Updated May 20, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.

Below are resources for graduate students, as well for faculty and staff who support graduate education. Please check back frequently, as updates will be made on an ongoing basis.

Refer to the central campus resource hub, news.berkeley.edu/coronavirus, for general campus updates and information.

If you would like assistance navigating these resources, sign up for a 15-minute virtual appointment with Graduate Student Life Director Larissa Charnsangavej: https://calendly.com/larissa-charn/graduate-life

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In light of the Chancellor’s announcement regarding Alameda County’s shelter-in-place order, all in-person instruction should cease. All instruction that can be delivered remotely should continue. Labs should ramp down normal operations, and shift to basic maintenance, ensuring safety and preservation of future capability.

  • Distance-learning Alternative for Graduate Instruction, Fall 2020
    To allow graduate programs to instruct students who are not able to be in residence in Fall 2020 for reasons outside their control, we are requesting that programs have the flexibility to temporarily deliver their on-campus courses via distance learning. Such distance learning might be needed to respond to both the direct (e.g., restrictions on campus density) and indirect (e.g., restrictions on travel) consequences of the emergency conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Importantly, there cannot be any permanent change to the content of the courses or modality of delivery. The distance-learning alternative is a temporary measure. Graduate programs that invoke this flexibility will need to submit their plan for providing distance learning instruction to Linda Song, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs (lhsong@berkeley.edu), by August 3, 2020. Please read the complete policy memo.

Assessments and Exams

To facilitate social distancing and improve accessibility, effective immediately, all examinations and assessments are to be conducted remotely.

Final Exams
The Committee on Courses of Instruction (COCI) has formulated the following guidelines regarding final examinations for Spring 2020. We urge instructors to bear in mind that students are facing heightened levels of stress and anxiety in all aspects of their lives and that disparities relating to housing, family situation and internet access now that most students have left campus. The committee hopes that instructors will use some of the flexibility provided here in order to address, as much as possible, not simply instructional continuity, but student well-being as well.

The Academic Senate does not require final exams for graduate courses. Instructors in graduate courses currently approved with final exams may make adjustments such as:  

  • Providing alternate final examination methods such as take-home exams, term papers, etc., in lieu of an in-person (or proctored online) final exams. Departments should track such changes to final exam methods and report them to the Office of the Registrar. 
  • Altering the value of the final exam or final assessment from what was originally listed in the syllabus at the beginning of spring 2020. For example, if a syllabus lists the final exam as being worth 40 percent of the total grade, the instructor may redistribute a portion of that 40 percent to one or more other assignments. It is vital that any such change be communicated to students in a clear and timely manner, and that an updated grading rubric be posted in a revised syllabus distributed to students via bCourses and/or other appropriate mode of communication. 
  • Expanding the timeframe for examination. For exams that will still be administered during the assigned time and day slot in the Final Exam Week, instructors should be mindful that many students are now in different time zones across the globe. Imposing the same examination time for all students, regardless of circumstances, on the other hand, may cause unneeded hardship for students who may thereby be forced to take the exam at an inopportune time. Where feasible, consider using available tools in bCourses to assign a time limit to an activity during a specified period (e.g., a 3-hour time limit in a 24-hour period).

All changes mentioned above should be made by the instructor of record with approval from the department chair. 

Please refer to this Spring 2020 Final Exams Academic Senate Memo and graduate student-specific recommendation letter for complete information.

Qualifying Exams

  • A blanket exception has been approved to the policy to allow all members of a qualifying exam committee to participate via Zoom or other video conferencing software in Spring, Summer and Fall of 2020.
  • In addition to qualifying exams, other types of milestone exams can be conducted using Zoom or similar video conferencing software. These include:
    • Comprehensive exams in master’s degree programs, 
    • The defense of position or field papers required in certain programs, and
    • Preliminary exams.

    Exams need to be scheduled with enough advance notice so that students can seek accommodations through the Disabled Students’ Program if needed. For each unique test and circumstance, we advise you to arrange for an exam location that is not excessively private or to use a virtual background to obscure personal effects, if possible. Read this Best Practices for Zoom Qualifying Exams page for recommendations on exam conduct and committee members’ responsibilities.

