empty seats in a UC Davis lecture hall

COVID-19 | UC Davis Graduate Education Guidance

On Thursday, January 6, Chancellor May announced that remote instruction will continue through January 28, 2022. Graduate Studies is working to update the guidance on this page in accordance with these changes. If you are seeking information about the recent changes, we suggest that you refer to Campus Ready which has been updated to include Winter Quarter Guidance.

We appreciate your patience. If you have time-sensitive questions related to graduate education, please email gradservices@uccdavis.edu

Guidance for the Graduate Education Community

We continue to follow the developments of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and monitor situations on campus and around the world, and the safety, wellbeing, and educational experience of our graduate education community are our highest priorities. Please visit this page frequently for new information and resources for UC Davis graduate students.

Current Campus Status

Please review the Winter Quarter Guidance Update page for the current status of campus operations. Updates to the campus operation status can be found on the Finance, Operations and Administration websiteVisit the Campus Ready website and the UC Davis Coronavirus Information page for news and updates. 

Frequently Asked Questions


  • Who can I contact about graduate admissions?
  • The best place to start is to contact your graduate program of interest directly.  The best person in a program is the Graduate Program Coordinator who can give you information about the program and their admissions process and requirements.  You can find graduate program coordinator names, emails, and links to the program website on our UC Davis Graduate Programs page.  General information about graduate admissions is available on our Admission page and a lot of helpful information can be found on our FAQs page.  For general admissions questions, email gradadmit@ucdavis.edu. International applicants should direct questions to gradinternational@ucdavis.edu
  • Do I need to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for my 2022-23 application?  
  • Many UC Davis graduate programs have opted to waive the GRE requirements for the 2022-23 admissions cycle while others have removed the GRE requirement completely. However, there are five graduate programs requiring the GRE for 2022-23 which are listed on the Test Score Requirements page

    GRE General Examination: UC Davis accepts both the in-person and at-home exam scores as official. Please note that the at-home version of the GRE may not be available to all applicants based on the country they reside in. Information about ETS at-home testing availability can be found on the GRE website.

    GRE Subject Examinations: Although GRE Subject examinations may be available at ETS testing centers which are currently open for in-person testing, there is no at-home version of this examination. 

  • How can I take an English Language Test for my 2022-23 application?
  • For 2022-23 Admissions, we are accepting the TOEFL iBT (in-person or at-home exam), the IELTS Academic (in-person), the IELTS Indicator (online exam), and the Duolingo English Test (online exam).  Information about those options is available on the Test Score Requirements page.

Incoming Students

  • I’m starting my first quarter, can I submit electronic transcripts?
  • Graduate Studies is currently encouraging all students who have attended U.S. colleges and universities to submit those transcripts electronically if that service is offered by the academic records office at your institution. Transcripts must be sent to gradadmit@ucdavis.edu from the issuing school directly.  For students sending academic records from international institutions, please see our Transcript Requirements for New Admits webpage for specific instructions about sending your documents to us so that we can process them as quickly as possible.

  • I ordered my transcripts.  When will my registration hold be removed?
  • Registration holds will be released once all official transcripts have been received and verified by our office.  Please note that transcript processing for admitted students has been delayed both at UC Davis and at most other institutions. The estimated processing time for electronic transcripts is 4-5 business days after receipt by Graduate Studies. Physical transcripts may take weeks to arrive at campus, and all mail is initially received by a central campus mail office.  Just because your delivery company reports that your package has been delivered, it does not necessarily mean that it has been received by Graduate Studies.  It can still take multiple days to have the transcripts routed to Graduate Studies, and will then take a minimum of 5-10 business days for processing once received by our office.
  • Can I defer my admission to a UC Davis graduate program, and how long can I defer?
  • Students who have not already enrolled may contact their graduate program directly to inquire whether they are willing to offer you a deferral of your admission offer. Admitted students may defer for up to one year. Please note that you must request your deferral prior to the first day of instruction to the term to which you have been admitted.

    If you have already enrolled at UC Davis, you can no longer defer. You will need to complete an administrative withdrawal through the UC Davis Registrar and complete an application for readmission when you’re ready to return.  Enrolled students who withdraw after the first day of instruction are subject to the Registrar's Schedule of Refunds, and will owe a percentage of fees based on the date they withdraw.
  • What is the deadline for deferral?
  • For students who have not already enrolled, the graduate program must submit your deferral to Graduate Studies by the first day of instruction of the term to which you have been admitted. If you would like to be considered for deferral, we advise you to contact your graduate program as soon as possible.
  • Is there financial support available for first-quarter students who cannot receive pay or fellowship for the first month of the quarter?
  • New first-quarter graduate students cannot receive TA/GSR pay or fellowship funds until they've been employed/enrolled at UC Davis for a month. Financial Aid and Scholarships has no-interest Emergency, Short-Term, and Graduate Assistance Loan programs. Learn more by visiting the Loan Programs webpage


