Preparing for graduate school, enrolling in classes, and more.
Preparing for graduate school, enrolling in classes, and more.

June 22, 2021

In this issue: Preparing for graduate school, enrolling in classes, and more.

What is GradConnections? 

GradConnections is a weekly newsletter that goes out to all grad students each Tuesday during the academic year. It is prepared by the Graduate School Office of Professional Development and Communications and includes tips, events, deadlines, announcements, professional development opportunities, mental health resources, and funding opportunities – all targeted to graduate students.
This Special Edition is designed with new students in mind, with helpful tips to get you settled and ready for graduate school at UW–Madison! You'll begin receiving regular editions of GradConnections in September. Students enrolled in online master's programs will receive GradConnections bi-Weekly for Online Students every other week starting in September.
Getting Started

UW–Madison continues to plan for fall 2021

Fall 2021 courses will largely be offered in-person with a smaller number of hybrid and online courses. Students should plan to be in Madison this fall. UW–Madison is preparing contingencies for international students who may face challenges obtaining visas to travel to the U.S. For now, international students should plan to register for a full schedule of classes for fall 2021.
To keep the campus community safe, UW–Madison encourages everyone to make the choice to seek COVID-19 vaccination. The vaccine is readily available through University Health Services to anyone who wishes to be vaccinated, including students who will arrive on campus this fall and have not yet been vaccinated.

Upload your COVID-19 vaccination record to MyUHS

The more we understand our community’s vaccination participation, the better decisions we can make about campus operations and health policies. If you have already been vaccinated, please upload your vaccine record to MyUHS: You should be able to access MyUHS no later than this Wednesday, June 23.
For international students who were vaccinated outside the U.S., UHS will recognize vaccines maintained on the World Health Organization’s emergency use listing.

>> For more information:

Getting Started

Activate your NetID

If you haven't already done so, you will need to activate your NetID in MyUW to access services and applications such as the Course Search & Enroll app. For future logins, you will also need to set up multi-factor authentication for your NetID account.
You can also access your Office 365 email and calendar by logging in to MyUW and selecting the Email widget.

Prepare to enroll in classes

As early as Monday, June 28, new grad students can begin to enroll for fall semester courses using thCourse Search & Enroll app. The Registrar’s Office emails all students with the specific date and time after which they can enroll. To access the Course Search & Enroll app and begin building your course schedule, log in to MyUW and select the Academic Navigator widget.
For help selecting courses, talk to your graduate program or faculty advisor. Please note that the Graduate School has enrollment requirements for minimum and maximum credits, often depending on whether you have funding such as a graduate assistantship.
If you have enrollment questions, first explore the Course Enrollment webpage. For technical support with enrolling in classes, contact the DoIT Help Desk at or 608-264-4357 anytime from 7 am - 9 pm CDT Monday through Friday, or 12 pm - 5 pm CDT Saturday and Sunday.

International students: Complete your Fall 2021 Enrollment Plan Survey

UW–Madison is preparing contingencies for international students who may face challenges obtaining visas to travel to the U.S. For now, international students should plan to register for a full schedule of classes for fall 2021.
Complete your Fall 2021 Enrollment Plan survey as soon as possible and update your responses from your Terra Dotta homepage if your plans change. Your responses inform International Student Services and campus leaders to plan for your successful Wisconsin Experience this fall semester.
>> For specific guidance, please review these frequently asked questions for international students.

Paying tuition and fees

As a student, you pay tuition to cover the cost of your education, and segregated fees to cover the cost of student services on campus. Tuition and fee rates are posted on the Bursar's Office website each semester. Enrolled students receive tuition bills via email, which are payable via multiple methods, including the BadgerPay Payment Plan. Any scholarships and financial aid payments the university receives for you are first applied against any outstanding tuition and fee charges.

