Incoming Student Information


We are so excited that you have decided to join our program! There are many unknowns at this time but I do know one thing for sure, we are excited for the start of a new academic year with you all! The Univesrity is aiming to start the Fall semester with regular in-person classes if possible. Please find some general information below, all dates and info are subject to change - but also know that I will work hard to keep you all informed each step of the way!

Note: The information provided below pertains only to the entering class of 2020

Important Dates

August 17th - For international students only, mandatory International Student Orientation - all day (If enrollment is deferred to Spring 2021 start  - or Fall 2021 start - please don't worry, additional Orientation opportunities will be scheduled.

Friday, August 21st at 2:00pm - for all first year physics and astronomy graduate students  - department orientation and check-in

Monday, August 24th - 8:30am, for all first year physics and astronomy graduate students - Department Teaching Assistant Training

Monday, August 24th - 1:00pm -For all first year graduate students - Arts, Sciences and Engineering Graduate Student Orientation

Tuesday, August 25th - For all first year graduate students -  Arts, Sciences and Engineering Teaching Assistant Training 9:00am - 3:00pm

Wednesday, August 26th - First Day of Classes

Pre-arrival Checklist

1. Look for the Health History Form and Health Insurance information to arrive in the mail in over the summer. I do not have the ability to get these sent out to just yet - but hopefully will be able to get back into my office soon! I will be checking in to confirm valid mailing addresses for each of you before I mail this out too. Read through all the information when you recieve it - complete the forms and return required documents to University Health Services directly by mail before arrival (or in some cases, if you have had your doctor complete the forms, you can bring them to Rochester when you move and deliver it to UHS).

2. Obtain your URID otherwise known as Student ID number. You can discover your new URID number by logging back into your application account, viewing the application status page you will see the URID in parenthesis near the top fo the page. If you do not find your URID, please let me know and I can email it back to you.

3. Obtain your Net ID (yes, this is different from your URID). You can discover your NetID by visiting . Once you have the NetID, log into , look in the box that says "My Access" and then click on "View Account". Up will come a list of accounts, they may or may not all be the same, but the one you are most interested in is "UR Active Directory" - that is your UserID for your email account. You will then need to go back to the home screen of the myidentity site and look at the top box - choose "Change Password" and then if I were you, I would change the passwords for all accounts at the same time, you can always go back and modify this later - but just make it all consistent for now. (Also note, you do not have an Employee ID at this time - you will - but not until August when you arrive on campus and fill out the payroll paperwork.) Please also note that multiple systems from admissions through to IT need to talk to each other - often overnight - and so if you have just accepted our offer this week, it may be a few days before access to your netID is ready.

3. Complete the Bursar Payment Agreement: All students are required to complete the agreement. The majority of fees are paid for by our dept, however, there will be a charge or two on you account that you will be responsible for, examples:  $10 per semester GSA fee, and for international students, $25 per semester fee. (Bursar Agreements can only be completed from physically within the US, so for our international students, you can complete this after you arrive).  

4. Actual course registration will take place in August. The usual courses are at least PHY 407 Quantum Mechanics, PHY 415 Electromagnetic Theory, and PHY 597 Teaching and Research Seminar - along with one more elective course. More information on course schedules, textbooks etc. will be provided separately soon.

5. Explore housing. Be ready to spend a few days checking out different living arrangements when you arrive. It can be hard to choose an apartment without actually seeing it, but on the other hand, it is important to do research on housing before arriving on campus so that you are ready and able to find a suitable place very quickly upon arrival (if not before!). I will be sending around the informal dept. list over the next couple of months as a resource too. Here is the link to our residential life office for some additional information: Note that campus sponsored housing operates a lottery system with an application due in the first week of May. Both campus housing and off-campus housing are popular options. I am in touch with our Dean's Offices for details on how on-campus graduate student housing options will work for those that need to defer enrollment, we don't have the answers yet - more to come soon on this piece.

6. Enroll or Waive the Health insurance prior to August 1st. Keep an eye out for emails from the University announcing the open enrollment period for the student health insurance. Maintaining suitable health insurance coverage while a student is required. We will pay for your individual student health insurance plan here at the University. 

7. You will need to request that your undergraduate institution email access to your final transcript to me directly, the transcript must note that you have received your bachelors degree along with the date of degree conferral. The transcript can be sent from your undergraduate institution officially and directly to me via email at - email is certainly preferred at this time - or it can me mailed officially and directly to: Laura Blumkin, Physics and Astronomy, Box 270171, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627. Please let me know if you have any specific questions about getting us this confirmation of your bachelors degree, it is required before you will be able to register for classes.

8. Set up your University of Rochester Office 365 Email account. You will need to set up your Net ID first and know your student ID before you can set up the email account.  Once you have the new UserID and password set up for your Active Directory, you can then to to and log into your new email account!  This new email account,, will be your main email address here at the University. It will be your responsibility to check, maintain and respond to the email in this account throughout your time as a graduate student with us. Please also note that multiple systems from admissions through to IT need to talk to each other - often overnight - and so if you have just accepted our offer this week, it may be a few days before access to email is ready.

Post-Arrival Checklist

1. Check in with me - Bausch and Lomb (B&L) 210. If you are an international student, you should check in with ISO first and then stop by to see me. For international students, you will need to bring your immigration documents for check in at ISO. 

2. You will also be asked to sign the Intellectual Property Agreement (I will provide you with the copy for signature), please review it ahead of time here:

2. You will be provided with two keys, one for the building after hours and one for your office space - each key requires a $5 deposit - so please bring $10 with you at check in.

3. Head to the ID office to get your University of Rochester Student ID Card in Susan B. Anthony Hall - bring your 8 digit student ID number with you for easy look-up of your records. 

4. Check your email - often -  Your main email account here at the University will be your account.

I cannot wait to have you all on campus! Please stay in touch and know that I am here to help through all the onboarding and to answer any questions, anytime! Thank you! - Laura