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Coronavirus Information from the Graduate School

February 11, 2020

University of Maryland Graduate School Logo

The University of Maryland is monitoring the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. 

The Graduate School recognizes that some current UMD graduate students remain unable to return to the College Park campus due to travel restrictions. Because this health crisis is likely to extend well into the semester, the Graduate School would like to provide guidance about enrollment in Spring 2020 courses. We understand that this situation is beyond your control and we hope these measures will minimize disruption to your graduate studies.

Students enrolled in thesis or dissertation research

Graduate students enrolled in thesis or dissertation research credits (799, 898, and 899) should contact their faculty advisor and their program’s director of graduate studies. In general, students who have advanced to candidacy should continue with 899 registration, and students may continue with 799 or 898 with the approval of their advisor if it is possible to continue their thesis or dissertation research remotely. Students who continue thesis and dissertation research may hold graduate assistantships and may cancel registration in other courses for a refund. 

Graduate students on F-1 and J-1 status that have been given permission to conduct research from outside the U.S. must have a written research plan from their faculty advisor or their program director or coordinator.  This plan is needed to affirm the continued affiliation as a student with the University for immigration compliance purposes.  A copy should be sent to the student and Jody Heckman-Bose at ISSS.

Students not enrolled in thesis or dissertation research

Students who have been unable to attend any Spring 2020 classes due to coronavirus travel restrictions are eligible for a 100% refund. Students need only complete the Graduate Student Withdrawal form located on the Office of the Registrar's website in order to drop all courses this semester: This form should be submitted to

It is important to note that students who withdraw from all classes will be unable to maintain a Graduate Assistantship or fellowship. They also will not have access to University resources, such as the library.  
Graduate programs should submit a Petition for Waiver of Continuous Registration on behalf of each of the affected students in order to prevent students from being terminated for lack of registration in Spring 2020. This petition should be submitted to

Graduate students on F-1 and J-1 immigration status that will not be enrolled for the Spring 2020 semester must work with ISSS on managing their immigration status.  In most cases, I-20s / DS-2019s will be ended and the student will need to work with ISSS on requesting new I-20s or DS-2019 for returning to campus at a future date. 

All students

All graduate students affected by travel restrictions due to the coronavirus should remain in contact with their faculty advisor and their program’s director of graduate studies. Our primary concern is your health and well-being. We encourage you to consult with your healthcare provider or email if you have questions specific to coronavirus. Information on coronavirus can be found at

The Graduate School and the University are committed to providing information and support in this rapidly evolving situation.

Steve Fetter
Associate Provost and Dean, The Graduate School
University of Maryland, College Park


Contact Information

The Graduate School, University of Maryland

2123 Lee Building
7809 Regents Drive
College Park, MD 20742