Coronavirus Guidance and Updates

The Graduate Center is committed to protecting the health and well-being of everyone in our community. Working together and supporting each other, we can take steps that can help us all safeguard our own health and the health of our families, colleagues, and those with whom we interact.


Graduate Center Guidance (updated April 1, 2020)

The Graduate Center is working in close collaboration with CUNY leadership to monitor developments related to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), and we are following the latest guidance from local, state, and federal agencies.

The following links offer helpful information: Centers for Disease ControlNew York City Department of HealthNew York State Department of HealthCUNY.

On this page, you will find information about The Graduate Center’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We encourage you to read the announcements, including updates from Interim President James Muyskens, to The Graduate Center and CUNY communities.  

Distance learning in place

To minimize exposure to our community, transition to distance learning began on March 19 and is scheduled to last through the spring 2020 semester.

To support students and faculty, The Graduate Center’s Center for Teaching and Learning, our Office of Information Technology, and Graduate Center Digital Initiatives offer valuable guidance and services.

Commencement 2020 postponed

We note with great sadness that, due to the coronavirus public health crisis, all commencement ceremonies across CUNY are postponed.  

This has no impact on diplomas, and we will soon announce how we will honor this year’s doctoral and master’s graduates on our planned commencement date of Tuesday, June 2.

We also look forward to the future when we can come together to properly celebrate our deserving graduates.

We will issue refunds to all students who purchased tickets to the 2020 ceremony, and will keep ticket-holders apprised on that process.

No change in Graduate Center class schedule

The Graduate Center will not be following the recalibration period announced on March 24 by CUNY Chancellor Matos Rodríguez. We will maintain our current distance learning class schedule, and spring break will remain from Wednesday, April 8 through Thursday, April 16.

Graduate Center students who teach at CUNY campuses should be mindful that their class schedules will likely change in accordance with the new schedule in place at most CUNY colleges.

This means that they will be teaching from Monday, April 13 through Thursday, 16, while The Graduate Center is on break. And courses for most undergraduates will be on pause from Friday, March 27 through Wednesday, April 1 and again from Wednesday, April 8 through Friday, April 10.

Staffing considerations

In order to operate essential services safely and in accordance with state and federal guidelines, The Graduate Center has implemented modified work arrangements and telecommuting plans.

To facilitate this, CUNY has made a variety of online collaboration tools available to faculty, staff, and students. These include Webex services and Microsoft Office 365 for Education. The Office of Human Resources has modified policies on submitting time sheets. Our goal is to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 virus by minimizing contact among employees. In addition, faculty and staff business travel scheduled through the end of April should be canceled or postponed. 

Limiting the size of meetings and events

To further reduce opportunities for people to be in close proximity with one another and in accordance with the latest CDC recommendations, we have canceled all meetings, events, and gatherings of more than 50 participants through the end of the spring semester. We are reviewing plans for commencement, currently scheduled for June 2, 2020, and will notify the community of our final decision for this important event.
Accessing campus services remotely

Services to meet our students, faculty, and staff needs are being addressed remotely where possible. The Mina Rees Library, the Office of Grants and Sponsored Research, the Registrar’s Office, the Student Counseling Center, the Office of Career Planning and Professional Development, and The Writing Center have provided guidance on accessing their services remotely. We have also created a departmental contact list with information on how to reach individual offices via email and phone. 

Travel is restricted

All non-essential University-related international and domestic travel is indefinitely suspended. This includes the suspension of all spring 2020 and summer 2020 study abroad programs. See CUNY’s latest updates on academic and business travel and personal travel.


Coronavirus Reporting

For anyone in our community who believes that they may have been exposed to coronavirus or who is diagnosed with COVID-19, please notify us.

Students should contact Matthew Schoengood, vice president for students affairs, at or 212-817-7400.

Faculty and staff should contact Brian Peterson, interim senior vice president for finance and administration, at or 212-817-7600.

The following information should be included in the email:

  • name and Graduate Center affiliation
  • current symptoms and date they appeared
  • date and location you were last on campus
  • how you believe you may have been infected

Additional Information

Resources for Remote Learning and Work
Take These Steps to Monitor Your Health*
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
Managing Stress
Share Uplifting News
Additional COVID-19 Resources