Congratulations on your admission to the University of Wisconsin–Madison! The Graduate School offers support and resources to help you transition to life as a graduate student.
Starting in May, newly admitted graduate students receive a series of emails from the Graduate School. In case you missed it, you can read the May 2017 message here and read the June 2017 message here.
Find a place to live
The University Apartments community serves UW–Madison graduate students, students with families, postdoctoral researchers, academic staff, and faculty.
Explore your new community
Find the vibrant student life in Madison!
The Office of Fellowships and Funding Resources is the place to start when looking for graduate assistantships or fellowship funding for your graduate education. The Office of Student Financial Aid can also help.
Utilize Professional Development
It’s never too early to start planning your path to success! Check out the Office of Professional Development’s online resources and mark your calendars for workshops.
Watch for GradConnections Weekly
This weekly e-newsletter is a valuable source for information related to fellowships/funding, professional development workshops and events, academic deadlines and other timely information of interest to graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.
Graduate Student Life is a valuable resource throughout your time at UW–Madison. Find information on housing, where to shop for food and necessities, what to do on a night out, and tips for staying healthy.
Graduate Student Life is also available through the Guidebook mobile app. Download the app to your device or view online.
New Graduate Student Welcome
Wednesday, August 29, 2018
Union South, 1308 W. Dayton Street
The Graduate School invites all newly admitted graduate students to attend the Fall New Graduate Student Welcome event. A formal invitation will be sent to new students in July, but you can plan ahead with the information below. This will be an opportunity to mingle with Graduate School deans and staff and other campus leaders, hear from a panel of current students about grad student life, learn about the many campus and community resources available to you, and meet other new graduate students from across campus.
11:00am Fellows Meeting
This session is specifically designed for new graduate students who have fellowships in the 2018-2019 academic year. Information will be provided about the rights and responsibilities you have as fellows. Topics will include: your pay schedule, tuition and seg fees, health insurance eligibility, full-time study and satisfactory progress, income tax issues, concurrent appointments, and funding beyond the fellowship years, and more.
11:00 am-1:00 pm Check-In and Resource Fair
Representatives from more than 40 campus and community services answer your questions and provide assistance. Visit their tables and talk in person with informative individuals.
11:45 am & 12:30 pm Information Session: Research, Funding & Professional Development*
NOTE: Both 35-minute sessions have the same content, so plan to attend either at 11:45 or at 12:30.
Hear directly from staff about the ways their offices can help you find and apply for funding, use databases and other tools to gather information related to your research, write better and smarter, and develop your professional and career-related plans and skills. Presenters include:
- Office of Professional Development, Graduate School
- Writing Center
- Libraries and Grants Information Collection
- Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Funding, Graduate School
- Division of Information Technology (DoIT) and Software Training for Students (STS)
- University Health Services (UHS) End Violence on Campus
1:00 pm-2:15 pm Graduate Student Panel: Question & Answer Session
A panel of seasoned graduate students will answer the large and small questions you have about everything, from what can make your graduate student life easier and less stressful to establishing and maintaining relationships with faculty and staff in your program.
2:30 pm-3:00 pm Welcome Remarks
Campus leadership will welcome graduate students and kick off the reception.
- Dean of the Graduate School, Bill Karpus
- Provost, Sarah Mangelsdorf
- Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer, Patrick Sims
- Dean of Students, Lori Berquam
3:00 pm-4:30 pm Meet & Greet Reception
Enjoy refreshments at this informal reception as you get to know people from the Graduate School, from your own program, and from across campus.
*Information Session Resources
Graduate School Office of Professional Development
The Graduate School Office of Professional Development is committed to graduate students’ academic and professional success. Our mission is to coordinate, develop, and promote learning opportunities to foster the academic, professional, and life skills of graduate students.
Professional success encompasses many paths, whether graduate students pursue careers as faculty members or in an array of exciting opportunities in the private sector or public service. Each semester we host a series on career development, Beyond the Tenure Track, addressing topics like transferable skills, interview preparation, and networking. We maintain a campus subscription to the Versatile PhD, an online resource to help graduate students identify and prepare for non-academic careers.
We encourage graduate students to be proactive and intentional in planning their paths to success. Use of an Individual Development Plan (IDP) is recommended for all graduate students at UW–Madison. To support graduate students and their mentors in developing IDPs, we offer a collection of resources, face-to-face workshops, and planning tools.
