Cornell Courses

Student at a conference

Graduate students are able to enroll in the courses below with instructor permission. Postdoctoral associates with regular Cornell employee status are eligible to register for part-time study through the School of Continuing Education as one of their employee benefits.

Note: Postdoctoral fellows (a smaller category of appointees funded from grants) incur tuition when registering through the part-time study program. Budget permitting, Future Faculty and Academic Careers makes a limited number of tuition scholarships available for postdoctoral fellows to enroll in Cornell courses on teaching and communication each semester. For more information, please contact us.

Fall Courses

ALS 6014: Theater Techniques for Enhancing Teaching and Public Speaking

This seven-week course uses theater techniques to help graduate students enhance their classroom teaching and public speaking in both formal and informal environments. Using the storytelling and character-development techniques of theatrical improvisation, participants will build decision-making skills and their ability to think creatively under pressure through engaging exercises. The goals for this course are to enhance teaching presence in the classroom, form a learning community, and build the confidence necessary to connect with a variety of audiences in a range of educational settings. Participants will design and present a short talk as a final presentation. Contact Dr. Colleen McLinn (cmm252) at Future Faculty and Academic Careers for more information and a permission number. Next offered in Fall 2022. Last offered in Fall 2020 as a synchronous online course.

Spring Courses

ALS 6015: Teaching in Higher Education

This course is aimed at graduate students who are currently teaching and preparing for a faculty position in higher education. Students complete an electronic portfolio that documents excellence in teaching and that supports their career, their preparation, and their application for future faculty positions. Contact the Center for Teaching Innovation for more information. Offered in Spring 2022.

BIOEE 7600: Special Topics in Evolution and Ecology – Evidence-Based Teaching

Participants in this course will learn about planning a lesson, writing learning goals and assessments, promoting an inclusive classroom climate, and using active learning instructional techniques. Participants will also do teaching demonstrations and collaborate on design of an activity for a Cornell course. Contact Dr. Michelle Smith (mks274) for more information. Offered in Spring 2021.

PHYS 7679: Finding Your Scientific Voice

Communicate your research more clearly to scientific audiences and improve your research presentation skills, in this course for graduate students and postdocs. Contact Dr. Itai Cohen (ic64) or the Careers Beyond Academia office for more information. Offered in Spring 2019.

Other Relevant Courses

EDUC Courses 

Please see the Education Program website the latest list of graduate courses that may be taken toward a minor in education or for professional development in specific teaching methods.

PHYS 4484/7684: Teaching and Learning Physics

As a companion to the Undergraduate Teaching Assistant (UTA) program, the physics department requires this course for all new UTAs, but is also open to any graduate student with an interest in learning more about the practices of teaching physics. Offered in both Fall and Spring semester.

PHYS 7685: Special Topics in Physics – Introduction to Discipline-based Education Research

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the topics, literature, and methods of discipline-based education research (DBER). This new course was offered for the first time in Fall 2017, and is expected to be offered periodically going forward. Contact Dr. Natasha Holmes (ngh35) for more information.

WRIT 7100: Teaching Writing

The Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines offers this seven-week course for new instructors of Cornell First-Year Writing Seminars. Seminar discussions and readings provide an overview of the teaching of writing within a disciplinary context. Participants develop written assignments designed to be used in their own First-Year Writing Seminars. Offered in Summer and Fall.

ALS 6016: Teaching as Research in Higher Education

This course investigates literature on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and facilitates engagement in teaching as a process of systematic research and iteration within one’s own disciplines. Within this academic conversation about the scholarship of teaching and learning and teaching as research, students design and complete their own original research project to inform teaching in their discipline. Pre-requisite: ALS 6015: The Practice of Teaching in Higher Education or equivalent prior coursework with instructor permission. Currently on hiatus, last offered in Spring 2018.

Courses for International Teaching Assistants and English Language Support

ALS 5780: International Teaching Assistant Development Program Course

The Center for Teaching Innovation offers this course designed for international teaching assistants, focusing on oral communication, cross-cultural classroom dynamics, and teaching techniques. Through small group seminars, conferences with instructors, audio journals, and a teaching practicum, students work to expand their communication and pedagogical skills.

ELSO Courses

English Language Support Office courses offered through the Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines are designed to help multilingual students put their English language knowledge to work for the purposes of graduate school and professional life. These courses provide space for international multilingual graduate students to learn a range of strategies, practice writing and speaking skills in a low-stakes setting, and form community with peers from across fields and professions in a supportive atmosphere.