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.

Contacting Us

Yes. We are open and observing normal hours of operation from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

During the fall 2020 semester, some Graduate School staff members will be available in-person during normal business hours, while others are working remotely part of the day or full-time. All staff members can be reached via email. For general inquiries and registration, please email gradinfo@purdue.edu 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.

Fall 2020 On-Campus Experience

This will greatly depend on your research and any graduate staff duties you might have. Discuss this with your faculty advisor and supervisor to understand the specifics of your situation. 

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.

We believe that faculty are trying to do everything they can to support students. We would expect something like this to be rare, but if it does, you should report it. First report it to either the department head or chair of the Departmental Graduate Committee so they can take action on your behalf or report anonymously to the Purdue Hotline. Graduate education related issues reported to the hotline will come to the Graduate School, where we can investigate. We know that you might be worried about retaliation, but be assured, it will not be tolerated. Retaliation could be anything from not responding to emails, hindering your academic progress, or other things that negatively affect you. If you are not sure whether something could be perceived as retaliatory, contact your department head or the Graduate School.

These are difficult discussions and there has been no final decision made with respect to criteria for closure. The Protect Purdue Implementation Team is developing a range of contingency plans based on reasonably foreseeable scenarios as well as a process for responsive decision-making in the event of unforeseeable twists. These plans take into account surrounding healthcare and treatment capabilities, on-campus testing capacities and back-up providers, available isolation and quarantine spaces, and State of Indiana and Public Health guidelines. This planning is in close concert with state and local health authorities and healthcare officials. Existing efforts, such as building resilient pedagogies that can adapt if a student must be isolated following a positive virus test, support our contingency planning efforts. Existing federal rulings will allow current international students to continue their education should the University need to revert to online learning. 

Please discuss with your advisor early in the fall semester what you will do if a disruption occurs so that you are prepared. Prioritize your work schedule this semester with this in mind.

The already published Protect Purdue timeline provides the decision-making process that led up to the release of and subsequent implementation of the Protect Purdue Plan. The implementation of the plan is through the implementation groups listed on page 4 of the Protect Purdue Plan. Additionally, as this is a public health-oriented situation, there is a medical advisory team (Protect Purdue Plan, page 5) and a medical advisory committee (Protect Purdue Plan, page 6), which are working daily to ingest the latest scientific findings and providing endorsements and guidance towards the actions being taken. The Protect Purdue Implementation Team (appointed by President Daniels in May 2020) continues to work to develop the policies, procedures, guidelines, strategies and tactics that will enable the University to further its discovery and learning missions in the safest possible ways during the COVID-19 pandemic. These individuals lead subcommittees that comprise or engage with dozens of faculty, staff, students and outside experts.

The Office of the Dean of Students is working on guidelines for student organizations. If you have ideas, please send them to Dr. Beth McCuskey, she would be glad to have you weigh in with your thoughts.

This will depend greatly on your research duties, academic expectations and any graduate staff duties. You are advised to approach your major professor with a plan of what you need to do, how you plan to make your deadlines, and ask to take the time off. These can be difficult discussions sometimes depending on your relationship with your advisor, but if you advocate for yourself and give a plan on how you will meet obligations, most reasonable professors will permit it. Have these discussions about vacation planning before you want to take one, so you understand the priorities of your supervisor. Vacation time for employees, which is handled through Success Factors, must be approved so planning is critical.

Yes. Individuals trained as contact tracers are available, if needed. We will build a mechanism for actively and accurately tracing the contacts of those who test positive for the virus, through a combination of in-person interviews and technology

Common graduate student office space was reviewed when public spaces were reviewed and should be part of a departmental 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.

Check with you advisor or building deputy to determine if your building is open and how you can gain access.

Please check with the chair of your departmental graduate program, major professor or department head for department specific requirements. 

This is certainly an acceptable method of communication. Check with your supervisor on the course requirements.

This will be program and course specific and would only be available for undergraduate courses.  Let your department head or those that assign teaching responsibility know of your interest in teaching.

Yes, all classrooms have gone through a review for COVID-19 occupancy.  The reduction of student capacity in teaching spaces is addressed on the Protect Purdue site under Classes and Academics – For Faculty and Instructors.

Instructors and students will be responsible for wiping down the desk or space they occupy. Wipes will be available in classrooms. Students and instructors will be able to grab a wipe or two and wipe down their desk. Building Services will perform expanded disinfection operations in the classroom each evening as detailed at Protect Purdue – Health, Wellness, and Prevention.