For GSIs: Reducing and Discouraging Cheating on Exams.

  • The most significant challenges with exams delivered remotely are the need to deliver asynchronous exams to accommodate students in different time zones, and the issue of cheating. The campus is working to secure a browser lockdown product that locks the browser into a single screen, disabling copy/paste functionality, during an exam. The use of other proctoring products, and Zoom proctoring, are not permitted for the spring 2020 semester. Details on this executive order are available via the CalMessages archive. There is no fool-proof solution to the challenge of cheating on online exams. The most effective solution is probably to deploy other forms of assessment that are less susceptible to cheating: oral exams, papers, group projects, poster sessions, discussion boards, etc. If exams must be administered, there are ways to discourage, if not eliminate, cheating and to mitigate its effects on other students.Please read this Best Practice and Resource Guide on the Center for Teaching and Learning‘s website.


  • Graduate Student Grades
    Graduate students can change the grading option themselves via CalCentral. Graduate Student Affairs Officers may change a student’s course enrollment, unit count, and grading option as well. Programs and departments are encouraged to consider ways to reduce students’ stress and anxiety by addressing courses and grades with their students.
    As part of the approved relaxation of regulations, graduate programs may increase the fraction of S/U courses that can count toward degree requirements beyond the existing cap of 1/3. We remind instructors that they must continue to maintain and submit records of letter grades earned. Programs are asked to submit a summary of any changes they make to Linda Song (lhsong@berkeley.edu), Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs in the Graduate Division.

Academic Progress

Below are updates, extensions and accommodations regarding graduate student degree progress.

  • Filing Deadlines
    We are extending our Spring 2020 dissertation or thesis filing deadline to Friday, May 29, 2020. We will be allowing all students to file dissertations and theses during the summer, for Summer 2020 degrees, free of charge. Normal enrollment and other eligibility requirements will not apply to standard summer filing. The Graduate Division will be extremely flexible with the logistical procedures for filing (including obtaining signatures, submitting paperwork, etc.) International students should consult with the Berkeley International Office (BIO) before making any enrollment decisions.
    Given the unprecedented disruption to graduate education, the Graduate Division will also allow Plan II master’s students to file for a summer degree in 2020, free of charge. Please note that this exception for Plan II master’s students applies for Summer 2020 only. International student considering Summer completion should contact BIO for advising.
    Please review the doctoral and thesis filing guidelines on our website for specifics:

  • Normative Time
    The Graduate Division and Graduate Council have approved a one-year increase in normative time for doctoral students. To extend a student’s normative time, Graduate Student Affairs Officers should request an extension through the Graduate Division Exceptions eForm. This is best done near to the end of a student’s career, when impacts of expiring normative time may become relevant for some students. International students should consult the Berkeley International Office regarding any changes to their degree plan.
  • Milestones
    Departments are encouraged to be extremely flexible in accommodating disruptions to graduate students’ academic milestones. If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with the appropriate Graduate Degrees Office staff member.
  • Other Extensions to Program Length
    Please consult your Head Graduate Advisor (HGA) and GSAO regarding master’s and professional degree program extensions or variances. Those administrators may write to Linda Song, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, to seek guidance regarding specific programs or student cases. The Graduate Division aims to support student and program needs and to streamline processes where possible.
  • Filing Fee Status
    The Graduate Division will allow students on Filing Fee in Spring 2020 to continue on filing fee status in Fall 2020. To request a continuation of filing fee status, Graduate Student Affairs Officers should request a “Second Use of Filing Fee” exception through the Graduate Division Exceptions eForm. Students who continue their filing fee status in Fall 2020 will be billed for this second usage. 
  • Petitions/forms (such as in Absentia, Leave of Absence, Committee Forms etc.)
    We are still reviewing and processing all requests made through the Special Enrollment Petition, Degrees Exceptions eForm, and the Higher Degree Committees eForm. Work with your department on any concerns or status inquiries.
  • Master’s and Professional Degree Completion
    Please consult your Head Graduate Advisor (HGA) and GSAO regarding completion of non-thesis based master’s and professional degree completion in light of disruptions this spring. Concerns about completion of coursework and capstone projects should be addressed with your department which will work with the Graduate Division (contact Asst. Dean for Academic Affairs Linda Song) to explore options. The Graduate Division will be extremely flexible regarding processes and policies that we control and will work with the Academic Senate and the Office of the President (UCOP) on policies that are beyond our authority. The Graduate Division aims to support student and program needs and to streamline processes where possible..


