UW–Madison plans for fall semester; preparing for graduate school; and more
UW–Madison plans for fall semester; preparing for graduate school; and more

June 23, 2020

In this issue: UW–Madison plans for fall semester, preparing for graduate school, and more.
PhD Comic by Jorge Cham

Fall Update: UW–Madison plans to hold most fall semester courses in-person

UW–Madison plans to begin fall classes as scheduled on Sept. 2 and offer in-person instruction in many courses until the Thanksgiving recess. After Thanksgiving, most undergraduate and course-based master’s classes will switch to a virtual format for courses for the final nine days of instruction plus exams. Research-based master’s and PhD degree students, as well as graduate assistants, should consult their faculty advisors and supervisors for additional guidance.
The course array and the modality of instruction will be determined by departments, working with the deans of their respective school or college. This will include course instruction plans for students not able to return to the U.S. for in-person instruction. While we hope that most students will be in Madison, we recognize that some may not be able to attend in person. We are making plans for those students as well as our on-campus students.
The health and safety of the campus community is a top priority, and many modifications will be in place based on public health guidance. The Smart Restart plan outlines the university’s approach to instruction, health and safety, and more. As more details are available, they will be communicated on a regular basis.
For more information:

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, wellness and mental health resources, and funding opportunities – all targeted to graduate students – as well as the PhD Comic "Piled Higher and Deeper".
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 receive GradConnections bi-Weekly for Online Students every other week starting in September.
Getting Started

Activating your NetID

You will need to activate your NetID in MyUW to access services and applications such as the Course Search & Enroll app and Office 365 email and calendar services that will be available after you enroll in classes. For future logins, you will also need to set up multi-factor authentication for your NetID account.

Enrolling in classes

As early as Monday, June 22, new grad students can begin to enroll for fall semester courses using thCourse Search & Enroll app. You should have received an email from the Registrar’s Office with the specific date and time after which you can enroll. To access the Course Search & Enroll app, 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, visit the Enrollment Help Desk website. For technical support with enrolling in classes, contact the DoIT Help Desk at help@doit.wisc.edu or 608-264-4357 anytime from 7 am - 9 pm CDT Monday through Friday, or 12 pm - 5 pm CDT Saturday and Sunday.

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. 

What to do when you arrive

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:
Check out the full New Grad Student Checklist online, or download the Graduate Student Life app for an interactive checklist.

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, August 26, 2020
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 online for both new and current graduate students, addressing topics including productivity tools, time management, and well-being. Check out the lineup of events and plan to tune in to all or a few!

Mandatory orientation for international students

The New Graduate Student Welcome on Wednesday, August 26, 2020 is for all newly admitted graduate students at UW–Madison. International graduate students have an additional mandatory orientation hosted by International Student Services (ISS). Detailed information about Fall 2020 International Student Orientation will be updated on the ISS Orientation webpage in the near future, so stay tuned.
For more frequently asked questions for international students, see the ISS COVID-19 FAQ.
Professional Development

Getting 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 2020 professional development programming will appear in the events calendar and DiscoverPD database soon!
Campus Climate

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.

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 violenceprevention@uhs.wisc.edu 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. The UW–Madison Student Jobs Center also lists graduate assistantships for which students may directly apply.
  • 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 October 1), 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.
  • GradSense.org'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.
For more information, contact the Graduate School Office of Fellowships and Funding Resources at offr@grad.wisc.edu.
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 info@housing.wisc.eduThose wishing to live off campus but nearby can find housing using the Campus Area Housing guideFor more tips on housing, read the housing information in Graduate Student Life.

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