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.


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.

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

Funding for currently enrolled students is available through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act. Learn more about CRRSAA and eligibility.

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 facing significant new 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 providing the following:

  • Maintaining a list of open buildings.
  • Keeping open residence halls, student family housing and dining centers.
  • Keeping open the Memorial Union for use of internet and study space. Graduate students may also secure a private room to hold remote exams.


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 use video connections like Zoom. Review the existing policies for remote participation of committee members.

Submitting documents

The graduate student service desk in Heckart Lodge is open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can also scan the document or email a photo to [email protected].


OSU has placed restrictions on travel.

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 (including the Graduate Writing Center, CAPS and others) 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 the Governor’s Executive Order.

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 guidelines for all instructors on teaching remotely.

Each and every employee at OSU, including our Graduate Teaching Assistants, are required to adhere to the Governor’s executive orders. Additionally, all employees and students are required to adhere to OSU’s Social Distancing Policy.

Review information on classroom management for both on-campus and remote offerings with special emphasis on face coverings.

We recognize that there may be situations where you are not able deliver your remote teaching responsibilities at home, such as not having an adequate internet connection. Resources are available to support your teaching delivery, and encourage you to continue to visit the “Teaching Faculty” website. If you cannot carry out your GTA duties from home, please confer with the faculty member in charge of the course for which you are a GTA, and if you are unable to perform your remote teaching from home, please ask your instructor of record to make a request to the dean for options. Classrooms in Corvallis have been set aside for remote teaching and will be cleaned after each class. While exceptions must be rare, we are committed to ensuring you have the resources you need to be successful.

Frequently Asked Questions


What buildings are open in Corvallis?

Find a list of open buildings on the OSU COVID website.

Tuition and admissions

Will there be a discount for tuition and/or fees if I am taking remote courses?

Tuition rates will remain the same. Student fees are being reviewed for possible adjustments.

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 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 Academic Year vary program to program. Please visit our graduate programs page to learn about testing requirements for your program of interest.


How do I decide the format I want to take my classes (Ecampus, hybrid, remote, etc.)? Are there different options for the same course?

OSU is offering four types of learning. Here is a summary of what the different instructional formats mean:

  • On-site/in-person—Instruction is delivered in-person at the scheduled time (synchronously). This is the traditional on-campus learning experience.
  • Remote—Students attend class sessions remotely at scheduled times (synchronously) via Zoom for some or all components of the class.
  • Blended—A course format having both on-campus and remote elements. Some components include synchronous learning.
  • Ecampus—Fully online (asynchronous) participation via Canvas, our learning management system. (not available at OSU Cascades). Asynchronous means there are not set class meeting times.

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. You also have the option to take remote and blended courses through the OSU Corvallis campus.

I am nervous about taking a full course load remotely. Can I just take one or two classes my first term?

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?

Oregon State faculty and students are conducting research through practices seeking to protect their own health and stop the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and adhere to the Governor’s executive orders. This may include remote research through online data collection or software or in-person research in laboratories or fieldwork where research resumption has been approved by the university. 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. Find updates from the Task Force for Research Continuity and Resilience and policies on resuming on-site and field-based research activities.

What if I choose to study and work remotely? Will this affect my GRA/GTA position? Will it impact my scholarship or fellowship? Will I be able to get all the classes I need?

Based on careful monitoring of the status of the COVID-19 locally, throughout Oregon and nationally, we have decided that OSU’s Corvallis campus will deliver most courses and OSU-Cascades will deliver 50% of courses remotely, making it possible for students to live and study from home if that is the best option for them. Contact your program to discuss degree/research expectations and your options for remote learning and graduate funding.

I’m an international student. Am I still able to enroll from my home country? Am I still able to work as a GRA/GTA from my home country? Am I able to receive scholarships or fellowships? If I decide to travel to the U.S., will I need to be quarantined upon arrival?

Please visit the Office of International Services FAQ.

What if I am awarded a fellowship or award that requires on-campus learning or research?

If you are receiving a fellowship or award that requires on-campus learning or research, check with the organization distributing the award to see if they have adjusted their requirements. You can also discuss on-campus options with your program.

Relocating to Corvallis or Bend

Is there a benefit to being in Corvallis or Bend over staying in my current city or state? When do I need to start thinking about moving?

To the greatest extent practicable, we are providing students with the ability to decide the location that works best for them to pursue their OSU studies. Select university facilities like the Memorial Union, and Dixon Fitness Center will remain open and accessible.

More than 90% of OSU Corvallis and 50% to 60% of OSU-Cascades course sections are offered remotely. Courses offered on-site will primarily be those that have a heavy experiential learning component, such as labs and field courses. Regardless of instructional modality, courses will be compelling and engaging, supporting students in achieving their academic goals. Contact your program to discuss degree expectations or advantages for on-campus activity for the upcoming term.

If you decide to move or return to Corvallis or Bend, we recommend doing so before the start of the term to reduce the stress of moving while taking courses. Oregon State will continue to monitor the public health situation for winter and spring terms. Continue to follow the main OSU COVID-19 webpage and OSU-Cascades for updates.

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.