Graduate study at Princeton is understood to be a full-time commitment on the part of students. Ordinarily during an academic year, which includes the summer, enrolled graduate student degree candidates may be absent from normal student responsibilities for up to (but no more than) ten days for reasons of illness or other personal matters.
In addition to the ten days ordinarily available for illness or other personal matters, in academic year 2020-21 graduate students will be eligible for 14 COVID-19 days during this global health pandemic. These COVID-19 days are intended to assist graduate students who are temporarily unable to fulfill their responsibilities either on campus or remotely, because of hardships directly related to COVID-19. These could range from direct health effects of COVID-19 itself to other consequences, such as childcare issues caused by school closings or the need to care for a dependent who is impacted by COVID-19.
During such an absence, financial support otherwise in place continues. Depending on a graduate student’s program and year of study, normal graduate student responsibilities may include coursework, research obligations through an appointment as an assistant in research, and teaching obligations through an appointment as an assistant in instruction. Graduate students are expected to inform the relevant faculty who supervise their coursework, research, and/or teaching obligations about any absence that draws on COVID-19 days at the beginning of the period of absence.
Students who must be absent due to COVID-19 for longer than 14 days may be eligible for a separate short-term accommodation through the Graduate School or may request a leave of absence from the University. If a student holds an external fellowship whose terms may conflict with this policy, the student should consult first with the director of graduate studies or adviser.
To help address the unprecedented impact of COVID-19, the Graduate School has temporarily implemented this policy for academic year 2020-21. Given the unpredictable nature of this health emergency, the University will revisit this policy as required by any major developments related to the pandemic.