COVID-19 Resources for Graduate Students
To address the challenges that COVID-19 crisis has caused for the graduate student community at Baylor University, the Graduate School has initiated the following:
Modified Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowship in Response to the COVID-19
To help our graduate students completing their degrees at this unprecedented time, The Graduate School has worked with the College of Arts & Sciences to launch a modified Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowship to maximize job opportunities for our current students facing an uncertain job market. This will benefit the university in several ways:
- Applications will open through this online application form on April 15.
- Doctoral students completing their degree between December 2019 and May 2021 are eligible to apply.
- Competitive Postdoctoral fellowships will be offered on an as-needed basis by departments within the College of Arts & Sciences, on either a per semester or full academic year basis.
- The Graduate School will continue to provide travel funding for postdoctoral teaching fellows, including both semester and full-year awardees.
*Some additional adjunct teaching opportunities may also be available, and students who apply for the postdoctoral fellowship will also be considered for adjunct opportunities.
Extended Timeline to Degree
Graduate students who need timeline extensions for their degree as a result of the COVID-19 disruption may apply to extend their time-to-degree clock.
Students should submit a formal statement requesting an extension which should include the specific reason why the extension is needed (disruption of research, etc.) and state the extended time requested (1-2 semesters). The formal request should be made first to the faculty advisor and graduate program director. After approval within the department, it should be forwarded to Sherry Sims and Beth Allison Barr within the graduate school.
The graduate school will provide timeline extensions and continue tuition remission for approved extensions, and has limited resources to help departments extend funding for affected students.
Extended Program Deadlines
The Graduate School extended deadlines for Dissertation and Thesis defenses through last Friday (April 3) for May 2020 graduation. Students who need further flexibility due to the COVID-19 crisis to insure August 2020 graduation should reach out to Sandra Harman.
Individual Baylor Graduate School programs may have additional degree deadlines for academic performance. Students should consult with their academic program for further information in these cases.
The Graduate School supports the continuation of departmental qualifying exams within non-traditional settings (remote and virtual) if the format of the exams allows for a non-traditional setting. We encourage graduate faculty and graduate program directors to be as flexible as possible to keep student degree progress on track and to reduce student anxiety.
Virtual Defenses Dissertation & Thesis
In line with the university’s goals to deliver on our educational mission while protecting health and safety, the Graduate School is asking students and committees to conduct dissertation defenses online and relaxing certain requirements for faculty signatures. Please visit the Dissertation & Thesis Resources page for further information about conducting online defenses and completing the required forms.
Flexibility Encouraged for Grading Scale
Although the grading system for graduate students will remain unchanged, the Graduate School is demonstrating grace and flexibility in deadlines and criteria for progression to a new stage, and encouraging graduate program directors and graduate faculty to keep the COVID-19 crisis in mind as they facilitate courses and research this semester.
Online Professional Graduate Students
All graduate online professional education programs continue as scheduled, without disruption. Graduate students in these online professional programs are encouraged to contact their program directors for any updates regarding possible changes in immersion events and placement activities.
Grad Pathways to Success (GPS) Workshops Moving to Online Format
The Graduate School is moving several of our GPS workshops to an online format, including Compose Yourself (CV development), How to Interview Well, Sandra Harman’s Formatting Workshop, and Beginning with the End in Mind. Follow this link to view available online GPS Workshops.
GRE Requirements for Current Applicants
We will waive the GRE for applicants if:
The application deadline for your program is a date in March, April, May or June AND
the applicant resides in an area where testing centers are closed AND
Your program has agreed to waive test scores during this time. Please contact the program’s Graduate Program Director for more information.
We are working with ETS to accommodate at home options for testing. Please see https://www.ets.org/s/cv/toefl/at-home/ and https://www.ets.org/s/cv/gre/at-home/. At home testing is available in the U.S. and Canada, and a growing number of other countries. Please note the system requirements.
Graduate Admissions for Current Applicants
As we navigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Graduate School staff aims to provide both grace and flexibility while maintaining our admissions standards. Please review the information on our website here https://www.baylor.edu/graduate/index.php?id=968101, which will be updated as needed, and contact GraduateAdmissions@baylor.edu with any questions.
Additional Resources for Graduate Students during the COVID-19 Crisis
Our campus food pantry, The Store, has moved location to the SLC main lobby area. The space is open Monday-Friday 8 am-5pm and will be monitored by SLC staff including a Public Health Intern. We know this is a financially stressful time, please utilize this resource.
We must continue to do everything we can to strengthen our personal health protection and heighten our social distancing practices, as well as follow the instructions of federal, state and local officials. Please remember that we are now under a Shelter in Place order for Waco, which means persons may leave their residences only for essential activities, essential governmental functions, or to operate essential businesses. You may learn more about the Shelter in Place directions for the University here. Please know this also means the GRC and Baylor Libraries are closed.
Academic Health Plans is providing its Student Assistance Plan to ALL Baylor students (on-campus and online) at no cost for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester. The Student Assistant Plan includes access to a 24/7 Care Center (including weekends and holidays), life and wellbeing resources and helpful online and mobile tools. This includes online counseling services.
We wish you all the best as you transition to online teaching and learning. A resource website for instructors is available at www.baylor.edu/keepteaching. Adapting to these shifting circumstances will require patience and flexibility across the board.
The Graduate Writing Center is still open - virtually! Set up an online appointment here!
Please continue to take the preventive actions as recommended by the CDC, including washing your hands, covering coughs with your elbow/sleeve, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Also, please avoid groups and keep a physical distance from others.
For Students: If you are in Waco, call the Baylor Student Health Services nurse hotline at 254-710-4939, and they will advise if you meet the criteria for testing. Between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, Baylor Health Services will be able to make appointments at this phone number for on-campus testing for the coronavirus, if warranted. For those students not in Waco, please contact your local healthcare provider.
*The Graduate School appreciates Michael dePalma and Cara Allen for compiling the original list of resources for students in Graduate Housing in response to the COVID-19 crisis.