We understand that current and prospective graduate students at the University of Oregon have many questions about how to cope in light of the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) interruptions to the academic year. Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers to help you navigate the current landscape. Take a look below, and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the Graduate School FAQ, the university’s COVID-19 website is another great resource that offers information pertinent to graduate students. Please be sure to check both regularly as we continue to post graduate-related information on both sites.
Theses, Dissertations and Petitions
Q: My graduation timeline was delayed due to the COVID-19 situation. Do I still have to register and pay tuition for the next term?
A: Students whose graduation timelines have been affected by COVID-19 (for example, dissertation defense date postponed, data collection delayed, etc.) and who will need to graduate in a later term than originally planned may petition for a waiver of the final term registration requirement, even if they do not meet the typical requirements for receiving a waiver. Students in this situation should submit a General Petition Form to request a waiver.
Q: I need to make one or more petitions to the Graduate School. Does the $15 fee still apply during the COVID-19 crisis?
A: Effective March 27, 2020, until further notice, the Graduate School will waive the $15 petition fee for all petition types.
Q: What do I do about approval signatures on petitions and other forms?
A: The Graduate School will accept electronic signatures or approval emails (sent from a UO email address) in place of written signatures.
Q: Do I still need to have my entire committee physically present in the same room for my defense?
A: No. Until further notice there is no physical attendance requirement for dissertation defenses. The student and all committee members may attend the defense remotely.
Q: What about the public nature of a defense?
A: Until further notice, we are lifting the expectation that dissertation defenses be public and held on campus.
Q: Are there any changes to the doctoral degree completion deadlines?
A: In general, no. All published deadlines still apply. That being said, our goal is to be as supportive as possible. If you are having any issues meeting deadlines, please contact the Graduate School at email@example.com.
Q: What type of programming is the Graduate School offering in Spring 2020?
A: We’re offering a wide variety of online webinars and opportunities for student engagement, community building, and peer mentoring this spring. See complete list here.
Q: Are there resources for professional development that are available online?
A: The University of Oregon is an institutional member of the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity. Graduate students can become individual members and access their online resources.
Q: What happens to the writing circles? How can I maintain contact with the members of my writing circle and maintain the schedule?
A: All students have access to Microsoft Teams which offers a hub for teamwork in Office 365. You could use the app to continue writing circles, meet and chat with other students, and share files. Visit the UO IT Service Portal for instructions on how to download and use Teams.
Q: Will the Graduate School offer any opportunities for students to present student work virtually during the health crisis?
A: Yes. We are launching a Three Minute Thesis competition that will be entirely online. Submissions are due May 4, 2020. Learn more here.
Students Applying for Admission to UO Graduate Programs
Q: I am unable to take the TOEFL/IELTS/GRE/GMAT or other required admission tests due to testing location closures. Are there alternatives?
A: Please work with your prospective program to determine whether there are options to be considered for admission without a test score on file. ETS, the agency that provides the TOEFL and GRE tests, has expanded the availability of home testing to the majority of the locations where the traditional tests are normally available. We encourage applicants to explore whether this option will work for them.
Q: I am unable to submit an official transcript to fulfill the Graduate School’s official transcript requirement due to university closures. What are my options?
A: Applicants who have already been recommended for admission by their program should contact Lesley Yates-Pollard (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss a credential exception. If approved, applicants will be required to submit official transcripts at a later date.
Q: I have been asked to make a decision to accept or decline my offer of admission by a specific date. Is it possible to extend my decision deadline?
A: Admissions decision deadlines are set at the program level. Please contact your prospective program directly. Note, however, that funding offers related to GE positions must be accepted by April 15.
Q: I would like to defer my admission. What are my options?
A: Deferral policies vary by program. Applicants must work with their prospective program to determine whether deferring admission is a possibility. If the program offers deferrals, applicants must still submit a new UO application for the deferred term of admission. Programs that grant deferrals typically waive the departmental portion of the application. The Graduate School will waive application fees for any applicants who were offered admission for Summer or Fall 2020, but who have been approved by their prospective program to defer admission to Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall 2021.
Q: Are admitted international students being issued I-20s?
A: Our International Student and Scholar Services Office continues to issue I-20s. Questions related to visas can be directed to email@example.com.
Q: I am a current undergraduate student who is interested in applying to a UO graduate program in the future. My Spring 2020 undergraduate coursework will be graded as Pass/Fail due to COVID-19. Will this affect my eligibility for graduate admission?
A: Each graduate program sets its own requirements for undergraduate grades, prerequisites, etc., so you should inquire with your prospective graduate program about their requirements and whether or not this would affect your eligibility for admission to their program.