Coronavirus cells

COVID-19 Resources from The Graduate School

This site is intended to provide the latest news, information, and resources for The Graduate School community on coronavirus and COVID-19. As the situation evolves, the University is regularly monitoring recommendations from the CDC and the State of New Jersey and will be continually adjusting our plans and our responses. Because this is a rapidly changing situation, we suggest checking back frequently for the updates and keeping up with the Health Center’s Coronavirus page.

Current Students

While nearly all course instruction at MSU has moved online, the University remains open and this includes the Graduate School. We are committed to continuing to serve students in timely and meaningful ways. Although our office door may at times be closed due to a reduced on-site staff, we are all available via email and telephone throughout normal business hours. Current and prospective students, as well as faculty and staff members, are encouraged to contact us through any of the following means.

  • Telephone: 973-655-5147  We will work hard to answer your phone call directly; if we are assisting another student at the time of your call, please leave a voice mail with your name and contact information so that we can call you back as soon as possible. 
  • General Email Address: gradschool@montclair.edu This address is monitored daily and messages will be forwarded to the person best equipped to answer your question
  • Individual Staff Member email addresses: Our staff list, areas of responsibility and email addresses can be found at our webpage.

FAQs

Will I still have access to the labs where I work or do research?
The University is not closed, and research continues even as courses have moved online. Any graduate student who is currently pursuing research in a lab setting should speak to the appropriate faculty member to confirm that work is being continued as normal.

I have an internship/practicum/ clinical placement at an off-campus location. What do I need to know?
Academic placements at off-campus locations are being managed carefully, and circumstances are evolving rapidly. Some students are assigned to locations that have closed, others are assigned to locations that could now be considered high-risk. If you are a student with an academic off-campus placement should talk directly with your academic department for guidance

What If I Don’t Have Internet Access or a Computer at Home?
There are several options for you – please refer to the Health Center’s Coronavirus FAQ page.

In addition, Information Technology will be contacting students beginning Tuesday, March 17 who are in need of additional resources.

We also advise that individuals contact their cable and cellular telephone service providers as many providers are offering Free or Low Cost internet for K-12, Colleges and Universities that are affected by closures due to the Coronavirus. IT has researched some options. 

Why can’t graduate students use a Pass/Fail grading option?
Some of you have inquired about why the Pass/Fail option is not being offered to you, as it is to undergraduate students. We want to take this opportunity to explain the larger context of graduate school grading. By its very nature, the course and research work of graduate students demands an extremely high level of academic rigor. Anything lower than a B is not considered a passing grade.  (You must maintain a 3.0 to graduate, and you are limited to the number of C’s you may obtain before being dismissed from a graduate program.) Maintaining this expectation for mastery of learning makes a Pass/Fail option for graduate students extremely problematic when factored into GPAs. For undergraduates, even a “D” translates to a “P. For a graduate student, anything below a B would convert to an “F”, thereby factoring a “0.0” into the GPA, even if the student had earned a C, for example.

What if my grades aren’t good this semester?
We know that this is a time of great disruption and anxiety for all of you. Many programs, as well as individual faculty members, are making accommodations when possible while maintaining the overall quality of graduate academics here at MSU.  If any of you have specific concerns about your academic performance being impacted by the COVID-19 disruptions please speak with a member of the TGS team. You may write to the general TGS email account  or call the main telephone number 973-655-5147 and have your message forwarded to the appropriate person.

While we have high hopes that most of you, with the support of available resources, will have a successful semester, please know that students who receive a letter of academic warning or dismissal in May will have the opportunity to appeal that decision. It is the intention of TGS to consider the ways in which students’ grades were negatively affected by COVID-19 and its societal interruptions in its review of all appeals.

What can I do about anxiety or fear that is affecting my life and my studies?
First, please know that it is perfectly normal to be feeling anxious at this time. But if these feelings are having an impact on your ability to focus on your school work, or to carry out your routine tasks, there are some things you can do. This article provides some great tips and resources.  A few thoughts to keep in mind:

  • Keep things in perspective. Take a deep breath and stay focused on what the situation actually is, rather than the worst-case scenario. It can be helpful to shift your focus to things within your control rather than things outside your control.

Maintaining social networks can foster a sense of normality and provide valuable outlets for sharing feelings and relieving stress. If your day-to-day activities are disrupted by closings, attempt to create structure in your day by: scheduling a normal bedtime and wake up time; structuring your time with hobbies, homework, reading; scheduling regular phone/video contact with friends and family.

  • Seek support and use campus resources. If you have a high level of distress that does not seem to be lessening, contact CAPS or the Dean of Students Office. Your campus community is here to help!

Utilize our resources to learn how to optimize online learning:

A Message from Dr. Karen L Pennington – March 17, 2020

How to Succeed in Online Classes — Advice from One of Your Professors

Taking Care of Your Mental Health During COVID-19

Applicants

Our team in The Graduate School remains available to ensure that your application will continue to be processed in a timely manner.  We are currently creating new features that will allow us to serve you faster and more efficiently: 

  • Starting on April 1st, you will have the ability to upload unofficial transcripts and evaluations via your application status page.  This will allow you to expedite the completion of your application for admissions review purposes. Please note that official transcripts and evaluations will be required upon admission.  More information will be provided to you via e-mail and on this page once this feature becomes available.
  • If your testing date for the GRE, GMAT, PRAXIS, TOEFL, or IELTS exam was cancelled or rescheduled, please contact The Graduate School at gradschool@montclair.edu for individual advisement/next steps. You can also complete the GRE and TOEFL at home. 
  • Starting on April 1st, admitted students who are required to submit an enrollment deposit will have the ability to do so electronically using a credit card. Check your application status page for more information when this option becomes available.
Prospective Students
  • Many graduate programs are offering webinars on a weekly basis for prospective students considering applying to Montclair State. Here is a list of virtual events that are taking place in the weeks ahead.
  • Our Admissions Recruiters are available to meet with you via e-mail, phone, or virtual meetings regarding any questions you may have about graduate programs or the application process. If you are interested in discussing your options with an Admissions Recruiter, please contact gradschool@montclair.edu for more information.
  • If your testing date for the GRE, GMAT, PRAXIS, TOEFL, or IELTS exam was cancelled or rescheduled, please contact The Graduate School at gradschool@montclair.edu for individual advisement/next steps. You can also complete the GRE and TOEFL at home. Please note that many of our programs also offer standardized test waivers.
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