Art History and Archaeology COVID-19 FAQs

Last updated: Wednesday, January 20

This page is intended to address frequently asked questions specifically pertaining to the Art History and Archaeology community. For all official university and GSAS announcements and resources, please visit:

International students are strongly encouraged to consult the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) for the latest information and most accurate guidance on visa and immigration affairs. If you are on a Fulbright, we encourage you to get in touch with your country’s  Fulbright liaison.

Please continue to monitor your inbox for any updates and announcements.

Health Questions

What protocol do I need to follow if I plan to return to campus?

Returning to campus requires reading and signing the University Health Compact, taking the COVID-19 Safety Course, getting a gateway COVID-19 test, and completing the Daily Symptom Self-Check. Please review and follow the steps outlined by Columbia Health here:

What kind of mental health and wellness support is available to students?

Counseling and Psychological Services and the Center for Student Wellness provide resources for students during this time. Please visit the following pages for more information:

Use of offices and other Schermerhorn spaces

May students use the Stronach Center?

In the interest of safety and security, the Stronach Center will remain closed until further notice.

Will mail delivery continue to Schermerhorn?

Faculty may access the Campus Mail Room in Schermerhorn Hall, which is open from Mon-Friday 9-5:00 pm. Standard mail will be delivered to the main office on a regular basis, at least biweekly. We encourage you to have any documents sent to you electronically, and your mail and packages re-routed to your home address. For urgent questions about campus mail and packages please write to Sonia Sorrentini.


What kind of format will Spring 2021 courses have?

Course modalities are posted on the Directory of Classes.

What will 2020-21 look like?

On June 17, the provost announced that the academic year will be divided into three terms: fall, spring, and summer. Please see this page for details. For an overview of our department’s course offerings, please refer to our 2020–2021 Year at a Glance page.


Are in-person orals and defenses still permitted, or must all be done remotely?

Students should discuss with their committees whether or not they would like to conduct their exams/defenses in-person or remotely over Zoom. Please write to Nicole Meily for more information.


What services are available at Avery Library at this time?

The Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library is open with limited capacity. Patrons are required to reserve a seat (four-hour time blocks) in order to enter.

For complete information and all updates about use of materials, remote and in-person access, and other protocol regarding library use, we encourage students to regularly check Avery’s website:

Please write to if there are library materials that you can’t access remotely. Columbia’s libraries are actively working to expand their online resources to assist students. Please visit this page:

AHAGA is also gathering a list of online resources here.

Graduation dates and requirements

When will Commencement Day take place?

Commencement Day will take place virtually on April 30, 2021. More information can be found here.

What are the degree conferral dates for GSAS students in Spring 2021?

Degrees will be conferred on May 19, 2021 and June 30, 2021.

What are the key MA/MODA thesis deadlines?

This academic year, the MA degree will be conferred two times in the spring: May 19, 2021 and June 30, 2021. For the May 19, 2021 MA Degree:

—May 10: submit the final PDF version of your thesis and the thesis approval form signed by your advisor to Nicole Meily

—May 14: your advisor must submit a grade for GR9000 MA Thesis on SSOL by this date

For the June 30, 2021 MA Degree:

—June 21: submit the final PDF version of your thesis and the thesis approval form signed by your advisor to Nicole Meily

—June 25: your advisor must submit a grade for GR9000 MA Thesis on SSOL by this date

What is the procedure for remotely submitting the MA/MODA thesis?

Instead of submitting a final bound copy of the thesis in person to Nicole Meily, as is normally required, students should email her a PDF version of their final thesis (i.e., the version that your advisor has approved). Once the department office reopens, Nicole will add these to the students’ files.

Students should also complete an MA Thesis Approval Cover Sheet and email this to their advisors. Once advisors have signed the sheet, they should email it to Nicole, CCing the student. Alternatively, they can write an email to Nicole, confirming that they have approved your thesis, CCing the student. All MA thesis advisors will be informed of the new procedure, so that they know what to do/expect.

Thesis advisors must submit grades no later than by a given deadline. Please work with your advisor to determine a timeline of submission that will allow them enough time to read and make any final comments.

Employment, Career Development, and Alumni Events

What support does GSAS offer with job searches during COVID-19?

There are targeted programs for both MA and PhD graduates by GSAS Compass.

Rachel Bernard, the Director of Graduate Career Development in GSAS and Associate Director, Francesca Fanelli are available to hold one-on-one meetings with recent graduates of GSAS (MA and PhD) to assist them in their post-graduate goals. Sign up will be through the GSAS Compass website.

CCE’s page on career exploration for Humanities PhDs:

Are there resources available to locate remote work opportunities during the pandemic?

Job boards for remote work: