COVID-19 Information for Graduate Students

Respect statement

All members of the UW–Madison community deserve to feel welcome, valued and safe. We do not tolerate harassment and discrimination, and racist behaviors and stereotyping are inconsistent with the values of UW–Madison. The Office of Compliance and Dean of Students Office provide resources and reporting options for students, faculty and staff.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

COVID-19 vaccine is readily available on campus. Appointments for vaccines are recommended but not required.

See more vaccine information >>

Campus COVID-19 testing

Details about campus no-cost COVID-19 testing: what tests are available, accessing testing, preparing for testing, getting your results, and what to do if you test positive.

Questions and concerns

Campus operations

Check the Campus Operations webpage for up-to-date information on campus activities and spaces.

The directory of on-campus spaces for virtual learning provides information about campus rooms and related resources that are available to support students participating in remote courses and course activities.

UW–Madison COVID-19 dashboard

The dashboard provides information to the campus community and the public about vaccinations and COVID-19 test results among current UW–Madison faculty, staff, and students.

Graduate School Operations - Summer 2021

Graduate School front desk services are available remotely to graduate students, faculty, and staff. From 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, staff will be available for timely response to email (, telephone (608-262-2433), and voice mail. The front desk is closed to in-person visits.

Graduate School services including admissions, academic services, and funding are available by email:

Enrollment, Courses, and Degree Milestones Guidance - Summer 2021

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

How do I submit paper enrollment change forms to the Graduate School?

If you need to submit paper enrollment change forms (course change requests, withdrawals, etc.), please scan the form or take a photo of it on a mobile device and email it to Graduate School services are available by email (preferred) and phone at 608-262-2433.  (Graduate programs have received instructions about alternatives to paper warrant processing.)

Added June 16, 2020

Can I still get a pre-check for my doctoral dissertation?

Pre-checks are available by email. Doctoral students who wish to have an optional pre-check should email the doctoral degree coordinator, Alexandra Walter,

Added June 16, 2020

Is there a time limit extension for doctoral candidates whose work has been disrupted by the pandemic?

Current Graduate School policy on time limits states that a candidate for a doctoral degree who fails to take the final oral examination and deposit the dissertation within 5 years after passing the preliminary examination may be required to take another preliminary examination and to be admitted to candidacy a second time.

To offer flexibility amidst the major disruption that COVID-19 may have had on doctoral candidates’ research and scholarship progress, students who achieved dissertator status by the end of the 2020 summer term have automatically had the 5 year time limit extended by 8 months. Dissertators given this 8 month extension who need more time due to continued COVID related disruption to their progress may request a further extension from the Graduate School.  Decisions to extend the deadline beyond the additional 8 months are made on a case-by-case basis upon request of the student and their advisor.  Students requesting an extension need to submit the request, along with a letter of support from their advisor, to

Updated October 14, 2020

How can I get a disability-related accommodation for a class?

If you have an approved disability-related accommodation, please discuss with your instructors any COVID-related accommodation changes or adjustments. You can also reach out to your Access Consultant at the McBurney Disability Resource Center if you have questions or believe your accommodation is not being met by the instructor.

If you do not have an approved disability accommodation, you can still discuss with your instructor the desire for a COVID-related disability accommodation. While the instructor may have some flexibility in granting some informal requests for an accommodation, they may require that you work with McBurney’s process to obtain an accommodation VISA.

For more information, see the McBurney Center’s FAQs about virtual learning and accessibility.

Added Aug. 11, 2020

Mental Health and Basic Needs Support

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

I feel stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed. Where can I go for help?

University Health Services is committed to supporting students and many medical, counseling, and wellness services are available by phone and accessible online. Find out more on the UHS Remote Health and Connection webpage. Crisis Services are available 24/7 at 608-265-5600 (option 9).

The Department of Psychiatry has compiled a curated collection of resources from a variety of sources to support the mental health and emotional wellbeing of our community during this difficult time.

