Graduate School accommodations in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

*NEW* CARES emergency funds

Students needing emergency financial assistance due to the coronavirus may be eligible for support from the WSU CARES Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund or the WSU Student Emergency Grant Program.


Follow the latest university-wide student information and updates on the COVID-19 situation here

As part of the university's response to COVID-19, the Graduate School has taken all services fully online and remains committed to supporting students and faculty. Please find an overview of relevant information below. We are working remotely during regular business hours 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. (EDT), Monday-Friday

Key contact information


  • Admissions information

    While all phone inquiries are temporarily suspended, answers to many common application questions can be found in the frequently asked questions (FAQ) section of the Graduate Admissions website. Can't find what you're looking for? Contact for assistance.


    We are unable to process hard copy documents received via U.S. postal, Federal Express and DHL express mail services until further notice. Most admissions documents can be transmitted electronically or uploaded to your application as PDFs. We encourage all applicants to utilize electronic forms of submission whenever possible. If you have questions on the submission of electronic documents, please contact us at

    Application deadlines

    The Graduate School will provide some flexibility with recommended application deadlines for Spring/Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 applications. However, application deadlines set by programs supersede those set by the Graduate School. Please check with your academic program for individual program application deadlines. For international applicants, deadlines to submit official academic credential evaluations for Spring/Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 have been adjusted to the following:

    Spring/Summer – June 30 Fall – October 31

    Application fee waivers

    In light of the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, to assist our applicants, beginning May 9, 2020, Wayne State University is waiving the application fee on all graduate applications submitted for the following terms: Spring/Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021 and Spring/Summer 2021. Unfortunately, we are not able to make this waiver retroactive for applicants who have already paid the application fee.

    GRE General Test

    For students affected by COVID-19, at home testing is now available worldwide for the GRE General Test, with the exception of Mainland China and Iran. Visit ETS GRE General Test for more information.

    English proficiency requirements

    The TOEFL iBT is being temporarily offered as a special home edition, worldwide, with the exception of Iran. For China applicants, effective May 12, ETS and the TOEFL® program announced the launch of the TOEFL ITP® Plus for China Solution, a secure TOEFL® testing solution exclusively for Mainland China featuring the TOEFL ITP test and a video speaking interview from Vericant, a leading secure interview administrator.

    Duolingo English Test. Effective April 1, 2020, Wayne State University now accepts the Duolingo English Test, an online modern language proficiency tool that is available anywhere, anytime from a computer with a webcam and microphone.

  • Student information

    Last day to complete all final PhD requirements

    The last day to complete all final requirements for PhD students graduating in May 2020 has been extended to April 17, 2020.

    Grading policy

    After extensive consultation with our graduate community, the Graduate School is providing a grade/no pass policy for the Winter 2020 semester. This policy will apply to graduate students in programs that decide to opt in. Check with your program to find out if it applies to you. If so, click the link: Winter 2020 Graduate School Grading Policy

    Grade/no pass policy FAQ

    PhD paperwork

    All PhD paperwork is going to an entirely electronic format. Until all the electronic forms are available, we are working flexibly with students and their advisors on a case-by-case basis to handle any technical difficulties in gathering signatures.

    The 2019-20 annual review/IDP form is open with the new electronic forms portal and should be completed by October 1, 2020. For Fall 2020 there will be no academic holds placed on any Ph.D. student due to an incomplete annual review/IDP.

    Field placements

    Field placements and on-site internship activities should be on hold to ensure students' wellbeing during a time of social distancing. Students should consult with their faculty or research advisor to discuss ways to move forward to protect everyone's health and safety. Faculty should be prepared to explore flexible ways of meeting field placements and internship requirements for graduation and licensure.  

    GRA/GTA/GSA Remote Work

      The following guidelines have been developed in coordination with OVPR and HR:

    GTAs, GSAs, and GRAs will continue to be paid through current mechanisms until further notice.

