Graduate Advisor Newsletter - February 2023

2022 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition in Tink Ballroom

Welcome to this month's edition of the School of Graduate Studies 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 you and your students are aware of these important dates and deadlines. Some may require your review, approval, and signature.

  • Mar 1: Student Commencement Registration Opens
  • Mar 13-17: Spring Break
  • Mar 22: Deadline to submit Grad Award Nominations & Notifications
  • Mar 31: Last Possible Day to Resolve Any Fall 2022 Incomplete (I) Grades
  • Mar 31: Individual Class Withdrawal Deadline
  • Mar 31: Course Audit Deadline
  • Mar 31: Student Commencement Registration Closes

Academic Policy Briefs

New Digital Accessibility Policy

To strengthen the University's commitment of equal access to information, programs, and activities for everyone, beginning this semester electronic theses and dissertations (ETD) submitted for graduation requirements must meet the School of Graduate Studies’ Minimum Digital Accessibility Standards (MDAS). Established based on CWRU guidelines and the new OhioLINK recommendations on digital accessibility, the MDAS are as follows:

  • PDF file includes full text
  • PDF accessibility permission flag is checked
  • Text language of the PDF is specified
  • Figures and images require alternative text
  • PDF includes a title and headings for major sections of the document

A final PDF document meeting accessibility requirements, along with the accompanying Digital Accessibility Report (DAR), must be submitted to Graduate Studies as part of the required format check and submission approval.

See the Grad Studies website to review this policy and additional resources. Please send any questions to

Spring Break: 3/13-17

Students in the School of Graduate Studies receive a five-day break in the spring, corresponding to the break in the undergraduate calendar. Spring Break this year is March 13 through 17. 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. If special circumstances exist, students can petition Grad Studies for exceptions. See our Graduation page for more details.


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 31).

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 Wednesday, May 3. 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 2022-2023 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 22.

Commencement 2023

Registration for students to participate in Commencement 2023 ceremonies begins on Wednesday, March 1. Students should be aware that registering for Commencement is a separate process from applying to graduate. The School of Graduate Studies diploma ceremony will be held on Friday, May 19 at 2:00pm. A Convocation for all students will be held two days earlier.

If you are interested in being a faculty marshal for our diploma ceremony, please email us at

If you plan to participate in the procession of any Commencement ceremony and do not have your own regalia, please see the Commencement website for details how to rent from the Bookstore. The form must be submitted by April 24.

Three Minute Thesis Competition

The second annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition at CWRU was held on February 17. Over two dozen students competed by communicating the significance of their projects to a general audience in just three minutes with only one slide. Congratulations to this year's winners:

  • George Hoeferlin, Biomedical Engineering
    Office of Interprofessional and Interdisciplinary Education and Research 1st Place Prize
    Case-Coulter Translational Research Partnership People's Choice Award
  • Razaq Durodoye, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
    Science & Human Rights Coalition 2nd Place Prize
  • Tshiya Subayi, Management
    Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship 3rd Place Prize
  • Ila Mishra, Senior Research Associate, Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals
    Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship Translational Fellows Postdoc Prize
  • Rachel Hohe, Molecular Medicine
    Case-Coulter Translational Research Partnership People's Choice Award
  • Samuel Ojo, Civil Engineering
    Case-Coulter Translational Research Partnership People's Choice Award

George will go on to represent CWRU and compete at the Midwest Association of Graduate Schools Regional Competition in March.

University Resources

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