Graduate Studies

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, the Graduate Studies staff will be working remotely.  Please email us at or call us at (219) 989-2257 and we will get back to you as soon as we can.  Our office in Lawshe Hall will be closed until further notice.  We appreciate your patience during this time.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 All of my committee is working remotely and I have a committee meeting or exam scheduled. Currently the policy states “If the situation warrants, and it is agreeable with the members of the examining committee and the candidate, one member of the examining committee, or even the candidate, may participate in the examination via electronic media.”  Do I have to delay my exam? Also, will there be any flexibility in the dates for the final exam and thesis deposit?

The Graduate School has relaxed this policy during Spring 2020 due to the COVID-19 emergency.  We will not limit the number of members, including the student, who can participate via electronic media. Friday, May 8, is the new deadline for both the final exam to be taken and deposits to be made for Spring 2020.  That is one week beyond the current deadline for deposits and two weeks beyond the current deadline for final examinations.  Hopefully, this modification will help many degree candidates and examining committees.  We may still be able to handle a few (on a case-by-case basis) who deposit after our new general deadline, but this would need to be through special request to the Graduate School Associate Dean Tom Atkinson. PNW Graduate Studies can help facilitate any such special requests.

I had planned to take my preliminary examination during Spring 2020 or Summer 2020.  If I have to delay until Summer 2020 or Fall 2020 to take my preliminary examination due to COVID-19, do I still have to register for two academic sessions before the session in which I am eligible to take my final examination? 

No, the Graduate School is relaxing this policy. If you are ready to take your final examination in the semester after, or two semesters after, you take your preliminary examination, you may do so.  In these situations, your department should notify, via supplemental note on the final exam request, the Graduate School’s Office of Graduate Records that you are ready to take your final examination and confirm that your examination has been impacted by COVID-19-related interruptions.  No additional review or approval is needed.  This option is available for students who take preliminary examinations during Summer 2020 or Fall 2020.  The Graduate School expects to see enrollment in research registration each session between the time of the preliminary examination and final examination.

Can graduate students still be added to the candidate list to graduate this spring, and if so, how?

Yes, between now and April 17, 2020, graduate students can still be added to the candidate list for Spring 2020. To be added, an email requesting the late addition to the candidate list should be sent from the department to the Graduate Studies Office at

What if I am a currently enrolled new graduate student and am having trouble getting my required documents submitted to the Graduate Studies Office by the deadline requested?

All currently enrolled Spring 2020 students and newly admitted Summer 2020 students who have a Graduate School hold due to non-receipt of documents (transcripts, diplomas, English translations, etc.) listed as conditions of continued enrollment in their admission letter, now have an effective hold date of October 1, 2020.  If you have a hold on your account, please email and request for it to be removed.  This change will allow you to register for Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 courses without submitting these documents.

What should I do if COVID-19 had disrupted my research plans or progress toward graduation?  How do I modify my Graduate Research Credit approved plans (typically 69800 and 69900)?

It is possible that COVID-19 disruptions may slow or inhibit progress to your degree. We encourage all graduate students to have a conversation with their current research advisor to discuss how you might revise expectations for meeting graduate research credit grade requirements for spring semester and graduation research requirements while working remotely. You might need to adjust your deliverables on a project, or adjust your research proposal objectives.

I am currently registered in graduate level classes (50000 and 60000) and would like to change to a Pass/No Pass option?  Will this be available and what are the associated dates to make this decision?

  1. In general, faculty will assign letter grades as they normally would.  However, some deadlines that have already passed will be extended. Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in graduate level classes (50000 and 60000 level) may have the option to switch their grading modality to P/NP for any and all Spring 2020 classes through May 1 (last Friday of classes). Please consult with your program advisor for specifics.
  2. The minimum threshold for a grade of “P,” for Spring 2020, in a graduate level class (50000 and 60000) is defined as a “B“ if the course is listed on the Plans of Study (POS). For non-plan of study courses, the student could elect P/N grad option and earn a P for C- or higher. P/NP grades will be allowed on the POS for Spring 2020 semester only.
  3. Graduate students have the option to drop any and all Spring 2020 classes, with academic advisor approval, until the last Friday of classes (May 1, 2020), provided it does not risk your student visa or aid status. International students should take into consideration registration minimums if they decide to drop any classes.  International graduate students who hold a graduate staff appointment must enroll in a minimum of six credits or research hours; international graduate students who do not hold a graduate staff appointment must enroll in a minimum of eight credits or research hours; and international undergraduate students must enroll in a minimum of 12 credit hours. Domestic graduate students with a graduate staff appointment must be enrolled in three credits of 50000 or 60000 level coursework or research registration.
  4. No graduate students will be moved onto academic probation nor will any be dropped for academic deficiency from the university for reasons of “not in good academic standing” at the end of the Spring 2020 semester. These changes in Continued Good Standing will resume with the results of the Fall 2020 semester. However, students can return to Continued Good Standing with their Spring 2020 GPA. The Graduate School will not request departments to assess graduate students who earn a second (or more) consecutive “U” grade in research at the conclusion of the Spring 2020 semester only.  

For International Students

What if I am applying to the Graduate School and still need to demonstrate English proficiency or take the GRE (required by some departments)? 

Educational Testing Service has announced, due to closed testing centers in many parts of the world, a solution for both the TOEFL iBT and GRE General Test.  These tests may be taken at home (in selected countries) until test centers can reopen.  More information about these tests can be found at the following Websites:

What if I mailed my IELTS to PNW but the scores have not yet been uploaded into my application?

You can upload a copy of your IELTS into your application under “Miscellaneous Supporting Documents” or email it to  Your test scores will be verified by one or our staff members and noted in your application.

Do I still need to submit proof of health insurance if I am going home for the summer?

All international students must submit proof of health insurance coverage to the Graduate Studies Office, for the entire Fall 2020 semester, before an insurance hold will be removed.  Coverage should begin on August 24, 2020 and continue through December 18, 2020.  Insurance confirmations should be emailed to

What if I am unable to receive my I-20 documents to arrive for the start of the Fall 2020 session?

An email request should be made to the department to which you are admitted.  This request should contain the reason for your deferral along with the term you are wishing to defer to.   The department must approve the request first and then forward to the Graduate Studies Office for processing. You are eligible to defer from one semester, up to one year. Please contact the Office of Global Engagement ( for further information and assistance.





PNW graduate programs are flexible yet rigorous, high-quality yet cost-effective, with small class sizes and huge opportunities.

As a graduate student, you’ll form close relationships with faculty and your peers. Whether you work on one-of-a-kind research or hone your skills in a clinical setting, you can prepare to launch a successful career or take the next step in an existing one — in government, industry, business, education or even a PhD program.

There isn’t just one typical graduate experience at PNW. Our programs accommodate a wide variety of ages, schedules and career paths, including those leading to doctoral study. See for yourself–take the next step.

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Apr 06

Student Government Association: Elections Week

Student Government elections run from March 30 to April 3! Students will receive an email from PNW Dean of Students containing a Qualtrics link where you can cast your vote.

Apr 24

Last Day to Drop Spring 2020 Classes

 Spring 2020 classes must be dropped by 4:30 pm on Friday, April 24.