The Graduate School Advance to a Higher Degree

COVID-19 Announcements and FAQs

Below is a list of frequently asked questions, resources, and policy updates created for graduate students and faculty. University-wide updates and information can be found on the Protect Purdue website. In these unprecedented times, updates occur frequently. Please continue to stay aware of new developments by checking these pages regularly and keeping in touch with your advisor.

The Graduate Student COVID-19 End of the Semester Survey Report can be downloaded here.

Jump to a topic:

Contacting Us

Beginning June 1, the Graduate School office (Young 170) will be open on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to noon and on Tuesday and Thursday from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Starting July 1, the Graduate School office (Young 170) will be open daily from 10:00 a.m. to noon and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  If you have documents to deliver to the Graduate School, please arrange to do that during these times.

All staff members can be reached via email. For general inquiries, please email or contact a staff member. You can locate contact information in the Graduate School Staff Directory.

See the Graduate Program Heads, Chairs, Directors, and Contacts page for a list of contacts.

Summer 2021 On-Campus Experience

Yes, it will be possible assuming social distancing rules can be followed and everyone wears a mask. It is possible to do these virtually, and many students met virtually this past semester. It is up to you and the individuals that serve on your committee on how you would like to proceed. You might have individuals that have medical conditions that preclude them from coming to campus, and they might need to be virtual.

Common graduate student office space was reviewed when public spaces were reviewed and should be part of a departmental Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for common spaces. Most spaces will use a rotational schedule, but this is dependent on the specific design of the space.  Work with your advisor and other members of your group to make sure the approved SOP COVID-19 safety measures are adhered to at all times.

Purdue’s Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) updated its guidance to reflect the University’s phased return to research operations process as outlined by the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships (EVPRP). PIs must submit a protocol modification to IRB before resuming in-person research. PIs must first have an EVPRP-approved COVID-19 Research Space SOP and provide this information to the IRB as a protocol modification before resuming in-person research. You can learn more about the process here.

For researchers seeking to resume face-to-face data collection, Principal Investigators must submit a modification in Cayuse IRB for each previously approved protocol. For a description of what must be included in the modification submission, see the guidance posted on the IRB website:

Each lab operates under an SOP that was developed by the lab’s PI and approved by Purdue’s Human Research Protection Program (HRPP). Students should work with their advisors to be sure the approved SOP COVID-19 safety measures, which includes social distancing, and reduced or rotational schedules, are adhered to at all times. If research is to be conducted remotely,  a Change of Duty Station (for graduate staff) and Form 19  (Request for Off-campus Ph.D. or Master’s Research) or a Form 12 (Request for Ph.D. Degree Candidate Research in Absentia) must be completed and approved.  Communication with your major professor is important before working remotely. If a student feels that the lab protocols are not being appropriately followed, they can anonymously report at the Graduate School report a concern.

Any person that is not associated with the university is considered a visitor and subject to visitor rules.  If you recruit from Purdue students and staff to participate in your research, they would not be considered visitors.

Health, Sick Leave, Insurance

Students or graduate staff on insurance through Anthem have access to the Anthem network outside of Indiana.

Follow the instructions at: Protect Purdue – What to do if you are sick. Be sure to keep your advisor informed.

Through Summer 2021, if you need COVID-19 accommodations to fulfill your job duties for your Graduate Teaching Assistant, Graduate Research Assistant, Graduate Professional, or Graduate Lecturer position, take the following steps:

  1. Visit the following website:
    All communication with HR should occur through the form and not through an email.
  2. Click the West Lafayette Campus button.
  3. Fill out the intake form that will go directly to Human Resources. Once they have received your form, they will contact you. They will discuss your workplace, work assignments and potential adjustments/accommodations to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure. 

Some examples include:

  • Remote work
  • Alternative work schedules
  • Specifically fitted personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Physical alterations to work station, office, or classroom environment

After Human Resources and you have discussed workplace adjustments and potential workplace accommodations, your supervisor will be contacted to confirm the adjustments/accommodations are reasonable for the specific work environment. This entire process may take one to three weeks to reach a solution. 

