COVID-19 Updates in the School of Graduate Studies2020-07-03T21:46:39+00:00
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Am I allowed to still attend graduate classes in-person?2020-07-03T22:22:23+00:00

Utah State University has implemented classroom safety guidelines on minimum six-foot social distancing, required use of face-coverings, cleaning, and attendance tracking while limiting the number of students in classrooms and other prevention precautions (https://www.usu.edu/covid-19/operations/teaching). Class schedules were distributed on July 1 to each enrolled student, which included delivery methods (https://www.usu.edu/ais/scheduling/deliverymethods). You can learn more about the preparations for Fall Semester at ready.usu.edu

How are these changes going to affect my research?2020-03-16T23:01:11+00:00

Questions about research at USU are being handled by the Office of Research COVID-19 site in a FAQ format.

Is the School of Graduate Studies still open?2020-03-16T22:18:55+00:00

The School of Graduate Studies is still open and carrying out all essential functions.

How do I communicate with SGS staff members?2020-03-18T22:41:14+00:00

Some SGS staff will be working from home in the coming weeks. The best way to contact those staff will be by email; contact information here.

Can I take a leave of absence from my graduate program to deal with the current circumstances?2020-04-01T22:45:08+00:00

Graduate students may request a leave of absence from their graduate program. If a leave of absence is approved, an enrolled student does not have to register for a semester and will not be charged a $100 per semester continuous registration fee. COVID-19 related circumstances qualify under the ‘Illness, required military service, or other extenuating circumstances’ category. A leave of absence request must be approved by your department, by a financial aid counselor (if you are receiving financial aid), by the Office of Global Engagement (international students only), and by the Graduate School.

Are graduate students who are USU employees (TAs and RAs) still expected to work? 2020-03-20T23:39:24+00:00

Graduate students who are USU employees are expected to work as long as the campus remains open. Adjustments may be made by your specific departments/labs/employers.

What guidelines apply to employees and grad students alike?2020-03-18T22:41:44+00:00

The same guidance that applies to other employees applies to graduate student employees (e.g., TAs, RAs), as follows:

  • Unless they are sick, graduate students who have essential roles are expected to report in person and engage in social distancing and heightened hygiene protocols.
Are thesis and dissertation defenses still taking place?2020-07-03T22:25:11+00:00

Yes. Defenses may take place, and the School of Graduate Studies will continue to process Appointment for Examination forms. Until the university has implemented all Department Operating Plans, defenses should take place with the student and the supervisory committee members participating by web conferencing or in-person if face coverings are worn, minimum 6-foot social distancing is practiced, and other cleaning and prevention precautions are followed. Anyone with the web conferencing link may participate in the public presentation.

Have there been any adjustments to the defense tele-connection policy? 2020-03-27T22:07:29+00:00

Although SGS policy allows a limited number of participants (the student and/or committee members) to participate in a defense by teleconnection (1 for Master’s defense, 2 for Doctoral defense), in the current situation, if circumstances require, or at the discretion of the student or committee, any number of people may participate in the defense by teleconnection.

Will my thesis and dissertation still be reviewed on time?2020-03-18T21:32:53+00:00

The School of Graduate Studies will continue to review theses and dissertations as usual. The Library will also continue to process these documents as usual, however there may be some delay if Library staff are working remotely.

Will I still be able to graduate?2020-03-16T22:14:48+00:00

Awarding of graduate degrees will continue as usual.

Will commencement be happening? 2020-07-03T22:30:10+00:00

Utah State University will not hold commencement-related ceremonies this August and September, as previously anticipated. As the public health situation has continued to unfold, the university has determined it would be difficult to host the number of people who traditionally attend a commencement ceremony and maintain safety protocols for social distancing and avoiding mass gatherings. Such a gathering could have many impacts on our local community. Though specific details about that celebration and its timing remain unclear given the many questions surrounding the pandemic, the university will revisit plans for an in-person event as the risk of COVID-19 decreases more significantly. At that time, more information will be provided to the class of 2020. Please email commencement2020@usu.edu with any questions regarding commencement, or see the commencement page on USU School of Graduate Studies website. Students planning to graduate must still complete a Graduation Application in order to receive a diploma.

Are there going to be any graduate travel restrictions?2020-07-03T22:31:19+00:00

For all travel, USU recommends limiting out-of-state travel, avoiding travel to high-risk locations, and following CDC guidelines when a person does travel.  For business travel, nonessential travel to international locations is prohibited and supervisors must closely scrutinize nonessential travel to domestic locations. These restrictions will remain in place unless the state of Utah returns to the “red-high risk” phase, during which all travel would be suspended. See https://www.usu.edu/covid-19/operations/travel for detailed information.

