Welcome to Cornell!

To those who have been accepted to a graduate program at Cornell, congratuations 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 8:30am 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 60 organizations (campus, student, and community-based) at our resource fair, and pick up your Cornell ID card. Light brunch will be available during the morning. 

The goal of Orientation is simple: We want to warmly welcome you to campus and help you become a member of new communities of scholars, researchers, and peers. 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 three 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.

Develop Your Strategic Plan for Graduate School Success

321 Weill Hall • RSVP form forthcoming

  • We often hear that the graduate school experience is nothing like anyone expected it would be… so, what is a first-year student 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 right from the very beginning. This session is guaranteed to be full of practical strategies, illustrative stories, and inspiration for how you can be successful. Presenter: Jan Allen, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs


Get the Mentoring You Need and Want

224 Weill Hall • RSVP form forthcoming

  • Mentoring is the most critical relationship for a graduate student. It begins with understanding what mentoring is and what you hope to gain. Through interactive discussion and case studies, we will discuss how to establish a positive relationship and communicate effectively with your mentors. Presenter: Colleen McLinn, Ph.D., Director, Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning


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

226 Weill Hall • RSVP form forthcoming

  • 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 how you can overcome it. 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, Ph.D., Assistant Director for Community Based Services, Cornell Health


Additional Orientation Events

  • Saturday, August 18 from 3:00pm – 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Friday, August 24 from 4:30pm – 7:00pm: TGIF (Tell Grads It’s Friday) at the Big Red Barn ($1 beer).

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.

If you have not already done so, make sure that you visit the New Students web page for information specifically for graduate and professional students.