Tuition remission for graduate assistants

Graduate students holding a teaching assistant (TA), research assistant (RA), lecturer student assistant (LSA), or project assistant (PA) appointment of 33.3% or higher (more than 13 hours per week) receive tuition remission. Students with these assistantships are still responsible for paying segregated fees.

Segregated fees

Segregated fees at UW–Madison contribute toward the student bus pass program, University Health Services, University Recreation & Wellbeing, the Child Care Tuition Assistance Program, the Wisconsin Union, and more. Unless you have a graduate assistantship, segregated fee payments are due at the same time as your tuition payment. Graduate assistants have a deferred segregated fee payment due date, which is the first Friday in December for the fall semester, and the first Friday in April for the spring semester.

Tuition Refunds

The date you drop a course determines if you will receive a tuition refund. Refer to the Registrar’s Office for all official enrollment dates and deadlines
>> For more information, read the section on Tuition and Fees in Graduate Student Life.

Getting to Madison

To help you make your travel plans, check out these helpful tips on arriving by plane as well as bus/charter options. Also read about getting around Madison by local bus and bike.
If you plan to take a Madison Metro bus, please note that a face covering is required when using public transit. A federal law expected to be in effect through September 13 requires that everyone must wear a facemask properly at transfer points, shelters and throughout boarding, riding, and leaving the bus.

After arriving in Madison

You'll have a lot to do when you get to Madison. To make sure you don't miss anything, the Graduate School has put together a checklist for new graduate students coming to campus. At the top of the list of things to do in August when you arrive are:
  1. Update your contact information, including mailing address and phone number, in MyUW
  2. Get your Wiscard, which is your official campus ID card
  3. Pick up your free Madison Metro bus pass, usually available the week before classes begin
  4. Attend New Graduate Student Welcome on Wednesday, September 1
New students will also be able to choose to receive a COVID-19 vaccination from University Health Services once they arrive in Madison. Appointments are available but not required.
See the full New Student Checklist >>

Information for international students 

If you are an international student preparing to arrive on campus on an F-1 or J-1 visa, visit the International Student Services (ISS) website for helpful pre-arrival guidelines, details about mandatory orientation for international students, COVID-19 FAQs, and information for dependents. ISS is an important resource for international students on F-1 and J-1 visas throughout their graduate programs, and its staff looks forward to working with you!
An essential read! 
Graduate Student Life is an essential resource for new grad students, by current and former grad students. It includes everything you need to know to get settled in to campus: housing and transportation, campus life, what to do in Madison, and more.
Welcome Week
The Graduate School invites all newly admitted graduate students to attend
Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Look out for a personal email invitation in July inviting you to register for this event.
Don't miss this opportunity to hear from the Graduate School and campus leaders, get advice from a panel of current students about grad student life, learn about the many campus and community resources available to you, and connect with other new graduate students from across campus. 
In addition to New Graduate Student Welcome for newly enrolled grad students, the Graduate School will host a variety of Welcome Week events for both new and current graduate students, addressing topics including productivity tools, time management, and well-being. Check out the lineup of events and save the dates!
  • Monday, August 30: Communicating Effectively for Grad School Success
  • Monday, August 30: Enhancing Your Graduate Degree with a Certificate
  • Tuesday, August 31: Time Management for Graduate Students
  • Thursday, September 2: Understanding and Minimizing the Role of Implicit Bias in Microaggressions
  • Thursday, September 2: Cool Tools: Apps and More to Increase Productivity
  • Anytime/On Demand: Successful Online Learning

Mandatory orientation for international students

The New Graduate Student Welcome on Wednesday, September 1, 2021, is for all newly admitted graduate students at UW–Madison. International graduate students have an additional mandatory orientation and check-in with International Student Services (ISS). You can find detailed information about Fall 2021 International Student Orientation (ISO) and Check-In on the ISS Orientation webpage.
>> For more frequently asked questions for international students, see the ISS COVID-19 FAQ.
Professional Development

Get the most out of your graduate career 

You're about to begin a new graduate program. Now is the perfect time to look at your professional skills and how you want to develop them during your time as a graduate student.
The Office of Professional Development is the central hub of graduate student skill and career development on campus. With nearly 400 professional development events each year, there's something for every facet of development and every stage of graduate study.
Your first step: Create a plan.
An Individual Development Plan (IDP) helps you assess your current skills, interests, and strengths, and make a plan to meet your academic and professional goals. An IDP also helps you develop strategies to communicate effectively with your advisors and mentors.

