Academic Year 2021-22: Supplemental Information & FAQs
Message from Deputy Dean and Acting Dean Cole Crittenden
"As we embark on the 2021 academic year, we are excited to begin the transition back to normal campus operations and Princeton’s residential, in-person model of graduate education. The staff in the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School are here to help you thrive in your scholarship and research, your personal and social wellbeing, and your professional development.
We created this resource page as a handy reference and will continue to update the information throughout the fall semester. Please note that the questions and answers below are intended as general guidance only— and you should be in contact with your department for more specific information. We look forward to seeing you soon!"
- Deputy Dean and Acting Dean Cole Crittenden
- Senior Associate Dean for Finance and Administration
- Associate Dean and Director of Professional Development
- Associate Dean for Access, Diversity and Inclusion
- Associate Dean for Student Life
Academics & Enrollment
- Will there be any remote options for learning, teaching, and research?
The University has announced a return to normal in-person operations for the fall semester. Accordingly, the residency requirement for graduate students will again be in effect, and courses and research will occur in person. As was the case prior to the pandemic, post-generals Ph.D. students may be approved to be enrolled in absentia if they have an educational need to be located in a place where it would be impossible for them to maintain a regular presence at Princeton.
- I am not ready or am not able to return to campus this fall. What are my options?
Because the University has announced a return to normal, in-person operations for the fall, graduate students will not have the option of being regularly enrolled while remote. If a graduate student is not able to be present in person and is not approved to be enrolled in absentia, a leave of absence may become necessary. A leave of absence preserves a student’s enrollment and funding eligibility, allowing for a return at a time when the student is able to be present in person. Students interested in a leave may contact Geoffrey Hill (for the humanities and social sciences) or Christine Murphy (for the natural sciences and engineering).
- Whom do I contact in the Graduate School with academic and enrollment matters?
For questions about academic matters and student enrollment, Geoffrey Hill is your point of contact for the humanities and social sciences. Christine Murphy is your normal point of contact for these types of questions in the natural sciences and engineering. Vanessa Gonzalez-Perez will also be supporting the natural sciences divisions this academic year.
- Will Final Public Orals (FPOs – also referred to as dissertation defenses) happen in person or virtually?
Departments may again schedule in-person FPOs following the guidelines for indoor gatherings as described in the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) policy for such in-person gatherings, which can be found here. It is also the case that, until further notice, FPOs may continue to be held remotely without special permission or approval from the Graduate School. If there are questions or issues around conducting the FPO remotely, please follow up with the appropriate assistant dean (as noted above).
- Can I participate in the IUDC cross-registration program or the Ivy Plus Exchange Scholar Program this fall?
This will depend on whether the host institution is allowing visiting students through their cross-registration and/or exchange programs. Princeton students should be in contact with Assistant Dean Elaine Willey regarding allowed participation.
- I am a Ph.D. student whose research was slowed because of COVID-19. Will l be eligible for an enrollment extension?
Ph.D. students who research was slowed because of COVID-19 may be eligible for up to a one-year extension of enrollment after their final year of DCE status eligibility if their department determines that such an extension is necessary. The Graduate School has encouraged departments to advise affected Ph.D. students to adjust or reframe their research in ways that make it possible for them to make progress on and complete a dissertation in a normal amount of time.
- I am an international graduate student who may not be able to arrive in time for the start of the fall semester. What are my options?
While the situation around travel restrictions and visa availability has improved significantly over the past few months, some international students may have questions about their ability to join us on campus in the coming months. International graduate student should remain in close contact with the Davis International Center about their individual circumstances. We expect that the great majority of our international students will be able to arrive for the fall semester. We are able to work with any new incoming international graduate student – right up to the start of the fall semester – who may still need to request to defer enrollment to a later semester because of international travel or visa issues. And we are able to work with any continuing international graduate student – right up to the start of the fall semester – who may need to request a leave of absence because of international travel or visa issues.
- I am a continuing graduate student who has been remote and will return to campus for the fall. By what date do I need to return?
Graduate students should consult with their advisers and departments about specific dates for return based on their individual learning, teaching, and research activities. Except where they are approved to be enrolled in absentia, graduate students should in all cases be present in person by the deadline for them to complete academic year sign-in, which is August 31.
