Students who are admitted into the program serve as full time teaching assistants (TA’s) during each of the four semesters. This involves a fifteen-hour commitment to TA duties each week. In exchange, the student receives full tuition, a stipend to cover basic living expenses, and health insurance. Summer instructorships, TA-ships, and research assistantships are available but are not guaranteed. Serving as a TA is an integral part of the program. To remain in good standing in the program, students have to be among the top TAs in their assigned courses. TA performance is evaluated at the end of each semester.
Each year, about 30-40 new . students join the department. During the first two semesters, students become familiar with the faculty members and their areas of research by taking graduate courses, attending research seminars, and participating in research projects. By the end of the first year, each student selects a specific area and forms a committee based on the student's research interests. This “Special Committee” of three or more faculty members will guide the student through to a . dissertation. . students that decide to work with a faculty member based at Cornell Tech typically move to New York City after a year in Ithaca.