Coronavirus Updates for Graduate Students

This page contains information specific for graduate students and their advisors. Visit the official Oregon State University COVID-19 website.

Find the OSU vaccination requirement information here. Effective Sept. 15, 2021, Oregon State University required students who work, learn or engage with others in-person as part of their academic experience to be fully vaccinated from COVID-19.


On this page:


Policy updates

For a graduate committee meeting or examination, the requirement to obtain advance agreement from all committee members to meet remotely is waived. We have temporarily amended the residence policy for doctoral degrees, which states that a student must spend at least three terms “on campus” so that now any location is acceptable during spring term 2020.

We have amended the policy on written comprehensive examinations to state that programs must permit examinations to be taken remotely.

Submit graduate student COVID-19 issues and concerns, including academic progress, to [email protected].


All graduate students (except in some cases Ecampus)

Emergency financial assistance

If you need financial help please contact the Office of Financial Aid (look for the chat box where you can make specific inquiries) or in the Office of the Dean of Students at the Human Services Resource Center.

Academic progress

Stay in close touch with your advisor and/or program coordinator about continuing to make progress toward your degree. Students are welcome to contact the Graduate School at [email protected] to discuss COVID-19 related academic progress issues.

Students who have faced obstacles to timely completion of their studies and degree as a result of the university’s COVID-19 measures should contact their program head about eligibility for tuition support.

Working and living on campus

The university is planning to provide the following:

  • Keeping open residence halls, student family housing and dining centers.
  • Keeping open the Memorial Union for use of internet and study space.
  • All university operations and offices are expected to be open during traditional business hours with reduced density only where necessary.
  • Learn about OSU's face covering guidence and supplies.
  • Learn how to report a positive COVID case.


Please review information from the Research Office IRB. Find updates from the Task Force for Research Continuity and Resilience, and information on policies for resuming on-site and field-based research activities.

Leave of Absence or deferrals

For current graduate students wanting to take a leave of absence, visit the Graduate School’s Leave of Absence/Family Medical Leave guide to determine which option is the best for you. Completed (with signatures) Leave of Absence Forms must be received by the Graduate School at least two weeks prior to the first day of the term involved.

Fully admitted graduate students wanting to defer their admission to a later term should contact their program to discuss their options.

Printing and scanning

Are you looking for printing and scanning services? BeaverPrint stations are available at the following Corvallis campus locations.

Working from home resources

Internet: Learn options for low-cost or free internet access at home.

Laptops: For a loaner laptop, please email Student Multimedia Services directly with your name, OSU ID number, and mailing address. There is a limited supply at this time. SMS email address: [email protected]

Other resources: Visit the COVID teaching and student webpages for more.


For students with scheduled final oral or preliminary exams, please consider using video connections like Zoom. Review the existing policies for remote participation of committee members for master's or doctoral students.

Submitting documents

The graduate student service desk in Heckart Lodge is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. You can also scan the document or email a photo to [email protected].

Support services

Students who need help meeting their basic needs should contact the Human Services Resource Center.

Academic support services at the Graduate Student Commons are providing their services virtually to students.


International students

Visit the Office of International Services FAQ for up-to-date information regarding immigration and course registration guidelines for incoming and current international students. Please direct questions to the Office of International Services.


Graduate Assistants (GTA, GRA)

If you have questions about the policies concerning sick leave with pay, please refer to page 28 of the CGE contract.

Graduate Employees on an active appointment may irrevocably donate up to 50 hours of accrued sick leave to other Graduate Employees on an active appointment. More details related to this program can be found in the CGE contract. For specific questions related to donating or applying for donated sick leave with pay, please submit questions to [email protected].

For information regarding COVID-19 sick leave for Graduate Assistants please visit the Office of Human Resources COVID-19 leave webpage.


Priorities (in order of importance) 1. Help in stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus 2. Enhance the health, safety, and wellness of OSU students, staff, and faculty 3. Assist graduate students to continue to make progress toward their degrees 4. Enable research groups (laboratories, etc.) to continue to function 5. Meet the terms of research awards


First and foremost, follow practices intended to protect their own health and stop the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and adhere to applicable health authority requirements and guidelines.

Graduate students conducting research should talk with their advisor about remote access to data, software, and any other resources needed to make progress toward timely degree completion without requiring physical presence in research facilities.

Communication is key. Graduate students and their advisors should establish a clear communication plan including frequency, time, and modes of communication (e.g., Zoom, phone, email).

