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.
Cornell expects to have a fully in-person fall semester. Public health requirements, including vaccination information, were updated on August 3, 2021. For more information, please see the COVID-19 Update (August 3) or Cornell’s COVID-19 website.
You are beginning to receive information about Cornell and the Ithaca area to help you transition to graduate study. Orientation begins during the summer with our Transitions workshop series. Transitions is a primer for graduate study at Cornell and includes information on expectations and tips for success as well as available resources and support to help you now and during your degree program.
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.
You will receive an email with instructions for Graduate School Orientation participation later this summer.
Thursday, July 15, 2021 – Orientation Hub opens
We use Cornell’s learning management system, Canvas, to house modules including information, resources, tips, and links to register for our formal program and Transitions workshops. Access the Orientation Hub. You will need to use your NetID to enroll.
Monday, August 23, 2021 – Graduate School Welcome
The formal program, presented via Zoom from 10:00 – 11:00 am ET, features Cornell President Martha Pollack, Graduate School Dean and Vice Provost for Graduate Education Kathryn J. Boor, the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, and the Graduate School’s associate and assistant deans who will help you understand Cornell’s structure, funding, and much more. At registration, you will be asked to submit questions that you would like to be addressed during a special Q&A discussion section of the program.
Wednesday, August 25, 2021 – Words of Wisdom from Students (and Faculty Advisors)
Do you have questions about what it is like being a Cornell graduate or professional student? Go directly to our graduate and professional students (along with faculty advisors) to hear their thoughts, comments, and advice for incoming students embarking on their graduate careers. The panel will present for 30 minutes and then turn it over to the audience to ask live questions.
Tuesday, August 17; Wednesday, August 18; and Thursday, August 19 – Summer Success Symposium
The Summer Success Symposium is for new and continuing M.S./Ph.D., M.A./Ph.D., and Ph.D. students across all graduate fields from backgrounds historically excluded from and underrepresented in the academy including but not limited to those that identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color), first-generation college (FGC) students, LGBTQQ+ identified students, veterans, students with disabilities, women in STEM, students with DACA status, and others.
Thursday, August 19; Friday, August 20; and Saturday, August 21 – Big Red Welcome Fest
Welcome to Cornell! Join us for information about campus services and enjoy giveaways in the heart of campus. Learn about university services and offices that are designed to support our graduate and professional students. Some offices to be there include the Graduate School, Cornell Health, Transportation, Cornell University Police Department, and many more! As you plan your transition to Cornell make sure that you schedule time in your calendar to stop by at the Big Red Welcome Fest on any day at any time listed above. No registration needed, just show up!
Transitions 2021 workshops via Zoom
The series is designed exclusively for first-year graduate and professional students and covers topics like understanding doctoral funding, mentoring, time management, and much more. Sessions are all online via Zoom and will begin on July 27. View the Transitions page for more information.
For Our International Student Community:
New International Student Orientation
New and transferring international students (both undergraduate and graduate/professional students) are invited to the orientation hosted by the Office of Global Learning.
This orientation will provide essential immigration and legal information, guidelines on health and safety, Office of Global Learning services and programs, as well as a chance to meet current international students and receive tips for academic success.
Additional information available in the modules:
- Cornell’s public health requirements, including vaccinations, pre-arrival, and arrival information.
- Important Cornell offices and resources.
- Social events sponsored by the Big Red Barn Graduate and Professional Student Center.
Graduate School Announcements posts Monday nights (ET)
All new students will begin receiving the weekly Graduate School Announcements later this summer.
- Cornell University COVID-19 Information
- Graduate School COVID-19 Information
- International Student FAQs
Public Health Requirements
Keeping students, faculty, and staff safe
We are planning for a fully in-person Fall 2021 semester. Public requirements were updated on August 3, 2021. For more information, please see the Update: Revised policy for Ithaca/Geneva students effective August 3.
Please check the Cornell’s COVID-19 Information frequently for the most recent information.
- Cornell University COVID-19 Information
- New York State Department of Health
- Tompkins County Health Department
- Graduate School COVID-19 Information
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 900 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.
