Ask a Dean Category: Academics

Is there a possibility of extending the deadlines for students graduating in August?

Dear deans, I hope this email finds you well. I am a second-year M.S. student and an incoming Ph.D. student this fall. I recognize that the Graduate School extended the M.S. thesis submission deadlines for students graduating in May already, and I’m writing to explore the possibility of extending the deadlines for students graduating in August as well. I understand the original draft submission deadline…

Does Cornell have a license for Pavlovia already?

Dear deans, Together with my office mate, I’m trying to set up a plan for my field (and maybe even one that we could share between fields as soon as we have everything sorted out) so we would be able to continue running participants. For my research, we go online using Pavlovia. That way we…

How flexible will the Graduate School be if students need extra time to complete their academic milestones?

Dear Deans, How flexible will the Graduate School be if students need extra time to complete their academic milestones? All of the graduate students I know are working hard to make progress towards their degree virtually, but many students absolutely need to do physical experiments or collect data in a certain location to finish their…

Can graduate classes be taken S/U during these trying times?

Greetings, I wanted to seek clarification on the option to take graduate classes as S/U during these trying times. I believe there hasn’t been an announcement as to whether this will be an option for students’ required classes or required electives. Thank you for your time. Stay safe,  Grad Wondering About Grading Options Response Dear…

Can Ph.D. students select the S/U option for more than one class per semester?

Dear Deans, Can Ph.D. students select the S/U option for more than one class per semester? Thank you, Anonymous Response Dear Anonymous, This is a great question as the semester gets underway! The Graduate School doesn’t have a policy that prevents students from enrolling in more than one class for the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grading option…

What study spaces exist solely for graduate students?

Dear Deans, I wish Cornell had a library, or multiple floors of an existing library, dedicated solely for graduate students. The need for focus is so necessary, and one cannot always achieve this in shared spaces with undergraduates. Can we do this? Aside from the Big Red Barn and the 5th floor in Olin, I’m…

Are there avenues or fellowships for teaching courses?

Hello Deans, I was wondering if there are opportunities for Ph.D. students in agricultural sciences, and also in general, to lead courses or start a new course, be it a first year seminar or the like. These kinds of experiences are extremely valuable in a job application. I saw one fellowship like that which was…

What is the university doing to address the pressure placed on undergraduates?

Dear Deans, As instructors of first-year writing seminar courses we are often given exceptional glimpses into the experiences of undergrad students, who confide in us easily about problems they have in their departments and other classes.  I just met with a student in engineering who described a departmental climate where professors regularly insist that unless…