Graduate Student COVID-19 FAQ's

This information is dynamic and subject to frequent changes. Please refer to your department for program specific information. Last updated 4/23/2020.

Funding and Support

Will Ph.D. students continue to receive their consistent stipends and benefits through the COVID-19 crisis?

Current students will continue to receive their stipend and benefits through spring 2020.  Incoming students will receive funding that was promised in offer letters. The University is doing a review for worst case scenarios but we do not foresee this impacting graduate funding for future semesters.

Will there be support or accommodations for graduating doctoral students who have had job offers rescinded due to hiring freezes?

The Graduate School will not be able to financially support students who have finished their degree. Enrolled students can access the University Crisis Response Fund. For students who have graduated, the Career Center can also offer support through career counseling and guidance. Click here for more information: https://students.wustl.edu/career-center/

 

How do I request financial support from the University Crisis Response Fund?

Will there be additional funding from the Graduate School for collecting data in alternative ways, such as running participants online?

The Graduate School empowers the investigator and student to pivot and find alternative ways to complete research regardless of the cause of disruption to research. We will later evaluate which resources will be needed to cover additional costs. If there is a complete disruption, due to COVID-19, we will make sure graduate students have resources they need to finish their degrees.

Will the Graduate School reimburse students to set up a home office, such as purchasing a desk and monitors to work from home or for materials they cannot get from school, such as printing or pens?

The emergency funding will not cover technology costs and home office set up costs. If students need internet at home, Spectrum is offering 60 days of free internet.  Link is here.

Will there be reimbursement of tuition and fees?

The Health and Wellness Fee for graduate students on the Danforth Campus has been reduced to $190 from $250.  There are no refunds on tuition at this time.

Will employee furloughs impact graduate student stipends?

No. Graduate student stipends are not affected by the employee furloughs.

How will the hiring freeze affect RA-ships?

Most RA-ships are funded through external funding in the sciences.  They should not be impacted this year.

Quadrangle Policies

For the most up-to-date Quadrangle policies related to COVID-19 please visit https://quadrangle.wustl.edu/covid-19/.

Will Quadrangle offer rent abatement for students?

No, unfortunately they are somewhat limited in what we can offer as assistance.  They are not offering abatement of rent, but if your lease was due to expire before July 31 and your circumstances have changed, you may terminate your lease as soon as is convenient. Additionally, Quadrangle will work with students on the timing of rental payments, including not charging late fees for late rent payments. Students can also elect to extend their leases due to the stay-in-place order for St. Louis City and County.

Will the crisis affect monthly rent increases?

Lease rates that were set prior to the crisis will remain the same, with no additional negative impact to students.

How is Quadrangle keeping apartments safe during the quarantine?

Quadrangle is working closely with Habif and Environmental Health and Safety to put together guidelines for Quadrangle maintenance teams and custodial staff. Quadrangle staff will only enter apartments for emergency maintenance or if the apartment has been vacated. In such cases, they will follow the guidelines and consult with the university’s technical experts, including engaging outside consultants, if required.

Academics

Will the Graduate School pause or extend the graduate student time to degree?

Currently the policy for time to degree has not changed. Departments will be able to make a list for those impacted (disrupted travel; illness, etc.) so that we may provide support on a case-by-case basis.  We expect that the scope and scale will be higher for people in STEM fields.

Historically, the Graduate School has worked with departments to extend funding for those who need it; we foresee that continuing.

Will all graduate and professional students be able to elect to take their courses Pass/Fail or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory?

All graduate students can elect to take courses Pass/Fail or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory. Please check with individual schools for specific policies.  

Will the Graduate School count P/F or S/U towards degree requirements?

It is the assumption that these courses will count toward the degree.

Will class requirements be loosened?

Faculty maintain control over their class requirements. Loosening course requirements is left to faculty members who are teaching.

Will there be lower degree requirements; for example, decreased practicum or internship hours?

Course requirements/degree requirements are decided upon by the faculty of each department. Please consult with your home school or department.

What is the plan for skills lab courses that are heavily rooted in direct practice or Software classes (SAS, GIS, Stata, etc.)?

