Emergency Policy Amendments

As a result of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic, GSAS is evaluating and amending certain policies. Below is a list of policies amended to date (you can find more information on each policy page).

  • The following updates have been made to the Resident Student and Traveling Scholar statuses for Academic Year 2020-2021 [Amended June 30, 2020]:

    • Students who are registered and enrolled in courses (including Reading and Research or time-equivalent courses) and who are engaged in full time degree work, regardless of their physical location, are considered resident students. Resident students must check in and register  via  my.harvard.edu  for four courses (16 credits), regardless of whether they are taking courses, conducting research, or teaching.

      • Students should have accepted their financial aid and the associated terms and conditions prior to registration. Contact the Office of Financial Aid if you have questions.

      • Resident Students may apply to waive the Harvard University Student Health Insurance Plan provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

      • Resident students residing outside Massachusetts will be charged 50% of the Student Health Fee

    • Students who are engaged in degree work full time primarily with non-Harvard resources for the majority of an academic term, should apply for  traveling scholar status. In preparation, students should discuss their plans with their advisor and with their  financial aid officer

      • Traveling Scholars may not enroll in coursework.

      • Typically, Traveling Scholars are not permitted to simultaneously hold a teaching appointment. 

      • Traveling Scholars may apply to waive the Harvard University Student Health Insurance Plan provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

      • Traveling Scholars residing outside Massachusetts will be charged 50% of the Student Health Fee.

      • Students who travel to certain Harvard institutions (e.g. Dumbarton Oaks, Villa i Tatti, etc.) may apply for Traveling Scholar status. 

  • GSAS has waived the July 1 deadline and associated late fees for fall 2020 and academic year 2020-2021 non-resident status applications. [Amended June 2, 2020]

  • An adjustment of one year can be made to the department G-year for GSAS students whose academic progress has been impacted by COVID-19. These changes must be emailed by your department administrator or DGS to the Office of Student Affairs. G-Year adjustments are not accompanied by additional funding, but are aimed at providing students more time to meet academic deadlines/milestones, by delaying them one year, such as [Amended May 18, 2020]: 

    • In dept X "general exams should be taken at the end of the third year.” A student in Registrar G4 (cumulative-time), who has been adjusted to a Departmental G3, will have approximately one extra year to complete their general exams.

    • In dept Y, students "must submit their prospectus by the end of their G4 year.” A student in Registrar G5 (cumulative-time), who has been adjusted to a Departmental G4, will have approximately one extra year to submit their prospectus. 

  • GSAS is launching an Emergency Support Initiative, four targeted measures designed to help PhD students overcome academic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic: Lost-Time Funding, Emergency Summer Research Awards, GSAS Visiting Fellow Status Opportunities, Postdoctoral Writing and Fellowship Appointments. [Amended May 1, 2020]

  • Electronic signatures from committee members are acceptable on the dissertation completion certificate (DAC).  [Amended April 27, 2020]