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COVID19 Changes

Dear Graduate Students,

As you are aware, the University is currently engaged in proactive efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 and limit its potential effects on our students, campuses, and local community. President Satterlee’s recent direction that students should return to their permanent homes whenever possible will help greatly in this effort, and the Graduate School is working diligently to ensure that following such direction will not impede your progress towards graduation.

As it relates to oral exams or thesis/dissertation defenses, we have secured the requisite Zoom licenses needed to hold all of these defenses virtually. Additional instructions for how this process will work will be sent separately, but students can anticipate that beginning on Monday, March 30, all defenses will be held remotely using Zoom technology.  If accessing such technology is problematic for you, please notify your advisor and/or the Graduate School so we can facilitate gaining the needed access (208.282.2150).

In the meantime, we strongly encourage any students whose oral exams or thesis/dissertation defense is scheduled during the next two weeks to contact Dr. Amanda Eakins ( in the Graduate School to coordinate moving their impending defense to a virtual environment whenever possible. We will work with students to ensure that any defenses scheduled to happen between now and March 30 do so with minimal disruption. We are planning to forward virtual presentation “tips” to all graduate students in an effort to increase your sense of security when presenting and defending in a virtual environment.

We look forward to congratulating you on your successful defense or exam performance, and we stand ready to assist you in whatever way we can to ensure that success.