COVID-19 Information

Last Revised: June 1, 2021

Below are resources and information pertaining to the Texas A&M graduate community. Stay up-to-date on the latest university-wide news and resources on the Texas A&M Coronavirus page.

Jump To: Academics | EmploymentExtension of Tuition and Fees CoverageTravelWell-beingFinancial Aid and Emergency Resources | Housing Information | International StudentsForms Processing | Messages to Graduate Students | FAQs | Responses to Grad Student Concerns Fall 2020 | Virtual Office Hours

Academics

  • Instruction -- For summer 2021, Texas A&M University is holding classes in-person with remote options. For fall 2021, Texas A&M is holding all classes (except for distance and online classes) in-person. See the COVID-19 Guide for Students Returning to Campus here.

For teaching and learning resources, visit Texas A&M’s Keep Teaching and Keep Learning pages.

  • Face Covering Policy -- 
    • Pursuant to Executive Order No. GA-36 issued by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, face coverings are no longer required on Texas A&M University campuses. This order applies to indoor and outdoor facilities and venues.
    • For employees and students who have not been vaccinated, face coverings are highly recommended to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We encourage vaccination, with information for doing so available here.
  • Research – For the latest guidance, visit the website of the Vice President for Research
    • The elimination of the face covering requirement does not remove any requirements associated with your potential participation in a respiratory protection program related to your research.
    • Researchers have an ethical obligation to protect the well-being of research participants. Therefore, vaccination of all research personnel who have direct interactions with research participants is strongly encouraged. As a reminder, vaccines are readily available for students, faculty, and staff through Student Health Services. For researchers who have not been vaccinated, face coverings are strongly recommended for self-protection and reduction of the spread of COVID-19.
    • Restrictions on occupancy imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are no longer in effect; however, opportunities for research participants to congregate inside buildings, especially in spaces where research is being conducted, should be avoided. Researchers are encouraged to continue participant entrance controls and procedures designed to minimize contact between participants.
    • New infection control plans or modifications to previously approved infection control plans for human subjects activities are not required to be submitted to the Clinical Research, Education, and Service Advisory Committee for approval.
    • No person, whether researcher or participant, who exhibits COVID symptoms or who is considered to be a close contact of someone testing positive in the previous 10 days, should be permitted to participate in any in-person activity. Therefore, continuation of existing screening practices for researchers and participants is strongly recommended.
  • COVID training, testing, and reporting -- All students, regardless of whether you are taking classes face-to-face or remotely, are required to complete online COVID-19 Training and Certification. You must complete the training prior to arriving on campus. The training can be found through the Howdy portal.
  • Students, faculty and staff who test positive or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 are required to self-report here.
  • Testing --
    • COVID-19 testing remains a critical weapon in stopping the spread of the virus.
    • All students, faculty and staff coming to campus should consider continuing to get the quick and free test on a regular basis until health officials determine it's no longer necessary.
    • Students at other campuses/sites beyond the College Station campus will receive guidance from site leadership regarding site-specific protocols.
    • For more info on testing and where to get a test, click here.
  • Form submission – To reduce person-to-person contact, the Graduate and Professional School has implemented some changes in the way we process documents. See our forms page for details. Please be sure to follow the instructions, as failure to do so could result in processing delays. If you encounter any situation that prohibits you from utilizing the revised processes for securing approvals or submitting documents, please contact the Graduate and Professional School at grad-info@tamu.edu

Extension of Tuition and Fees Coverage for GAT, GAL, and GAR Students Delayed by COVID-19

The University recognizes that COVID-19 has caused profound disruptions for our students. The consequences of these disruption may vary by student, but it is clear that working remotely, as well as restrictions on travel, lab and facility access, and person-to-person contact, has impeded progress to degree for many of you.
 
For Ph.D. students on GAT, GAL, or GAR assistantships, there is University-wide mandate requiring your tuition and fees be covered by your program or alternative sources of funding. The mandate covers you for four or five years, depending on your entry status. See the tuition and fee payment webpage for details.
 
If your mandate period ended in May, August, or December 2020 and COVID-19-related factors have caused a delay in your progress toward your degree, know that the mandate sets minimum coverage. You may request an extension of tuition and fee coverage required by the mandate up to a year to accompany your assistantship. We encourage you to contact your program faculty, graduate director, staff advisor, or graduate student organization for guidance.
 
If your mandated coverage is not expired, but you anticipate needing extra time to degree, know that we are aware of the possibility and expecting requests over the next few years. We are prioritizing requests from students who are in the last year of mandated coverage.

Financial Aid and Emergency Resources

Financial Information and Assistance
For info on types of aid available, including grants, loans, and other assistance, contact Financial Aid at 979-845-3236 or https://financialaid.tamu.edu/Graduate/Types-of-Aid

If you have lost funding or incurred unexpected expenses for something related to COVID-19, we encourage you to review available University resources. 

Students facing financial difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis can apply for emergency financial assistance. Please detail the reason for your request. Financial Aid also offers other types of assistance, including grants for domestic and international students that are awarded based on need. If you are applying due to extenuating circumstances, make sure to include that information in your application.

Additionally, the Graduate and Professional School, colleges, and departments share a joint commitment to find solutions for students whose academic progress has been impeded by COVID-19 or university actions taken in response to the pandemic.
 
Recognizing that we are still in a period of uncertainty, but working to enhance student support moving forward, Colleges and the Graduate and Professional School agree to:

  • Actively foster flexibility, borne out of a spirit of understanding and compassion for students
  • Examine each student’s situation individually, considering all relevant factors that may have impeded progress to degree
  • Understand that non-academic factors (financial insecurity, travel restrictions, connectivity issues, family pressures, stress) may have impeded progress to degree
  • Communicate with transparency and openness
  • Recognize that impacts of the pandemic will likely extend into future semesters

 

 

HEERF Funding
Funds provided through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) are authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), 2021, Public Law 116-260, signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on Dec. 27, 2020. The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund I (HEERF I) was initially established by the CARES Act, which was passed by Congress and signed by President Trump on March 27, 2020.
 