Lab-based courses will be planned and implemented differently by different faculty. There are two possible approaches. One approach might be a reduction of the number of labs and rotation of students to participate in smaller groups to allow each student to experience each lab (e.g., students will be able to complete all labs offered). Another approach might be a reduction of the number of labs with a portion of students completing some labs in-person and another portion of students doing different labs in-person and/or supplementing with virtual labs or simulations.  Instructors in these courses will provide separate SOPs for conducting instruction that requires close contact (for example demonstrating microscope use) and additional PPE may be provided.

Updated travel opportunities and restrictions, including those related to research, can be found at: Protect Purdue—University Travel.

Funding for travel related to research (if such travel is approved by the University and your department), will be allocated by your department.  You could also consider applying for a Purdue Graduate Student Government Travel Grant.

Each lab operates under an SOP that was developed by your PI and approved by Purdue’s Human Research Protection Program (HRPP). Work with your advisor to be sure the approved SOP COVID-19 safety measures are adhered to at all times.

Building Services. Information about Building Services’ expanded disinfection operation is available at the Protect Purdue— Health, Wellness, and Prevention.

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.

Note: For more information on research operations, see Protect Purdue -- Responding to COVID-19: Purdue Research and the PowerPoint presentation shown during the Graduate Student Town Hall: Research Returning to Operations on July 1, 2020.

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: https://www.irb.purdue.edu

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 can be conducted remotely, as it was during the partial shutdown, students are encouraged to request this after discussion with their PI. Certainly, many students can conduct research and writing 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.

This report can be requested through a Requests for Records to the Office of Legal Counsel Public Records Request site. That office evaluates whether such reports are public records subject to disclosure.

There has been no claim of protection from liability if Purdue staff or students contract COVID-19 after returning to in-person instruction and operations.

Decisions at the University are made by individuals in leadership positions who engage with faculty, staff, and students, not by committee vote. The concerns of graduate staff and students are solicited through many channels, including the following:

  • The Purdue Graduate Student Government, as the official advocate for graduate students at Purdue University, has a voice with senior Purdue administrators, including the provost and the dean of the Graduate School. The provost has a standing monthly meeting with the president of PGSG; these have increased to weekly meetings since the COVID-19 crisis began as PGSG has joined with other organizations in meeting with the provost. The PGSG president also meets monthly with the dean of the Graduate School and with the Graduate School dean’s cabinet and when needed through phone calls. At these meetings, graduate staff and student concerns regarding COVID-19 and systemic racism have been represented. The advisor of PGSG, an associate dean at the Graduate School, also meets with PGSG regularly and attends the PGSG executive committee and the senate meetings.

  • Several town halls have been held, including two hosted by the Graduate School, one of which was focused on returning to research operations and was led by the executive vice president for research and partnerships, and several by the provost. These town halls were offered to give the Purdue community detailed updates on COVID-19 considerations and decision-making and to address questions submitted by the Purdue community. Questions that were submitted in advance and during these town halls were factored into subsequent discussions and decision-making. Graduate students are welcome at all University town halls, including provost discussions, senate meetings, and research and teaching town halls. Notice of many of these have been included in the Graduate School and PGSG weekly newsletters.

  • Dean Linda Mason invites graduate students to email her directly with questions and concerns. In addition, Dean Linda Mason meets with any group that has an interest in a dialog.

  • Via the Graduate School’s Report a Concern page or Office of the Dean of Students Student of Concern Reporting link.

  • Dean Mason also supports graduate assistantships in each of the five cultural centers and meets during the semester with these students to hear about concerns and activities supporting graduate students at the centers.

Dean Linda Mason has provided an update on ongoing initiatives addressing social justice and diversity in graduate education at Purdue University at: https://www.purdue.edu/gradschool/message-from-the-dean. Dean Mason supports graduate students at the cultural centers to hear concerns of these students. Two years ago, Dean Mason also established a Graduate Diversity Fellow, Dr. Kevin Gibson, who is working on changes to our policies that differentially affect BIPOC, such as elimination of departmental requirements of the GRE. The Graduate School is also funded through the Sloan Foundation and the National Science Foundation AGEP program.  At the University level, the Board of Trustees has initiated a Task Force on Racial Equity and will examine this issue from a student, staff, faculty, and community level.

University leaders solicit input from constituents who are affected by decisions through a variety of channels. Graduate student and graduate staff voices are solicited as noted above.

