Tag: Graduate School

Graduate School Resources and Response to COVID-19

This post summarizes the response and resources available to graduate students beginning spring 2020. Resources that continue to be available as of fall 2021 are marked with an asterisk (*).

Health and Safety Resources and Responses

*HuskyFAN Food and Delivery

Michigan Technological University’s campus food pantry, or HuskyFAN, moved their operations to include an online food order form. Through this form students, faculty and staff, can request items to be packaged and delivered or arrange a pick up day and time. Starting mid-September the food pantry will distribute vouchers to be used at the local Houghton Farmer’s Market. These can be used to purchase fresh produce.

*Provided Masks and Other Wellness Supplies

At the beginning of the fall 2020 semester, all student groups were provided a time to pick up a wellness packet which included a washable mask, hand sanitizer, and information on health and safety during the pandemic. Areas on campus including HuskyFAN and Residence Education and Housing, and Center for Student Mental Health and Well-Being have continued to provide masks and other wellness supplies like cleaners, wipes, and hand sanitizer to all students upon request.

*Telehealth

Michigan Technological University’s Center for Student Mental Health and Well-Being (CSMWWB) moved their operations online including the Graduate Student Support Group. Recognizing the need for additional mental health and well-being resources, the CSMWWB has launched another telehealth option through MySSP.

*On Campus Testing and Symptom Monitoring

Throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, Michigan Technological University encouraged, and at times required, all students to use the Daily Symptom Monitoring Form which provided the necessary offices with information to support students who felt unwell. On demand COVID-19 testing has continued to be available to students, faculty and staff throughout the academic year.

*Isolation/Quarantine Spaces

Throughout the pandemic multiple departments on campus (Residence Education & Housing Services, Graduate School, Dean of Students Office) worked together to ensure students had safe spaces if they were required to isolate or quarantine. During an isolation or quarantine period, students were contacted often to provide them with resources including food delivery, virtual engagement opportunities, mental health resources, assistance with children, and many other resources.

Financial Resources and Responses

*Emergency Funds

Even before the pandemic began, Michigan Technological University had a process in place for students to request emergency funds for extenuating circumstances. At the start of the pandemic, the decision was made to loosen the eligibility requirements of the emergency funds in order to allow as many students as possible the opportunity to apply. Over the last year and a half, Michigan Technological University has given out over $100,000. In addition, the Graduate School was gifted $100,000 which was distributed to graduate students in need.

Distribution of CARES Funds

For eligible students, CARES funds were distributed through block payments. Upcoming CARES funds will be distributed in a similar manner.

Daniell Heights

Policies regarding evictions and late fees were relaxed. Students with a payment plan in place could remain in their housing and late fees were waived.

Academic Related Resources and Responses

Deadline Flexibility

Many different deadlines including time for completion of an incomplete grade,and date for withdrawal with a “W”,  were extended for all students during the spring 2020, fall 2020, and spring 2021 semesters.

Course Retake Policy

The policy for the number and type of courses that can be retaken has been modified. Any courses taken during spring 2020, summer 2020, fall 2020 and spring 2021 will not count toward the limit of retaking a class a maximum of three times as stated in the University policy and may be repeated, regardless of the grade that was received.

Pass/Fail Grades

In the spring 2020, and fall 2020 semesters students were provided with the opportunity to choose a Pass/ Low Pass/ Fail Option as Michigan Technological University recognized that the alternative modalities for classes may not have been ideal for all types of students.

Suspensions/Dismissals

In spring 2020 the Graduate School amended the policy for Good Academic Standing and Dismissal to not penalize any students who may have been placed on probation, suspension, or dismissal.

Dissertation, Thesis, Report Deadlines

In spring 2020, the Graduate School extended the grace period and waived the fee to allow students to complete their degree without additional registration. In summer 2020, the grace period fee was also waived.

Scholastic Standards

Additional flexibility was offered for graduate scholastic standards. Pass (SCV) grades from spring 2020 and fall 2020 are allowed to be used to fulfill degree requirements, and programs have the flexibility to allow an additional 3 credits of pass (SCV) grades to be used toward graduate degree requirements.

*Electronic Forms and Processes

The Graduate School recognized that many forms and processes were not as functional once we transitioned to remote learning and work. All signatures on forms have been and will be accepted as an email from the signatory.  Other forms and processes were modified or moved online including:

  • Approval for a dissertation, thesis, or report
  • Application for an additional program (masters to PhD in same program)
  • Application for scheduling a dissertation, thesis, or report defense
  • Degree completion form moved to an updated format
  • Appeals of suspensions moved to an updated format
  • Report on final oral examination form moved to an updated format

*International Students

As the pandemic continues to affect international students, please continue to monitor the International Programs and Services and MTU Flex Portal webpages for information.

Additional flexibility was allowed by USCIS to permit continuing international students to take classes remotely or register for less than full-time to maintain their visa status.

*: Resources that continue to be available as of fall 2021.


Smart Start Seminar – September 8, 2021

New graduate students to Michigan Tech are invited to our virtual Smart Start.  In Smart Start, we’ll introduce students to resources and policies to assist them to have a successful start to their graduate career. It will be especially useful for students in their first year, but all students are welcome to attend. The seminar will be recorded for any students who cannot attend the in person or zoom meeting.

