COVID-19 FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to Graduate Admissions and Graduate Studies

We recognize that prospective and current graduate students may have questions about how to address academic degree progress and graduate school applications given the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope the answers below will help current and prospective students prepare for graduate school and progress through their graduate degree. Please don’t hesitate to send additional questions to the Graduate Admissions Office or Office of Graduate Studies. Prospective students should e-mail questions to graduateadm@ku.edu; current students should e-mail graduate@ku.edu

In addition to this list of FAQ, graduate students are encouraged to explore the COVID-19 resource hub on the graduate studies homepage, and to view the latest information on KU’s COVID-19 resource guide. Individuals looking for resources related to remote learning should visit this guide.

Prospective Graduate Students

Will graduate programs continue to review applications for summer and fall 2020?

Yes. Graduate programs with open applications will continue to review applications and make admissions recommendations to Graduate Admissions. Individuals who are not able to meet the program deadline should contact their program of interest to request an extension.  

How will graduate schools evaluate CR/NC and S/U grades?

Numerous institutions of higher education mandated changes to grades, or gave students options to change grades to CR/NC or S/U during the COVID-19 crisis. Many of these schools will provide a notation on the transcript to that effect (note that KU is reviewing a transcript notation and expects to be able to provide a notation). Schools are advised to follow guidelines set by national organizations that support higher education.  The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) published a statement strongly encouraging graduate programs to utilize holistic review, and the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers (AACRAO) shared guidance on how institutions should evaluate credit.

At KU, it’s up to departments to evaluate applicants’ credentials and suitability to the program but KU encourages departments to conduct these evaluations within the context of the COVID-19 disruptions. Prospective graduate students are strongly encouraged to discuss options with an academic advisor to determine which grading option will work best for their professional goals.

In addition, KU is reviewing a permanent policy change to allow CR/NC and S/U for master’s transfer credit with supporting documentation of a crisis.

Will International Support Services (ISS) continue to issue immigration documents for summer and fall 2020?

For summer starts, ISS will only issue immigration documents to incoming students who are already in the U.S.

For fall starts, ISS will continue to issue I-20s and DS-2019s as per normal procedures. However, all students will likely experience delays in being able to schedule and attend their visa appointments.

For more information, visit: https://iss.ku.edu/iss-covid-19-faq-students

What are options to complete the GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE?

Visit the following websites for the latest information on testing options:

GRE

GMAT

TOEFL

IELTS

PTE

Are there additional options for me to demonstrate English proficiency other than an exam?

Prospective students should reach out to their specific program of interest. Applicants will work closely with the program to which they have or intend to apply to explore options such as Duolingo.

Can I delay my start term?

Applicants may request to defer their start term by sending a request to their program of interest.

Will orientation(s) take place in-person or online?

New Graduate Student Orientation for the Lawrence campus, as well as the ISS orientation for international students, will take place online. More information will be shared as the programs are finalized.

The Center for Teaching Excellence is evaluating options for either online or hybrid delivery of the New GTA Orientation. Questions about the format and timing of New GTA Orientation should be directed to cte@ku.edu.

Individual departments are also reviewing plans for holding their own orientations. Questions about departmental orientations should be directed to the individual graduate program or department

Edwards Campus students should send questions to kuecsuccess@ku.edu.

 

Current Graduate Students

How do the changes in CR/NC and S/U apply to me?

There are no policy changes for grade changes for graduate students (except an extension of the deadline). Students are encouraged to work with their advisors to use Incompletes in appropriate circumstances. Advisors have been instructed to grade thesis and research hours with respect to students’ ability to perform research in light of campus and laboratory closures. More information is available at https://graduate.ku.edu/grading.

What are the rules and procedures for remote exams?

Existing rules requiring in-person attendance at milestone exams are temporarily suspended through the summer 2020 term.

Students who are still in or near Lawrence but do not have stable Wifi should contact Jeromy Horkman (jhorkman@ku.edu) to reserve a private room in Watson Library for their exams.

In cases where the student prefers for all committee members to be physically present, the student’s preference shall be honored. However, this preference may require rescheduling and therefore delay progress to degree.

A student’s milestone outcome will not be influenced by any proceedings that take place without full engagement of all participants.

More information is available at https://graduate.ku.edu/grading.

Will graduate students receive extensions to complete their degrees?

Lawrence and Edwards-campus students are eligible to opt into a one-year extension of their maximum allowable time to degree without the need to petition for this additional time. Students will be able to elect this extension during the final semester of their current programs, if it becomes necessary. This COVID-19 extension is available to students even if they have already been granted a one-time extension according to the established university petition processes. However, it is not additive to COVID-19 extensions already in place in a student’s school or college. More information is available at https://coronavirus.ku.edu/graduate-education-and-covid-19.

Are electronic signatures accepted for students’ master’s and doctoral exams?

Yes. Students should contact their school or the college for more information about this requirement.

Will spring 2020 graduation ceremonies take place?

The 2020 Spring Commencement and associated graduation ceremonies have been postponed. This includes the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony. In the meantime, Graduate Studies is planning a virtual recognition of this year’s graduates, to be shared online starting Commencement weekend.

For students who are graduating, please be aware that degrees will still be conferred in May, although the ceremonies will take place in summer or fall. The transcript is the formal documentary record of a student’s achievement and will show degree completion as of May 2020, if the student completes all requirements this spring.

Are students allowed to work?

Supervisors should communicate regularly with student workers and translate any guidance or instructions they would normally offer verbally into writing. Student work should take place remotely. Any exceptions to this must involve:

·       students who are well without any symptoms and who have not had recent exposure to symptomatic individuals,

·       the approved classification of the student as an essential on-campus worker,

·       the consent of the student to willingly be on campus, and

·       documentation of all safety and decontamination protocols implemented to ensure student wellbeing if they are working on campus during the COVID-19 outbreak

How do students access library resources?

Information is available in the “Library Resources” section of the graduate studies COVID-19 resource hub. 

Can students still use their Graduate Student Scholarly Travel Award?

Information is available in the “Vice Provost’s Guidance: 13 March 2020” communication.  

What resources are available for remote teaching?

Information is available in the “Student Employees” section of the graduate studies COVID-19 resource hub.   

What emergency funds are available?

Resources are listed at help.ku.edu.


Donate to the Graduate Student Emergency Fund
COVID-19 Updates and Information

Find additional resources regarding online teaching & learning during the COVID-19 outbreak at REMOTE.KU.EDU.

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