The Graduate School staff is available to help you. Contact us at gradinfo@colorado.edu with questions and concerns that are not already addressed on this page.

Updated: July 1, 2020

Academic and Graduation Processes

How can I submit my forms for graduation?

The Graduate School is accepting graduation paperwork via email. Please work closely with your graduate program assistant and faculty advisor to submit forms appropriately.

  • Examination forms, late candidacy applications, or other forms: Graduate programs should send to graduate.school@colorado.edu from a colorado.edu account. 
  • Thesis/dissertation signature pages: Students or graduate programs should send to gradinfo@colorado.edu from a colorado.edu account. Students can use a fillable form available on our website, or can create a signature page via word. 
  • Thesis/dissertation signature pages: Students or graduate programs should send to gradinfo@colorado.edu from a colorado.edu account. Students can use a fillable form available on our website, or can create a signature page via word.

 

How do I get my forms signed?

Forms listed above may be signed in the following ways:

  • Adobe pdf signatures (exam forms on our website are already created with signature tags)
  • Docusign signatures (please route and then mail final pdf to the Graduate School)
  • Scanned (if signatures had previously been obtained)
  • If absolutely necessary, the graduate program assistant may collect email correspondence from committee members to certify that they have voted satisfactory on the exam. Each email must come from the faculty member’s colorado.edu email address (external members excepted) and one document with all emails of approval should be sent together as a pdf.

 

What are the registration requirements for domestic students who planned to graduate in spring 2020 but will now graduate in August 2020?

Graduate School registration policy requires that students be registered full time during the semester they defend their theses and dissertations or take their final examinations; this one-time adjustment of this requirement applies to eligible students. Eligible students are those who have completed all required coursework credit hours and dissertation hours (minimum 30 for PhD students) and who were originally planning to defend their dissertations or take their final examinations during the spring 2020 semester.

Eligible domestic students will not be required to register in summer to meet the registration requirement.*

*While the Graduate School is adjusting the registration requirement in these cases, it is important to be aware that those who are not registered in any given semester are not considered currently enrolled students. This may have implications for financial aid eligibility, loan deferral or other areas where student status is necessary.

What are the registration requirements for international students who planned to graduate in spring 2020 but will now graduate in August 2020?

Graduate School registration policy requires that students be registered full time during the semester they defend their theses and dissertations or take their final examinations; this one-time adjustment of this requirement applies to eligible students. Eligible students are those who have completed all required coursework credit hours and dissertation hours (minimum 30 for PhD students) and who were originally planning to defend their dissertations or take their final examinations during the spring 2020 semester.

International students who hold F-1 status who are registered in spring 2020 and who do not plan on future enrollment at CU will have their F-1 programs shortened to May 6, 2020.  After May 6, 2020, international students in F-1 status will have a 60-day grace period to remain in the United States without summer registration or a pending or approved OPT application.  Students should carefully consider the information below and discuss their specific situation with their ISSS advisor.

  • Eligible international students with F-1 status must register for at least one dissertation hour if they need to maintain immigration status or need on-campus work authorization, a reduction from the five credits normally required, to meet federal immigration status requirements.

 

  • Eligible international students who plan to apply for OPT before 7/5/20, or who plan to leave the U.S before 7/5/20, may not need to maintain immigration status through registration.

International students should discuss their plans and these registration requirements with their ISSS advisor.

What else do I need to know about summer or fall 2020 graduation planning?

Students now planning to have their degrees awarded this summer need to meet the posted August graduation deadlines. Students planning to do their defense after the posted August graduation deadlines but before the fall 2020 semester begins need to apply to have the degree awarded in December. Please be sure to apply to graduate through the student portal for the semester in which your degree will be awarded.

Eligible students, as defined in the previous FAQ, who pass their dissertation defense before the fall 2020 semester begins will not be required to register for fall.*  This applies only to students who have completed all required coursework credit and dissertation hours.

Eligible international students who registered for 1 dissertation hour in summer 2020, as explained in the previous FAQ, should discuss these graduation and registration requirements with their ISSS advisor.

*While the Graduate School is adjusting the registration requirement in these cases, it is important to be aware that those who are not registered in any given semester are not considered currently enrolled students. This may have implications for financial aid eligibility, loan deferral or other areas where student status is necessary.

What are the registration requirements for students who planned to take the doctoral comprehensive examination in spring 2020 and now plan to do so in summer 2020?

Graduate School registration policy requires that students be registered during the semester they pass their comprehensive examination. This registration requirement will be adjusted such that students who were planning to take the comprehensive examination in spring 2020 and now need to complete this milestone in summer 2020 will not be required to register in summer to meet the registration requirement.

