December 2021 Newsletter

Snow on flowers outside Tomlinson Hall, Main Quad, November 2021


Spring New Student Orientation

Welcome to our new students beginning in spring 2022!  Graduate Studies New Student Orientation will be held online in Canvas, divided into asynchronous modules accessible anytime from anywhere. The link for the online orientation modules will be sent out in early January.

In the meantime, check out these "First Steps" such as setting up email, community resources, grad student life, etc. You can also begin to complete items on your New Student Checklist to help get you up and running at CWRU such as campus policies, medical history, ID cards, class registration, and much more.

Important Note: If you will be on-campus, you will need a student ID Card; we encourage you to submit your ID card photo through the New Student Checklist.

We look forward to meeting you after the New Year and welcoming you to the CWRU community!

TA Training

Training for graduate student teaching assistants (TA) in the spring semester will be held on Friday, January 7 from 4:00 to 5:30pm EST. Grad TAs must also register for UNIV400 Professional Development for Graduate Teaching Assistants in SIS and complete the webinar in Canvas (already open). See more information.

Last Day to Register for Spring Classes

What's worse than the cold? Forgetting to register for spring classes! Make sure you enroll before Tuesday, January 11 to avoid the $25 late-registration fee. The final day to register or make any enrollment changes for the spring semester is Friday, January 21. 

Student Medical Plan Waiver

Do you have health insurance? If you're already covered, make sure to waive your Student Medical Plan before the end of the drop/add period on Friday, January 21. Already waived your Student Medical Plan in the fall? No need to waive it again, the waiver applies to spring semester as well!

Please note: If you are currently enrolled in the Medical Plan your coverage will continue through January 9 and coverage for the spring semester will begin January 10.

Three Masters Students Holding Diplomas at Commencement 2019

Diplomas for Jan 2022 Graduates

Degrees for students who will have completed your work during the fall semester will be awarded on Friday, January 14. Around that date, look for an email from Grad Studies with detailed instructions on how to receive your diploma.

Waiver of Registration

Missed this semester's deadline to apply to graduate? If you've completed all graduation requirements, but did not meet the fall graduation deadline, you may be eligible to waive class registration for spring. Here's how: 

  • Submit all final materials for your degree as listed here, including the Waiver of Registration form (included in the downloadable file).
  • International students must have the waiver of registration electronically signed by International Student Services (ISS).

The waiver of registration deadline is Friday, January 21. Once completed and signed please email the form along with all your other final graduation materials to your program coordinator in SGS directly or to

Fellowship Courses

Take a course for FREE! Sign up for an art class, study poetry or learn about nutrition. Fellowship courses are a great way to broaden your academic portfolio. The fellowship course cannot be used to fulfill degree requirements. Click here to find the Form and see the full Fellowship Tuition Policy.

Winter Break

Winter storm on Freiberger Field, KSL, CWRU

Campus Closure

The School of Graduate Studies and the University will be closed for Winter Break starting Friday, December 24; we will reopen 8:30am EST on Tuesday, January 4. Many buildings, offices, and facilities on campus (such as Veale, KSL, dining, shuttles) may have altered or limited hours over the break and before classes resume. Before making plans, check their schedules or give them a call.

ISS Cautions International Travel

Please make sure you're familiar with current travel concerns, especially if you're an international student or plan to travel over the holiday break. International Student Services cautions if you have doubts about your ability to return to campus in January after international travel to consider staying in the US. Please refer to the November 8 and December 1 newsletters for more information.

Changes to Campus Shuttles

With less activity on campus during winter break, many of the shuttle routes through Greater University Circle have reduced service. Some routes will have fewer buses, others combined, and some discontinued until the start of the spring semester. See University Circle's shuttle page for more details (scroll to near the bottom) and use the TransLoc app for real-time shuttle tracking so you're not left out in the cold!

Screenshot of TransLoc CWRU Campus Shuttle Map

Safety on Campus

With much of the campus population gone during the winter break and nightfall early this time of year, please review these tips for staying safe:

  • 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.
  • Watch for ice!

Also review these safety tips on walking on or riding around campus after dark. For additional safety tips, click here.

Safety while Traveling

  • 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 current COVID-19 policies, both here at CWRU and your destinations; periodically heck for updates.
  • 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.

Whether you're traveling or staying here in Cleveland, please continue to stay safe but have happy and fun holidays!

Campus Community

Missing media item.

Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT)!

We are planning the very first Three Minute Thesis competition at CWRU! 3MT celebrates the exciting research conducted by grad students around the world. This competition cultivates students' academic, presentation, and research communication skills. Presenting in a 3MT competition increases your capacity to effectively explain your research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

Register to attend a research communication workshop next month: in-person on January 19 or virtual on January 20. Also view the slides from a last month's virtual info session to learn more. The deadline to register for the competition is Friday, January 28, 2022.

New Booster Requirement

All students, staff, and faculty (barring those with a prior exemption) will be required to have received a COVID-19 vaccine booster and uploaded documentation to the University by Monday, January 3. Everyone is strongly encouraged to get the booster as well as a flu shot on campus before the break if you haven't already. Appointments are available this week. Register and schedule your dose before you leave!

Doc Oc Memorial Statue Wearing a Face Mask

Testing Before & After Break

Whether your travel this month requires a COVID-19 test or you just want to check for your own well-being, free testing on campus is available in the Robbins Building (next to the BRB). If you will be required to show proof (such as returning to the US after traveling internationally or via certain airlines), please request a Vault test and you will be emailed acceptable documentation. See the November 16 communication for more details.

After returning from the break in January, all students, faculty, and staff will be required to participate in testing. See the December 14 communication for more details.

KSL's 4th Annual Art of STEM

Create an artistic expression of your research and you might win Kelvin Smith Library's fourth annual Art of STEM Competition and Exhibit! Submissions will be accepted through the end of January.

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Statue on Tomlinson Hall in Winter Snow, CWRU Main Quad