New Student Checklist | Maryland's iSchool - College of Information Studies - Graduate Program - University Of Maryland

School of Information Sciences

College of Communication and Information

Masters Degree

Information Studies

New Student Checklist

Welcome

Congratulations on your admission to the iSchool! On this webpage you will find important information for new students, as well as links to University resources.

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Advising

All students will be assigned advisors within the first two weeks of the fall semester. Notice of this assignment will be distributed by email. Prior to advisor assignment, questions can be directed to the Student Services Office.

New Student Checklist

Pre-Arrival

  • Accept your offer of admission.
  • Set up your Directory ID and email address.
  • Your Directory ID and password is used to access University of Maryland resources, such as the registration system (Testudo) and your university email account (email.umd.edu). Please note that your university e-mail account will use your directory id as your email address.
  • International Students: When setting up the Directory ID, you will be asked to submit the last five digits of your SID (student ID). This is not the same as your University ID. These are the steps for finding your student ID:

1. Login to your Application Supplemental Form (ASF) at http://apra.umd.edu
2. Click on #1 “Verify Contact Information.”
3. You will see a number listed in the field “Student ID (SID).” Remember that it is different from the University ID which is also listed there. The Student ID (SID) is the number you will need when setting up your Directory ID and password.

  • Check and carefully read your email at least three times a week. The College uses University email and the iSchool website as the primary means of communication to students. Checking your email infrequently could result in missing important information. You are still responsible for knowing information sent to your university e-mail even if it is not your primary e-mail address.

  • Find a place to live.
    Priority for residence hall housing is given to full-time undergraduate students. Graduate students at the University of Maryland can request residence hall housing. However, there are no facilities within the residence hall system exclusively for graduate students or for spouses, partners or family members of students. Information about additional housing options in nearby communities is available from the University's Off-Campus Housing Services and Graduate Student Life staff members. To search for housing options, please start by visiting Off-Campus Housing Services, where an online database can be used to match housing criteria you select, such as type of housing and price range, to currently listed/available rental housing in College Park and surrounding communities.
     
  • Apply for financial aid.
    The Office of Financial Aid assists students with securing federal, state, and institutional financial aid. Early applications are recommended. Visit the Office of Financial Aid website to find out how to apply. Please note: International students are not eligible to apply for financial aid.
     
  • Complete immunization requirements.
    If you have not done so already, turn in the required immunization records to the University Health Center. You can find the required form here. If you have any questions regarding immunization, please call (301) 314-8114.
     
  • Register for courses.
    Once you have been accepted and have your University ID number you will be able to register for courses. Students should be familiar with the deadlines for adding and dropping courses. Adjusting class schedules after the deadlines will incur additional financial charges. You can register for classes through Testudo, the site for interactive Web services for students.

    All students should note that course sections with ‘SG’ in the section number are held at the Universities at Shady Grove campus in Rockville, Maryland
     

  • Apply for a parking permit.
    Campus parking at the University of Maryland is managed by the Department of Transportation Service (DOTS). Students can purchase permits by the semester or the year through their office in Regents Parking Garage or via their website. For students who aren't interested in a regular parking pass, there are some limited meter, hourly parking, and special passes available.
     
  • Pay tuition and fees.
    The Bursar's Office, located in the Lee Building, is your resource center for checking your balance, paying your bills, receiving refunds, making payment and more. Please note that Paper Bills are not sent to students registered for current or upcoming terms. Log into your Testudo account to view and pay your bill.
     
  • Attend new student orientation.

Post-Arrival

  • Get your university photo ID.
    Student IDs are required to withdraw books from libraries; ride the UM Shuttle buses; gain admission to most athletic, social, and cultural events; as a UMD prepaid debit card for food establishments and printing services and as a general form of identification on campus. Student IDs are available in the Mitchell Building. To obtain an ID, you must be registered for classes and you must have proof of identity, such as a valid driver’s license or passport.
     
  • Check-in with Student Services Office (SSO).
    The Student Services Office (Room 4110) is responsible for providing programs and services designed to enhance and support the graduate student experience. The office supports students from the prospect stage through graduation. Make sure that you are aware of any departmental orientation meetings for new student, get your questions answered and get to know the SSO’s staff.
     
  • Advising
    All students will be assigned advisors within the first two weeks of the fall semester based on last names. Notice of this assignment will be distributed by email. Prior to advisor assignment, questions can be directed to the Student Services Office (SSO) at Room 4110.
     
