The Graduate School continues to follow the guidance outlined on the University COVID-19 website. The information below provides guidance specific to graduate applicants, graduate students, and graduate education.
You are here
Everyone is welcome.
We all belong to the UL Lafayette community, and the Graduate School wants to make sure that everyone is welcomed and respected.
Fear of the COVID-19 pandemic should not be misdirected against individuals because of an individual’s national origin, race, or other protected classes. All supervisors and managers are responsible for watching, stopping, and reporting such activity to email@example.com. The University will immediately review any allegations of harassment, intimidation, or discrimination and take appropriate action.
If you or someone you know has experienced discrimination or harassment, contact our partners in the Dean of Students and Human Resource offices for support, reporting options, and additional resources. Faculty, staff, or students also can report harassment, discrimination, retaliation, misconduct, or sexual misconduct anonymously by submitting a confidential EthicsPoint complaint online here.
For consultation or training on promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in our learning and work environments, contact the Office for Campus Diversity.
How to Contact Us
The Graduate School is open.
You are welcome to visit us in Martin Hall 332.
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the main office at 337-482-6965.
You can also contact individual staff members during regular business hours by email, direct telephone number, or Microsoft Teams.
Information for Applicants
Prospective and recently-admitted students are encouraged to review our applicant FAQ page for current information regarding our application requirements and processes that have been impacted by COVID-19.
How are Graduate Student Orientations available?
The Graduate School orientations are offered online in Moodle, and they are accessible here.
- The New Graduate Student Orientation introduces the skills, resources, and networks of support essential to success in grad school at UL Lafayette.
- The Graduate Assistant (GTA/GRA/GA) and University Fellow Orientation, included as the last module in the New Graduate Student Orientation, includes information on completion of hiring paperwork and mandatory University trainings.
Check with your graduate coordinator for details about a program-specific orientation for new students in your department.
International students should review plans for the New International Student Orientation on the Division of Global Engagement on its COVID-19 Response & Updates website.
International Student Guidance
Delaying Graduate Enrollment Guidance
We understand that there are many reasons that might make enrollment difficult at this time.
Recently-admitted graduate students who have not yet begun their graduate studies may defer admission, without fee or penalty, to a later semester. Find instructions for deferring graduate admission here.
Continuing graduate students may request an Official Leave of Absence by submitting a Leave of Absence Request Form found here.
If you have funding (e.g., an assistantship, fellowship, scholarship), discuss with your graduate coordinator or assistantship/fellowship supervisor how delaying graduate enrollment may impact your funding. Similarly, if you have received federal financial aid, you should consult with the Office of Financial Aid.
Graduate Assistantship and Fellowship Guidance
Graduate students appointed as graduate assistants and fellows function in multiple capacities on our campus. They are one person who is simultaneously graduate student and graduate student employee. The information below provides guidance for navigating this unique role as it relates to the University’s COVID-19 guidance.
Graduate students appointed as graduate assistants (GTA/GRA/GA) and fellows are expected to be in residence in Louisiana and available to work on campus.
As a student, graduate students appointed as a GTA/GRA/GA or fellow must adhere to the guidance and expectations outlined at COVID-19 Information for Students.
As a graduate student employee, graduate students appointed as a GTA/GRA/GA or fellow are expected to follow the guidance and use the resources at COVID-19 Information for Faculty & Staff. Additionally, graduate assistantship and fellowship appointments must align with the policies and protocols outlined in the University Return-to-Workplace Guide.
All graduate students appointed as a graduate assistant or fellow must:
- complete the Employee COVID19 Daily Self-Check each day prior to arriving on campus
adhere to the Employee COVID-19 Screening Testing program
If you are contacted by the University as part of its random testing of unvaccinated students and those who live in an on-campus congregate setting, you should respond that you are a graduate assistant/fellow and your employee testing status will be used to satisfy student testing requirements.
- complete the Student COVID-19 Quarantine & Isolation Reporting Form if you are experiencing COVID or flu-like symptoms and/or are directed not to arrive on campus after completing the daily self-check (and follow all of the other steps identified by the University for students in the “Guidelines for if You feel Sick or Ill” here)
- communicate promptly with your department head and/or supervisor when COVID-related concerns and/or unanswered questions arise
NOTE: The University announced on Dec. 17, 2021 that, as a result of a ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana on Dec. 16, 2021, it had suspended the COVID-19 employee vaccination requirement under federal Executive Order 14042 for federal contractors and subcontractors. Learn more about the University’s vaccination requirements here.
We understand that specific reasons related to the COVID-19 health pandemic may prompt questions, concerns, and requests for accommodation. In such instances, graduate students appointed as a GTA/GRA/GA or fellow should follow these steps:
Communicate with your department head and supervisor as soon as you have concerns, unanswered questions, or are uncertain about expectations for your assistantship/fellowship duties. (In doing so, remember those Grad School tips for approaching a “crucial conversation.”)