  • How will delays in my academic progress from the COVID-19 pandemic impact my time to degree?
  • In recognition of the impact that pandemic-related closures have had on all graduate students at UC Davis, Graduate Studies, with the support of Graduate Council, has provided a one-year blanket extension of time to degree for students. The quarters from Spring 2020 to Spring 2021 will not be counted against a graduate student’s normative time to degree.  No request or form is needed to utilize additional quarters.
    Doctoral students: According to the normative time to degree policy, doctoral students have 12 registered quarters after passing the QE to file their dissertation.  Graduate Studies will not count the quarters from Spring 2020 to Spring 2021 as part of the 12 quarter calculation.
    Master's students: Normative time to degree for master's students is determined by the student's graduate program and is listed in the program's degree requirements.  Programs should not count the quarters from Spring 2020 to Spring 2021 towards master's student's normative time.  

    The blanket exception of normative time to degree is not a guarantee of extended funding or employment, Graduate Studies is working closely with programs and campus partners to explore potential financial support options.  We will reassess in the future if additional measures may be required; in the meantime, we encourage all students to work closely with their faculty to adapt their plans to make progress in their research in different ways than anticipated.  Students can contact their assigned Senior Academic Advisor in Graduate Studies for more information.
  • Can my Qualifying Exam be conducted remotely or in-person
  • Following Chancellor May’s announcement regarding the extension of remote instruction until January 28, 2022, we encourage all graduate programs to hold Qualifying Examinations in person; however, we recognize that some additional flexibility may be needed.  In order to balance flexibility with predictability for graduate students, we will approve the following options for the remainder of the winter quarter only:

     Fully in-person for the student and all committee members
    • Fully remote for all participants
    • Remote participation for one committee member, as before COVID for committee members from other institutions. Note: Students must submit the request for the remote participant via the Remote Participation Request Form for Graduate Studies review and approval.

    See the
    Graduate Studies announcement on Remote QE’s for more details about how to inform Graduate Studies of the selected format of the QE. If you have any questions about the process, please contact the Advising and Academic Services team at gradservices@ucdavis.edu. 
  • Do I have to wear a mask for an in-person qualifying exam or dissertation defense?
  • Yes, all in-person participants must wear a face covering.  As of July 28, 2021, everyone is required to wear face coverings indoors regardless of vaccination status.  More information about UC Davis public health policies and requirements is available on the Campus Ready website.
  • How do I take a leave or break from my program in Winter 2022?
  • Continuing graduate students may take up to three-quarters of Planned Educational Leave Program (PELP), which guarantees return to the graduate program after the leave.  For longer term breaks, students should consider withdrawing with the option of applying for readmission at a later date.  Information about PELP is available on the Planned Educational Leave program (PELP) webpage.  The Withdrawal and Readmission page includes information about the process for withdrawing, the cancellation/withdrawal webform, and how to return to your program.

    Please note that enrolled students are charged a percentage of fees if they apply for PELP or withdraw after quarter instruction has begun.  The OUR Schedule of Refunds determines the percentage based on the date the student's enrollment status is updated.  

Coursework and Grading

  • Will I be able to take courses remotely in Winter 2022?
  • With the recent announcement of remote instruction through January 28, lectures will be held remotely until January 28th. However, for other types of courses and non-lecture components  (e.g. laboratory, fieldwork, studio, performance and other experiential or interactive instruction) instructors are encouraged to hold those courses or course components in-person. Your instructor is responsible for communicating the format of the course delivery (remote or in-person). Unless you have an approved accommodation from the Student Disability Center, or are otherwise directed by the instructor, if you have a class that is now being offered in-person, you are expected to engage in the course activities in-person. Please see the Campus Ready announcement from Student Affairs for more information.
  • What if I don’t feel comfortable attending class in person?
  • Unless you have an approved accommodation or are otherwise directed by the instructor, if you have a class that is now being offered in-person, you are expected to engage in the course activities in-person. Students have the option to petition for the Planned Educational Leave Program and are strongly encouraged to consult with their Graduate Advisor and discuss the academic and financial implications of PELP prior to submitting the PELP form to Graduate Studies. The Graduate Studies Advising and Academic Services team are also available to advise students on different leave options.

