Grad Student Life

Graduate Student Life & Support Networks

The Field of GGD, the Department, the Graduate School and, ultimately, the University are all dedicated to student success. On all administrative levels, there are multiple avenues of support and information for students.

Field Support
Aside from your PI and Special Committee, the DGS and GFAs are here to offer advice and information. If you have any kind of issues with your major professor, or another member of our community that you cannot resolve by talking with him/her, OR you hesitate to approach them directly, then you should discuss the problem with your other committee members and/or with the DGS. Keep in mind the DGS formally acts as an advocate for GGD students, so you should feel free to get in touch with them!

GGD Graduate Student Representatives
Each summer, two GGD graduate students are selected from the rising second-year class to act as Graduate Student Representatives.  These students coordinate graduate student help during the recruitment of new graduate students, communicate directly with the DGS about curricular issues on behalf of all GGD grad students, relay student feedback and programmatic suggestions on behalf of the GGD student community and attend GGD faculty Field meetings (except for discussions about individual students in the spring meeting).

Whether your PI is in MBG or not, you are still considered a part of our community and we are here for you. You should feel free to contact the GFAs (in Biotech 107) with questions you have about your program. The Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics has a Peer Support Network composed of faculty, staff and graduate students; many other departments on campus have departmental based support as well.

University-Wide Grad Student Networks
The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GPSA) is a major forum for discussing and implementing actions that affect graduate and professional students across campus. There is usually one representative from each Field who represent the interests of the particular Field; it is a good way to get involved and make a difference in the graduate student community at Cornell.

The Graduate School offers a wealth of resources and support for graduate students. The Office of Graduate Student Life provides resources and assistance in navigating life as a graduate student, whether concerns are academic or personal. The mission of the Office of Inclusion & Student Engagement (OISE) is to promote a welcoming and inclusive environment for all Cornell graduate students. The Graduate School also keeps a list of student resources on campus for a variety of subjects.

The Big Red Barn, Cornell's Graduate & Professional Student Center, is a place to eat, socialize and meet other graduate students. You can reserve space there at no cost for professional or social activities.

Student Organizations and Clubs: Get out of the lab periodically! Take advantage of the numerous graduate student organizations on campus. A complete list is found on the Student Organizations website

Another way to meet people, relax and possibly get fit all at the same time are through sports; there are many sports activities available on campus and a list of intramural sports can be found on the Cornell Recreational Services website. There are also many running and biking clubs.

There is always something to do in Ithaca. Be sure to check out the Visit Ithaca website to explore activities in and around Ithaca and also to find out about special events happening in the area.