Updated August 1, 2022

View UC Berkeley’s central campus Covid-19 webpage for additional information.

Office Hours + Virtual Appointments


Leading up to the start of the semester we will follow central campus and local public health guidance at that time to determine the instruction mode. At this time we are planning for fully in-person instruction.

See the Academic Guide for information about the mode of delivery for each course and section.

If needed, helpful guides and strategies for remote teaching can be found on the Keep Teaching website, along with links to important updates and communications as they become available.

If you need accommodations for a disability in order to fully participate in instructional activities you are enrolled in as a student, please visit the Disabled Students’ Program website to apply for services.

Assessments and Exams

Final Examinations

The Academic Senate does not require final exams for graduate courses. For those graduate courses that require final examinations, guidelines for Spring 2022 will be the same as those for final examinations in Spring 2020—alternate means of final assessment will be permitted with the approval of the department chair, but without need for COCI (Committee on Courses of Instruction) approval. See also COCI’s statement on Fall 2021 Instruction.

Qualifying Exams and Milestone Exams

  • Effective October 4, 2021, the Graduate Council approved a revision to the policy governing in-person and hybrid attendance of qualifying exams and all higher degree milestone exams. This revision is now reflected in our Guide to Graduate Policy, section F 2.6.
  • 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.

Academic Progress

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

  • Normative Time
    The Graduate Division and Graduate Council approved an additional blanket one-year extension of normative time (applied automatically) for doctoral students. The Graduate Division automatically applied the additional one-year extension of normative time for each doctoral student in SIS Campus Solutions during the Spring 2021 semester; this brought the total COVID-19 normative time adjustment to two years.  For questions, Graduate Student Affairs Officers (GSAOs) should contact their program’s Academic Progress Advisor. International students should consult the Berkeley International Office regarding any changes to their degree plans. International students should consult the Berkeley International Office regarding any changes to their degree plan.
  • NRST Waivers
    In 2021, EVCP approved a two-semester extension of eligibility for non-residential supplemental tuition (NRST) waivers. For students in candidacy or who advanced to candidacy during the semesters heavily impacted by COVID-19 (Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, or Fall 2021), these semesters will not count toward the student’s three years of NRST waiver eligibility. Similar to previous terms, we will identify in advance students eligible for this extension and apply the waiver prior to the tuition and fee payment deadline. Students who do not see the waiver applied appropriately or who have questions about their eligibility for NRST waivers should contact their GSAO.
  • 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.
  • 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.


The UC Berkeley campus has resumed on-campus research activities.  Please visit the Vice Chancellor for Research website for specific information, answers to frequently asked questions, and more detailed guidance.

Advising Resources for Staff

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

Teaching Resources

GSIs can take advantage of excellent resources on the GSI Remote Teaching Hub. The Keep Teaching website has also been developed to provide new approaches, effective strategies and resources, and best practices to support remote learning. For information on reducing and discouraging cheating on remote exams, please read this Best Practice and Resource Guide on the Center for Teaching and Learning‘s website. For consultations on remote teaching, GSIs should contact the the GSI Teaching & Resource Center or the Graduate Division’s Director of Digital Education, Kara Ganter, [email protected]. First-time GSIs will receive extensive resources on remote teaching at the Teaching Conference for First-time GSIs, and an Introduction to bCourses workshop for GSIs will be held at the beginning of the semester.

Academic Student Employee Length of Service

August 10, 2021 update: The UC Provost has approved a continuation of the temporary seventh year (two semester) extension to the total length of service performed by Academic Student Employees, including Readers and Tutors on annual stipends, and Graduate Student Instructors.

Please read the updated UC memo online

This temporary extension “is permissible for matriculated students at UC during the quarters/semesters in which instruction is substantially impacted by COVID-19.”

Unemployment Due to COVID-19

The federal unemployment benefit programs associated with the pandemic have ended. For more information, visit Federal Provisions for Unemployment. However, you may still be eligible for regular unemployment benefits or other support services from the EDD.

Visit the CA Employment Development Department for current information and frequently asked questions about California unemployment programs and assistance. you can find online.

The following are frequently asked questions by Graduate Student Instructors for Spring 2022.

Will GSIs be Teaching Remotely?

Details can be found on the instruction page of the campus Covid-19 website.

Helpful guides and strategies for remote teaching can be found on the Keep Teaching website, along with links to important updates and communications as they become available. GSIs should bookmark and regularly check the campus Covid-19 website and the Academic Senate Instructor FAQ spring 2022 for any changes in campus policies.

Can a GSI teach if they are not fully vaccinated?