The Office of Professional Development coordinates skill-building opportunities in a variety of areas. The office and units across campus offer over 100 professional development events each semester. The Office of Professional Developments sends GradConnections Weekly to all graduate students to keep them abreast of these opportunities, as well as funding opportunities, deadlines and announcements.
To engage with and learn more about the Graduate School Office of Professional Development, visit our website, grad.wisc.edu/professional-development, follow us on Twitter, @UWMadGSEd, and Facebook, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Writing Center offers a number of key services to graduate students:
- free writing workshops throughout the semester, on topics ranging from style and grammar advice to dissertation proposal drafting and job market material preparation (online registration available)
- free individual and drop-in appointments with Writing Center instructors on any academic or professional writing project (and online assistance by email or video as well!)
- teaching advice on written assignment assessment for Teaching Assistants (TAs)
- access to the UW-Madison Writer’s Handbook, a collection of guides to academic and professional writing
- NEW! Writer’s Retreats – several of these concentrated opportunities to write in a supportive atmosphere are offered throughout the semester.
More information is available at the Writing Center’s website, which is a great resource for keeping track of all of the workshops and other services being offered during the semester.
Libraries and Grants Information Collection
In addition to traditional library services (including Inter-Library Loan (ILL), article and book delivery, journal and database access, assistance with research resources, and online study room reservation), the UW Libraries offer several additional services that benefit graduate students:
- library tours that provide an introduction to the UW library system and a preview of the online information resources (such as the library catalog and journal/information databases)
- library workshops that provide instruction on many topics, such as how to use the free UW-supported citation managers. Additionally, some workshops are specifically geared towards graduate students, and help student identify and apply for research and other academic grants.
The UW Libraries Services brochure provides a quick guide and general overview of all of the services offered.
The Grants Information Collection is the place to go for information on academic grants. The collection website contains workshop materials, access to databases, and new online workshop called Grants for Your Education. Do you have specific grant-related questions? Graduate students can contact the Grants librarian directly, or schedule an appointment for in-person research help at the Collection office, located on the 2nd floor of Memorial Library behind the Reference Desk in Room 262.
Graduate School Office of Fellowships and Funding Resources
The Office of Fellowships and Funding Resources (OFFR) provides assistance to graduate students, staff and faculty on campus funding issues through various methods, including:
- advising students on their appointments.
- offering students a step-by-step guide to finding funding.
- providing workshops on finding funding to support graduate education.
- promoting major external fellowship programs to which students may apply.
- maintaining a list of major external fellowships.
- administering a variety of internal and external fellowship competitions.
- advising faculty and staff on the administration of different appointment types.
Division of Information Technology (DoIT) and Software Training for Students (STS)
The Division of Information Technology (DoIT) offers a comprehensive array of services to the UW–Madison graduate population. A few of these services are:
- Information and instructions on setting up your NetID, using the MyUW portal, securing your computer and protecting your data with FREE anti-virus software
- The DoIT Tech Store, where students can purchase hardware and software at education prices, and obtain tech advice — in-person, online and over the phone
- The DoIT Help Desk, which provides online, phone, email and live chat assistance to UW–Madison students (Phones and Email 7:00am to 11:00pm every day; LiveChat 8:00am to 10:00pm)
- Laptop and equipment checkout
- Computer repair services
- Consultations and support for instructional staff looking to master the latest learning technologies, blend courses or develop apps, course sites and videos
In addition, Software Training for Students (STS) offers a wide variety of free software classes throughout the semester that are open to all UW–Madison students. These range from classes designed to improve expertise in basic office software (such as Word and Excel) to those that provide an introduction to many more specialized software packages especially helpful to graduate students. Classes are searchable by topic and date, and online registration is available.
In addition to the technology workshops, STS provides:
- Custom Technology Workshops: For courses and student organizations, STS will tailor our technology workshops to your needs and schedule
- Ask a Trainer Project Support: Schedule an appointment with our experts to get help solving a problem or learning a specific skills
- Online Technology Training: With your NetID, you gain access to more than 4,000 free self-paced software training courses through Lynda.com
- PowerPoint slide decks from Information Session presentations (August 30, 2017)
Graduate Student Welcome Week 2017
Each fall the Graduate School offers a line-up of events during the week before classes begin to welcome and help acclimate new graduate students to campus and to welcome back current graduate students. Welcome Week 2017 (August 28 – September 1) included events such as the second annual Degree Dash, the Multicultural Graduate Network welcome celebration, and workshops and presentations on topics of interest to graduate students.
