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Graduate Student Orientation

Welcome to Graduate Studies

We are so glad you chose to pursue your graduate degree at Central Michigan University. Orientation covers a variety of non-academic department information, Graduate Studies policies and procedures, and helpful information to get you off on the right foot at CMU. This orientation is encouraged but optional. No registration needed.

Fall 2024

New Graduate Student Orientation (these sessions will be identical)
3:00-4:00 p.m., Wednesday, August 21, 2024 (Park Library Auditorium)
10:00-11:00 a.m., Thursday, August 22, 2024 (Park Library Auditorium)

Spring 2025

New Graduate Student Orientation
3:00-4:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 8, 2025 (Park Library Auditorium)

    Orientation fee

    This one-time, non-refundable orientation fee is assessed to on-campus graduate students.  Once this fee is paid the orientation fee hold will be removed within 12-24 hours from your account and you will be able to register for classes.

    Domestic Orientation Fee Payment (for domestic students only)
    International Orientation Fee Payment (for international students only)

    Orientation frequently asked questions

    Click on one of the question types below to review the specific questions and answers.


    Other than good grades and research, what else can I do to be a great graduate member of CMU?
    Get involved in the Register Student Organizations on campus, present your research at conferences, collaborate with faculty and graduate students on other projects, attend outside activities hosted by CMU, keep yourself physically and mentally healthy by taking time for yourself.

    Will there be graduate mixers or events where I can meet other graduate students?
    Yes, the Office of Graduate Studies will host some events over the academic year to help graduate students meet each other.  Look for the announcements in your email, or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

    Do graduate students get free tickets to the football games?
    All full-time students get free admission to athletic events with their student ID.

    Is health insurance offered through CMU for graduate students?
    Currently, CMU does not offer health insurance for graduate students.  CMU does require health insurance for international students.

    Where do I get my Student ID card?
    All the information you need regarding your central ID can be found through the CentralCard Office.

    Is there any center at CMU to share entrepreneurship ideas or projects?
    Contact the Entrepreneurship Department, and check out the New Venture Challenge.

    Does CMU provide free wifi to its graduate students on campus?
    Free WiFi for students is available in all CMU buildings.

    If I don’t take classes over the summer, but I am working on research, do I still have access to resources?
    This depends upon the specific resources.  Some software resources are only available while taking a specific class, some resources are only available while currently enrolled, and some resources are available for 12 months after your last enrollment.  It is best to check with your research advisor about your specific needs.


    What financial aid or scholarship options are available for graduate students other than graduate assistantships?
    All of the scholarships are listed in the Graduate Bulletin, with additional information available at the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.

    What is my tuition rate?
    Tuition rates depend upon multiple factors.   Information on tuition rates can be found in the Graduate Bulletin and at the Admissions and Aid webpage.

    Can I get a grant from the Office of Research and Graduate Studies (ORGS) for a project outside my program?
    While this is not prohibited, it would be very unlikely.  You can review the ORGS student grants available.


    What is the timeline to submit an extension of time?
    Extension of time requests ideally should be submitted in the semester prior to the courses expiring but only if you know when you would realistically be able to graduate.  Contact Kara Owens via email or phone 989-774-1318 or your faculty advisor to discuss the specifics of your situation.

    How do I transfer credits to CMU?
    Information on transfer credits can be found at the Registrar’s Office.  Please note that the departments have the final say on which courses may transfer to your specific program.  Courses used as part of your undergraduate degree cannot be transferred to a graduate credential.  Please work with your advisor regarding specific courses.

    If I took a course for my undergrad and it is offered as an elective for my grad program, can it double count?
    Courses used for undergraduate credentials cannot be used for graduate credential.

    Does my academic advisor remain the same throughout the program?
    This is program specific.  In some departments, you may have an initial advisor that changes later. In other programs, you will have the same advisor throughout your entire time at CMU.  If you change your research project, you may need to change your advisor as well.

    How do I register for classes?
    Registration is done electronically through the CMICH website.  Please make sure you discuss the class choice with your advisor prior to registering for classes. Helpful registration information is available on the Registrars website.

    How do I change programs or transfer from one program to another?
    Changing tracks or concentrations within a program can be done by working with your advisor.  Changing from one program to a different program requires you to follow the normal application process for a new admission.  Admission to one program does not guarantee or improve the likelihood of admission to a different program.

    Can graduate students register for 2nd-semester courses in the Fall?
    Yes, all students can take advantage of multi-semester registration.  Please check with your advisor prior to registering for any courses, though.

    Graduate Assistantship (GA)

    If we didn’t get a GA position in the Fall, will there be more to apply for in the Spring/Summer?  How do I apply?
    This will be specific to your program.  Please check with your advisor, graduate coordinator, or department chair about GA opportunities.

    What is the difference between a GA, TA, and RA?
    The GA (Graduate Assistant) is more of a catch-all term that is used to refer to students who are supported as either Administrative Assistants (students performing administrative duties for their support), Teaching Assistants (students teaching courses for their support), and Research Assistants (students performing research tasks for their support).

    Are there different benefits associated with the different types of GA?
    No, the benefits associated with a GA depend upon how many hours of work per week is associated with the GAship.  Additionally, stipends and available credits are greater for Ph.D. GAships compared to Masters GAships.

    When will I hear about our GA placement?  I know I was awarded one, but I am not sure what my duties are.
    This will be department specific.  You should check with your advisor, the graduate coordinator, or the chair of the department for your program for more information.

    If I have a GA for one year, what is the probability it will be renewed?
    This will be department specific and will depend upon the funds available and the needs of the department.  You should check with your advisor, the graduate coordinator for your program, or the chair of the department for more information.

    I am an international student; how do I get a GAship?
    This will be department specific and will depend upon the funds available and the needs of the department.  You should check with your advisor, the graduate coordinator for your program, or the chair of the department for more information.


    What is a thesis/dissertation committee?
    If your graduate program is a research-based program, as opposed to a more professional graduate program, you will need to form a committee that will help you with your research and evaluates the quality of your research to determine if it is sufficient for the degree.  You will work with your advisor to choose a committee of 3 – 4 individuals (at least two of which must be CMU faculty) who are appropriate for your specific project.

    Are there journals to which we are not allowed to submit our research?
    CMU places no restrictions on where you can submit your research.  You will work with your advisor to determine the most appropriate journal for submission.

    How do copyrights work in creative projects?
    You should speak with your advisor about obtaining copyright permission for using copyrighted material in your work.

    How do I use a copyrighted image?
    If you want to use a copyrighted image in your work, you need to apply for permission from the entity which holds the copyright.  Most often, this will be the publisher of a book, journal, etc, and many of these organizations will have a link on their webpage about how to apply for permission.  If you receive permission to use the copyrighted image, you must include the permission in an appendix of your thesis or dissertation.  Please note that in most cases, if the image is in a published item, the author no longer holds the copyright, so permission from that individual is not sufficient.  Review our copyright video for more information.

    Can I use a copyright-free image?
    You can use a copyright-free image (also known as open access) without permission.  In your thesis or dissertation, you would need to include the information indicating that the image is copyright free in an appendix of the document.  Review our copyright video for more information.