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GSAS Policy Updates and Resources Policy Updates

Remote Capstone, Thesis, or Dissertation Defense

Effective immediately, GSAS has revised its academic policy/practice for capstone, master's thesis and doctoral dissertation defenses, permitting them to be held remotely. The revised policy will remain in place throughout the period for which the University has suspended face-to-face instruction. If you are making preparations to defend, please be sure to visit the Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines page on the GSAS website for complete information. If you have any questions, please contact Dean Schwind or Carmela Menta ( or 718.817.4415).

Extension of Thesis or Dissertation Defense

Students who are experiencing a delay in progress toward their dissertation or thesis defense may, in consultation with their mentor and Director of Graduate Studies or Program Director, request to extend their graduation date through summer 2020 or fall 2020. GSAS will register students who receive an approved extension for an administrative registration (Doctoral Defense or Thesis Defense) during the semester of the defense at no tuition cost or fee. Please contact Dean Schwind in the GSAS Office of Academic Programs and Support at if you are experiencing a defense delay and to learn more.

Comprehensive or Language Examinations

In order to accommodate the University's decision to move to an entirely remote learning environment for the remainder of the spring 2020 academic term, GSAS has, effective immediately, revised its academic policies (§7.5 and 7.6) pertaining to comprehensive examination and language examination. All such exams should now be administered remotely/virtually. For more details, please consult with your Director of Graduate Studies or Program Director, or reach out to Dean Schwind or Carmela Menta ( or 718.817.4415) with any questions or concerns you may have.