COVID-19 Response

Guidelines from Graduate Studies

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

Yes. The examination deadlines for spring and summer semesters have not changed. 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.

Should my oral exam be remote or in-person?

Either. Students should discuss with their advisor and supervisory committee the best arrangement for their oral exam given individual circumstances.

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 (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 (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 is my visa affected? 

Please visit the ISSO website for details:

International Student Admission

Graduate Studies will continue to provide I-20s to F-1 students and DS-2019s to J-1 students in the expectation and hope that they will be able to travel to the United States, however, it is possible that travel restrictions or limitations on the capacity of U.S. embassies and consulates to process visa applications could impact students’ ability to enter the U.S. UNL will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates to students when available.

Will research activities continue? 
Can international students receive an assistantship or fellowship?

The answer is “no” for international students who have not been issued a visa and are not in the US. To receive an assistantship or fellowship, international students need to have a social security number (SSN), and they cannot get that until they are physically in the US for 10 days. Having a visa alone is not enough; they need to have the SSN. Departments can still cover the cost of tuition and fees for international students.

For continuing international students who have an active payroll record, even if they returned home, they can continue to have an assistantship or fellowship.

For further assistance, please contact Caroline Knuth ( in the Office of Graduate Studies.

Can departments cover the cost of tuition, health insurance premiums and fees for international students not in the U.S.?

Yes. Departments may choose to fund any of the following: Graduate tuition (in full or in part); up to 79% of the student health insurance premiums; and some fees (such as UPFF, Library Fee, Technology Fee, Registration Fee, Ncard Fee and Course Fees). To cover any of these costs, departments must use an Agreement to Fund (ATF) form.

Charges not covered by the ATF are the responsibility of the student.

Are there other funds for graduate students? 

Questions regarding funding should first be directed to the student’s department (their major advisor, graduate chair, or department chair). In addition, the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA) is available to support students and families and will make every effort to mitigate financial burdens created by this extraordinary situation. If you have incurred, or will incur, additional expenses or severe financial hardship, please contact Husker Hub at 402-472-2030 or to request a financial aid review.