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

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 1, 2020: Research labs start to reopen at partial capacity

June 5, 2020: The Wayne State University Board of Governors unanimously approves 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 announces the student return-to-campus plan. Guidelines may change as COVID-19 conditions evolve and new information becomes available. 

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. 

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.

  • 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

    Student services

    Learn Anywhere 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 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.

    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.

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

    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.

    Winter 2020 grading policy

    After extensive consultation with our graduate community, the Graduate Schoolprovided a grade/no pass policy for the Winter 2020 semester. This policy applyies only to graduate students in programs that decided to opt in. Check with your program to find out if it applies to you.

    Grade/no pass policy FAQ
  • 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

    Managing anxiety during the COVID-19 outbreak

    Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) can help you with your mental health needs, even while social distancing. 

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


Last updated 10:07 a.m. 7/20/2020