Our research community is directed to immediately transition to work remotely whenever possible. Principal Investigators should suspend on-campus research to the greatest extent possible, immediately, and implement plans to operate remotely. Essential access, limited to sustaining research capability, such as animal care, servicing of critical instrumentation, and maintenance of germ lines, will be authorized by the Vice Chancellor for Research Office in coordination with Deans and Chairs. Exceptional access will be considered by a campus review process, which is currently being developed, modeled on the one at the University of California, San Francisco. 

Please visit the Vice Chancellor for Research website for specific information, answers to frequently asked questions, and more detailed guidance.

Disability Accommodations

The Disabled Students’ Program will continue to partner with instructors to ensure students’ disability accommodations are provided.

The following are email addresses that instructors and students can contact for disability accommodations.

Please contact dsp@berkeley.edu for additional questions or assistance regarding student accommodations. Faculty and instructors should work with DSP to ensure that all content is accessible to their students with disabilities before the content is posted. To ensure accessibility, use university-provided platforms, such as bCourses and Zoom. Posting public videos or other content via non-supported tools (e.g., YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) is prohibited.

Instructional Resilience Resources

The Center for Teaching & Learning’s Instructional Resilience resources page has best practices, webinars, tips, and resources. Resources and ideas for instructors will be posted on an ongoing basis and we encourage you to visit this site regularly.

Technology Resources and Access

The university aims to ensure that all students have equitable access to the technology resources they need to support research, teaching, and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you require additional technology to teach a course, first reach out to your supervisor or department chair.

  • Laptop and WiFi Hotspot Lending Program
    If the technology resources you have available to you do not enable your effective participation in remote instruction or other academic work, v
    isit UC Berkeley’s Laptop and WiFi Hotspot Lending Program page for information on the university’s lending program and access to discounts.
  • Zoom Pro Accounts for Students
    All registered undergraduate, graduate and professional school students now have access to Zoom Pro accounts at no additional cost to them. Among other features, this enables students to unlimited meeting minutes and 300-person meeting capacity. More details are available at studenttech.berkeley.edu/zoompro. Students who already have basic Zoom accounts can find instructions on how to transition to Zoom Pro accounts.
  • Student Tech Support Helpdesk 
    The helpdesk is available to assist students with tech-related questions or challenges and continues to be available Monday through Friday by phone at (510) 642-HELP and email at sts-help@berkeley.edu. Remote support by Zoom is available on a limited basis.

Advising Resources for Staff

UC Berkeley’s advising team has developed a COVID-19 resource hub for UC Berkeley student services staff.

Employment (including loss of) and Academic Appointments

Graduate student Spring 2020 appointments and fellowships will not be reduced in response to COVID-19 concerns or shelter-in-place restrictions.

Paid Administrative Leave

For academic student employees, Paid Administrative Leave for COVID-19-related incidents is available for up to 16 working days or 128 hours.

Paid Administrative Leave may be taken only when at least one of the following circumstances are met:

  1. When an employee is unable to work due to the employee’s own COVID-19-related illness or that of a family member; or
  2. When an employee is unable to work because the employee has been directed not to come to the worksite for COVID-19-related reasons and/or the worksite has implemented a COVID-19-related remote-work program or is under a shelter in place order and it is not operationally feasible for the employee to work remotely; or
  3. When an employee is unable to work because a COVID-19-related school or daycare closure requires the employee to be at home with a child or dependent, and it is not operationally feasible for the employee to work remotely or in conjunction with the childcare commitment.

