After You're Admitted: Checklists for New 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.

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  • 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 if necessary. Also, bring any academic records that have been requested. Graduate Studies is at 101 Seaton Hall, 15th and U Street.

    Office of Graduate Studies
    101 Seaton Hall
    1525 U Street
    PO Box 880619
    Lincoln NE 68588-0619

    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. The ISS Office offers several pre-scheduled check-in sessions prior to the start of the term. You’ll receive an email from them with more information, or you can visit their office on the second floor of 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 Catalog 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.

  • Get your NCard if you want one.

    Your NCard is your student ID card at Nebraska. It can be used for identification, access to certain buildings and labs, educational discounts, and purchasing items on campus. To get your NCard, first register for classes and then bring a current photo ID and your NUID number to the NCard office in Room 121 of the Nebraska Union. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The $20 issuance fee will be charged to your consolidated account. If you have previously enrolled here and already have an NCard, you do not need a new one. 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 our official student ID card and can be used for educational discounts.

  • Register for the English Language Test (ELT).

    To see whether you are required to sit for the English Language Test (ELT) upon your arrival in Lincoln, check your Decision Letter or ask Graduate Studies. When you register for the English Language Test, we encourage you to sit for the earliest test date that fits your schedule. Graduate students take only the writing portion of the ELT, which can be completed in one hour.

  • Get tested for tuberculosis at the University Health Center.

    UNL requires all new international students to have a tuberculosis test at the University Health Center once on campus. Review the new student health requirement for details. Testing is available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and you do not need to schedule an appointment in advance. Bring your immunization documents and NCard. All health requirement costs are the responsibility of the student. For students who have the University of Nebraska's student insurance plan, the cost is paid by this plan. For students who have another insurance plan, their insurance provider may or may not cover the cost. Students can ask their insurance provider what they will cover.

  • 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.

    You can enroll dependents in your insurance through your UHCSR MyAccount. For questions about student insurance, contact the student insurance advocate at 866-351-4262 or

  • Enroll in or waive student health insurance.

  • International students and graduate assistants are automatically enrolled in the UnitedHealthcare StudentResources insurance plan. Once the student insurance charges appear on your MyRed account, you must accept or waive the insurance.
  • If you are not a graduate assistant and wish to enroll in that plan, you can enroll yourself online via MyRED or in person at the University Health Center.
  • Distance students are not required to enroll in the university'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.

  • Establish your UNL accounts.

    Visit Information Technology’s Student Services page to set up your access to university email, Canvas online course portal, the campus wireless network, and more.

  • Update your contact information.

    Check your Profile in MyRED to make sure we have your current address, phone number, and email.

  • 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.