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The Office of Graduate Education, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Office of Graduate Education


Graduate Center

In this section

Doctoral thesis submission dates
For May 2017 4/14/2017
For Aug 2017 7/21/2017
For Dec 2017 12/1/2017
For May 2018 4/13/2018
Master's thesis submission dates
For May 2017 3/31/2017
For Aug 2017 7/10/2017
For Dec 2017 11/20/2017
For May 2018 3/30/2018

Graduate Assistance

Welcome to the Graduate Center webpage. The center is housed within the Office of Graduate Education and was created as a service to graduate students, including co-terminal students, who would prefer to discuss an academic or personal issue on a confidential basis. This sort of consultation is characteristic of an ombuds office and is designed to confidentially, impartially, and informally assist students in resolving issues that may arise over an interpersonal dispute or other personal situation affecting their educational progress. The center also helps eligible students identify other campus offices and professionals who may be better equipped to assist them.

Vision Statement

Mission Statement

Statement of Objectives

Graduate Ombudsman

The graduate student ombudsman, working within the Graduate Center, can help graduate students resolve issues that may arise within the university setting. The ombudsman offers an informal avenue for graduate students, where consultations are kept confidential and students may remain anonymous, except in cases of sexual harassment or assault, which must be reported to the Division of Human Resources.

If you believe that you need to speak with the ombudsman confidentially about a campus-related issue, contact Mr. Dennis Gornic, 276-6567, or visit him in the Office of Graduate Education, 1516 Peoples Ave. Mr. Gornic has sixteen years of experience in the Rensselaer Office of Graduate Education helping graduate students to reach their educational and personal goals and holds an MS degree in Academic Advising from Kansas State University and a BS in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. He is an affiliate member of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA), where he received extensive ombuds training.

The graduate student ombudsman will consult with students who wish to:

  • Clarify a policy, procedure, or process,
  • Improve interpersonal skills or a relationship with a colleague,
  • Identify and understand learning style and behavioral differences among colleagues,
  • Deal more effectively with a transition,
  • Discuss a campus situation such as a health and safety concern,
  • Understand cultural differences among colleagues,
  • Discuss housing options,
  • Voice an opinion confidentially regarding incivility or disrespect,
  • Discuss harassment, discrimination, or mistreatment concerns,
  • Engage an impartial listener for an informal talk.

The graduate student ombudsman does not:

  • Maintain identifying records
  • Represent individuals in formal procedures
  • Conduct or participate in formal investigations or processes
  • Provide psychological counseling
  • Offer legal advice
  • Testify or gather evidence for formal administrative processes
  • Advocate for individuals or departments
  • Establish, change, or set aside policies
  • Serve as an office of record