Graduate Studies

Ohio State has implemented a broad range of changes to provide support and flexibility to graduate students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Campuses have far fewer people present at any one time because courses are being offered with a broader mix of in person, online (distance learning) and blended (hybrid and distance-enhanced) teaching, and many employees continue to telework.

Ohio State has made physical changes to create physical distancing in classrooms; added signs directing people where to enter, exit and move through buildings; and enhanced cleaning protocols. The university is also focused on the shared commitment needed among all students, faculty and staff to protect one another using online education, the Together As Buckeyes Pledge and guidelines on face masks, hand washing and physical distancing. 

This page addresses some of the common questions posed. Given the multiple roles that graduate students play on our campuses, additional information is also available on the Teaching page and on the Office of Research return-to-campus page. 

Spring Semester Return

Ohio State is planning for spring semester to prioritize the health and safety of the university community, and students need to be prepared to do their part. The university successfully completed autumn semester by acting Together As Buckeyes, and those requirements, including face masks, physical distancing and other personal behavior, will continue in 2021.

If you are returning to in-person activities, you should:

  • Self-sequester for 10 days before you return to your on-campus residence and/or to in-person engagements on campus. We recognize that this may not be possible for students with clinical, lab or other responsibilities. If that is your situation, you may disregard this requirement.
  • Schedule COVID test weekly at Jesse Owens North, starting when you return to Columbus to either live or visit campus for any reason. For students who are have continuing clinical or lab responsibilities, please start your weekly testing as soon as possible.

 

Spring Semester Testing

Each week, graduate and professional Columbus-campus students who live off-campus will be required to take a COVID-19 diagnostic saliva test. Failure to test may result in a directive to quarantine until testing can be completed, loss of access to non-residential spaces and a report to Student Conduct. There will be no direct costs to students participating in surveillance testing. 

  • Appointments should be scheduled in advance using MyChart. For instructions on how to schedule your appointment, visit go.osu.edu/MyChartInstructions.
  • If you have not already, activate your MyChart account. If you are having difficulty creating or accessing your account, you can call MyChart support at 866-966-6975, option 3 (available Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST) or email MyChartTechSupport@osumc.edu for assistance (email may take up to 2 days for response).

Students who think they may be eligible for an exemption to the weekly testing requirement should review details about the exemption process on the student testing program webpage.

Frequently asked questions

Academic Work

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How can graduate students request a leave of absence?

The Graduate School has accommodation processes for students who would like to request a leave of absence from their academic program due to an extenuating circumstance. Please see Section 3.1 and Section 7.7 of the Graduate School Handbook for detailed descriptions of pre and post-candidacy leaves of absence. Students with a GA appointment seeking a leave of absence should contact their program for assistance. More information may be found in Section 11.2 and Appendix F of the Graduate School Handbook.

If COVID-19 has affected my ability to complete my graduate degree, can I request an extension?

Yes. The Graduate School has always had an active petition process to address issues for students who need additional time to complete their degree due to unforeseen circumstances. Specifically, all graduate students have the opportunity to extend graduation past the five-year post-candidacy deadline by submitting a petition through http://gradforms.osu.edu/ following rules indicated in the Graduate School Handbook section 7.7.7.

What teaching support resources are available for GTAs?

Tools, strategies, workshops and other resources are available for instructors through these websites:

Where can I find information about safety protocols and other adjustments to teaching?

The Teaching page provides details for instructors on a variety of topics, from cleaning protocols to the type of assignments that allow for proper physical distancing.

Health and Safety

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Who should I tell if I learn that someone has contracted COVID-19?

  • If you have or suspect you have COVID-19 and are a member of the faculty or staff, you should tell your supervisor and follow appropriate protocol.
  • If you are a supervisor and an employee reports an infection to you, you should contact your Human Resources business partner. Do not notify any other employees, maintaining the individual’s medical privacy.
  • If you have or suspect you have COVID-19 and are a student, you should immediately contact Student Health Services at sl-covid19.shs@osu.edu.
  • Students are not required to report the specific reason for their illness, including COVID-19 infection, to their instructors.
  • Faculty, staff and students who are made aware of or suspect that someone else has COVID-19 should not share that information with others, with the exception of supervisors reporting to Human Resources.
  • If you have or suspect you have COVID-19 and are a member of the faculty or staff, you should tell your supervisor and follow appropriate protocol.
  • If you are a supervisor and an employee reports an infection to you, you should contact your Human Resources business partner. Do not notify any other employees, maintaining the individual’s medical privacy.
  • If you have or suspect you have COVID-19 and are a student, you should immediately contact Student Health Services at sl-covid19.shs@osu.edu.
  • Students are not required to report the specific reason for their illness, including COVID-19 infection, to their instructors.
  • Faculty, staff and students who are made aware of or suspect that someone else has COVID-19 should not share that information with others, with the exception of supervisors reporting to Human Resources.

Mental Health and Wellness

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I am worried about a student, what can I do?

If the concern is life threatening, please contact 911, the Ohio State Police Department, at 614-292-2121, or the Wexner Medical Center, at 614-293-8333. If the situation is not life threatening, being supportive and encouraging the student to contact Student Life's Counseling and Consultation Service (CCS) is often the best first step. CCS does not contact students who do not contact us first out of respect for their privacy and independence. You can also recommend some of the available mental health support options available on campus.

If the concern is life threatening, please contact 911, the Ohio State Police Department, at 614-292-2121, or the Wexner Medical Center, at 614-293-8333. If the situation is not life threatening, being supportive and encouraging the student to contact Student Life's Counseling and Consultation Service (CCS) is often the best first step. CCS does not contact students who do not contact us first out of respect for their privacy and independence. You can also recommend some of the available mental health support options available on campus.

What mental health and wellness resources are available on campus?

The safety of the Ohio State community is and always will be the university’s first priority. There are a variety of resources available for students, faculty and staff. The university has also compiled a wide range of research-based intervention strategies and information that can help build resiliency and enhance mental, emotional and physical health and well-being. Key resources are listed below.

If you or someone you know is an imminent danger to themselves or someone else, go to the nearest ER or call 911. If you are thinking of harming yourself or if you are worried about someone else and need advice about what to do, call the suicide prevention lifeline at 614-221-5445 or 800-273-8255 (TALK) or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting 4HOPE to 741741.

The safety of the Ohio State community is and always will be the university’s first priority. There are a variety of resources available for students, faculty and staff. The university has also compiled a wide range of research-based intervention strategies and information that can help build resiliency and enhance mental, emotional and physical health and well-being. Key resources are listed below.

If you or someone you know is an imminent danger to themselves or someone else, go to the nearest ER or call 911. If you are thinking of harming yourself or if you are worried about someone else and need advice about what to do, call the suicide prevention lifeline at 614-221-5445 or 800-273-8255 (TALK) or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting 4HOPE to 741741.

Research

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How do I report concerns if safety protocols are not being followed in a research lab?

The Office of Research has developed a web-based tool (http://go.osu.edu/report-a-concern) to report research-related concerns around non-compliance with COVID-19 safety protocols. While the most direct route for addressing concerns is to contact a supervisor, department chair or college office, we recognize that is not always feasible. Any concerns reported through this tool will be sent directly to the Office of Research for review.


Please reference this website for the most up-to-date guidelines. The university’s COVID-19 Transition Task Force’s Safe Campus and Scientific Advisory Subgroup will continue monitoring changing conditions and consult with local and state health authorities. Recommendations and requirements will be refined as needed.