COVID-19 Updates for PhD Students

Messaging relevant to PhD students during the COVID-19 outbreak will be posted here. In addition, please also note the following important links:

Following is the most recent communication sent to PhD students:


April 13, 2020

Dear PhD Students,

I hope you are all doing well and staying safe.  I’m writing to bring a few end-of-semester and summer items to your attention:

Pass/Fail Grading Policy: By now you should have been notified by your college about the Pass / Fail policy for Spring 2020 courses that has been communicated internally by each college.  PhD students may request that one Spring 2020 course be converted to Pass/Fail grading at the Registrar’s Office website here.  The deadline to submit a Pass / Fail request is April 14, 2020.

PhD Student Funding: In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, funding and stipends continue to be in effect for PhD students during the Summer 2020 term in accordance with admissions letters and/or funding arrangements made post enrollment.  PhD students should engage with their faculty advisors to re-prioritize research so that they can continue their progress away from campus.  In cases where funders do not permit flexibility in activity due to the pandemic, other education activities will be identified.  Please see Conditions of Admissions and Assignment Responsibility.

Status of Research on Campus: Access to campus still requires approval for a “Northeastern University Travel Authorization Letter”, which took effect on March 24. Access to a Massachusetts Northeastern facility will require a “Travel Letter”, Northeastern ID, and the SafeZone mobile app on your cell phone.  Faculty advisors have been notified about the process to issue these letters.  One-time access may be requested here.

Available Wellness Resources and Staying Up To Date with COVID-19 Information: A number of resources are available to PhD students including [email protected] and the Graduate Ombuds website.  Please continue to monitor the University COVID-19 website for the latest university messages. Your questions and ideas are beneficial to many; please continue to share your questions, concerns, and ideas at the COVID-19 Question weblink.  An COVID-19 FAQ relevant to PhD students is maintained at the PhD Network site here.

Continuing PhD Education and Academic Progress Remotely: Many students and faculty have reported successful experiences with remote coursework, seminars and dissertation defenses.  Please continue to innovate and share your ideas for maintaining a connected research community.    Watch the PhD Network website for information about funding opportunities.  All PhD Network activities are available online.  The calendar lists information related to career development, communication, and the PhD Career Resource Circle.  Summer events will be posted in the coming weeks.

Thank you for your continued persistence as we all work together to support a healthy and safe community.  Please continue to reach out with questions or concerns.

Best regards,

Sara Wadia-Fascetti
Vice Provost for the PhD Network