Introducing DiscoverPD 

DiscoverPD is an innovative tool for UW–Madison graduate students to advance their academic and professional goals. Learn more by watching the video below. 
DiscoverPD video
Fall 2021 professional development programming will appear in the events calendar and DiscoverPD database soon!
Campus Climate

UW–Madison statement on diversity and respect 

Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation for UW–Madison. We value the contributions of each person and respect the profound ways their identity, culture, background, experience, status, abilities, and opinions enrich the university community. We commit ourselves to the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, outreach, and diversity as inextricably linked goals.
UW–Madison fulfills its public mission by creating a welcoming and inclusive community for people from every background – people who, as students, faculty, and staff, serve Wisconsin and the world.
>> Learn more about diversity at UWMadison.

Graduate School Diversity Statement

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in all its forms is central to a robust educational, professional, and research environment. The Graduate School aims to increase the enrollment of students from historically underserved and underrepresented populations while helping them be successful academically and personally. The Graduate School is committed to supporting our schools and colleges in creating an inclusive environment for all students to thrive.
Graduate students on our campus are valued individuals who are teachers, leaders, workers, volunteers, advocates, family members, and researchers in our community. We endeavor to support them in all aspects of their identities.
>> Learn more about inclusion and engagement opportunities or explore diversity training resources for UW–Madison graduate students.

Required campus training on preventing gender-based harassment and sexual violence

An online violence prevention program is required for incoming graduate students at UW–Madison. The online training is designed to promote the health and safety of the campus community. In August you will receive additional information via email about this requirement and instructions for completing the online course. Contact with any questions.
Funding Opportunities
Thinking about finances? Here are some important tips to consider:
  • If you are looking for funding, start early and be proactive about possible gaps in your funding support. Check out the resources and key suggestions on the Graduate School Office of Fellowships and Funding Resources website, including a database of external fellowships. The UW–Madison Student Jobs Center also lists graduate assistantships for which students may directly apply. You can also search for scholarships you may be eligible for on the Wisconsin Scholarship Hub.
  • Understand your funding package. A funding package may include a combination of different types of appointments, such as teaching assistant positions, program assistantships, or fellowships.
  • If you have a grad assistantship, fellowship, or traineeship, make sure you understand the terms and conditions of your appointment: start/end dates, stipend, date of your first paycheck (usually late September), whether you need to pay tuition or program or segregated fees, tax information, enrollment requirements, and whether the appointment includes any health benefits. Appointments may have different, or no, work requirements, and may differ in the benefits they offer, so it is important to understand exactly what types of support each appointment offers.
  • The cost of attendance webpage provides an estimate of your expenses.
  •'s Budget Calculator will help you figure out where you stand financially and how to make smart decisions about your future.
  • Graduate Student Life has a robust section on finances and employment at the university.
  • Parents of young children can apply for the Child Care Tuition Assistance Program (CCTAP), or for the Child Care Access Means Parents In School (CCAMPIS) program. Read more about financial assistance for student parents.
>> For more information, contact the Graduate School Office of Fellowships and Funding Resources at
Grad students are eligible for the University Apartments communities of Eagle Heights, University Houses, and Harvey Street Apartments. Apply early for a better chance of matching to your preference. For more information, please email Campus Housing at
If you want to live off campus but nearby, check out the Campus Area Housing guide. For more tips on housing and information about the different neighborhoods in Madison, check out the housing information in Graduate Student Life.

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