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Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Information for 2020 Incoming Students

After much careful thought and guided by academic principles and concerns for our community’s health and safety we are moving forward with the following plans which we summarize as follows:

  • GSBS will delay matriculation of our first-year PhD and Masters in Pharmacology students on the Boston campus until January, 2021.
  • Bar Harbor based first-year students will matriculate in September based on local conditions.
  • GSBS will open in September for all continuing students to continue their lab work on a reduced schedule. Courses and seminars will be taught remotely.

A major part of the first-year experience involves wet-lab rotations in which first-year students test out a lab in consideration for their thesis research. This requires a great deal of close, in-person, hands-on training by other lab members, which is significantly impeded when adhering to critical social distancing requirements. Furthermore, even if our research labs are open in the Fall, they will likely be open only in “phase 2” mode (low-medium occupancy and enforced social distancing), such that in-person rotations and training, as is necessary and required for our entering students, will not be feasible.

First year courses normally taught in the Fall will start in January and Spring courses will be taught in the summer or fall pending individual program decisions. PhD students will be placed in their thesis lab at the end of August. In order to keep first-year students engaged during the Fall, we will provide access to journal clubs and seminars on a voluntary basis. In the long run, this may help them make more informed choices about lab rotations and ultimately their thesis mentor, thereby decreasing time to completion and enhancing their productivity and career success.

Please know that this was a difficult decision, and one that was not made lightly. We believe is in the best interests of the health, safety and academic experience of our incoming students, as well as our current community of students, faculty and staff. Please find a series of FAQs that address many specific changes. This FAQ will be updated as additional information and program specific decisions are made. If you have additional questions, do not hesitate to reach out to the GSBS Dean’s Office.

Fall Semester 2020 FAQ page