COVID-19 Information and Resources for the Graduate Community

Resources and Updates in Response to COVID-19

CSU offices and services are primarily functioning online and virtually, per public health guidance. 

For the latest information from CSU, visit

The Graduate School office is assisting students, staff, and faculty remotely from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on weekdaysEmail us at  |  Call us at 970-491-6817  |  Live chat 

Our team is available to help you with questions and concerns as we continue to work to minimize disruptive impacts to degree completion and program requirements. Click the buttons below for updates and resources. Last updated: October 13

  • Forms: All forms and graduate committee member signatures must be submitted to the Graduate School by email from a email account for Fall 2020. Instructions for submitting forms are in the following section.
  • Deadlines for students applying to graduate in Fall 2020 are posted on the Deadline Dates page.  Departments may have earlier deadlines – students should confirm all deadlines with their departments.
  • Defenses: The Graduate School encourages all graduate student committee meetings, exams, and defenses be held remotely by web-based video conferencing (e.g., Microsoft Teams, Zoom, other) for the Fall 2020 semester. If held in-person, everyone in attendance must follow the required public health precautions and fill out the daily symptom checker. General assignment classrooms are prioritized for in-person course instruction and will not be available for graduate committee meetings, exams, and defenses.

Steps for form submission in Fall 2020:

  • Student obtains appropriate Graduate School form(s) from RAMweb.
  • Student fills out the form(s), prints the form(s), and signs the form(s).
  • Student then scans or takes a high-quality photo of the form, saves the form as a .pdf document, and emails the .pdf to the department coordinator or advisor for approvals.
    • If the student is not able to print the form, the student can save the form from RAMweb as a .pdf and email it to the department coordinator or advisor stating that the email constitutes their signature.
  • The department coordinator or advisor will help collect scanned signatures and/or email approvals for Graduate School forms. Once all approvals/votes are received, the coordinator or advisor will send the Graduate School one email to, attaching a PDF of the GS form and its corresponding email approvals.
    • For all Graduate School forms: All email correspondence accepted in place of original signatures must come from a email account.
    • For GS16s, GS24s, and GS30s: In lieu of scanned signatures, committee members can send an email stating how they participated and how they voted (pass or fail) for the GS16 and GS24 form requirements. Forms may be submitted within five (5) business days. For the GS30 form requirements, emails from committee members must specifically state they vote to accept/not accept the thesis/dissertation and my not be substituted with an email communication generally stating a student passed their defense. 

Remote Defense Scheduling Tips

To schedule a remote meeting, exam, or defense in Microsoft Teams:

  1. In Teams (either within the app or web-based client in Microsoft Office365), go to Calendar, and select “+ New Meeting” in upper right corner.
  2. Add meeting title, required participant contacts, meeting date and time, and brief description if needed. 
  3. Select “Save” in upper right corner. Each meeting participant will receive a calendar invite that includes the “Join Microsoft Teams Meeting” link.

During the meeting, exam, or defense in Microsoft Teams:

  1. To join the meeting, click on the “Join Microsoft Teams Meeting” link in your calendar invite.
  2. Once joined, take notice of the menu bar within the video screen. Menu options include Turn Camera Off, Mute, Share Your Screen, Show Conversation, Show Participants, and Hang Up.
  3. To share a file, such as a PowerPoint, select “Share”, then “Browse” in the black window below. Select “upload from my computer” and select the file you wish to share. The file should now be visible to all meeting participants.
  4. At the end of the presentation, close the presentation by selecting “Stop Presenting.”
  5. For deliberations by committee members in absence of the student, the student selects “Hang Up.” The student will be disconnected from the video conference, and will now be in the Chat function of the meeting. The student should not close Teams. They should stay in the Chat window.
  6. Once deliberations are over, a committee member selects “Show Conversation” to open the Chat window. The member can then request the student rejoin the meeting using the chat feature.
  7. All participants “Hang Up” to end the meeting.
For additional information on using MS teams visit

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Reviews

While in-person Electronic Thesis or Dissertation Open Labs have been canceled for Fall 2020, the Graduate School is still available to provide remote formatting reviews of Electronic Thesis and Dissertation PDFs.  

We will provide one preliminary review of documents submitted by October 30 as a PDF to All subsequent revisions must be submitted through ProQuest. 

GTA/Teaching and Research Resources


Virtual Chats, Professional Development, and Mentoring

  • Please subscribe to Graduate School event calendar for updates and reminders about events include the Graduate Professional Development Series and Mentor Mondays Sessions.
  • Virtual CSUWrites for Fall 2020 – workshops, writing retreats, editing groups, and “show up & write.”
  • The Alumni Association put together a series of lunchtime conversations on such topics as job searching during COVID-19, finding remote work, and virtual networking and interviewing. Register at
  • CSU Virtual Events provides one-stop access to all the great things our faculty, staff, and students are delivering online for the public. 

