Do I need to notify the Graduate School about my change of graduation month?

Date: April 2019


Hi Deans,

I hope you had a wonderful break! I am a M.S. student who was planning to graduate this May, but my schedule changed and my committee has approved me staying through the summer and graduating in August. However, I have already registered for the commencement ceremony in May. 

I noticed that “students expected to graduate in May or August can participate in the commencement in May”. In this case, do I need to notify the Graduate School about the change in my plans? If so, could you please help me with this or direct me to the right person?

Thank you so much! 


Now an August Graduate


Dear “Now an August Graduate,”

Congratulations on nearing the completion of your degree! The commencement event in May is a time for students to celebrate their accomplishments with friends or family. It is open to all graduate students who anticipate finishing their degrees in May or August. We understand that it can be hard to predict the future with 100 percent certainty, especially when writing a thesis or dissertation, and we know it can take a bit longer than expected to wrap up research, defend, and complete any edits to the thesis. If your degree timeline changes after you’ve already made plans to attend the commencement event you are still welcome to participate. In your case, since you’ve already registered to attend May commencement there’s nothing more you need to do. Cornell also hosts a beautiful December recognition ceremony for winter graduates.

I wish you all the best for your last few months as a M.S. student and I hope you have a joyous celebration in May!

Warm regards,


Jason Kahabka
Associate Dean for Administration