Highlights from Announcements 4/6/20

Cornell Seal

Changes in Course Grading Policy for Spring 2020

The April 5 message from Cornell’s Provost and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education addressed changes in the course grading policy for Spring 2020. For graduate/professional degree programs and courses:

Instructors for courses taken by graduate/professional students may offer an S/U grading option unless not permitted by internal degree program requirements or external restrictions imposed by relevant accreditation or oversight bodies. Graduate/professional students interested in S/U options for courses for Spring ’20 should inquire with (1) their graduate program to make sure there are no prohibitions from the degree program level to taking S/U, and then (2) ask their instructor(s) if it is okay to choose the S/U grade option.

(The following dates apply to all Ithaca-campus programs except for the few, like D.V.M., operating on separate calendars. Cornell Tech students and faculty should follow the Cornell Tech calendar and deadlines.) If the degree program allows S/U grading towards its requirements, students have until May 12, the last day of instruction, to drop a course without a W or change the grading basis of a course to S/U. This applies to any full Spring 2020 semester course, including courses that did not previously offer an S/U grading option, as well as 7-week courses offered in the second half of the semester. Between May 12 and May 23, the last day of the semester, students can still drop any of their courses with a W and petition to change the grading basis to S/U.

Registrar: COVID-19 Deadline Extensions

  • Spring 2020 Drop Deadline & S/U Grading Option: The last day to drop courses or change grading basis has been extended to Tuesday, May 12th. See the message above, “Changed in Course Grading Policy for Spring 2020” for detail on S/U grading options. Students can drop courses with a W and petition to change the grading basis to S/U between May 12 and May 23.
  • Thesis/Dissertation Submission Deadline: The thesis/dissertation submission deadline has been extended to Friday, May 15. Refer to the Thesis & Dissertation Planning Timeline  for detailed information on deadlines and submission requirements.

Due to the rapidly evolving situation, students should continue to monitor their email and the university websites for future updates.

We’re Still Here! Contacting the Graduate School

Graduate School staff meeting on ZoomWe might be spread out geographically, but the Graduate School staff is still here and available to assist students. See a list of contacts below and the COVID-19 Graduate School Updates page for updated hours.

Contact the Graduate School

More Updates and Information

Admissions Review Considering COVID-19 Disruptions

Graduate students should feel free to share the following message with any undergraduates or master’s students who are considering future Graduate School plans:

Recognizing the serious challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic for student learning, faculty teaching, and academic performance assessment, the Cornell University Graduate School asserts the following principles:

Admissions committees and offices for graduate and professional programs in the Graduate School will take into account the significant disruptions and challenges associated with the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic when reviewing applicants’ academic transcripts and other application materials as part of these programs’ ongoing practice of performing individualized, holistic reviews of each applicant. 

As admissions bodies review applications in future admissions cycles, we will respect decisions made by individual students and/or by their academic institutions with regard to the enrollment in or adoption of Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, Pass/No Record, Credit/No Credit, Pass/Fail and other similar grading options during the pandemic disruptions.  Applicants are invited to describe their individual experiences during the pandemic to provide context to inform the application review process. We strive to form future graduate student cohorts composed of intellectually strong, diverse, and resilient individuals who will make the most of their graduate education opportunities at Cornell University.

Questions about this statement may be directed to gradadmissions@cornell.edu.

Guidance for International Students and Faculty on Getting & Staying Connected to Cornell

For international students:

For international students who have returned to their home countries due to the campus COVID-19 shut-down, it’s important that you be proactive in reaching out to instructors, advisors, and mentors. Read about actions students can take to stay connected.

For faculty and instructors:

In response to the campus shut-down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of Cornell’s international undergraduate and graduate students have returned to their home countries. Read about actions faculty can take to stay connected.

Remote Teaching Resources for Teaching Assistants

Below is a list of compiled resources from various places, including the Center for Teaching Innovation, Cornell, Student Disability Services and other places. Although geared primarily toward faculty, teaching assistants can also benefit from the wealth of content while preparing for spring semester courses to begin.

Guidelines and FAQs:

Training on Teaching Tools:

Other CTI Offerings:

Other Available Resources:

Good News From the Cornell Library!

Temporary online access to about half of the Library’s print collections (i.e. about 4 million volumes) is available through their active membership in HathiTrust. This Emergency Temporary Access Service is possible as long as the current public health crisis keeps the physical facilities closed. Access for Cornell faculty, students, and staff will be through the library catalog (please allow a few days for all links to go active). An additional 6.7 million full-text books can be explored at HathiTrust Digital Library.

The Library also offers the following:

View more Library service updates.

Cornell Tech Students

We know some of this information is only relevant to Ithaca based students. For other information, please refer to the Cornell Tech weekly Student Services Newsletter sent on Wednesdays and check the Cornell Tech COVID-19 Updates page.

Remote Resources for Graduate and Professional Students

Figuring out how to work, teach, and learn remotely is an adjustment for everyone. We have compiled resources to help promote graduate student success in all of these categories, including tips from fellow students on establishing community, staying productive, and staying motivated. View our compilation of tips on the Resources for Remote Working, Teaching, and Learning page.

Master of Public Health Program Gets Full Accreditation

Members of the inaugural Master of Public Health class
Members of the Cornell Master of Public Health program’s inaugural graduating class. Rachel Philipson/Cornell University.

Cornell’s Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) program has received full accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health.

The recognition is the result of five years of work building the program, including planning, hiring faculty, designing, and delivering the curriculum. The program is in its third academic year; it graduated its first class last year.

Read the M.P.H. Chronicle story

Partnership Feeds Area Families Amid Coronavirus Woes

Tommy LaLonde
Tommy LaLonde, a cook at Robert Purcell Marketplace Eatery, boxes up food donations. Photo provided.

The coronavirus pandemic has had an obvious impact on families, schools, businesses, and health care providers. Less obvious, perhaps, is how it has affected community volunteers and the organizations they serve.

Many volunteers are elderly and have been sidelined by the virus, forcing the temporary shuttering of several food pantries in Tompkins County. As a result, approximately 800 households per month may lose food pantry services.

To provide immediate local relief, Cornell has partnered with the Food Bank of the Southern Tier and the Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC) to collect and distribute much-needed meals for food-insecure families.

Read the food partnership Chronicle story

Spotlight on Resources: Access Fund

The COVID-19-specific Access Fund application form closed on April 1, but students can submit applications for the Access Fund through the online form beginning April 2.

The goal of the Access Fund is to provide enrolled full-time undergraduate, graduate, and professional Cornell students with access to financial support, up to $500, to help mitigate on-campus barriers, access basic necessities, and cover emergency medical and dental expenses not covered through financial aid, insurance, or other university resources. Students can also use the Access Fund form to request support for COVID-19 related expenses and limited funding may be available for transformative experiences. Learn more about the Access Fund.


Management Doctoral Student Published in Organization Science

Management doctoral student Huisi (Jessica) Li had an article, titled “Initial and Longer-Term Change in Unit-Level Turnover Following Leader Succession: Contingent Effects of Outgoing and Incoming Leader Characteristics“, published this week in the journal Organization Science.

Postdoc’s Opinion Piece Prominently Featured in the New York Times

Postdoc Yangyang Cheng recently had an opinion piece, “Of the Virus and God, Orange Peels and the Party,” published on the front page of the New York Times.