University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

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Below is the orientation schedule for all incoming students for Fall 2016. You will be expected to attend all events. Meals will only be provided where indicated.

Orientation Schedule

Graduate Calendar

Orientation Dates:
August 22 - September 1, 2016

All exams and meetings will be in 331 Smith unless otherwise indicated.
TMC rooms & times will be given to you as individual schedules.

Proficiency Exams: Entering students are required to take a series of proficiency exams during the first week of orientation. Five examinations are offered, in analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. You request which four of the five offered exams you will be taking on the interest form that was emailed out to you. Regarding the proficiency exams, students pursuing the Ph. D. program in Chemistry must pass all four examinations sometime during the first year of study. It is in your best interest to prepare for these exams now. The proficiency exams cover what the American Chemical Society (ACS) defines as basic undergraduate chemistry in each of the exam subject areas. A review for these exams would probably be most efficiently done from your own undergraduate texts. With a reasonable and serious review of your past coursework in each area, you should not have great difficulty passing these proficiency exams. We require you to take these exams even if you took them as an undergraduate student.

Lab Training: During training you will meet other TA's teaching your course, receive an overview of what kinds of experiments you will be instructing in the labs, go through check-in, safety, pre-lab talks, TA meetings, and receive your TA assignments and schedule.

TMC Meeting: You will have your first meeting with your three-member advising committee (TMC) in which you will determine which courses you will be registering for and other plans for completing your first year requirements.

TA Schedules: After you meet with your TMC and determine which courses you will be taking, it is critical that you submit your schedule to the Head TA as soon as possible. The absolute deadline is 4:00pm on Monday, August 29th. You should turn the forms electronically or into the Head TA office.

Payroll Information Meeting: You must bring two forms of identification with you at this meeting. Forms of identification that may be used include your state identification card, drivers license, social security card, VISA, green card, and birth certificate. All payroll forms must be turned in to 141 Smith Hall no later than 4:00 pm on Tuesday, August 23rd or you will not be paid. PLEASE REMEMBER TO BRING TWO FORMS OF IDENTIFICATION WITH YOU TO THE PAYROLL MEETING ON TUESDAY!

Foreign National Students: Please bring ALL documentation with you. That includes your EAD cards, letter of acceptance to the department, and any paperwork given to you during your ISSS (International Student and Scholar Services) orientation.

Please visit for more information about the university payroll system.