August 28: Discover Your Options Beyond Graduate School, Take Charge of Your Career
Monday, August 28, 2017
12:00-1:30pm, with reception to follow at 1:30-2:00pm
1310 Sterling Hall
As a graduate student, you have a knowledge base and skill set that makes you an attractive candidate to prospective employers in industry, government, and nonprofit sectors. In this seminar, you will learn how to inventory your transferable skills and market yourself to prospective employers. Dr. Fatimah Williams Castro of Beyond the Tenure Track will show you the similarities and differences between the academic and postacademic job markets; the top applied career fields for graduates of STEM, social science, and humanities programs; the transferable skills and leadership competencies you need to compete for jobs in both academic and applied careers; and the job application materials and online presentation you need to apply for jobs and to stand out in a competitive marketplace.
August 29: Time Management for Graduate Students
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
159 Wisconsin Idea Room, Education Building
In this interactive workshop, you will learn tips and techniques for staying on track and managing your time. We’ll cover goal-setting, minimizing distractions and staying focused, and overcoming some of the most common challenges to staying on task. Participants will leave with strategies that they can apply immediately. The strategies we’ll cover are appropriate for students in any discipline.
Dr. Jenny Faust is a consultant in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Office of Quality Improvement. She wishes that she had attended a workshop like this one when she was in graduate school!
August 31: Cool Tips: Apps to Increase Productivity
Thursday, August 31, 2017
2241 Chamberlin Hall
Prepare to maximize your time and energy this semester by taking advantage of software available to UW–Madison graduate students that can help streamline your workflow. This hands-on workshop, presented by Software Training for Students (STS), will introduce you to both basic and advanced software tools, including cloud storage services, notetaking apps, mobile scanners, research tools, tasks managers, password managers, lifestyle apps, and more. The workshop covers mobile, tablet, and laptop/desktop apps, so bring your favorite device and find the software that suits your style and needs.
August 31 or September 1: Let's Talk: Invitation to Dialogue about Diversity
Thursday, August 31, 2017 or Friday, September 1, 2017
The Graduate School is excited to partner with Prof. Steve Quintana of Counseling Psychology to hold dialogues for graduate students. These sessions will briefly review principles of dialogue in order to engage meaningfully with others who have different experiences or perspectives, which is an important skill to use as a graduate student and throughout your career. Learn why dialogues are well suited for our culture and how dialogues can be used to promote understanding across difference, leading to a more positive community and climate for everyone. Spend 60 minutes in a dialogue with other graduate students to experience the dialogue process. The session is based on Prof. Quintana’s work for conducting dialogues across the UW campus and local Madison community for the past 10 years.
Note: These two sessions are identical.
August 31: Multicultural Graduate Network Welcome Celebration
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Carson Gulley Center
The Multicultural Graduate Network, through the Graduate School at UW–Madison, kicks off the start of a new school year with a large celebration to invigorate the vibrant community of graduate students on campus.
September 1: Graduate School Degree Dash
Friday, September 1, 2017
Doctoral Derby: 8:00am
Master’s Mile: 8:30am
Get your semester off to a fast start! Join fellow graduate students, faculty and staff for the 2nd Annual Degree Dash hosted by the Graduate School at UW–Madison.
Set your goal for 5.7 miles for the Doctoral Derby (no, you don’t have to be in a PhD program to participate), or for 1.75 miles for the Master’s Mile (for those who need to “graduate” early). Race distances are based on average time-to-degree.
You will meet fellow students, faculty and staff, tour campus, have your photo taken with Bucky, come away with a t-shirt or water bottle, and gather information that will help you to start your semester off quickly. And the best part is, whether you come in first or last place, you’ll get a diploma at the finish line.
All are encouraged to participate in this event – new and current graduate students, faculty, staff and family members. Teams are encouraged and eligible to win prizes.
2017 Benefits Seminar for Graduate Assistants & Short-Term Academic Staff
Click here to view.