For Admitted Students

2024 Graduate Orientation | Thursday, August 22

In-person sessions are primarily for new students entering in spring, summer, or fall 2024, but returning students with first-time graduate assistant appointments of 25% or greater should attend the Graduate Assistant Health Plan presentation. The 2024 Orientation schedule is not available yet, but please see last year's schedule for offerings generally available each year. Orientation will be held in person. (See campus map here.)

Graduate student orientation is held each year during Welcome Week in the fall semester. There is no orientation in spring semester, so students entering in spring semester should attend the following fall orientation. 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 anytime.

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. These Canvas modules are arranged so that you can return to them throughout your graduate career. Your University account must be activated in order to access GEAR1 and GEAR+.
Note:  These online resources are not intended to replace the in-person Graduate Student Orientation described above.

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 prior to arrival to UMD, and may be required to take additional English language training. Speaking assessment is conducted online through the Center for Educational Innovation, and must be completed before you begin teaching. CEI has reserved August 1 especially for Duluth TAs, but you are strongly encouraged to schedule an assessment in the spring semester as soon as you have decided to accept a GTA offer. Use the link here to schedule a SETTA. Contact the Graduate Office ([email protected]) with any questions. 


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