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COVID-19 Information Page

Updated on Sept. 17, 2021

Coronavirus updates from the Graduate School

Classes for the fall 2021 semester

The GSBS Office of Academic Affairs has engaged in a number of discussions with the school’s leadership, faculty, and students regarding course delivery formats for the fall 2021 semester amid the current coronavirus surge.

Through those discussions, it was clear that our community values in-person learning experiences and opportunities to interact in-person truly affect the participation of our student body and their graduate school experience.

At the same time, the GSBS must maintain a safe environment for students and faculty, and comply with the policies and guidance that our parent institutions, MD Anderson and UTHealth, have developed to protect their communities during the pandemic. These polices include masking regardless of vaccination status, social distancing, and capacity limits (50% maximum) in our classrooms at the BSRB.

Therefore, we have asked all fall 2021 course directors who can effectively teach their classes virtually to do so. 

Classes with 20 or fewer students may use a hybrid format, which allows students and faculty the option to participate in-person or virtually depending on their needs and concerns.

Classes with more than 20 students will need to coordinate with academic affairs to develop a plan to deliver their courses safely and effectively.

Course directors will contact students enrolled in their courses to make these arrangements and provide further details.

Our main goal is to provide the highest-quality education in the safest environment, and we hope these strategies provide our students, faculty, and staff peace of mind and a great start to the new academic year.

If you have further questions or concerns, you can contact GSBS Academic Affairs (

GSBS administrative offices
The GSBS staff who can telecommute will continue to do so. The GSBS front desk will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and IT support will be available on-site during the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please note that MD Anderson reinstated masking requirements in all its facilities on Monday, August 9, and a mask must be worn at the BSRB and our administrative offices.

If you need to speak to someone at the school, please contact the individual to make the appropriate meeting arrangements before coming to the GSBS administrative offices. Click here to access our departmental directory. While we may not be on-site, please know that we are committed to supporting our faculty and students while working remotely

Coronavirus updates from MD Anderson and UTHealth

MD Anderson
The cancer center's COVID-19 Core Leadership Team (CCLT) met this week (Sept. 13-17) to review the latest coronavirus data from the CDC, both actual and predictive, and has made decisions basis on that information regarding business travel, and community activities and external events. Read more here. (Requires MD Anderson credentials to access.)

To combat the coronavirus while prioritizing wellness and well-being, UTHealth strongly encourages all students and employees to continue following the guidelines that have protected our community since the beginning of the pandemic. Click here to read more about these guidelines. (Requires UTHealth credentials to access.)

For the latest information regarding safety protocols, travel, shuttles, parking, health, and more, the Graduate School asks that you refer to these institutional websites listed below. These sites, which require institutional credentials or network to access, are updated on a regular basis and should be checked often as MD Anderson and UTHealth maybe different information for its labs/clinics/employees.

The Office of Academic Affairs has made updates regarding academic milestones. For students that matriculated into their current degree program prior to fall 2020, the Graduate School will continue to provide a one-semester extension for most degree milestones due to delays in student progress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, this extension will no longer apply to advisory committee meetings. As we move to resume in-person classes for fall 2021 and our parent institutions progress towards regular, in-person operations, the Graduate School expects that our students will be able to schedule their committee meetings at least once every six months.  Students who have not had an advisory committee meeting within the last six months should schedule one as soon as possible. 

Additionally, the publication requirement will be reinstated for all PhD students graduating in the fall 2021 semester. All students that graduate on or after August 30, 2021, will be required to have an accepted first-author scientific publication in order to graduate

Below are additional informational websites and resources regarding the pandemic:

If you still have questions after consulting the resources above, please email for assistance.

Archived messages from the GSBS and our parent institutions 

*Please note that the messages below require institutional credentials or network to access