If you find the adjustments or accommodations offered are insufficient, Human Resources will work with the you to obtain medical information and engage in a full interactive process under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This process is handled through the University. This process will help you, Human Resources, and the employing department identify workplace accommodations. In most cases a solution can be found which is acceptable to all parties. However, if a graduate student is unsatisfied with the proposed accommodations, it could result in a period of leave from work or job reassignment. If you have questions or concerns about the process, do not hesitate to contact the  Office of Graduate Assistance.

If a student is does not have a graduate staff appointment, they should talk to their major professor about what accommodations they need and if they can work remotely. 

If someone lives off campus and can't quarantine in their own location, Purdue will offer a space to quarantine. There is no charge to stay in on-campus isolation and quarantine space. 

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 provides provision for time off for an employee's own serious health condition, to take care of a family member (child, parent, or spouse) with a serious health condition, to give birth, to adopt, or to place a child in the employees home for foster care. In order to be eligible for leave, under the FMLA, graduate staff must have been employed at Purdue for 12 months, consecutive or non-consecutive, and have worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months preceding the date leave commences. A graduate student on only a 0.5 FTE generally would not accumulate enough hours, but graduate students that had at least a 0.6 FTE or greater fiscal year appointment (For example - maybe a 0.5 FTE in one department and 0.20 in another department) generally would accumulate enough hours for this benefit. International students with staff appointments are not permitted to work more than a .5 FTE appointment and thus would never be able to accumulate enough hours for FMLA.

FMLA states that up to 12 work-weeks of leave per year are available. If the leave is taken for an employee’s own serious health condition or a family member’s serious health condition, and the employee has accrued unused paid sick leave and qualifies for paid sick leave, the employee must use the paid sick leave during the FMLA leave. A request for FMLA leave should be initiated through Human Resources. Further information on FMLA is available by contacting Human Resources – Employee Benefits at 765-494-2222 or e-mail at Graduate students that are not employed are not eligible for FMLA leave.

For those who need to file new requests, please access the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) forms via the Human Resources “  Forms  ” web page, “Benefits” tab. The “  Request and Notice   ” and “  Medical Certification   ” forms are required to be completed and returned before FMLA leaves can be approved. 

Students on some fellowships are not considered employees, so they do not get employee benefits. You need to check with your business office to see how your fellowship is administered to determine if you are considered an employee. If you are concerned about working during Summer 2021, seek accommodations through Human Resources.

Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) provides individual therapy from a brief therapy model, meaning that they assess the student’s clinical need and decide what clinical modality of intervention best meets that need. 

  • If it is individual therapy, CAPS makes a clinical decision about whether a meaningful piece of work can be accomplished in a time-limited or brief therapy format. They often can do a significant piece of therapy work in individual therapy, while also preparing the student for continued work (if they wish it) via group therapy.

  • If a student’s clinical need is such that they will need to be able to be followed over a long period of time by a clinician with whom they have an ongoing working relationship, CAPS talks about this with the student and works with them to connect them with a referral in the community. In these situations, it is not clinically indicated to begin a working relationship with someone then transfer mid-stream, so in these situations it’s important to identify that need early on and proceed accordingly.

  • If a student is clear that this is the kind of therapy relationship they want (or prefer), CAPS works with them to find a good referral for them in the community.

There are no session limits for group therapy.  This is how students can receive longer-term care at CAPS, if that’s what they wish.

We are aware that that this is a time of unprecedented uncertainty. You may be experiencing many emotions that you are struggling to process. You are not alone. There are many resources ready to assist you:

If you need assistance with coordinating your responsibilities while in isolation, your department’s graduate contact is a key resource available to you. New students to campus are encouraged to become acquainted with your graduate contact as you start your graduate program.

Even in normal times, but especially during COVID, you should prepare a sheet of contact information listing your major professor, employment supervisor if different than your major professor, instructors, lab mates, and others who may need to know if you are unable to participate in courses or work. Should you need assistance, you might need to share this information with your graduate contact or other individual who might follow up with these persons on your behalf, if necessary. All employees should have an updated emergency contact on file with the university.

Graduate Teaching Assistants and Graduate Lecturers are encouraged to know the steps to be taken should they be unable to teach a class, either in person or online. This should be provided by your supervisor but, if not, ask!  Leave policies are summarized on the Graduate School FAQ webpage.