The CDC’s definition of a fully vaccinated person has changed. It now means having received two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one dose of Johnson and Johnson AND a booster shot. The Office of the President has mandated that all employees be fully vaccinated by January 31. If they are not, GSIs will not be able to access campus, and therefore will not be able to teach. UHS will be holding booster clinics.

If I have a medical condition or medical caregiving responsibilities that make me unable to teach in person, may I teach remotely?

If you want to request an accommodation, you may do so through the Berkeley Accommodation Process for Academic Appointees with Disabilities. This relates only to accommodations in relation to your employment; accommodations you may need as a student should be directed to the Disabled Students’ Program.

Can GSIs receive an exception from in-person teaching because of a small child at home?

Having a child at home under 12 will not make an instructor eligible for an accommodation. The campus plans to make N95 masks available for free for instructors in that situation.

For instructors who are breastfeeding, per PPSM 84 (Accommodations for Nursing Mothers), the University will provide other reasonable accommodation or transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position upon receipt of information from the nursing mother’s health care provider stating that a reasonable accommodation or transfer is medically advisable.

Can a position that was offered to me be rescinded if I have a medical condition that prevents me from teaching in person?

Article 3 of the collective bargaining agreement addresses appointment security. Article 23 of the collective bargaining agreement addresses Reasonable Accommodation. Please see the answer above and consult Disability Management Services for assistance with requests for disability accommodations that cannot be resolved by the employee and the department.

Can I hold office hours remotely?

Your supervising faculty member (the Instructor of Record) will inform you as to where you may offer office hours and address any questions you may have. As per the Graduate Council Policy on Appointments and Mentoring of GSIs, faculty members who teach with GSIs are required to meet with GSIs before the semester begins to review the course syllabus, clarify GSI responsibilities in the course, and, in the case of discussion sections and labs, describe the relationship of sections to lecture. Where you hold office hours may depend, in part, on the nature of the class.

Is distancing required in the classroom?

Unless otherwise indicated by the University, distancing is not required.

Currently, the University has lifted the mask mandate. May I still wear one in teaching?

Yes, you are free to voluntarily wear a mask even when the masking mandate is lifted. See the Instructor Guidance on the campus Covid-19 webpage. Students are not bound by OSHA requirements but must follow mask guidelines listed on the Face Coverings page of the campus Covid-19 site

When the University’s masking mandate is lifted, can I require students in my section to wear masks?

No, you may ask students to wear masks, but you cannot require it if the University has not mandated it. Please see mask guidance, as the masking mandate may shift throughout the semester.

Are masks available to me as part of my GSI position? 

UC Berkeley continues to offer free face coverings that meet OSHA requirements to all employees. GSIs are also welcome to pick up a free box of disposable surgical masks for their classroom, department or office. Instructors will also be able to pick up a face shield with a drape once they arrive. See the face coverings distribution schedule for pick up times and location.

As a GSI, I need to be able to see my students enunciate words and they need to see how I pronounce sounds. Can clear masks or shields be made available?

The university has face shields with a drape to be used by instructors. GSIs may also request boxes of surgical masks they can make available to their students. Such requests may be sent to [email protected].

If the University has a mask requirement in place and students do not comply, am I allowed to ask the students to leave my class out of caution not only for myself but also for other students?

If the campus has an indoor mask mandate at the time, then students must follow it, in the same way that they must conform to elements of the Code of Student Conduct or other campus policies. If a student shows up to class or office hours without a mask, you may remind the student of the requirement (if in place) and ask them to put on their mask. You can also offer them a mask. If the student refuses to put one on, you may ask the student to leave, just as you would ask a student who is being disruptive to either cease their disruptive behavior or leave. If you cannot control the situation yourself, you may end class early for the well-being of all. Note as of March 7, 2022 campus ended the mask mandate.

Please do not call the police if a student is not wearing a mask. Please report such a student to the Center for Student Conduct (CSC). The CSC will need the students’ name, SID and other relevant information submitted via the online report form.

To head off this situation, remind your students ahead of time of whatever indoor face covering requirement is in effect at the start of the semester. You could add it to the first slide of your first presentation, write a reminder on the board, and/or put something on the syllabus that states that students must adhere to the current campus directives related to COVID-19 and refusal to do so may result in the student being asked to leave. GSIs are welcome to pick up a free box of disposable surgical masks for their classroom, department or office, which they can then offer to students who may have forgotten to bring a mask. Requests for masks may be sent to: [email protected].

How should departments respond to union inquiries about their members enforcing mandates on top of their teaching responsibilities?

