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New Graduate Student Information

Welcome to Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan!

Now that you are here, please take time to attend the following events specifically coordinated for new students only. Get to know your fellow students, meet some faculty, and gain valuable information to make your time here at Michigan as rewarding as possible.

Before arriving on campus


Create a U-M uniqname and establish basic computer access. You’ll want to check your University of Michigan email account frequently as this is the primary way that the University and CSE will communicate with you.


There are plenty of on-campus and off-campus housing options for graduate students:

Matriculation and enrollment

Most of you have already responded to the email that you received from the Rackham Graduate School’s Admissions area asking you to matriculate (i.e. enroll) via Wolverine Access, Student Business). Please note that registering is a separate process and further information follows. Therefore, if you’ve not yet matriculated, you must do so immediately. For assistance, please contact Rackham Admissions at [email protected].


Registration for Fall term opens the beginning of June. You must register for at least one OPEN course prior to the first day of classes to avoid being assessed a late registration fee. If you are unable to register for a class you want (as is typical for most new graduate students), you should get on the waitlist. Once the term begins, you should attend the first day of that class to obtain an override (i.e. permission) from the instructor. For more information see Registration in the section below.

Resources related to Registration:

Note: Beginning Fall 2023, all first year doctoral students are required to register for CSE 601 – Introduction to Graduate Research (1 credit hour) in their first fall term of the program. This course is designed to give students the background knowledge and perspective needed to be successful in grad school, as well as help develop non-technical skills such as presenting and self-promotion. Additionally, this course provides incoming students the critical opportunity to meet their cohort and connect with the wider CSE research community.

Funding and student support

After arriving on campus

International students

International students must visit the International Center to complete the mandatory check-in. More information is available here.

International students are required to have health insurance and will be covered by CSE at the start of their appointment; however, if you arrive prior to the start of the fall term, you will be responsible for health coverage during this transitional time period.  Please contact UM’s International Center for information about setting up your Aetna coverage for this intermittent time period. 


You must obtain an MCard. This is your official University of Michigan identification card. To obtain a card, you must take a photo ID to one of the following two locations:

  • North Campus Registrar’s Office, Pierpont Commons, Room B430
  • Central Campus MCard Center, Student Activities Building (SAB), Room 1011


Meet with the CSE Graduate Coordinator to receive academic advisor information and ask any questions you may have. Doctoral students will meet with the Graduate Programs Manager and Masters/SUGS students will meet with the Graduate Program Coordinator (terminal MS) or the Financial Services and Advising Specialist (SUGS). All first year students must meet with their respective coordinator within their first semester.

After this meeting, doctoral students should:

  • Check out our First Year of Your PhD page – it will review next steps regarding research advisor, coursework (breadth, depth, cognate), and completing your RCRS Training requirement in a timely manner.
  • Refer to the CSE Graduate Program Guide to review policies and expectations regarding the program, including how to meet candidacy requirements (including preliminary exams and RCRS Training).
  • Refer to the PhD requirements satisfaction course list to view a list of classes offered prior to discussing their required coursework (breadth, depth, etc.) with their academic advisor.

After this meeting, master’s students should:

  • Refer to the CSE Graduate Program Guide to review policies and expectations regarding the program.
  • Refer to the MS requirements satisfaction course list to view a list of classes offered, as well as the MS Advising Information sheet for further information on navigating course planning.
  • Prepare a rough draft of the courses you intend to take by entering them on the CSE Master’s Plan of Study (found on page 14 in the brochure).
  • Provide completed Master’s Plan of Study to faculty master’s advisor for approval.*
  • Send completed and approved Master’s Plan of Study to GPO (PDF can be sent to [email protected]).

*Please note that this is a tentative schedule of classes you plan to complete for your degree and this document may change as you progress through the program.

If you have received a fellowship, you should also schedule a meeting with the CSE Financial Services and Advising Specialist. GSRAs should meet with the Human Resources Coordinator in 3709 Beyster, as well as your faculty advisor and corresponding lab administrator in 3808 Beyster.

Registration (including waitlists and overrides)

By now you should have already registered for at least one course to avoid incurring a late registration fee. You will have until the end of the first three weeks of classes to finalize your course selections. Please check out the Registrar’s Office Calendars for specific registration dates.

It is strongly recommended that you take a maximum of only 2-3 courses. 9 credit hours is considered full time for CSE PhD students supported by a fellowship, 8 credit hours is generally considered full time for international master’s students (please confirm with the International Center about your required enrollment), and 6 credit hours is considered full time for GSIs and GSRAs. If a course is closed, you should get on the waitlist and attend the first day of class. If you are granted an override (i.e. permission) to register, you must add the class and complete the registration process via Wolverine Access. You are responsible for checking your course registration information on Wolverine Access to ensure that the courses showing on your class list are the classes you are attending.

Welcome events and orientation

CSE New Graduate Student Welcome
Monday, August 26 at 4:30 pm (Tishman Hall – Beyster Building)

New Student-Faculty Luncheon
Wednesday, August 28, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm (Tishman Hall – Beyster Building)

Orientation for Incoming CSE Master’s Students
Wednesday, September 4 at 5 pm (East Room, Pierpont Commons)

Orientation for Incoming CSE Doctoral Students
CSE 601 – Intro to CSE Grad Research

All dates/locations are subject to change.

You should also attend:

College of Engineering Orientation*

Rackham Fall Welcome

*Those who attend this event will automatically receive their CAEN Account. Those who were unable to attend and who’ve not yet received their CAEN Account must visit the CAEN Hotline to obtain one.

Other important information

  • You must keep your personal information (address, phone number, etc.) up-to-date on Wolverine Access.
  • CSE graduate students have access to the CSE Graduate Student Lounge on the second floor in Beyster.

Quick links

The College of Engineering Current Student page and the U-M Campus Information Center websites provide helpful information, including student perspectives about the University of Michigan and Ann Arbor. You can also see videos of the U-M campus, its research and activities. Finally, our page for current graduate students contains a wealth of information about our program and the university.

Orientation information

Campus information

Additional resources