*While the Graduate School is adjusting the registration requirement in these cases, it is important to be aware that those who are not registered in any given semester are not considered currently enrolled students. This may have implications for financial aid eligibility, loan deferral or other areas where student status is necessary.

Can my time limit be extended if I need additional time to complete my degree?

For some students, this semester’s disruption may necessitate extending their 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.

What if I need to take a leave from my graduate program?

We recognize 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.

Will campus extend the Pass/Fail provisions into the fall 2020 semester?

No.  This arrangement was to apply only to the adjustment period of the spring 2020 semester, as the COVID-19 virus has caused tremendous upheaval in students’ academic and personal lives. For spring 2020 semester only, classes in which you earned a pass grade will count toward master’s and doctoral degree requirements, except for degrees in law. Colorado Law students will be graded with a credit/no-credit system.

Will a course taken Pass/Fail at another accredited institution, or at CU as a non-degree student, be eligible for transfer to a graduate program at CU?

CU Boulder and many other colleges and universities around the country have instituted either widespread Pass/Fail options or mandatory Pass/Fail grading for the spring 2020 semester or quarter.

  • Assuming a course is eligible for transfer credit, CU Boulder will accept a P or S grade (or equivalent) earned in the spring 2020 semester or quarter in transfer credit, regardless of the underlying grade represented by the P or S.
  • Those colleges and schools that use specific letter-grade thresholds for specific courses for transfer admission should accept a P or S grade earned in spring 2020 for any of those courses in lieu of a letter grade.
  • All other minimum standards and restrictions related to transfer of credit for graduate students will continue to apply.

Graduate Appointments

If the labs close again, will the closure affect my RA or pre-doc trainee appointment?

Graduate students employed as research assistants are expected to continue their work on research and proceed toward academic goals to the extent possible while working remotely. They should work directly with their faculty advisor or P.I on ways in which they can continue to contribute to research off-site. Faculty members are encouraged to explore alternate duties that students can perform that benefit the project such as writing literature reviews, maintaining and updating laboratory notebooks, organizing and/or analyzing data, acquiring new research or analytical skills, and professional development. The salary or stipend support and benefits currently offered to graduate research assistants and pre-doctoral trainees should not be interrupted as they work remotely and except in extraordinary cases the payments will continue from current funding sources.

Does the transition to a hybrid model for fall 2020 affect my TA or GPTI appointment?

The expectation is that all graduate students employed in instructional capacities will transition their work to on-line or other modalities that allow the work to continue regardless of location. There will be no interruption to the stipend or tuition coverage for students on appointment for the fall semester.

Will GPTIs and/or TAs be able to choose to conduct their class/recitation online?

It depends. Departments need to determine which classes should be remote/online, and which should be in person using specific guidelines that stem from our commitment to multiple teaching methods and maintaining flexibility for students. The TA/GPTI decision tree should be utilized when making these decisions.

Will graduate students on appintments face any potential furloughs or other changes to their appointments?

There are no plans to furlough graduate students on appointment. The university will honor graduate student teaching percentage levels for the 2020–21 academic year, despite any needed adjustments to specific graduate teaching assignments or reassignment of TAs or graduate part-time instructors (GPTIs) to serve as tutors or in related roles. 2020–21 academic year research assistantship percentage levels will be honored, to the extent possible depending on grant funding. While we will try and have as few disruptions as possible across all appointments this commitment does not extend to ad hoc assignments that typically fluctuate depending on course enrollments, and budgetary issues that lie outside of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What support is avaiable to help prepare to deliver courses in different modalities?

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and the Office of Information Technology (OIT) are continuing their intensive work to expand technology supports for all teaching modalities. OIT is creating a website to overview what technologies are available now, and what will be available this fall, along with descriptions of the support available.

Professional Development and Writing Support

What online support services are being offered for summer 2020?

Check out our calendar for a full listing of our upcoming online events. This summer, we are offering the following virtual support services:

Check out our professional development page for the full suite of programs and services we offer.

Contact Sarah Tynen with any questions.

Where can I get more information on the Graduate School's online seminars?

For graduate students looking for structure and community, join us for online seminars. Our accountability seminars help students set goals and maintain good writing habits, while fostering relationships with peers across disciplines. 

Grad+ and Endurance PhD seminars are now online using Canvas. 

  • Click on the appropriate link below according to your chosen seminar to activate/enroll in your Canvas page. Zoom meeting links have been posted in the Canvas announcements for each seminar. The following seminars are open to ALL graduate students:

Contact Sarah Tynen or Leslie Blood with any questions.

