Welcome to Cornell!

To those who have been accepted to a graduate program at Cornell, congratulations and welcome! We are excited that you will be joining us in beautiful Ithaca, New York this August!

The Graduate School’s Orientation for new Fall 2018 students is Monday, August 20 from 9:00 am to noon in Bailey Hall.

We invite new graduate and professional students to learn more about Cornell graduate requirements and resources, meet President Martha Pollack and Dean Barbara Knuth, and be welcomed by our current graduate and professional students (both in person and through a special video, Graduate Students, Graduate Stories, where you will learn first-hand from our students about their experiences and advice for success). You will learn about our Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GPSA), have the opportunity to talk with representatives from over 50 organizations (campus, student, and community-based) at our resource fair, and pick up your Cornell ID card. Refreshments will be available during the morning. 

The goal of Orientation 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. Our orientation does not replace your Field orientation program but will supplement it and help you experience the benefits of being in a larger, interdisciplinary community. Please consult your field's website for field, college, and program-specific orientation programs.

Special Sessions

In addition to our morning program, you may choose to participate in one of seven different (optional) sessions on Monday, August 20 from 12:30pm – 1:30pm and 1:30 pm-- 2:30 pm. Lunch will be provided for participants at 12:15 pm for first round of sessions and 1:15 pm for the second round of sessions. Check your schedule and, if you can attend, please RSVP to the session of your choice. Note that these sessions will be repeated in September specifically for first-year students through our Transitions Program.

Special Sessions I 12:30 –1:30 pm | Weill Hall, 2 Floor (lunch at 12:15 pm)

Develop Your Strategic Plan for Graduate School Success  |  RSVP here

  • Graduate school may not be exactly what you what is a first-year to do?  Make a strategic plan!  Spend time with our Associate Dean discussing the value of strategic planning and how to take control of your academic future from the first day.  This session includes practical strategies, illustrative stories, and cautionary advice on avoiding and overcoming obstacles. Presenter: Jan Allen, Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs


Get the Mentoring You Need and Want  |  RSVP here

  • Mentoring is the most critical relationship for a graduate student. Mentoring begins with understanding what mentoring is and what you hope to get out of the relationship. Through interactive discussion and case studies, we will discuss how to establish a positive relationship and communicate effectively with your mentors. Presenters: Colleen McLinn, Director, Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning and Sara Xayarath Hernández, Associate Dean for Inclusion and Student Engagement


Understanding Imposter Syndrome (a.k.a. You Belong in Grad School)  |  RSVP here

  • Did you know that imposter feelings are normal and that most high-achieving graduate students experience these feelings at some point? Join us to better understand the Imposter Syndrome; learn where it comes from and how it can manifest. More importantly, understand how it can be a barrier to graduate student success and what you can do to overcome this. Dr. Wong will use theory, data, clinical practice, and his own experiences as a graduate student to paint a picture of the Imposter Syndrome with accuracy, helpfulness, and humor. Presenter: Wai Wong, Assistant Director for Community Based Services, Cornell Health


Special Sessions II | 1:30–2:30 pm | Weill Hall, 2 Floor (lunch at 1:15 pm)

Maximizing Your Every Minute  |  RSVP here

  • Do you find that you are asking yourself, “How can I accomplish all of these goals with limited hours in the day?” Fortunately, time management is a skill that can be learned!  Join us for an interactive discussion on the top six tips to successfully manage your time. You will learn methods and insight to what top performers already know about time management. In addition, you will share with others what you have found works best for you. Presenter: Janna Lamey, Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Life


Title IX at Cornell  |  RSVP here

  • What is Title IX? What is prohibited student conduct? Learn about Title IX as it relates to sexual assault, dating/ domestic violence, stalking, sexual exploitation, and sexual and gender-based harassment.  This presentation will include data from the Cornell Campus Survey on Sexual Assault and Related Misconduct, along with providing an introduction to being an effective bystander.  Common resources and how to get help from Cornell will be shared with participants. Presenter: TBD


