New Student Checklist

This checklist is sent to all incoming graduate students upon notifying the department that they accept their offer of admission.


  • Activate your UMD directory ID and .edu e-mail address. To do so, use the activation code from your admission portal. See here for how to locate that. Note: The most important part about activation is to make sure you change the DEFAULT directoryID provided to a PREFERRED directoryID BEFORE clicking "activate." Campus will provide a default directoryID, this is usually not the preferred ID. If you accept and then change later it causes issues.
  • Sign up for our CS grad student listserv (Gradlist) using your .edu e-mail  for important announcements from us:
  • If you need access to a desk assignment (discuss with your adviser), contact Tom Hurst to see what is available.
  • If you are new to the University payroll (i.e. you are receiving an assistantship) this semester and you have not been contacted regarding paperwork by the end of August, please contact Jodie Gray (
  • Meet with your advisor. You can find our full faculty list here.
  • Register for courses via Testudo (select "Registration (Drop/Add)") after getting your directory ID. *Be aware of the add/drop deadlines.
    • Failure to register can result in cancellation of your enrollment at the University.
    • Contact the department if you ever have questions about if you should register.
    • Be aware of the University's Continuous Registration Policy.
  • Get your Graduate Student Picture ID from the Mitchell Building (near the big M on Campus Drive). It’s open 8:30am-4:30pm Monday through Friday. You can use the ID to get discounts at the Stamp Student Union. Note: You are not officially considered a student until you register for at least one course. The ID office will not issue you an ID unless you have registered for at least one course.
  • Order books for your classes. You can find them in the University Book Center in the Stamp Student Union, Bookholders on Route 1, and online stores such as or
  • Send in your final BS or MS transcripts that show conferral of those degrees to the Graduate School (2123 Lee Building) if this is a provision of your admission. You will not be permitted to register for classes your second semester if you do not do so. Note: This is done automatically for any transcripts from UMD.
  • Pay your mandatory student fees online via the bursar's office. Note: Credit and debit payment is charged a 2% processing fee. Payments made by cash, electronic check, check or money order are not charged the fee.
  • Fill out your immunization form and give it to the Health Center. The form is required for you to sign up for second semester classes.
  • Update your contact information. The University mails many important documents - so make sure it’s a local address!



The following items will be done over the summer (usually in July). Expect more information at a future date.

  • Laptop purchase reimbursements - If offered this reimbursement as part of your admission, we will ask you to complete a form and provide a receipt.
  • TA positions - If you do not have an RA and require a TA appointment, please submit the TA application. This will be sent out to gradlist over the summer.
  • Creating a (aka "Junkfood") account, including mail forwarding from directoryID [-at-] cs [dot] umd [dot] edu to directoryID [-at-] umd [dot] edu. This will be done over summer as we send a list of admitted students to our IT staff.
  • Creating your CS website profile and adding an update reminder to your calendar to update it each semester!  Consult the CS website user guide on how to create/edit your profile after getting a account.
  • If you encounter any issues with CS account/website account, contact helpdesk [-at-] cs [dot] umd [dot] edu.