Information You Should Know

Mandatory Programs for International Students to Attend

  • SEP (Summer English Program):

July 22 - August 13, 2019 - Schedule To Be Determined

  • International TA Orientation:

Friday, August 16, 2019 — 5:00 pm - 8:30 pm — The Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology, D-101 Wells Hall

Saturday, August 17, 2019 — 8:00 am - 5:00 pm — B-122 Wells Hall


Mandatory Programs for ALL Students to Attend

  • New TA Institute (Registration is required

August 16, 2019 from 7:00am-5:00pm in room B115 Wells Hall. Registration and breakfast begin at 7:30am.

  • Chemistry Department Orientation:

August 19 – 23, 2019 from 8am-6pm in Room 138 Chemistry Building

  • First Day of Classes:

Wednesday August 28, 2019


Housing (Before Arriving)

  • The Chemistry Department does not provide housing arrangements for incoming students.
  • Students must arrange for housing before arriving at MSU:
  • Arrange for housing as early as possible - if you must wait until after receiving a VISA, apply as soon as you receive it.
  • University Housing processes housing applications as quickly as possible. If you want a furnished apartment, you must indicate on the application that you want furniture. You will need your PID (student number) for the housing application, but you will not need your Net ID (you can leave that question blank).  If you have not received your PID yet, you may get it from the MSU Office of Admissions 517-355-8332 option 2
  • University Housing will send you an offer for an apartment if one is available.  If none are available, they may send you an offer for a room in the Owen Graduate Center.
  • After receiving an offer, students must sign and return it along with the first month’s rent.  Sometimes the first month’s rent can be paid upon arrival – with prior approval.
  • Students who will arrive after business hours (9:00am-5:00pm) need to contact University Housing Service Center at 517-353-3780 before coming to MSU and arrange to pick up an apartment key.  The Service Center is open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 12 Midnight.  You may also e-mail them at
  • Students may contact someone in the University Housing Office concerning key pickup and first month’s rent.


Roommates (Before Arriving)

  • The Chemistry Department does not arrange roommates.
  • The Graduate Office can put your name, gender, and e-mail on a list of our incoming students looking for roommates – this list will be available to our new students upon request.


Transportation to MSU

  • Lansing Capital City Airport is the closest airport to MSU.
  • Transportation from the airport to MSU must be arranged by the student
  • A taxi will cost about $25
    • Omega Express (517) 706-7992
  • Buses also stop near the airport


I-9 Form  (U.S. Department of Justice Immigration & Naturalization Service, Employment Eligibility Verification form)

Each student is required to complete an I-9 Form for employment before a paycheck will be issued.


You must bring the following with you to the Chemistry Department Orientation:


Documents to show ID and work eligibility.  The most commonly used documents are the original social security card and a Driver’s License or State ID card.  However, please see our website for other acceptable documents. These documents are needed to process your I-9 Form, which is required to process your Graduate Assistantship. Domestic students must complete an I-9 by August 19 in order to be paid on time in Rm 320.


The Chemistry Graduate Office must receive the original I-9 Form in order to process your Graduate Assistantship. During SEP or ITA, you will request for a Social Security Card and it will be mailed to you. When you receive the social security card, please sign it and bring to the Chemistry Graduate Office in room 320.  A copy of the social security card will be made and sent to the Payroll Office. The Office of International Students and Scholars-OISS (105 International Center) is responsible for completing this paperwork, and international students should submit the completed original I-9 Form to the Chemistry Graduate Office by August 19 in order to be paid on time.


W-4 Forms (Federal and State tax withholding forms)


Students can fill out their tax forms on line at:


Students must fill them out at the Payroll Office (350 Administration Bldg.). These forms must be received by the MSU Payroll Office prior to the first graduate assistant payroll date (September 15), and cannot be processed without a Social Security Card.


Health Insurance

The University provides health insurance coverage to all Graduate Assistants.  A health insurance representative will be here during Orientation.  To enroll a spouse or children, contact Michelle Fewless (517-884-0170,


PID Number/PAN Number

Your PID number is your student number. It is a nine digit number resembling A12 34 5678. Your PAN number is a four-digit number that is used with your PID number to enroll for classes by means of computer enrollment. These numbers remain the same for each semester that you enroll. (The PAN number is a personal and confidential number that should not be shared with anyone.) If you cannot locate your PID/PAN Number please contact the MSU Office of Admissions at 517-355-8332 option 2


AIN Form (Address Information Form)

MSU requires your local address to be on file. An AIN form must be completed at: (under Student Resources). Whenever your address changes, you must update your AIN form on-line.



