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Info & Resources for Graduate Students on COVID-19 Impacts

This resource page provides regular updates on information and resources for graduate students related to COVID-19.

For information on our campus's response to COVID-19, please visit the Campus Ready website.

UC Merced Executive Directive COVID-19 Mitigation Measures

UC SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy

Instruction and Academics

Resources for Instruction



Policy and Procedure Changes Due to COVID-19

  • Emergency Educational Continuity policies approved by the Academic Senate remain in place through Spring 2022. These include the option for graduate programs to allow S/U grading for program-required courses, and blanket approval for graduate programs to extend normative times to degree as they see fit given the effects of COVID-19 on academic progress. Advisors and programs are responsible for working with students to identify funding sources if time to degree is delayed, and funding is not guaranteed beyond commitments made as part of admissions offers.

  • The UC Residency Policy and Guidelines (the “Guidelines”) currently provide that students must be physically present within California for a year prior to the Residency Determination Date (RDD) and that absences of six weeks or more in a one-year period disqualify a student from receiving in-state status.

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Guidelines were temporarily amended to allow students entering during the 2020-21 academic year to use remote instruction to stand in for physical presence. Students who studied remotely during 2020-21 may now qualify for residency in 2021-22 during terms in which they reside in California. Consistent with the amendment, these students will be asked to provide legal indicia demonstrating their intent to stay in California as soon as is practicable.

    Also consistent with the Temporary Amendment, all new students commencing enrollment in 2021-22 will be held to the standards and deadlines in the Guidelines.

    All stipulations in the Temporary Amendment issued in October 2020 are rescinded as of 6/3/2021. 

  • Graduate students normally are limited to being employed as readers, teaching assistants, or teaching fellows for no more than 12 semesters total. A seventh year extension is permissible for matriculated students at UC during the quarters/semesters in which instruction is substantially impacted by COVID-19. That is, any matriculated graduate student enrolled in Spring 2020 through Spring 2022 may request a 19th, 20th, or 21st quarter or 13th or 14th semester of appointment as an Academic Student Employee.

COVID-19 Risk Mitigations

  • Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination is required for anyone who learns, lives, or works on campus.

  • Anyone exhibiting COVID symptoms is prohibited from participating in campus activities (except students who are coordinating health visits with Student Health or moving to an Isolation room).

Student Support

  • Resources and services that support your social, physical, and academic well-being are currently available virtually and will be available in-person this fall.
  • Health Services: If you are ill, but it isn’t an emergency, contact Health Services at 209-228-4192, between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, excluding holidays or campus closure dates. Students covered by UC SHIP can call the 24/7 nurse line 24-hours a day, seven days a week and speak confidentially to a registered nurse. These nurses are trained to help you make more informed decisions about your health situation. This number is also on the back of your member ID card. 

  • Basic needs assistance, including grocery support, economic crisis response, and housing insecurity assistance, is available through the Basic Needs Department.

  • Childcare reimbursement is available for TAs, GSRs and students on fellowships that provide a full stipend and tuition remission. The University is providing a temporary exception to the ASE Childcare Reimbursement Program by adhering to the minimum requirements of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as to who qualifies as a “childcare provider” for purposes of reimbursement through AY 2022-23. 

  • Academic Counselor Maria Nishanian is available to assist graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who are experiencing challenges affecting their academic progress. She can facilitate communication between mentors and mentees, provide graduate students, faculty and postdocs with training on best practices in mentorship, and help with other issues common to graduate students, such as adjusting to graduate school, work-life balance, dealing with the imposter syndrome, etc. Please reach out to Maria by phone at 209-947-9358 or email mnishanian@ucmercededu.

  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) will provide two weekly Graduate Student Support Group this semester. It is a free, confidential space for open discussion. Meeting details for the support group will be announced by email. No matter where you are in California, you can utilize CAPS services, 209-228-4266; Live Health:; and Therapy Assistance Online or TAO:

  • Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) is pleased to announce new “Pay as You Go” daily parking to previous permit holders. If your work schedule requires returning to campus 12 days or less per month, contactless paid parking purchases can be made through the new FLOWBIRD mobile app. TAPS will send out more detailed information about the fall semester soon. For more detailed information about summer and fall 2021 parking, please visit the TAPS website. Please contact TAPS or 209-228-8277 with questions.

The Graduate Division office on the second (SSB 230) and third (SSB 310) floors of Student Services Building is open for in-person business 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays.

Contact Us

Prospective Students & Application Support:

Academic Services:


Graduate Resource Center:


Updated: September 2022