Graduate Orientation

All Graduate Students


minimalist photography of open doorblack and white wooden welcome signagepair of white lace-up shoes

This site has been created to better support you, and answer common questions that may come up as you prepare for graduate study at the University of Utah. Please take some time to explore the "assignments" selected specifically for you. After you have reviewed this information I am happy to connect with you, so that I can dedicate the time needed to clearly answer your questions.

I look forward to supporting you in your studies at the University of Utah.

Courtney Phillips | Graduate Academic Advisor
Civil and Environmental Engineering | Nuclear Engineering

Schedule an appointment. 

Class schedule linked here. 

  • To be listed as full-time, graduate students must be enrolled in nine or more graduate credit hours.
  • Most often, graduate students pursuing a research-based degree will enroll in six credit hours of coursework, and three credit hours of research. This does differ from student to student, and your faculty advisor will be the best resource to help you identify what will best support your research.

Please submit official transcripts from all colleges or universities previously attended by contacting the appropriate transcript office at each institution.

Paper transcripts can be mailed directly from the college or university, or brought in an envelope sealed by the school to:

The Office of Admissions
201 S 1460 E, Rm 250 S
Salt Lake City, UT 84112

Electronic transcripts can be requested through one of the following services:

  • Parchment/Naviance
  • National Student Clearinghouse
  • Credentials Solutions
  • eScrip-Safe
  • Scoir
  • ScribOnline

If prompted for a recipient email address when ordering your transcript, please use Transcripts sent directly through email or fax will not be considered official.

Transcripts may be delivered by hand upon arrival in Salt Lake City.

University of Utah Closure Dates:

  • Friday, December 23rd, 2022
  • Monday, December 26th, 2022
  • Friday, December 30th, 2022
  • Monday, January 2nd, 2023

Note: In 2020 and 2021, in early December the U of U announced a full university closure in the week between the holidays. For 2022, a decision has not yet been made if this University Closure will occur.

Social Security Office Closures listed here. 

I strongly recommend that you consider placing your name on the waiting list for the University Student Apartments and/ or that you secure temporary housing with another student for ~1 month upon arrival. Please know that housing in Salt Lake City requires thoughtful planning and thorough preparation. You will need to take action to locate housing at your earliest convenience. Consider exploring multiple opportunities for housing to ensure that you find a suitable option. You may use the following resources to support you in locating housing.

Additional information from ISSS regarding housing.

Learn about recent updates related to housing students.

Living on a graduate student stipend can be challenging, with the ever increasing costs of living. Please review the resources below to learn about making the most of your stipend. The articles below are simply an introduction to financial planning. For additional support, schedule an appointment with the Financial Wellness Center. 

General Financial Wellness:

Credit Cards: The Good, the bad and the ugly.

Financially Responsible Meal Planning:

Students Studying on a Visa

Payroll and Payment Due to the University
Earliest possible pay date is January 22, 2023. (If everything goes right.)

Payments are due to the University on:

Friday, January 20 by 4:45 PM

(differential tuition + international fee). Estimated payment is $976.56.

($91.84 per graduate engineer credit hour + $150.00 International Fee)

Monday, February 13 by 4:45 PM

(student portion of the health insurance for Spring & Summer) = $331.50

Students can opt into a payment plan, for the full amount due. Details regarding the payment plan are linked here. 

Payroll Checklist: Download.

The following are steps that Civil & Environmental Engineering (CVEEN) students must complete in order to be hired at the University of Utah in a timely manner.

Before Travel:

  • Once updated, at, complete Step 1: Spring 2023 Orientation E-Form.
  • At the above address, complete Step 2: Watch Optional Webinars for additional information about living in Salt Lake City, and studying at the University of Utah.
  • Speak with your faculty supervisor to identify 9 credit hours your wish to enroll in for the upcoming term. Inform the graduate advisor of the courses selected by emailing
  • Arrive at the University of Utah by December 12th, 2022. If you plan arrive after this date, please inform the Graduate Advisor.

Upon Arrival:

  • Check-in with the Graduate Academic Advisor, Courtney Phillips (2008 MCE) and Administrative Manager, Tiffany Hortin (2003 MCE). You’ll receive the Hiring Letter to use to use when requesting the On-Campus Work Authorization Request.
    Bring with you: I-20 or DS-2019, passport, I-94 printout and if you have it, social security card.
  • At complete Step 3: Post-Arrival Check-In.
    Be sure to provide your U.S. address, pay your orientation fee.
  • PAYROLL STEP ONE: Login to UAtlas ( and submit a NEW STUDENT ON-CAMPUS WORK AUTHORIZATION REQUEST E-form (or NEW STUDENT ON-CAMPUS EARLY WORK AUTHORIZATION REQUEST if you will begin working before the start of classes). This is time sensitive- and can delay student pay.
  • Complete two online trainings/forms and save records documenting completion.
    1. Online safety training video:
    2.  Intellectual Property Agreement:
    Go to: scroll down to see “New Employees” in the righthand column. Select “Onboarding”. In the “first steps” box select the bottom link labelled Employee Intellectual Property Assignment Agreement. Complete the form titled “Employee Intellectual Property Assignment Agreement (For Non-Benefits Eligible Employees and Student Employees)”
  • PAYROLL STEP TWO: When the Work Authorization has been issued ISSS will notify you via email. Stop into their office Union Room 410, as quickly as possible after notification.
    a. Send the scanned authorization to and
    b. Once you have retrieved the paper copy document of the Work Authorization you may go to the Social Security Office. Appointments are NOT required (as of 4/7/22). This is time sensitive- and can delay student pay.
    Bring with you: Hiring Letter, Work Authorization Letter, Original I-20 (request this from ISSS), Passport, and Form SS-5 (