Paid Administrative Leave is available for all academic appointees, policy-covered and represented, as of March 1, 2020, but is not available for academic appointees with non-paid or without salary appointments.

Please first read this guidance for supervisors [PDF], updated on March 20, 2020. If you have additional questions, contact UC Berkeley’s Academic Personnel Office at appolicy@berkeley.edu.

Employees Temporarily Working Outside of California

Department managers or HR personnel of staff and student employees who temporarily relocated out-of-state are asked to complete and submit this form. For now, these employees will continue to be paid without adjusting their current California payroll withholding.

If the shelter-in-place order is rescinded in the near future, a reconciliation for tax purposes may be needed to adjust an individual’s tax withholding to align with their work location of temporary residence. If the shelter-in-place order is extended even further, employee records may need to be adjusted in UCPath to reflect the tax withholding of the location in which employees are working.

Reporting Lost Wages

If you have lost work-study wages due to the COVID-19 crisis, wages, please open a case in Cal Student Central.

Unemployment Due to COVID-19

If you have lost your job or had a reduction in hours, California unemployment benefits will come with an extra $600 per week on top of the state benefit (standard state benefit ranges from $40 to $450 per week) and an additional 13 weeks of coverage (standard state benefit duration ranges from 12-26 weeks). You will need to apply. Also, if you cannot work because you relied on child or elder care facilities that are now closed (only applies to work, not school), you may also be eligible for unemployment benefits.

If you rely on a school, a daycare or another facility to care for a child, elderly parent or another household member so that you can work (only applies to work, not school), and that facility has been shut down because of coronavirus, you may also be eligible for unemployment benefits. While the state is still awaiting specifics from the federal government, you can find current information and frequently asked questions online.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

If you are an independent contractor, self-employed worker, freelancer, or gig worker and only received a 1099 tax form last year, you are most likely eligible for PUA. You can apply for benefits starting April 28, 2020. Read more about PUA and how to apply on California’s Labor and Workforce Development website.

To be eligible for PUA, you must meet any of the following criteria:

Any criteria related to changes in employment status due to COVID-19:

  • You had a definite date to begin work, but the job is no longer available, or you could not reach the job as a direct result of COVID-19.
  • You are unable to travel to your job as a direct result of COVID-19.
  • You quit your job as a direct result of COVID-19.
  • Your workplace is closed as a direct result of COVID-19.
  • You are self-employed or work as an independent contractor (with reportable income, such as a 1099) and you are unemployed, partially employed, or unable to work because COVID-19 has forced you to stop working.

Any criteria related to health issues due to COVID-19:

  • You have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms and are seeking a medical diagnosis.
  • A member of your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • You are caring for a family member or a member of your household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • You are caring for a dependent because their school or another care facility has closed due to COVID-19 and you are now caring for them during the work day.
  • Your healthcare provider has told you to self-quarantine because of COVID-19.
  • You have become the main income provider due to a COVID-19 death in your household.

Academic Student Employee Hiring in Light of Staff Hiring Freeze

While UC Berkeley is instituting a campuswide hiring freeze effective April 1, 2020, academic student employee positions such as readers, tutors, graduate student instructors can be filled. Please read the Hiring Freeze FAQ page for more information. Additionally, student staff titles are exempt from this freeze.


The Graduate Division and Graduate Council have approved a blanket two-semester increase in normative time for doctoral students. This increase in normative time applies to  Doctoral Completion Fellowship eligibility and one’s accompanying normative time +1 calculation. The normative time adjustment will be reflected in our CS fellowship reports so no additional action, such as an exception request, is required for DCF eligibility.

Spring block grant supplements will be released to programs the week of April 6th. The deadline for programs to use their 2019-20 block grant allocation has been changed from April 15 to Friday, May 15.

Establishing Residency

The UC Provost recently issued temporary amendments to the university’s guidelines on establishing residency in the context of systemwide COVID-19 mitigation efforts. 