Of the HEERF II funds that Texas A&M is set to receive, approximately $20 million has been made available for Emergency Aid to assist students with unexpected expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for more information. 


General Resources
Student Assistance Services also offers emergency financial support and connects students who are experiencing mental health challenges, food insecurity or other difficulties to local resources. If you or someone you know is in need or seems to be in distress, please contact their office at 979.845.3113 or submit a Tell Somebody report.

Other Resources:

Food Resources
12th Can -- The 12th Can is a student-run food pantry built to serve all students, staff, and faculty in need of assistance.

Travel

  • No restrictions on travel within the state of Texas. 
  • Only travel beyond Texas borders essential to the mission of the university will be permitted at the discretion of the applicable vice president or dean. Mission-essential approval should be obtained from the appropriate VP or dean prior to departure.
  • Only travel that is essential to the mission of the University is permitted. All international travel requests must be routed through Concur to obtain the required approvals prior to departure:

    • Travel to destinations identified as high to extreme risk on the TAMUS Travel Advisory List (https://assets.system.tamus.edu/files/safety/pdf/travelrisk.pdf) for reasons other than COVID-19 will route to the Office of Risk, Ethics & Compliance for a risk assessment prior to being routed to the Office of the Provost for final consideration for approval

    • Travel to destinations identified as high to extreme risk on the TAMUS Travel Advisory List due to COVID-19 risks only will be permitted with approval from the appropriate VP or dean.

  • Student travel as part of a student organization must be routed through Student Affairs. Academic related student travel must be routed to Risk Management once deemed essential by the applicable dean.
  • For information on approval and reporting, visit the University's travel Travel Guidance page

Grad Student Well-Being

Coronavirus has disrupted our lives by posing a grave risk to our health and safety. It has interrupted research and possibly impeded progress toward degrees for graduate and professional students. It is important that we do what we can to maintain both our physical and mental well-being during this time. 

Mental Health -- Stay attuned to changes in your mental health. If you are in distress, the following Texas A&M resources are available for graduate and professional students:

You can also visit "Coping during COVID-19" a CAPS resource for information and tips on staying mentally healthy and supporting others during this time of increased isolation. Also, watch "Promoting Mental Health during COVID-19," a webinar by Michelle Robichaux, a professional counselor with TAMU CAPS. 

If you or anyone you know is in an unstable or threatening situation or just needs a wellness check-in, submit a "tell somebody" report through the Offices of the Dean of Student Life.

Physical Health -- Staying physically active is good for your body and mind. The CDC recommends visiting parks, trails, and other open outdoor spaces to destress and get some fresh air, following a few simple steps to keep you and others safe. The Rec Center is open (with restrictions) to a limited number of participants. 

Community Guidelines -- Stay up-to-date with the latest guidance from College Station, Bryan, Brazos County, and the State of Texas

International Students

Campus Operations -- For information about Texas A&M campus operations, stay up-to-date with the University’s Coronavirus page.

Research -- For information about research operations, visit the Vice President for Research Coronavirus page

Vaccination -- 
We encourage you to vaccinate against COVID-19 infection in your home country as soon as vaccinations are available to you. While Texas A&M University is not requiring students to be vaccinated, we are currently—and may continue into the fall 2021 semester—providing COVID-19 vaccines to graduate and professional students on campus. As you may know, however, some vaccines require two doses as long as one month apart and it can be a full fourteen days after your second dose before you are considered fully vaccinated.

Travel -- For updates on travel restrictions, health insurance, immigration status, employment, submitting required documentation, and visas, visit the International Student Services Coronavirus Info pageTexas A&M is still planning to hold classes in-person courses in fall 2021. We are aware that some international students are still experiencing diffuculty obtaining visas to enter the United States, as well as other impediments to travel. For admissions options for international students who may not be able to travel for fall 2021, including remote learning and deferral options for the first semester, please contact your department. 
It is recommended that you book travel accordingly and adhere to the following guidelines:
Before you travel to the United States:
  • Currently, all air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated people, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 3 days before travel or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months before they board a flight to the United States. As the situation remains fluid, we recommend that you review the CDC requirements for air travel as well as the requirements of your airline in advance of your flight, and the week prior to the flight. 
During travel:
  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth. Currently, masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
  • Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who is not traveling with you.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
After travel:
Guidance varies depending on whether you are
fully vaccinated with an U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA)-authorized vaccine.
If you have been fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine:
  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel.
    • Testing will be available to you on the Texas A&M University campus.
    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected. Also, report your positive test to Texas A&M University.
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
  • Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements after travel.
If you are unvaccinated or received a vaccine that is not FDA-authorized:
  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
    • Testing will be available to you on the Texas A&M University campus.
    • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected. Also, report your positive test to Texas A&M University.
  • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
  • Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements.
To isolate means that you stay in a specific location, room, or area and avoid all contact with others. You should isolate if you have COVID-19, whether or not you have symptoms. Isolation separates people who are infected with the virus from others, even in their home. You can leave isolation to seek medical attention and get tested as needed, but you should go directly to your appointment, minimize contact with others, and return to quarantine.
If you might have been exposed to COVID-19, you should stay home and avoid going out in public. This is called
self-quarantine. Self-quarantine keeps someone who might have been exposed to the virus away from others. You can leave quarantine to seek medical attention and get tested as needed, but you should go directly to your appointment, minimize contact with others, and return to quarantine.
 

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