Graduate assistants and their supervisors should work to determine how work can be accomplished (e.g. data analysis and scholarly writing). Written agreements of decisions regarding alternate working conditions are essential. If a lab must stay open (e.g. to preserve animals or live cells), the supervisor should create and monitor adherence to a physical distancing plan (e.g., scheduling access to the lab).

Graduate students, who may be considering a request for a leave of absence, should discuss this option with their major professor. Any student who took a leave of absence spring term 2020 will be exempted from the time-to-degree clock during that quarter.

Students with graduate fellowships, assistantships or traineeships, who encounter challenges in making timely degree progress, should confer with their advisor or the Graduate School.

Please also review information from the Research Office IRB. Find updates from the Task Force for Research Continuity and Resilience and policies on resuming on-site and field-based research activities.


Find answers to your pedagogical, technological, and media use teaching questions teaching remotely. GTAs hired for winter 2022 should expect a continuation of primarily in-person instruction.

Review the Safety and Success Planning guide for Academic Programming, Research and Student Services.


Frequently Asked Questions

Tuition and admissions

I am considering deferring my admission. What is the latest I can make this decision? How many terms may I defer?

Fully admitted students wanting to defer their admission to a later term should contact their program to discuss their options.

Is the GRE still required for admission?

GRE requirements for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 Academic Year vary program to program. Please visit our graduate programs page to learn about testing requirements for your program of interest.


I am a new student starting in winter 2022. Will my classes be online or in-person?

Oregon State University is planning to resume traditional on-site and in-person activities at OSU locations for academic year 2021-22. Please visit the Safety and Success webpage for updates.

Will there still be an option to take remote classes?

OSU is currently anticipating that a majority of classes will be in the regular on-campus format. There may be some courses available through Ecampus, but students should prepare for classroom instruction. All classes receive the same credit but enrolling as an Ecampus student can cause you to lose your eligibility for certain fellowships or scholarships. Contact your fellowship or scholarship provider to check enrollment policies.

How do I know the format of my scheduled classes?

The Schedule of Classes lists the mode of instruction under the Attribute Description section of the course description.

Can I take Ecampus courses if I am a Corvallis student?

Yes. Ecampus schedule of courses is limited both in variety and in class-size capacity. Depending on your major, it may be challenging to find a full-time course load with Ecampus.

I am nervous about taking a full course load back on campus. Can I just take one or two classes?

Graduate students are required to enroll in a minimum of three graduate credits each term. Students with graduate assistantships, fellowships, scholarships, international students, or students with VA benefits typically need more credits. Consult with your employing unit, fellowship/scholarship provider, the Office of International Services (OIS), or the Veteran’s Coordinator for more information.

Can I take graduate courses at another university closer to me and transfer them to OSU?

Transferring in graduate coursework may be possible. Please carefully review the Graduate Catalog for transfer credit requirements and limitations. Also, contact your program to check their transfer policies.

Research and funding

How will I conduct my research? Will I be able to?

It is anticipated that the research resumption approval process will no longer be utilized by fall 2021, but the process may be utilized again if public health concerns require such intervention and oversight, as determined by the OSU Coronavirus Response Coordinator. Research activities can take place on campus or at on-site locations while remaining in compliance with the physical distancing, face covering or PPE use requirements, cleaning protocols, travel restrictions or other applicable health authority requirements or OSU policies that may be in effect. This includes considerations related to research with human subjects or animals.

Field work or other off-site activities will adhere to any applicable health authority requirements and guidelines that still exist, such as physical distancing, face covering or PPE use requirements, cleaning protocols, travel restrictions or other applicable health authority requirements or OSU policies.

Graduate students should speak with their advisors about the method their research will be conducted under. Please also review information from the Research Office IRB.

Relocating to Corvallis or Bend

I’m an international student. If I decide to travel to the U.S., will I need to be quarantined upon arrival? What if I cannot get my student visa in time?

Please visit the Office of International Services FAQ or contact Office of International Services with questions related to immigration.

I’m planning to bring my family with me to Corvallis. What can I expect regarding child care and K-12?

The Family Resource Center offers many child and family related services. See their COVID-19 resources webpage for important information regarding families.

I am planning to relocate to Corvallis or Bend. What should I know before relocating?

You can find information about relocating to Corvallis on the Visit Corvallis webpage. You can find information about relocating to Bend on the Visit Bend webpage.