Like other academic conduct policies which GSIs may be asked to monitor (e.g., cheating or plagiarism), the ultimate responsibility for enforcement lies with the faculty member who may delegate this responsibility to the GSIs. As with all other responsibilities, faculty need to convey to GSIs how any infractions of policy should be handled and by whom. Similarly, GSIs should keep the Instructor of Record apprised of any conduct matters that need attention. The time it takes for a GSI to monitor and resolve issues that may be delegated to them must be factored into the GSI workload.

Can I ask students if they are vaccinated?

No, instructors cannot inquire about the vaccination status of their students. All students have to complete the Daily Symptom Screener and be cleared with a green badge to access UC Berkeley campus. While it certainly may be good practice to remind students of that requirement, faculty are not authorized to verify compliance with that mandate. See the Instructor FAQ spring 2022 webpage.

If a student tells me they are not vaccinated, can I ask them to connect with the class remotely?

All students have been asked to abide by the university’s vaccination mandate and upload proof of vaccination. Those who may not be able to be vaccinated (for example, due to a medical condition), are required by the University to go through regular testing. Your responsibility is to provide the same degree of access to in-person instruction to all students, so you cannot make the decision to ask a student to attend your section remotely. Should a student become ill, you should speak with the Instructor of Record about how to address absences and missed work. 

What happens if a GSI is assigned to a classroom without course capture capability but has students who, due to illness or quarantine, will not be able to be physically present in class? 

We are asking that GSIs be as flexible as possible in order to ensure that students can access course material even if they cannot attend class. The Teaching and Learning Center has many resources available to support asynchronous learning. GSIs are not expected to teach their sections in hybrid mode. The GSI should work with the Instructor of Record to determine the best way to provide students with this flexibility.

What responsibilities do instructors have in informing other students in the class if a student comes down with COVID?

UHS will take responsibility for contact tracing after a confirmed COVID case. The instructor should not involve themselves in notifying students or determining an appropriate response to the situation. That will be handled by the public health experts on campus.

If we need to pivot again to remote instruction, how much advance warning will we be given to make the transition?

It is difficult to know this information in advance, but the University will alert instructors as soon as possible. While we anticipate there may be occasions when a shift back to remote teaching may be required, either for specific courses or for the campus as a whole. Reasons could include additional COVID-19 related quarantines, poor air quality due to fires, power outages, etc. Instructors are encouraged to continue to plan for instructional resilience by making use of tools and trainings available from the GSI Teaching and Resource Center and Research, Teaching and Learning.

If GSIs need microphones to project their voices and those of their students while wearing masks, who will provide these microphones? 

A limited number of microphones are available for instructor use through the classroom technology support office. GSIs can contact them at [email protected] or call the classroom AV Help Desk: 510-643-8637. GSIs should also check with their departments to ascertain whether the department has microphones available or can purchase them. GSIs should check in with their hiring unit and their Instructor of Record about microphone availability.

I am concerned that the amount of work involved this semester may take me over the number of hours stipulated in my letter of appointment. How can I address that?

The workload expectation for a GSI cannot exceed the hourly limits provided in the ASE UAW contract. GSIs should keep track of their hours. If GSIs find they are working more than allowed under the contract, they should approach their supervisor immediately so that their duties may be adjusted. Their Faculty Advisor GSI Affairs and department chair are also there to help make certain GSI workload remains within contractual parameters.

How will the University have my back if we need to pivot to remote instruction? 

To prepare for this possibility, first-time GSIs will receive resources on remote instruction at the Teaching Conference for GSIs. All GSIs will have access to the resources provided in the GSI Remote Teaching Hub and one-on-one consultations with staff from the GSI Teaching & Resource Center and Digital Learning Services. The GSI Center is also arranging for Digital Learning Services to offer a special bCourse workshop tailored to the needs of GSIs. Faculty will be asked to provide guidance to GSIs and to monitor GSI workload.

What policies and protocols do I need to be aware of in a lab setting?

The campus’ expectation is that lab courses will be taught in person. But we ask that GSIs make every effort to ensure students who cannot attend lab are able to access the course content, to the extent that is feasible. In terms of masking, the same policies apply in labs as in other classroom settings.


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.

In order to receive in-state status, a student must demonstrate: (1) physical presence in California for more than one year and (2) intent to make a primary and permanent home in California. Read more on the Office of the Registrar website.

To apply for a resident classification for an ensuing term, you must submit a Statement of Legal Residence (SLR) by that semester’s deadline. Additional steps to establish residency include obtaining a California Driver’s License or State Identification card within the first 60 days of arriving in California, as well as registering your car (if you have one in California), and registering to vote (if you previously registered in a different state).

Read complete information about the residency requirements for graduate students.

Technology Resources, Zoom 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. Contact Student Tech Services for resources and support.  The help desk 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 [email protected]. Remote support by Zoom is available on a limited basis.