  • Final Transcripts
    If you applied to the University using an in-progress transcript, please have a final transcript with the degree posted sent to the university. If you failed to turn in these required documents by the start of your first semester, you will be blocked from registering for the next semester.
     
  • iSchool Master’s Student Handbook.
    This handbook provides much valuable information about navigating UMD, the iSchool and Graduate Student Life generally.
     
  • Learn about resources offered on campus.
    Note that students who take courses at multiple campuses in one semester (e.g. one course at Shady Grove and one course at College Park) will incur fees associated with both campus facilities.
     
  • ​Get involved!
    To get involved and be a part of the UMD community, consider joining a student organization, academic student organization, or other group of students/peers.

Registration

Dates and Deadlines

The Student Services office will alert students of registration dates and post those dates on the web.  We recommend registering on or close to the first available date for registration for best schedule planing.

Registration for the Spring 2014 will begin in mid October.  Students should be familiar with the deadlines for adding and dropping courses. These academic deadlines can be found in the Schedule of Classes. Adjusting class schedules after the established deadlines will incur additional financial charges.

You can find a step-by-step guide to registration HERE

Choosing Courses

All Masters’ students should register for their program’s core courses during the first semester. Students should use the Program Requirement Checklist associated with their degree (and specialization if applicable) to help them plan their program of study. The iSchool Two Year Course Plan is another resource that can help students plan their schedules. Descriptions and titles for all courses can be found here.

Registering for Information Studies Courses Outside the Major

MLS students have priority to take LBSC courses and MIM students have priority to take INFM courses.  However, if an MLS student is interested in taking an INFM course or a MIM student is interested in taking an LBSC course, they are welcome and encouraged to do so.

All INST courses are open with equal availability to all students.  Please speak with your advisor to ensure there is no additional approval needed before entering a course outside of your primary department code.

Prerequisites

Many courses require completion of one or more of the required core courses, or permission of the instructor.  When registering for a course, be mindful that it might have a prerequisite and there might be further action you need to take.  Look to the Schedule of Classes on Testudo for more information about whether courses have prerequisites

All students should note that course sections with ‘SG’ in the section number are held at the Universities at Shady Grove campus in Rockville, Maryland.

MLS students

Please note:

  • LBSC 605 is ONLY for students who were admitted to the Archives specialization. Students are informed of their admittance to that program in their admissions letter from the College.  At this time, we cannot permit any new students to enroll in the Archives specialization after they have been admitted to the College.
  • Any courses listed as LBSO – ONLY are for the iSchool’s online cohorts and are not open to other students.

How to Register in Testudo

Testudo is the site name for the interactive Web services for students. You can access Testudo from: http://www.testudo.umd.edu/

Registration instructions can be found here.

Waitlists

If a desired class is full, you must enter the full information of the course – course AND section number – to be given the waitlist option. Please note that you will be dropped from the waitlist of a course section if you register into another section of that same course. You are not charged for waitlisted courses, only for those courses in which you are registered. Students should check-in to waitlists every day.

It is not uncommon to be on a waitlist at first. As all students – new and current – adjust their individual schedules, and as some courses expand by a few course seats, there will be movement off the waitlist and into courses as we draw closer to the beginning of the semester. If you still have concerns about your schedule closer to the start of the semester in which you’re waitlisted, contact the Student Services Office.

Reminders and More Information

The core courses must be completed within the first 18 credits.

No student may register for more than five courses (15 credit hours) during a single semester or two courses (6 credits) in a single summer session.

For information about courses, check the College website for course descriptions. Descriptions are updated as information is received. For more in-depth information on courses, please check the link on the College site for sample course syllabi.

If you are interested in taking an Independent Study course (LBSC 709 or INFM 719), please complete and submit the LBSC 709 or INFM 719 Form for Independent Study.

If you wish to register for Consortium courses or courses at other UM System schools, you will need to submit a petition, a description of the course, and if available, the syllabus of the desired course to the Student Services Office, for approval consideration by the Academic Committee.

The more specific requirements and procedures of the College supersede those of the University.

The University requires that a student be registered during the semester (s)he plans to graduate. If not taking classes on campus or through the Consortium, the student must register for one hour of audit credit.

Check the Schedule of Classes for deadlines and additional information.