Departments will determine how courses will be taught online. Students who depend on software for their research should consult with their departments for funds.

How will the Graduate School communicate easing of deadlines?

The Graduate School will relay all information regarding academic requirements via email to students and departments. No one knows the length of this crisis; students should do the best they can in regards to academic work.

How will all this affect evaluations of Ph.D. students? In our evaluations, are we going to be held to the same standards we would have been?

Evaluations will be looked at after this crisis passes. The University is focused on what needs to happen to successfully get to the end of the semester. A lot of issues will be examined after April 30.

Are the libraries open?

University libraries remain closed at this time.  Here is a link for online resources: https://library.wustl.edu/about/covid-19/remote-resources-and-guidance-for-users/

Will Summer School be taught online?

The first session of Summer School will be fully online. The University is currently working on plans for the rest of the summer.

What is the process for spring course evaluations for AI's?

 

To align with the changes in course evaluations for the faculty of Arts & Sciences, the course evaluation questions relative to Assistants in Instruction (AIs) were altered.  

The College office made the determination to use a template of qualitative questions that address instruction before Spring Break and after.  The AI evaluation is brief but allows students the opportunity to provide feedback for AIs who went above and beyond throughout the semester.  The AI question is simply: “Do you have any feedback for your AI?”

 

How will Covid-19 affect graduate admissions?

For this year's cycle, it did not affect admissions decisions but it may affect student’s decisions to attend Washington University. Next year’s cycle is unclear. The university’s priority will always be with current students and ensuring that current students have resources to graduate.

Health and Wellness

For the most up-to-date information from Habif Health and Wellness, visit https://students.wustl.edu/habif-health-wellness-center/.

Are COVID-19 related costs covered by University Insurance?

United Health Care will be waiving all member cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing AND treatment through 5/31/2020. Also, they will be waiving cost-sharing for telehealth services by in-network providers for ALL services, COVID and non-COVID through 6/18/2020. Please note that Washington University does not control coverage decisions made by UHCSR.

Will there be health and wellness resources available to students to access from home?

Habif has a webpage devoted to resources students can access from home. For information, please visit https://students.wustl.edu/habif-modified-operations-during-covid-19/.

Will we still not be able to see a Habif mental health provider if we haven’t seen one before?

Yes, please visit https://students.wustl.edu/mental-health-services/ to find information on scheduling teletherapy appointments.

Will there be changes to the current student health insurance to reflect that many of us must now see non-Habif or Student Health providers and may even be seeing providers out of the St. Louis region? What if we are out of network and need care?

There are no changes to the health insurance. UHCSR is a nationwide network; there are in-network providers all over the U.S. You should contact SHS or UHCSR for assistance in finding a provider.

Will we be able to have therapy sessions during this time? Will the restrictions on the numbers of sessions be eased?

Yes, Habif is setting up teletherapy for all students. They have removed the cap of the number of sessions. Please visit https://students.wustl.edu/mental-health-services/ for information on phone and Zoom sessions.

What if I feel ill or have symptoms?

If you are in St. Louis, you can call Habif. You will undergo a phone screen to determine the best course of treatment. Please visit their website for the most up-to-date information and instructions: https://students.wustl.edu/habif-health-wellness-center/

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?

 Yes! Please visit the link here - https://students.wustl.edu/online-bearfit-programming/

Will there be a refund of the health and wellness fee for the spring 2020 semester?

Yes, graduate students are eligible for a partial refund.

Can we extend our current health insurance past July 31 if we are graduating this spring?

Yes, students have the option of extending their health insurance. Please visit https://students.wustl.edu/student-health-insurance-plan-information/ for more information.

Can students call the Habif Hotline if we have questions about family members who are not covered through the University insurance?

Yes. Habif strives to support all students. Please feel free to call with any questions regarding Covid-19.  Members not covered through University insurance will be referred to their own providers for treatment.

Is the Sumers Rec Center offering refunds to part-time students?

Part time students that purchased a membership with WashU Rec individually can contact them for a prorated refund.  Membership extensions is the default option unless this option will not work for them.   You may view options on their  website here: https://students.wustl.edu/announcements/spring-break-hours-for-recreati... When contacting them regarding a refund it is best to include a phone number as they will need to process refunds over the phone.

