Is GRADUATE course grading going to change due to the COVID-19 crisis?
The university has not changed the existing grading policies for GRADUATE-LEVEL courses, at this time. The Council of Academic Administrators (CAA) referred the COVID-19 grading options back to the Graduate School for further consideration.
Can I still have my literature presentation, prospectus, proposal, defense meeting so I can graduate this semester (or summer or on time)?
The University of Mississippi is doing all that we can to support students as they continue their studies this semester while we promote the safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and faculty. This includes graduate student research. Courses and related activities (to include things like presentations, proposals, and defenses) should continue to occur using remote instruction.
For questions related to research activity that cannot occur remotely (such as data collection), please consult the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at https://research.olemiss.edu/Covid19FAQ for additional information.
Individuals who need to change their research protocol to continue data collection (e.g., switching from in-person to remote data collection with human participants), please see guidance on https://research.olemiss.edu/Covid19FAQ related to the IRB. There are a number of tools including Qualtrics (https://research.olemiss.edu/resources/surveys) and Zoom (https://elearning.olemiss.edu/elearning-tool-review-zoom-video-conferencing/) that can make it possible to engage in remote data collection in certain cases.
For access to research software, please speak with your advisor. You and your advisor can contact the Graduate School at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can try to find ways to enable you to have access to needed software. Although we may not be able to provide remote access to all software, the University of Mississippi is working hard to identify and provide access to the technology needed to continue students’ research and studies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please contact the Graduate School at 662-915-7474 or email@example.com if you have other questions related to your research, thesis, dissertation, or culminating projects. We want to support you in completing your degree during the COVID-19 crisis.
Do I have to come to campus for my assistantship?
The University of Mississippi is working to promote the safety and health of our campus community. Where individuals can complete their work remotely, they are encouraged to do so.
The University of Mississippi considers graduate assistants to be employees and asks that graduate assistants review and follow the guidance offered in communication to UM employees (see https://hr.olemiss.edu/coronavirus/). Graduate assistants should consult with their supervisors or department chairs to determine what adaptations, if necessary, are being made to practice social distancing and how/where they should report to work.
Supervisors of graduate assistants shall provide mechanisms for graduate assistants to practice social distancing. Supervisors may modify the nature of the work, location of the work (e.g., remote work or access to a non-shared office), or structure of the work setting to support social distancing. When the operational needs of the unit allow, graduate assistants may telecommute. When the operational needs of the unit necessitate the work occur in a particular setting, supervisors are asked to assist in preventing the spread of infectious illness and support social distancing for their graduate assistants. Supervisors may also, should the operational requirements of the unit change, alter the duties of the graduate assistant (for example, students previously assigned to administrative support roles may be asked to help support the teaching mission).
Will I still have a graduate assistantship?
As of March 22nd, 2020, payroll continues to operate during this emergency. Payroll has the capacity to process paying graduate assistants for their work. Many graduate assistants work to support critical missions on our campus.
Graduate assistants who have not heard from their supervisors about the nature of their assistantship (i.e., how the work may be adapted to promote social distancing) should contact their supervisors. Graduate assistants should assume their supervisors are still planning to have them engaged in work though the nature of that work might be different as the operational needs of the unit shift and everyone works to practice appropriate social distancing.
Will I still have a graduate assistantship after this semester?
Although we are not able to make guarantees for future terms, the University of Mississippi values the contributions of our graduate assistants. As of March 21st, 2020, units can continue to make graduate student stipend appointments following university policies and practices.
Can my professor require us to come to campus for classes because we are graduate students?
As indicated by Chancellor Boyce, “the university will hold all classes and related coursework online or via methods other than in-person, on-campus instruction.” Thus, professors should not require graduate students to attend classes on campus.
There may be some research, scholarship, or creative work that cannot be done off campus due to equipment needs (note, this does not in any way allow for on-campus instruction). Graduate students and their advisors are encouraged to discuss options available to graduate students such as delaying work on projects, access to equipment that allows for appropriate social distancing and alternative approaches to projects.
Has the grading policy for graduate students been updated?
Chancellor Boyce approved a pair of recommendations from the Council of Academic Administrators as follows:
• Graduate students will be granted the same accommodations as undergraduate students in light of the suspension of in-person instruction in response to the coronavirus pandemic. These changes will give graduate students the option to choose to change a grade of C or better to a Z grade, or to change a C- or D to a P, or Passing, grade. All graduate students should explore whether exercising these options could affect their financial aid awards or future professional opportunities.
• A mandatory pass/fail grading system will be applied to all JD and LLM Spring 2020 courses.
Has the university adjusted its options for standardized test requirements for Graduate School?
Due to the COVID-19 emergency and difficulties for potential applicants in sitting for standardized tests, the Graduate School will allow programs that require a standardized test as part of the application for admission to suspend the requirement for Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 admissions. Programs that opt to do so cannot use the standardized test as a requirement for admission or in their admissions decisions during the COVID-19 crisis and they cannot deny anyone admission based on performance on the test. An individual previously denied admission to such programs for the Summer 2020 and/or Fall 2020 terms based on their score on the standardized test can request re-review of their application.
Programs wanting to waive the standardized test requirement must submit a written request with justification to the Graduate School (by email to firstname.lastname@example.org) from the GPC, with approval indicated in the email from the department chair (if applicable) and line dean. The request should mention the application deadline, the test to be waived and the status of applications (such as whether any applicants have already been denied based on test score). The Graduate Dean will decide whether to approve the request and notify the GPC. Programs that are approved to suspend a standardized test requirement must publish information about the change in application procedures on their program website.