Academic Policy Changes in Response to COVID-19

How does the university plan to address practicum courses or projects that cannot be done naturally online (labs, clinicals, music, studio art, etc.)?

Details of this will be handled by individual colleges. The needs in each academic program are different and hence it will be managed locally. Faculty are encouraged to work with their curriculum committees and the Chairs of their programs/department to find acceptable alternatives when traditional labs, clinicals, studio’s etc. cannot be completed in a face to face format. 

Will any classes or programs be cancelled this semester?

At this point, no classes are cancelled. If a class is not conducive for online delivery, program chairs and instructors will make decisions on how to proceed and communicate with the students directly. 

How will academic services be continued (such as advising)?

Advising will transition to online appointments. Advising will be coordinated between individual programs and the Division of Student Success. Supplementary Instruction, tutoring and, the IDEAS Center will be moved online as well.

I’m a tenure-track faculty and my research, scholarship/creative activity is delayed due to the pandemic stay at home/ shelter in place orders. Are there any accommodations or adjustments to the tenure clock due to the disruption to my research/scholarship/ creative activities?

We understand that tenure-track faculty are anxious about disruptions to their research, scholarship, and creative activity schedule relating to the tenure timeline. Our current policy states that a faculty member, for personal reasons, may request a one-year extension as outlined in HOP AA-FPT-PO1 Promotion and Tenure. We have contacted UT System and they have confirmed that there will be leeway if a faculty member’s research, scholarship, or creative activity has been delayed in any significant way due to the pandemic and the current restrictions on travel, social gathering, etc.

In addition, Regents' Rule 31007, Sec. 5.1(b)(4) delegates the authority to the Provost (chief academic officer) to make the decision on a request for an extension. RR 31007 addresses extension requests that are due to a faculty member's personal circumstances. In those cases, RR 31007 does not permit any flexibility to grant an extension beyond two years. We have conferred with Executive Vice Chancellor Steven Leslie and Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Alan Marks, and they agree that, under such emergency circumstances, the two-year maximum for extensions may be waived on a case-by-case basis.

Of course, it is too early to know how much disruption this will cause to faculty coming up in fall 2021 and beyond. For now, please be reassured that should you need an extension in the future, your request will be considered and UT System will support the Provost in making exceptions to the policy as it stands.

For more information about the impact of COVID-19 on research visit

Will the use of student feedback surveys from spring 2020 change due to the abrupt shift to online teaching?

Due to state law, student feedback surveys (SFS) will still be administered and the results of the five obligatory questions posted online.  Faculty will have the option of using them in all reviews (such as annual, periodic, promotion/tenure, etc.).  Regardless of whether they are used in reviews, it is hoped that the results of the surveys will be reflected upon and used as a learning experience by faculty and others.

Will students be subject to the Six Course Drop Limit if they drop a class in spring 2020?

We encourage students to try and complete the classes they are enrolled in to stay on track with their program.  Students who dropped a course prior to March 16th, 2020 will be assigned a W and be subject to the Six Course Drop rule. Students who drop their course between March 17th and April 28th will be assigned a Q grade which will not impact the rule. For more details on the Six Course Drop Limit visit:

Will adjustments be made to faculty workloads due to changes related to COVID-19?

Faculty may contact their department chair to renegotiate or amend their agreed upon faculty workload due to the inability to perform some tasks initially outlined in annual review.

Are there any changes for thesis and dissertation proposals and final defenses?

All thesis and dissertation proposal and final defenses may be conducted remotely without obtaining approval from the Graduate School.

The deadlines to defend theses or dissertations have been relaxed.  The only deadline that must be met is that all documents and materials required for graduation (defense report showing unconditional pass, thesis or dissertation manuscript accepted by the library) must be submitted by June 5.

If a defense scheduled for spring 2020 is canceled due to COVID 19-related problems, we will allow students to defend and graduate in summer 2020 without further enrollment.  The supervising professor or graduate advisor should contact the Graduate School and briefly explain the problem. This only applies to students who have actually scheduled their defense for spring 2020 and have been forced to cancel.  The Graduate School will review and help make arrangements to defend and graduate in Summer. International students with F-1 or J-1 status should contact an International Education Advisor at for details as immigration policy requires F-1 and J-1 students to be enrolled in the semester in which they complete their studies.

For additional information, visit the COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page and continue to monitor UTA's official COVID-19 webpage for important campus updates.