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New Students

New students to UIC and the Physiology department will find instructions to help you get started on your graduate career here. Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the department for further assistance.

Graduate Program Orientation Session

Two orientations are held during the first week of class. One is the GEMS (Graduate Education in Medical Sciences) orientation. The second orientation is from the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. New students are encouraged to arrive to the campus early before classes begin. They receive information packets containing class schedules and departmental policies. During the departmental orientation they are introduced to other students, members, and staff of the department. An overview of the curriculum and student responsibilities is discussed. There is a short slide presentation from professors in the department and a question and answer session. The students are invited to have lunch and mingle with other students in the department.

Advising Procedures 

Each new student will have a preliminary meeting with the First-Year Advisor during orientation.  The First-Year Advisor is a member of the Graduate Education Committee and is appointed by the Head of the Graduate Education Committee. The responsibilities of the First-Year Advisor are to advise Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D students in a given class entering each Fall with respect to registration, course requirements and rotations and to monitor student progress until they choose a Thesis Advisor.

Registration Information: Student Self-Service

Information packages are sent to students informing them about fall registration, and when instruction begins. Students also receive a copy of the department's guidelines for the PhD or Master's program. First year students are asked to contact the first year student advisor in the department for advising. The advisor and students discuss the academic background and goals of the students and the students are given a list of classes they need to register in for the fall semester.

After advising you may register for classes. Sometime after you receive your official admission letter from the Office of Admissions and Records you will receive, usually via email, information on when you may register and instructions, if not included with your admission letter.

Registration, including changes to any existing registration, begins a number of months before the term and continues through the first official ten days of the term (first official five days for summer session). During the registration period, all registration activity is done by the student using Student Self-Service, which may be accessed from UIC Web For Student. When attempting to register, if you receive an error message directly pertaining to the class or section you are requesting, consult with the department offering the course as an override may need to be entered into the system to allow you to continue to register. Once the override has been added you still have to register for the course in Student Self-Service. If you receive an error message that you do not understand, consult the Registration Help Line at (312) 996-8600.

Registration Information: MyUIC Web Portal

MY.UIC/UIC Connect Web Portal is a Web site designed to assist new students with the registration process.

i-Card 

The i-Card is the official identification card of the University for students, staff and faculty. It is important to obtain the i-Card and carry it with you at all times. The i-Card is needed to enter certain labs and buildings, for access to certain student-related events and services, and to check material out of the library. Once you have registered for a course you may obtain your i-Card. This should be done as soon as possible following your registration. You will need to bring a print-out of your registration and either a driver's license, state ID card, or passport to the i-Card Office. Complete information, including locations, is available from the i-Card Office.

Medical Immunization Requirement 

Illinois state law requires proof of certain immunizations for students in most cases. The policy and contact information are available at the Office of Medical Immunization Records. It is important that you read this information carefully since registration for future terms is not allowed if you are not in compliance at that time.

Tuition and Fees 

Tuition and fees are set by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. The tuition and fee schedule at UIC is fairly elaborate so it is important to understand what your charges will be, as well as your payment obligations. This information is available from the Office of Admissions and Records website.

Research Assistantships 

Doctoral Graduate students accepted with full status into the Department of Physiology and Biophysics are guaranteed financial aid in the form of a research assistantship. The assistantship carries with it a tuition and service fee waiver. If you have been granted an assistantship there are a number of important steps to complete to ensure timely processing and receipt of your first stipend check.

  1. You will receive a formal letter of offer from the unit (usually your academic program) that is attempting to hire you.
  2. After you have accepted and returned the formal letter of offer for the assistantship, the unit that is hiring you will complete the necessary information in the university database.
  3. This will trigger an email to you with logon and other information for an online system called NESSIE.
  4. In NESSIE, you will need to complete the HR Application and Payroll information (demographic, educational, and bank deposit information).
  5. After that is completed in NESSIE, you will be instructed by your hiring unit to complete a Statement of a Drug-Free Workplace and I-9 forms, which you submit to the hiring unit. The I-9 form is viewable in NESSIE and includes a list of acceptable official identification you will need to bring in with the completed forms.
  6. For international students on a visa, the hiring unit will send appropriate information to the Office of International Services to initiate an Employee Clearance form.
  7. The processing for international students on a visa allows less flexibility in regards to the start date, so it is important to complete the necessary steps in a timely fashion.

It is only after all these stages have been successfully completed that your appointment becomes official and allows you to begin your duties and receive the monthly stipend, which is paid on the 16th of each month. In addition, if the appointment comes with a tuition waiver (contact your unit to find out exactly which parts of the tuition and fees are waived and which are not), it is also only at this stage that the waiver is available to be applied to your account, assuming you have also correctly registered for the total hours required to receive the waiver. If the appointment for the assistantship is offered or processed late, or any of the steps outlined above are delayed, there is a possibility of missing your first monthly stipend check. Although you will receive an adjusted payment a month later (assuming the beginning date is properly processed and assuming you worked for that period), not having the first check can cause financial issues you did not anticipate. Therefore, if you do not receive timely responses you should always contact the hiring unit to ensure procedures have not been overlooked. See the Graduate College website for additional assistantship information.

Teaching Assistantship Duties and Expectations 

The research assistant should concentrate on course and lab work. They cannot accept part time work outside the department. Graduate students receiving stipends from the Department of Physiology and Biophysics must be full-time students (complete >12 hrs/semester) and spend 100% of their effort on activities related to and approved by the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. Such activities do not include laboratory or library assistance for the Thesis Advisor that is not directly associated with the student's approved research program.