COVID-19 Response

Guidelines from Graduate Studies

I am planning to graduate this semester. What is the deadline for my final oral examination?

April 9: Last day to submit preliminary copy of your dissertation or thesis to your supervisory committee AND to the Office of Graduate Studies. Additional instructions can be found below.

April 23: Last day to complete the final oral examination (thesis/dissertation defense) or the master’s written comprehensive exam (if applicable).

April 24: Last day to deposit the thesis or dissertation. A check or money order payable to “University of Nebraska-Lincoln” should be mailed to the Office of Graduate Studies, 1100 Seaton Hall, Lincoln, NE 68588-0619. Use either U.S. mail or campus mail. The fee amount is described in our Degree Requirements pages.

These dates are necessary to ensure all 800 graduate students who are planning to graduate will achieve their goal.

Students who applied to graduate this semester, but cannot meet the deadlines, will have the option of changing their graduation term to Summer 2020. Graduate students can complete degree requirements any time after the Spring 2020 deadline dates and prior to Summer 2020 deadlines. In such cases, the following conditions apply:

  • The “Application for Graduation” term will automatically be changed to Summer 2020. Students do not need to reapply.
  • Additional application fee is not required.
  • Registration for courses in summer term is not required.
  • The Dean of Graduate Studies will provide, upon request, a letter verifying completion of all degree requirements. This will allow students to pursue career opportunities at the earliest possible moment.

Should oral examinations for master’s and doctoral students proceed as scheduled?

Yes. Thesis and dissertation final oral exams, comprehensive oral exams (if required by your program), and non-thesis final projects are requirements of the Graduate College.

Am I required to have my oral exam in-person?

No. Students and faculty should conduct oral exams remotely. All participants may determine their preferred option for participation. For more information see the Modification of Oral Exams announcement.

How should paperwork requiring faculty signatures be handled?

The Office of Graduate Studies will accept signed forms by email attachment or by regular mail. The Office of Graduate Studies is closed and cannot accept in-person deliveries.

Electronic signatures are acceptable. Hand-signed and scanned documents are acceptable. Individually signed forms from each committee member are acceptable (in other words, all signatures are NOT required to be on the same page). Forms can be located through our Degree Requirements pages.

Master’s program forms – Students and committee members should submit signed forms to Terri Eastin at teastin1@unl.edu (402-472-8665). After review and approval of the “Final Examination Report” forms, Terri will send an email to the student, the committee chair, and support staff with further instructions.

Doctoral program forms – Students and committee members should submit signed forms to Kelsey Sims at kelsey@unl.edu (402-472-2876). After review and approval of the “Application of Final Oral Examination” forms, Kelsey will send an email to the student, the committee chair, and support staff with further instructions.

How do I pay the deposit fee for my thesis or dissertation?

Check or money order payable to “University of Nebraska-Lincoln” should be mailed to the Office of Graduate Studies, 1100 Seaton Hall, Lincoln, NE 68588-0619. Use either U.S. mail or campus mail. The fee amount is described in our Degree Requirements pages.

How is my visa affected? 

For questions regarding visa status, contact the International Student and Scholar Office (ISSO) at https://globalnebraska.unl.edu/isso.

Will research activities continue? 

We will make every effort to ensure that our important research and creative activity mission continues and that faculty, staff and students engaged in this mission will be able to continue their work safely. More information is available through our Office of Research and Economic Development.

Some suggestions:

  • Faculty advisors/supervisors should explore ways for graduate students to conduct work that does not require physical presence at the worksite. Staying productive can take many different forms.
  • Consider schedules that would allow people to work in shifts or on alternate days to accomplish necessary research tasks while reducing density in your research workspace.
  • Individuals who must share research workspace should be allowed to arrange personal interactions so they maintain a comfortable, six-foot distance from each other. If they have to be in the research space at the same time, perhaps they can separate themselves in some way and keep total laboratory or workspace time and density to a minimum.
  • Faculty advisors/supervisors should conduct individual meetings and group lab meetings remotely whenever possible.

How are graduate assistantships affected? 

Graduate students who currently have an assistantship should consult with their advisor(s) to determine the best course of action for continuing their work. Departments are contractually obligated to continue paying the stipend through the end date stated in the student’s letter of offer.

Event cancellations and postponements

Professional Development Workshops

The following professional development workshops have been canceled:

  • 3/17 — Poster Preparation
  • 3/23 — Career Exploration Through Design Thinking
  • 3/23 — Creating Individual Development Plans
  • 3/24 — Diversity Statements
  • 3/24 — Developing Intercultural Competence
  • 3/24 — Teaching Statements
  • 3/24 — Public Speaking and Presentations
  • 4/7 — Elevator Pitches

Job Document Consultation

Students wanting a consultation for job documents are encouraged to continue to schedule those through the online form. For any questions about these topics and additional resources, please contact Erin Omar at eomar2@unl.edu or Lisa Rohde at lrohde2@unl.edu.

Grad Expo 2020

Although an alternate date has not yet been determined, Grad Expo 2020 has been postponed indefinitely.

Graduate Committee Chair Dialogue

The dialogue session open to graduate committee chairs scheduled for Thursday, March 19 has been canceled.

Student Research Days

Student Research Days and the undergraduate and graduate poster sessions and creative exhibitions on April 14 have been cancelled. In lieu of Nebraska Student Research Days, students are invited to submit posters to the UNL Digital Commons. This will allow you to continue to list that work on your CV.

You should be able to post your work under your discipline or sub-discipline.

Please review the instructions on how to do that. If you have any questions about the Digital Commons or the process, please contact Paul Royster at proyster@unl.edu. For students that will not be graduating soon, there will be opportunities to present at future research events such as next year’s Student Research Days during Spring 2021. Please contact Lisa Rohde at lrohde2@unl.edu if you have any questions about this decision.