Fall 2021 Graduate School Enrollment Options


The expectation of the campus is that courses will once again be offered in person in Fall 2021. All graduate students who must take courses for their degree program should expect to take their courses on campus.  Exceptions are only made for international students who have been unable to enter the United States due to visa approval delays at consulates or travel bans. Students with medical conditions and special needs should seek accommodations via Disability Services.



I moved away from campus during the pandemic. Can I continue to study remotely this fall as a full-time UMass graduate student?

Full-time degree-seeking graduate students are expected to enroll in the coursework mandated by their program.  Most courses will return to being in-person in the Fall.  Accommodations for remote access are limited.

I have completed the coursework for my degree. Do I have to return to campus?

Graduate students who are on Continuous Enrollment, taking independent studies, or thesis and dissertation credits may not need to be on campus.  Consult with your advisor to be sure to arrange regular mentoring.  Be sure you are clear about milestones you need to meet and any other requirements of your program.

I don’t have any courses I need to take on campus, but I have a TA/TO/RA assistantship. Can I teach/work remotely?

Graduate student instructors must provide their courses in person unless otherwise notified by their supervisor.  Exceptions/Accommodations must be requested according to GEO contract rules via disability services.  Students with Research Assistantships or Training Grants as well as Postdocs need to follow the guidance of the Principal Investigator of their grants.

I am an international graduate student and because of visa/travel restrictions, I don’t have the choice to return to the UMass Amherst campus this fall. Can I attend remotely?

The International Programs Office is monitoring travel restrictions, visa issuance and backlogs. International graduate students unable to come to campus to start the semester on Sept. 1 because of visa issues or travel restrictions, should contact their Graduate Program Director and Advisor immediately.  Instructors will explore fully remote options as well and assist international students with access to courses as much as possible.

How do I take a leave of absence from UMass for one or more semesters?

Continuing graduate students may request a leave of absence from their program of study by petitioning their Graduate Program Director who, in turn, provides justification for the request to the Graduate School.  When a leave of absence is approved a student’s statute of limitations is extended accordingly.  Graduate students on a leave of absence must maintain continuous enrollment by registering for the Continuous Enrollment course and paying the program fee every semester during their leave.

I am a new graduate student admitted for Fall 2021. May I defer admission to a future semester?

If you are unable to attend in person in the fall, please contact your academic program to discuss deferral options; some programs may have online courses available so that you can start in the fall semester.