COVID-19 Updates in the School of Graduate Studies2020-04-29T22:48:42+00:00



Am I allowed to still attend graduate classes in-person?2020-03-18T21:21:06+00:00

Faculty should accommodate graduate students who want to attend classes remotely. However, graduate students are also allowed to attend their classes in-person, provided that faculty and students engage in social distancing (i.e., spread out in a comparatively large classroom) and no more than 10 people attend in-person.

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?2020-03-18T23:00:29+00:00

Defenses may take place, and the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) will continue to process Appointment for Examination forms.

Can non-USU people participate or attend a defense in person?2020-03-18T21:26:40+00:00

Defenses have traditionally been open to the public, but defenses are now limited to the student and their advisory committee. If a defense is held in a space that is large enough to accommodate recommended social distancing, other departmental faculty and graduate students may attend. Non-USU people MAY NOT attend defenses in person.

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? 2020-03-30T18:22:37+00:00

Due to the cancelation of all university events through May 1, Utah State University has canceled its 133rd commencement ceremony in Logan and all graduation events at its statewide campuses this spring. If public health circumstances allow, the university plans to conduct an in-person graduation ceremony in Logan on Aug. 28-29. Statewide campuses will plan graduation events sometime in the first two weeks of September. For more details about these changes, visit or Utah State Today. Please email with any questions regarding commencement. Also see the commencement page on USU School of Graduate Studies website.

All applicants for graduation will continue to be notified of possible future celebrations and/or events.

Graduate students who were approved for early commencement (i.e., to participate in Spring 2020 commencement before completing their degree) will be eligible to participate in the August graduation ceremonies.

Students must still complete a Graduation Application in order to receive a diploma.

Will I be able to receive a “Pass” grade in place of a letter grade for Spring 2020 coursework?2020-04-02T21:09:00+00:00

For Spring 2020 semester, the Graduate School will accept other coursework graded ‘P’ at the recommendation of individual departments. If you have been sufficiently disadvantaged by the current CORVID-19 situation that your department is willing to accept a grade of ‘P’, please have your department send an email to Megan Murdock with the your name and the course for which you are wishing to receive a “Pass” grade.

Are there going to be any graduate travel restrictions?2020-04-23T19:38:11+00:00

All USU-related travel has been cancelled through June 1. Students are encouraged to carefully evaluate their own travel plans and make changes as they seem necessary.

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 ( 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.

My research involves travel. Nonessential university travel is on hold until June 1. What should I do?2020-04-23T19:38:51+00:00

USU’s COVID-19 Task Force has asked that nonessential travel be cancelled. View their travel recommendations and requirements here. Many in-person research interactions require some level of travel, from local visits to statewide travel. In line with USU travel restrictions, mission-critical travel to complete research within the State of Utah (which can be conducted with appropriate social distancing) and does not involve one of the high-risk populations identified above is permitted. Out of state travel will be supported as essential on a case-by-case basis; please contact Nicole Vouvalis at to discuss out of state research-related travel needs.

In all cases, the IRB will support a dean or VP’s determination that travel is essential if stoppage of the research activities would pose an increased risk to participants. The IRB can only make a recommendation on essential travel, it does not ultimately make that determination. 

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 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?2020-04-09T20:42:41+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). [] 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 scheduled to be available mid-April.

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?2020-04-09T20:45:48+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.

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.

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.


Visit 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.

For updates about USU housing circumstances, visit

Visit for updates on the Logan community.

For updates on the bus system in Logan, visit

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 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.

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.