Coronavirus Updates

School of Graduate Studies Information for Fall 2020

updated October 29, 2020

The School of Graduate Studies is open and ready to answer your questions! Please see our Graduate School Staff Directory for contact information and a list of specific staff functions. We are here to do all that we can to insure that our graduate students have a successful and rewarding experience throughout their time at Appalachian. 

A recent change adopted campus-wide (for all undergraduate and graduate students) for the Fall 2020 term was extension of the Late Drop/Withdrawal date, to accommodate students who may be experiencing difficulties related to COVID-19. For Fall 2020, the last day to drop a course or to withdraw from the term is now Friday, December 18, which is after final grades for the term are posted. Graduate students should consult with their advisor(s) before taking either of these steps. Another recently-announced change for Fall is that the December commencement ceremony will be held virtually. IMPORTANT NOTE: The final date to apply to graduate in December 2020 is November 13; however, if you wish to have your name announced in the virtual ceremony you must apply by no later than November 10. As always, if you are completing multiple programs (e.g., a degree program and a certificate) you must submit a separate application for each program. 

Graduate education functions at Appalachian adhere to the guidelines in place for all students, staff, and faculty members at Appalachian. You can review the most up-to-date campus information by visiting the links in the "For More Information" section at bottom. 


Graduate Courses

For many graduate students, even those enrolled in online programs, the graduate learning environment has been fundamentally changed by COVID-19. Faculty, staff, and administrators have worked hard to ensure the best course experience for students. This work includes intensive efforts to provide training in best practices for online course delivery, insuring that the necessary software and hardware is in place to support the educational environment, and adopting new classroom health and safety practices. Many courses for the Spring 2021 term will delivered using the same accommodations as were made for Fall, including additional online components and precautions taken in classroom and laboratory settings where face-to-face engagement is required due to the nature of the curriculum. New and continuing graduate students are strongly encouraged to contact their graduate program director directly for information about course options and other program-specific questions.


Graduate Student Resources and Events

Our Graduate Student Life team works throughout the year to provide social events and a variety of professional development opportunities for graduate students. For 2020-2021, the majority of these events are being held in online formats. Find more information about all of the Graduate Student Life resources, click here. For information about upcoming events, visit our Trails to Success page. In addition, the team has prepared an AsuLearn projects page that serves as a repository for Graduate Student Handbook resources that are accessible to all graduate students. All currently enrolled graduate students should have access to this page.

If you are not currently receiving our weekly Trails to Success newsletter, contact Stephanie Hickey and ask to be added to the distribution list. The newsletter contains up-to-date information about Graduate School and other campus events for graduate students.

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Research/Scholarly Activity

Graduate students whose scholarly projects require them to be on campus or at off-campus research or practicum sites may be cleared to conduct these activities. Please check with your program advisor.  More detailed information about continuity of scholarly activities can be found on the Office of Research website. Although field work may be approved, a UNC System-mandated travel freeze remains in place. Research involving human subjects that must be conducted in person has been paused until further notice. Graduate students should work with the Office of Research Protections to modify or update their research protocols as needed. 


For More Information

Appalachian State University is providing regular updates about the status of campus operations, guidance from the UNC System Office and other agencies, and Appalachian's response to the evolving COVID-19 situation. Visit the Coronavirus Information page, which contains an active COVID case dashboard, more detailed information about course delivery, and details about the steps Appalachian State is taking to ensure health and safety on campus this Fall and beyond. 

Graduate students will find many helpful resources on the campus Wellness and Prevention Services website, including information about the mandatory COVID educational training that all students will be required to complete. Instructions for accessing and completing this AsuLearn-based training will be emailed to all students in late July. 

Some general information about a range of campus services for students can be found on the Keep Learning website. 

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