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Graduate School


 Graduate School Basics

The Role of the Graduate School

The Graduate School is the processing center for all documents necessary for completion of the graduate degree, from admission to graduation. Graduate School staff work with students to provide policy interpretation, assistance with completing forms, auditing of completion requirements, and disquisition review. In addition, the Graduate School offers opportunities for professional development, support services, and funding.

The Student Service Associates work with specific colleges and the departments within those colleges. They serve as a liaison among the Graduate School, students, and the department; s/he monitors students’ progress, interprets policy, and serves as a resource for academic departments. Please contact your Student Services Associate for assistance. We want you to be successful in your graduate studies.

The Graduate School website includes policies, forms, links to resources, and information about upcoming events, including professional development opportunities.

The Graduate School office is located in 105 Putnam Hall. Putnam Hall is south of Old Main and east of the main Library. Our phone number is (701) 231-7033. The Graduate School staff is here to help. Please contact your Student Services Associate for assistance. We want you to be successful in your graduate studies.

The Role of the Department and the Program Adviser

Graduate departments and advisers play a key role in the academic life of students. When a graduate student enters a department to do graduate work, s/he is assigned a faculty adviser. It is the graduate adviser who formally approves students' programs of study, advises them on advancement to candidacy for higher degrees, etc.

Departments may hold their own orientation programs and activities. To learn whether your department or program will have an orientation and specific activities please contact your department directly.

Things to do before you arrive on campus

  • Contact your department or adviser to see if there are specific tasks you must complete prior to your arrival.
  • Review your department’s orientation schedule, if available prior to your arrival, to learn when activities and events are to be held.
  • Become familiar with the curriculum and verify whether you should register for courses prior to or after your arrival.
  • Read your department’s student handbook and become familiar with the policies and procedures. Many programs post their handbooks on their websites so they are easily accessible.
  • Prepare any questions you have about your major or department to ask your adviser or other departmental contact person.

Things to do during your first few weeks on campus

  • Check in with your department.
  • Meet your adviser.
  • Complete any trainings required for your research or teaching assignments.
  • Attend any departmental activities or events to meet faculty, staff and students in your program.
  • Become familiar with specific facilities related to your area (e.g,. research facilities, libraries, computer labs, etc.)

The Graduate Advisee/Adviser Checklist will help you and your adviser facilitate your graduate school experience.

Secrets to Sucess in Graduate School

While each individual is different, there are a few tips that should help anyone seeking their graduate degree. First is planning. There are several steps that need to be takien in order to complete your degree. Familiarize yourself with the required paperwork and timelines to avoid issues down the road. Resources available for planning include the Graduate Bulletin, Department Handbook, a Student Service Associate and the NDSU Graduate School web site. All forms required are available at

Get to know other students. Students provide a support system that will help you not only with moral support, but possibly advice regarding your department, NDSU and the Graduate School.Use your resources. Your adviser, department and the Graduate School want you to be successful. Utilize them when you need assistance. There are also other resources on campus to help: the Center for Writers, Counseling Center, etc.

Memorize your student ID number. You will need this number to identify yourself when contacting departments on campus.

The NDSU Grad Leaders (administrators and leaders of graduate programs) were asked to provide a piece of advice for new graduate students. Read what they have to say.

Mandetory Training

Please check with your program to determine if additional training is required. Check websites for face to face options for training sessions and contact information.

Training Topic

Who is required to complete training

How often

Training Available Online

More Information


Baseline Safety

All Graduate Students



University Police and Safety Office


Harassment training – Harassment and Sexual Harassment

All Graduate Students

First year should include all training Sexual harassment training – annually

Sexual Harassment

Office for Equity Diversity and Global Outreach

100, 100.1, 100.2, 103, 154.1, 156, 158, 162, 162.1, 163, 163.1,168, 606

Defensive Driving

Those who drive State Fleet vehicles or NDSU leased vehicles

Once every four years


ND Department of Transportation


Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

Those who work with infectious agents or recombinant DNA

Must be completed and documented prior to starting research or teaching. One time training.


Institutional Biosafety (IBC)

University Police and Safety Office

166, 166.1, 347

Laboratory & Chemical Safety

Those who will be using hazardous chemicals in a laboratory, greenhouse, or field site

Once every three years. Should be completed prior to working in a laboratory.


University Police and Safety Office

166, 166.1, 711

Radiation Safety

Those who work with radioisotopes

Must be completed and documented prior to starting research


University Police and Safety Office

166, 166.1, 711

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

Those for whom any aspect of their work is funded by NSF or NIH (recommended for all Graduate Students doing research)

CITI modules should be completed and documented prior to starting research.

The CITI modules are, but face to face training is still required – check with program

NDSU Policy 348

166, 348

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Those whose research will involve human subjects

Must be completed and documented prior to starting research or teaching. Once every three years.


Institutional Review Board (IRB)

166, 345

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

Those whose research will involve vertebrate animals

Must be completed and documented prior to starting research or teaching. Refresher every three years.


Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

166, 346


*Become familiar with policies in the NDSU Policy Manual

Graduate Student Association

All graduate students are members of the Graduate Student Association (GSA). The GSA is the representative voice of graduate students at NDSU, formulating policy and advising the Dean of the Graduate School, the University Senate, and the President of the University on the graduate student’s viewpoint concerning all matters affecting graduate student life. The GSA acts to improve the quality of education and social experiences for graduate students at NDSU. Meetings and social events are held regularly.

Campus Safety

The NDSU Escort Service provides someone to escort you on the main campus and the immediate surrounding area. Request this 24-hour service by calling 231-8998. This service is provided by University Police officers or Public Safety officers. This service is limited to on-campus locations or the immediate vicinity of NDSU.

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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NDSU Graduate School
Phone: +1 (701) 231-7033
Campus address:  106 Putnam Hall
Physical/delivery address:  NDSU Graduate School/106 Putnam Hall/1349 12th Avenue Northwest/Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address:  NDSU Dept. 2820/PO Box 6050/Fargo, ND 58108
Page manager: NDSU Graduate School

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 8:14:48 PM