The UC Residency Policy and Guidelines currently provide that absences of six weeks or more in a one-year period disqualify a student from receiving in-state status. The guidelines have been amended to provide that a student’s absence from the state for any length of time between March 9, 2020 and the Residency Determination Date for Fall 2020 at their campus shall not be counted toward the six week limit if the absence is caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that students who temporarily leave California in response to the pandemic remain eligible for in-state residency for the 2020-21 academic year so long as they meet all other applicable eligibility requirements

Please read the amendment memo here for complete information.

If you have additional questions about this policy or amendment, please open a case in Cal Student Central or contact the Office of the Registrar.


Graduate students can apply for short-term spring/summer housing

Any graduate student can apply for a short-term spring/summer housing contract by submitting this application form on the Berkeley Housing website. Eligible housing includes single student apartments, family housing, and summer transition housing. Family housing does currently carry a wait list, and units are unfurnished. To assist graduate students who may not have summer housing in place, Cal Housing will offer a $200 discount to the first 50 graduate students that accept a summer transition housing contract of at least one month in length.

  • Students living in graduate and family student housing
    Graduate students and those at University Village who wish to move out due to the COVID-19 situation must submit an Intent to Vacate form to Cal Housing noting the preferred move out date at least ten business days prior (UVA Intent to Vacate form, single graduate student Intent to Vacate form). We are relaxing the 30-day notice given the special circumstances but still need time to accommodate your selected date. You may choose a later date up to May 31, 2020.
  • Students living in Bowles Hall, International House (i-House), co-ops, fraternities, and sororities
    Bowles Hall, International House (I-House), co-ops, fraternities, and sororities are not owned by the campus and have their own housing policies. Please contact your building/house manager for details. In the event your current housing will close down and you do not have other options or would prefer to stay in Berkeley, please contact Cal Housing for assistance in securing a university housing contract.
  • Students living in off-campus housing
    Effective immediately, a City of Berkeley ordinance places a moratorium — or a temporary freeze — on residential evictions for failure to pay rent due to financial impacts related to COVID-19 during the local state of emergency period, and on no-fault evictions other than Ellis Act evictions. Landlords can request a complete or partial waiver of the requirements of this Ordinance. If you receive a 3-Day Notice or an Eviction Notice, you should contact the City of Berkeley housing office immediately via email at rent@cityofberkeley.info or by calling 510-981-RENT (981-7368). Find up-to-date information on the City of Berkeley website.

Whether you choose to remain or leave, you can request a cost of attendance adjustment or an emergency loan, depending on the urgency of the need. When applying for an emergency loan, please choose the EFT (direct deposit) option, as financial aid staff are not producing paper checks at this time. We also strongly encourage you to sign up for Direct Deposit and update your local address in the profile section of CalCentral. If you have any other financial aid-related questions, please contact Cal Student Central as soon as possible. 

If you live off-campus in a private residence, you may be responsible for paying rent for the remainder of the term of your lease. Read more about leases at sa.berkeley.edu/legal/tipsheet/terminatinglease.

For more the most up-to-date information on housing, visit sa.berkeley.edu/covid19/housing.

Basic Needs + Financial Assistance

Financial Assistance: COVID-19 Relief Fund

Do you have financial need for the Spring 2020 term as a result of COVID-19? If so, you may be eligible for relief funds to support your housing, food, technology, and/or medical/health needs. UC Berkeley COVID-19 Relief Funds are for currently enrolled students. In order to access the Google site, you must be logged into your Berkeley email account.

Apply for Relief Funds

CARES Act Direct-to Student Funding

The deadline to file a FAFSA or CADAA to be considered for CARES Act or Dream Act funds has passed. UC Berkeley’s Financial Aid and Scholarships Office aims to begin processing awards for eligible graduate students this month. .

Filing a FAFSA or CADAA and being Title IV eligible alone does not guarantee funding, as funds are limited. 

Initial CARES Act awards will be issued as grants up to $1,000 depending on the number of eligible students. The award will be processed through your CalCentral account and be delivered to you via direct deposit (if you have this active on your account), or mailed to the address you have on file. To update your address in CalCentral,  click on your profile and then “Contact Information.”

If you wish to return CARES funding you’ve been awarded, you can do so by opening a case at Cal Student Central.