Funding and Human Resources

  • Graduate student hourlies and assistants are considered student employees. Human Resources can help answer your questions about COVID-19 impacts as a graduate student employee. Visit the frequently asked questions web page at for updates.
  • The Families First Corona Virus Act (FFCRA) is a potential option for Graduate Teaching, Graduate Research, and Graduate Support Assistants as well as graduate student hourlies who have worked for CSU for at least 30 days. More information on these are available here:
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant Requests for a Temporary Work Assignment for COVID: The process to request a temporary work arrangement is outlined in the form and FAQs found on the Office of Equal Opportunity’s website at
  • Childcare resources compiled (here and here, in Spanish
  • Find a link to the CARES Act Emergency Aid Application in the Notifications section of your RAMweb homepage. CSU has been granted $8.8 million in emergency grant funding that will be directly allocated to students in need.  This money comes from the federal CARES Act and is intended to help cover expenses you may have incurred as the direct result of the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Awards will range from $500-$1,500 per student, based on the financial need you demonstrate in your application. If you are awarded a CARES grant, the money will be sent directly to you, bypassing any existing balance you may have with CSU. You can opt to receive the funds via direct deposit or mailed check; simply update your refund preference on the billing page of your RAMweb. You should receive a decision regarding your award status within five days of submitting your application, and if you are approved for a grant the money will be sent immediately. Please note that although our Office of Financial Aid is administering the CARES Act money allocated to CSU, the federal government has also put some limitations on who is eligible for CARES Act Emergency Aid. You must have a FAFSA on file with CSU to receive a grant and your application must demonstrate financial need. If it is determined that you do not qualify for CARES Act Emergency Aid, please contact the Office of Financial Aid to discuss other options for assistance. If you have further questions or concerns about the CARES Act Emergency Aid Application or other aspects of your financial situation as a CSU student, please contact the Office of Financial Aid directly at or visit
  • Rams Against Hunger offers emergency food relief for Colorado State University degree-seeking graduate and undergraduate students experiencing food insecurity. Food insecurity broadly defined is “the state of being without reliable access to sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.” Indicators of food insecurity include skipping meals due to lack of financial resources, cutting the size of meals due to lack of financial resources, experiencing hunger but not eating, the inability to afford balanced meals, and/or running out of food at the end of a pay period. RAMS Against Hunger provides Pocket Pantries. Students experiencing trouble reliably accessing sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food should visit
  • CSU Cares was created during the 2012 High Park Fire and has provided support to CSU community members through fires, floods, and other natural disasters. Money may be available for employees who have suffered a financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and are struggling to meet expenses. Funding aid suffered a financial hardship as a result of the  and are struggling to meet expenses. Award amounts vary depending on fund availability and need but may not exceed $2,000. Eligible beneficiaries must be CSU full- or part-time regular employees (not temporary or temporary hourly), including post-doctoral candidates, at the University who have been personally impacted by a disaster covered by CSU Cares. Graduate assistants who are not eligible for student relief funding from other sources may be eligible for CSU Cares, as determined by the Awards Committee.
  • Students needing academic financial support or experiencing housing insecurity, please reach out. General inquiries should go to, including questions about CSU bills and requests for technology support (e.g. laptop purchase).  Students should include their name, CSUID, and a brief statement of their circumstances and need

Admissions Requirements

ETS testing update information is available on the TOEFL and GRE web pages.  

Supporting Fellow Rams

Keep Engaging

The Keep Engaging website includes resources and services specific to CSU students. These resources will help you stay connected, take care of your own well-being, and find assistance to help manage a variety of concerns.

Updates for International Students

The Office of International Programs is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation as it evolves abroad. Please check the OIP website for the most current updates. 

Return to Campus Frequently Asked Questions

What Daily Symptom checker should graduate student use?

Graduate Assistants (GTA, GRA, GSA), graduate student hourlies, and graduate students who are any other type of employee at CSU should follow employee guidance for the daily symptom checker each day. Graduate students not appointed to an assistantship, not working as graduate student hourly, and not a CSU employee should use the student version of the daily symptom checker. The daily symptom checker is available at

Where can I find resources around wellness planning and mental health for myself and fellow graduate students?

Resources for graduate students around wellness planning can be found here:
Mental health resources for graduate students can be found here:

Where can I find university communications regarding COVID-19?

You can find university communications sent to All Rams, Students, Faculty, and Employees at