After You're Admitted: Checklists for New Graduate Students

Campus arrival checklist for US students

Complete the following tasks before the first day of class and you'll be well prepared for your first year at Nebraska. Even if you're "arriving" on campus only in an online sense, there are things you can do to make sure you're off to a good start.

Switch to a different version:

  • Check in at Graduate Studies and the International Student and Scholar Office.

    Students are highly encouraged to complete the check-in process as early as their arrival schedule allows.
    • Check in at the Office of Graduate Studies: We will give you access to register for classes. Also, bring any academic records that have been requested. Graduate Studies is at 1100 Seaton Hall, 15th and U Street, across from the University Health Center.
    • Check in at the International Student and Scholar Office: Complete New Student Check-In at the ISS Office as soon as possible. This is necessary to maintain legal immigration status. Bring your immigration documents including I-20 or DS-2019, passport, and I-94 card. The ISS Office is in 201 Seaton Hall, upstairs from Graduate Studies.
  • Visit your department office.Connect with your department.

    Stop by and introduce yourself to department staff and faculty. You may have additional paperwork to complete, in particular if you are on an assistantship or will be issued keys to the building. The department will be able to provide information regarding your advisor if you haven't already received it.
    Send an email or make a phone call to introduce yourself to department staff and faculty. If you are taking a combination of distance and on-campus classes, or if you live in the Lincoln area, consider stopping by the department to meet staff and faculty face-to-face. The department will be able to provide information regarding your advisor if you haven't already received it.
  • Contact your advisor.

    Your advisor can provide information about the duties of your assistantship (if you have one) and your program of study, including suggested courses for your first semester.
  • Register for classes.

    Access MyRED to register for courses. Consult the Graduate Bulletin for course descriptions and the Schedule of Classes for course times and locations. To limit Schedule results, use the Additional Search Criteria to select Location = Distance Delivery. See also: Distance Catalog.
  • Get your NCard if you want one.

    Your NCard is your student ID at Nebraska. It is used for identification, access to certain buildings and labs, and educational discounts. It also offers the optional service of purchasing items on campus.

    To obtain your NCard, first register for classes and then take a current photo ID and your NU ID number to the NCard office located in Room 121 of the Nebraska Union, 14th and R Streets, City Campus. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is a $15 issuance fee, which will be charged to your consolidated account. You'll receive an e-mail notification that your consolidated account statement is available online for you to access via MyRED. If you were a UNL undergraduate, you do not need a new NCard.
    As a distance student, you are not required to obtain an NCard, but you may apply for an NCard if you want one. The NCard is UNL's official student ID card and can be used for educational discounts.
  • Schedule a TB test at the University Health Center.

    UNL requires all new international students to have a tuberculosis test once on campus. Review the pre-enrollment health requirements and call 402-472-5000 to schedule an appointment at the University Health Center. You must have your NCard before you call to schedule your test. Testing is available Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. There is a fee for the test which is payable by cash, check, or credit card. If possible, also bring your immunization documents.
  • Enroll dependents or waive student health insurance.

    If you hold an F1 or J1 visa or you are a graduate assistant, you'll be automatically enrolled in student health insurance.
    • You must remain enrolled in the student plan unless you provide proof of comparable insurance and complete a waiver request form every semester by the published deadline.
    • If you are a graduate assistant, your campus human resources office will offer you the option of switching from the student plan to an employee plan.
    You can enroll dependents in your insurance at the University Health Center.
  • Enroll in or waive student health insurance.

    • If you are not a graduate assistant: If you wish to enroll in the StudentBlue plan, you can enroll yourself online via MyRED and dependents in person at the University Health Center.
    • Graduate assistants have a choice of two plans: BCBS StudentBlue or University Bronze. Students on assistantships are automatically enrolled in student health insurance, so if you are a graduate assistant and you have other insurance or otherwise wish to waive this benefit, you must complete the waiver request form online every semester by the published deadline.
    • Distance students are not required to enroll in UNL's student health insurance.
  • Clear up immunization record requirements.

    Distance students who will not be coming to campus are not required to provide immunization records. If the University Health Center asks you for these records, contact the Office of Online and Distance Education at 402-472-5515 or They will verify your status as a distance student for the semester and contact the University Health Center to get the immunization record requirement waived.
  • Apply for a Social Security card. (Graduate Assistants only)

    To receive your assistantship stipend, you must apply for a Social Security card. After you have registered for classes, checked in with the ISS Office, and have been in the U.S. for 10 days or more, you may apply for your Social Security card.

    You'll need to bring all of your immigration paperwork and the letter from the ISS Office verifying your student status. The ISS Office will also provide a map to assist you in finding the Social Security Administration office.
  • Arrange for a bank account.

    You will need to arrange for a local bank account, especially if you have an assistantship. All payroll payments are made via direct deposit. Many banks are within walking distance of City Campus, and one of them, Union Bank and Trust, has a branch in the Nebraska Union. When opening an account, bring your passport and an initial deposit.
  • Purchase a parking permit if you'll be on campus.

    There is no free parking on campus. If you will have a car, purchase your parking permit from Parking and Transit Services online or in person in the Stadium Drive Parking Garage. Don't forget to register your bicycle, if you plan to bike to campus. A free bus pass (valid for both campus and city bus systems) is available for all registered students.
  • Plan to attend welcome and orientation events if able.

    • Your department orientation: Most academic departments will provide a time in which you can learn the norms of the department and meet fellow students, faculty, and staff.
    • New Graduate Student Welcome (fall only): Sponsored by the Office of Graduate Studies, it's a great time to meet graduate students from other disciplines and to learn about the various campus and community resources. Distance students are welcome to come to Lincoln for this event.
  • Review academic integrity principles.

    It is expected that you will conduct every aspect of your academic career with complete honesty. Review how academic integrity applies to graduate education and understand that expectations may be different here than in your home country.
  • Explore resources for current students.

    Beyond your basic needs for progressing through a degree program, it's your responsibility to take charge of your development as a student, researcher, teacher, and professional.
  • Become familiar with new ways of using the libraries.

    Get to know your subject librarian, a specialist who can assist in locating materials easily and quickly. The library also has a distance education coordinator to assist you in accessing the resources you need.