 

How do I connect with a writing consultant?

All graduate Writing Center sessions will be conducted online. Appointment times and weekly hours will remain the same. Contact Eric Klinger, with specific questions.

Graduate Student Career Services

Where can I get advice and direction on my job search?

Individual advising sessions are available via Zoom, phone or email. Please schedule through Handshake, and wait for your career services advisor to then reach out to arrange details for connecting remotely.

Travel

What's the university's policy on travel?
When can I apply for a travel grant?

Applications for the Graduate School travel grants have been postponed until further notice. 

I already won a grant, but my travel got canceled. What do I do?

For Travel Grants previously awarded from The Graduate School, we will allow submissions for reimbursement of non-refundable prepaid travel expenses in lieu of the already awarded fellowship. This only applies to students who have already applied and received notification of their award. Proof of non-refundable status will be required with submissions. Students who reschedule their trips can apply for a new fellowship in the next academic year. 

International Student and Scholar Services

I am an international student, where can I find the most current information?

For information regarding international students related to online classes, registration, or travel, visit International Student and Scholar Services or contact an ISSS advisor with specific questions. Information on COVID-19 related updates may be found in ISSS News.

Housing, Food, Financial Information

I live in graduate student housing. Where can I find information?

Information for those living in graduate student housing may be found on the Housing Site

I have questions regarding food assistance.

Here is information that was created for food assistance - whether you wish to donate to or recieve food assistance.

I live in graduate student housing and my roommate is not complying with social distancing regulations. What should I do?

Email Graduate & Family Housing at graduatefamilyhousing@colorado.edu or to call them at 303-492-6384. Explain your situation. If need be, the office will give the resident not complying with social distancing orders a warning letter. If you are dealing with an unruly neighbor or roommate who is not complying with social distancing, you can also call the CU Police Department at their non-emergency line: 303-492-6666. Ask to talk with the current patrol supervisor. Explain the situation. That supervisor can then help evaluate the situation and advise on how to best support them.

For additional questions regarding on and off-campus living, please refer to this set of FAQs, https://www.colorado.edu/coronavirus/on-campus-living, posted CU Boulder' coronavirus updates and resources page, www.colorado.edu/coronavirus.

Where can I get current information about tuition and fees?

The Bursar's Office has a COVID-19 Information page that answers questions about tuition, fees, room & board credits, payments and refunds. For any financial questions that are not addressed on this information page, students are encourged to contact the Bursar's Office at bursar@colorado.edu or 303-492-5381.

Emergency Funding

Where can I find information on emergency funding options?

The Student Emergency Fund - Created to provide support for CU Boulder students who are experiencing a crisis that could adversely affect their academic year. Designated for COVID-19-related items.

The Graduate Student Emergency Aid Fund - Intended to help meet the financial needs of Boulder graduate students who encounter an emergency situation resulting in unforeseen expenses during their degree program. Please submit any questions or applications to graduate.contest@colorado.edu

The Medical Expense Assistance Fund - The Student Health Board’s Medical Expense Assistance Fund (MEAF) is designed to financially assist students who are unable to pay incurred medical bills or prescription costs. 

The ISSS Emergency Financial Grant - For International students, grants vary according to available funds and demonstrated need.

If you are an international student who has had to move your defense from spring 2020 term to summer 2020 due to COVID-19 you may be eligible to apply for up to $2,000 in tuition support during the summer term.  If awarded, the funds will be applied directly to the student bill. Applications are open through May 27, 2020.

The CU Boulder Student Relief Fund Emergency Grant - Designed to assist enrolled students with a financial emergency in the current term that is impacting their ability to stay on track towards graduation.

 

Research

What steps are being taken to ensure grad students have access to labs while maintaining social distancing guidelines?

Requests to return to on-campus research, creative work and fieldwork will be initiated by the principal investigator completing the Request to Return form available on RIO’s web site. Criteria to be considered include: the critical nature of the research; implications of further delay; the full range of risks associated with returning to the activities; and target occupancy densities at a range of levels (room, floor, building, campus, etc.). This form will be forwarded to chairs/institute directors, who will evaluate the request based on the above criteria.

How will I work on my research project if I cannot access the lab or do fieldwork?

Contact the faculty member who is supervising your research and work with them to focus on different aspects that can be completed remotely (e.g., data analysis and conducting tests in virtual environments) if progress on your research project is affected by the campus moving to a “limited” or “remote” operating mode, your own illness, or because you are in quarantine or in self-isolation