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USF Office of Graduate Studies Orientation

Welcome to the University of South Florida Office of Graduate Studies

Welcome!

We are delighted that you have selected the University of South Florida (USF) for your graduate studies. We know that students often have many choices for graduate study, so we are extremely pleased you have joined our family of learners and our community of scholars. You are attending USF at a very exciting time, as the university continues to grow its national and international reputation. We are truly a global university serving the needs of students worldwide. USF is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in the top tier of research universities, a distinction attained by only 2.2 percent of all universities. It ranks 50th in the nation for federal expenditures in research and total expenditures in research among all U.S. universities, public or private, according to the National Science Foundation.

The Office of Graduate Studies serves as the university hub of leadership for graduate education at USF offering hundreds of master’s and doctoral programs. The various units of the Office of Graduate Studies work with your department, academic college and other offices on campus to help you understand and navigate through the various policies and procedures that allow us to maintain our standards of excellence.

I invite you to explore this New Student Webpage and the entire Office of Graduate Studies Website to learn about the services, activities, and opportunities available to you. We continue to grow and expand our offerings in research funding, scholarship, and professional development so you will be prepared for leadership roles. From “Welcome student,” to “Congratulations, graduate!” – we are here to enhance your graduate student experience. I look forward to seeing you at the many events, workshops, and meetings we schedule for students and hope you will become very involved! Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need assistance or information.

Welcome to USF!

NEW GRADUATE STUDENT ORIENTATION

Before the start of the fall and spring semesters the Office of Graduate Studies provides an orientation program to welcome and inform new students. This is an opportunity for new graduate students to learn about university services, academic resources, policies and procedures, departmental information, and campus organizations. In addition, it gives graduate students a chance to meet each other in a social setting to share experiences and forge friendships.

Click here for details and to register for the event
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Graduate Student Services (813) 974-7935

FINALIZING YOUR GRADUATE ADMISSION

Although, it is possible that your program may require you to take additional steps to secure a place in the program (please consult your program’s website or director), the Office of Graduate Studies does not require an admission deposit to confirm your acceptance of our offer of admission. Instead, we consider your registration for classes as confirmation that you accept the offer. Consequently, we encourage you to register as soon as possible to secure a place in the program and seats in your courses (see registration section below). Payment for your courses isn’t required until the first week of classes, so you can reserve your classes early while you make arrangements for payment later.

If you find that you will not be able to enroll with us for the semester you were admitted, you may request a deferment of your admission. Please discuss this option with your program to see if that is a viable option for you. If so, the department must notify Graduate Admissions to officially defer your admission to the agreed upon term.

If your admission is provisional, pending the receipt of missing application materials (such as final or official transcripts or test scores), you must provide these documents upon arrival or no later than the end of the first semester of enrollment. Failure to submit the necessary materials will result in a registration hold for your second semester of study.

Transcripts must be official, with a full and professional English translation of the document, and must show the awarding of the degree earned. Test Scores must be submitted to USF directly from the testing service (see “Test Scores” on Admissions Checklist).

TRANSFER OF CREDITS EARNED AT ANOTHER INSTITUTION

Up to 12 graduate-level credit hours earned at another institution may be transferred into the admitting program at the discretion of the admitting program. Contact your program director for information (see Graduate Programs for contact information).

CHANGE OF ACADEMIC PROGRAM

Graduate students who decide after entering a program that they wish to change graduate programs must do so through Office of Graduate Studies, not the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Change of Program Request will NOT be considered for graduate students in their first semester of study. Only a continuing graduate student enrolled for study in a particular program who wishes to change to another program at the same or lower level must complete the Change of Program Request Form #USF 2085. It is up to the discretion of the student’s original program to determine if a Change of Program is appropriate and will be granted. This form must be signed both by the current program and the new program, after which it must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies for approval. If approved by the Office of Graduate Studies, the change of program form is then sent to the Registrar for processing.

NOTE: Some programs may require you to submit another, full admission application because the Change of Program Request Form does not contain sufficient information for them to make a decision. You should check with the new program before completing any paperwork.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

The Office of Graduate Studies welcomes students from abroad. Currently, USF is home to more than 1,300 international graduate students and 300 research scholars from over 120 countries. In addition, we have many faculty members and visiting scholars from across the globe.

International Services Office
The Office of International Services (IS) at USF is the main administrative and immigration advising office for more than 1,400 international students and 200 research scholars from over 130 countries.

Class Registration Restriction for F-1 Visas
NOTE: F-1 student visa regulations allow students to enroll in only one 3-credit hour online/distance learning course per the official full-time equivalent for the degree level of study. Therefore, the F-1 visa is not appropriate for any degree program that is offered completing via distance learning or online courses.

YOUR IDENTIFICATION & PERSONALIZED ACCOUNTS

USFID (U number)
The USFID is your unique ID number at USF. Your USFID helps the University provide you with services and helps to safely identify you without the need to disclose your Social Security Number to others.
The USFID is used for academic, business and administrative transactions requiring an ID. The USFID is randomly generated within the University's student information system (OASIS), is not derived from any personally identifiable student data, and appears in the format 'U--------'. The letter 'U' followed by an eight-digit number is issued only once and remains the student's official primary identifier with USF. It will be permanently and uniquely recognized by OASIS throughout the student's academic career in USF undergraduate, graduate and professional programs.

