New Graduate Student Orientation Information

These resources are gathered to assist graduate students who are new to the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Questions can be directed to or stop by 2019 Black Engineering.

Planning Your Arrival in Ames 

Getting Started at ISU

Register for Classes

  • If you have one, please meet with your major professor to discuss courses to fit your focus of study.
    • If you do not have a major professor, review the ME Core course requirements for your degree in the ME Graduate Student Handbook. Choose courses that reflect your area of interest.
  • All first-semester graduate students (including BS/Masters Concurrent students) must register for ME600 Section 1.
  • If a reference number for a course is listed as “See Dept for Reference Number”, ask for assistance from the ME Graduate Programs Office.
  • Students on assistantship must take a minimum of 1 credit hour each semester.
  • Students not on assistantship must take a minimum of 9 credit hours each semester.
  • ISU Graduate College Handbook
  • ISU Schedule of Classes
  • ISU Course Catalog (for course descriptions)
  • Academic Calendars: semester dates and university holidays

For Students on Assistantship

  • If you have a graduate assistantship position, you will receive email notification regarding your required action in the ISU Workday system. If you do not receive a notification email, login to Workday with your ISU netID to view your Workday notifications directly.
  • In Workday, you will enter your contact information and complete the I-9 Form. International students will also go to the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO, 3248 Memorial Union) to complete your employment verification.
  • Also in Workday, you will manage your payment and tax withholding elections, along with required training.
  • Your Graduate College Tuition Scholarship credit will be applied to your university bill as soon as possible.
    • On AccessPlus, check “Yes” to authorize aid release.
    • If your U-Bill comes due prior to the availability of the scholarship credit, consider paying the minimum amount due, which will automatically enroll you in the Deferred Billing Plan (additional charges may apply).
  • Student Health Benefits – Students with graduate assistantships are automatically enrolled in the Students and Scholars Health Insurance Program (SSHIP). At the start of the semester, you may elect to add-on enrollment for dental coverage or for your dependents.
  • CELT’s Teaching Assistant Cohort Seminar, Tuesday, August 20, 2019, 8 a.m. –12:00 noon, Scheman Building, Iowa State Center, Iowa State University.
    All TAs who are new to the ISU classroom, or who have received a teaching assignment different from what they have done before, are strongly encouraged to attend this seminar. Discussion will focus on topics such as classroom management, effective grading, and preparing for the first day of class. Ideas for specific types of teaching, time management, and working with students will also be shared. Register using instructions at

Things to Know

  • Department Email List – is a mailing list of currently enrolled ME graduate students. It is the student’s responsibility to read these emails and to meet deadlines. If you do not start receiving Electron List email by the first Friday of the fall semester, please email to be added to the list.
  • Mailboxes – All graduate students have assigned mailboxes in ME Graduate Programs Office, 2019 Black Engineering. These mailboxes are for official university mail only.
  • The Graduate College’s Center for Communication Excellence offers free individual consultations with graduate writing consultants. Students working on their thesis or dissertation, journal article, research proposal, conference paper, poster presentation, etc. can make appointments with Disciplinary, Interdisciplinary, and English Writing Consultants. Students can also join graduate peer review groups, attend seminars and workshops, and access various other resources.
  • Student Employment Center – look for on-campus employment opportunities
  • ISU Veterans Center
  • ISU Student Organizations and Clubs
  • Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) represents the graduate and professional students’ perspectives on campus issues and serves as a liaison between graduate/professional students and the university administration.
  • Professional Advancement Grants (PAG) are provided to graduate and professional students by the Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) to help defray expenses related to professional meeting and conference travel. You are encouraged to apply 8-10 weeks prior to departure.
  • Graduate Society of Women Engineers (GSWE) is a student organization offering leadership experiences, networking opportunities, and community involvement.