Resources for Directors of Graduate Studies

Coronavirus Response Resources

At this time of great uncertainty, you play a critical role as a communication’s conduit between GSAS and our students and your faculty peers. All of us at GSAS are grateful for all that you are doing to support students in their academic endeavors and in their well-being. GSAS is working to review policies and develop resources that can aid you with this important responsibility. We know that students are coming to you with questions, and we will continue to update this page with content you may need.

One of the most important things you can do is to ensure that faculty are regularly checking in with their students to relieve the sense of anxiety and isolation they may feel during this time. Several programs have shared their communications with students, which include answers to questions and ways to remain socially connected during this time of physical distancing:

Population Health Sciences COVID-19 update

History of Science COVID-19 update

Systems Biology COVID-19 update

Message from the Graduate Economics Association

Music message to graduate students

You should feel free to adapt these for communications to students in your own programs.

Financial guidance regarding graduate student work for the spring 2020 semester

The University continues to evaluate the shifting administrative landscape during the Coronavirus pandemic. Graduate student work, as part of that landscape, is an essential driver of the University’s mission. Where possible, the University expectation is that the work that graduate students are compensated for should continue. If work assignments are not possible to complete using online or distance learning technologies, supervisors are encouraged to find other opportunities for graduate student workers to complete their work commitments, including shifting jobs and job descriptions to alternate assignments in order to fulfill their employment obligations. If this is not possible, graduate student workers who are unable to work due to the pandemic will still be compensated to the end of work expectation within the spring 2020 term.

Information about Ramadan

Harvard's Muslim Chaplain has shared information related to Ramadan and graduate students.

Tips for students

  • Maintaining work/life balance and reducing social isolation for students is crucial. The GSAS Student Center, the Office of Diversity and Minority Affairs, and many student groups are developing virtual programming, which can be found through the Engage platform.
  • For students with mental health needs, Counseling and Mental Health Services is available to help. You can also share links to Managing Stress.
  • Students expressing financial need or extreme hardship can complete a request for emergency funding or reach out to their financial aid officer.
  • The Accessible Education Office remains open virtually to ensure GSAS students can access their learning and teaching environments. Students who would like to request accommodations in order to teach or learn remotely should contact the AEO directly.
  • GSAS has received several questions from faculty regarding students’ remote access to health care if they are no longer on campus. If a student is enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan, they will not be responsible for any costs related to COVID-19 testing nor office visit consultations when they seek care from a Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) PPO provider. If students come to you with questions, please direct them to the most updated information on the Harvard University Health Services website.

Updates to Policy

GSAS is reviewing existing policies to see where emergency updates can be made. You can view a list of policies that have been updated on the emergency policy amendments page.

Incoming Student FAQ

You can view a Fall 2020 FAQ for incoming students on the New Students page.

Other Resources

The Handbook for Directors of Graduate Studies provides information on advising and on GSAS as well as listing the Harvard resources available to graduate students. You may also be interested in reviewing a list of professional development and teaching practicum course syllabi.

The GSAS website contains GSAS policies and procedures, including program requirements for the degree, registration and enrollment information, regulations and standards of conduct, and benefits. 

The Office of Career Services has prepared a Professional Development template for GSAS programs that can guide DGS efforts to provide field-specific guidance on academic careers, as well as connections to alumni who have developed successful careers in academia, government, industry, non-profits, and other areas beyond the academy.

Directors of Graduate Studies 2019–2020

African and African American Studies, Alejandro de la Fuente

American Studies, Dan McKanan

Anthropology, Matthew Liebmann

Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Planning, Erika Naginski

Art, Film and Visual Studies, David Joselit

Astronomy, Charlie Conroy

Biological Sciences in Dental Medicine, Yingzi Yang

Biological Sciences in Public Health, Brendan Manning

Biophysics, Martha Bulyk, Venkatesh Murthy

Biostatistics, Paige Williams

Business Administration, Jennifer Mucciarone

Business Economics, Jennifer Mucciarone

Celtic Languages and Literatures, Natasha Sumner

Chemical Biology, Daniel Kahne, Suzanne Walker

Chemical Physics, Theodore Betley

Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Joe Lavin, Theodore Betley

Classics, Mark Schiefsky

Comparative Literature, Verena Conley

Earth and Planetary Sciences, David Johnston, Eli Tziperman

East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Wai-Yee Li

Economics, Jeffrey Miron

Education, Jon Star

Engineering and Applied Sciences, David Brooks, Federico Capasso, Yiling Chen, Fawwaz Habbal, Tim Kaxiras, Xiao-Li Meng, David Parkes, Elsie Sunderland, Eli Tziperman, Leslie Valiant, Daniel Weinstock, Amir Yacoby, Robin Wordsworth, Rob Howe, John Girash

English, John Stauffer

Forestry, David Foster

Germanic Languages and Literatures, Peter Burgard

Government, Ryan Enos

Health Policy, Meredith Rosenthal

History, Sidney Chalhoub

History of Art and Architecture, Ewa Lajer-Burcharth

History of Science, Elizabeth Lunbeck

Human Evolutionary Biology, Daniel E. Lieberman

Inner Asian and Altaic Studies, Leonard van der Kuijp 

Linguistics, Jonathan Bobaljik

Mathematics, Mark Kisin

Medical Sciences, TBD

Middle Eastern Studies, Derek Penslar

Molecular and Cellular Biology, Victoria D'Souza

Music, Kay Shelemay

Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Malika Zeghal

Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Michael M. Desai, Scott Edwards

Organizational Behavior, Jennifer Mucciarone

Philosophy, Mark Richard

Physics, Melissa Franklin, Jacob Barandes

Political Economy and Government, Robert Stavins

Population Health Sciences, Lisa Berkman

Psychology, Leah Somerville

Public Policy, Robert Stavins

Regional Studies–East Asia, Alexander Zahlten

Regional Studies–Russia, E. Europe, Central Asia, Alexandra Vacroux

Religion, David Holland

Romance Languages and Literatures, Virginie Greene

Slavic Languages and Literatures, Julie Buckler

Social Policy, Jennifer Hochschild

Sociology, Mario Small

South Asian Studies, Jay Jasanoff

Statistics, Susan Murphy, Xiao-Li Meng

Systems Biology, Timothy Mitchison, Andrew Murray