CARES Act – Household Stimulus Checks

In order to provide immediate relief to taxpayers, the Internal Revenue Service will send tax rebate checks to individuals and families that have valid Social Security Numbers. The legislation calls for $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married joint tax filers. The IRS is using 2019 tax returns to determine eligibility or 2018 returns for those who haven’t filed for 2019 yet. These rebate checks have income limits in order to ensure that this funding goes to low- and middle-income individuals and families.

Many UC Berkeley graduate students who filed taxes in 2019/2018 will qualify for these tax rebate checks. Read more information about what to expect. 

The IRS has included updated information on how to receive payments. If you used a tax preparer or owed taxes last year (i.e. did not receive a refund), you may have to update your payment information with the IRS. Visit the “Get My Payment” portal on the IRS website to check the status of your payment.

Basic Needs Center

The Basic Needs Center’s priority is to ensure that services will continue remotely. The Center, including the Food Pantry, has moved to 103 Sproul Hall.  Please visit this Google doc for up-to-the-minute information on resources and services related to basic needs: tinyurl.com/UCB-BNC-C19

Resources for Student Parents

  • The Graduate Assembly has compiled a graduate student parent resource page with information on financial, housing, legal, childcare, food and diaper assistance.
    Visit http://ga.berkeley.edu/resources/grad-parent-resources/ for ongoing updates.
  • Students with dependents are eligible for 64 hours of subsidized back-up care if their child’s school is closed, or their regular caregiver is not available. Students must be pre-registered for the program. Register here. As of March 21, 2020 through April 30, 2020, if care is not available through the back-up care program, you will be offered the option to secure care from within your own personal network (a neighbor, friend, or babysitter) and receive a reimbursement of $100 per day. More details will be provided during the reservation process.

Support for Undocumented Students

In efforts to limit coronavirus risk on campus, the Undocumented Community Resource Center (UCRC) is temporarily closed. However, USP services remain open and accessible. Graduate Division is offering $100 grocery gift cards to undocumented graduate students. To receive one, please go here.

Please visit the USP website for information on how to access services:

  • Financial Aid
    The financial aid office is offering virtual satellite advising. Please follow the link for instructions to sign up for an appointment: https://www.wejoinin.com/sheets/cyogi
  • Financial Support
    The emergency grant and USP scholarship application is still open and can be accessed here. If you have any questions, please, email uspemergencygrant@gmail.com.
  • Academic Counseling
    All appointments with Valeria have been moved to virtual (phone or video) appointments through March 30, 2020. We continue to be committed to providing access and support to you during this ever-evolving time. You can schedule an appointment with Valeria here.
  • Immigration Legal Support
    EBCLC is the legal service provider for USP. As one of the largest providers of free legal services in the East Bay and home to eight of Berkeley Law’s community-based clinics, EBCLC places tremendous importance on the health of our staff, students, clients and the public. In an effort to support community well-being, we have closed our offices and have cancelled our drop-in appointments and in-person clinics from Thursday, March 12, 2020 through Thursday, April 30, 2020. We are committed to providing responsive legal services in the areas of housing, health, immigration, education, and economic security, and we will continue to do so with the utmost respect for our clients. Please schedule remote appointments through our online booking system, email us at usplegal@ebclc.org, or contact your caseworker for assistance with a legal matter. Thank you for your cooperation and support.
    Current Clients of EBCLC : For current clients of EBCLC, please reach out to your caseworker directly regarding any questions or concerns.
    General Consultations: As of March 12, 2020, all general consultations scheduled through our online booking system will take place by phone or Zoom.

For up-to-date information, visit the Undocumented Student Program website.

Support for International Students

Berkeley International Office

The Berkeley International Office has created a COVID-19 webpage to answer frequently asked questions and share support resources. Please visit this page for information on domestic and international travel, F-1 and J-1 visas, advising hours, enrollment, grading, deferrals, extensions, and more.

For one-on-one advising with a BIO advisor, sign in to BIO’s virtual waiting room until it’s your turn. For non-urgent issues, email internationaloffice@berkeley.edu.

