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Graduate Student Information

Latest Updates

 

First Week of Classes COVID-19 Update (Aug. 26)

As we did over the summer, throughout the academic semester we will continue to communicate with you frequently by way of these campus messages. Read full update


Additional Information About Last Night's Quad Gathering (Aug. 20)

By now you are aware of the incredibly reckless behavior that took place on the Quad last night. We assure you: anyone we are able to identify as attending that gathering will be held responsible. Read full update


Last Night's Selfish and Reckless Behavior (Aug. 20)

Last night, a large group of first-year students selfishly jeopardized the very thing that so many of you claim to want from Syracuse University—that is, a chance at a residential college experience. I say this because the students who gathered on the Quad last night may have done damage enough to shut down campus, including residence halls and in-person learning, before the academic semester even begins. Read full update


Important Arrival Information for Off-Campus Students (Aug. 17)

Please read this update completely and carefully to ensure that, as a student living off campus, you have all the information you need related to your requirements prior to accessing campus. Read full update


August 6, 2020

Dear Graduate Students:

We are writing today to update you on pre-arrival COVID-19 testing protocols and expectations. As a reminder: All Syracuse University graduate students are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result before returning to campus (moving into on-campus housing or returning for in-person classes). This includes students who live off campus and graduate students who resided in Syracuse throughout this summer. The only exception to this requirement is for those who opted to enroll in online-only instruction and therefore will not be on campus or accessing campus facilities.

To comply with the pre-arrival testing requirement, students generally have two options:

  1. participate in the at-home COVID test program offered by Syracuse University or
  2. arrange to be tested in your local community and provide the University your test results

Regardless of the testing option you choose, the timing of when your test is administered is critically important:

  • For students living on campus: your test must be administered within a 10-day window prior to the day you are scheduled to move into your on-campus housing, and you must provide the test results to the University prior to moving into campus housing.
  • For students living off campus: your test must be administered within a 10-day window prior to your first day of classes (or your first on-campus engagement), and you must provide the test results to the University prior to your first day of classes (or your first on-campus engagement).

In what follows, we describe the requirements and procedures associated with both testing options.

Option #1:  University-Provided At-Home COVID-19 Testing

Syracuse University has engaged LetsGetChecked, a highly reputable provider of at-home testing products, to supply FDA-approved, at-home COVID test kits at a heavily discounted cost to students. While no up-front payment is required to place an order, students who elect to use the mail-in test kit will pay $49 out of pocket; this charge will be billed to Bursar accounts.