 

International Students

What supports are being put in place for all students, especially international students and undocumented/DACA students who have limited availability to gain additional income and may not be eligible for any future COVID-19 benefits granted?

It is our understanding, not being tax experts, that any international student who is a “resident for tax purposes”, filed taxes in 2019 or 2018 and meets the income criteria is eligible for the government stimulus program.  OISS will provide more details to students once they become available. Students can also apply for the University Crisis Response fund.

What is the graduate school doing to ensure that international students remain eligible for their visas?

OISS has worked with the federal government to ensure that all enrolled international students are eligible for their visas while taking courses online. 

What concrete steps is OISS taking to help international students? And beyond regulatory actions, what are we doing to support international students who all of a sudden find themselves left to their own devices?

All information on how OISS services have changed during this time can be found here: https://students.wustl.edu/changes-oiss-students/.  OISS is continuing to offer office hours and virtual programming for international students., including conversation corners and virtual game nights. For a full list of upcoming events, please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/o/wustl-office-for-international-students-and-scholars-4644585093. Additionally, international students can use this form to submit questions to OISS: https://students.wustl.edu/oiss-questions-covid-19/

Parking and Transportation

For the most up-to-date information from Parking and Transportation, please visit https://parking.wustl.edu/alerts/covid-19/.

What is status of busses and shuttles? Will they continue running?

University shuttle service is suspended. For the most up-to-date information regarding parking and transportation, please visit: https://parking.wustl.edu/alerts/covid-19/.  Metrobuses are running on a modified schedule; for information on bus schedules, visit https://www.metrostlouis.org/

Can we get our parking permits refunded? Is there a charge to park on campus if you need to visit campus?

Yes, Parking & Transportation services are offering partial refunds of parking permits.  All student permits are being automatically refunded through July 2020. For directions on how to receive parking refunds, visit https://parking.wustl.edu/alerts/covid-19/. No, there are no charges for people who need to visit campus, but these visits should be kept to a minimum for those who are not officially designated as essential personnel.

Are all parking permits eligible for a refund?

Yes, all active Danforth Campus parking permits purchased by individuals are eligible to be returned for a refund.  Parking & Transportation Services is actively processing the requests and has already begun issuing refunds.  They have received a large volume of requests and ask for your patience as they work through the process.

If I cancel my permit now, will I be able to get a new one later this summer?

Yes.

What is the general amount of refund grad students who purchased the ye ar-round pass would receive

The refund for a yellow permit ($852 value) would be $355 if requested by May 1.

What is the status of the enterprise CarShare?

Enterprise CarShare has suspended their service until further notice.  This was a decision they made at the corporate level due tosafety concerns for customers.

Is there special shuttle service for essential services?

The university now has a service that will provide students near the Danforth Campus (C2H boundaries – North, Olive Blvd. – South, Clayton Road – East, Union Blvd – West, Hanley Road) with transportation from student residences to and from a predefined list of essential service locations. This is a scheduled service that operates Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the last pickup at 4 p.m. Students should call 314-862-4777 to schedule in advance of their pickup. This service will be limited to 1-person per trip and the schedule will be set in one-hour increments, on a first-come-first-served basis. Locations served by this shuttle are Schnucks and United Provisions.

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 https://students.wustl.edu/career-center/ You can also email Michelle Delair (mdelair@wustledu), Assistant Director of Career Development directly.
Imagine PhD https://www.imaginephd.com
myIDP https://myidp.sciencecareers.org
InterSECT Job Sims https://intersectjobsims.com

 

Are there any opportunities for part-time or online jobs?

Yes, there are several. Here is a partial list; please visit https://students.wustl.edu/career-center/ for more opportunities.
Parker Dewey https://www.parkerdewey.com/career-launchers
Gig Now https://www.gignow.com
GlobalWonks https://www.globalwonks.com/app/index
Flexjobs https://www.flexjobs.com
Hire Academics https://hireacademics.com

 

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: https://it.wustl.edu/home/how-to/linkedin-learning/.
You can also contact Michelle DeLair, mdelair@wustl.edu for other online learning recommendations.