COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information For ME Graduate Students

Purdue COVID-19 Info:

Purdue COVID-19 Call Center: 765-496-INFO (765-496-4636)

Immigration Changes:

Alternative Delivery of DRC Servic​es to Students and Faculty:

How do I get cleared to be on campus for Fall 2020?

I just tested positive for COVID-19. What do I do?

I'm a Teaching Assistant or Research Assistant, and I have questions about COVID.

UPDATED JULY 28: I am coming to campus from an international location. How do I make self-quarantine arrangements? (from

All students returning to campus from an international location are required to self-quarantine for 14-days before resuming any campus activities.

At this time, all available quarantine space through Purdue has been reserved. Students are responsible for making their own arrangements for quarantine space off campus.

Once you have determined where you will self-quarantine, please contact the Protect Purdue Health Center 24/7 at 765-496-INFO (4636) or toll-free at 833-571-1043 (press option “1”) to discuss your quarantine arrangements. You’ll be connected with a nurse case manager, who will give you exact instructions to follow during your quarantine period.

The Protect Purdue Health Center will also help you make COVID-19 testing arrangements for during your quarantine period, and will be the entity that provides you with medical clearance to return to campus.

How do I self-quarantine? (from

Anyone undergoing a self-quarantine should follow the CDC’s self-quarantine guidelines.

Returning international travelers should contact the Protect Purdue Health Center 24/7 at 765-496-INFO (4636) or 833-571-1043 (toll free) (press option “1”) to discuss quarantine arrangements. A nurse case manager will give you exact instructions to follow during your quarantine period. They will also give you medical clearance to return to campus after your self-quarantine is complete. If you are unable to contact the PPHC via phone, you may email

For additional questions on monitoring your health, contact the Protect Purdue Health Center at 765-496-INFO (4636) or 833-571-1043 (toll free) (press option “1”).

If I travel during the semester, do I have to quarantine when I return to campus? 

It is strongly advised that you do not travel during the semester. If you are traveling to a high-risk area, you will need to self-quarantine for 14 days when you return to campus, and you are advised to get tested 5-7 days after returning to determine if you are infected. Some states will require you to quarantine before entering their state, so you would be adding the additional quarantine time to your trip. International travel is restricted and requires 14 days of quarantine and a negative test before returning to campus. We advise you to use common sense, and if you leave the Purdue community, to quarantine upon return. See the Protect Purdue site for more information about travel, self-quarantine, and testing requirements. 

What is the required testing for current, international arriving, or new domestic students? What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

Any individual traveling internationally must quarantine at home or off-campus for a full 14 days upon return to the US and prior to returning to the Purdue campus for any reason.  During quarantine, individuals should minimize contact with others, monitor for COVID-19 related symptoms, and report any change in health status to the Protect Purdue Health Center (PPHC).  You may leave your quarantine location to pick up food or supplies, with proper precautions, such as wearing a mask and social distancing. It does not mean you should go out for social events, eat at restaurants, or come to campus.  For more information on quarantine, please see the CDC website.

In addition to quarantine, all students must complete a COVID-19 virus test and report results to the PPHC, especially if your test is not conducted through the PPHC.  Please contact the PPHC to coordinate getting your test scheduled, free of charge.

Any student testing positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate for 10 days from when symptoms first appeared or your COVID-19 test was taken.  Isolation can be at home or off-campus.  A positive test result indicates that an individual has been infected with the COVID-19 virus, which requires total isolation from others to prevent the spread of the disease.  If you live with others, stay in a specific “sick room” or area and away from other people or animals, including pets.  Use a separate bathroom, if available, or increase cleaning of multiple use facilities.  You should not leave your isolation location except for medical appointments. For more information on isolation vs quarantine, please see the CDC website

If you need assistance with coordinating your responsibilities while in isolation, contact

Even in normal times, but especially during COVID, you should prepare a sheet of contact information listing your major professor, employment supervisor if different than your major professor, instructors, lab mates, and others who may need to know if you are unable to participate in courses or work. Should you need assistance, you might need to share this information with your graduate contact or other individuals who might follow up with these persons on your behalf, if necessary. All employees should have an updated emergency contact on file with the university.

Graduate Teaching Assistants are encouraged to know the steps to be taken should they be unable to teach a class, either in person or online. This should be provided by your supervisor but, if not, ask!  Leave policies are summarized on the Graduate School FAQ webpage.

As with any emergency preparedness discussion, planning for all options is critical.  Just as you would have a few days of food available in case of tornados or seasonal flu, consider having appropriate food reserves and other household items that might be necessary. Additional medical supplies are very important.  We encourage you to read the CDC website for how to prepare for quarantine or isolation. This is a time to step up and help each other should a friend or lab mate need to isolate.  Please reach out and offer assistance if necessary. 

UPDATED JULY 14: United States immigration officials have reversed their decision, and now will allow international students to stay in the country and take online classes!  Here's the latest guidance from Purdue Graduate School.

