COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

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The Graduate School

Student Services

Teaching Resources

  • I am a teaching assistant (TA) or assistant instructor (AI). Can I conduct my duties remotely?
    The Graduate School has been working with colleges, schools and departments to ensure that graduate student course modality preferences are closely considered as fall classes are scheduled.
    The Office of the Provost and Graduate School have asked colleges, schools and departments to make the following accommodations for academic employees:
    • Be as flexible as possible when scheduling classes to accommodate graduate students’ preferences for online or in-person classes.
    • Designate a point-of-contact—such as a graduate coordinator or HR professional within each department—who can work with students and primary instructors on accommodation requests.
    • Assign TA and AI roles early to ensure they have adequate time to prepare for the modality of instruction.

    Graduate students already assigned to courses are encouraged to first contact the primary instructor to request accommodations. Students not yet assigned to courses should first contact their departmental point-of-contact.

    Students who qualify for health accommodations under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) or who fall in a high-risk group (as defined by the Health and Wellness working group guidelines) should contact the university’s ADA coordinators if an agreement cannot be reached between the student and the department. ADA coordinators will contact the student’s department to discuss the request. More information about the university’s employee accommodation process can be found on their website.

    Students with household members in high-risk groups (as defined by Health and Wellness working group guidelines) should include a note about the individual(s) when requesting accommodations from their departments in order to provide context for the request. Additionally, many GRAs have health and safety concerns about returning to labs to conduct research. We have asked programs and principal investigators to look for ways to work with GRAs to help address their concerns about these issues leading up to the fall semester.

  • What teaching resources are available to help graduate students transition to online learning?
    The Center for Teaching and Learning has developed resources for graduate student instructors on its website, including tips on conducting office hours remotely, using Canvas and communicating with students.



  • How can I access health insurance?
    There are two health insurance plans available to graduate students depending on whether they are academic employees. Graduate students employed as AIs, TAs and GRAs for 20 hours or more a week for at least 4.5 months are eligible to participate in the university's employee insurance plans. Please see Human Resource’s student employee insurance and benefits website for more information. All currently enrolled students are eligible for health insurance through the AcademicBlue health plan provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas. Please visit the plan’s website for information on benefits, costs and enrollment periods.

Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC)