Graduate Advisor Newsletter - February 2022

Michelson Morley Fountain on Main Quad in Snow, February 2021

Welcome to this month's edition of the School of Graduate Studies monthly newsletter to faculty advisors! Below you will find information on upcoming deadlines, academic policies, news, and more. Past newsletters will be archived on our website for you to review any time you wish.

Important Upcoming Dates

Please make sure your students are aware of important dates and deadlines. Some may require your review, approval, and signature.

  • Feb 25: Three Minute Thesis Competition
  • Mar 7-11: Spring Break
  • Mar 23: Deadline to submit Grad Award Nominations & Notifications
  • Mar 25: Last possible day to resolve any Fall 2021 Incomplete (I) grades
  • Mar 25: Individual Class Withdrawal Deadline
  • Mar 25: Course Audit Deadline

Academic Policy Briefs

Fall & Spring Breaks

Effective immediately, students in the School of Graduate Studies will receive a two-day break from classes and class activities in the fall, and a five-day break in the spring; both of these breaks will correspond to those in the undergraduate calendar. Please note that this exemption applies only to classes and class activities; faculty may still require graduate students to perform research activities during these breaks.

Dissertation Defense

Doctoral candidates must submit the Notification for Scheduling the Final Oral Exam to Graduate Studies at least three weeks prior to the scheduled defense date. If the student intends to graduate in May, they should pay careful attention to submission deadlines and plan accordingly. Dissertation defenses (like classes) are to be held in-person. Current University policies on masking and physical distancing should apply. If special circumstances exist, students can petition Grad Studies for exceptions. See our Graduation page for more details.

Expanded Parental Leave Policy

Effective immediately, eligible students in the School of Graduate Studies who receive stipends will receive two additional weeks of parental leave paid at 100% of the student’s current stipend. This change extends paid leave to eight weeks after the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child.

Please review complete details for parental leave and our other policies on holidays, vacation, and sick leave.


Grades of Incomplete (I) can only be assigned for letter-graded and P/NP courses for extenuating circumstances and only when a student who is passing the course fails to complete a small, evaluative segment of the course. All work for the incomplete grade must be made up and the change of grade recorded in the Student Information System (SIS) by the date specified by the instructor, but no later than the 11th week of class (Friday, March 25).

See the complete policy on Incomplete grades in the General Bulletin here.

Useful Information

Nominate Students for Graduate Awards!

Faculty and academic departments with degrees in the School of Graduate Studies are encouraged to nominate outstanding students for several prestigious awards to be honored at a ceremony on Tuesday, April 26. See our submission page for more details on each award including student eligibility, who is permitted to nominate, and what documentation is needed.

Also, if your department sponsors awards for your students, please notify us of the award so we may include these winners in our ceremony. Any student in a program managed by the School of Graduate Studies who has received an award in the 2021-2022 academic year should be included so please send us your notifications!

The deadline to submit award nominations and notification of department awards is Wednesday, March 23.

Faculty Regalia for Commencement

Use this form to rent regalia if you plan to attend the University's Commencement ceremony in May and do not have your own. The form must be submitted by April 29.

Also as a reminder, if you are interested in volunteering to be a marshal for the Grad Studies diploma ceremony, please email us at

Three Minute Thesis Competition: 2/25

Join us for the very first Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition at CWRU on Friday, February 25 at 12:45pm EST in Tink Ballroom! Register here to attend. 3MT celebrates the exciting research conducted by grad students around the world in a competition that challenges research students to communicate the significance of their projects to a general audience in just three minutes.

University Resources

Please be aware of University resources you can share with your students as needed. We will highlight a few each month.