I hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy, and that you are finding sources of emotional support during this extremely stressful time. The COVID-19 pandemic has of course upended routines across the country, and this is no less true at NYU—or in GSAS—than anywhere else. Indeed, given the University's location at the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, the disruptions we are experiencing are especially intense. I am writing now to address briefly some of the key effects of the epidemic on GSAS students, and the ways the Graduate School is addressing them.
Financial Support and Compensation
In concert with the University as a whole, GSAS has committed to funding all students who are supported on fellowships and assistantships through the end of their award terms. We hope this provides some degree of confidence and stability during an inherently uncertain time. The University will also soon be announcing a COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Program, and we urge GSAS students facing financial stress because of the pandemic to avail themselves of the resources provided through this initiative.
Research and Academic Progress
In addition to the fact that the mode of instruction across NYU has shifted abruptly, many GSAS students have suffered significant interruptions to their research. In the interest of minimizing the effects of the pandemic on students' academic progress, the Graduate School has joined with other Schools at NYU in adopting a flexible and accommodating Pass/Fail grading policy for spring 2020. Beyond this, we are committed to facilitating students’ degree progress in whatever way we can. We are accordingly prepared to extend time-to-degree deadlines for up to one year—on a case-by-case basis—for doctoral students whose research plans have been disrupted. Extension of time-to-degree deadlines for individual master’s students will also be considered upon request.
I very much regret to announce that, in keeping with the postponement of the All-University Commencement Exercises that were due to be held this May, the Graduate School's own Convocation ceremonies will be rescheduled for a later date. We are determined that those receiving GSAS advanced certificates, master's degrees, and doctorates during the 2020 graduation cycle shall be appropriately honored in a proper gathering that includes friends and families, and we will communicate with you about our plans in this regard as they take shape. In the meantime, we will also be consulting with students, faculty, and staff alike in developing virtual mechanisms for celebrating our 2020 graduates during the customary period this May. I look forward to participating with as many of you as possible in both of these events.
There will undoubtedly be more challenges ahead in the coming weeks and months, and GSAS will strive to stay abreast of them. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have ideas about other ways the Graduate School can be of help, and take good care of yourselves as the outbreak runs its course.