International Students Physically Located within the United States for Fall 2020

  1. There is no limit to the number of online courses that an international student can enroll in for the Fall 2020 semester; 
  2. A new I-20 is not required; 
  3.  International students will not need to exit the US if Purdue is forced to convert to an all online course delivery format during the fall 2020 semester.

Continuing International Students who were enrolled in the Spring 2020 semester and Who are Physically Located outside the United States for Fall 2020 

As per the March 2020 guidance, and to the best of our knowledge, information, and belief: 

  1. Students with valid visas planning to return to Purdue for the fall semester will not need a new I-20 to re-enter the US as outlined in the July 2020 SEVP guidance; 
  2. Full-time online enrollment while abroad will lead to the ability to maintain an Active SEVIS record;
  3. Students will not be subject to the 5 month rule and potentially forfeit their visa; 
  4. Time accumulated to qualify for OPT and/or CPT will not be lost if a student is enrolled in and completes a full course of online study while abroad during the Fall 2020 semester. 

New International Students Physically Located outside the United States for Fall 2020 

  1. Students are strongly encouraged to begin their academic program by participating in the fall 2020 online learning experience. Students in the online cohort should not travel to the US mid-semester this fall; 
  2. Students who are able to secure visas to arrive Purdue to enroll in the Spring 2021 semester should plan to arrive no earlier than 30 days prior to the start of the session scheduled to begin on January 11.

UPDATE June 17: We’ve received some updated information regarding your options for the fall semester.  (The below does not apply to Distance Learning students.) 

If you are unable to come to campus, you can choose to defer your admission to Spring 2021, Summer 2021, or Fall 2021. Students are allowed to defer admission once and up to 1 year from their originally admitted term. Please send your deferral request to no later than August 17, 2020.

Fellowship students who choose to take courses online for the fall semester, please discuss it with your advisor first, your tuition will be covered by your fellowship, however, you will lose stipend/salary for fall. Your stipend/salary cannot be made up in subsequent semesters. You will need to

  • Enroll full-time (register at least 8 credit hours)
  • Courses, including Special Project courses and Independent Study courses, are preferred to take rather than research credit.  All courses must be taken for a letter grade so that they are potentially usable on the plans of study.
  • If research registration (69800/69900) must be taken, it is limited to 3 credits and restricted to literature review or proposal writing.
  • Responsible for some fees that listed in the fellowship offer letter

For more information or help with a visa status question, visit ISS

Please email with any questions.

UPDATE May 15: Beginning with the Summer 2020 session, Purdue will return to the normal, pre-COVID grading structures, including standard deadlines to change a grade mode or to withdraw from a course, as defined by Purdue’s Academic Regulations in the Purdue Catalog. 

UPDATE May 12: For master’s or PhD students who are conducting research off-campus for greater than 22 days, the new G.S. Form 19 is required to be completed and submitted to the grad school. Students will need to file this form at least one month prior to each session they plan to be conducting off-campus research. For PhDs it should be used when the student has not completed prelims or coursework. For PhD students conducting research off campus that have already completed prelims and coursework, they need to file a Research in Absentia form (G.S. Form 12). G.S Form 19 & 12 can be found on the Grad School Forms website, (If you are also in a RA position, you will need to complete a Change of Duty Station through the RLA mechanism from the engineering employment center (

UPDATE April 22: English proficiency tests are still required for admission, and many of them are now available to take online.  What if online testing is not available in your country?  We have options for you!  Please visit the Graduate School's English Proficiency Requirements to see your options.

Incoming International Students

If you are currently outside the United States

You most likely will not get your visa in time for the fall semester. Do not panic!  If you have already secured commitment from a faculty member to serve as your major professor, we recommend that you discuss options with him or her first.

You can defer your admission

You are allowed to defer your admission once and up to one year from your originally admitted term. For example, if you are admitted to Fall 2020, you can defer to Spring 2021, Summer 2021 or Fall 2021. Deferment beyond Fall 2021 requires re-applying to the graduate school. 

If you want to defer, first, accept your admission.  Then, send your deferral request, by August 17, 2020, via email to Xiaomin Qian.

Frequently Asked Questions
For Current and Newly Admitted Graduate Students

What should I do if my graduate supervisor is pressuring me to come into work sick, or otherwise ignore social distancing protocols such as 6ft distance / sanitizing / sticking to "skeleton crew" lab shifts?  How should I report this? You should immediately report this to the Department Head or Graduate Chair so they can take action on your behalf.   Another option is to report anonymously to the Purdue Hotline (  Graduate-education-related issues reported to the hotline will come to the Graduate School, where we can investigate.

