As with so many Lobos right now, graduate students are hugely impacted by the campus shutdown. Some have put their projects on hold, some were able to finish thesis projects just before, and some are working their way through it using every resource available, from advisor advice to Zoom.

“I'm afraid that many graduate student projects were interrupted, so Graduate Studies is doing what it can to support student success," said Graduate Studies dean Julie Coonrod. "We changed our spring deadline, and we're not counting the Spring 2020 semester in the time limit to complete. But the fact that students can't do what they planned is indeed heart-breaking. It is a really big deal."

She added that it’s very important that students and faculty know that Graduate Studies is extending the Spring 2020 deadline for degree requirement submission to April 30, 2020, and that various forms of academic guidance can be found on Graduate Studies’ website.

The dean advised students and faculty to look first at Graduate Studies’ COVID-19 website for answers to questions about graduation forms and deadlines, coursework completion, and suggestions for alternative defense formats. They’ll also find information about remote operations and online workshops, completing graduate degrees, coursework, assistantships, and testing.

“Our staff are always eager to assist students, and we often collaborate with UNM administrators, faculty, graduate students, and staff in implementing many programs and services with student support, financial support, and program support,” Coonrod noted.

Graduate Studies remains openly remotely, she emphasized. Students are advised to check the website and be in regular communication with their faculty and staff advisors, she added.

As the central graduate academic administrative unit at UNM, Graduate Studies is committed to helping students succeed. In the Fall 2019 semester, Graduate Studies celebrated its 100th birthday, marking the first time UNM offered a dedicated research arm of the university and launched the Graduate School, which offered the state’s first master’s degree to New Mexicans in the wake of the 1918-1919 Spanish flu pandemic.