November 2020 Newsletter

Northern CWRU Main Quad Facing Tomlinson Hall, Fall 2019

Fall on Campus Ends a Little Early


Submit Graduation Materials by December 11!

If you have applied to graduate for Fall 2020, you must submit your final materials by 5:00pm on Friday, December 11 (note the extended deadline). Submission of materials includes the completed format check and the uploading of your approved Thesis or Dissertation to OhioLINK. Please plan to communicate with your advisors and committee to make sure all approvals are completed. All forms can be downloaded and electronically signed. Please continue to submit all forms and material by email to

Degrees will be conferred (awarded) on January 15, 2021; information on how to obtain your diploma will be emailed to you at a later date. As there is no Fall semester Commencement ceremony, January graduates will be invited to participate at Commencement in May 2021. Watch for details in the first few months of the new year. 

Thanksgiving Break & End of the Semester

The last day of in-person classes for most schools and programs will be Friday, November 20. No classes will be held on the three days before Thanksgiving (November 23, 24, 25) in addition to the normal University holiday (November 26 and 27). All class sessions for the final week of classes (November 30 to December 4) and final exams (December 8 to 16) will be held remotely.

If you have not done so already, please make sure to confirm the schedule of your final exams and due dates for other coursework. If you believe the time zone difference between Cleveland and where you will be located during finals will be a concern or have other questions, communicate this with your instructors now.

Movable Book Shelves at Kelvin Smith Library

Borrow from KSL over break

Think you'll need some books from the library during the extended period of remote learning? Be sure to check out items before you leave campus! Due dates will be extend to February 22 for all items (excluding laptops) borrowed prior to Thanksgiving. This includes items you already have checked out.

Leave of Absence (LOA) Requests

Unsure if you'll be able to continue your studies in the spring semester? A leave of absence may be requested for up to two academic semesters if circumstances arise which make you unable to maintain your registration. Find the Graduate Studies Leave of Absence policy here. A written request must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies by email to Check with your advisor if you are considering an LOA.

Register for Spring 2021

Registration is open in SIS for Spring 2021 courses including both the three-week January term and the main Spring semester. You won't be able to register if you have a hold on your account in SIS; click below to find out how to remove it.

  • Advising Hold: Automatically placed onto your account twice per year and must be removed by your advisor before you can register for courses.
  • Past Due Balance Hold: Placed by Student Financial Services, these holds can affect registration, ordering transcripts or receiving your diploma. Login to SIS to pay your balance.
  • Financial Preregistration Hold: Placed by Student Financial Services. Simply click on the Hold link in SIS and walk through the steps to remove it.
  • Planned Program of Study (PPOS) Hold:  Students who have not submitted a PPOS in SIS by the end of their second semester (or earlier for some Masters programs) may have a registration hold placed on their records. Once submitted, your advisor must review and approve the PPOS in SIS. The hold will then be processed and removed overnight. 
  • Missing Transcripts / Test Scores / Recommendations: A registration hold placed by Graduate Studies Admissions if you have missing documents that need to be submitted. Login to the online application system here to view what is missing. For specific questions, email
Smiling student at computer in lab
January 2021 Session

With the main Spring semester not beginning until February, you have the opportunity to enroll for a three-week remote-learning course, January 8 to 29, excluding Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on January 18. The January session is considered part of the spring semester but Drop/Add for this term ends January 12 (also the last day to withdraw without financial obligation) and the final day to Withdraw from a class (with no tuition refunded) is January 29.

To search for classes and enroll in SIS, expand the Sessions tab under Additional Search Filters, then select "Regular Term - 3 week". Registration is already open and grad students can take up to 4 credit hours during the January session; these will count towards the total number of credit hours permitted in the Spring 2021 semester and tuition costs will be included in your Spring 2021 calculation and financial aid award.

See the FAQ on the Registrar's site for more details.

If you are enrolled in classes for the spring semester and also enrolled in the student medical plan, your coverage for spring begins on January 11 regardless if you take any classes in the January term. If you are currently on the student medical plan for the fall semester, your coverage will continue through January 10.

The Searcher (Tomlinson Hall statue) partly covered in snow

Modified Spring 2021 Semester

Classes for the regular spring semester will begin on Monday, February 1 and end on Friday, May 7. Deadlines and due dates have been adjusted accordingly as well. There will be no spring break during the semester, but some schools plan to suspend classes for two days in March. Check your school's specific calendar for details. Finals will be held May 11 to 19 and Commencement is scheduled for Sunday, May 30 (Memorial Day weekend). Classes in the spring semester will continue to include in-person, remote, and a hybrid of both.

Passphrases Required for CWRU Login

To increase online security, all new or updated passwords for your CWRU network ID are required to be in the form of a passphrase, a string of words (including spaces) at least 12 characters long. Everyone must be using a passphrase by Monday, January 18 but you should switch now to ensure you have no difficulties accessing online resources. Review details and requirements.

Doc Oc Memorial Statue Wearing a Face Mask

Safety Tips For Break

Safety on campus

With the end of the semester conducted as remote learning, much of the campus population will be gone over the next few weeks and over the holiday breaks. Here are some safety tips to remember:

  • Be observant of your surroundings.
  • Bundle against the cold, but make sure you can see and hear clearly.
  • Always carry your student ID and keys.
  • Inform CWRU security if you're working in a building after hours or on a day the University is closed.
  • Install the Rave Guardian smartphone app and sign-up for Rave alerts.
  • Use campus shuttlesSafe Ride, or request a security walking escort.
  • Continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing.
  • Watch for ice!

For additional safety tips, click here.

Safety while traveling
  • Schedule a COVID-19 Exit Test
  • Turn off appliances and electronics before leaving.
  • Secure and lock all doors and windows.
  • Make plans in advance for any pets or houseplants.
  • Remember to pack prescription medication.
  • Take care of food that may not last while you're gone.
  • Dispose of trash and recycling.
  • Review airline/bus/train policies for luggage size and contents.
  • Remember chargers/batteries for all mobile devices.
  • Always tag your luggage in case it is lost.
  • Share your travel itinerary with a friend or family member; check in with them.
  • Review COVID-19 restrictions for both Ohio and your destination; determine if you have to quarantine when arriving at your destination or returning to campus.
  • If traveling out of the country, double-check you have all your documentation, review current policies and conditions, and be prepared to spend extra time at customs when returning. Pay special attention to COVID-19 restrictions and safety measures.

For additional advice while traveling, click here.

Our offices in Tomlinson and the rest of the University will be closed Wednesday, November 25 through Friday, November 27 for Thanksgiving. With the holiday and shift to remote instruction, many campus facilities and services will soon have changed or reduced hours; please consult their websites for more information and plan accordingly.

Whether you're traveling or staying here in Cleveland, please continue to stay safe and responsible and we wish you a happy and fun Thanksgiving!

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Autumn leaves blowing on the Case Quad