Dean Carlson: letter to graduate students on resolved issues

Author: Andy Fuller

Dear Graduate Students,

Let me start by thanking you for all that you are doing to continue your learning and research through these challenging circumstances.  And, thank you for reaching out to us as you have questions.  We are working through these, and a seemingly endless list of other issues that are unique for this time.  Below I provide an update on the issues that have been resolved.  Please keep asking and bringing to our attention any additional unique needs.  

We are here to help as best we can.

With the final arrival of sun and spring flowers and an inevitable adaptation to a new routine, I hope you are able to approach this last part of the semester with a renewed sense of purpose.  And most of all, that you and yours continue to be safe and well.


Yours in Notre Dame,

Laura Carlson

Vice President and Associate Provost

Dean of the Graduate School

Professor of Psychology


Financial Hardship - Information and resources for Graduate Students who are experiencing financial hardship can be found here:

Summer Deadlines - All students who have eligibility deadlines in May (e.g., 8th year and 8th semester deadlines) will automatically be extended through August without the need to submit an eligibility extension form to the Graduate School. This will delay any probationary actions until fall 2020 semester. 

Progress Letters – Especially at this time with largely remote communication between faculty mentor and graduate student, we recommend that each student receive a written evaluation of his or her progress in the program. We have shared this recommendation with the Directors of Graduate Studies as well. 

Graduation Deadlines - If a student has successfully completed all the degree requirements but misses the May or August graduation deadlines, the Graduate School can issue the student a letter certifying degree completion for any employers requiring the degree to begin employment.

Pass/No Credit Grades – Students may elect the pass / no credit option for any spring course ending after March 13, including required courses. We are working through the application of this for students on probationary status from the fall.

Graduate Student Professional Development Awards Due to the escalation of COVID-19 globally, all university-reimbursed international travel is prohibited for students, faculty, and staff for summer 2020 and until further notice. In addition, we are unable to provide Professional Development Awards for university-reimbursed domestic travel until further notice.

Care and Wellness Consultants - Cassie Farrell (, the Care and Wellness Consultant for graduate students is still providing consultations to students virtually. Students can reach out to her directly or you can refer students whom you may think could use some extra support.  

The Stream - Graduate Student Life’s weekly e-newsletter continues to go out every Tuesday afternoon with information and resources for all Notre Dame graduate students. If you have a submission to include, please email it to by the end of the day Friday for inclusion the following Tuesday. If you are not currently receiving The Stream but would like to, email Mimi Beck at See the latest edition here.

Student Clubs & Organizations - The Student Activities Office published new expectations and resources for student groups last week regarding virtual meetings, programming, funds, elections, leadership transitions, and more. The full text can be found on their website at A shorter summary of the points most relevant to graduate student groups can be read here. Any questions about how student groups can and should function during this time can be directed to Mimi Beck at



Originally published by Andy Fuller at on April 14, 2020.