Graduate Studies Response to Coronavirus

Updated May 15, 2020

Please note the following information regarding Graduate Studies’ operations, policies, and guidelines as a result of the coronavirus:

  • Graduate Studies is open remotely. Please contact staff by email.
  • Graduate students are advised to continue their scholarship and research while working remotely.  Graduate students should be in regular communication with their faculty and staff advisors.
  • Online workshops are available.
  • Continue to check this page and UNM's official coronavirus page for the most recent information on all campus resources.

  • Graduate Studies extended the Spring 2020 deadline for degree requirement submission to April 30, 2020. The Graduation Courtesy Policy remains available. 
  • Meetings, discussions, exams, and defenses may be done by video conferencing by agreement between graduate student and major faculty advisor.
  • Please submit any forms (Certificate of Final Form, Embargo Request, Petitions, etc) by email using your email, which will serve as your signature.
  • Graduate Studies urges all faculty to be particularly responsive, creative, and flexible in seeing their students to completion. For further guidelines, click here.
    • With labs being closed, this is an extraordinarily challenging time.  Graduate programs should encourage their thesis/dissertation committees to work with students to develop alternatives to analyzing what might not be a complete dataset.
  • The Spring 2020 semester will not be counted toward the time limit for completion of degrees.


Spring 2020 deadlines

Spring 2020 deadline for degree submission has been extended to April 30, 2020To graduate Spring 2020, all degree requirements must be completed by 5pm April 30, 2020.

Courtesy policy 

University regulations require that the student must be enrolled for and complete a minimum of one hour of graduate credit in the term the student completes degree requirements. However, Graduate Studies regularly offers a courtesy policy. If the student misses the April 30, 2020 graduation deadline (normally, the April 15 deadline for completion of degree requirements) but completes all degree requirements on or before May 18, 2020 (the last day of the term), the student is not required to register for the summer graduation term. Students must notify their department’s graduate advisor of the intent to graduate, and the degree program must submit the student’s name on the proposed graduation list for summer graduation, indicating the student is completing under the Courtesy Policy. To graduate Summer 2020, without registering for Summer 2020, all degree requirements must be completed by May 18, 2020, the last day of the term.

Summer 2020 COVID courtesy policy hardship extension

In coordination with their main faculty advisor, students may apply for an extension of the Spring 2020 courtesy policy to July 15, 2020, meaning students will not have to register and pay for the 1-credit hour for a summer completion. Completion of all degree requirements by July 15, 2020 is necessary for a Summer 2020 graduation. The summer 2020 COVID Courtesy Policy Hardship extension is only available to:

  • Students who complete an Announcement of Exam prior to May 18, 2020.*
  • Students whose faculty advisor (graduate committee chair) completes the required petition explaining why the project cannot be completed in an innovative, creative way allowing for an on-time graduation and affirming the commitment of the graduate committee to be available for a summer exam/defense. A specific summer defense date must be indicated on the petition.

To utilize this courtesy extension to graduate in Summer 2020, without registering for Summer 2020, an Announcement of Exam must be processed and a petition approved by May 18, 2020.  All degree requirements must be completed by July 15, 2020, the deadline for summer graduation. Anyone receiving the hardship extension that does not complete all requirements by July 15 will be required to register for the Fall 2020 semester.

*Students requesting the courtesy policy extension must have their Announcement of Exam processed prior to May 18, 2020. Because the form will not allow a student to put in an exam date for a semester in which they are not enrolled, we are requiring May 17, 2020 (a Sunday) to be entered as the exam date for anyone requesting the courtesy policy extension.

Summer 2020 Deadlines

For students who were planning to finish their graduate degree in Summer 2020 and are not on a Courtesy Policy or Covid extended courtesy policy, the deadline for degree submission is July 15, 2020. Students not on a courtesy policy extension must be enrolled and complete a minimum of one hour of graduate credit in the summer term.


  • Please note the Faculty Senate Resolution endorsing a grade change option to CR/NC for coursework this semester. 
  • CR grades during Spring 2020 will have no impact on GPA, academic standing, or assistantship eligibility.
  • While graduate schools across the country are making similar accommodations, we remind our students to consider potential consequences to the CR/NC option outside of UNM, especially if you think you might try to transfer the credit to another institution in the future. Please consult with your major faculty advisor, graduate advisor, or graduate director on the CR/NC option and its possible implications beyond UNM. 
  • Generally, the CR/NC option is available for shared credit programs. 
  • Click here for grade change option instructions.

  • Current assistantships remain unchanged.
  • Teaching Assistants are advised to teach remotely in coordination with their program or department directives. Check with the chair of the department for further instruction. Graduate Assistants should similarly continue work under the direction of their faculty supervisor or graduate programs.
  • Research Assistants and Project Assistants should continue research, although sometimes using alternative methods as advised by their graduate programs.

  • ETS has announced that the GRE and TOEFL can now be taken at home everywhere the tests are normally delivered by computer, with the exception of mainland China and Iran. For more information, click here
  • Holistic review for admissions are the best practice.  The Council of Graduate Schools has provided a statement on graduate admissions during the COVID-19 pandemic.