College of Graduate Studies adaptation to COVID-19




In response to the global coronavirus outbreak, The College of Graduate Studies has:

  • Updated Grading Option Change Policy

Graduate students may be permitted to change course grading options to  credit/no credit spring 2020 to address concerns expressed that students may need time to adjust to the new remote learning environment.  The following guidelines were approved to assist students. Graduate students interested in changing the  grading option in courses to Credit/No Credit should inquire with their advisor or program director before making the request as this option may impact future PhD studies, financial aid, licensure and there may others.  In addition to seeking advice from your advisor or program director, students are encouraged to check with the institution or program they may seek to transfer to, to verify impact that a credit/no credit course may have.

A CR/NC grade falls under the same policy for C grades.

For degree programs requiring up to 39 semester hours for completion, a student may count no more than six semester hours of coursework with a grade of C or a grade of Credit toward the minimum graduation hour requirements. For students in programs requiring 40 semester hours or more for completion, no more than nine semester hours of coursework with a grade of C or a grade of Credit may count toward the minimum graduation hour requirement.

Example: A student enrolled on a graduate program requiring 36 for completion has already completed 3sh of coursework with a grade of C. This student could count an additional 3sh of coursework with a grade of Credit toward her degree requirements. If this same student wished to take the Credit option for additional courses (beyond the 6 total: 3sh of C grade and the 3sh of Credit option) she could do so, but these would not be counted toward fulfilling graduation requirements.

After these items are considered and discussed with the advisor, students can request the change via the Penguin Portal prior to April 24, 2020.

  • Transcripts

Domestic students are requested to have official transcripts sent to the College of Graduate Studies electronically.  Unofficial transcripts will now be accepted for the purpose of making admission decisions.

A practice similar to the one we have been using with International applicants for several years will be followed. Students accepted based on unofficial transcripts will need to provide official transcripts by the end of their first semester of study to continue enrollment. Students admitted for the summer term will have until the end of the following fall term to provide the graduate college with official transcripts.

  • GRE Testing and Scores

A blanket waiver has been approved by the Graduate Council Exceptions Committee for the GRE requirement in countries where it is not available at this time. The GRE is now available for home testing but in limited countries. As of March 23, 2020, the at home test is available in the United States, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Hong Kong (China) and Macau (China).

If a student is from a country where the test is not available, the College of Graduate Studies will still forward the application in Recruit for your consideration and admission recommendation despite lack of a test score.

Admission decisions are made based on many factors. This waiver allows program directors and deans to make their admission recommendations based on the information that is available. Applicants’ admission to programs will not be delayed or denied because they are not able to take a standardized test that is currently unavailable to some, because of where they live. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

  • Duolingo (DET) Test Scores

We will accept the Duolingo English Test (DET) in addition to the TOEFL and IELTS tests.