March 2020 Newsletter

Adlebert Hall in Spring Sunset

A quiet campus but the semester continues.

Grad Studies Staff Working Remotely

To encourage social distancing, the staff at the School of Graduate Studies will be working remotely until further notice. While we won't be in Tomlinson Hall, you can still reach us during normal business hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm. We will be responding to email and voicemail.

During this time, please submit all materials electronically. This may mean you have to communicate with your advisors in advance to get signatures or approvals.

Contact the Grad Studies staff if you need any assistance or have any questions.



We know you're all eagerly awaiting to hear news about Commencement currently scheduled for Sunday, May 17th. Updated information will be released soon so please keep checking your emails and The Daily. At present, we still expect degrees to be conferred on that date. Check the Commencement website and contact if you have any questions.

Submit Graduation Materials by April 10

Are you planning to graduate this spring? You must submit your final materials to us by 5:00pm on Friday, April 10 (note the extended deadline). Submission of materials includes uploading your approved Thesis or Dissertation to OhioLINK. Please plan to communicate with your advisors and committee to make sure all approvals are completed, and review the email sent to all grad students recently with details on remote and electronic submission options.

Last day for course withdrawal: March 27

If you need to Withdraw from a single course (as long as it is not your only class), you have until Friday, March 27 to do so. It must be done in SIS. See the University Registrar's page on class registration (start at #20) for instructions.

When you drop the individual course, you will receive a grade of W on your transcript and you will receive a 0% tuition refund. If you have more questions or are unsure whether you should drop the individual course, speak to your professor and/or advisor before making the decision to withdraw. 

Incomplete (I) grades from Fall 2019?

If you received an Incomplete (I) grade in the fall semester, you have until the date specified by your instructor - but no later than the 11th week of class (Friday, March 27) - to submit all outstanding work in order to have a final grade posted. If the incomplete is not resolved by this date, the Registrar will convert the I to an F. See our Incomplete Policy in the Bulletin for more details.

Are you currently auditing a course?

Students can audit a course to gain knowledge in a subject area without being bound to complete all of the required coursework. Submit an Add/Drop Form to Graduate Studies to audit a course for Spring 2020 by Friday, March 27. A student may audit a course with the approval of the instructor and advisor, however, they receive no credit for the course. A grade of AD is posted on the transcript and the student will be charged full tuition for the course. Note that a course cannot be changed from Audit to Credit, and audited courses cannot be used to fulfill any degree requirements.

Student Using a Laptop

Holds in SIS and How to Remove Them

Registration for Summer and Fall 2020 begins soon. 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

"ROLL" with It!

The University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education (UCITE) is providing a new resource to help with our current distance learning operations. Rapid OnLine Learning (ROLL) helps make the transfer of in-person courses into a fully online environment quick and smooth. Learn more about the program and how it can be useful facilitate distance collaborations.

Stipends from CAS

The College of Arts & Sciences is offering $3000 stipends for grad students in the arts, humanities, and social sciences to help transition from coursework to dissertation writing during the fall semester. See more details and requirements. Apply by April 15 (extended deadline).

Holidays, Parental Leave, Sick Leave & Vacation Policies

Need to take some time off? Graduate students receiving a stipend should be aware of our policy on graduate student holidays, vacation, parental leave, and sick leave. Note that this policy applies during the period of support and represents the minimum to which graduate students are entitled.

Campus Community

Nominate Students for Graduate Awards!

Deadline extended! Nominations are still being accepted for the 2020 Graduate Awards! Faculty and academic departments with degrees in the School of Graduate Studies are encouraged to nominate outstanding students for several prestigious awards. See our submission page for more details on each award including student eligibility, who is permitted to nominate, and what documentation is needed. Send questions to The new deadline to submit nominations and department awards is March 31st.

As you likely already suspected, unfortunately we will be unable to host the the in-person ceremony originally scheduled for April 29 due to event restrictions caused by the coronavirus. We will update at a later time on how we will present and distribute the awards.

Selection of student winners of 2018 Graduate Awards

Spoken English Programs

To help students and their families not feel not so isolated, Spoken English Programs will be presenting webinars each week for international students via Zoom.

  • Mondays 2:00pm - Conversation Hour: two questions sent to participants to open a dialogue
  • Fridays 2:00pm - Presentation Skills
  • Fridays 3:00pm - Spouses Spoken English Hour

Contact Elise Geither, PhD, Associate Director of Spoken English Programs, at to register and get the Zoom link.

Spoken English Tutoring is available online for all students. Please use to schedule an appointment.

Career Success During Times of Disruption

The Flora Stone Mather Center for Women and our Professional Development Center invite doctoral students and postdocs to join a Zoom workshop on Building Networks of Support for a Successful Academic Career, Including During Times of Disruption on Tuesday, March 31 from 3:00 to 4:30pm lead by Rena Seltzer. The webinar will focus on how to cultivate relationships for assistance and support; best practices for communication with gatekeepers; development of strategies to strengthen and add connections to your network; and tips for enhancing your skill and comfort with unstructured networking events.

Guidebook for Mentors and Mentees

The CWRU Graduate Student Council has updated The Guidebook for Mentors and Mentees using a research-based approach with faculty and staff input. The document is a resource for both grad student mentees and faculty mentors.  Download a digital copy of the handbook.

Banner for Graduate Student Appreciation Week 2016

Graduate Student Appreciation Week

Mark your calendars because GSAW 2020 is still being held April 6-10!  All activities will be virtual and interactive with fun prizes to win!  Watch your email for more details.

Join GSC's Exec Board

Looking for leadership opportunities? Want to be more involved with student life? Join the CWRU Graduate Student Council Executive Board! Apply now on CampusGroups.

Online Writing Resources

Remote instruction is now available from the Writing Resource Center and appointments for consultations can now be scheduled for early morning and later evening hours. The Center also offers eTutoring services. See more and make an appointment.

Spring Arrives

Spring officially began on March 19th. Blossoms and buds should be returning to campus and Cleveland soon. Already some flowers are peaking out from the winter soil. If you have to go out, hopefully you can enjoy the world awakening. We could also use some of that colorful cheer right about now!

Wade Lagoon in Spring 2012 with Severance Orchestra Hall

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Smiling student at computer in lab