#CSHLCourseLife: Main Campus (Part I)

Imaging Structure & Function in the Nervous System Course, 2016

Imaging Structure & Function in the Nervous System Course, 2016

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is a training epicenter for scientists. Since 1945, scientists from around the globe have flocked to our harbor-side location and, today, can take part in one of our 30 multi-week training courses. Our courses have a 1:1 trainee to instructorial staff ratio; and we annually welcome and host approximately 1,500 course instructors, teaching assistants, invited guest lecturers, and course trainees onto campus.  

To provide additional insight on the #cshlcourselife, we have prepared a multi-part series that will equip our course trainees with the information they need to prepare for their life at CSHL. This informational series will cover the different stages in one’s #cshlcourselife – from receiving an acceptance letter to travel options to on-campus activities.

Let’s dive right into Part 1, shall we? 

Organotypic and Next Generation Culture Methods Course, 2016

Organotypic and Next Generation Culture Methods Course, 2016

Acceptance Letter

Admission to a CSHL course is competitive. Course trainees are selected by the course organizers and from a new pool of highly-qualified applicants each year. Approximately four to six weeks after the application deadline, accepted course applicants receive notification of their acceptance via email from the course registrar. (Check on the application deadline of your course here.) The subsequent messages from the registrar cover a wide range of important details including, but not limited to, tuition payment information and due date, available financial aid, as well as course arrival and departure information. The location of your course – whether Main Campus or Banbury Center – will also be provided via email. 

X-Ray Methods in Structural Biology Course, 2016

X-Ray Methods in Structural Biology Course, 2016

Pre-Course Communication

Prior to the start of a course, accepted course applicants will receive course-related communication either from their instructors or course registrar. When, how and what communication is sent varies by course but may include a copy of the course schedule, a list of invited guest lecturers, and information regarding free time.

Programming for Biology Course, 2016

Programming for Biology Course, 2016


International participants must apply for a U.S. B-1 Business Visitor Visa or, if eligible, ESTA through the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). If you require a visa, check with your local U.S. Embassy and apply for a B-1 Visitor Visa as soon as possible. Be sure to also check with the human resources department or international student office at your home institution if you have questions about which visa you need.

If you will be applying for a visa, inform your course registrar as well as provide him/her with the city and country of the U.S. Embassy at which you will be applying for your visa. Your course registrar will provide you with a Consulate Support Letter you can use, in addition to your acceptance letter, to assist in your B-1 Visitor Visa application. The Consulate Support Letter can also be used when going through Customs.   

NOTE: Some U.S. Embassies have taken the position that international participants should enter as a J-1 Short-Term Scholar or F-1 Student. However, the CSHL Meetings & Courses Program is not a credit-granting institution and, therefore, does not pertain to student visas. 


Traveling to Main Campus

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is on the North Shore of Long Island, an island situated in southeastern New York State. There are a number of ways to travel to the Laboratory and we will cover travel information and options involving airports. If your travel to CSHL does not involve an airport, refer to the Travel Tips & Notes section for additional information. For those flying in, you have four airports from which to choose: 

  • John F. Kennedy International airport (Airport code: JFK)
  • LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
  • MacArthur Airport (ISP)
  • Newark International Airport (EWR)

JFK, LGA, and ISP are all located in Long Island while EWR is in Newark, New Jersey. Your travel options from the airport to campus are plenty and range in time and cost. Below are ground transportation itinerary options from each of the four airports, along with approximate cost for one person (in USD) and active travel time. When deciding on your travel itinerary, please keep in mind the amount of luggage with which you will be travelling.


Itinerary options that involve the U.S. Limousine Service are the most convenient but will most likely be the most costly. Additional travel tips and notes as well as contact information for the listed transportation providers are available below. 


Arriving to Main Campus

Arrive at Grace Auditorium and head to the Meetings & Courses Office in the lower level to pick up your welcome packet. Feel free to leave your luggage in the specified area on the main level. 

For those arriving early, please inform your course registrar of your arrival date and arrive at Grace Auditorium as listed above. 

For those who arrive after-hours, contact Security (Ext 8870) from any house phone. The house phone most conveniently located to the Meetings & Courses Office is located behind the staircase. 