Health, Sick Leave, Insurance

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

The University provides 10 days of emergency leave for benefits-eligible graduate staff (those employed half-time or more) who test positive or exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 or whose family members test positive or exhibit symptoms of COVID-19. After the 10 days are exhausted, employees must follow the leave policy or may qualify for additional FMLA. Although graduate staff are not often eligible for FMLA, it is available to those who have been employed at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 in the 12 months preceding the first date for which FMLA is requested.  This is generally those with more than a 0.5 FTE appointment. In addition, the University provides up to 60 days of emergency FMLA leave to graduate staff who must be off work due to child care/school closures related to COVID-19 reasons. After the 60 days are exhausted, graduate staff would follow the normal leave policy. Potentially, other leave would then be available, if needed. We encourage graduate students to work with their instructors and graduate registration advisor/graduate contact regarding courses and registration. Remember that taking an incomplete may be one option or potentially adjusting research registration may be another for situations where students must be away from classes for an extended period. If any student feels it is unsafe to return to campus, a discussion with their advisor is appropriate to determine if a break from school is necessary.

For more information, visit:

 

Also, see the Human Resources Overview of Your Leaves Benefits as a Graduate Staff Member.

It depends on how the student got COVID-19. If it can be proven it was through the workplace, it would go through workers compensation. This would be hard to prove, but an investigation would be done just as any other potential on site injury/illness must go through. 

Domestic, international and graduate staff students on the University’s full-insurance Anthem health plan who need care as a result of COVID-19 will be covered. Anthem will also waive out-of-pocket expenses for the focused test used to diagnose COVID-19 for fully insured, Individual, Medicare, and Medicaid members. You can call the number on your ID card to confirm coverage. You will pay any other out-of-pocket expenses the plan requires, unless otherwise determined by state law or regulation

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

See https://www.purdue.edu/hr/COVID-19/assessment.php for considerable information on this question. Note that graduate staff who are working remotely or have everything they need to protect them on campus are not required to initiate an assessment. See also: https://protect.purdue.edu/updates/plans-underway-to-protect-the-most-vulnerable-purdue-populations-of-serious-illness-from-covid-19/

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. 

No,  the assessment to protect those most vulnerable is only for employees who believe they are medically vulnerable and need additional assistance on campus.

If a family member living with you is in the high-risk vulnerability category, follow CDC guidelines for households living in close quarters. These practices include the basics associated with practicing good social distance practices, wearing a face mask, frequent hand-washing, and avoiding public transportation. Review this guidance and discuss with your advisor or supervisor if you have concerns. You also have the option to defer registration. See “Options for Not Returning to Campus/Deferred Enrollments/Extension.” 

If someone lives off campus and can't quarantine in their own location, we will offer a spot, space available, in Purdue Village. This will be charged at $400 per week and includes 3 meals per day. Medical staff will do checks on them. If they live with us and can't quarantine in their own room/apartment, they can also go to Purdue Village at no additional charge. Not following public health quarantine recommendations would be a violation of University rules and could put you risk with public health officials.

Purdue University will continue to work closely with county, state, and local healthcare systems to ensure that capacity is maintained. Obviously, if the pandemic were to exhibit a massive surge, we would anticipate a return to all remote learning.

Yes, Purdue will require all students to be tested for COVID-19 before start of the fall semester. Purdue will pay for this test. See details on the Protect Purdue site.

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 next semester, first seek accommodations through Human Resources, but if you consider that this is too high of a risk, you should not return to campus until you feel safe to be around other individuals. Students may delay their return, or start, up to three semesters.

Yes, they are eligible if they have benefits and more than 30 calendar days of service. The following tables show the options available to them: https://protect.purdue.edu/app/uploads/2020/04/FFCVRATable.jpg

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 with a serious health condition, to give birth, to adopt, or to place a child in the employee’s 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. 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 the Success Factors system. Further information on FMLA is available by contacting or Human Resources – Employee Benefits at 765-494-2222 or e-mail at hr@purdue.edu. Graduate students that are not employed are not eligible for FMLA leave.