I had planned to take my preliminary examination during Spring 2020 or Summer 2020.  If I have to delay until Summer 2020 or Fall 2020 to take my preliminary examination due to COVID-19, do I still have to register for two academic sessions before the session in which I am eligible to take my final examination? No, the Graduate School is relaxing this policy. If you are ready to take your final examination in the semester after, or two semesters after, you take your preliminary examination, you may do so.  In these situations, you can include a supplemental note on the final exam request that you are ready to take your final examination and confirm that your examination has been impacted by COVID-19-related interruptions.  No additional review or approval is needed.  This option is available for students who take preliminary examinations during Summer 2020 or Fall 2020.  The Graduate School expects to see enrollment in research registration each session between the time of the preliminary examination and final examination. The change in the effective hold date does not affect those students who have a GPA hold or English proficiency hold on their account.  Those dates remain the same.

What should I do if COVID-19 had disrupted my research plans or progress toward graduation.  How do I modify my Graduate Research Credit approved plans (typically 69800 and 69900)? You are a vital part of the research community at Purdue and it is possible that COVID-19 disruptions may slow or inhibit progress to your degree.  We encourage all graduate students to have a conversation with their research advisor to discuss how you might revise expectations for meeting graduate research credit grade requirements for spring semester and graduation research requirements while working remotely. You might need to adjust your deliverables on a project, or adjust your research proposal objectives.   

I am a graduate student and need to come to campus to check on an experiment or assist in teaching an online class, where can I park?  Are existing parking restrictions in place for graduate students? If you can work from home you should, but if you need to come to campus, and have a vehicle, we are providing temporary parking permits to assist current circumstances. The temporary permit will allow parking in the B and C lots. Parking Services will communicate when this permit expires. If you have a current parking permit but new arrangements require other parking options, please contact Parking Services.  If you don’t have a current parking permit, submit an application on the Parking Portal ( under “Special Permit Requests,” and then “Graduate Student Spring 2020 Permit.” Please direct any questions to Parking Services by emailing  We hope that this will allow you to safely come to campus without the worrying about getting to your lab or office.  Remember, if you come, please continue to practice safe distancing protocols.

If a student has been on the candidate roster twice and will need to be on it a third time because of COVID-19 related delays, will the Late Graduation Deadline Fee be waived? At this time those fees are not being waived. The student can go through the appeal process and describe how the COVID delayed their graduation, and it will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. 

Does Purdue offer any financial support for an unexpected situation? The Critical Need Fund also known as the Disaster and Emergency Student Assistance Fund was established by the Office of the Dean of Students, a unit of Student Life, to help ensure that Purdue University students have access to the support and resources they need to successfully recover from unexpected financial crises and stay on track academically. Examples of assistance have including transportation costs, emergency housing, food, and replacement of essential belongings. The goal of these funds is to prevent one small emergency or unexpected expense from derailing a student’s progress towards a degree. The fund is made possible from generous donors committed to helping students. Considering the significant disruptions caused by the current global crisis as it relates to COVID-19, we invite students to submit requests for these funds. Our process is intended to be simple and quick. The federal government has relaxed some financial aid regulations that allow for us to help students with even more efficiency.

The general process for emergency fund requests includes:

· Students contacts ODOS and discusses the need ( /765-494-1747)
Approvals are made on a case-by-case basis o Generally speaking, funds awarded will not typically exceed $500; exceptions may apply
· Unmet need is reviewed with Department of Financial Aid (DFA)
· Upon approval of request, student signs a form electronically
· In approximately 1-3 business days a Chase Quick Pay is complete
· Some items can be paid for/purchased immediately

What if I am a currently enrolled new graduate student and am having trouble getting my required documents submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions by the deadline requested? All currently enrolled Summer 2020 students and newly admitted Fall 2020 students who have a Graduate School hold due to non-receipt of documents (transcripts, diplomas, English translations, etc.) listed as conditions of continued enrollment in their admission letter, now have an effective hold date of March 1, 2021.  There is nothing that you need to do.  This change will allow you to register for Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 courses without submitting these documents.

What if I am applying to the Graduate School and still need to demonstrate English proficiency or take the GRE (required by some departments)?  (International) Educational Testing Service has announced, due to closed testing centers in many parts of the world, a solution for both the TOEFL iBT and GRE General Test.  These tests may be taken at home (in selected countries) until test centers can reopen.  More information about these tests can be found at the following Websites:

What if I am unable to receive my I-20 documents to arrive for the start of the Fall 2020 session? (International) An email request should be sent to the Grad Office.  This request should contain the reason for your deferral along with the term you are wishing to defer to.   The department must approve the request first and then forward to the Graduate School for processing.   You are eligible to defer from one semester, up to one year. Students in no-mail or travel ban countries will be allowed two deferrals per application. If a deferral is granted from Summer 2020 to Fall 2020 and the student is not able to arrive on campus in August the Graduate School would process a deferral from Fall 2020 to a future session.  Submit your deferral request, by August 17, 2020, via email to Xiaomin Qian,

This policy is only for those deferring from Summer to Fall.  If they are deferring to any other session the two-deferral process will not be allowed.


ME Graduate Office
585 Purdue Mall (Room 1003)
West Lafayette, IN 47907
(765) 494-5730