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Orientation for New GSAS Students

AUGUST 19-27, 2019 - Required

2019 GSAS New Student Orientation begins on Monday August 19 at 9:00 am. *Required for new GSAS degree-seeking students entering Fall 2019, so please make travel plans to arrive and be settled in New Haven by the weekend of August 16-18. 

Orientation at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) is essential for you to make a smooth transition into your program of graduate study and into life at Yale and in New Haven. Most GSAS New Student Orientation events take place Monday, August 19 through Tuesday August 27. At Orientation, you can learn practical information on resources of the Graduate School, the University and New Haven, and your degree program or department, and enjoy social events and tours to make new friends and build community. It's also fun, useful, and a great way to meet new people inside and outside of your degree program.

  • See the basic outline on the GSAS Academic Calendar - the detailed schedule is only on the OrgSync App or online version Yale Connect-OrgSync (login with Yale netID) in late June 2019, with updates and additions through August 2019.
  • Orientation or New Student Questions? Contact the Office of Graduate Student Life at the McDougal Center by email or call 203-432-2583.

Starting July 2019 - Download the Live GSAS Orientation Schedule  App “OrgSync”

  • App available for IOS and Android Phones
  • And see the online version at  - search in your memberships for “New Yale GSAS Students” portal or group.
  • New GSAS students will be emailed specific info on the Yale GSAS Orientation and student activities smartphone App and Web version at their Yale email account in mid-summer
  • Contact if you need help or have questions.  

Outline of GSAS Orientation Schedule of Events

Aug. 19, 9am-4pm - Required GSAS New Degree-Seeking Student Check-in at the McDougal Center, 135 Prospect St. on campus 

  • On Monday, August 19, you must check in with the Graduate School on campus at the McDougal Grad  Center to begin your Orientation process, clear any holds, and receive your Yale ID and basic orientation materials. Degree-seeking students are required to check-in on this day; non-degree students (DSR, Exchange, etc) may come to check in as they like.
    • Late arrival? If for some extraordinary reason you can not check-in Aug. 19 9a-4p as required, please email us to discuss the matter in advance.
    • Late GSAS check-in will be available weekdays Aug. 20-19, 9am-4pm at Registrar's office, 246 Church street, for IDs, hold clearances and i-9 processing.
    • Early Start Students (ELP, Math Camp, labwork) should already have IDs and have done i-9, but should come to McDougal Center on Monday anytime to get their nametage, free stuff, food and friends!
    • DSR non-degree students  (VAR, exchange, etc.) have a separate check in process but can come to McDougal Center for a nametag and free items, and to meet others
  • For GSAS Check-in, Bring a photo ID and your I-9 documents listed on the Checklist page under the section “Documents Required for Check-in at Orientation (August 19).”
    • As part of the check-in process, you will receive your Yale student ID card if clear of holds.
    • We will process your I-9 form and review or check any Transcript and/or Health Hold if needed. Graduate School staff will answer questions and provide information.
  • Graduate Dormitory Move-in Weekend usually takes place Friday-Sunday on the weekend before GSAS orientation begins- usually Aug 16-18. Contact Yale Housing for info.
    • Yale Graduate Dorm room key release and move-in is administered separately by the Graduate Housing Office (not by the Graduate School). You can not get your dorm key from the Graduate School and you can not get your new Yale ID from the graduate housing office.
  • International Students also must check in separately with the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) at the International Center, 421 Temple Street.
    • If you are an international student, one of the first things you must do after you arrive in New Haven is report to the OISS. This is a U.S. Immigration requirement, and failure to do so could result in loss of your legal status in the U.S. OISS staff will contact you to schedule your OISS check-in session - it takes about 1 1/2 hours.
    • You do NOT get your Yale ID at OISS Check-in — you get it at GSAS Orientation Check-in at the McDougal Center (see above)
    • In addition to checking in with OISS, all new GSAS international students must attend the GSAS Orientation events (see the GSAS calendar online for details).

August 19 - August 27, 2019: GSAS Orientation Events

General outline below - Detailed Schedule online & in App Yale Connect (OrgSync)

  • Attend required events. There are several required events for all new students, including Check-in and the Aug. 22 GSAS Matriculation Day events and trainings on Thursday.
  • Pick events YOU want attend. After resolving any issues at Check-in, choose to participate in many informational and social events, help sessions, giant resource fairs, and campus and city tours during the Orientation week. See the Orientation calendar online for details and signups if needed.
  • Enjoy interactive, active sessions, socials and tours. GSAS Orientation is made up of many small group tours, quick info sessions, resource fairs, and socials in and around campus. It does not involve long presentations to huge groups (650+ new GSAS students) in an auditorium. Many events, like tours for Yale Health and for Yale libraries, are repeated several times during the week, so you can pick one that works with your schedule and interests.
  • Orientation is open to you and your family members as listed. Activities in the GSAS Orientation calendar are open to all new students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and spouses, partners and children are welcome to attend as listed or as appropriate. Events are free unless otherwise noted, and a few events require advance signup. Your family, spouse/partner and guests are welcome to attend Matriculation day events with you through lunchtime.
  • Specific groups. There are specific activities for international students, graduate student spouses and partners, graduate students with children (or those thinking about having a child sometime in graduate school), LGBTQ students, students of diverse backgrounds and veterans. Attend any events relevant to your own situation or interests.
  • Department and Degree Program Orientation events may be held on Friday, August 23, Monday, August 26 or Tuesday, August 27. Contact your department or degree program for more information.
  • GSAS classes begin Wednesday, August 28, 2019 - No Course Pre-registration at Yale. There is no pre-registration for courses at Yale. Starting Friday, August 23 you can begin choosing courses online with your NetID. You can attend courses of interest during the first two weeks of each term to see if they meet your needs (called “Shopping” at Yale). You must complete online course registration in two weeks, by mid-September.

Thursday, August 22, 2019  - GSAS Matriculation Day (required for degree and exchange students)

The highlight of Graduate School Orientation week is the Matriculation Day. At the Matriculation Ceremony in Battell Chapel, President Peter Salovey and Graduate Dean Lynn Cooley officially welcome new graduate students to the University. The Ceremony is followed by a reception hosted by the President. After the reception, new students attend required ethics training, and then enjoy a picnic lunch in the tent at the McDougal Graduate Student Center. Spouses, partners, children and parents are welcome to attend the Ceremony, Reception and Lunch.

August 22 - Required trainings - Before and after lunch on Thursday, we hold educational sessions required for all New GSAS Degree & Exchange Students.  If you can not be here for these trainings for an extraordinary reason, please email GSAS New Student office to discuss.