Your First Year

For First Year Students in the Biological Sciences Graduate Program

Welcome to the Graduate Program in Biological Sciences at the University of Maryland! If you've reached this page in search of information regarding admissions, you can find the complete admissions guide on the How to Apply section on the BISI page.

Before your arrival...

You've been admitted, have accepted the offer and are wondering what you need to do next. This section is designed to help you prepare for your adventure as a graduate student.

The Graduate Student Handbook is an excellent reference that provides information on:

  • Academics
  • Campus activities
  • Child care and schools
  • Healthcare
  • Housing
  • Banking
  • Restaurants
  • Religious activities
  • Public transportation

If you are looking for local housing, try the UMD Off Campus Housing site here.

This site lists available and affordable housing in the area, including apartments, houses, and rooms in houses. It is also a searchable database! 

2015Off Campus Living Fairs: 

Dates, times, and locations TBA

Fairs will be held in the Stamp Student Union on the 2nd Floor in the Colony Ballroom.

Locations and more information can be found here.



Upon your arrival...

This section will help you get started once you arrive on campus!

First, stop by the office in room 2101 Bioscience Research Building (BRB) to meet the BISI staff!

Help me to:

  • Get a parking permit.
  • Find out about commuting to campus
  • Complete payroll forms (W4, I-9 for domestic students) and,or, learn about fellowship disbursement
  • Submit paperwork for direct deposit of my paycheck or fellowship stipend
  • Set up my email account
  • Check out the BISI Events Calendar at, anyone with a Google account can set up a subscription to the events calendar.

The Human Resources office has a new employee checklist that might be helpful (note: if you are on a FULL fellowship, you are not considered an employee of the University. Please see us in the BISI office so we can help you!)

Registering for classes:

 You must speak with your advisor prior to registering. However, if you will be teaching during your first semester, you can register for the teaching course (cross listed as CBMG688Z, BIOL701, OR BISI701). If you will be doing lab rotations, you can register for MOCB699. Information on registration can be found at Testudo  (check out the links to campus services, financials, and academic calendar for even more exciting information about UMD).

Once you've registered, you can now obtain your Student ID


Your first few weeks...

Fall 2015 BISI Orientation
August 17-18, 2015

Orientation is a great way to meet your classmates, learn about the program and its requirements, and become familiar with the University of Maryland.

More information can be found here (website coming soon).