    Instructional accommodations may be made for students who cannot attend class because they test positive for COVID or come into close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID (see question below). Note that these accommodations will only cover the period in which the student is required to quarantine/isolate and does not cover the entire quarter.
  • What should I do if I am not able to attend my course(s) because I test positive for COVID and/or I was exposed to someone who has?
  • Students are expected to follow the campus testing requirements for winter quarter. If you test positive for COVID-19 must follow the campus protocol for required self-isolation, quarantine, and testing. You should contact your instructors right away and inform them of your situation and coordinate regarding coursework. Instructional accommodations may be made for students who cannot attend class because they test positive for COVID or come into close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID.
  • Do I need to wear a mask during in-person class?
  • Yes, you must wear a well-fitted face covering that covers your nose and mouth at all times. Everyone is required to wear face coverings indoors regardless of vaccination status. If you see someone not wearing a face covering or wearing it incorrectly, then kindly ask them to mask up.

Financial Support and Employment

  • What if I need more time to complete my degree, but I reach the 18 quarter ASE (TA, AI, Reader) limit?
  • On Friday, June 19, 2020, UC Provost Michael Brown announced a temporary extension of the total length of service for academic student employees (ASE) up to 21 quarters, for matriculated students during the quarters in which instruction is substantially impacted by COVID-19This means that students who enrolled in any of the affected quarters from Spring 2020 - Spring 2022 can receive permission to extend their total length of service to a maximum of 21 quarters at any point in the future. For example, a Fall 2020 incoming Ph.D. student who starts their first ASE appointment before 2022-2023AY will likely not reach their 18 quarter service limit until 2028-2029, but they would still be able to request additional quarters (up to 21) of ASE appointments because the student was a "matriculated student at UC during the quarters in which instruction was substantially impacted by COVID-19."
  • What happens if my TA/Reader section is cut due to low enrollment?
  • You should communicate with your supervisor and departmental staff to stay aware of the changes to operations, course appointments and instructional delivery methods.  Compensation equal to that in your employment contract is protected for students with contracts in place for a given quarter. For more information, talk to your supervisor and refer to the collective bargaining agreement between the University of California and the United Auto Workers 2865.

  • Are there funds to buy equipment?
  • Financial Aid and Scholarships can provide eligible graduate FAFSA filers with a computer loan for up to $2,500. This loan can be requested once during a student's time at UC Davis. Visit the Financial Aid website to learn more. 

  • What if I become ill or need to care for someone who is?
  • The Graduate Studies Policy for Family and Medical Leave Accommodation for Graduate Students with Funding (GS2015-01) is designed to accommodate outside demands so students can successfully complete their program of study. There are several types of leave available to doctoral and master’s students, including students in self-supporting and professional degree programs, who hold an academic employment appointment. For more information on eligibility requirements and the different types of leave, visit our Family and Medical Leave webpage.


  • Where can I find guidance about remote teaching?
  • Review Keep Teaching: Strategies and Resources for Instructional Resilience. This site provides practical resources and strategies for moving part or all of a course online to help instructors keep teaching. It provides contacts for support from Academic Technology Services and the Center for Educational Effectiveness. Teaching and technology experts stand ready to consult with instructors on any part of the process of maintaining instructional excellence while teaching elements of a course online. 
  • How can I request an exception from in-person teaching for Winter Quarter 2022?
  • On January 10, 2022 Vice Provost and Dean Delplanque provided an updated process for requesting adjustments to in-person instruction for TAs which outlined the process for requesting adjustments to in-person instruction for TAs in two categories:

    1. Exceptions related to the graduate student employee’s medical condition
    2. Exceptions related to a medical situation involving someone in the graduate student employee’s immediate family or home or other COVID-19- related issues.

    As the Chancellor announced on January 6, many courses at UC Davis will remain remote until January 28, 2022, while some classes will be offered in person.  For those who have not previously requested an adjustment who now wish to request an adjustment to a TA assignment for the entire Winter 2022 quarter, please apply before January 21, 2022 so that there will be adequate time to arrange for any approved adjustments to in-person instruction, following the same procedure. Graduate students seeking alternatives to an in-person TA assignment must complete and submit the “Emergency Request for Winter 2022 Instruction Adjustment” to the WIATA committee through the Qualtrics form. Separately, if applicable, please send medical documentation to Disability Management Services to reasonableaccommodationrequest@ucdavis.edu


Work-Life and Wellbeing

  • What mental health services are available?
  • The Student Health and Counseling Center provides mental health resources through several formats.  More information is available on the Counseling Services webpage and on the COVID-19 Mental Health Resources flyer.
    •  Mental Health Crisis Consultation Services are available by calling (530) 752-0871, or by texting RELATE to 741741
    •  Counseling Services offers individual counseling via secure video conferencing or by telephone consultation.  You can schedule an appointment via the Health-e-Messaging secure portal or by calling (530) 752-0871. 
    •  SHCS has partnered with LiveHealth Online to provide no-cost online health and mental health services for students.  Links to access and coupon codes are available on the Online Visits site.
    •  Dr. Bai-Yin Chen is a psychologist specializing in college mental health and graduate student concerns and issues.  Graduate students can email her at bychen@ucdavis.edu.  

