Things to do as soon as you arrive

When to arrive on Campus

If you are serving as a GTA, please plan to be on campus by Monday morning of the week before classes begin; introductory meetings for different classes are scheduled throughout that whole week. If you are not serving as a GTA, then you and your advisor can decide on your arrival date.

Establishing Residency

Because tuition is considerably less for Colorado residents than for out-of-state students, only “in-state” (i.e. Colorado resident) tuition will be paid after the first year. Therefore, you should immediately take steps to establish residency upon arrival in Colorado. Information on establishing residency can be found here: CSU | Residency Classification in Colorado. Please note that this applies only to domestic students; international students should communicate directly with their advisors about tuition payment.

Payroll Paperwork

When you first begin employment, you will need to complete the payroll forms. If you haven’t done so already, please contact Maylou Flores in the Biology accounting office immediately to complete your hiring paperwork.

Every semester that you are working as a TA, you will need to sign a certification form. Plan to stop by the Accounting Office during the first two weeks of the semester to be sure your certification form is signed.

Maylou will be your contact person for graduate work related HR questions in the department.

Registering For Classes

Information on registering for courses, provided by the Registrar’s Office, is available here: CSU | Register for Courses . Please see our “Guide to Credits and Fees” as well as our “Goals for each year in our graduate degree programs” information to help you plan your first-year course-load. Dorothy Ramirez, our Graduate Coordinator, can help with any issues you have related to registration.

First-Year Graduate Student Seminar Course

We require all of our beginning MS and PhD students — in Biological Science, GDPE, and CMB (once they choose an advisor in Biology in the first or second year) — to register for our Departmental Seminar, BZ692H. We require all of our beginning PSM students to come the first week, and then we welcome their registration and participation for the rest of the semester as much as fits with their interests and curriculum requirements. The class meets every Tuesday and Wednesday from 3:30-5:50 during the fall semester. It includes a mix of invited speakers, in-department speakers, and activities to get our new students integrated into our departmental community.

IT Registration

Ross Madden is the IT coordinator for the Department of Biology as well as other departments in the College of Natural Sciences. Please visit this “CSU | New User Starter Guide” link to learn how to get started computing at CSU.

Obtaining Keys

Tyler Heyne, in the Biology front office, is the person to contact for key requests.

CCure Keycard Access

CEF, Elizabeth Saunders, in the Biology front office, is the person to contact for keycard access requests. Please speak with your PI or Lab Manager for confirmation on which spaces you will need access to prior to emailing the CEF. Please note, your email should include your CSU ID, the spaces requested for access, and your PI should be cc’d for verification in order for access to be granted.

Getting on the Graduate Student Listserv

All official communication from the university will be sent through your CSU email. You are responsible for reading all official communications.
We communicate with our graduate students by e-mail, and we want to be sure you are on the list. Please contact Elizabeth Saunders in the Biology front office to be sure you are on this list. The listserv is

Setting Up Your Web Profile on our Departmental Website

We like to showcase our students’ accomplishments on our biology department website. Please set up your web profile following the instructions available here. We’ll ask you to update it every year, around the time that you do your progress reports for your advisor/committee members.

Compliance, Safety, and Ethics

All research personnel at CSU, including all of our graduate students, must meet requirements for training in safe, ethical conduct of research. This training must be documented. Information about training requirements at CSU can be found here: CSU | Research Integrity and Compliance Review Office | RCR.

Fees and Technology Charges

As a graduate student, you are responsible for payment of all Fees and Technology charges. Review our “Guide to Grad Student Credits and Fees,” available here, to help you understand these better. Information on fees can also be found here: CSU | Office of Financial Aid | Tuition and Fees.

The Graduate Student Handbook

Our handbook includes a lot of information about being a graduate student in our department. Please give it a read early on, and keep referring to it as questions arise throughout your time here.

The Graduate School Website

Here, you’ll find the official requirements for your degree, as well as a lot of other information about being a graduate student at CSU. Please spend some time on this website early on, and keep checking it as questions arise throughout your time here. CSU | Graduate School

Graduate Student Community

We have a grad student lounge, located in 428. Various graduate student events take place here (e.g. monthly meet-ups, weekly coffee hour), so keep an eye out for e-mails. Our grad students have three representatives who communicate grad student needs to the Department. As of June, 2023, they are Amir Alayoubi, Cole Deal, and Aly Pillard.