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Resources for Prospective and New Graduate Students

2020 Graduate Student Orientation | Online via Zoom

Thursday, August 27, 2020 | 9:30 - 10am new students | 10 - 11am new and returning students | 11 - 12, 1 - 2pm new and returning graduate teaching assistants

Check the detailed schedule here. Zoom meeting links will be provided by email.

Graduate student orientation is held each year during Welcome Week in the fall semester. There is no orientation in spring semester. The purpose of orientation is to provide an introduction to on-campus and system-wide resources for graduate students, and to provide a chance for students from across disciplines to meet. Individual programs also hold separate orientation activities specific to the program. The online orientation modules below are available year 'round.

Online Graduate Student Orientation Modules - GEAR1 & GEAR+
Designed for graduate students on the Twin Cities, Duluth, and Rochester campuses, GEAR1 (Graduate EducAtion Resources for the 1st Year) and GEAR+ (Graduate EducAtion Resources beyond the 1st year) contain a wealth of resources and advice to help you succeed. The modules are arranged so that you can return to them throughout your graduate career. Your University account must be activated in order to access the orientation.
Note:  These online resources are not intended to replace the in-person Graduate Student Orientation described above.

UMD Return to Campus Information

Graduate School Fall 2020 Information [added 6/22/20]

Mandatory Speaking Assessment for Graduate Teaching Assistants

Non-native English speakers holding graduate teaching assistantships are required by University policy to demonstrate English speaking proficiency in one of the following ways:

  • Minimum official TOEFL iBT speaking sub-score of 27 or IELTS speaking sub-score of 8
  • Bachelor's degree from US institution within the last two years
  • UMTC SETTA rating of 1 or 2

GTAs not meeting one of these requirements must take a speaking assessment upon arrival to UMD, and may be required to take additional English language training. This year, due to the spread of COVID-19, speaking assessment is being conducted online. Contact the Graduate Office ( for more information and scheduling. 


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