The University provides 10 days of emergency leave for benefits-eligible graduate staff (those employed half-time or more) who test positive or exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 or whose family members test positive or exhibit symptoms of COVID-19. After the 10 days are exhausted, employees must follow the leave policy or may qualify for additional FMLA. In addition, the University provides up to 60 days of emergency FMLA leave to graduate staff who must be off work due to child care/school closures related to COVID-19 reasons. After the 60 days are exhausted, graduate staff would follow the normal leave policy. Potentially, other leave would then be available, if needed. We encourage you to work with your instructors and graduate registration advisor/graduate contact regarding courses and registration. Remember, that taking an incomplete may be one option or potentially adjusting research registration may be another for situations where you must be away from classes for an extended period. If you feel it is unsafe to return to campus, a discussion with your advisor is appropriate to determine if a break from school is necessary.

https://www.purdue.edu/hr/COVID-19/assessment.php

https://www.purdue.edu/hr/COVID-19/payleave/index.php

https://protect.purdue.edu/faculty-staff-faq/#hr-employment

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:

  • The Office of the Dean of Students remains available to assist students during normal office hours (8am-5pm, M-F). No appointment is necessary. You can reach the Office of the Dean of Students by phone at 765-494-1747 or by email at odosmain@purdue.edu. The Office of the Dean of Students is also available for drop-in appointments if you do not have the ability to communicate by phone or email.

  • Purdue’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is available for consultation from 8 am-5 pm. Please call 765-494-6995 to speak with a clinician. Protocall CAPS Crisis Line is available after business hours. Please call 765-494-6995, and press “1” to speak with a clinician.

  • WellTrack is an online tool to assist students struggling with feelings of anxiety, depression, stress. Go to www.purdue.edu/caps, and click on WellTrack.

  • Purdue Police Department Crisis Intervention Team officers are accessed through dialing 911. (On West Lafayette campus only)

  • St. Franciscan Emergency Room, 1701 S Creasy Ln, Lafayette, IN.  Phone: (765) 502-4000 (Local to West Lafayette campus only)

  • Sycamore Springs, 833 Park E. Blvd., Lafayette, IN. Phone: (765) 743-4400. (Local to West Lafayette campus only)

  • River Bend Hospital, 2900 N. River Rd, West Lafayette, IN. Phone: (765) 464-0400. (Local to West Lafayette campus only)

  • National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) – the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization – educates, advocates, listens and leads to help build better lives for those affected by mental illness. NAMI Helpline can be reached at 800-950-NAMI (6264), 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or email info@nami.org. Crisis Text Line can be reached by texting “NAMI” to 741741 – 24/7-crisis support via text message.

  • Mental Health America (MHA) – the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness. The Crisis Center Hotline can be reached via 765-742-0244 (call or text) or toll-free at 877-419-1632 for any problem at any time.

  • Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) – advances suicide prevention infrastructure and capacity. SPRC has compiled a set of resources specific to helping mental health and COVID-19.

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – call 800-273-TALK (8255) – The Lifeline provides 24/7 free and confidential support.

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Manage Anxiety & Stress, Coping with a Disaster or Traumatic Event    

  • Parent / Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope – COVID-19  

  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline – call 800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 –  is available 24/7 with crisis counseling and other support for people who are going through emotional distress from a disaster, including infectious disease outbreaks. Spanish speakers text Hablanos to 66746. See the online brochure here.

  • Crisis Text Line – Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor. The Crisis Text Line connects you to a live, trained volunteer who can provide support – medical advice is not provided.

  • USA Mental Health First Aid – Compilation of tips from the Mental Health First Aid curriculum to help you care for your own and your loved one’s mental health.

  • Supporting Families During COVID-19 – Child Mind Institute

  • If you are concerned about the behavior of a fellow student or postdoc, you may report your concerns to the Office of the Dean of Students at: Student of Concern Reporting Link

Purdue will provide the vaccinations for the Purdue community at Flu Shot Events during the fall semester. The dates and details can be found at: https://www.purdue.edu/hr/COVID-19/flu-info/index.php

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is continuing to advance the strategies employed last spring to minimize wait times and have several searches for clinicians underway. While they are not increasing funding at this juncture, they will be monitoring wait times for appointments and will manage accordingly. There are many mental health resources available in addition to CAPS. See the question above for a list.  

As you likely know, it is unlawful to make employment decisions on the basis of one’s race, color or national origin. Having said that, the University actively seeks diverse applicant pools for every open position, using every lawful means available to it and will continue to do so in an effort to ensure that BIPOC candidates are aware of, encouraged to apply, and fairly considered following federal law, for all such openings.

Similarly, it is unlawful to make employment decisions on the basis of one’s sex, including one’s gender identity or sexual orientation. Having said that, the University seeks diverse applicant pools for every open position, using every lawful means available to it and will continue to do so in an effort to ensure that LGBTQ+ candidates are aware of and fairly considered for all such openings.