The seminar will be on September 8, 2021 beginning at 2:00pm via Zoom and the Alumni Lounges in the MUB.  Please register online to receive streaming information and reminders to attend.
It will be taped and available online for those unable to attend at that time.


Submission and Formatting 101: Master the Dissertation, Thesis, and Report Process

Students who are completing a dissertation, thesis, or report are invited to join the Graduate School to learn about the resources available to them to assist in scheduling their defense, formatting their documents, and submitting their documents.  In one afternoon, you can learn everything you need to be successful and complete your degree in a timely fashion!  Faculty and staff who assist students with submissions are also welcome to attend.  Attend the entire event, or stop in for the seminar that interests you.

  • When: Wednesday, September 15, 2021, 2 – 4pm (see detailed schedule below)
  • Who: Students completing a dissertation, thesis or report; faculty and staff who assist students with submission
  • Where: Alumni Lounge B & C; (register to attend online and receive participation instructions)
  • Registration: Please register to receive handouts via email or attend online. The seminar will be available online as well as on campus.

If you are unable to join us, the event will be taped and available online after the event. The previous semester’s seminars are always available online.

Information on submitting, formatting, and more can be found online for dissertations and theses or reports.

Detailed schedule

  • 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. – Submission 101
    Learn what is required to submit your document to the Graduate School and the deadlines for the upcoming semester.  Best for students who are completing their degree this semester or next semester.
  • 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Formatting 101-103
    Learn about templates, checking your document with Adobe Acrobat, and how to use copyrighted materials. You’ll also learn where resources are on the web page so you can learn more about the topics that interest you.
  • 4:00 – 4:30 p.m.: Questions
    Have a question that hasn’t been answered yet? We’ll be available to answer any additional questions you have.


How to review a dissertation, thesis, or report

Beginning in fall 2021, faculty advisors will be asked to review and approve dissertations, theses, and reports in Digital Commons. This will replace the Approval form, and will allow faculty to see the work their student has submitted and be notified when it is published. This process is similar to reviewing a journal article.

When your student submits their work to Digital Commons, the Graduate School will assign the work to the primary advisor to review. This is a manual process that will generally be completed on business days from 8am-5pm. You will receive an email requesting you review the submission – click on the link in your email. The email will be from “Michigan Tech Graduate Publications” and “@dcmtu.bepress.com”.


Spring 2022 PHF Graduate Assistantship Nominations Open

Applications for Spring 2022 PHF Graduate Assistantships are being accepted and are due no later than 4pm, October 19, 2021 to the Graduate School. Instructions on the application and evaluation process are found online. Students are eligible if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Must be a PhD student conducting a research or outreach project that will promote and/or improve the overall health of Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga, and Ontonagon communities.
  2. Must be a PhD candidate at the time of application.
  3. Must be 2 years after starting the graduate program at the time of application.
  4. Must not be a prior recipient of a PHF Graduate Assistantship.
  5. Preference will be given to applicants with long-standing local connections to Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga, or Ontonagon county.

Priority will be given to students originally from Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga, or Ontonagon counties. Non-resident students and international students are encouraged to apply if their health research is applicable to health needs and job shortages of our local community (obesity research, rural health, medical informatics, drug delivery and lab testing, physical therapy, etc.).

These assistantships are available through the generosity of the Portage Health Foundation. They are intended to recognize outstanding PhD talent in health-oriented research areas. Applicants should be a catalyst for promoting and improving the overall health of Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga, and Ontonagon communities through one of the following:

  • health research and technology development
  • health education or preventive and wellness initiatives
  • rural healthcare access, informatics, and assessment of care

Students who receive full support through a PHF Graduate Assistantship may not accept any other employment. For example, students cannot be fully supported by a PHF Graduate Assistantship and accept support as a GTA or GRA.


Spring 2022 Finishing Fellowship Nominations Open

Applications for Spring 2022 finishing fellowships are being accepted and are due no later than 4pm, October 21, 2021 to the Graduate School. Please email applications to gradschool@mtu.edu.

Instructions on the application and evaluation process are found online. Students are eligible if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Must be a PhD student.
  2. Must expect to finish during the semester supported as a finishing fellow.
  3. Must have submitted no more than one previous application for a finishing fellowship.
  4. Must be eligible for candidacy (tuition charged at Research Mode rate) at the time of application.
  5. Must not hold a final oral examination (“defense”) prior to the start of the award semester.

Finishing Fellowships provide support to PhD candidates who are close to completing their degrees. These fellowships are available through the generosity of alumni and friends of the University. They are intended to recognize outstanding PhD candidates who are in need of financial support to finish their degrees and are also contributing to the attainment of goals outlined in The Michigan Tech Plan. The Graduate School anticipates funding up to ten fellowships with support ranging from $2000 to full support (stipend + tuition). Students who receive full support through a Finishing Fellowship may not accept any other employment. For example, students cannot be fully supported by a Finishing Fellowship and accept support as a GTA or GRA.


