campus will be registered in absentia and not enrolled in the University Student Insurance plan, unless they choose to. Please see the information about in absentia registration above.

Graduate students enrolled in online programs are not assessed the Student Insurance Fee.

Will I be able to use McKinley Health Center?

Students enrolled in on-campus programs who have been assessed the McKinley Service fee will have access to McKinley Health Center.

Students registered in absentia are not assessed this fee, nor are students enrolled in online graduate programs.

Degree-completion Questions

How should preliminary and final exams take place?

For the fall semester, doctoral examinations can be conducted remotely with no petitions required. We anticipate that most exams will continue to be conducted remotely. However, if an examination will take place in-person, it must comply with all campus guidance on in-person meetings.

What if I will not finish by my Expected Graduation Date (EGD)?

Students whose time to degree is expiring can file a petition requesting an extension. The impacts of the pandemic will be considered in the review, so please include information in your petition request if the pandemic has affected your progress. 

If you have deposited your thesis or dissertation but your degrees will be conferred at a later time, you may request a Degree Certification Letter. This letter, which is often used for employment or visa reasons, verifies that you have completed all requirements for the degree.

(Updated 11/28/20)