Serious Scholarship and Responsible Conduct of Research  |  RSVP here

  • Navigating responsibilities for conducting research as a graduate student can be challenging.  It is essential that graduate students understand Cornell's regulations and expectations for science and scholarship.  Discuss with our Associate Dean important issues related to ethics and integrity, obstacles and situations to avoid, what to do when faced with a challenging situation, and campus resources available to graduate students about research, collaborations, co-authorship, publishing, and mentoring.  Presenter: Jan Allen, Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs


Understanding Doctoral Funding at Cornell: An Introduction to Fellowships and Assistantships  |  RSVP here

  • At Cornell, almost all PhD students receive funding that pays tuition and provides a living stipend through a combination of fellowships, assistantships, and external scholarships.  This presentation, will explain how stipends are paid, what your responsibilities are, and provides insight on how to be an active participant in your own funding plan. Presenter: Jason Kahabka, Associate Dean for Administration


Additional Graduate School Orientation Events (Please RSVP as noted below)

  • Saturday, August 18 from 4:00pm – 7:00pm: The International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO) fall orientation program will take place in Statler Hall auditorium.
  • Monday, August 20 from 3:30pm – 5:30pm: Ice Cream Social at the Big Red Barn Graduate and Professional Student Center is an opportunity for incoming students to connect with peers from across disciplines and graduate fields over Cornell Dairy Ice Cream. RSVP here
  • Tuesday, August 21 from 5:30pm – 8:00pm: Ithaca By Night lets you meet up with other incoming students for dinner at one of the many great Ithaca restaurants, guided by a current student. Bring cash for your portion of the dinner. Meet at 5:30 pm sharp at the Big Red Barn Graduate and Professional Student Center! RSVP here
  • Friday, August 24 from 3:30pm – 4:30pm: New Student Mix & Mingle is networking over beer and snacks with other first-years at the Big Red Barn.  RSVP here
  • Friday, August 24 from 4:30pm – 7:00pm: TGIF (Tell Grads It’s Friday) at the Big Red Barn ($1 beer).

For International Students: Please plan to attend the Fall Orientation Program for international students on Saturday, August 18 from 3:00- 7:00 pm in the Statler Hall auditorium. More information.

If you have any questions, or need accommodations to participate in this event, please contact Janna Lamey, Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Life (607-255-5184 or as soon as possible.

To Get Ready (Before You Arrive):

  • If you have no already done so, visit the New Students web page for information specifically for graduate and professional students
  • Respect at Cornell: Cornell University is committed to providing a safe, inclusive, and respectful learning, living, and working environment for its students, faculty, and staff members. It is expected that all graduate and professional students must complete this video-based program.  The program provides critical information about sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, stalking, gender discrimination and bystander intervention options.  Not Anymore will help you better understand how vitally important these issues are and what you can do to help make our campus safer.  You can log in directly from the New Students website.  Those who do not complete the program this summer will get an email reminder.
  • Official Transcript: If you haven't already sent your final transcript to the Graduate School, our Graduate School Student Services Office will be at the Resource Fair to collect your final transcript.
  • Work Authorization (I-9): If you are scheduled to receive funding from Cornell or plan to hold a job on campus please come prepared to complete the federal I-9 form.  Bring identification.  Your field or department may assist you in completing this requirement or you may complete this at dates/ times below.  Drop by, with identification, during any of the times below:
    • Graduate School, Monday, August 20, 203 Malott Hall, Noon- 4:00 pm, or
    • CALS HR Office, 220 Bruckner Lab/ Hall, Monday- Friday from 8:00 am- 3:00 pm, or
    • Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, Statler Student Employment, Payroll Office, 135 Statler Hall, Monday- Friday from 8:30 am- 3:30 pm, or
    • Human Resource Service Center, 395 Pine Tree Road, EHOB, Suite 110, Monday- Friday from 8:30 am- 3:30 pm