Upcoming Student Organized Events
FiGLI New Student Meet-and-Greet
Saturday, July 24, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. (ET)
On behalf of the Cornell First Generation and Low-Income Graduate Student Organization (FiGLI) and the Graduate School Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement (OISE), we invite you to attend the FiGLI New Student Meet-and-Greet! All graduate students who identify as first-generation and/or low-income are welcome to participate. Join us virtually to meet and socialize with both incoming and continuing students!
Graduate and Professional Students International (GPSI) Welcome Virtual Event
Thursday, July 29, 9:00 a.m. (ET)
Hello and welcome to Cornell! The Graduate and Professional Students International (GPSI) would like to invite you to join us for our welcome virtual event. We will be answering some of the frequently asked questions that international students face before moving to the U.S. and having some fun games and prizes. Come and meet some of your fellow international mates and ask all those questions that Google has failed to reply to! If you would like to join the event, please make sure to register. You will receive a Zoom link one day before the event. We are really excited for you to join our community!
Brunch with BGPSA
Sunday, August 1, 12:00 p.m. (ET)
The Cornell Black Graduate and Professional Student Association will be hosting a Sunday brunch event where incoming Cornell graduate students can meet and network with current BGPSA members. This will be a virtual event. Come with your favorite brunch food and drinks to join us in community! Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
QGrads New Student Welcome
Tuesday, August 3, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. (ET)
QGrads (Cornell’s LGBTQ+ graduate student organization) is excited to welcome new graduate and professional students to our first event of the school year! Join us to meet fellow LGBTQ+ grad students, ask questions about queer life in Ithaca, and learn about the programming that we offer throughout the year. This event, also supported by the Graduate School Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement, is geared toward incoming first-year graduate and professional students, but all students (new to QGrads or otherwise) are welcome to attend.
Society for Asian American Graduate Affairs (SAAGA) Welcome Virtual Dinner
Monday, August 9, 6:00 p.m. (ET)
As we look forward to the fall semester, the SAAGA executive board invites incoming and current grad students to join us for a virtual dinner event! This is a casual event for you to network, meet fellow Asian and Asian American graduate students, as well as find out more about Cornell and SAAGA and how to get involved. This event, also supported by the Graduate School Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement, will take place over Zoom. Grab your favorite food or snack and come join us!
Latinx Graduate Student Coalition Welcome Brunch
Wednesday, August 11, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. (ET)
The Latinx Graduate Student Coalition (LGSC) and the Graduate School Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement (OISE) invite you to attend LGSC’s Welcome Brunch for incoming students! Join us virtually to learn about LGSC, meet new and continuing graduate students who identify as Latinx, and hear about life at Cornell and in the Ithaca area.
Virtual Coffee Hour for Ph.D. Students & Postdocs
Tuesday, August 24, 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. (ET)
Fostering a sense of community is important to us, possibly even more so now given recent circumstances. The MAC Peer Mentoring Program, which is a collaborative initiative with the Graduate School Office of Inclusion & Student Engagement, engages first- and second-year doctoral students as mentees and advanced doctoral students and postdocs as peer mentors. Through this program, we seek to provide a community committed to supporting the success of early-career doctoral students and contribute to their sense of belonging.
To learn more about the MAC Peer Mentoring Program, please join us for our Virtual Coffee Hour! This will be an opportunity for you to: Learn about the MAC Peer Mentoring Program and how it can help support you both through monthly programming and peer mentoring with current graduate students and postdocs from across the disciplines; engage with the Peer Mentoring Program graduate student co-chairs; meet other incoming and continuing doctoral students and postdocs; and ask any questions you may have (housing, weather, gorges, hiking, academics, etc.).
Though the MAC Peer Mentoring Program is open to any interested doctoral students, it has a specific focus on engaging scholars from backgrounds historically excluded from and underrepresented in graduate education and/or those with a demonstrated commitment to advance diversity, equity, access, and inclusion in the academy.
If you have any questions, please contact Janna Lamey, senior assistant dean for graduate student life (607-255-5184 or email@example.com).