This page is intended to be a dynamic FAQ for graduate students, and will be updated regularly as events change. We know that there are many other questions that students have.

Suggestions for new FAQs should be sent to

For the most up-to-date information on the campus COVID response and resources, please see our UCSB COVID-19 Information page.

We will be continually working to clarify and provide answers. Some answers may take time as they may need to be discussed and addressed systemwide. We appreciate your patience!




UCSB Student Health Center: CALL FIRST 

  • At UCSB: (805) 893-7129 or (805) 893-3371

  • At home with UC SHIP: (877) 351-3457 or a local provider

All students enrolled in UC SHIP can access LiveHealth Online for telemedicine and counseling (connect via smartphone, tablet or computer; no referral needed and no copays). 

CAPS remains open and is continuing to hold appointments

UCSB Student Wellbeing links to a range of services related to well-being such as: assistance with basic needs (food, housing, finances); counseling and physical health resources, daily wellness centers and programs; social connection, and personal safety.

UCSB Health & Wellness has developed a Graduate Student Wellness Resource Guide. The guide was created for graduate students as a resource during the COVID-19 pandemic and addresses everything from crisis support to basic needs.

UC Santa Barbara Student Health has been approved by the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (SBCPHD) to administer both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to the campus community. The university’s vaccination efforts are directed by the SBCPHD, according to priorities and guidelines set by the California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

For updates and FAQs, visit the UCSB COVID-19 Information page.




UCSB Housing COVID-19 Guidelines

Vacancies are available in San Clemente Villages. The apartments are open to all single graduate students, regardless of year, and students can move in quickly. Read more here on how to apply.

Maintaining Productivity


Step back and think holistically about your degree program and your professional goals. Even if you can’t access research materials on campus, you can always complete other tasks that will advance or inform your research, degree completion, and professional objectives. These include reading, writing or revising chapters or articles, updating your CV or resume; drafting application materials for grants, jobs, or fellowships; exploring opportunities, and learning new professional skills that will enhance and speed your research once you can access it again.

If necessary due to timelines, talk to your advisor about reshaping your thesis or dissertation. For example, perhaps an early chapter can be expanded on based on a data set that you already have. Data still to be collected can be saved for an article after you finish your degree.

This might be a good time to complete an Individual Development Plan, such as MyIDP (STEM disciplines), ImaginePhD (Humanities, Social Sciences, Education), or UCSB’s IDP (which includes the student sectionadvisor section, and instructions).

The GSRC will offer many of its workshops virtually, as well as ongoing advising and consultations with staff and peers. Check out the GradPost events page for information on upcoming events. Click here for contact information and hours for GSRC staff and peers.




 Office of Research Guidance

Space reservations are available at the Library and HSSB for graduate student research and instruction. There will be 20 spaces available in the Library and 15 classroom spaces available on the first floor of the Humanities and Social Science Building (HSSB). These spaces will be available by reservation only. These spaces can be reserved for up to 10 hours per week, subject to availability. Learn more here.

Your safety is our first priority. You cannot be compelled to work if you think your safety is at risk. Tell your department chair, who is closely tracking the safety of all members of your department. That person will help you resolve this.

Discuss this with your research supervisor and primary academic advisor (if different). See FAQ above on maintaining productivity.




Memo on Support for GSRs and Postdocs 

UCSB Enrollment Services and UCSB Thrive have partnered with Human IT to support students without access to a laptop and/or internet access. Eligible students will be provided a hotspot, chromebook, and a grant funding award for $255 to cover the cost of internet access for one year. Read here to learn more.

This is a complex area, as funds for research grants come from many different sources with different policies. Some of the federal agencies have explicitly told grantees to continue funding their research teams through the crisis and we believe many others will follow suit. Most STEM PhD students came in with a funding letter that committed full funding every quarter. The campus will uphold those commitments, although the source of funds may change. In some cases, students may need to take TA positions or fellowship in lieu of GSR employment.

Memo from Joe Incandela, Vice Chancellor for Research, on Support for GSRs and Postdocs (3/23)



Forms & Petitions


The Academic Services Unit recommends using DocuSign for forms, petitions, and signature pages, since UCSB has a license for this product and users are authenticated via their UCSB Net ID.  Students, staff, and faculty can download forms and petitions from our website and route them for signatures using the “envelope” feature in DocuSign.  All completed petitions can be sent to Consult DocuSign Guidelines on how to submit.

Any fees owed will be charged directly to your BARC account.


  • See here for filing deadlines


  • Thesis/Dissertation Signature pages must be submitted to the Graduate Division electronically, by the filing deadline, in the following ways:

    • Scanned/photographed version sent to

    • DocuSigned version sent to

    • If DocuSign or a scan is unavailable, committee members can send an email to from their @ucsb email account, stating that they approve the thesis/dissertation/supporting document.  If the member is from off campus, they should use their institution’s email account. 

