Current Students Updates
We recognize that, as graduate students your lives have been significantly impacted. In addition to taking classes, many of you also participate in research, teaching, and scholarship as part of your responsibilities and also may have other demands outside of the academic area. We are taking measures to support you in as much as possible. We know the uncertainty of this situation is challenging for everyone in different ways.
The Graduate School Professional Development team has plans to continue to offer programming virtually whenever possible. We have shifted a significant amount of our programming online and will continue to add content in the coming days. So, please check the Workshops & Series webpage for updates.
Given the impact of COVID-19, all courses have moved to the virtual environment. We hope that this going smoothly for you, but the institution also recognizes that there are potential challenges associated with that. As such the university has put forward a revised S/U policy in an attempt to minimize any course disruptions and complications that may arise.
Given that decisions related to converting to an S/U grade can be made even after grades are assigned, we encourage graduate students to delay making any changes and to confer with your instructors prior to the decision. As outlined in the policy, once a decision to change grading option has been made, it cannot be reversed.
Student Mental Health and Well-being
The Counseling Center is hosting a series of themed, virtual drop-ins for students, including International Tea Time, nature experiences, meditation and more.
Links to virtual drop-in sessions
For international students, the Counseling Center is offering an informal way to join a brief virtual chat with a counselor to get coping tips. This is an open, drop-in space for international students to get support around wellness issues. This is a support space, not counseling, offered by the Counseling Center in collaboration with the Office of International Services.
Visit drop-in sessions
The Graduate Student Mental Health Alliance, a student-led group, has developed some videos to help students cope with social isolation and other stressors caused by the Coronavirus. Links are below.
- International Perspective on Mental Health in Academia
- You Are Not Alone with Ginna Solórzano
- Staying Zane with Cody Zane
Dissertation and Thesis Research and Related Independent Study Courses
Many of you are working closely with faculty on a variety of research-based experiences such as Independent Study, Thesis, and Dissertation Research. You are encouraged to contact your advisor or your department for additional advice regarding how to best continue to make progress in these educational experiences.
Administration of Qualifying Exams, Thesis Defenses, Doctoral Preliminary and Final Examinations
Effective immediately, the Graduate School will temporarily waive existing policy and will temporarily permit preliminary and final examinations to take place fully online as long as the method used utilizes both sound and visual (ex. Zoom, Google Hangout, or other appropriate applications)
Impact on Funding and GSSP Benefits for Graduate Assistants, Fellows, or Hourly Employees
Graduate students are an integral part of the Wolfpack community and we greatly appreciate your valuable contributions to the teaching, research, and outreach missions of the university. The university is committed to continuing the graduate student employment during the current challenging situation, although elements of this are controlled by the UNC System Office and are beyond campus control. Graduate students with appointments will continue to be paid for the remainder of the contract period. The tuition and health insurance benefits covered through the Graduate Student Support Plan (GSSP) will remain in effect for the semester, even if the student ceases to maintain GSSP eligibility criteria (for example, drops below full-time status). This is applicable for students covered on all fund sources including contracts and grants. For graduate students with graduate assistantships in the Spring semester will have health insurance coverage through July 31, 2020.
Temporary Administrative Leave
The UNC system has temporarily granted paid administrative leave to employees, post docs, graduate students, and student workers for the period of March 16 to 31 for the following reasons:
- Childcare or eldercare needs due to COVID-19-related facility closings
- Sickness due to symptoms of a cold, flu or COVID-19
- Caring for a dependent with symptoms of a cold, flu or COVID-19
- Cannot work remotely because your position duties cannot be performed remotely and reasonable alternate work is not feasible or productive
- The employee is high risk for COVID-19 infection
Please contact your DGP/GSC to request administrative leave for the above purposes.
The mode of operation may change based on the type of employment for graduate students and additional details are provided below for each appointment type.
The university is transitioning to online and alternative course delivery for traditional classroom-based courses. If you are assigned to assist a faculty member as a TA or grader, you will be expected to continue to assist with the course or courses to which you have been assigned. You should contact the faculty member responsible for your course or your department for specific instructions for your assignment. If you are assigned as the instructor of record for a course, you will be contacted by your department or college with respect to how best to ensure appropriate continuity for your course or courses.
We recognize that due to the fluid and changing nature of the crisis, specific duties and responsibilities may change as the university has required that virtually all research labs move to a virtual mode. Research assistants are encouraged to reach out to their supervisor for additional instructions pertaining to their assignment.
Other Graduate Assistants
Many graduate students are assigned graduate assistantship responsibilities to support departmental, college, or central campus units in an administrative or service capacity. We recognize that due to the fluid and changing nature of the crisis, specific duties and responsibilities may change. Graduate assistants are encouraged to reach out to their supervisor for additional instructions pertaining to their assignment.
Fellows will continue to receive monthly stipends in accordance with the terms of their fellowship.
Hourly employees are encouraged to check with their employing unit about any new arrangements moving forward.
Helpful Links for Graduate Students & Postdocs
Keep Learning – How to get prepared for the remainder of this spring semester and beyond
Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) deadlines – Spring 2020 ETD deadlines have been pushed back
Spring 2020 commencement exercises postponed – Message from the Chancellor (3/24/20)
New grading options available this spring – Message from the Provost (3/20/20)
Message to NC State postdocs from the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and the NC State Postdoctoral Association