NET ID
The NetID is your user ID at the University. Students, faculty, and staff are automatically eligible to obtain a NetID. With its associated password, the NetID allows you access to a variety of online services offered at the entire University system.
To create your NetID account click here

USF CARD
The USFCard is primarily used for identification, for verification of USF status, and for using University services, such as the Library, the purchase of parking decals, obtaining passes for University sporting and theatrical events, and other related events/services. USFCards may be obtained at the USFCard Center: Marshall Student Center (MSC), Room 1505.
The USFCard is the official identification card of the University of South Florida. The USFCard is a multi-functional card with digitized photo and electronic identification and validation for departments needing to verify student and/or employee status. The USFCard was designed as a platform for a multitude of services and functions.
Add Bull Bucks to your USFCard and use it for purchases at: USF Dining Locations, Print & Copy Locations, Marshall Center Information Desk, USF Bookstore and Starbucks, USF Computer Store, Parking & Transportation Services (main office), Bulls Country Pharmacy, ect.

MyUSF - University Web Portal
MyUSF is the single sign-on, unified intranet that all USF faculty, staff, and students use to access email, calendars, business systems and other functions requiring login credentials. Through MyUSF you can access Blackboard for class materials, assignments, grades, discussions, and online meetings. You can also access Google Mail, other Google Apps @ USF, Oasis (student registration), and other USF resources such as the USF Library.
What you see on the MyUSF Home page after you log in will vary. In addition to general USF announcements, there will be content displayed that is specific to your account.

OFFICIAL USF EMAIL ACCOUNT
All registered students will automatically be assigned an official USF email account (@mail.usf.edu) which is used exclusively by Blackboard for all course correspondence. It is also used for and official USF announcements, so check it regularly.
You can set this email to forward to your personal email account.
USF has contracted with Google to provide Google Apps services for students. An active NetID account is required to sign up for services which include Google Gmail, Calendar, Talk, Docs, and Start Page. This allows you to keep your USF email address, but use Google’s advanced email interface – without ads. Comes with a powerful spam filter and 6 gigabytes of storage (so you may never have to delete a message again).

BLACKBOARD
Blackboard is the software system used for online class websites. Through Blackboard you can access class materials, assignments, grades, discussions, and online meetings. You can login to myUSF to access Blackboard for your course materials, check your USF email, and check your grades.
The information displayed in Blackboard will vary based on your account settings. Click on a specific course in the course list to access materials related to that individual class.

blog@USF
Anyone with a USF NetID can request a blog for personal use. The URL will be based on the user’s NetID (eg: http://netid.blog.usf.edu). You can also request a blog for course activities, student organizations, staff departments, research groups, etc. Keep in mind that information posted on myWeb or blog@USF is PUBLIC. DO NOT POST PRIVATE INFORMATION. Remember that the purpose of these resources is the support of teaching and research.
Click here to request a blog

MYWEB WEBSPACE
USF students can create their own websites! "My Webspace" is created for all students as part of the email account activation process. Sites are created with a sample welcome page and have the address: http://yournetid.myweb.usf.edu
Use the space for: class projects, posting resumes, self-promotion.

FUNDING/FINANCES

  • Employment at USF (CAREERS)
  • Fellowships & Scholarships
  • Financial Aid
  • Graduate Assistantships
    Colleges and Departments at the University of South Florida provide Graduate Assistantships (GAs) to qualified students on a competitive basis. GAs may teach, conduct research, or have other responsibilities that contribute to the student's professional development. Graduate Assistantships are not awarded through the Office of Graduate Studies but are typically awarded through a specific Graduate Program/Department or College.
  • Scholarships, National
    The Office of National Scholarships (ONS) provides guidance and support for USF’s high achieving students as they compete for national merit scholarships across all disciplines.
  • USF Federal Credit Union
    USF Federal Credit Union is a cooperative financial institution (similar to a bank) that is owned and controlled by its members/users, and operated for the purpose of providing financial services to its members, such as savings & checking accounts, debit and credit cards, loans, ATMs, etc. As a student at the University of South Florida, you are a member of our community and eligible to join.

COMPUTING RESOURCES

  • Computer Store
  • Information Technology
  • Wireless Network Access
    USF has extensive wireless coverage on the Tampa campus and has been in the process of upgrading and expanding this coverage with the help of Student Technology Fee funding. All systems attempting to access USF’s wireless network must be registered with the Data Network Management group. Laptops with wireless capabilities that are physically on the USF Tampa campus will be prompted to register automatically.
  • Advanced Visualization Center
    The Advanced Visualization Center functions as a resource for student and faculty research and instruction by supplying state-of-the-art high resolution imaging systems
  • Research Computing
    Research Computing promotes the availability of high performance computing resources essential to effective research at USF by supporting software tools, high performance computer hardware, and training for faculty and students
  • Open Use Computer/Copier Labs
  • USF Computer Applications Available
    Students can login with their NetID to the portal and have access to over 80 different software applications from any computer with a browser at any time. Students may also print directly from the portal to many of the printers in the Tampa campus labs, or save their work using the new UStoreFiles central storage location. New applications are being added on a regular basis.
  • UStoreFiles
    UStoreFiles helps students keep track of their assignments as they move around campus. Students can store their files on one central file location, the S drive, and access it on or off campus from different locations including many Tampa campus computer labs, the USF Application Portal, as well as a home computer. UStoreFiles has up to 4 GB of memory, and is also home to students’ MyWeb files and CIRCE Computational Cluster storage.
  • Student Government Computer Services
  • Computer Help Desk

GRADUATE STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

  • Graduate & Professional Student Council
    The Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC) fosters interaction between graduate and professional students through community service, social and academic events. GPSC provides a voice for graduate and professional students through representation on university committees and advocating student interests to the administration.
  • Graduate Student Ambassadors
    This select group of graduate students will serve as an advisory board to the Office of Graduate Studies Dean, mentor new graduate students, and serve as official student representatives for the Office of Graduate Studies. This program will be launched in Fall 2012.
  • Other Student Organizations
    There are over 400 student organizations covering a diverse range of topics; something for every individual. You can search the list to find groups of interest to you.