COVID-19 Information for Our Students
Message from the GRS Office
The health, safety, and security of our graduate students are paramount. The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences is working to ensure that you have the support and information you need at this challenging time. Below please find important information regarding the impact of COVID-19 for our graduate students, including a guide to university policy and a list of resources.
As public health guidance continues to evolve rapidly, our office will continue to provide the latest information and support services here as quickly as possible. For the most comprehensive coverage please visit the BU COVID-19 site. As always, please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. Please reach out to email@example.com or by phone at 617-353-2696 for assistance, or contact individual staff by email or their direct phone extensions.
Our recovery planning is focused on the fall semester, and the resumption of our on-campus, in-person programs in late August. We are planning accordingly and will incorporate the best public health practices into those plans so that members of the BU community will feel comfortable and safe on campus upon their return for the fall semester. If for some reason public health authorities do not allow universities to re-open their residential campuses at that time, our planning will explore other alternatives, including the possibility of restarting later in the year.
If you are a Teaching Assistant, you are expected to fulfill the duties of the position remotely through the end of the Spring 2020 semester. Please find helpful resources below to navigate this transition.
The Center for Teaching & Learning has provided guidance in their First Thoughts on Remote Teaching
If you are a Research Assistant, please note that guidance on the University’s COVID-19 website (Questions and Answers, Impact on Staff and Faculty) states that all employees may work from home if their supervisor agrees that their work can be done remotely; this guidance also applies to graduate work-study students. Please reach out to your supervisor for further guidance.
University Funded Travel
Due to the world wide spread of coronavirus, BU has suspended all domestic and international travel by faculty, staff, and students this is supported by funds administered by the University. For further information about travel restrictions and updates, please visit BU’s Office of Global Programs.
If you had scheduled a research trip or conference presentation funded by your department that is now canceled, please reach out to your department for reimbursement of any incurred expenses and/or change fees in the case of a need to reschedule travel.
If you are a current GRS student and you are experiencing financial hardships due to COVID-19, you can submit an Emergency Funding Request.
Qualifying graduate students may be eligible for federal aid due to the pandemic as a part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). In addition to submitting an emergency funding request, you must complete a FAFSA form in order for the University to determine your eligibility for this aid. Students who have not completed either a 19/20 or 20/21 FAFSA should complete the 20/21 FAFSA. The deadline to request funding is May 8th.
GRS students who are not eligible for federal funds may still request funding by completing the emergency request form. The GRS Financial Aid Office will review your case and determine whether funding is available to help.
For more information regarding the CARES Act and the University’s use of the funding, please refer to the article in BU Today.
Health & Wellness Resources
While we strive to continue to provide you virtual resources for your coursework and research, we also want to support your overall well-being during this extremely challenging time. Here are some resources to take care of you.
Virtual Resources for Well-being
Sexual Assault Response & Prevention’s (SARP) Crisis Counseling
BU School of Public Health’s Calendar of Community Yoga & Meditation
Wellness & Prevention Services Support for Students in Recovery from Substance Use
Coffee & Conversation with the Howard Thurman Center
Group meetings & appointments with Chaplains through Marsh Chapel
Meditation, Shabbat services, and appointments with Rabbis at BU Hillel
Student Health Services’ Telehealth Medical Services and resources specific to COVID-19
FitRec’s Guide to Keep Moving Wherever You Are
Sargent Choice Nutrition Center’s Nutrition Counseling & Workshops
Resources for preserving mental health in times of social distancing from the American Psychological Association
Boston University is committed to continuing to provide you resources to ensure your academic success during this evolving climate.
Spring 2020 Grading
Provost Morrison announced on March 27th that all BU students will be able to choose a Credit/No Credit option in lieu of letter grades. Associate Dean Barman announced the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences specific policy on March 30th.
The CR-NC tool will be open beginning on May 13, 2020. The CR-NC grading tool will be available for graduating students until May 19, 2020 and will be available for continuing students until June 30, 2020. Please visit the Registrar’s website for more information about using this tool.
The Registrar’s office has also created a form to designate courses as Credit-No Credit in Spring 2020. Please find this form here.
Degree Completion Delays
If issues resulting from COVID-19 (such as illness, travel restrictions, and/or BU policy) affects your capacity to make substantive degree progress this semester and you are concerned about the implications on the maximum length of time to degree, please reach out to your program’s DGS and to GRS (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Students who face issues using online platforms to complete their work should contact the Office of Disability & Access Services.
Virtual Resources for Academic Well-being
Educational Resource Center’s Peer-tutoring, writing assistance, & more
Center for Career Development Appointments, Workshops & Resources
Services and Support for International Students, International Students & Scholars Office
President Brown recently notified the campus community that, given public safety concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic, Boston University’s commencement events will be postponed until late August or early Fall. More information will be provided in the coming months.
Following University policy, all thesis defenses must be held remotely through the end of the Spring 2020 term. Please collaborate with your defense committee to find an appropriate solution.
All final approval pages for theses should be submitted electronically as a PDF to email@example.com. Digital signatures are acceptable using tools such as Adobe Reader.
The Graduate School, Admissions, Financial Aid, Student Records, Student Services
Malika Jeffries-EL, Associate Dean of the Graduate School
Visit us on campus:
705 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 112 | (617) 353-2696