  • How It Works:
    • Visit the LetsGetChecked COVID testing portal.
    • Select “Syracuse University” from the portal’s drop-down menu and then complete and submit the test request form.
    • You must use your SU I.D. number (nine digits) and Syracuse University email when requesting a kit.
    • Upon completing the registration form, LetsGetChecked will send you an at-home test kit.
    • Important: When providing LetsGetChecked a mailing address, remember to use the address where you will be during the period when you will need to administer the test.
    • Important: Test kits can only be sent to addresses in the United States. International students can request their mail-in kit be mailed to the address where they will be quarantining, or otherwise staying, within the United States.
  • When to Order Your Kit:
    • In order to ensure that a test kit is available for every returning student who chooses to utilize this service—and also so that the timing of your test complies with the pre-arrival requirement—it is very important that you order your test based on the following schedule:
      • If you are a law student: order your test on Aug. 9.
      • If you are a graduate student moving into campus housing between Aug. 20 and 23: order your test on Aug. 10.
      • If you are a graduate student living off campus: order your test on Aug. 12.
    • Ordering your test kit on a date other than what is specified above may jeopardize your ability to receive results within an acceptable timeframe for campus return.
  • When You Receive the Test Kit:
    • The kit includes the test itself and a pre-paid UPS mailer that you will use to return the completed test to the lab.
    • The first thing you should do when you receive the test is determine the ideal date you should take the test.
    • Remember, you should take and return your test no sooner than 10 days, but no later than five days, prior to your planned arrival on campus.
    • For students living on campus, your test must be administered no sooner than 10 days, but no later than five days, prior to when you are scheduled to move into your on-campus housing.
    • For students living off campus, your test must be administered no sooner than 10 days, but no later than five days, prior to your first day of classes or your first on-campus engagement.
    • When administering the test, follow the instructions carefully and immediately return the nasal swab sample in the pre-paid UPS mailer.
    • You can visit the LetsGetChecked website to review FAQs and a video that will help you become familiar with the test procedure before you collect your sample. If you have questions, you can access support services from a LetsGetChecked medical team member by following the directions included in the test kit. 
    • Important: DO NOT delay sending the sample to the lab—send it the same day you take the test.
    • Important: It is recommended that you contact UPS to schedule a pickup before taking the test sample. You may schedule pickup with UPS online or by calling 1.800.742.5877. You can also take the completed test and mailer to a UPS shipping location in your area.
    • Important: Students who do not plan to study on campus or use campus facilities in the fall (enrolled for online instruction only) should not request or submit a test kit through this process. Non-residential students (enrolled for online instruction only) who do request a test kit will be billed for the full cost of the test (rather than the discounted rate of $49).
  • What Happens Next:
    • Your test is sent via UPS to the LetsGetChecked lab, and your results will be available 48-72 hours after the laboratory receives the sample.
    • Specifically, the laboratory will provide you with your results through an online portal, and they will also notify the University of your results.
    • Please remember that a negative test is required for students to return to campus.
    • Students who test positive will be contacted by a representative from the Barnes Center. They will be asked to self-isolate at home and will not be approved to return to campus until they complete their required isolation.

Option #2: Testing in Your Local Community

Students may choose not to utilize the University-provided at-home testing option and instead be tested in their local community. If you wish to explore a local testing alternative, we recommend that you contact your local physician or health department to inquire about reliable testing sites in your area. If you choose to be tested in your community, you must submit your results to the Barnes Center prior to returning to campus.

To submit your test results to the University, visit the Student Patient Portal, log in using your SU NetID and password, click “Upload Forms,” select “COVID-19 Documents,” and follow the upload instructions.

  • ImportantIf you are being tested in your local community, remember to inquire about average turnaround times to receive results.
  • ImportantIf you are being tested in your local community, be sure to inquire about the cost you may incur. The cost of testing can vary dramatically across the United States, and many insurance companies will not cover testing for asymptomatic individuals.

Pre-arrival testing is an important dimension of our strategy to ensure that our return to campus is safe for all members of our community. Please remember that all student campus access privileges are contingent upon proof of a negative test result prior to returning to campus. Students who fail to provide a negative result will have their SU I.D. cards “turned off” until results are provided.

Please continue to visit Syracuse.edu/fall2020 for the latest news, updates and guidance from the University.

Sincerely,
J. Michael Haynie
Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation

Peter A. Vanable
Dean of the Graduate School
Associate Provost for Graduate Studies


July 23, 2020

Dear Students and Families:

Thank you to those who participated in our virtual information sessions yesterday regarding the New York State travel advisory. For those who could not join, recordings of the sessions are available on the Fall 2020 website.

As shared in my message to you earlier this week and during the travel advisory information sessions, the University has been actively working with hotels in the area to provide reduced rates for Syracuse University students affected by the New York State travel advisory and need to comply with the 14-day quarantine requirement. The list of hotels is now available on the Student and Family Information page.

I also want to remind students that if they have any financial concerns related to their plans to meet the 14-day quarantine requirement, there may be financial assistance available through the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Program. More information is available on the emergency funding webpage, including the applications for financial appeals.

I appreciate your understanding and patience as we work to address questions and concerns related to the travel advisory and quarantine requirement. Please visit the syracuse.edu/Fall2020 website for the most updated information, as well as the frequently asked questions page, which is updated regularly.

