Guidance regarding fourth-term teaching, learning, and graduation

March 18, 2020

Dear Graduate Students, Postdoctoral Fellows, Faculty, and Staff,

We hope that you have seen the recent message from the University that to protect the health of our community all in-person classes will continue as remote/virtual instruction through the end of the fourth term. (See

We would like to thank our faculty and staff for working as quickly as possible to ensure that the fourth term is a valuable academic experience for all of our students and postdoctoral fellows. We know that our fourth-term faculty are already building on our existing capabilities for online teaching, and are planning to use resources such as Zoom and Panopto to facilitate both synchronous and asynchronous instruction. Fortunately, considerable help is available from both our Center for Teaching and Learning and the School’s Multimedia team.

We are also working to ensure that students who are expected to graduate in May will be able to meet program graduation requirements. Some program adjustments may need to be made regarding how requirements are to be met. We realize that both creativity and flexibility will be necessary as we all work together to meet these challenges. Students and fellows with questions are encouraged to contact their program directors and coordinators, but patience will be needed because many plans are still in the process of being finalized.

Plans are also being made to hold a virtual graduation ceremony and more details will be made available soon. We realize that this news is likely to be quite a disappointment for those of you who are graduating, and we will be exploring ways to make the ceremony and related activities as meaningful as possible within the constraints we are under.

We greatly appreciate the challenges that everyone is facing in this rapidly evolving public health crisis. We encourage students to access information and resources such as and Other links that may be helpful include JHSPH Student Affairs and Faculty/Staff- My Support

Warmest wishes,

Laura and Ellen

Ellen J. MacKenzie, PhD ’79, ScM ’75
Bloomberg Distinguished Professor


Laura L. Morlock, PhD
Executive Vice Dean for Academic Affairs
Professor, Health Policy and Management