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Admitted Graduate Students


Students admitted to the Physics & Astronomy Graduate Studies Program will receive two letters; a letter of referral of admission to our program and a letter of admission from the University of Utah. The second letter will detail your student account information. Admitted students should accept or decline the offer through their Apply Yourself portal. Please indicate your choice no later than April 15, 2022. Admission letters are typically sent by late March via the email listed in Apply Yourself. In some cases we may place students on a waiting list, in which case you could receive your offer letter later in the summer  if spots become available. We kindly ask that students refrain from making admission status inquiries until late March.  

What now? 

The period after accepting an offer of admission can be an exciting and overwhelming time. You will likely have many questions about the logistics of moving to a new city (or country), important dates, and getting started in the program. We share your excitement! Preparing for a new graduate student cohort is an important task for our department and we do not take it lightly. You will receive information in a timely manner. At times it may feel like you are waiting ages for information on the the next step but we promise that we've anticipated and planned for almost anything that we can take care of on your behalf.  

Sometime in late April, admitted students will be added to an online course accessible through their CIS login. This Canvas course will act as an information hub and communication center. You'll find tips on housing, important dates, cohort Zoom hangouts, and timely announcements.  

As soon as you are admitted you should begin using your U of U email account - UMail. This is where you will receive Canvas updates, ITAP inquiries, and other official email. You can set up your Umail to forward to your preferred email address.  

The following priority tasks should be started as soon as you accept admission: 

  • Apply for grad student housing  or search for a private rental
  • Request official transcripts from all prior colleges and universities 
  • Respond to visa/Sevis emails from International Admissions 
  • Submit all your I-20 documents
  • Respond to ITAP emails for International TA eligibility 
  • Get in the habit of checking Canvas and UMail once a week, at least 
  • Connect with your cohort

Summer arrival program 

For the last three years, the Admission & Recruiting Committee has supported a summer arrival initiative. Under this program, students receive financial support for their relocation and a per diem for July - August. The intent of this program is to provide students time to find a rental, get oriented, and  join journal clubs and research group meetings. 

International students may participate on a limited basis due to visa restrictions on early arrival. Students requiring work authorization should plan to arrive 30 days prior to the first of the semester, as permitted by their F-1 visa. 

In general, all newly admitted students are eligible for up to $1,500 in an early arrival support scholarship and a moving allowance of $600 (non-locals only). Orientation generally takes places at least 1-week prior to the first day of fall semester.

Your research success starts now 

First-year graduate students complete two rigorous academic courses during their first semester which are then used to assess their program readiness via the Comprehensive Exam. You'll also enroll in Faculty Research Opportunity where you'll hear from our current researchers so you can make an informed decision about your research path. This is not to say you have to wait until Fall semester to learn about research opportunities. Newly admitted students are encouraged to email research groups about journal clubs and sitting in on research group meetings. Don't be shy, they are waiting to hear from you! 

Contact current grads 

Our current graduate students are an amazing resource. GSAC representatives can give advice on housing, research groups, activities, and the realities of grad school.  

Open House 

The P&A Graduate Open House showcases current graduate student research, outdoor opportunities, and faculty one-on-ones. Spring 2022 dates and information to follow.  

Orientation 

All newly admitted graduate students are required to attend orientation, which typically begins 2 weeks before the start of the semester. This combination of new student on-boarding and TA training is a critical aspect of our mission to develop the teaching skills of each graduate student who completes our PhD program.  

International students are also required to complete International Student Orientation and complete an English language assessment. Depending on your English proficiency scores you may also be required to complete a language course before you can be employed as a TA.  

Students requiring work authorization should plan to arrive 30 days prior to the first of the semester, as permitted by their F-1 visa. 

Dates and locations TBA.