December 2023 Newsletter

Winter holiday decorations at Graduate Studies front of office

Welcome New Students!

Welcome to our new students beginning in spring 2024! We are hosting an in-person Welcome to Campus event on Wednesday, January 10 from 8:30am to 3:10pm EST in Nord Hall. New students can pick up CWRU ID cards and RTA stickers, get a free CWRU t-shirt, enjoy lunch, and meet the Grad Studies staff and other students. For those who can't make it or want a refresher, register for a Welcome Session on Zoom on Friday, January 12 at 10:00am EST.

Spring Orientation will be held online in Canvas; new students will receive an email when the modules are open.

New students should continue to complete the New Student Checklist including submitting a photo for their student ID. See more information for new students and send any questions to


Student presenting data research model on a screen

Considering a Career in Teaching?

Grad students and postdocs can sign up for the non-credit UNIV401 Advanced Professional Development for University Teaching Seminar in the spring semester to learn effective teaching strategies useful across major disciplines. Register for UNIV401 in SIS and email with any questions.

Grad TA Training

Required training for graduate student teaching assistants (TA) in the spring semester will be held on Thursday, January 11 from 9:00am to 12:00pm EST in Tink Ballroom. Prior to the in-person training, Grad TAs must also register for UNIV400 Professional Development for Graduate Teaching Assistants in SIS and complete the webinar in Canvas. Please direct questions to

Last Day to Register for Spring Classes

What's worse than the cold? Forgetting to register for spring classes! Make sure you enroll before Wednesday, January 17 to avoid the $25 late-registration fee. The final day to register or make any enrollment changes for the spring semester is Friday, January 26.

Clocktower at Biomedical Research Building (BRB)

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 26. 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 until January 15, 2024 at 11:59pm EST. If you are taking classes in the spring and enrolled in the medical plan it will begin on January 16, 2024 at 12:01am EST.

Diplomas for Jan 2024 Graduates

Degrees for students who will have completed your work during the fall semester will be conferred (awarded) on Friday, January 19, 2024; information on how to obtain your diploma will be emailed to you on or around that date. As there is no Fall semester Commencement ceremony, January graduates will be invited to participate at Commencement in May 2024. Watch for details in the first few months of the new year.

Three Masters Students Holding Diplomas at Commencement 2019

Waiver of Registration

Missed this semester's deadlines 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 26. 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 at 3:00pm EST on Thursday, December 21; we will reopen 8:30am EST on Tuesday, January 2. Many buildings, offices, and facilities on campus (such as KSL, dining, gyms) may have altered or limited hours before and during the break and before classes resume. Before making plans, check schedules or call to confirm hours and accessibility.

Changes to Campus Shuttles

With less activity on campus in the coming weeks, many of the shuttle routes through Greater University Circle will 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; some buildings normally open may be card-access only.
  • Inform CWRU security if you're working in a building after hours or on a day the University is closed.
  • Install the Spartan Safe smartphone app and sign-up for CWRU Alerts.
  • Use campus shuttles, Safe 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

  • Power 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.
  • If leaving it here in Cleveland, find off-street parking for cars if possible.
  • 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 friends or family; check in with them.
  • 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.

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

Want More?

For new content almost ever day of interest to grad students - including other news on campus, important resources, upcoming events, and random fun stuff - please follow us on our social media platforms. Search for @cwrusgs on both Facebook and Twitter or click these links!

Snow covering the Arts Shield outside Yost Hall