Graduate Student Orientations

The Graduate College hosts orientations to introduce all graduate students to MSU 's requirements, resources. and services. The sessions also offer workplace orientation to those hired as a graduate assistant (GA), research assistant (RA), or teaching assistant (TA). While the orientations are highly recommended for all graduate students, the TA orientation is required in order to be paid as a TA.

In the fall, these are held on two separate days. In January, these orientations are done in one, combined, day-long session.

For new graduate students

The New Graduate Student Orientation is held before each fall and spring semester. Designed for new students, this orientation focuses on:

  • The nuts and bolts of graduate school
  • Research resources
  • Graduate assistantship information with information for Research Assistants
  • University resources and services
  • Campus Tours offered at the end of the day
  • Meeting fellow graduate students and University faculty and staff

View our slides from our Fall 2017 Orientation New Graduate Student Orientation 


For new teaching assistants

Any new graduate teaching assistant (TAs) must attend the TA orientation before the TA teaches any class. 

This orientation provides students with information relevant to their academic role, including:

  • Legal issues related to teaching
  • Managing conflict within the classroom 
  • Effective teaching strategies
  • Q&A Panel

Typically, academic departments also provide formal orientation and training sessions for their specific teaching assignments. Such departmental training is a supplement to, rather than a substitute for, this required orientation.

View our slides from the Fall 2017 Teaching Assistant Orientation 


You will receive a confirmation via email within a week over the holidays or in less time when classes are in session.

You will receive detailed information before the event.

Fall Orientation dates

  • New Graduate Student Orientation
    August 13, 2018
  • Teaching Assistant Orientation
    August 14, 2018

Spring Orientation date

  • Joint Graduate Student, TA, GA, & RA Orientations 
    January 11, 2019   from 12:30 - 5:00 p.m.