Submission and Formatting 101 for Summer 2021

Students who are completing a dissertation, thesis, or report are invited to join the Graduate School to learn about the resources available to them to assist in scheduling their defense, formatting their documents, and submitting their documents.  In one afternoon, you can learn everything you need to be successful and complete your degree in a timely fashion!  Faculty and staff who assist students with submissions are also welcome to attend.  Attend the entire event, or stop in for the seminar that interests you.

  • When: Wednesday, May 19, 2021, 2 – 4pm (see detailed schedule below)
  • Who: Students completing a dissertation, thesis or report; faculty and staff who assist students with submission
  • Where: Zoom webinar; (register to attend online and receive participation instructions)

If you are unable to join us, the event will be taped and available online after the event. The previous semester’s seminars are always available online.

Information on submitting, formatting, and more can be found online for dissertations and theses or reports.

Detailed schedule

  • 2 – 3pm – Submission 101 Learn what is required to submit your document to the Graduate School and the deadlines for the upcoming semester.  Best for students who are completing their degree this semester or next semester.
  • 3 – 4pm – Formatting 101-103: Word, Acrobat and Copyright
    • Learn how to find what you need in the Guide and use a Word template to create a perfectly formatted document the first time. 
    • Learn how to use Adobe Acrobat to check your document to ensure it meets our formatting requirements and correct it without recreating the PDF.
    • Learn how to use copyrighted materials in your document, including papers you have published as well as materials created by someone else.
  • 4pm – ?: Final questions Have a question that hasn’t been answered yet? We’ll be available to answer any additional questions you have.


Fall 2021 Finishing Fellowship Nominations Open

Applications for Fall 2021 finishing fellowships are being accepted and are due no later than 4pm, June 30, 2021 to the Graduate School. Please email applications to gradschool@mtu.edu.

Instructions on the application and evaluation process are found online. Students are eligible if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Must be a PhD student.
  2. Must expect to finish during the semester supported as a finishing fellow.
  3. Must have submitted no more than one previous application for a finishing fellowship.
  4. Must be eligible for candidacy (tuition charged at Research Mode rate) at the time of application.
  5. Must not hold a final oral examination (“defense”) prior to the start of the award semester.

Finishing Fellowships provide support to PhD candidates who are close to completing their degrees. These fellowships are available through the generosity of alumni and friends of the University. They are intended to recognize outstanding PhD candidates who are in need of financial support to finish their degrees and are also contributing to the attainment of goals outlined in The Michigan Tech Plan. The Graduate School anticipates funding up to ten fellowships with support ranging from $2000 to full support (stipend + tuition). Students who receive full support through a Finishing Fellowship may not accept any other employment. For example, students cannot be fully supported by a Finishing Fellowship and accept support as a GTA or GRA.


Degree completion timeline on MyMichiganTech

Graduate students can now see a personalized list of items they need to complete for each graduate degree on MyMichiganTech. A full description of items needed to complete each degree along with details about when, how, and why to complete them is found on the Graduate School’s web site.

Students can access their personalized list by:

  1. Logging into MyMichiganTech using their Michigan Tech ID and password
    • For example, if your email is blizzard@mtu.edu, you would log in with “blizzard” as your ID along with the same password used to check email
  2. Clicking on the “Current Students” link in the menu bar across the top of the page
    • The “Student Checklist” box in the left column will show items that are due now or recently completed
    • More help on accessing MyMichiganTech is found in our previous tutorial

For detailed information about the degrees you are seeking, look for the “Degree Completion Timeline” section in the center “My Status” column:

  • The question mark icon will display a pop-up window with helpful information and links
  • If links to any of the forms aren’t working, the helpful link will direct you to technical information
  • Click on the “your degree completion timeline” link to display a new window described in the screenshots below
  • The “timeline details” link will take you to more information on the Graduate School’s web site


Defense scheduling moved to MyMichiganTech

The Graduate School is pleased to announce that final oral examinations (“defenses”) can now be scheduled on MyMichiganTech. This applies to students scheduling a defense of their dissertation, thesis, or report.  

Students will log into MyMichiganTech to complete a scheduling request, and their advisor will log into the Workflow system to review that request and make a decision. Email notifications will be sent throughout the process. A student tutorial and advisor tutorial with screenshots is available on our blog, as well as a presentation in our seminar archive. A complete overview of the process to complete a dissertation, thesis, or report is available online.

A few things to note:

  • Students who have already completed their defense or have a defense already scheduled with the Graduate School do not need to repeat this process on MyMichiganTech.
  • Faculty will need to log into the Workflow system to approve defenses. Please refer to our advisor tutorial.
  • The Graduate School will continue to accept PDF forms this semester if a student has already started that process with their advisor.
  • Please delete any PDF forms that have been saved to use later. Always go to our website for the most current information and forms.
  • This process applies to the final oral examination, and not to other examinations such as a qualifying examination or research proposal examination. 
  • Graduate programs should remove references and links to the “pre-defense form” from their website and handbooks, as this process replaces the form.

The Graduate School would like to thank our colleagues in EAS for their hard work on this project. For any questions, please contact the Graduate School.