As with any emergency preparedness discussion, planning for all options is critical.  Just as you would have a few days of food available in case of tornados or seasonal flu, consider having appropriate food reserves and other household items that might be necessary. Additional medical supplies are very important.  We encourage you to read the CDC website for how to prepare for quarantine or isolation. This is a time to step up and help each other should a friend or lab mate need to isolate.  Please reach out and offer assistance if necessary.  

Compliance with the Protect Purdue Pledge

Handle this behavior just as you would any disruptive behavior in the class, such as talking, cell phone use, harassment, or failing to meet syllabus expectations. If you are uncomfortable confronting a disruptive student, either report the student and behavior to the supervisor of the class, or dismiss the class and report the student to the Office of the Dean of Students using the Student of Concern Report.

Absolutely. It is our expectation that everyone feel empowered and supported to enforce the safety measures we have put in place for campus. As the semester begins, we hope to instill and educate (each other about the requirements); ask (others to comply with them – do so kindly and helpfully); refer (to other campus authorities, including Graduate School; ODOS; Human Resources or anonymously via the Purdue Hotline. We are not asking anyone to do anything unsafe or that you are not comfortable doing – other offices can help you when others persist in unsafe behaviors.
If the person shares access to your lab and is not following the lab’s approved SOP or the Protect Purdue requirements, report the student to your supervisor and to the Office of the Dean of Students using the Student of Concern Report.

Options for Not Returning to Campus/Deferred Enrollments/Extensions

International graduate students admitted for Summer 2021 may ask to defer their admission to Fall 2021, Spring 2022, or Summer 2022 for any reason. Likewise, newly admitted international graduate students admitted for Fall 2021 may ask to defer their admission to Spring 2022, Summer 2022, or Fall 2022 for any reason. To defer to a later semester requires that a new application to be submitted. Admitted international graduate students who wish to defer their admission to a later semester must request that, in writing, to their departments. If approved by the department, the student’s request must be forwarded to the Office of Graduate Admissions so that the deferral may be processed and a new I-20 may be issued. International graduate students, admitted for Summer 2021, who know that they need to defer their graduate study may submit that request anytime through July 15 (earlier is better) in order to start in Fall 2021.  International graduate students, admitted for Fall 2021, may submit that request through November 15 for starting in Spring 2022 or by the end of the Fall session for deferral to Summer 2022 or Fall 2022.

Domestic graduate students admitted for Summer 2021 have the ability (without asking for a deferral) to register for Fall 2021 or Spring 2022. If they need to start their programs in Summer 2022, they must ask for a deferral by requesting a change to that date in writing to their department. Likewise, newly admitted domestic graduate students admitted for Fall 2021 have the ability (without asking for a deferral) to register for Spring 2022 or Summer 2022.  If they need to start their programs in Fall 2022, they must ask for a deferral  by requesting a change to that date in writing to their department.  In both cases, if approved, their department must forward the request to the Office of Graduate Admissions so that the deferral may be processed.

COVID-19 Policy Adjustment: For both of these above cases, the Graduate School will consider a second (or third) deferral — if the department requests on your behalf — on a case-by-case basis for students admitted beginning in Summer 2020, who were unable to matriculate to the Purdue University Graduate School due to COVID-19-related reasons.

Currently enrolled students needing to defer registrations: If a current graduate student wishes to take a break from their program, they have three sessions of eligibility to register before they would have to re-apply for readmission into a program. Summer counts as a session. Students who do not register in their graduate program for three consecutive sessions will be asked to re-apply to continue study.

COVID-19 Policy Adjustment: The Graduate School will consider an extension beyond three semesters — if the department requests on your behalf— on a case-by-case basis for US citizens, permanent residents, and international students. International students must work with the International Students and Scholars office to regain status when they are able to resume their graduate programs.

While the Temporary Online Learners Cohort has been discontinued, some virtual courses are expected to be available. Contact your department.

Many options are potentially available if students or their families are directly impacted by COVID-19. On a case-by-case basis, working with major professors and instructors, it may be possible to cut back on research registration, drop a course, or even to take an Incomplete, if necessary. The Office of the Dean of Students and the Graduate School both stand ready to listen and offer options, as needed, in these situations.  There is also sick leave and FMLA leave for benefit eligible employees.