I received a travel grant through SGS, what should I do with the money?2020-03-18T21:44:50+00:00

SGS travel funds are awarded for specific travel, and may not be used for other non-USU related travel. If the student has spent personal funds for nonrefundable travel expenses, SGS will honor an appropriate share of the expense (based on the 1:1 match that is required from the student’s department). Students should send documentation to Erika Beckstrand (erica.beckstrand@usu.edu) confirming that the expense is nonrefundable. If an airline provides a voucher in place of a refund, SGS expects the student to use that voucher towards comparable research-related travel, and reduce any future travel reimbursement request accordingly. Students must provide evidence of a voucher, including the amount of the voucher, if they request reimbursement for nonrefundable travel expenses for a trip they did not take.

Can a graduate program bring prospective graduate students to campus as a recruitment activity and/or a method of evaluation?2020-03-16T22:17:48+00:00

No. We recommend scheduling virtual sessions when feasible.

Will my application still be processed?2020-03-16T22:18:12+00:00

Application processing will continue as usual. There may be delays in processing applications for which hard copies of transcripts are submitted.

Can I still submit hard copy transcripts as part of my admission application?2020-04-09T20:45:00+00:00

During this time, the School of Graduate Studies can still accept mailed transcripts from your institution, however, submitting paper transcripts may result in processing delays depending on personnel availability. Digital transcripts can be sent to graduateschool@usu.edu. If you have additional questions about transcripts or your university is not currently issuing transcripts, please contact Aaron Walter. Due to current safety concerns, we ask that you do not attempt to submit any transcripts by hand at this time.

Will admission requirements be changed due to admissions tests (GRE, ETS, TOEFL, MAT, etc.) not being available?2020-07-03T22:34:12+00:00

GRE & TOEFL: The Educational Testing Service (ETS), which administers the GRE and TOEFL, has made those two tests available online in locations where there are testing centers (except Mainland China and Iran). [https://www.ets.org/s/cv/gre/at-home/] Unless you lack access to sufficient internet bandwidth, or a quiet place to take the test, you should be able to provide scores for those tests. The School of Graduate Studies will continue to use the highest score reported for any part of the test for admissions, if an applicant takes the test more than once.

GMAT: An online version of the GMAT is available.

MAT: No indication that an online version will be available. 

Given some of these tests may not be online soon, individual departments have authority to adjust their application deadlines and requirements to accommodate students. Please reach out to your specific department of interest with questions regarding adjustments to admission requirements.

What if I can’t acquire a hard copy of my transcripts due to COVID-19?2020-07-03T22:32:44+00:00

The School of Graduate Studies will accept nonofficial transcripts for departments to use in evaluating applicants, however an official transcript will be required before students are allowed to register for the fall semester. Contact the School of Graduate Studies if you have difficulties obtaining official transcript due to COVID-19.

Are all electronic forms still being processed?2020-03-16T22:18:30+00:00

Processing of electronic SGS forms will continue as usual, however completion of these forms does require input or approval from departmental personnel.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
In an effort to provide the most accurate up-to-date information, SGS will not be posting answers to specific questions from graduate students because of the high frequency at which answers can change. However, we are monitoring all questions that come in and will respond promptly. Visit any of the links below for information about other USU/Logan City responses to COVID-19.

OFFICIAL UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY COVID-19 SITE

USU RESEARCH COVID-19 SITE
Visit research.usu.edu/covid19 for answers to questions about Research Proposals, Student Research, Technology Transfer Services, Research Integrity & Compliance, Research Awards, Human Subjects Research, Animal Research, or general research questions.

USU HOUSING COVID-19 SITE
For updates about USU housing circumstances, visit usu.edu/housing/coronavirus.

CITY OF LOGAN COVID-19 SITE
Visit loganutah.org/alert_detail for updates on the Logan community.

CVTD BUS SERVICE UPDATES
For updates on the bus system in Logan, visit cvtdbus.org/alerts.

APPLYING FOR GRADUATE SCHOOL
Some have wondered about the April 15 Resolution for graduate school decisions, and whether the deadline should be extended due to the impacts of the COVID-19. Because the individual impacts will vary by institution, the Council of Graduate Studies recommends the April 15 deadline remain in place. For more information, visit the CGS website.

From ETS.org: ETS will soon introduce a secure solution that will allow students in some areas that have been affected by the coronavirus to take the GRE® General Test and TOEFL iBT® test from home until test centers can reopen for regular testing. ETS has been pilot testing and expects to introduce this solution in selected locations outside of Mainland China by the end of March. ETS and the relevant government agencies in Mainland China are working closely together to provide a solution for Chinese test takers as soon as possible. Details about the planned rollout will be added to the GRE and TOEFL webpages dedicated to this issue as they become available.

NATIONAL GRAD CRISIS-LINE
Significant campus and academic decisions are being made in response to the Coronavirus. If you are struggling with anything regarding global uncertainty, isolation, academic pressure, or other concerns, you can access the National Grad Crisis-Line at 877-GRAD-HLP (877-472-3457). The crisis line is staffed by trained counselors around the clock. You can use this resource as a supplement to the existing mental health services on campus.