Student Information System (SIS):

This is the website you register for classes and check student billing accounts


All first year graduate students are required to attend several orientation sessions. The School of Graduate Studies host new student orientation one week prior to the start of Fall classes.  Please visit: additional information.  The Department of Biology will host orientation sessions by program prior to the annual luncheon.  For your information departmental rules which may differ and from the School of Graduate Studies.   Official notification of date/times will be sent via email to matriculating students.


Graduate Teaching Assistant Training (GTA) is mandatory for all incoming graduate student teaching assistants (UNIV 400A/B and C). Domestic students must complete a core of four seminars consisting of the following: 1) Experiential Learning in a Global Classroom, 2) Global Classroom 1, 3) Global Classroom 2 and 4) Observation and Follow-up.  These seminars enhance the effectiveness and professionalism of a teaching assistant.  Visit orientation information at:

International Graduate TA training consists of three levels of UNIV 402: 1) Professional Communication Skills 2) Focus on Fluency, 3) Presentation Skills.  The purpose of these seminars is to provide practice with the level of spoken English needed in instructional settings.  Register on-line for TA training at:


The Department of Environmental Health and Safety provide services that support the university’s research and education mission while maintaining regulatory compliance.  Biology graduate students are required to attend Laboratory Safety Training and Biosafety Training.  Additional training modules can be found at:


Biology graduate students pay appropriate tuition and fees implemented by the School of Graduate Studies –


Graduate students can petition for a total of 6 credit hours transfer credit.  The coursework must be graduate level, must have a grade of “B” or higher, must be in excess of requirements for prior degree awarded, and must have been completed no more than five years prior to matriculation to Case Western Reserve University. Official transcripts and petition form from the School of Graduate Studies must accompany the request.


Teaching experience is an integral part of the Ph.D. program.  Teaching duties are assigned by the Graduate and Undergraduate Assignment Committee (GUAC) taking into account both the specialized areas of interest of the student and his/her broader professional development.


Each student must complete the Planned Program of Study available in the Student Information System (SIS).  The PPOS may be modified at any time in the program, but must conform to Graduate School requirements.  Students entering with a Bachelor’s Degree must complete 36 credit hours of study prior to taking the Qualifying Examination.  No more than 6 credit hours of BIOL 601 can be used for this requirement, but students may repeat BIOL 599 if other formal coursework is not appropriate for the student’s degree program.  Registration for BIOL 599 is by permit only.  Students entering with a Master’s Degree must complete only 18 credit hours of formal coursework prior to advancing to the Candidacy Examination, but are limited to 3 credit hours of BIOL 601.  Creating a Planned Program of Study User Guide.


The Department of Biology Seminar Committee schedules and publicizes seminars which are typically held weekly or biweekly.   Invited speakers from other institutions and from within the University to give seminar lectures on their research. In addition, graduate students present their research as part of their degree requirements. Seminars are a valuable time for the members of Biology to come together for socialization and scientific discourse.  Graduate students are required to attend all seminars offered by the Department of Biology.


The Department of Biology requires doctoral students to complete a yearly annual report of their academic progress.  The GSAR process requires students to provide information on publications, service awards, funding activities, achievements, and progress toward their degree program.  The Graduate Director conducts an internal review of graduate student status and arranges individualized meetings to discuss individual student progress.  Annual reviews are due no later than February 1st of each year and should be submitted electronically to the Graduate Coordinator and/or Director of the Graduate Degree Program.


It is the responsibility of each student to check the Student Information System (SIS) to ensure your tuition waiver is credited to your account.  The Student Financial Services Office will notify you via email of outstanding balances.  The Department of Biology will not cover the cost of late fees.  Please check your account regularly to ensure the account is credited.  Changes in registration may result in crediting partial waiver. Additional information on billings and payments.


A PhD student is considered full time when registered for 9 credit hours per semester unless the candidate is registered for Pre-doctoral/Pre-Qualifying Examination standing.  Students are eligible to register for 1-6 credit hours of BIOL 701 prior to advancement to candidacy.  Permission from the School of Graduate Studies (see forms) is required for registration.   One credit hour of BIOL 701 is considered full time.


University Health and Counseling Service provides healthcare and counseling for students of Case Western Reserve University.   The University Healthcare fee is included as part of your student account and billed per semester.  Under certain conditions the medical fee can be waived through Student Information System (SIS).  Additional coverage is available for students with dependents.   PhD students are required to pay the medical insurance upfront and the fees are later reimbursed.


We encourage graduate students to apply for national competitive fellowships (i.e., National Science Foundation) to help pursue their academic interest.   For additional information on outside funding opportunities visit:

Holiday, Vacation, Parental Leave and Sick Leave Policies

Research integrity

 Graduate Student Council 

Graduate Student Grievance Policy



Lab Key Issuance

Graduate students must obtain an official key request from the Department of Biology.  The request form signed off by their academic advisor in order to obtain key issuance.  A $75.00 deposit along with your CWRU identification card will be required.  The deposit will be refunded if the key is returned by the expiration date or before leaving the university.  Keys must be picked up at Access Services in Crawford Hall basement.  The deposit is forfeited if the key is not returned.  Lost keys must be reported immediately to the Office of Security at 368-3333.  A replacement fee is charged for lost keys.

Biology Office Equipment

The Biology Department office equipment is located on the 2nd floor of DeGrace Hall.  Graduate students requiring reproduction of undergraduate instruction material will obtain passwords from the Biology Office Administrator, 2nd floor, DeGrace Hall.

Ordering Supplies

Supplies are ordered through the University SmartCart system.


Graduate student mailboxes are located on the 2nd Floor of DeGrace Hall.  Each faculty member is assigned an individual and lab mailbox.  Graduate students mail will be placed in the mailbox associated with your laboratory.

Parking/Shuttle/Safe Ride

Graduate students interested in obtaining parking permits should contact Access Services, Crawford Hall basement.  Please visit or additional information.  The University offers shuttle service and has deployed the Nextbus Tracking System which informs you when the next bus will arrive.  The Safe Ride Program is available to transport students from 7 p.m. until 3:00 a.m. daily.