Travel Tips & Notes

  • Long Island Rail Road (LIRR)
    • Main Campus is located closest to the Syosset Station on the Port Jefferson LIRR line. From Syosset Station, you can
    • The LIRR schedule often changes so we recommend heading to their website or downloading LIRR’s free mobile app, Train Time to access the most recent train schedule.
    • Purchase your train ticket before boarding the train; otherwise, you will pay a steep premium. Tickets can be purchased at all train stations. Also available for purchase are e-tickets via another free LIRR mobile app, MTA eTix.
    • There are 2 fare types - Peak and Off Peak - that are based on travel time. There is a price difference between the fare types so be sure to purchase the appropriate fare. The LIRR website, ticket machines, and ticket agents can assist you in determining which fare type applies to you. Also, you can purchase a one-way or roundtrip ticket depending on your travel plans.
  • Driving Directions
    • Using the Long Island Expressway heading east, go to Exit 41 North (Rts 106/107). Stay on 106/107 and bear right at fork (106-Oyster Bay). Take Route 106 to intersection of Routes 106 - 25A (East Norwich). Make a right turn onto 25A; go about 5 miles at which point you will be at the top of a long winding hill. Continue down the hill and look for a sign on your right which will indicate that you are nearing Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. At the light make a left onto Bungtown Road. A three story, gold Victorian house marks the entrance to the Laboratory. 
  • Ferry from Bridgeport, CT
    • Lindy's Taxi is available in Port Jefferson to transport you to the Port Jefferson LIRR Station. From there, you can take the trip to the Syosset Station, then the CSHL Shuttle or Syosset Taxi to Main Campus. 
      • Another option would be to reserve transportation with U.S. Limousine Service to Main Campus.
    • Call Lindy's Taxi when you are boarding the ferry in Bridgeport to ensure a taxi will be available for you.
  • CSHL Shuttle
    • This complimentary service picks up and drops off at the Syosset Station only; and does not operate on the weekends and holidays. Here is the current schedule.
    • The shuttle meets passengers on the westbound side of the Syosset Station, near the overpass. For those travelling from JFK, LGA, or New York City, you must take the overpass – accessible via the Eastbound platform – to the Westbound side. 
  • U.S. Limousine Service
    • You have a choice of being met by the chauffer inside the terminal or at the curb.
      • For those arriving in LGA, please read this regarding pick-up location.
      • If inside the terminal, domestic travelers will be greeted by the chauffeur at the baggage carousel and international travelers will be greeted by the chauffeur outside of the Customs Area. Look for a sign with your name.
      • If you’d prefer to meet your chauffeur at the curb, determine which terminal you are in and, after you’ve retrieved any checked-in luggage, call (800) 962-2827 and press 4 to arrange pick-up. 
    • If you are unable to locate your chauffeur, call (800) 962-2827 and press 4 for Dispatch.
  • Reservations with U.S. Limousine Service and Super Shuttle should be made at least 2 to 3 days in advance – last minute reservations are not accepted. 
  • Additional tips for air travel to Main Campus
      • For those travelling by train from EWR, do not get off at Newark Penn Station (which is the first station stop after Newark Liberty Airport Station). ‘Newark Penn Station’ and ‘New York Penn Station’ sound very similar over the loudspeakers. New York Penn Station is the last and final stop. 
      • If you are taking the Q70-LTD Bus from LaGuardia Airport, be sure to purchase your fare before boarding. 
      • Do not accept transportation from those who approach you in the airport terminal. Most often, these drivers are neither licensed nor insured to operate a car service. 
      • Avoid using taxicabs for transportation from the airports as they are not familiar with directions to the Laboratory.

    Contact Information of Mentioned Service Providers

    • Lindy's Taxi: (631) 473-0707
    • Super Shuttle: Book your ride here and use discount code: BQH5E
    • Syosset Taxi: (516) 921-2141
    • U.S. Limousine Service: Reserve at (800) 962-2827 or via Helen Kanner at hkanner@uslimoservice.com or reservations@uslimoservice.com
      • Mention "CSHL-STUDENT" for a special rate
    • Village Taxi: (631) 588-1055

    If have a tip or two you would like to share with the future generations of CSHL course trainees, feel free to leave a comment below or contact us and we will update this post. 

    Also, this blog post is part of the #CSHLCourseLife Series. If your course is taking place on Main Campus, make sure to check out Part II to be better prepared for your time with us and Part III for a list of the ancillary events and extra benefits that accompany your course. However, for those whose course or workshop is taking place at the Banbury Campus, please refer to the Series' Banbury Edition.

    Updated: February 21, 2018