New Student Checklist

For students arriving in Fall 2023.

Before Arrival

  • Set up your Directory ID and email address. You will need to access your application portal for the activation code. (See the step-by-step instructions.)
  • Check and carefully read your UMD email at least three times per week. Checking your email infrequently could result in missing important information. You are responsible for knowing information sent to your university email even if it is not your primary email address.
  • Complete immunization requirements. If you have any questions regarding immunization, contact the University Health Center at (301) 314-8114.
  • Register for courses. Select “Registration (Drop/Add)” and enter your Directory ID and password. Review the Graduate Registration Policies.
  • For the Fall semester, please register for: 
    • BIPH698L Biophysics Seminar (1 credit)
    • BIPH699 Research in Biophysics (2 credits) – section 1201 with Dr. Jeffery Klauda
    • BIPH704 Cell Biology from a Biophysical Perspective (3 credits)
    • CHEM684 Chemical Thermodynamics (3 credits)
  • Biophysics students are assigned a 2-member advisory committee once they enroll in the Biophysics program. These committees are the key groups that advise Biophysics students and evaluate their progress, especially in the first two years until a student establishes a research project and advances to candidacy. 
    Please visit the faculty page and email me the names of 4 faculty members that you prefer to have on your advisory committee. 
    Once I hear back from you, I will contact the faculty members to check their availability. 
  • Pay student fees. You can access your student financial account here. Unpaid bills may prevent registration. Keep in mind that even if you are supported by a Teaching Assistantship or Research Assistantship (which provide tuition remission) you are still responsible for payment of the mandatory fees each semester. Please note that paper bills are not sent to students.
  • Review health insurance options. All full-time graduate students are required to have health insurance. Please view the policy in the Graduate Catalog.

After Arrival

  • Get your university photo ID card. Student IDs are available in the Mitchell building. To obtain an ID, you must be registered for classes and you must have proof of identity, such as a valid driver’s license or passport.
    You may use your ID to withdraw books from libraries; ride the shuttle buses; and gain admission to most athletic, social, and cultural events. You may also use it as a prepaid debit card for UMD food establishments and printing services, and as a general form of identification on campus. Learn more on the Registrar's website.
  • Fulfill conditions of enrollment. Your official admission letter from the Graduate School lists the actions you must take to maintain or secure full enrollment. The most common condition is to have a hard copy of your official transcripts sent directly from the institution to the university (or hand-delivered in a sealed envelope). The transcript must show the degree awarded. If you just recently graduated, wait until the transcript records degree awarded.
    If you fail to turn in these required documents by the start of your first semester, you will be blocked from registering for the next semester.
  • Attend orientation. The Biophysics orientation will take place during the week of August 21. We will email you the details later in the summer. 
  • Take the ITA Evaluation. If you are an international student who will be a Teaching Assistant, you must take the ITA Evaluation before the start of the Fall semester. You will receive a separate email from the coordinator if you are required to participate in this evaluation.

Required Trainings

  • Graduate TerrapinSTRONG Onboarding 
    All new faculty, staff and students participate in TerrapinSTRONG onboarding to introduce you to the university, who we are and what we stand for.
  • Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)
    This training emphasizes the importance of conducting research responsibly and ethically. It includes topics such as ethical peer review, protecting intellectual property, and treating others with fairness and respect.
    • Select “University of Maryland College Park” as your institution.
    • You will be able to log in with your UMD directory ID and password.
    • Click “Add a Course” and add the Responsible Conduct of Research Course.
    • After completion, you will be emailed a certificate. Please forward that certificate to 
  • New Laboratory Researcher Training
    All new graduate students are required to complete this training. Your advisor may require additional training for their lab.
  • Teaching Assistants are required to complete the Teaching & Learning Transformation Center’s Graduate Student Orientation to Teaching. This course is held online on August 24 from 1-3 pm. Please sign up here.

Helpful Links

Campus Map

Parking and Transportation

Graduate School's Checklist for New Students

Health Center

Graduate Tuition and Fees

Register for Classes

Off-Campus Housing

Recreation Facilities