An Update on the Impact of Coronavirus and Your Graduate Studies

By: Graduate Studies on

From Dr. Elizabeth Klonoff, vice president for Research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies

Dear Graduate Student,

I apologize for sending this as a large, mass email, but I wanted to be able to reach out to each of you affiliated with the Graduate School. I know this is a scary, stressful time. There is much uncertainty. You have a lot of questions. Are you safe? How will this impact your classes, your grades, graduation? What about your job? Will you be able to make rent? Do you pose a risk to the health of your parents, grandparents, siblings, children or friends?

You are not alone. We are all asking similar questions. This is an unprecedented event. But we are here to support you.

This rapidly spreading global pandemic is not something to shrug off. Social distancing in our community is critical to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as well as serious — and deadly — impacts on communities and families. Social distancing means avoiding mass gatherings and settings with large numbers of people (now defined as 10 or more people) and maintaining distance from others whenever possible.

Social distancing, good hygiene, and avoiding risks related to travel, event attendance, or participation in other activities will not only help to keep you safe, but they’ll benefit everyone around you, including loved ones and friends.

We are working to become more flexible and provide you with options as the situation continues to evolve. For updates on the status of things at UCF visit:  ucf.edu/safety/coronavirus. This is the best site for the most current information. You can also go to the College of Graduate Studies website.

Some quick updates:

  • Registration for the summer and fall semesters has been pushed back a week. Registration will now begin Thursday, March 26. 
  • The withdrawal deadline has also been pushed back to Friday, March 27.
  • For those of you who have already scheduled a thesis or dissertation proposal or final defense, or are supposed to defend soon, contact your committee chair. We’ve relaxed the rules about using remote technology so we can help you stay on track. Zoom, Skype and Teams are all platforms available to you to defend virtually.
  • We are also working to move any mandatory in-person workshops to an online platform.

You are our number one priority. That means doing everything we can to keep you healthy and to support your academic life even in these challenging circumstances. I urge you to discuss with your faculty supervisors, committees, and program directors what work you can do remotely to keep moving toward program milestones. Many programs are working on creative ways to help you continue to advance toward graduation.

If you have special circumstances and need to speak to someone please contact us here at gradservices@ucf.edu. If you have admissions or graduation questions email: graduate@ucf.edu. Keep in mind we are experiencing a large volume of inquiries. But we will get back to you.

I recognize you may still feel stressed out. I encourage you to seek out additional support for your well-being by contacting  Counseling Services at 407-823-2811 and Student Care Services at 407-823-5607.

We’ll get through this together. Please stay healthy and safe.

Liz
Dean of the College of Graduate Studies

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