Finances & Funding
- Where can I find information about my financial support?
Where can I find information about my financial support?
For inquiries on your student account, please visit the Graduate Student Accounts: University Charges and Credits article in the Princeton Service Portal.
- My annual financial support letter does not reflect my departmental funding or the AI that I was promised. How do I know how much I will be paid in August?
Your annual financial support letter reflects the funding promised you at the time of reenrollment. If you subsequently received a fellowship award, external funding or were appointed as an AI, this would not be reflected. Your graduate program administrator will be able to confirm updates to your financial support. Meghan Krause on the Graduate School Finance Team can serve as a resource for any questions regarding external fellowship awards.
- How will I receive my stipend paycheck from Princeton?
The best way to ensure that you receive payments from the University quickly and securely is by enrolling in direct deposit with a US-based savings or checking account. To enroll in direct deposit, visit TigerHub. If you do not have a US bank account, some financial institutions now have the ability to open new accounts remotely, and in certain cases, for students who are not in the US. You can find more information on these options here. Once you access the website page, scroll down to the “Direct Deposit” section for more details.
While we strongly urge enrollment in direct deposit, we understand that there may be exceptional circumstances where establishment of a US bank account is not possible or cannot be completed prior to the issuance of the first monthly stipend paycheck. Where these unique circumstances arise, the following protocol will be in place:
- If you are a student located in the US, your stipend paycheck will be delivered to your department.
- If you are a student physically located outside of the US, and have been unable to establish a US bank account, please contact the Financial Service Center at email@example.com.
- What resources exist for graduate students who have short term cash needs?
For enrolled graduate students experiencing short term cash needs or unexpected financial emergencies, Princeton offers the Graduate Advance Program. Typically no more than $1,000, Graduate Advances are repayable through deduction from stipend checks or federal loan disbursements.
To apply for a Graduate Advance, students must:
- Be actively enrolled in a graduate program
- Have some means of financial support (stipend/wages)
- Complete the Graduate Advance application
- Not exceed two advances per student per academic year
Graduate advances must be repaid via stipend deduction over a period of no more than 3 months repayment to begin in the month following approval. There is no interest charged for Graduate Advances. Students wishing to borrow more than $1,000 may want to consider a federal loan (if eligible).
- Is there financial support available for those graduate students with hardships related to COVID-19?
We want to provide an update regarding hardship funds for graduate students with financial need who are suffering hardship related to COVID-19. Currently, we have a limited amount of funds available to support current students who may need financial support to relocate back to Princeton due to COVID-19 related hardship. For consideration, please apply here by August 15th.
If you have questions related to a potential request, please reach out to Sarah Mullins (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Health & Wellness
- Are graduate students required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
All graduate students are required to receive, and provide proof of having received a COVID-19 vaccination authorized by the FDA or WHO. If you are vaccinated, you should upload your vaccine records into the myUHS portal at www.princeton.edu/myUHS as soon as possible. You are not considered to be fully vaccinated by the University until you meet the following requirements:
- Are 14 days past receiving your final dose of vaccine
- Have uploaded proof of your vaccine status to MyUHS
- Is there required asymptomatic testing for COVID-19 for graduate students?
Yes, there is mandatory asymptomatic testing for all grad students who meet any of the below testing criteria. Please see the University's policy for more details.
- Are physically on campus more than just sporadically
- Live in University housing
- Attend an in-person class of any duration
The Office of the Dean of the Graduate School will monitor testing compliance and follow steps of progressive discipline for any graduate student found to be willfully out of compliance or neglectful with adhering to the University’s COVID-19 testing protocol. The range of penalties for violations include those found in Rights, Rules, Responsibilities .
There are legitimate reasons for “non-compliance” which will not be treated as discipline issues. Examples include but are not be limited to: a student who misses being COVID-19 tested because they were away that week, were sick, or otherwise were not on campus that week. Nonetheless, non-compliance will require follow-up and review to determine if legitimate or not, and then if not legitimate, the discipline procedures will be followed.