Sincerely,

Amanda G. Nicholson, Ph.D.
Interim Deputy Senior Vice President
Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience


July 21, 2020

Dear Graduate Students:

As a follow-up to the messages Vice Chancellor Mike Haynie and Interim Deputy Senior Vice President Amanda Nicholson shared with our community in recent days, I am reaching out with additional details pertaining to New York state’s travel advisory for individuals traveling to New York from states with high infection rates of COVID-19 and from outside the U.S.

As outlined in the advisory, all travelers from impacted states and outside the U.S. are required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to New York. As of today, 10 additional states have been added to the travel advisory. That list now includes Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. Minnesota has been removed from the travel advisory as of today. This list will continue to evolve based on infection rates, and we will notify students from impacted states accordingly.

Please know that we continue to engage with New York officials—alongside many of our peer colleges and universities statewide—to advocate for safe alternatives to the existing 14-day self-quarantine requirement. If such an alternative is proposed by New York State, we will quickly communicate that alternative to all impacted graduate students. However, at this time we will continue our planning and preparation operating under the assumption that all students traveling from the aforementioned states, as well as all students traveling from outside the United States, must comply with the current 14-day self-quarantine requirement.

Outlined below are further details to assist you as you consider your options for the fall semester. If you have financial concerns associated with your plans to meet the 14-day quarantine requirement, there is limited funding available for graduate students with financial need. Please review information about emergency funding and complete the financial appeal for U.S. citizens/permanent residents or financial appeal for international students to apply. These requests will be reviewed quickly and based on financial need or hardship.

Key Highlights to Call to Your Attention

  • Compliance for graduate students living off campus should be relatively straightforward. Once you arrive at your residence, you may simply stay there for the 14 days required by New York state guidelines.
  • If you choose to complete your quarantine in a non-travel advisory state, be advised you may be required to provide evidence to New York state that you did in fact complete the required quarantine.

Off-Campus Graduate Students

  • Graduate students from impacted states who live in off-campus housing must comply with the state travel advisory before Syracuse University can grant any campus privileges or campus access.
  • If you are unable to quarantine in Syracuse or elsewhere in New York state before the start of classes, you will be able to start the semester’s courses online and transition to campus once your quarantine is complete.
  • Impacted students who reside off campus should arrive in New York state approximately 14 days prior to the start of classes (no later than Aug. 8) or earlier given any special circumstances that may require a student in this category to access campus prior to Aug. 24.
  • Syracuse University will engage landlords and request their support to amend leases and rental agreements to accommodate impacted students. Students may also choose to self-quarantine at another location in New York state.
  • All students quarantining off campus in Syracuse or elsewhere in New York state must provide Syracuse University with evidence of compliance prior to gaining access to campus (the week of Aug. 24)—instructions on how to provide this evidence will be forthcoming.
  • Because we understand that the cost of additional lodging in New York state may pose a financial hardship, the University is actively working with local hotels to provide a reduced rate for students who need to quarantine in New York. We will share a list of hotels providing the reduced rate as soon as possible.

New and Returning Graduate Students Living On Campus

  • If you can self-quarantine in New York (e.g. staying with a relative or friend), you must complete your quarantine at least 14 days in advance of your scheduled move-in date.
  • If you are unable to quarantine in Syracuse or elsewhere in New York state before the start of classes, you will be able to start the semester’s courses online and transition to housing and access to campus once your quarantine is complete.
  • If you choose to quarantine in a non-travel advisory state, be advised you may be required to provide evidence to New York state that you did in fact complete the required quarantine, which is defined as 14 days from the date you were last in a travel advisory state.
  • All students quarantining off-campus in Syracuse or elsewhere in New York state must provide Syracuse University with evidence of compliance prior to your move-in date—instructions on how to provide this evidence will be forthcoming.
  • Because we understand that the cost of additional lodging in New York state may pose a financial hardship, the University is actively working with local hotels to provide a reduced rate for students who need to quarantine in New York. We will share a list of hotels providing the reduced rate as soon as possible.