Yes, the Graduate School will consider an extension beyond three semesters — if the department requests — on a case-by-case basis for US citizens, permanent residents, and international students. International students must work with the International Students and Scholars office to regain status when they are able to resume their graduate programs. Please communicate with your departments about your plans to take time off from your graduate program.

You are a vital part of the research community at Purdue and it 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 requirements for Spring 2021 and graduation research requirements while working remotely. You might need to adjust your deliverables on a project, or adjust your research proposal objectives.

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, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, or Summer 2021. The Graduate School expects to see enrollment in research registration each session between the time of the preliminary examination and final examination. Beyond this special COVID-19consideration, we are always open, on a case-by-case basis, for requests from major professors (endorsed by your director of graduate studies or chair of your departmental graduate committee) to consider an exception to the normal policy.

The Graduate School has relaxed this policy through Fall 2021 due to the COVID-19 emergency. We will not limit the number of members, including the student, that can participate via electronic media.


Yes, you will receive a new letter reflecting your deferment. 

  • Allowances for second (or third) deferments -- case-by-case review
  • Allowances for three semesters of eligibility to register to be extended (due to lack of enrollment) – case-by-case review
  • Ability to take final examination in semester following preliminary examination or two semesters after preliminary examination, by noting COVID-19 impact on exam request form (For those taking preliminary examinations in Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, or Summer 2021).
  • Through Fall 2021, all preliminary and final examinations may be held using electronic media.

Graduate students are a vital part of the research community at Purdue, and it is possible that COVID-19 disruptions may slow or inhibit progress to their degrees. We encourage all graduate students to have a conversation with their research advisor to discuss how they might revise expectations for meeting graduation requirements, including research expectations. Students might need to adjust their deliverables on a project, or adjust their research proposal objectives. The Graduate School does not have graduation timelines. If these exist in the department, they are usually connected to funding, which may or may not have flexibility. The Graduate School has encouraged graduate chairs to be as flexible as possible on objectives and requirements for graduate students, especially those close to graduation deadlines.

Funding, Fees

Any University employee who seeks accommodations will need to work with Human Resources, their supervisor, and other relevant parties to ensure that the accommodations are both effective and reasonable. TAs are encouraged to go through the accommodation process. One option might include a shift in duties. Because there are multiple ways students are funded, there is no single answer to the funding question.  

If you find yourself in this situation, contact For work off campus that will last more than 22 days, a Change of Duty Station form must be on file. Those on the West Lafayette campus should notify their business office or payroll center to initiate the Change of Duty Station form. The business office or payroll center will initiate the form in DocuSign, then it will route to the employee. PNW or PFW can contact their business office or human resources department to find out who should initiate this form. The Graduate School is not approving COVID-related Change of Duty Station forms beyond August 13, 2021. CODS forms after that date with COVID-related requests for remote work will need to be processed through FMLA. After August 13, 2021 CODS forms will only be approved for work that must be conducted at another location as opposed to COVID or preference.

You should complete the intake form for employees on the HR website to start the accommodation process and also talk with your department/TA supervisor to determine if there are work adjustments that could be made such as online teaching or grading from home.

International Student Concerns

No, per Department of Homeland Security guidance.

  • Yes, but not later than the 29th day after the start of classes, per Department of Homeland Security guidance. 

Depending upon the entry dates that your department allows, you can request a deferral to Fall 2021, Spring 2022, or Summer 2022. You can initiate that by making a request to your department. For Fall of 2021 starts, your department’s request is needed by July 15.

Unfortunately, there is nothing that Purdue University can do to intervene on visa applications for students or their dependents. When a current student asks ISS for assistance with obtaining dependent visas, we will refer the student to outside legal assistance, and Congressman Baird’s office (4th District).

There are two reasons why Purdue has not hired an immigration lawyer to represent all international students: complexity of cases and conflict of interest. 

