General Information for New WRS Students

Office Space and Training from Home Department

Office Space
Full-time graduate students usually are assigned desk and research space in the parent departments of their advisor. Twin Cities students without assigned desk space should contact the Water Resources Center in McNeal Hall to see if they have available space for a student.  With the office space comes:

  • Keys: As a full-time graduate student, you may be assigned keys to your office and to the building in which the office is located. The department that controls your office space will issue the keys and may require you to sign a form or pay a deposit.
  • Mail: Campus mail is another method of communication with students. Graduate students receive both campus and U.S. mail in the building where they have their office. Check with your advisor about your mailbox arrangements. Boxes for outgoing campus mail and U.S. mail are located in most department offices. Be sure to regularly check your campus mail.
  • Telephones: Most graduate student offices have telephones or telephone access. Your advisor will provide details. The Student-Staff Directory (http://onestop.umn.edu/ or http://www.d.umn.edu) lists phone numbers, addresses, and e-mail addresses for University staff, students, colleges, departments, and services.

Safety and Training Requirements
Safety requirements, training, and rights and responsibilities for a safe workplace should be covered by your advisor or home department. Be advised that the University requires training for laboratory safety and hazardous waste, research involving human and animal subjects, and other topics. Check with your advisor or department for further details.

Communications

E-Mail
All University faculty, staff, and registered students receive an e-mail account, internet access, and 20 MB of server space. You may access your account through the University’s website or through one of the many communications kiosks on campus. A student e-mail address will automatically be assigned to you when you register. To activate your account, visit http://www.umn.edu/initiate/. Another useful site for Internet access information is the Academic Computing and Distribution Services site: http://www.oit.umn.edu/accounts/.

Remember, your University email is your official address for University correspondence. Check your email frequently.

E-mail is widely used for individual, program, University, and professional communications, including financial transactions. For this reason, you must access your University account regularly. Many WRS program updates are sent via e-mail. WRS uses a listserv to notify students of seminars, job opportunities, student group meetings, and other items of interest. Additionally, many job postings, calls for papers for conferences around the country, and other nationwide professional messages are distributed via e-mail.

If you decide to forward your University mail to another provider, be aware that other providers may not allow large attachments. 

The Student-Staff Directory (http://onestop.umn.edu/ or http://www.d.umn.edu) lists phone numbers, addresses, and e-mail addresses for University staff, students, colleges, departments, and services.

WRS Website
The WRS website at http://wrs.umn.edu/ has a wealth of information about the program, including pages for current faculty and students, degree and course descriptions, and information about graduates (alumni) of the program.  If you find an error or would like to make a suggestion about content, please email wrs@umn.edu.

Transferring Credits

Graduate course credits earned at other accredited institutions may be transferred to master’s or doctoral degree plans subject to approval by the University graduate program and the limits described below. In the case of a transfer from a non-United States institution, graduate course credits to be transferred must have been earned in a program judged by the University graduate program to be comparable to a graduate degree program of a regionally accredited institution in the United States. Transfer of thesis credits is not allowed.

  • For master’s degrees – A minimum of 60% of total course credits (not including thesis credits) required for a specific master’s degree must be taken at the University of Minnesota. Transferred credits can include a maximum of 12 graduate course credits taken as non-degree seeking or non-admitted status. Transfer of thesis credits is not allowed.
  • For doctoral degrees – Students must take a minimum of 12-course credits at the University of Minnesota. Transferred credits can include a maximum of 12 graduate course credits taken as non-degree seeking or non-admitted status. Transfer of thesis credits is not allowed.

WRS will recognize courses listed as electives for a WRS core that are completed while an undergraduate.  They cannot be counted toward your degree, but instead, the requirement will be denoted as fulfilled and you will take an additional WRS elective course(s) to meet the degree credit requirements.  The DGS on your campus must approve this prior to the completion of your Graduate Degree Plan.

Insurance

If you are taking six or more credits (three or more in summer) and are a degree-seeking student, you are required to have hospitalization insurance. The University-sponsored hospitalization insurance will automatically be charged to your student account unless you provide the name of your insurance company and policy number. You will need your insurance information at the time of registration. More information about available student health insurance plans can be found here.

Faculty Advisor

Your faculty advisor will assist you with program planning, course selection, and the selection of a research project. Students do not often change advisors during the pursuit of a particular degree, but occasionally it is necessary to do so. If either the faculty member or the student wishes to initiate a change, this may be done by contacting the Co-DGS who will consult with all concerned and arrange the change.