SELF-REPORT COVID TESTING ABSENCE
The Self-Report COVID Testing Absence Form allows individuals who participate in the COVID-19 asymptomatic screening program to report ahead of time that they will miss one or more tests, and the reasons for missing testing. Therefore, graduate students are asked to complete this form as soon as they know they will be missing required on-campus testing. Responses to this form will be integrated into the weekly testing compliance report that the Graduate School receives.
The form is available in the TigerSafe app and on the web. From the TigerSafe app, select Testing Kit and choose the Report a Testing Absence option. Alternatively, from any internet browser, go to https://tinyurl.com/PrincetonTestAbsence.
Log in with your Princeton University NetID and password. Enter the start and end dates of your absence from testing, and select the reason for the absence. See the Report a Testing Absence web page for more information, including screenshots.
- I just arrived on campus and have an immunization hold that is preventing me from enrolling in courses or completing Academic Year Sign-In. What should I do?
Students arriving on campus are required to have up-to-date immunizations, including the COVID-19 vaccine. If you have an immunization hold, please be in touch with University Health Services at email@example.com to resolve the immunization hold.
- I plan to come to campus this summer. Will I be required to quarantine?
Please find the latest information and requirements for students arriving at Princeton for the summer period on the “Arrivals” page on the COVID website. Information on fall semester arrivals will be updated closer to the start of the fall semester.
- Where can I find University resources for physical and mental health?
If you are experiencing any COVID-related symptoms, please call University Health Services UHS) at (609) 258-3141.
If you’re feeling stressed and would like to speak with a counselor, please reach out to Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) to set up an appointment. If you need to speak with someone immediately, call CPS at any time: 609-258-3141.
If you are experiencing an emergency of any kind, please call 911 immediately.
- Where can I find information related to the Student Health Plan (SHP)?
For information and updates regarding the Student Health Plan (SHP), please visit: Updates to Student Health Plan (SHP)
- What resources exist for graduate students experiencing health-related financial hardships?
Any graduate students who experience health-related financial hardship are eligible to apply to the Medical Hardship Fund: Medical Expense and Health Plan Assistance Programs | Graduate School (princeton.edu)
Housing & Dining
- Where can I go for information about Housing?
Please visit Graduate Student Housing | Housing and Real Estate (princeton.edu) to find housing-related information for the Fall 2021 semester. To get in touch with Housing, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Where can I go for information about Dining and Meal Plans?
Please visit the Princeton Campus Dining website for meal plan-related information.
Student Programs, Organizations & Activities
- Are students permitted to organize and hold in-person events, gatherings and meetings?
Graduate students may host events that are approved by the Graduate School or the University Gatherings Review Committee: Policy on Indoor and Outdoor Gatherings, Meetings, and Events | Office of Environmental Health and Safety (princeton.edu)
Beginning on August 1, 2021, indoor and outdoor gatherings of any size hosted by University staff, students and/or faculty, on or off campus, will be permitted and do not require approval by the Gatherings Review Team. Events organized by graduate students still must be approved by the Graduate School.
- Where can I find information for social events and activities hosted by the Graduate School?
The Graduate School’s Student Life team offers a variety of engagement opportunities nearly every week throughout the year! Please visit the Graduate School’s event calendar to see our virtual and in-person events. Apart from the Graduate School’s events calendar, you can also check our “Upcoming Events | Some Requiring Sign-ups” email, sent straight to your Princeton.edu email inbox every Tuesday!
Please follow the Graduate School on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to stay updated on all the events and activities we have to offer!
- Where can I find information about the Graduate Student Government?
Please visit gsg.princeton.edu or email email@example.com to inquire about upcoming events, social program funding opportunities and ways to get involved.
- My academic work requires that I travel. Is this allowed?
University-sponsored travel for graduate students is subject to certain restrictions. You can find the full set of currently applicable domestic and international travel guidelines for the Princeton University community on the International Princeton Travel Toolkit page. All graduate students must register the details of University-sponsored trips to any destination, as well as their contact information, with Global Safety and Security prior to departure.
- I am an international student. Where can I find regular updates on travel restrictions and the global travel landscape?
The Davis International Center posts regular updates on restrictions and the global travel landscape and is making every effort to share information as soon as it becomes available in order to assist international students. For specific questions, graduate students should reach out to the Davis Center.
For additional information regarding travel, please consult the International Princeton Travel Toolkit page