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Graduate Student Information

Latest Updates

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


Virtual Information Sessions for Students and Families Affected by the New York State Travel Advisory (July 21)

We recognize the tough position many of our students and their families are in as a result of the travel advisory and quarantine requirement. To assist you, we will be holding informational Zoom meetings*, so you are able to make informed decisions relative to your individual circumstances.

 * Informational meetings were held July 22. Videos may be viewed here.


10 States Added to New York Travel Advisory and Quarantine Order (July 21)

The State of New York has announced the addition of 10 states to the New York State Department of Health’s existing travel advisory and quarantine order, significantly expanding the number of Syracuse University students who must quarantine for 14 days in New York State (or in another non-travel advisory state) prior to the start of the semester. Read full update


Fall 2020 Weekly Virtual Update Sessions to Continue on Friday, July 17 (July 14)

As Syracuse University prepares for the Fall 2020 semester, Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation Michael Haynie is hosting “SU Safe Weekly Roundup,” a series of virtual update discussions for University community members with an syr.edu email address. Read full update


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.