Headshot of Lisa Garcia Bedolla

I know that many of you have received multiple messages about coronavirus (COVID-19) preparedness and recommended precautions to take as students at UC Berkeley. On behalf of the Graduate Division, I wanted to touch on the various ways our staff can support you during this period.

Work remotely when possible.

  • Chancellor Christ announced that as of Tuesday, March 10, UC Berkeley has suspended most in-person classes and is offering all lecture courses (including discussion sections), seminar instruction and examination through alternative modalities (e.g., Zoom, course capture, etc.) through spring break.
  • Similar to last fall when we experienced power outages, a blanket exception has been approved to the policy that no more than one member of a qualifying exam committee may participate via Zoom or other video conferencing software. Please contact your department Graduate Student Affairs Officers (GSAO) or your Degrees Advisor if you have questions or to set up a Zoom meeting.
  • If you are a graduate student instructor teaching this semester, I encourage you to avail yourself of the resources provided by The Center for Teaching & Learning and Digital Learning Services. Their staff are currently on standby anticipating requests from instructors seeking support for streaming lectures or seminars.

Our staff are here to help.

  • Our graduate student services staff and GSI Teaching and Resource Center staff understand that degree progress or teaching may be impacted by illness, travel restrictions, or class cancellations. We will work with GSAOs to mitigate any academic impacts related to the coronavirus.
  • Please contact your GSAO first with any degree or filing concerns related to COVID-19. GSAOs will work with Graduate Division staff to recommend solutions and options.

Trust your intuition.

  • What one person feels is right for them may not feel right for you. Some events in the Bay Area and on campus are proceeding as normal. If you feel uncomfortable attending any event, regardless of size, please contact the organizer and request a refund or an excused absence.

Take all recommended precautions, and stay home if you are feeling unwell.

  • Please take all precautionary hygiene steps recommended by the university and practice as much social distancing as your professional and personal life allows.
  • If you feel at all unwell, please stay home. Call your healthcare provider or contact University Health Services for advice or care.


For up-to-date information on how the university is addressing coronavirus concerns, please visit the COVID-19 information hub at news.berkeley.edu/coronavirus.

Take care and be well,

Lisa García Bedolla

Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and
Dean of the Graduate Division


Categories: March 2020, Message from the Dean