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For information related to the COVID-19 outbreak, visit:

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. 

For information about Campus COVID-19 policies, incluiding testing and building access, see the Campus COVID-19 website.

Registration Questions

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

The last day to drop a course from the current term without a grade of W is 

  • March 19 at 11:59 p.m. Central Time for 1st 8-week (POTA) courses
  • May 5 at 11:59 p.m. Central Time for full-semester (POT1) and 2nd eight-week (POTB) courses
  • Non-standard courses: last day of instruction of the course at 11:59 p.m. Central Time

Most course drops can be made using Student-Self Service.

Can I change a Spring 2021 course to Credit/No-Credit?

Campus has approved a new grading mode for Spring 2021. Details about the Pass COVID/No Pass COVID (PZ/NZ) grade mode are as follows:

  • The Pass COVID/No Pass COVID (PZ/NZ) grade mode is selected by students, replacing the Credit/No Credit grade mode for the Spring 2021 semester. CR/NC is not available for Spring 2021.
  • PZ/NZ grades do not factor into students’ grade point averages.
  • Instructors submit grades for every student in the course as normal.
  • For students that have selected PZ/NZ, a grade of D- or higher will be automatically converted to PZ, a failing grade is automatically converted to NZ.
  • Courses using the PZ/NZ grade mode in which PZ is earned will fulfill major, minor, and General Education requirements.
  • Any number of courses may be selected for PZ/NZ grading.
  • Students on academic probation are permitted to select courses for PZ/NZ grading.
  • Courses placed on PZ/NZ status will not count toward the maximums detailed in the Student Code.
  • Failing grades that are the result of an academic integrity violation sanction are ineligible for PZ/NZ grading.
  • PZ/NZ grading is not available to students in College of Law programs or students enrolled in the MD program in the Carle Illinois College of Medicine or the DVM program in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

If you have already submitted a Credit/No Credit request for Spring 2021, the Graduate College will follow up with you to communicate the next steps.

How do I elect the Pass COVID/No Pass COVID Grading option?

The process for electing PZ/NZ will not need approval from your adviser. Once the form is made available at the end of the semester, students will be able to make their selection for PZ/NZ grading and the request will be submitted to the Registrar's Office for processing. We encourage you to discuss grading options with your academic advisers early this semester to understand if there are circumstances in which PZ/NZ grading would not be in your best interest. For example, there may be external policies (licensure, certification, professional accreditation) where minimum standard letter grades are required to satisfy requirements.

Students will be able to submit requests for Pass COVID/No Pass COVID after final grades are available in Self-Service.

  • A form will be made available on the Office of the Registrar website beginning May 22.
  • No department or adviser approval will be required. The student will complete the form and submit it to the Office of the Registrar for processing.
  • The form will be available from May 22-May 27 at 11:59 p.m. Central Time. All requests must be submitted by that deadline.

This is the third semester the campus has implemented emergency policy modifications to provide expanded grading options. It is important to reiterate that all courses taken as CR/NC and PZ/NZ will count towards degree requirements (as long as a grade of CR or PZ was earned). Students who have elected all classes as CR/NC or PZ/NZ, or who have a combination of these grades with S/U grades will be allowed to graduate as long as they have satisfied all other degree requirements. Please note that in such cases the transcript will show a 0.00 graduate-level GPA.

Students can check their GPA information and all of their academic history in Student Self-Service.


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?

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 3/8/21)