If you are requesting an adjustment or accommodation to your assistantship or fellowship assignment, you should initiate that request by following the established process in your academic unit (or hiring unit, if not an academic appointment). That process typically begins with the department head, school director, or other unit or area head/supervisor.*
- If resolution cannot be mutually agreed upon by the academic department/hiring unit/supervisor and graduate student, the Graduate School should be notified by emailing GradSchool@louisiana.edu. The Dean of the Graduate School—in consultation with the Academic College Dean, the Dean of Students, and the Office of Human Resources—will facilitate resolution.
* If an adjustment or accommodation to assistantship or fellowship duties is being considered, the following are important considerations to keep in mind:
Department heads and supervisors must utilize the Employee Leave Guidance when addressing concerns about assistantship/fellowship assignments.
If accommodation requests are due to health-related or ADA concerns, academic departments, hiring units, and supervisors should not request documentation from graduate students to demonstrate high-risk conditions or justification for accommodation. Rather, the EEO/ADA Coordinator at email@example.com should be contacted so that they can facilitate review of the request.
Where the request for flexibility is for reasons other than individual health considerations (e.g., age, caregiving responsibilities for or cohabitating with an at-risk individual, childcare needs) or ADA accommodations, graduate students should alert their department head or supervisor and work productively with them to balance individual needs with the needs of the University to maintain a safe campus community alongside its return to face-to-face instruction and on-campus research efforts and operations.
Any alternate work arrangements that would include fully remote work are not permitted without review and approval by the Graduate School and the Office of Human Resources. To initiate that review, department heads or supervisors should submit the Temporary Graduate Assistantship Remote Work Request to GradSchoolApprovals@louisiana.edu.
- As a reminder, because the University has determined that individuals who reside outside of the United States cannot be paid stipends or receive other compensation, completion of remote assistantship or fellowship duties from abroad—even if only temporary—cannot be approved.
Deadlines, Milestone Requirements, and Forms Guidance
Refer to the University academic calendar on the Registrar’s website for a complete list of dates and deadlines.
Milestone Exams: The Graduate School will continue to require that milestone exams (e.g., preliminary/comprehensive/qualifying exams, foreign language proficiency exams, and all defenses) be conducted remotely through videoconferencing platforms such as Zoom in Spring 2022.
Requests to conduct a milestone requirement in person may be made to the Dean of the Graduate School. Such requests should be initiated by the graduate coordinator or committee chair, and they are asked to consult with department heads prior to making an in-person exam/defense request. Requests must include justification and identify all participants as well as the proposed location, date, and time. In-person exams/defenses must follow all health and safety requirements set by the University.
Public Defense Requirements: For graduate programs that require a public defense of theses/dissertations, this requirement has been reinstated. Public defenses should be made available through videoconferencing platforms such as Zoom.
Outside Observers: The Graduate School returned to assigning outside observers to thesis, dissertation, and synthesis project defenses/presentations as required by University policy. Outside observers also may be requested using the Outside Observer Request Form.
Approval Signatures on Milestone Forms: Many milestone forms are now available as webforms via the forms webpage. For forms still unavailable as a webform, approvals will continue to be accepted as follows:
- The student should initiate the process by completing all parts of the form and forwarding it by email to the appropriate faculty member in their department (most often the graduate coordinator) for review and approval.
- Upon review and approval, the faculty member/graduate coordinator will convey approval to the Graduate School by sending the completed form as a pdf document to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Approval signatures from required individuals will be accepted:
- whenever possible, on the scanned form with actual ink hand-signed signatures
- from a UL email account from which the approver indicates their approval on the form itself or in the body of the email to which the form is attached
- from a professional email address of an approver external to UL Lafayette (i.e., outside committee member) from which the approver indicates approval on the form itself or in the body of the email to which the form is attached
Clear Prior Guidance and Deadlines: The “clear prior” requirements and deadlines for students will continue to be adjusted through the deadlines identified below to provide accommodation to delays caused by Covid-19 disruptions.
“Clear prior” offers a grace period to complete the final review and approval process to graduate students who have satisfied all degree requirements except submission of the successfully defended thesis/dissertation/synthesis project manuscript to the Graduate School. While the degree is not officially conferred until the following semester, students who meet the clear prior deadline are exempt from paying additional tuition and fees for the semester in which the degree is officially awarded.
Requirements for clear prior will continue to be modified temporarily to require only submission of the successfully-defended, committee-approved manuscript for Graduate School review and approval by the following deadlines:
- January 12: Clear Prior deadline to be exempt from Spring 2022 tuition and fees
- June 6: Clear Prior deadline to be exempt from Summer 2022 tuition and fees
During normal times, the final thesis/dissertation/synthesis project manuscript would be required to be not only successfully defended and committee approved but also completely through Graduate School review and approval by these deadlines.