  • Complexity of cases: Immigration law is specific and complex. Some immigration cases may seem relatively simple, but in reality, they are very complex.
  • Conflict of Interest: In most countries, people who specialize in legal representation (lawyers, attorneys, solicitors, etc.) have an obligation to focus their skills and attention on their “client”. At the same time, in most legal situations, it is very common for situations to arise where information must be shared with the legal representative but which, if shared with another party, might create a “conflict of interest”. Immigration law is especially prone to this. Students should retain their own attorney so that the attorney is required to provide legal counsel that is in the student’s best interest.
  • Purdue can refer students to qualified immigration attorneys based on the particulars of their unique case, however attorneys practice in different types of immigration law and no one attorney can practice in all areas of immigration law.

Update: Purdue Graduate Student Government sponsored sessions during Spring 2021. These are expected to continue in Fall 2021.

Purdue recommends the following guidelines for international students making Summer 2021 travel plans to Purdue’s West Lafayette campus:

  • Get vaccinated if you can AND KEEP your vax document. It is possible, but not guaranteed, that if you've been vaccinated you may not need to quarantine.
  • Plan on some period of quarantine (7-10 days) if arriving from an international location and you've not been vaccinated.
  • It would be best to avoid having parents and other non-dependent family members (other than your spouse or minor children) join you on-campus. Purdue is unable to clear non-dependent family members to engage in activities that take place on campus and in campus buildings, including University residences.

 As the CDC guidelines continue to evolve and influence Purdue policies, please keep up with the latest updates on international travel at the Protect Purdue site:

Graduate Student Life

As you make plans for housing at Purdue University, please remember that, if you sign a lease for an apartment or other housing, you are obligated to follow-through with rent payments, even if you are unable to use it. (The exception may be if you or your landlord is able to find another tenant for the space for which you have signed a lease.)

Purdue employees may not engage in outside employment and other outside activities that would conflict with their University duties. If it does not conflict with your University duties, it is permissible. Employment off campus is not available to international students unless authorized for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT). Graduate student employees are required to file a Disclosure of and Application for Permission to Engage in a Reportable Outside Activity form before engaging in any reportable outside activities. Such outside reportable activities include employment and connections with business enterprises, public offices, professional associations, educational institutions, and foundations. See the Vice President for Ethics and Compliance webpage for the Reportable Outside Activity Form Guidelines.

Below are the parking permit options, along with annual costs, available each academic year and also additional options made available this year due to COVID-19 and its impact on campus parking utilization.

All annual costs listed will be prorated based on the month of purchase. Prorated amounts will be shown in the online parking portal during the purchase process. Employed graduate students are eligible for payroll deduction for any type of permit purchased.

Standard Academic Year Parking Permit Options

  • Graduate students employed by Purdue at least three-quarter time (30 hours per week) are
    eligible to purchase an A ($250) or B ($100) parking permit upon request and by submitting
    position verification from the department.
    • Request through the online parking portal:
    • Choose “Special Permit Requests”
    • Login using Purdue BoilerKey credentials
    • Select “Employed Student A/B Permit Request” from the drop-down menu; click Next
    • Download, complete and upload the linked application
    • If you meet the requirements, Parking Facilities will send you an approval email that authorizes you to purchase this permit
    • Visit the online parking portal to purchase the A/B permit
  • Graduate students living at least 1.5 miles from campus are eligible to purchase a C ($100) parking permit. A limited number of C-garage ($250) permits are available each year providing access to one garage and all C lots. See additional information in the next section.
    • Request through the online parking portal:
    • Choose “C Permits” and click the link to apply on the pop-up window
    • Login using Purdue BoilerKey credentials
    • Follow the prompts on the screen
    • Upload verification of your local address
    • The request will be reviewed, and Parking Facilities will email you when you are eligible to purchase a permit
    • Visit the online parking portal to purchase the C permit

Special Parking Permit Requests: 2021-22 Academic Year:

If you do not meet the requirements for one of the parking permit options listed above, or you would like to take advantage of the additional C-garage ($250) permits available this year, submit a special parking permit request to Parking Facilities through the online parking portal:

  • Choose “Special Permit Requests”
  • Login using Purdue BoilerKey credentials
  • Select “Student Exception” from the drop-down menu; click next
  • Provide any relevant notes, and upload supporting documentation for your request
  • Parking Facilities will email you when your request has been reviewed. The email will provide an appropriate parking permit option for purchase
  • Visit the online parking portal to purchase the appropriate permit

Contact Parking Facilities at (765)-494-9497 or