    Students Residing in the United States (Outside of California)
    • If you have UC SHIP, you can make a no-cost video appointment with Live Health Online.
    • If you have a different insurance provider, contact your insurance company to find out about the mental health resources available through your plan.
    •If you are unable to use insurance for mental health support, visit the SHCS website for information on how to get a Live Health Online coupon code.

    Students Residing Outside of the United States
    • Learn about specific mental health resources available in your location and/or with your insurance coverage. Call 530-752-0871 or visit hem.ucdavis.edu to schedule an appointment with a Mental Health Advocacy Specialist.
  • Who can I talk to about academic or employment accommodations?
  • Disability Specialists from the Student Disability Center (SDC) are available by phone or Zoom appointments and drop-in hours.  The SDC staff provide support for students with disabilities but also advise faculty and TA’s on providing accommodations in the classroom. The Graduate Studies Disability Specialist is Abigail Tilden (atilden@ucdavis.edu).   Disability services for graduate student employees are provided by Disability Management Services.
  • If I’m not at UC Davis, how do I use UC SHIP (health insurance)?
  • All students must be insured per UC Policy.  You are automatically enrolled in UC SHIP unless you’ve been approved for a waiver.  If you have your own insurance, you can apply for a UC SHIP waiver.  Check the eligibility criteria before you apply.  The services at Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) are available to all students, even if you waive enrollment in UC SHIP.

    If you are outside Davis, CA, you can make a telehealth appointment with providers with SHCS.  All appointments except emergency room visits require referall from SHCS.  Find out more about access on the How to Use UC SHIP and UC Get Care websites.  If you have questions about waving or using UC SHIP, email insurance@shcs.ucdavis.edu.
    Information about using UC SHIP if you are outside the US is available in the International Student section of the FAQ.

  • I need access to childcare in order to devote time to my instruction and research. Are there any programs available for graduate students?
  • The UC Davis Child Care Funding program consists of two grants, the Graduate Student Child Care Grant and the Community Based Care Grant. Both are designed to partially defray student families' child care expenses. The Graduate Student Child Care Grant (GSCCG) is available to Graduate and Professional students, while the Community Based Care Grant (CBCG) is available to all students identified with financial need. To learn more about each of these grant opportunities and application processes, please visit the Human Resources website.
    Student parent resources are listed on the Women’s Resources and Research Center Website, and here is a How to Find Childcare guide from UC Davis Worklife.
  • What are my child care options?
  • The Human Resources website features a list of child care options in both Davis and Sacramento.

Campus Operations

  • Are the Graduate Studies offices open?
  • The Graduate Center and Graduate Studies offices will be closed until January 31. During this time Graduate Studies staff will be working remotely and email is the recommended form of communication. Contact information for Graduate Studies staff members is available on our staff directory. Students may schedule an appointment with their Senior Academic Advisor through our appointment system.  Select 'Graduate Studies' in the Offices dropdown, select one of the advisor's schedules, and select an available time that works for you.  When scheduling, include a little information about what you'd like to discuss.  
  • I'm just visiting campus. Do I have to take the Daily Symptom Survey?
  • Everyone — students, employees, visitors — must complete a Daily Symptom Survey before entering a university-managed facility. A daily symptom survey is a requirement for all UC Davis-operated facilities anywhere in California and serves as a reminder to pay attention to your symptoms.  The survey sends you an email to indicate whether you’re Approved or Not Approved to enter campus facilities. You will need to present this email at facility access points. The Daily Symptom Survey for students and employees is currently part of the Health-e-Messaging portal, the same system where you make an appointment for asymptomatic testing. The Daily Symptom Survey is now able to access information about COVID-19 testing and vaccination status. As of January 2022, the Daily Symptom Survey now requires negative test results to be approved. Learn more about the Daily Symptom Survey on the Campus Ready website.

  • Do I still need to wear a mask?
  • Everyone is required to wear face coverings indoors regardless of vaccination status. Unvaccinated people are also required to wear face coverings while outdoors in crowded spaces and when inside vehicles with other people. If a person is vaccinated, the only time a mask can be removed indoors is when that person is alone in an enclosed office. If a person is unvaccinated, they must wear a mask indoors, unless you are in a private office alone. When alone in a cubicle with wall heights higher than the occupant's head when seated, removing a mask when actively eating is permissible.