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University of Wisconsin–Madison

New Student Information

The Graduate School maintains a checklist for new graduate students. Most importantly:

Activate your NetID

You will need your NetID and password to access the My UW-Madison portal. To activate your NetID click on the ACTIVATE NETID button from the My UW Madison login screen. Enter your 10-digit student campus ID number and birthdate. The NetID you create and password you enter are keys to your access to the MyUW portal, so make a record of it and keep it private. If you are unsure about your NetID and password, contact the DoIT Help Desk at 608-264-4357.

Tuition Account Refunds

Set up e-Refund for direct deposits of refunds that post to the bank account in 1-3 business days. Students may enroll and manage their eRefund status/bank information on their MyUW Student Center.

Get your UW Photo ID Card (Wiscard)

Get your UW ID card - Wiscard - photo taken at the Wiscard Office in Union South, room 149, M-F 8:30 am - 5:00 pm. You must be enrolled and have valid identification, such as a valid driver’s license, passport, or state ID to get your photo ID.

Enroll in Classes

You will receive notification from the University when you are eligible to enroll. Most graduate courses do not fill up and there is less urgency to immediately sign up for classes. Discuss a course sequence with the program manager or your advisor.

Pick up your Free Madison Metro Bus Pass

As a UW student, you can pick up a bus pass at no charge from the Memorial Union at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. Visit the ASM website for more information on Madison Metro bus services. Be sure to bring your UW Photo ID card. Prerequisite: You must be enrolled.

Attend the New Graduate Student Welcome

The New Graduate Student Welcome, hosted by the Graduate School, provides a great opportunity to mingle with Graduate School deans and staff, hear from a panel of current students about grad student life, learn about the many campus and community resources available to you, and meet other new graduate students from across campus.

Graduate Student Life

Graduate Student Life is published annually by the Graduate School and contains a wealth of essential information for new graduate student. It covers information about the city of Madison, student services, finances, employment, housing, transportation, shopping, local services, recreation, and healthy living.

Attend Program Orientation Events

The department hosts an incoming student orientation in late August, usually followed by a department picnic at a nearby park or home. Details are provided over email.

Program/Department Resources for Students

The department provides a number of resources that you will be told about at orientation and during the year over email. The office staff is knowledgeable on all these areas and can assist you.

  • Students will have access to all AOS facilities. This includes conference rooms, the SSEC library, and the lounge on the 14th floor, which holds a conference table and large monitors with computers for presenting material or viewing weather forecasts.
  • Students will also have access to the computer lab on the 14th floor. This computer lab has dual-boot Linux/Windows computers that can be used for general purpose computing. Printers are also available in this room.
  • All students have shared mailboxes on the 8th floor.
  • Photocopying, faxing, and printing services are available. Ask department staff to get you set up and arrange payment for personal transactions.
  • Each year, our department systems programmer will provide you a link to our department listservs including and
  • The program manager is your primary point of contact for all resources. Secondary support is available through the faculty director and department administrator.