Planning for Fall 2020, A Message from Dean Segal

May 14, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you are all doing okay at this very difficult time. I know this is not how you envisioned graduate school. I am writing to let you know about some of the plans for how to proceed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have decided that our fall 2020 courses will be offered on line for our first-year students. We are confident that we can use online formats to offer high-quality, transformative educational experiences to our students. Our dedicated program faculty, staff, postdocs, and students have already displayed great creativity and commitment in these endeavors, and the coursework will develop both knowledge and skills needed for future scientists. For continuing students, all large courses will also be on line.

I know that you have all been continuing to make progress in your training and research while quarantined at home for the past several weeks. In the fall, research activities will be in person as permitted by institutional and public health advisories.Some laboratories that carry out research related to COVID-19 have already developed ways to continue scientific pursuits following the new public health advisories. Other laboratories will be re-opening over the summer, and will be following these new requirements. These new requirements present new challenges, and we will work with you to develop effective approaches for building and maintaining advising relationships as well as pursuing your research activities.

This time also presents significant challenges for physical and mental health. Harvard University Health Services continues to be available to you, and answers regarding insurance changes are available here. You can also contact your advisor or program administrator, Sam Reed or Roz Segal (, at the HMS DMS office, or Danielle Farrell at Please be in touch with questions or concerns.


Stay safe and stay connected,



Dean for Graduate Education