Location: 175 East 400 South Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
Telephone: 1-866-851-5275
Hours: 9:00 AM- 4:00 PM

  • PAYROLL STEP THREE: Following your visit to the social security office, email Tiffany to inform
    her your interview at social security if complete. She will provide for you a link to remotely
    complete a portion of the I-9 document for U of U payroll. This is time sensitive- and can delay student pay.

Federal Law dictates that students may not begin receiving pay until payroll steps 1, 2 and 3 are complete. Payroll will not
be back dated.

When you receive your social security card in the mail, stop by to visit Tiffany or Courtney to get a digital copy of this on record.

Please direct questions to Courtney Phillips at 801 581-6678.

The purpose of this quiz is to help inform the Academic Department Staff of the progress that you're making with regard to your Visa. Please complete this on the 1st and 15th of each prior to the start of classes in the upcoming term.

Report of Visa Appointment
Example: Phillips, C
At this time the University of Utah (has/ has not) issued the I-20.
At this time, I (have/ have not) scheduled a Visa Interview.
My passport has been returned to me, with the required Visa issued.

Graduate students at the University of Utah studying on a Visa, must prove a certain-level of English Language Proficiency in order to hold a role as a Teaching Assistant. In our department, we have all international students receive the necessary clearance to hold the role of a TA. This is because a student could be called upon at any time to assist as a TA in an undergraduate-level course. There are many, many factors that come together to determine if a student will be assigned a TA role, and what class they're assigned to.

You will be asked to asked to complete the ITAP clearance process. This training may occur prior to semester during which you hold another job title/ job code. For example, you may be asked to complete this training in the month of August, prior to the start of school. Its possible your initial offer letter stated that you will hold another role or job title. The Department would still like for you to complete this training. Historically, this training has occurred in August and January the weeks immediately prior to the start of the academic semester. At the present time, students are required to be located in the state of Utah at the time of the course.

The processes required to receive the ITAP clearance are as follows. There are two portions the student must complete to receive the required clearance.

A. ITAP Spoken English Requirement

This can be completed in one of two ways:

1. Official English Proficiency Test Scores or
2. A Spoken English Evaluation (SEE) by ITAPS Program Manager

IF demonstrated with English Proficiency Test Scores, the test date must be within 2 years of ITAP registration and one of the following scores:

  • iBT (internet-based TOEFL) Speaking sub-score of 25 or higher OR
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Speaking band of 7.0 or higher

IF demonstrated with the Spoken English Exam, this is a computer-based test facilitated by the ITAP program manager. If you must take this test please work with the ITAP manager to schedule a time to do so.

B. ITA Training

ITA Training increases general understanding of the educational system and thereby undergraduates, in the U.S. generally and at the University of Utah specifically. Content includes: reading and writing assignments, video viewing and reflections, information sharing with other candidates

Some students may receive a waiver for this training if they have (1) earned a degree at an accredited institution in the U.S. or Canada AND (2) met the ITAP Spoken English Proficiency requirement.

You may receive emails about this training from program manager Diane Cotsonas ( if you do, please respond promptly.

Suggested Tasks for a Smooth Transition

Study the University of Utah map. Locate:

  • Marriott Library
  • Meldrum Civil Engineering: The department's main office is located in office suite 2000 (the northwest corner of this building).
  • Olpin Student Union (UCard Office & International Student and Scholar Services: ISSS)
  • Student Services Building (Graduate Admissions & Income Accounting)
  • Student Health Center (Madsen Health Center) Hint: It's at the intersection of 500 South and Mario Capecchi Drive.

To upload a photo use the UCARD PHOTO UPLOADER.

Once you arrive on campus, pick up your University ID (UCARD) in building 53 , Olpin Student Union room 158.

Learn how to comply with these immunization requirements. 

Need a vaccination? Learn about the cost of these here. Please note, immunizations are by appointment ONLY 9am-4pm Monday-Friday.  Call for details. Note: Clinic is closed on Wednesdays,12-2pm.

Telephone: 801-581-6431

The default address for each student is . (Where Uxxxxxxx is the student university ID number.) You can customize your email address by following the steps linked here.

Learn about the resources available to you as a student at the University of Utah. This link includes information about campus WIFI networks, setting up your University email, Canvas online learning system and much more...

New Student Guide to Digital Resources 

Access software licensed by the University for students, staff and faculty.

Campus commuter services manages parking permits on campus. If you have a car, please learn about the parking permit you will need while on campus.

If you need access to particular labs, or to buildings outside of business hours, please complete the building access request. 

Please create an account  with the College of Engineering computer labs (CADE Labs). This will allow you to have access to College of Engineering computing labs upon your arrival in Salt Lake City, UT.

You may also check-out a computer from the Marriott Library for up to three months! You can specify if you wish to use a PC or Mac and any software you may need. Learn more about equipment check-out  here.