Last Updated: October 23, 2020

Announcement of university plans for Spring 2021 semester.

Please visit the Spring 2021 Return to Campus Plan to learn more about the academic calendar and other important information about measures for a safe return to campus.

Resumption to in-person classes announcement.

On Friday, September 18, President Alger announced the university is finalizing plans for students to resume in-person learning on October 5th. View the full message.

How serious are the cases of COVID-19 seen by the University Health Center?

The Health Center is seeing students who are asymptomatic or have mild illness. The large majority of students require no medical care other than a COVID test. Students have been able to identify where they caught the virus, and from whom, with great clarity, allowing us to contact those who may have been exposed. The outbreak in our population has not affected our local hospital’s capacity to treat COVID-19 patients, and the small number of faculty and staff who have contracted the virus believe they likely contracted it off campus, not from on-campus interactions. We have not seen spread between students and faculty or staff, and there is no evidence that the virus was passed in any of our classroom settings. The vast majority of transfer was through on- and off-campus social gatherings.

Are there changes to the Fall academic calendar?

Yes. The university has canceled fall break, originally slated for Oct. 22-23, in an attempt to reduce student travel. The two break days will be added to the end of the semester, and exams will start two days sooner than originally planned. After Thanksgiving break, all courses and exams will move online for the remainder of the semester, and all exams will be online. Campus will remain open for students who choose to return to JMU, but this will not be mandatory.

Stop the Spread!

JMU has developed detailed guidelines and procedures for preventing the spread of COVID-19.  All members of the JMU Graduate Community should carefully read these guidelines and conform to expectations that are designed to keep us all safe.  Stop the Spread Guidelines

The Graduate School office operations update

As the fall semester begins, the office of the Graduate School will be open during normal office hours, Monday through Friday, 8 am to noon and 1 to 5 pm, except during campus holidays.  Most staff members meet with visitors by appointment only, so we recommend that all visitors contact the office or the staff member you would like to meet (staff webpage) prior to visiting. If you are uncertain who to contact, please send us an email (, telephone (540-568-7860) or text (540 269-1986 [US only]).  Tell us the nature of your request and provide contact information.  We will have the appropriate staff member contact you shortly.

What should you do if you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19?

If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, or if you have recently traveled overseas, you need to take steps to protect your friends, family and the community from additional possible exposure. More information

What should I do if you test positive for COVID-19 or if you become sick?

To protect our community, if you test positive for COVID-19, at minimum, you must immediately self-isolate, even if you are symptom free.  If you feel sick you must self-isolate.  It is vital that we all look after each other and prevent the spread!  Seek medical assistance when appropriate.  More information

Return to Workplace Information

On July 7th, President Alger release a statement and information regarding returning to the workplace. Read the full statement.

Temporary Graduate School Policies

The Graduate Council adopted some temporary policies for the Spring and Summer semesters to help students and faculty address many of the challenges resulting from the outbreak of COVID-19. Flexibility in grading schemes, expanded options for the use of Incompletes, more flexibility in the use of WP and WF grades, as well as options for S/U grades, were all intended to address the impact of the transition to the online environment.  Temporary policies regarding Incompletes, continuous enrollment, and time to degree will continue into the Spring semester.  Other temporary policies will be reviewed by the Executive Committee of the Graduate Council in September to determine if they will still apply for the Fall semester, Temporary Graduate School Policies 

Note that alternative grading options that are available to undergraduate students are not available to graduate students.  Please follow the Temporary Graduate School Policy guidelines.  Contact The Graduate School for assistance with special situations.


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