Orientation & FAQ

Fall 2020 MGIS Orientation
Monday, August 31
1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Online via Zoom
Welcome students!

The MGIS program has orientation programs every fall and spring for incoming graduate students. They are normally scheduled a week or two prior to the start of classes. The fall orientation is a full-day program since the majority of students start at the beginning of the academic year; a scaled-down version is organized for those entering in the spring. The orientation content includes an introduction to faculty, students and administrators, an explanation of program requirements and procedures, a discussion of facilities and services, opportunities for financial assistance and awards, and, of course, advising support. In Fall 2020, the orientation program will be scaled-down and held online via Zoom followed by one-on-one advising sessions as needed.

Graduate School Orientation Program

The Graduate School's Welcome & Online Orientation is open to all incoming graduate and professional students and is intended to complement orientations provided by programs and colleges. This program also includes GEAR1 , an online orientation for new graduate students.

International Students: ISSS New Student Information

All new international students should visit the International Student & Scholar Services New Student Information page for ISSS requirements and resources essential to getting started at the University of Minnesota. You will not be able to register for courses until required ISSS tasks have been completed.


The following frequently asked questions will give you additional useful information prior to our MGIS program orientation.

How do I get started?

Once you have been admitted to the program, an excellent and very comprehensive resource for getting started is the myU portal. Simply log in to your myU account and you are ready to explore! We will also have an orientation event specific to the MGIS program. You will receive an email about the MGIS orientation that also includes some information to help you get started. International students will work closely with the International Student and Scholar Services Office; please visit their web page for new students, which has pre-arrival, arrival, visa, housing, and much more information to assist you with attending the University of Minnesota.

How do I get advice on registering for courses?

As a new student to the program, one of your first concerns will be getting the necessary advising to register for your courses. We will provide ample opportunity for advising during the orientation program. However, if you have questions prior to this event, you can contact Susanna McMaster. Check out our advising resources for additional information and to access a copy of the current MGIS Graduate Student Handbook. For more information on class schedules, registration, student services, etc., visit One Stop.

How do I obtain a U Card?

A key item for identifying you as a student in the program and at the University of Minnesota is your U Card. Once the Graduate School has approved your admission into the program and issued you a student ID number, you are ready to acquire a U Card. See more information on where you can go to get your U Card.

Where is the Department of Geography, Environment & Society?

The Department of Geography, Environment & Society is located on the West Bank of the Twin Cities campus on the fourth floor of the Social Science Building (414 Social Sciences). For directions to campus, parking information and maps, visit Getting Around Campus.