Published: April 24, 2020

Scott AdlerDear graduate students,

As we enter the home stretch of the semester, I hope you are all healthy and safe. I continue to be inspired by the resiliency of our students, faculty and staff.

We recently reached out to you with information about adjustments to the spring 2020 semester, along with easing registration requirements for students who have shifted their graduation from spring to summer. However, as we look toward the end of the spring semester, some of you may be thinking more long-term about your degree progress. For some, this semester’s disruption may necessitate extending your time to degree; for those students, the Graduate School will approve a one-year increase in the time limit.

As a reminder, the Graduate School’s time limit is six years for doctoral students and four years for master’s students. Students who may need an extension should request that through the existing process. International students should consult with the ISSS with regard to extensions of immigration documents. 

The Graduate School also recognizes that some students may need to take a leave of absence due to extenuating circumstances, and they may do so via the normal leave-of-absence process. Doctoral students who have passed the comprehensive examination are also eligible to request leave related to COVID-19 circumstances.

For those students considering job prospects after graduation, we’ve recently updated our online resources related to professional development. In particular, we’ve added some information from Career Services that may be helpful. Alaina Nickerson, assistant director for graduate students with Career Services, has created a video and PowerPoint presentation that explains how services are now being conducted remotely. The presentation also provides general national and statewide data on current hiring and employer surveys. 

The Graduate School continues to offer a number of online support services, including our Grad+ seminar series, writing support and professional development workshops. Please keep an eye on our calendar for details. As always, remember to stay in touch with your advisors, mentors, graduate program assistants and fellow students. Even though we are not together, we remain a strong community. In addition, Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) continues to provide a number of resource for all students; please check the CAPS site to see everything they offer.

We are regularly updating the FAQs on the Graduate School website that detail changes to policy and new resources related to COVID-19. As well, please see the Coronavirus Updates and Resources page for universitywide updates. If you have additional questions, feel free to reach out to us at We will continue to communicate as more information becomes available. In the meantime, take care of yourselves and stay healthy, safe and productive.


E. Scott Adler
Dean of the Graduate School
Vice Provost for Graduate Affairs
Professor of Political Science