 

Isolation and quarantine spaces necessarily include housing, medical care and food which are expenses that must be paid. If students are uncomfortable with returning to campus or experiencing a possible quarantine and cannot isolate in their normal housing, contact the Protect Purdue Health Center. Roommates and family members will most likely be part of the conversation with contract tracers with specific recommendations for isolation vs quarantine guidelines. 

All students, faculty and staff will self-monitor for the symptoms of COVID-19 if they are present on campus and report to the Protect Purdue Health Center if they experience fever of 100.4 F (38 C) or higher. See the Protect Purdue Pledge for more information.

Purdue University Student Health Service (PUSH) is entering the fall semester with a staff of 9 providers (physicians and nurse practitioners), which is 3 more providers than they had last fall. The additional providers will increase daily capacity. PUSH is also working on a plan to expand weekend hours to include Sunday as well as the Saturday hours they have always had. Most importantly, with respect to COVID-19, PUSH will be working closely with the Protect Purdue Health Center (PPHC). PPHC is a dedicated center for West Lafayette campus students, faculty and staff. It will serve as the first stop for anyone who suspects that they may have symptoms of, or been exposed to, COVID-19. The center will be the main contact for COVID-19 sampling, testing and quarantining on campus. It is staffed by an expert medical team of doctors, nurse case managers and contact tracers. PPHC staff will triage care, make decisions about who should get tested, and begin contact tracing when necessary. Any Purdue students, faculty members or staff exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 are encouraged to contact the Information Center immediately. The center will interact closely with PUSH, Purdue’s Center for Healthy Living (CHL) and outside medical providers to manage the care and treatment of students and employees. PUSH will provide care based on the protocols that are being developed for the PPHC staff.

It is strongly advised that you do not travel during the semester. If you are traveling to a high-risk area, you will need to self-quarantine for 14 days when you return to campus, and you are advised to get tested 5-7 days after returning to determine if you are infected. Some states will require you to quarantine before entering their state, so you would be adding the additional quarantine time to your trip. International travel is restricted and requires 14 days of quarantine and a negative test before returning to campus. We advise you to use common sense, and if you leave the Purdue community, to quarantine upon return. See the Protect Purdue site for more information about travel, self-quarantine, and testing requirements.

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 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.  

Personal Protective Equipment

Lilly Hall
Outside main entrance (rain location: Lilly Hall lobby)
Monday, 8/10, 2:00–4:00 pm
Tuesday, 8/11, 9:00–11:00 am
Wednesday, 8/12, 11:30 am–1:00 pm
 
Armstrong Hall
Tent by Neil Armstrong Statue (rain or shine)
Monday, 8/17, 1:00–4:00 pm
 
Beering Hall
Outside main entrance facing University Hall (rain location: Beering Hall lobby)
Tuesday, 8/18, 11:30–1:30 pm
 
Purdue Graduate Student Center
8/17–8/21, 8:00 am–5:00 pm
 
Young Hall
Graduate School, Room 170
8/17–8/21, 8:00 am–5:00 pm

The masks in the Protect Purdue kit are cloth and can be washed and reused. You can hand wash one mask you use each evening and wear the second mask while the first one is drying the next day. You can also obtain Level-1 disposable surgical face masks; see Protect Purdue – Obtaining COVID-19 Essential Supplies

new process for ordering COVID-10 essential supplies began on July 13.  For more information, see: Protect Purdue –Obtaining COVID-19 Essential Supplies. Speak with your supervisor if you are not able to get the supplies you need.

An unlimited supply of free face masks will not be placed at every entrance of every building. Free masks will be available at various locations on campus in the event someone arrives on campus without one of the two free reusable masks provided by the University in the Protect Purdue kit.

Compliance with the Protect Purdue Pledge

The biggest driver of this behavior is instructor expectations and classroom policies of the instructor. Students come to class ill if they fear missing points or if the instructor does not make it easy for students to get the material they missed. This is a big reason for our push for hybrid course delivery this fall. Instructors should have a robust representation of the class in the LMS – so that if a student misses class they can easily stay connected, follow along, get course materials, and not miss points. If a student or staff member repeatedly violates the policy, they will be referred to the Dean of Students or Human Resources, respectively.

