Fall 2020 Admitted PhD FAQs

The following list of questions and answers provide general information for the FL20 cohort of PhD students in the McKelvey School of Engineering. Students should refer to the communications from their department or program for more details and specific instructions.

You must arrive by Sept. 24, to ensure federal compliance with visa reporting requirements, in order to start FL20 in person. If you cannot arrive by that date, you must either defer or begin your program remotely, as described below.

In the following,“FL20” or “FL21” means the Fall 2020 or Fall 2021 semester, and “SP21” means the Spring 2021 semester.

When does the fl20 semester start for PhD Students?

The first day of courses will be Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. Most departments and programs offer orientations that will start on Tuesday, Sept 8. The orientations will be offered in dual mode, both remotely and in-person. For details on orientations, please refer to communications from your department or program.

    How late am I able to arrive on campus and still start the FL20 semester in person?

    You must arrive by Sept. 24 to start FL20 in person. If you cannot arrive by that date, you must either defer or begin your program remotely, as described below.

    Can I defer my Admission?

    • BME, CSE, ESE – EE & SSM, MEMS, DCDS, Imaging Science, Materials Science: If you are unable to start FL20 in person, you may defer admission to SP21. Deferrals to FL21 will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
    • EECE: If you are unable to start FL20 in person, and if you cannot begin the program remotely in FL20 by taking online courses, you can petition for a deferral to FL21. Deferrals to FL21 will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and may require re-application to the program. Please note that deferrals to SP21 are not allowed.

      If I cannot start fl20 in-person, can I begin my program remotely by taking online courses?

      • CSE, ESE – EE & SSM, MEMS, DCDS, Imaging Science: Yes, and you are encouraged to do so. If you do not take online courses in FL20, you should defer admission to SP21.
      • BME: No. Instead, you should consider deferring admission to SP21. It may be possible for you to audit classes in FL20. However, auditing does not result in course credits.
      • EECE: Yes, and you are required to take online courses in FL20 if you do not wish to defer to FL21.
      • Materials Science: Yes, and you are encouraged to do so. If you take online courses in FL20, and if core courses (EECE 502 and MEMS 5610) are provided in an online format, you will be required to take these core courses.

        If i cannot start fl20 in-person, when can i start my lab rotations?

        • BME, EECE, MEMS, Materials Science: Lab rotations will not begin until you arrive on campus. Everyone who arrives late will be able to do their rotations in the semester they arrive.
        • CSE: All students will have access to our Introduction to Graduate Studies course CSE 591 in FL20. This course provides information regarding all CSE faculty research. However, remote lab rotations will not be available in FL20 and will have to be conducted in person when you arrive on campus. We will offer a make-up CSE 591 course in SP21 and ensure that students arriving in SP21 have access to as many rotation opportunities as students arriving in FL20.
        • ESE – EE & SSM, DCDS, Imaging Science: Some faculty research may be able to be handled remotely, but others may not. Upon agreement between you and the faculty to perform a lab rotation remotely in FL20, you should enroll in ESE 601 (except for DCDS students) and will be judged with the same expectations as for those on campus.

          If I cannot start fl20 in-person, when will i receive my stipends?

          You will not receive stipends until you arrive on campus. Individual departments or programs may offer additional financial support for late-arriving students. For details, please refer to communications from your department or program.

            How will my experience differ if I am able to start fl20 in-person?

            Students who are able to arrive in time for FL20 will begin their program as usual by taking courses and beginning research rotations (rotations are optional for Materials Science students). All courses and rotations will be handled with safety protocols in place and may include a mix of in-person and remote interactions.