If you have questions or concerns please contact the Student Services Office at (301) 405-2038 or via e-mail at ischooladvisors@umd.edu

Immunization Records and Final Transcripts

If you have not done so already, turn in the required immunization records to the University Health Center. You can find the required form here: http://www.health.umd.edu/clinicalservices/allergimmuntravel/immunizations

If you have any questions regarding immunization, please call (301) 314-8114. .

If you applied to the University using an in-progress transcript, please have a final transcript with the degree posted sent to the University.

If you fail to turn in these required documents by the start of your first semester, you will be blocked from registering for the next semester.

iSchool Blogs

Both the MIM Program and the MLS Program maintain blogs that provide administrative information, news, happenings in the field, and other items of interest. The iSchool at Shady Grove also maintains a blog that provides information on events and students on that campus. The blogs are:

MIM Central

blogMLS

iSchool @ Shady Grove Blog

iSchool Listservs

There are two listservs that all students should be subscribed to: ‘ischoolannouncements’ and ‘ischooldiscussion’.

  • ISCHOOLANNOUNCEMENTS is a listserv for all current students and faculty that serves as the main vehicle of communication for administrative information, such as registration and graduation instructions. Students are automatically subscribed to it by the Student Services Office near the beginning of their first semester. This listserv is sent only to the student’s university e-mail account. If you prefer to use a different e-mail account, you will need to set your university e-mail account to forward to your preferred account.
  • The ISCHOOLDISCUSSION listserv carries news of jobs, internships and iSchool-related discussion. Anyone may subscribe to it from any e-mail account. To subscribe to ‘ischooldiscussion’, send an e-mail to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UMD.EDU and include as the first line in the message: SUBSCRIBE ISCHOOLDISCUSSION your name. When you are sending a message to LISTSERV to subscribe, the subject line of your e-mail should be left blank.

Technology at UMCP

Students coming into the iSchool should come prepared with a basic level of technology skills and access. These skills are necessary for effectively functioning in a graduate program.

Basic Requirements

  • The iSchool does not have a preference for Mac or PC computers, so students should select their preferred format.
  • All students should have a working understanding of Microsoft Office suite or equivalent software.
  • He or she needs to be able to effectively navigate the Internet.
  • In general, students will need consistent access to a computer and high-speed Internet.
  • Students often use various medias including online video conferencing, email, discussion boards, blogs, social media platforms, and other Web-based technologies to "attend" class sessions, communicate with professors and peers, and complete assignments, so students should be willing and able to learn new platforms quickly.

Programming Skills

  • Students are not required to come to the program with programming skills (i.e. HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, etc) but having programming skills is an asset for both coursework and future job searches. There are lots of great online resources where you can develop programming skills including W3 Schools and Codeacademy. University of Maryland offers students access to Lynda.com.

University Email

All students are required to setup a University ID that is used to access most online University systems and serves as a student’s email address. Students who wish to use a personal email account to receive University emails must set-up mail forwarding using Testudo.

Online Learning

The University uses the Enterprise Learning Management System (ELMS) “Canvas” for classroom support and communication. Online courses are hosted through ELMS. Professors are required to post materials including the syllabus on the first day of classes, but they may post materials prior. Students login to Canvas with their Directory ID and password.

Available Services

  • University of Maryland provides its students with great resources through its TERPware service. All students have the ability to download (for free!) the Microsoft Office Suite and the Adobe Creative Suite to their personal computers, in addition to other useful software.
  • Lynda.com is a great resource that provides access to online video tutorials that help users learn software, creative, and business skills.
  • University computer labs are located on both the Shady Grove and College Park campuses.
  • The University Libraries offer an array of services including equipment borrowing; printing, faxing, binding, and lamenting; and in-house hardware.

University Photo ID

Student IDs are required to withdraw books from libraries; ride the UM Shuttle buses; gain admission to most athletic, social, and cultural events; as a UMD prepaid debit card for food establishments and printing services and as a general form of identification on campus. Student IDs are available in the Mitchell Building. To obtain an ID, you must be registered for classes and you must have proof of identity, such as a valid driver’s license or passport. The fee for replacing a lost or stolen ID is $20. Questions concerning the identification system should be directed to the Office of the Registrar: (301) 314-8240.

iSchool Faculty, Staff and Administration

Office numbers, phone numbers and email addresses for faculty and staff can be found on the iSchool website’s directory. Faculty and staff mailboxes are located in the Dean’s Office (Hornbake, Room 4105).