    Learn Anywhere

    Learn Anywhere is a new resource page full of tips and services to support students' online and remote learning. Information about accessing technology off-campus, including discounted and free internet and cellular service, can be found at Computing & Information Technology's (C&IT) resource page  For support, contact 313-577-4357 or  C&IT Help Desk extended hours:
    • Weekdays, 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    • Weekends, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    Student support

    Housing is OPEN, dining services are operating with TAKE-OUT ONLY.  All university libraries and the Student Center are CLOSED.  The Campus Health Center is OPEN and providing guidance for anyone who is experiencing symptoms or may have been exposed to COVID-19.  CAPS is OPEN, working remotely.  Helpful tech resources for remote work

    All of the required paperwork for the final defense can be accessed online, signed individually and scanned (we will accept multiple copies of the paperwork with one signature on each sheet), and submitted electronically to phdstudents@wayne.eduAll other final degree requirements can be completed online.

    Attendance requirements for oral qualifying exams and prospectus defenses

    May be held using the synchronous audio-visual modalities described above.

    Time extensions

    To immediately address temporary challenges of any PhD students who are at their time limits, the Graduate School will provide an extension to any student at the 7, 10 or 12 year limit upon request, with the endorsement of their dissertation chair and graduate program advisor. Students who reached a 7, 10 or 12 year limit on December 31, 2019, may request an extension through August 31, 2020. Students reaching a time limit on May 31, 2020, may request an extension through December 31, 2020. Requests can be sent to

    We realize that other Ph.D. students may need time extensions now or in the future as a result of COVID-19. The Graduate School is committed to working with all PhD students and programs to provide necessary flexibility as needs continue to develop.

    Attendance requirements for the final defense of the dissertation

    For the duration of the university response to COVID-19, the Graduate School will allow the defense to be conducted entirely online, through synchronous audio-visual modalities using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype or other similar tools with which the program/department may already be familiar. The provision for the public to participate can also be done virtually (for example, through appropriate social media channels or an email announcement with a shared link for public attendees to join the virtual meeting). If the defense has already been publicized with an on-campus location, a new announcement should be circulated and must include instructions for how the public can access the online defense. View the regular polices on the dissertation defense.

    Please note that we are asking departments to support students and committees with these special accommodations by taking on the responsibility to set up the web-conference for any defenses scheduled within the next few weeks. 

    The required components of the final defense remain the same, but can be accomplished virtually:

    The first part of the Final Defense is a public presentation in which the candidate presents the methodology, research and results of the investigation to the committee and the audience, then responds to their questions. In the second part immediately following the public presentation, the candidate meets privately with the committee and responds to further questions about the research and dissertation. The final phase is the evaluation, in which the committee privately discusses the candidate's performance, agrees on any revisions the candidate should make to the manuscript and determines whether or not they passed. The candidate is then informed of any required revisions. The committee's decision is then conveyed to the PhD Office via the Final Report form.  As lab operations shift to essential core functions, GRAs cannot be required by their mentors or lab PIs to come on site for essential lab operations. GRAs will work remotely on their research projects in coordination with their mentor. GTAs and GSAs will be engaged with the university shift to on-line instruction and associated needs in this area in coordination with their mentor/supervisor.
  • Faculty/staff information


    Previously scheduled meetings, trainings and other events will also move online and updated meeting information will be sent via email to those involved.   

    Faculty/staff support 

    Helpful tech resources for remote workOTL Teach Anywhere website, available webinars and workshops.  For faculty concerned about how to connect with students and classes, be aware that many companies are assisting; e.g. Comcast is offering free access to Xfinity WiFi hotspots. Zoom online meetings app has lifted the 40 minute limit for meetings on the "basic" plan for educational insitution users. Sign up for a free account and use your AccessID email for your email address to ensure your limits are removed. 

  • Emergency funding

    Currently enrolled graduate students are eligible to apply for emergency aid through the university-wide Student Emergency Fund. Students in need should  contact the Office of Student Financial Aid to begin the process of applying for emergency aid. This will help ensure that emergency aid decisions do not negatively impact other financial aid awards for eligible students.

    Resources for Food, Housing and Loss of Income

    Are you, a family member or a friend experiencing financial difficulty from the COVID-19 closures? The WSU libraries are compiling a list of verified local and national programs where you can get help with food, housing and loss of income on their Help with Food, Housing or Funds guide page.

    Know of programs that should be added? Please send information to Veronica Bielat

  • Wellness resources


Last updated 5:14 a.m. 5/5/2020