Graduate Student COVID-19 FAQs

This information is dynamic and subject to frequent changes. Please refer to your department for program specific information. Last updated 12/3/2020


How can I request a deferral?

Applicants who accept their offer of admission may request to have their admission deferred to a term later than the one originally specified on their application. Decisions to defer admission for one year or less are at the discretion of the admitting department, as is the decision of whether the applicant must re-compete with the next group of applicants.  To request a deferral, contact your department.

Funding and Support

Is there additional funding available to continuing students who experienced a research disruption?

Yes, students in Arts & Sciences programs can talk with their faculty about nominating them for additional support through the COVID Research Disruption Extension (CORDE) program. The enrollment form must be submitted by a faculty member.

Can students who are studying remotely be paid their stipend?

Yes, all Arts & Sciences graduate students are eligible to receive their stipend, regardless of their location. There are tax implications for international students studying in their home countries.

Can a PhD student in Arts & Sciences choose not to receive their stipend this semester?

No, students must either enroll full-time and receive their stipends or request a deferral/LOA.


Can I defend my dissertation or thesis virtually?

Dissertation and theses defenses may continue to occur virtually through the Spring 2021 semester.  Students and dissertation chairs should communicate to make this determination based on the well-being of the committee members and others who would normally attend.

Review guidelines for holding a successful virtual defense

Health and Wellness

What if I feel ill or have symptoms?

Do not come to campus! If you think you have been exposed or tested positive for COVID-19, contact your health care provider and also contact Habif Health and Wellness Center (314) 935-6666.

View guidelines for COVID-19

Will the recreation center offer some online classes (yoga, Pilates, Zumba) online or some 10 or 15 minutes sessions to guide students after spending all day sitting in front of the computer?

Will there be COVID testing for graduate students?

In line with the university’s COVID recommendations for testing, all students who will be physically present on the Danforth Campus at any point during the Fall 2020 semester are required to complete a university-provided COVID-19 test.  These tests will be administered the week of September 21-25.  To schedule an appointment, visit, login with your WUSTL key, select COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Scheduling, and select “Entry Test: Graduate/Professional Students.”

All students should continue to complete the university’s self-screen every day that you are on campus and follow all of the university’s health and safety requirements.

Is diagnostic testing available for graduate students?

Habif has put together a list of resources that may be helpful for coping with the stress of anxiety of Covid 19.

View Resources

Are there resources for coping with the stress and anxiety of the semester?

Habif has put together a list of resources that may be helpful for coping with the stress of anxiety of Covid 19.

View Resources

Career Development

What resources are available to me through the Career Center?

The Career Center offers a variety of resources to graduate students. Offerings include: virtual appointments to discuss CV’s and resumes; coaching for online interviews, and links to a variety of online tools to help you in your career search. A partial list is below; for a full list please visit You can also email Michelle Delair (mdelair@wustledu), Assistant Director of Career Development directly.
Imagine PhD
InterSECT Job Sims

What online learning resources does WU offer?

Students have free access to Linkedin Learning as well as other trainings offered through the Career Center. Access LinkedIn Learning here:
You can also contact Michelle DeLair, for other online learning recommendations.

Health Insurance

I am graduating in August or taking a leave of absence for Fall 2020, can I extend my health insurance coverage with Wash U?

Yes, students who were enrolled as a full-time student in Spring 2020 have the option of extending their health insurance in the Fall 2020 term.

Review health insurance plan information

I am planning to study remotely in Fall 2020, do I still have to carry the Wash U health insurance plan or provide adequate proof of coverage?

Yes, all students must still either carry the Wash U plan or complete the waiver process with Habif Health and Wellness by September 20 as part of their status as a full-time student. Students studying remotely who are outside of the St. Louis area must meet all the coverage requirements except having Washington University/BJC Physicians Network as in-network providers. The waiver process must be completed for all full-time students regardless of location.

Information for International PhD Students