In regards to policies around the enforcement of mask wearing, the first line of defense will be education and a request to comply. If students forget their masks, there will be emergency masks in the classroom. If students repeatedly do not comply, guidelines on managing disruptive classroom behavior, which includes failing to meet expectations outlined in the Protect Purdue Pledge, are available from the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. If a student is not complying with the Protect Purdue Pledge and instructors feel that their safety or the safety of the class is at risk, instructors have the right to dismiss class. Students who do not comply should be reported to the class supervisor and to the Office of the Dean of Students using the Student of Concern Report.

In regards to the Black, immigrant, and disabled populations, we take seriously this concern. If students feel they are being treated unfairly, they should report it to the Office of the Dean of Students or Vice President for Ethics and Compliance. The issue will be investigated.

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.

Yes. We take seriously this concern and have forwarded it for the Safe Campus Task Force’s consideration. If students feel they are being treated unfairly, they should report it to the Office of the Dean of Students or Vice President for Ethics and Compliance. The issue will be investigated.

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

Newly admitted international graduate students admitted for Fall 2020 may ask to defer their admission to Spring 2021, Summer 2021, or Fall 2021 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. Admitted international graduate students who know that they need to defer their graduate study may submit that anytime through November 15 (earlier is encouraged) in order to start in Spring 2021.

Newly admitted domestic graduate students admitted for Fall 2020 have the ability (without asking for a deferral) to register for Fall 2020, Spring 2021, or Summer 2021. If they need to start their programs in Fall 2021, they must ask for a deferral by requesting a change to that date in writing to their department. 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 deferral — if the department requests on your behalf— on a case-by-case basis for admitted students who are 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.

Decide if online enrollment is a potential solution, in consultation with your graduate contact and major professor. The deadline to opt into the Fully Online Fall 2020 option is July 15. If you are enrolled this summer, you have the ability – without re-applying to return in Fall 2020, Spring 2021, or Summer 2021. And, we can – on a case-by-case basis – extend beyond that for COVID-19 related reasons. In any case, be sure to communicate your plans to your department. In addition, think about other commitments that you may have, like a contract for housing, which may help inform your decision.  Also, if relevant, have a discussion your advisor about your research progress and if it is possible to pause, or would you need to shift your research plans if you took a break.

Yes, many departments are offering courses that will be held on campus and virtually. See the Protect Purdue Classes and Academics – Online page for more information. Some courses will be offered in a hybrid format, meaning that there will be a combination of face-to-face and online work. Due to Homeland Security restrictions, at this time, three credits is the maximum – taken online – for residential international students this fall. Check with your department to see what they will have available, or view the list of courses available for the fully online options.

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 grade requirements summer or fall semester and graduation research requirements while working remotely. You might need to adjust your deliverables on a project, or adjust your research proposal objectives.

All currently enrolled graduate students who began in Spring 2020, Summer 2020, or newly admitted graduate students who will begin in Fall 2020 and have a Graduate School hold due to non-receipt of documents (transcripts, diplomas, English translations, etc.) listed as a condition of continued enrollment in their admission letter, have until March 1, 2021, to get these documents to the Graduate School. (This temporary policy modification is not applicable to students who must show degree completion of a degree in order to demonstrate English proficiency or have GPA requirements to meet.) This extension recognizes the potential difficulty of acquiring these documents from previous institutions and the need to limit person-to-person contact during the pandemic. However, you may send these documents through campus mail to the Office of Graduate Admissions, Young Hall 170, when you arrive. In addition, you may send these via postal mail to the Office of Graduate Admissions, Young Hall170, 155 South Grant Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907. This extension will allow this group of graduate students to register for Summer and Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 without submitting these documents.

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. 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 during Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 due to the COVID-19 emergency. We will not limit the number of members, including the student, that can participate via electronic media.

While the Graduate School permitted graduate students to take courses P/NP and use them toward graduate degrees during Spring 2020, this has not been extended to Summer 2020 and Fall 2020. Longstanding Graduate School policies regarding use of P/NP courses on plans of study and toward graduation will be in effect for courses taken in Summer 2020 and beyond. Likewise, deadlines for adding, dropping, and modifying courses, established by the Office of the Registrar, will be observed for Summer 2020 and beyond. If you are not going to use the course on a plan of study and it is not needed for graduation, the P/NP is acceptable

Yes, you will receive a new letter reflecting your deferment. That should arrive later this summer.

  • Allowances for second 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
  • Most admission-related documents for students who began Spring 2020, Summer 2020, or will begin in Fall 2020 are not required for submission until March 1, 2021.
  • 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 or Fall 2020.)
  • Through Fall 2020, all preliminary and final examinations may be held using electronic media.

