Graduate Advisor Newsletter - February 2024

CWRU Main Quad Adelbert Hall behind trees in winter by Milner

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 important dates and deadlines. Some may require your review, approval, and signature.

  • Mar 1: Student Commencement Registration Opens
  • Mar 11-15: Spring Break
  • Mar 20: Deadline to Submit Grad Award Nominations & Notifications
  • Mar 29: Last Possible Day to Resolve Any Fall 2023 Incomplete (I) Grades
  • Mar 29: Individual Class Withdrawal Deadline
  • Mar 29: Course Audit Deadline
  • Mar 31: Student Commencement Registration Closes
  • Apr 5: Deadline to Submit All Materials for Spring 2024 Graduation
  • Apr 8: Solar Eclipse Day (some schools/programs no class)

Academic Policy Briefs

Spring Break: March 11-15

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 11 through 15. 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 29).

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 1. 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 2023-2024 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 20.

Commencement 2024

Registration for students to participate in Commencement 2024 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 17 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 21.

University Resources

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