Admitted Students

Campus in fall

Welcome to Cornell!

Congratulations on your acceptance into Cornell…and welcome! We are excited that you will begin your graduate program soon and look forward to working with you. 

The goal of the Graduate School Orientation at Cornell is simple: We want to warmly welcome you to campus and help your transition to graduate school by introducing you to the values, expectations, and resources of an inclusive Cornell community that will be your home for the duration of your degree program.  You will also learn about graduate study at Cornell along with expectations and tips for success as a new graduate student. We will introduce you to valuable resources and services to help you throughout your time at Cornell.

Orientation does not replace your field’s orientation program; it supplements it. We hope it will help you experience the benefits of a larger, interdisciplinary community. Please consult your field’s website for field-, college-, and program-specific orientation programs. Please also make sure to keep track of your new student to do list.

In late April, students will receive instructions directly for Graduate School Orientation via email. As details are refined, this website will be updated. Expect a complete schedule by July 1.


Fall 2024 Orientation Highlights:

Dean’s Welcome – August 22, 2024

The formal program features Cornell President Martha Pollack, Graduate School Dean and Vice Provost for Graduate Education Kathryn J. Boor and a panel of esteemed faculty and students. 

Grad Connect: A Resource Fair for Graduate and Professional Students – 2024

This collaborative resource fair will allow graduate and professional degree students from across programs to engage with each other while learning more about the resources, offices, and organizations that help support their development and progression at Cornell. Open to incoming and current students.

Graduate School Primer: Navigating Academia Workshop Series (via Zoom) – 2024

This workshop series is designed exclusively for first-year graduate and professional students and covers topics like understanding doctoral funding, mentoring, and much more. Sessions are all online via Zoom. Primer session details

Community Events for New Graduate and Professional Students – 2024

The Big Red Barn, Graduate and Professional Student Center, will provide connection opportunities for all incoming students before the semester begins through the first two weeks of classes. Exact details will be available in June, including trivia night, a language mixer, socials, TGIF, and more!

For Our International Student Community:

The Office of Global Learning’s orientation is for first year international graduate and professional students. It gives students an early start on their Cornell experience by introducing them to important resources for international students and helping them connect with their classmates from around the world.  

For Teaching Assistants:

Welcome Session for New Graduate Teaching Assistants – 2024

The Center for Teaching Innovation is hosting a fall orientation. This optional, synchronous event is open to all new graduate Teaching Assistants (TAs). Participation in this session will provide an overview of CTI’s resources to support the success of graduate teaching assistants (TAs) as they begin their teaching at Cornell. In addition, there will be an opportunity for all new international TAs (ITAs) to talk to other ITAs and CTI staff about specific resources available to ensure a smooth transition to Cornell. Contact Dr. Derina Samuel with any questions.

Find Your Community

Knowing where to look can give you a head start

With 23,600 students, Cornell is large. One tip for incoming students is to establish your networks early by getting out and meeting new people. The programs, organizations, and resources below are designed to bring people together.

  • Big Red Barn Graduate and Professional Student Center. The Barn is the heart of the graduate and professional community with numerous events scheduled throughout the fall semester.
  • Student Groups. With over 1,000 student groups, find a group that corresponds to your personal or professional interests. Several upcoming events are listed below.
  • Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GPSA). Cornell’s system of governance includes an active student component. Becoming part of the GPSA is a great way to meet people.
  • Graduate and Professional Student Diversity Council. Help advance a sense of community, professional excellence, and a climate of inclusion for all graduate and professional students, but especially for those from marginalized communities and backgrounds historically underrepresented in the academy.
  • Student Communities. Review our short list of student groups and links to other places to find community.

If you have any questions, or need any support regarding accommodations, please contact Janna Lamey, senior assistant dean for graduate student life (607-255-5184 or janna.lamey@cornell.edu).

Please note: This information and related orientation events are designed for students in programs administered by the Cornell Graduate School, which includes all Ph.D., M.S., M.A., D.M.A., and J.S.D. degree programs. This also includes M.F.S., M.I.L.R., M.L.A., M.P.H., M.R.P., and M.F.A. creative writing degree programs, as well as the M.P.S. degrees in animal science, biological and environmental engineering, integrative plant science, global development, landscape architecture, natural resources and the environment, applied statistics, fiber science and apparel design, human resources, industrial and labor relations, information science, real estate, and veterinary medical sciences.

The Graduate School does not oversee the following programs, so please check with your program director for information about your requirements, expectations, and orientation events: M.Arch, M.Eng., M.F.A. in creative visual arts or image text, M.H.A., M.M.H., M.P.A., M.P.S. in management and applied economics and management, M.S. in business analytics, M.S.L.S., D.V.M., J.D., L.L.M., M.B.A., M.S. and M.Eng. degrees at Cornell Tech in New York City, and Ph.D., M.S., and M.B.A. degrees at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City.