All undergraduate and graduate students have access to an online program if they do not desire to be on campus this fall. The University has been working to add as many courses as feasible to the online portfolio. The focus was to offer as many undergraduate courses online as they would have the most impact on undergraduate progress. There will be graduate level courses online for students who wish for an online option this fall. You might look at other universities and see if their online offerings will meet your needs. You can transfer up to 15 credits to Purdue.  Check with your committee on options of what might be available. You can also talk to instructors about doing a variable title class for one that is not offered in the online modality. If you are not returning to campus and the course is not listed as an online course and you need it to graduate in December, talk to your committee about changing your POS. Here is some clarifying information on credits:

Master’s: At least one-half of the total credit hours used to satisfy degree requirements must be earned while registered at Purdue University.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree: At least one-third of the total credit hours used to satisfy degree requirements must be earned while registered for doctoral study at Purdue University.

International students that are in residence are limited to 1 three-hour online course.

An 0.5 FTE appointment should work 20 hours a week. If you are working over that, you should talk to your department head, the Graduate School, or supervisor to examine the appointment. In some departments there will be a need for more TA positions as we will have more sections offered in order to de-densify. Some departments might offer a change in appointment from 0.5 to 0.75 for some students, others might increase the number of TAs. This need has been considered by the administration and those who manage TA appointments are determining departmental needs and discussing allocations with supervisors.

Graduate students have access to online graduate-level courses if they do not desire to be on campus this fall. The University has been working to add as many courses as feasible to the online portfolio. Students should check with their committee on available options. They can also talk to instructors about doing a variable title class for one that is not offered in the online modality. If a student is not returning to campus and the course is not listed as an online course and the student needs it to graduate in December, the student should talk to their committee about changing their POS or finding another means to meet a requirement. Obtaining the course from another institution would also be possible. Here is some clarifying information on credits:

  • Master’s: At least one-half of the total credit hours used to satisfy degree requirements must be earned while registered at Purdue University.
  • Doctor of Philosophy Degree: At least one-third of the total credit hours used to satisfy degree requirements must be earned while registered for doctoral study at Purdue University.
  • International students who are in residence in the United States are limited to 1 three-hour online course by federal regulations. Should the University change to completely online during the semester, current international students who are not new to the US this semester will be able to convert to fully online instruction with no concern for visa restrictions. Students who might decide to enter the US for the first time for fall semester have been advised that they are not covered under the recent ruling and will be limited to the 3 credit hour ruling.

In regards to funding, because there are multiple ways students are funded, there is no simple answer for this. We have asked colleges to use their unfilled recruitment scholarships to cover some gaps in funding, and the Graduate School created a limited number of Emergency COVID-19 assistantships for fall and spring. These were recently allocated to each college to award for the fall semester. Online learning vs hybrid for international students is regulated by the federal government and is not a University policy. We will be monitoring these guidelines and will communicate with our international student population as necessary.

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.  Options might include a shift in duties to all grading or virtual class sections. Because there are multiple ways students are funded, there is no single answer to the funding question. We have asked colleges to use their unfilled recruitment scholarships to cover some gaps in funding, and the Graduate School created a limited number of Emergency COVID-19 assistantships for fall and spring. These were recently allocated to each college to award for the fall semester.

The Graduate School developed a procedure for awarding the fee remit portion of an assistantship/fellowship offer for incoming students that, because of visa issues, cannot make it to campus this fall. There are very specific guidelines on how this can occur and on which type of funds could cover this. We are encouraging awarding fellowships even if off campus if the duties associated with the award can be completed remotely. For all assistantship holders, there might be teaching accommodations for teaching online or virtual work for other types of positions. You should discuss with your supervisor about what options are available. 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.

This will depend greatly on your source of funding. Some graduate staff positions may be eliminated due to an office changing function due to COVID-19 disruptions or with large number of staff teleworking. If you are on external funding, there may not be disruption or it may be supplemented with CARES act funding. The Graduate School student funding comes from endowments and are awarded to colleges a year in advance. If endowments are impacted by economic downturns, some payouts might be reduced and thus fewer funds will be available for distribution in the future. However, teaching needs may increase in the fall, as more class sections are needed to accommodate de-densification. We will not really know the full budget impacts until we see what fall enrollments look like.  If you are worried about your funding, please reach out to your current supervisor and inquire.  The fall class schedule and demand for sessions is still in development and until it is set and we see how many students are enrolled, final graduate student employment numbers are uncertain.