If you require additional technology to teach a course, first reach out to your supervisor or department chair.

  • Student Technology Equity Program (STEP)
    Loaner technology availability is limited. Please visit the STEP website for more information.
  • Zoom Pro Accounts for Students
    All registered undergraduate, graduate and professional school students have access to Zoom Pro accounts at no additional cost to them. Visit Student Tech Services for instructions on how to access Zoom.

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 [email protected] for additional questions or assistance regarding student accommodations. The Graduate Student DSP Specialist is Julie Greene. 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.

Basic Needs Center

The Basic Needs Center is open Monday – Friday from 10am-6pm and is located in the lower level of MLK Student Union (BNorth), Suite 72. Many services are also offered remotely. If you are experiencing challenges with your basic needs and would like to know more about the resources available to you, we encourage you to fill out our Basic Needs Assistance Form.

Food Pantry

The Food Pantry is currently hosting Pop-Up Pantries on the 1st floor of the MLK Student Union (by the student store). Spring 2022 hours will be updated on their website.

Virtual Queuing: In order to prioritize health and safety, visitors must check in to the Food Pantry using QLess, a web-based virtual queuing system. You can join the queue in three ways:

  • Checking in online (cell phone number required)
  • Signing up via the iPad at the Food Pantry
  • Scanning the QR code at the Food Pantry

Basic Needs Holistic Support Fund

The Basic Needs Holistic Fund provides emergency financial assistance including rental assistance and housing security deposit awards to those with limited resources.

Below you will find highlighted resources and accommodations for balancing caregiving responsibilities during the pandemic. For a more extensive list of pregnancy and parenting accommodations, visit grad.berkeley.edu/financial/families.

Emergency Back-Up Child Care

Parents who are currently registered Berkeley students are eligible for highly-subsidized back-up child care from a leading nationwide provider of care services. This back-up program helps student parents when their regular child care arrangements are unavailable and they need to attend to academic responsibilities on campus, at home, or away. Visit the Back-Up Child Care website.

Financial Support for Student Parents and Caregivers

Registered graduate student parents (single or married) with dependent children, or those caring for dependent adults may be eligible for a variety of aid programs.

  • Graduate Division Student Parent Grant
  • Graduate Division Caregiver Grant
  • Graduate Assembly Student Parent Travel Award
  • Childbirth Accommodation Funding
  • Childcare Reimbursement Program for Graduate Student Researchers
  • Childcare Reimbursement Program for Academic Student Employees (GSIs, Readers, Tutors)
  • Paid Leave for Academic Student Employees and Graduate Student Researchers

For more information and accompanying forms and applications, visit the Support for Student Parent and Caregiver webpage.

Centralized resources are also available on the Student Parent Center website.

Please visit the Undocumented Student Program Services website for the most current information on how to access services, including:

  • Financial Aid
  • Financial Support
  • Academic Counseling
  • Immigration Legal Support

For all other up-to-date information, visit the Undocumented Student Program website or contact the Undocumented Graduate Student Specialist, Jessica Mena Flores.

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 other important information regarding current U.S. immigration policy, Executive Orders, and travel advisories, please see BIO’s Immigration Policy Updates & FAQ webpage.

Non-Resident Supplemental (NRST) Tuition Waivers for Post-Candidacy International Students

Feb. 3, 2021 Update:

The UC Office of the President has delegated the decision about NRST (non-resident supplemental tuition) waivers to each campus. This week the UC Berkeley campus Finance Committee agreed to Dean Lisa García Bedolla’s request that the Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, or Fall 2021 semesters not count towards students’ three years of NRST waiver eligibility for those students currently in candidacy. Please consult your department for questions.

Graduate Student Appointments for International Students

If you have questions about your employment options for the spring 2022 semester, please consult with your GSAO or other departmental administrator that manages academic hiring. A list of department contacts for Academic Student Employee (ASE) job opportunities can be found in Labor Relations in the Berkeley People & Culture website.

View UC Berkeley’s central campus Covid-19 webpage for the most up to date information.

Vaccines & Masks

Please take a moment to read through the UC immunization requirement and the COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

Please review the instructions for how to update your vaccination record in eTang with your booster information.

If you were vaccinated abroad with other COVID-19 vaccines you are most likely eligible for a booster as well. See the CDC for more information.

For the latest mask guidelines please refer to the mask page on the campus coronavirus website

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.

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.

If you are struggling with mental wellness, you are encouraged to contact CAPS. In addition, Berkeley’s Graduate Peer Support Providers are available to listen and direct you to an abundance of support resources available on campus.

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 [email protected] with any questions, and visit their website at sa.berkeley.edu/csi.