Information for New Students

Before arriving in Tucson

  1. Plan to arrive in Tucson during the first half of August or earlier if you need to find housing when you get here. Classes begin in mid-to-late August, but pay attention to the dates for graduate orientation and the TA orientation session. If you are TAing during your first semeseter, the university TA orientation session is mandatory, and even if you are not TAing, It is suggested that you complete this TA orientation session before you begin your first semester of classes. Consult the University's Academic Calendar for exact dates.

  2. Contact Amy Brenton () and let her know your arrival date so that she can get your office ready. Ask her if an e-mail account has been set up for you already, and contact if you need help setting up your e-mail. Contact the graduate students if you need a place to stay for a few days while you look for housing.

  3. Contact the Department of Parking and Transportation for information on how to get a parking permit, if you plan on driving to campus. Note that Tucson is a bike- and bus-friendly city, and many LPL grads get around quite comfortably without owning a car. However, if you do choose to drive to campus, you may want to contact parking and transportation about parking permits early, as demand for parking close to the lab is high. Check out the list of parking zones and fees and the map of campus parking to decide which permit you'd like. Also, consult the section on parking in the Around Campus handbook page.

Upon arriving in Tucson

  1. When you arrive at the University, take your acceptance letter and driver's license to the CatCard Office in the Student Union and get a CatCard, then go to the Academic Office in room 325 for your office assignment and to start the process of obtaining building keys.

  2. Register for classes (and health insurance, which is covered by the department) through UAccess, a web-based registration system. You will need your university ID and PIN to register this way. If you do not have your ID number and PIN, contact Mary Guerrieri (520-621-2828, ). Register for classes, after consulting with Mary regarding your schedule and the classes that will be offered next semester (use UAccess to look at an online schedule of classes offered). It's advisable not to take more than three courses in a semester if you are RAing or TAing. Taking fewer than three classes per semester will make it difficult to take your orals in a timely manner.

  3. Pay your class fees--you will not receive a bill your first semester. Your classes will be dropped if you do not pay. You can either go to the Bursar's Office in the University Administration building or you may also pay by credit card using UAccess.

  4. Pam Streett will schedule your first-year meeting with the Graduate Admissions and Advising Committee. If you have questions about your classes or anything else, ask at this meeting, or talk to your fellow graduate students.
  5. Browse through the rest of this Handbook, walk around the Space Sciences Building and the campus, and see some of Tucson. Talk to Tim Swindle, the Head and Director (621-6262, room 323, ). Don't be afraid to knock on doors and introduce yourself. Get psyched for grad school!!

Getting the most out of grad school