No, there is no hazard pay. But in both of these examples, you should receive guidance on protecting both yourself, students, and others in these situations. If you are uncomfortable with what is happening, it needs to be reported to the Purdue Hotline.  If you need accommodations, please start an intake form with HR, so your individual accommodations can be determined.

Unfortunately, given our budgetary constraints there are no new resources for this type of program across the University. However, if your job/position requires that you work from home, the department should provide you with the basic needs to do your job. You may ask your own advisor or graduate director for specific questions if you have a need that they may be able to facilitate.

We acknowledge that there was disruption to pay for many students last year. We did form a Taskforce to investigate and find solutions. Payroll has indicated that those glitches from last year were due to the change to bi-monthly pay. Those issues should be resolved this year because the system has been in place for some time and adjustments have been made.

Yes, it is changing only for those students who enroll online; there will be no wellness fee for online students.  College differentials will stay the same. Fees have not changed for students who will be on campus as the University plans on offering services.

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.

Guidelines are established by the U.S. Department of Education and can be found at:  https://www.purdue.edu/dfa

University policy does not provide for hazard pay.

Graduate staff appointments may be assigned within the designated hours and duties that, in the past, may not have been part of their normal assignment. Additionally, they may be asked to work different hours than normal due to the particular assignment. For example, if a graduate student taught in a face-to-face mode previously, some of the work hours were tied to the time of the class instruction. If a student is now assigned an online course, there may be variable hours. If graduate staff members cannot perform those duties as assigned, they must initiate a conversation with Human Resources to discuss possible job modifications. If you have a question about your job duties or expectations, please consult with your immediate supervisor and refer to the terms in your employment letter. International students must abide by Federal Regulation [8 C.F.R. 214.2(F)(9)(i)] that pertains to on-campus employment eligibility in that they must not exceed 20 hours a week while school is in session.

International Student Concerns

No, per Department of Homeland Security guidance.

Yes, but not later than the 29th day after the start of classes (September 22), per Department of Homeland Security guidance. If you are unsure if you will be able to make it campus for the start of classes, you might consider the online option until your visa situation is determined.

Depending upon the entry dates that your department allows, you can request a deferral to Spring 2021, Summer 2021, or Fall 2021. You can initiate that with by making a request to your department. For Spring 2021, the Graduate School needs it by November 15. For Summer or Fall of 2021 starts, your department’s request is needed by the last day of the Fall semester.

In addition to participating in the virtual sessions organized through the Graduate School and various other campus partners, this summer our office is offering the following:

  • Telephone and email advising with immigration counselors
  • Weekly virtual OPT info sessions
  • Virtual International Friendship Program events and programming
  • In July, we will have limited, by appointment only, in-person pick up for the documents we produce based on student requests, but we will not resume face-to-face advising until further notice.
  • One Graduate School professional development workshop focused on international graduate student questions and concerns on May 20. Three more are planned:
    1. International Postdoc Resources Q&A Questions. Register. Submit Questions.
    2. Incoming International Grad Student Resources Q&A Questions. Register. Submit Questions.
    3. Current International Grad Student Resources Q&A Questions. Register. Submit Questions.

Similar to U.S. citizens and permanent residents, we hope that it will be possible for new and continuing international students (residing in the United States) to enroll in on-campus graduate programs in Fall 2020.  Students who are transferring their student visa status from another U.S. institution to Purdue University will be provided with specific instructions from the Office of International Students and Scholars, after they submit their completed Notification of Intent via the myISS portal.

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.

The ICE policy has been rescinded. Purdue did join the lawsuit via amicus briefs and as part of APLU, AAU and other national efforts.

Graduate Student Life

We recognize that we are in the midst of uncertainty as we deal with the consequences of COVID-19. University Residences will have on-campus housing at Purdue Village available for future occupancy. As part of University Residences, you would not be required to pay rent for housing at Purdue Village if you contract for it but are unable to enroll at Purdue University and be on campus due to a COVID-19-related change of plans. As of August 1, 22 single beds (14 in singles, 8 in doubles), and 30 family apartments being turned over for future occupancy in the Purdue Village for single graduate students and graduate students with families.

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.

CityBus provides the following guidance on how to protect yourself and others while riding CityBus:

  • Wash (or sanitize) your hands before and after boarding
  • Wear face masks or coverings on the bus
  • Stay six feet away from drivers and other passengers when possible

Information about the Purdue Libraries’ response to COVID-19 can be found at https://www.lib.purdue.edu.