Graduate students can also call, email, or video chat with Elaine Goetz-Berman, the Graduate and Professional Student Assistance Specialist in the Dean of Students Office,

More mental health resources are available to you. Here are a few examples:

  • SilverCloud is an online, self-guided resource designed to help students manage day-to-day stresses and improve resilience.
  • Healthy Minds Innovations recently launched a well-being app, called the Healthy Minds Program, that is now freely available to individuals in light of the COVID-19 crisis.
  • NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Health) has published an extensive COVID-19 Resource and Information Guide.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
  • Crisis Text Line is helpful for panic attacks and other emotionally intense moments. Text HOME to 741741; a bot will provide you with their terms of service and put you on a waitlist to text with a real person. Wait times may be long due to current anxiety/panic about COVID-19.
  • SAMHSA Disaster Distress Hotline: Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. Dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories.
  • Project Recovery. South Central Wisconsin residents who have been impacted emotionally by COVID-19 can connect with Project Recovery outreach workers for help with problem solving, conflict resolution, stress management, and developing plans to address unmet needs. Visit or call 2-1-1 to access your local outreach counselor.
  • The Employee Assistance Office is available to graduate assistants (TAs, PAs, RAs, and LSAs)
Updated Aug. 27, 2020

What if I am experiencing financial hardship or having difficulty meeting basic needs due to COVID-19?

We understand that some students will experience financial hardship associated with the impact of COVID-19 as it relates to family, travel and academics. The following resources are available:

  • Office of Student Financial Aid: The Office of Student Financial Aid has a team of people ready to help connect you to financial and other resources.
  • Basic Needs: The Office of Student Financial Aid has compiled a list of basic needs resources in the Madison area. If you need resources in a different area, the United Way 211 will provide information based on your zip code. You can also call 211 and will be given information for the nearest emergency food provider.
  • The Open Seat food pantry: Students can request and pick up prepackaged food boxes at Union South or Eagle Heights. These boxes are intended to assist those who need to supplement their food budget. Find more information and the request form on The Open Seat website. For questions, contact
  • Also for Graduate Students: The Office of Student Financial Aid emergency funds, Dean of Students Crisis Loan ($500-$1,000), International Students Services Loans (up to $5,000), and other emergency funds may be available.
  • Other Financial Resources: The Division of Extension has compiled a list of financial resources to support some common financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Graduate students living in University Apartments who have concerns about their ability to pay are encouraged to contact University Apartments to discuss their individual situations: COVID-19-related updates for University Apartment residents are posted online and emailed directly to residents. For graduate students who do not live in University Apartments, community resources may be available to help them navigate individual situations with their landlords. The Tenant Resource Center is one such organization for Dane County residents.

Updated Dec. 23, 2020

What resources are available for graduate students with children?

Graduate assistants who are parents, guardians or caregivers may face challenges as K-12 student attend school virtually and as childcare facilities close or reduce numbers. To support employees and to lessen these challenges, UW–Madison encourages units to work with employees to identify and offer workplace flexibilities. See the Guidance for Employees with Childcare Needs from the Office of Human Resources. In addition, the Graduate Assistantship Policies and Procedures (GAPP) for Project (PA), Teaching (TA), and Research (RA) Assistants includes a section on the Leave Benefits that graduate assistants earn through their appointment.

To assist employees and supervisors who are navigating these challenges, UW–Madison has launched a Family Caregiving website with guidance on issues such as workplace flexibilities and leave options. Caregiving resources are also provided.

For more information and resources for all graduate students, see the Graduate School’s webpage for graduate students with children.

Updated Sept. 28, 2020

For International Students

International students face many added uncertainties and stressors related to COVID-19. The university is actively working to address the many concerns you have and is educating our federal policy makers on the benefit of creating a welcoming and supportive environment for our international students in this country.

International Student Services (ISS) continues to monitor the global, national, and university COVID-19 updates impacting F-1 and J-1 international students. Find more information in the ISS COVID-19 FAQ or the ISS Fall 2021 Enrollment and Summer Travel Guidance.

Frequently asked questions about vaccination, testing, and travel are available on the COVID-19 Response website.

Contact your graduate program coordinator for questions about your specific circumstances.

International students: Complete your Fall 2021 Enrollment & Travel Plan. Your responses are important for International Student Services and campus leadership to best plan for your successful Wisconsin Experience. You can update your responses if your plans change.