Update for Graduate Students 2

To: Graduate Students

From: Marc d'Alarcao, Dean, College of Graduate Studies

Dear SJSU Graduate Students,

First, and most importantly, please take a moment to relax and reflect. We are living through one of the more extraordinary situations that most of us will see in our lifetimes. Many things will be affected and delayed, and while we certainly will try to keep everything moving forward to support your education, not everything will go smoothly. Please make sure to take the time to take care of yourselves and those close to you. If you need help, let us know

As expected, the situation around the coronavirus health crisis continues to change rapidly. This message includes updates since my March 12 message that relate especially to graduate students. What I am reporting here is accurate as of this morning (3/18/20), but the situation will certainly continue to change. The most up to date and comprehensive information about the SJSU response to the health crisis can be found at the SJSU Health Advisories website.

Shelter in Place

The Santa Clara County Department of Public Health has issued an order that all county residents should shelter at their place of residents except to engage in essential activities, effective 3/17/20 through 4/7/20. SJSU will remain open during this period in the sense that we will attempt to provide most services remotely, including classes. As President Papazian described in her message Monday evening, some students will remain on campus and the basic support systems for these residents, including some dining services and the Student Health and Wellness Center, will remain open on campus. 

Online Instructions continues through the end of the spring 2020 Semester

President Papazian also announced in her latest message, that online instruction will continue for the remainder of the semester. If you have questions, please check the FAQ page, that has been posted on the Health Advisories website. If you are a TA and need support in teaching your classes, the eCampus site and the Work Anywhere site have great resources. 

Thesis Deadline pushed back to April 24

The deadline for submission of a thesis for spring 2020 graduation has been changed to April 24. This later deadline will allow a bit more time for students and faculty to complete the thesis writing and review process, while still allowing our office to process the theses in time for May 2020 graduation. It also aligns the thesis and dissertation deadlines.

However, the current crisis may affect some students’ ability to complete their culminating experience more profoundly. For example, if a student needs to complete a key lab experiment or present a Thesis Exhibition and the venues for completion or presentation of these activities are closed, there may be no alternative but to delay thesis/dissertation submission. In this case, one option is to delay graduation until summer.

The deadline for thesis submission for August 2020 graduation is July 3 and the deadline for dissertation submission is July 10. You do not need to pay tuition in the summer if you are only completing your thesis and not taking any classes. If the thesis or dissertation is delayed beyond these dates, students who have completed all coursework may maintain the required continuous enrollment at SJSU by enrolling in 1290R in fall 2020. This is a more affordable option than paying full tuition for another semester. Please consult with your program advisor and Associate Dean Honda, if this situation applies to you.

International Students

If you are an international student and are remaining here during this health crisis, you may feel especially isolated. The International Student and Scholar Services office has people that can help you with an array of issues ranging from OPT placements to tax filing. If you have academic questions or just want to talk about your situation, please email us at graduate-studies@sjsu.edu and we’ll reach out to you.

Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities (RSCA)

A few research labs with critical experiments are still open while operations are being wound down in an orderly way, but most are closed. Contact your research advisor for specific information about your lab.

Canceled Conferences

If you were scheduled to present at a conference and it has been canceled, you may still list it on your CV. The American Psychological Association (APA) has released guidance on how to do refer to a canceled conference in APA style.

SJSU Cares

If you are facing financial challenges, including homelessness or food insecurity, SJSU Cares remains open to help you.

Counseling and Psychological Services

Anxiety and fear about health emergencies can take a toll on our well-being. If you are feeling overwhelmed, please know that there are people on campus that care and want to help. The people in our Counseling and Psychological Services unit can be reached at 408-924-5910 and counseling.services@sjsu.edu.

Please take care of yourself as we all work together to manage this challenging crisis.


Marc d'Alarcao
Dean, College of Graduate Studies