All MSU Graduate Assistants are paid bi-weekly. Your Fall Semester employment period begins on August 16, 2019. You will receive your first partial paycheck on August 30, 2019, if the paperwork was completed on time. You will receive your first full paycheck on September 13, 2019, if the paperwork was completed on time. Subsequent paychecks will be distributed every other Friday. Arrangements for direct deposit of paychecks should be made on-line at:  Your original social security card must be brought to the graduate office in order to set up your payroll.


Room Key for the Chemistry Building

During orientation, you will receive information on your temporary desk/room assignment. During that week, you will also come to the graduate office to pick-up your temporary desk/room assignment key.

Then once final advisors have been selected at the end of Fall semester, you will return your temporary desk/room key and get your new desk/room key (if applicable).


Student ID Card and Building Access (Chemistry Building)

Students will have an opportunity to get their student ID cards during the Chemistry Department Orientation Program. In order to have access to the Chemistry building on evenings and weekends as well as some labs, you will need access placed on your card.

Please go to room 170 of the International Center to receive your student ID. During the schedule time of orientation you will come to room 320, where your ID information will be taken down and building access will be requested. This card is needed in order to use campus facilities such as the library, pool and exercise facilities, etc. and to receive student discounts. (


Chemistry E-mail Address

During orientation, you will set up an e-mail account with the Computer Support Team (Room 383). You will need your PID and PAN numbers in order to do this.


Parking Permit

  • A Graduate Assistantship is required to be eligible to obtain a permit
  • Please contact Graduate Program Administrative Assistant, Tiphani Stewart (517-353-1094 or to make sure that your assistantship has been approved. You CANNOT get a parking permit if it has not been approved.
  • You may be able to obtained a parking permit on-line at if your assistantship has already been approved on the MSU system
  • If you cannot obtain the permit on-line, you will have to go to the MSU Police Department at 1105 Red Cedar Road on campus. You will need your MSU ID and vehicle registration to do so. 
  • You should attempt to obtain a Parking Permit prior to the Orientation Program, if possible.
  • The Department of Chemistry cannot “fix” parking citations received during the orientation program. Free parking in the visitor lot across from the International Center is available the week of Orientation.
  • If you want access to a gated parking lot, you must go to the MSU Police Department and place a deposit on your ID card.


Placement Exams

All incoming graduate students are required to take Placement Exams that are designed to evaluate their background in the traditional areas of Chemistry.  The information obtained from these exams will be used to design a coursework plan for each student, to make initial teaching assignments, and to measure the student's preparedness for research. Placement exams will normally be administered at the start of orientation week in the Fall semester.  For students entering our graduate program at off-times, the exams must be taken prior to their first enrollment as a chemistry graduate student at MSU. 

Two exams will be given: one in General Chemistry - the ACS DUCK (Diagnostic of Undergraduate Chemistry Knowledge); and one area-specific ACS exam to evaluate knowledge in the student's chosen area of research. An evaluation of writing skills may also be included. Please bring a calculator, they are not provided. All cellphones MUST be turned off!


Class Enrollment


All incoming graduate students will enroll for classes during the Chemistry Department Orientation Program. Your initial advisor will help you determine the courses that you should take. Your PID and PAN numbers are needed in order to enroll, and you should have received them in your admission materials.  Additional information on how to register and add or drop courses will be covered during Orientation.



Available at:



All graduate students appointed as Graduate Assistants through the Chemistry Department have their matriculation fees covered, and receive a tuition waiver of 9 credits per semester for Fall and Spring Semesters and 5 credits for Summer Semester. The payment of student fees, approximately $50-100 per semester, are the responsibility of the student. Questions regarding your registration bills should be addressed to the Student Accounts Office, Room 140 Administration Building, 517-355-3343.


Degree Granting Transcripts

If you received a letter from the MSU Office of Admissions requesting a degree-granting transcript, this needs to be done by end of Fall semester. A degree-granting transcript is defined as one that shows all of the courses you have taken, including the grade that you received for each course, and confirms that the University attended recognizes your degree.

If you do not turn in an official degree-granting transcript, a hold is placed on your record. You should arrange with your previous school(s) to have the degree-granting transcript(s) sent directly to MSU Office of Admissions (Hannah Administration Building Rm 250, Michigan State University, 426 Auditorium Road, East Lansing, MI 48824-2604).

The transcript(s) needs to be sealed, stamped and in original language as well as translated into English


The Chemistry Graduate Program Guide

The Chemistry Graduate Program Guide is the Ph.D. and M.S. degree manual of requirements.