  • Schedule: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1-4 p.m.
    Join the waiting room between 10-11 a.m. for morning advising and 1-3 p.m. for afternoon advising.
    (Note: although the Zoom meeting may appear “open” after these cutoff times, we can only guarantee that an advisor will meet with you if you entered the waiting room by the posted cutoff time. Students entering the waiting room after the cutoff times may be seen if advisor availability allows.)
  • Access Instructions:
    • Web access: Join Zoom meeting using this link
    • OR Phone access: call +1 669-900-6833
      And enter Meeting ID code: 767-091-341 #
      When asked for your Participant ID, select #

Health & Wellness

Face Coverings

The City of Berkeley is requiring a face covering be worn in common areas indoors, such as hallways, elevators, stairwells, laundry and mail rooms, and dining halls. If you work for the university on campus, please contact your supervisor for instructions about wearing a face covering at work. This health order also stipulates that face coverings must be worn when you go grocery shopping, visit the pharmacy, or enter other stores.

Please read the city’s order, as well as UC Berkeley’s guidance on when to wear face coverings on campus and in shared residence buildings.

University Health Services

Please visit uhs.berkeley.edu for the most up-to-date information on hours and appointments. If you feel unwell, please call your healthcare provider or contact University Health Services (UHS) for advice or care. Please take all precautionary hygiene steps recommended by the university.

The following UHS changes are now in place until further notice to help make using your insurance and getting care easier wherever you may be:

  • No referrals from University Health Services are needed before accessing medical and mental health care. Most providers should not require any documentation of this, but if needed, you can take this UHS letter with you.

  • 90-day refills are now available for most prescriptions at any pharmacy.

  • For students who are now away from campus and living internationally, international coverage now includes routine care along with emergency care.

  • The student health center (SHC) at each University of California campus gladly offers reciprocal access to currently registered students from all other UC campuses under the same conditions that apply to its own students.

Visit https://uhs.berkeley.edu/ship-updates for ongoing updates.

Counseling and Psychological Services

Watch this presentation from Amy Honigman, CAPS Senior Clinical Psychologist and Graduate Assembly Wellness Specialist, on how graduate students can cope with the current COVID-19 situation.

  • Brief counseling model has been adjusted to meet the immediate needs of students and to preserve the health of students and staff.
  • All initial visits with counselors are by phone.
  • Students who need support and do not have an assigned counselor should call (510) 642-9494 to schedule a phone appointment.
  • Students who have scheduled follow-up appointments should check their secure messages for updates from their counselor.
  • Drop-in urgent counseling has been suspended.  Students with urgent needs should call (510) 642-9494 to speak with a counselor.
  • Many of our satellite offices are closed.  Location-specific information is available on the satellite counseling page.
  • All “Let’s Talk” drop-in at satellite locations has been suspended until further notice
  • Hours: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Be sure to check the UHS website for current hours.
  • For after-hours support, please call (855) 817-5667.

Center for Support and Intervention

The Center for Support and Intervention addresses prevention and intervention for harm and violence on campus, and provides support to students experiencing or causing distress in the campus community. They are open for remote/virtual appointments and consultations during this period of alternative instruction. Please contact them at csi@berkeley.edu with any questions, and visit their website at sa.berkeley.edu/csi.


We understand that the sudden shifts in social and academic guidelines can feel overwhelming and isolating. We recommend trying the following to decrease the negative impact of social isolation:

  • Have Zoom dates with friends. This can be a good time to totally decompress or to chat with people about your research. 
  • For those of you caring for kids, parents, or partners during this time, don’t be alone, even if you are physically isolated. Have a virtual date via video call or check in with an online support group.
  • Practice verbal gratitude. Giving thanks fosters a cycle of altruism, building trust and care with others.
  • Play music and sing out loud. Music has been shown to help modulate your stress and strengthen empathy.
  • Practice relaxation and mindfulness exercises. 

