New Students

New Graduate Student Welcome 2018

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 each year.

The Welcome is 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.

Below is a sample agenda from the 2018 New Graduate Student Welcome, as well as information session resources for graduate students. Check back for details about 2019 New Graduate Student Welcome in summer 2019.

2018 Welcome Schedule

  • 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. View a list of organizations and campus units that were represented at the fair.

  • 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
  • 1:15 pm-2:15 pm Graduate Student Panels: 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 Chancellor for Student Affairs, Lori Reesor
    • Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer, Patrick Sims
  • 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,, follow us on Twitter @UWMadGSEd, and Facebook, or email us at

  • Writing Center

    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 and Outdoor 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-Madison Libraries offer several additional services that benefit graduate students:

    • Library tours provide an introduction to Library spaces and online resources such as the library catalog and journal/information databases
    • Library workshops provide instruction on many topics, such as citation managers, finding and organizing data, and identifying and applying for research and other academic funding grants
    • Subject Librarians can assist you with staying current in your field, and discovering resources relevant to your research

    The Graduate Room in Memorial Library room 464 is a collaborative space dedicated to supporting graduate students and includes lockers, comfortable seating, wireless monitors, and a reservable presentation practice room. Discover more resources, services, spaces and expertise on the Libraries’ website:

    The Grants Information Collection is the place to go for information on academic grants. The collection website contains workshop materials, access to databases, and an 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 near 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:

    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:

View the presentation slides from the 2018 New Graduate Student Welcome information sessions.

Degree Dash

Graduate Student Welcome Week

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. Below are the events that took place in fall 2018.

  • Monday, August 27, 2018: Design (& Build) Your Life - Lessons Learned on a Journey from Seoul to Madison
    2:00 – 3:30 pm (Reception with refreshments to follow at 3:30 pm)
    1310 Sterling Hall

    When Soyeon Shim was a young girl growing up in Korea, at dinner every day her dad would ask his children if they had done anything to earn the food set before them. This challenge, and the sense of purpose it instilled, has guided Soyeon ever since, helping her to design her life, and prototype and build the kind of career and personal relationships needed to achieve happiness and fulfillment. She has learned first-hand that a successful design for living must balance personal and professional interests and nurture the collaborative bonds with family, friends and colleagues. In this talk for UW-Madison graduate students, with design thinking as a framework, Soyeon will describe her ongoing life-design project and the lessons she’s learned along the path to achieving it.

    Dean Shim will conclude the session with a Q&A. Please plan to join us for refreshments at a reception after the talk.

    This event is sponsored by the Graduate School Office of Professional Development.

  • Tuesday, August 28, 2018: Flourishing in Graduate School - How to Manage Stress and Maintain Your Mental Health
    1:00 – 2:30 pm
    Union South (Check TITU)

    Want to make graduate school a time to thrive and not just survive? This workshop will focus on promotion of psychological well-being in graduate school. Topics covered will arm graduate students with strategies to thrive through the challenges of graduate school, including managing the transition/adjustment process, coping with stress, promoting work/life balance, and establishing habits to maintain or improve mental health.

    This event is co-sponsored by the Graduate School Office of Professional Development and University Health Services.

  • Tuesday, August 28, 2018: Time Management for Graduate Students
    4:00 – 5:30 pm
    1310 Sterling Hall

    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.

    This event is sponsored by the Graduate School Office of Professional Development.

  • Thursday, August 30, 2018: Cool Tools - Apps and More to Increase Productivity
    3:00 – 4:30 pm
    1310 Sterling 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.

    This event is co-sponsored by the Graduate School Office of Professional Development and Software Training for Students (STS).

  • Thursday, August 30, 2018: Multicultural Graduate Network Welcome Celebration
    Sonata Room, Gordon Dining and Events 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.

  • Friday, August 31, 2018: Graduate School Degree Dash
    Friday, August 31, 2018
    Check-in: 7:15am
    Doctoral Derby: 8:00am
    Master’s Mile: 8:30am
    Library Mall (located just west of Memorial Library)

    See the race maps on the Degree Dash 2018 page.

    Get your semester off to a fast start! Join fellow graduate students, faculty and staff for the 3rd Annual Degree Dash hosted by the Graduate School at UW–Madison.

    Set your goal for 5.76 miles for the Doctoral Derby (no, you don’t have to be in a PhD program to participate), or for 1.82 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.

  • Tuesday, September 4, 2018: Recognizing and Reducing Implicit Bias
    11:00 am – 12:15 pm
    Union South (Check TITU)

    Building cultural competence is critically important for graduate students and professionals across all disciplines. This interactive talk introduces graduate students to the concepts of implicit or unconscious biases and assumptions about diverse groups of people by treating the application of such biases as a habit of mind. Students will learn how to uncover their own biases, discover the underlying concepts and language used in the psychological and social psychological literature to describe such processes, and learn evidence-based strategies for reducing the application of these biases as they cultivate relationships with people from different backgrounds, experiences, and cultures.

    This event is sponsored by the Graduate School Office of Professional Development.