International Graduate Students

Due to delays in visa processing or travel restrictions, many of our new and continuing graduate students will be unable to arrive on campus in time to complete quarantine and begin in-person instruction on Aug. 24. In addition to the guidelines above:

  • For international graduate students who are unable to return to campus, most programs will offer the opportunity to complete coursework online from the student’s home country. A process for international students to indicate their intentions to complete course work online or in-person will be provided in a future communication.
  • If you are unable to quarantine in Syracuse or elsewhere in New York state before the start of classes, you will be able to start the semester’s courses online and transition to campus once your quarantine is complete.
  • All affected students are encouraged to consult with faculty leadership from your program to understand your options.

Testing

As previously communicated to all students, a negative COVID-19 test must be provided prior to your arrival on our campus. We recognize that in states with high infection rates, scheduling an in-person test is particularly challenging. We are working to identify and implement a testing strategy to support all our students. We anticipate sharing more details on this by the end of week.

Virtual Information Sessions

We recognize the tough position many of our graduate students are in as a result of the travel advisory and quarantine requirement. To assist you, we will be holding informational Zoom meetings tomorrow, so you are able to make informed decisions relative to your individual circumstances. We ask that only graduate students affected by the travel advisory join these sessions as we will focus on answering your very unique questions. These sessions will be held on Wednesday, July 22 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. EDT. Please visit the Fall 2020 web site for additional details and the links to the Zoom sessions.

Should anything change with state requirements, we will notify affected graduate students immediately. Additionally, in the event new states are added to or removed from the travel advisory, we will communicate with those directly affected. We know this situation creates undue stress and uncertainty for many of you. We are working to answer your questions and provide updated guidance as soon as possible. Please know that safety of our students and our community remains our priority.

Answers to frequently asked questions can be found on the Fall 2020 website, and the Graduate School is here to serve you during this time of uncertainty. We welcome your questions and encourage you to contact us at gradschool@syr.edu or 315.443.2543.

Sincerely,

Peter A. Vanable
Dean of the Graduate School
Associate Provost for Graduate Studies


Graduate Student Updates for Fall 2020 (July 10)

Dean Peter Vanable shares guidance on:

  • Graduate course formats and options
  • Considerations for international graduate students
  • COVID-19 and academic progress
  • Stipend payments for international students
  • TAs and graduate instructor expectations for in-person instruction and workload
  • TA resources for hybrid teaching
  • Health and safety in the classroom and frequently asked questions

Read full update


Frequently Asked Questions (July 10)

As we continue to refine and advance our comprehensive framework to ensure Syracuse University is fully equipped and prepared to safely resume campus operations, we would like to share answers to the most frequently asked questions. See FAQs


More Information for Graduate Students

Financial Services

The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarship programs has created the emergency funding page for CARES Act funding. The Office of Financial Literacy has also created a COVID-19 resource page to help students manage their finances during the pandemic.

For Prospective Students

There is currently no disruption to the Admissions process for our residential and online degree programs. For more information on these programs, visit the relevant Admissions page for the program of your interest.

For Current Students 

Academic Instruction and Coursework

Due to COVID-19 and social distancing protocols, all graduate-level classes will be taught online rather than in person for the remainder of the spring semester and throughout early summer sessions. For additional information regarding academic instruction at this time, please visit the Academic Continuity Resources page.

Research Activity 

All data collection activities for non-essential human subjects research are on hold, including graduate student research. A Return to Human Participant In-person Research Guidance is in development.

If a graduate student has received approval to be on campus, they must adhere to on-campus social distancing protocols and follow enhanced preventative public health and hygiene measures.

Protocol for Thesis and Dissertation Defenses

Given current guidelines, the Graduate School will support an online/video based defense. Students must submit their requests for a change in meeting format directly to their advisor for approval. The advisor will forward the approved request to Kristina Ashley at degreecert@syr.edu. The email must clearly articulate a plan for successful web-based hosting (e.g., using Blackboard Collaborate, Microsoft Teams or Zoom) and who will be participating remotely. The Oral Chair will note the change in their Report of Exam.

If you have questions or need assistance in making arrangements for video-based conferencing for a defense meeting, please contact Associate Dean Gabby Chapman.