  • Please see here for full instructions for formatting and filing your theses/dissertations.

  • Dissertations, supporting documents, and theses must be e-filed via ProQuest by the filing deadline.

  • Master’s projects and comprehensive exams must be completed by the filing deadline.

  • Doctoral defenses and any other required oral presentations may be conducted via Zoom/Skype. Please read our Guidance on Virtual Qualifying Exams and Public Defenses.  Defense Forms (Doctoral Form III - Report on final defense or waiver)must be submitted electronically to

  • Until further notice, we will waive the hard-copy, wet-signature page requirement. This means that if students submit acceptable electronic approvals as described above, we will not require them to subsequently submit hard-copy, wet-signatures.

No, if you are enrolled in regular university courses, In Absentia registration does not apply, as you are still substantially accessing University resources. In Absentia is allowed when the student's research must be conducted outside of the defined local campus region.



Yes, provided that the instructor for the course does not see any problems with this.

Most of the remote teaching that will take place will be asynchronous, so that people in different time zones can access it as needed. Discuss this with the instructor of record.

No, In Absentia registration is driven by the need to conduct research outside of the State of California.

If you are working in a campus-based job as part of Work-Study, the Work-Study program remains in place, despite COVID-19. All pay will continue to be split between the employing department and Work-Study funding. The Work-Study Unit remains open and available to process referrals and handle any questions or issues departments may have. Please contact:

Online Teaching



Instructional Continuity Resources

Starting October 2, 2020, there will be 20 spaces available in the Library and 15 classroom spaces available on the first floor of the Humanities and Social Science Building (HSSB). These spaces will be available by reservation only.
Reservations for the use of these spaces will be open on October 2nd at 8:00 AM, via the following pages:

Please pay close attention to the information about technology available in each space to ensure that the space that you reserve meets your needs. If you will be using any of the HSSB classrooms and plan on using the installed classroom computer instead of your own laptop, please send an email to as soon as possible to obtain login credentials for a classroom computer.

Graduate student instructors with compelling needs to utilize these spaces for remote instruction may reserve a space for a maximum of 6 hours per week, up to 10 weeks in advance. We recommend making a reservation for the entire quarter. Because demand may exceed supply, we ask instructors to restrict reservations to the minimum amount of time needed to carry out instructional activities and remote interaction with students. Additional hours may be available at a future date.

There is a new, comprehensive training site for instructors and TAs, called “Preparing to Teach Online,” available through GauchoSpace. The site has ideas, resources, links to UCSB-supported technologies, and opportunities to interact with each other and with us.  You also have a chance to experience the training as a game, where you will complete quests to earn a certificate of completion in Preparing to Teach Online.
As you plan your course, remember that there are extensive resources to help on the redesigned Instructional Continuity site. This includes information about how to plan and teach your course, design your GauchoSpace site, and more. 

For updated memos on instructional support, teaching resources, and updates on undergraduate education, please see the regularly updated memos to campus from the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor.

Drop-in hours with Mindy Colin, Lisa Berry, Linda Adler-Kassner, and Maggie Safronova are posted on this calendar, which is part of the Instructional Continuity Site. We will add drop-in hours through next week and each week of the term as needed.

COLLABORATE Faculty Resource Center staff available daily to assist with GauchoSpace questions and provide one-on-one consultations via Zoom Monday to Friday, 10 am to 4 pm. Submit a help ticket or schedule a consultation with the staff here.





Temporary Amendment to UC Residency Policy


At this point, temporary accommodations to the Residency policy has only been extended again though spring quarter 2021. Please see here for the most up-to-date information. 

If you’re an incoming graduate student, check out the UCSB Registrar’s short video about the process of establishing residency.

Typically students wanting to establish residency may not leave the state for more than 6 weeks at a time during their first year in California. These are not typical times. The UC Office of the President released an amendment to the policy stating 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.”

International Student Support


See the latest from the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) here.

OISS is also offering Virtual Front Desk Drop-Ins. Find out more here.

Student Loans


Yes. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Securities Act requires the Secretary of Education to defer student loan payments, principal, and interest for through December 31, 2020, without penalty to the borrower for all federally-owned loans. In other words, your federal student-loan payments will automatically stop from March 13, 2020, through September 30, 2021.

Basic Needs Resources 



 Basic Needs Resources Website

Library Services



Reopening FAQs


The Library is currently closed. For the latest Library updates, visit here

There are many ways UCSB Library can provide graduate students with expert help, services, and access to collections while you are engaged in remote teaching and research: