Graduate School coronavirus updates

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.

Returning to campus

June 5, 2020: The Wayne State University Board of Governors unanimously approved a 0% tuition increase to allow our students to focus on their studies without added financial stress.

July 15, 2020: The Office of the President announced the student return-to-campus plan. Guidelines may change as COVID-19 conditions evolve and new information becomes available. 

The Wayne State University COVID-19 Dashboard is a source of information for us to remain updated on COVID-19 data related to our campus community. Updated weekly. 

See the health and safety guidelines to ensure your safety and that of others in the campus community.
See the list of current campus operations, such as dining, housing and libraries. 

As part of the university's response to COVID-19, the Graduate School is working remotely. We are available during regular business hours 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday-Friday

Key contact information


Check below for updated information about Graduate School support and accommodations for current/prospective students in response to COVID-19.

Last updated 11:00 a.m. 9/4/2020

  • 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: Winter 2021 and Spring/Summer 2021. Effective October 14, 2020, the application fee waiver is extended through the Fall 2021 term. 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  for more information.

    English proficiency requirements

    The  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

    Student services

     is a 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

    PhD paperwork

    All  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.

    Candidacy requirement accommodation for registration in XXX 9992

    PhD students must normally complete the Qualifying Examination and submit the Recommendation for Candidacy Status to the Graduate School before they are permitted to register for XXX 9992. In light of disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Graduate School is making an accommodation to allow a PhD student who was registered for XXX 9991 in Winter 2020 or Spring/Summer 2020 to register for XXX 9992, if the student was unable to complete their candidacy requirements as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic (ex. qualifying exam cancelled; lab closure precluded completion of qualifying exam; COVID-related illness precluding taking an exam on the scheduled date). This accommodation requires written approval from the advisor and department (to, and carries the expectation that the student will complete the qualifying examination and advance to candidacy during the Fall 2020 term.  Further registration in the dissertation sequence will not be permitted until the qualifying exam has been completed. This accommodation is only in effect for Fall 2020. 

    Oral qualifying exams and prospectus defenses may be held remotely.

    Oral qualifying exams and prospectus defenses may also be held using the synchronous audio-visual modalities described above.

    Final defense of the dissertation may be held remotely.

    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. Provision for the public to participate must be made and 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). The  remain the same, but can be accomplished virtually. 

    Time extensions

    To 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.


  • Emergency funding

    Currently enrolled graduate students are eligible to apply for emergency aid through the university-wide . 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 .

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

  • Wellness resources

     can help you with your mental health needs, even while social distancing. 

    The  is OPEN for telemedicine and in person appointments, and can advise you if you are concerned about coronavirus exposure or symptoms.