PNW Graduate Studies COVID-19 Guide

The Graduate Studies Office is open Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.  If you need to come to our office for any reason, we are requesting that you call (219) 989-2257 or email us at to make an appointment.  Please note that you must wear a mask while inside Lawshe Hall and please continue to practice social distancing.  Thank you for your patience during this time.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

  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

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:

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.

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

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.

While a few graduate programs at PNW have fixed admission deadlines, many of the programs are more flexible. The preferred deadline of May 15 is suggested to allow time to get your visa approved.

While that deadline has passed for 2020, applications for international graduate students can still be processed; however, if you are requesting first-time visa approval, you may not receive it before the start of fall classes if you apply after the preferred deadline.

If you are already in the United States, you may apply until August 15 (approximately one week before the start of classes) for most programs. Please contact us for more information about your specific situation and program of interest.