Billing and Payments

Temporary suspension of onsite check payment processing

With the shelter-in-place order in effect for the Bay Area, Billing and Payment Services will suspend onsite cashiering of student and vendor check payments, effective March 17, 2020. This action is expected to remain in effect through the planned shelter-in-place period. Please note that Bill and Payment Services staff will continue to serve students by working remotely and that all payments submitted through CalCentral or via direct wire will continue to process as usual.

If you would like to make a payment on your student account, please submit the payment online through CalCentral. UC Berkeley offers alternative payment options to students and delegates through CalCentral and we encourage students to submit payments online. You can make payments online through ACH, credit card, and IFT for our international students. Payments submitted through CalCentral will continue to post to student accounts as normal.

Temporary suspension of late fees

We understand that some students may have already mailed payments that will not be processed in as timely a manner as usual. We also understand that some of our students may be experiencing hardships as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. In light of these challenges and to alleviate students of these potential pressures, UC Berkeley will temporarily suspend the assessment of late fees on student accounts. Effective as of March 16, 2020, late fees will not post to student accounts. We will revisit the late fee assessment as appropriate and will continue to update you with current information.

If you have any questions, please open a case in Cal Student Central or call 510-664-9181.

Equity & Inclusion

For information about how UC Berkeley’s Division of Equity & Inclusion is supporting the university’s diverse community members through virtual classrooms, virtual advising, webinar events, and remote work, visit diversity.berkeley.edu/covid-19-ei-here-serve-you.

Office for Graduate Diversity

The Office for Graduate Diversity (OGD) provides support services for prospective and continuing students on the Berkeley campus in an effort to maintain a more diverse graduate student community. The Office for Graduate Diversity will be closed until further notice, though OGD staff are working remotely and responsive to emails. Getting into Graduate School (GiGS) classes are continuing remotely, STEM*FYI programming is postponed, and information for the Firebaugh program can be found at tinyul.com/FirebaughAppGuide.

Students can contact OGD staff at grad.diversity@berkeley.edu with any questions or concerns.

American Indian Graduate Program

The American Indian Graduate Program (AIGP) seeks, through outreach, individual recruitment, and student services to remove perceived barriers which prevent the full participation of American Indian and Alaska Native students participating in graduate level research at UC Berkeley. For COVID-19 updates related to AIGP, visit the program’s website.

Berkeley Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

For updates on the Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, visit diversity.berkeley.edu/programs-services/postdoctoral-diversity

Libraries, Student Spaces and Events

All libraries are closed, but library staff are working to provide as many remote services as possible. Visit the Berkeley Library COVID-19 portal for ongoing updates.  You are welcome to contact your subject librarian for assistance or chat with a librarian 24/7.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Union, Eshleman Hall, Cesar Chavez Hall and the Recreational Sports Facility (RSF) are closed. Many other campus facilities have already closed or will be closed. Please check their websites for current information. The campus will assess whether limited operation of these facilities is possible and will announce the conditions under which these facilities may reopen if operation of the facilities is determined to be both consistent with public health directives and feasible.

Visit news.berkeley.edu/coronavirus for the most up-to-date information.

Student Life Office Hours

If you would like assistance navigating these resources, sign up for a 15-minute virtual appointment with Graduate Student Life Director Larissa Charnsangavej: https://calendly.com/larissa-charn/graduate-life

Prospective Students

Recognizing the challenges to teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Provost and Deans of the University of California, Berkeley adopted the following principle:

UC Berkeley evaluates applicants for admission to its graduate and professional schools holistically, meaning that we consider an applicant’s combination of personal accomplishments, letters of recommendation, personal statements, academic record, and test scores in making our admissions decisions. Such a review will take into account the significant disruptions of COVID-19 when reviewing students’ transcripts and other admissions materials from Spring 2020. We understand that many institutions across the country instituted P/NP grading policies during that semester. Thus, we will not penalize students for the adoption of P/NP and other grading options during this unprecedented period, whether the choices were made by institutions or by individual students. Our admissions evaluation will focus primarily on a student’s academic performance prior to this period, and if applicable, following this period. What is most important is that applicants demonstrate that they pursued a challenging curriculum that was relevant to their plan for graduate or professional school.