The vast majority of graduate student courses will be delivered at a distance this fall in keeping with WSU’s efforts to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We want all of our students, including those enrolled in master’s and doctoral programs, to feel safe and secure while working towards their educational goals,” Provost Elizabeth Chilton said. “Our faculty and staff have risen to the occasion and are working hard to make the necessary transition while ensuring the academic rigor of our programs.”

Education at a distance this fall will include both synchronous and asynchronous formats. Asynchronous education typically features assignments that can be worked on as students have the time within their schedules.  Synchronous learning is characterized by classes taught live by professors at specific times, when students can pose questions in chat fields.

All 500-level courses that can be taught remotely must be transitioned to these distanced formats for the fall semester. This also applies to special project or independent study 600-level courses as well as non-thesis master’s project courses.

More information on the transition as well as the exemption process for courses that cannot be offered at a distance can be found on the Office of the Provost website.

Research credits for master’s thesis and doctoral students will be offered in a hybrid format that includes distance and in-person components. Students should do as much work at a distance as possible, though university leaders recognize that on-campus or face-to-face interaction will be necessary in some cases.

“It is vital that our graduate students are allowed to make significant progress on their research, scholarship and creative activities en-route to producing high-quality theses or dissertations,” said Lisa Gloss, dean of the WSU Graduate School.

WSU will continue to allow Zoom-only final defenses or doctoral preliminary exams through the fall semester, including interim exams conducted between the end of the Fall 2020 semester and the beginning of the Spring 2021 semester.