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Guidance for Master's Students

March 24, 2020

Dear Master’s Students,

We in the Graduate School know that various members of our community feel the impact of the rapidly changing circumstances surrounding COVID-19 in unique ways, including our master’s students. I am writing to address concerns you may have and to direct you to resources and information to support you now and in the days ahead.

The first thing you should know is that the Graduate School is open, with staff working remotely. Associate Dean of Master’s Education Shayna Kessel is available by Zoom, email, and phone (401-863-3049). Should you need, Associate Dean for Student Support Maria Suarez is also available by Zoom, email, and phone (401-863-1802). Please don’t hesitate to contact them or any other staff member. Our goal is to help you have as successful a semester as possible, especially under these extraordinary circumstances.

The best resource for general information about changes and updates to University operations is Brown’s COVID-19 website. The Graduate School’s FAQ also is being regularly updated, and we will use it to address questions specific to doctoral and master’s students as they arise. International students should refer to the OISSS website for recent communications, including a COVID-19 FAQ for international students.

Please read the information below very closely. This email addresses additional concerns specific to master’s students.

Grading Option
The University is currently considering updates to grading options for Spring 2020. Please pay close attention to forthcoming announcements.

Thesis deadline
If your department requires you to submit your thesis to the Graduate School, please note that the thesis submission deadline remains firm: May 1. No extensions will be allowed. This is in order to ensure that your degree can be conferred on time.

Additional degree conferral dates
Brown offers degree conferral in May, October and February. Please talk with your program administrator and Director of Graduate Studies if you believe your degree will need to be conferred in October or February. It is critical that your department knows your plans so they can make the necessary arrangements with the Graduate School and, if necessary, OISSS.

International students
Again, please refer to the OISSS website and international FAQs. OISSS remains open, even as staff are working remotely. Please contact OISSS with questions or if you need more information. The Global Brown Center for International Students also remains open, even though staff are working remotely. Staff from Global Brown are available by Zoom, email, and phone to support students.

Writing support
The Sheridan Center is open, with staff working remotely. The Writing Center is holding appointments online, and an appointment can be requested by clicking the “Request a Writing Appointment” button on the center’s Writing Consultations webpage.

English language support
The English language specialists are available by Zoom and Google Doc. Appointments can be requested on Sheridan’s Individual Support webpage.

CareerLAB is open, and staff are working remotely. Appointments can be requested by logging into Handshake from a link on the CareerLAB site.

Emergency Financial Support
Master’s students are eligible to apply for emergency financial support to cover needs created by the current responses to COVID-19. Please complete a request for emergency funds in UFunds, listed under E-Gap Funds.

Research Assistantships
If you have a Research Assistantship, please contact your Principal Investigator and program administrator for guidance.

Teaching Assistantships
Teaching Assistantship support can continue if you can continue your duties remotely. For health and safety to prevent the spread of COVID-19, this work cannot be performed in person. Students should be in communication with their faculty supervisors to discuss whether their work can be performed remotely and for instructions on how to proceed. Supervisors have the authority to approve remote work assignments during the remainder of the spring semester. For students serving as TAs who are having difficulty fulfilling their responsibilities remotely off-campus, please email [email protected] to alert the Graduate School and your program.

Please reach out to us at [email protected] if you have questions or concerns, and do remain safe.


Andrew G. Campbell
Dean of the Graduate School
Professor of Medical Science

Shayna Kessel
Associate Dean of Master’s Education