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Coronavirus Response Information

Information for Students

Jump to: General Supports | Coursework and Academic ProgressDoctoral Students | Campus Life | Student Well-Being | Travel and Visa Status | Newly Admitted Students

Due to Governor Baker’s emergency order, which is in effect Tuesday, March 24 at noon, campus access is restricted to essential access only. If you require access to campus and your access is essential for productively advancing teaching and learning or research activity please request building access here.  

Your health and well-being are primary concerns. Please be assured that HGSE continues to develop contingency plans that prioritize your learning, your degree progress, and your well-being. We will also attend carefully to the needs of any students who may need to self-isolate or who cannot, for any reason, participate in classes or activities. Contact the Office of Student Affairs with questions and concerns.

General Supports

  • The Office of Student Affairs continues to be committed to supporting you throughout your time at HGSE. Please email them at Also, the OSA website lists staff member’s Calendly links so that you may set appointments or “drop-in” virtually, during normal business hours. For more confidential matters, such as health-related concerns, please reach out to KellyAnn Robinson.
  • To best support all students, we need to know the most current mailing address for each student. This is especially important for tracking your time zone and so that your degree program, HGSE, and Harvard can support you from any location in the world. Please ensure your mailing address is up to date in my.harvard.

Coursework and Academic Progress for all Students

  • Add/Drop deadlines: As we navigate the shift to online learning, HGSE is extending the Add/Drop deadlines for spring full-term courses, spring second-half modules, and May term courses as follows:
    • Full-semester courses: Students may drop a spring full-term course if they are currently over-enrolled (e.g., enrolled in more than 32 total credits for this academic year) until April 24.
      • Students may change letter grade options to SAT/NCR, with the understanding that you must earn a B- or better to receive a SAT until April 24.
      • If you would like to make either of these changes, please email Charles Perreault.
    • Spring second-half modules: Students may add or drop spring second-half modules until April 24.
      • Students may change the grade option (from SAT/NCR to letter grade, or vice versa) until April 24.
      • These changes can be made in my.harvard.
    • May term courses: Students may add, drop, or change the grade option (from SAT/NCR to letter grade, or vice versa) up until the second class meeting.
  • Licensure considerations: Field placements and practica are a foundational and transformative training mechanism, and HGSE remains committed to that strategy. Review the guiding principles for licensure placements for more information.
  • Financial aid: As long as you complete your classes via the online format, there should be no changes to your aid (scholarships, grants, and loans). Federal Work Study (FWS) students should attempt to work remotely with the approval of their supervisor.

Doctoral Students

Academic Milestones
  • Though we have switched to a virtual instruction model, we expect that all doctoral students will continue to make progress toward respective milestones. Coursework, research, and Ed.L.D. residency activity should continue. 
  • For Ph.D. students on track to conduct their oral defenses this spring, the Degree Programs Office will coordinate with students and committees to transition these to be held virtually.
  • To support doctoral research and work activity, the Ed.D., Ph.D., and Ed.L.D. program teams and your faculty advisers remain available to you for academic and overall guidance and support.
  • Please remain in contact with us and the rest of the team in the Degree Programs Office, and be sure to communicate with your faculty adviser, if you anticipate significant disruptions to your progress (e.g., losing access to your data or field site due to travel restrictions, school or organization closures, etc.). 
  • For questions about disruptions or alterations to work you undertake as part of a faculty member’s project, please discuss this directly with the supervising faculty member.
Dissertation and Capstone Defenses
  • All dissertation and capstone defenses for the May graduation cycle will transition to a virtual model.  
  • The Degree Programs Office will be directly in touch with all students who are defending this spring, in order to discuss how best to support your needs while also ensuring access to the event for other students, community members, family, and guests. 
  • For those who have already scheduled a defense date, please continue to hold the date and time on your schedule and on your defense committee’s schedules for your defense. We will go forward with the schedule as planned.

Career Support

Career coaching will continue to be available and you can reserve time to meet with a coach via Hub. Efforts are underway to move career programming to an online format.

Campus Life

  • On-campus housing: Graduate students in Harvard housing have the option to stay in their rooms/units — with the caveat that the university may ask students to relocate to a different room or unit in effort to space students out and slow the spread of COVID-19. Students living in Harvard housing with questions about lease termination should contact the leasing office. The Office of Student Affairs is also available to help students understand their options for the remainder of the semester.
  • HGSE facilities: Given emerging public health guidance to slow the spread of the virus, HGSE buildings are closed, as of Wednesday, March 18, at 2 p.m.

Student Well-being

Student Health
  • Harvard University Health Services is open and operating on a new model of care.
  • What do to if you are feeling illHarvard University Health Services recommends that anyone with flu-like symptoms should call HUHS (617-495-5711) for advice. Students who do not have Harvard Student Health Insurance are encouraged to contact their primary care provider. For the health and safety of others, please do not go to a medical office or emergency room without calling first.
  • If you may have been exposed to COVID-19 and have symptoms, contact your primary care provider and let HUHS know by emailing Health Services. Even if HUHS is not your healthcare provider, please notify them via email if you are tested for COVID-19, so they can continue monitoring the health of our community. If you have had exposure but no symptoms, please review and follow HUHS guidance on whether to self-isolate.
  • For students on the student health insurance plan, HUHS has implemented temporary benefit changes in response to COVID-19. For more information, please review their frequently asked questions.
Food Options

Travel and Visa Status

  • Travel restrictions: We understand recent travel restrictions can be confusing and potentially stressful. For the most up-to-date information regarding travel, please review the university’s travel guidance here.
  • Student visas: There should be no impact to your visa as long as you maintain a full-time course load of study (including online Harvard courses). For further questions, contact Colleen Griffin at the Harvard International Office.

Newly Admitted Students 

We look forward to welcoming you to our community. Please stay tuned for more information.

Contact the Office of Admissions or visit the admitted students website.