Graduate Student Orientation Information

ISSS is here to support you while you prepare to arrive to the University. This information is subject to change.

Please complete the below tasks before you arrive at UAlbany. 

1. Pay Your Enrollment Deposit

  • After paying the deposit you will need to wait 1-2 business days before you can access your UAlbany online account (step 3).

2. Apply for a F-1 or J-1 Visa

  • You will need to pay the DHS I-901 fee at least 3 business days prior to your visa appointment.
  • You can complete the other steps of your pre-arrival checklist while waiting for your visa appointment.
  • This step is required for students who were issued an I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1).  Students in other visa categories should follow the requirements for their visa category.

3. Set Up Your MyUAlbany and University Email Accounts

4. Complete all University Health Documentation Requirements (COVID-19 and MMR)

Students must submit required health documentation to the University.  These documents can be submitted directly in the Student Health Documentation Portal in MyUAlbany or by emailing the documents to [email protected]  This includes:

  1. COVID Vaccine Mandate: All UAlbany students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
    • In addition to the University's COVID-19 vaccination requirement, the US CDC requires that most non-citizen, non-immigrant air passengers to the U.S.  show proof of full vaccination for COVID-19, including F-1 and J-1 students.  The CDC has released guidance on limited exemptions to the full vaccination requirement, which may include minors under the age of 18 or student travelers from certain countries with limited vaccine availability.  For a list of which countries are considered eligible for an exemption, please view Table 4 on the CDC's website.  Students should consult their airline if they have any questions about providing acceptable vaccination documentation and/or whether or not they qualify for an exemption to the requirement. 
    • If you qualify to enter the U.S. prior to being fully vaccinated please contact [email protected] for additional assistance and information.
  2. MMR Immunity: New York State Public Health Law requires college students to submit proof of immunity to the diseases measles, mumps and rubella (MMR).
  3. Meningitis Requirement: New York State Public Health Law requires college students to receive and acknowledge receipt of information on Meningitis. Students must read the Meningitis Disease Fact Sheet from the New York State Department of Health then log in to MyUAlbany and select the Meningitis link under the Required Agreements section. 
  4. Required Health Form: The Required Health form must be completed by the student and does not require a physician evaluation. The form is found at the Pending Forms link on the Student Health Portal. The student will be notified if other tests are necessary to satisfy the Tuberculosis requirement. See Tuberculosis screening for more information.

Other pre-arrival health and safety requirements, such as COVID-19 testing, may be announced closer to the start of the semester.

5. Orientation Registration

  • Register for Orientation, click here.
    • You must use your applicant email (not UAlbany email) when logging in to register.
  • Fall 2022 International Orientation is scheduled for August 14, 2022-August 17, 2022.  International Orientation is mandatory for new students.
    • Click here to view the Graduate International Orientation schedule
    • In addition to International Orientation, your academic department may also have a required Orientation and/or meetings as part of the Orientation week programming.
    • Special Note to graduate students in Rockefeller College, School of Social Welfare, and School of Criminal Justice: On Monday, August 15th you will attend an Orientation organized by your schools on the downtown campus, which will also include programming from ISSS for international students.  Please still attend ISSS sessions on other dates which do not conflict with your graduate Orientation schedule.
  • ISSS will provide one-time, one-way complimentary transportation service reimbursement on  August 13 and August 14 from  Albany Airport, the Albany-Rensselaer Train Station, the Albany Bus Terminal, and select hotels only.  Students must save the receipt from their taxi and/or rideshare (Uber/Lyft) in order to be reimbursed. Sign-up in advance to be eligible for this reimbursement. 
  • Please contact your academic advisor in your academic department to register for courses.

6. Review Housing Resources and Quarantining & COVID Documentation Recommendations & Requirements

  • Students living off-campus should review our page on Off Campus Housing 
    • ISSS cannot arrange off-campus housing for students; students must find their own housing.  Please be sure to have accommodation before arriving to Albany.  You may need to use a temporary accommodation (like a hotel or other short term rental) while looking for a place to live.
  • Limited on-campus housing is available for graduate students.  On-campus housing sign-up is done through the Office of Residential Life.  
  • New international students who will live on-campus may move-in between 1pm and 4pm on Sunday, August 14, 2022. If you arrive before your scheduled move-in please arrange for a hotel.
    • Please follow all move-in instructions that you receive from the Office of Residential Life, including arranging a move-in appointment as needed.  Students who will live on-campus must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to moving in on-campus. 

7. Upload your photo to ID Card through MyUAlbany

  • Upload your photo at least two weeks before arrival so that your ID card is ready for you. You can keep a virtual ID card on your phone using the Mobile ID App.
  • Your ID Card gives you access to the bus, dining plans, and other campus resources.

8. Log in to ISSS's Required Pre-Arrival Orientation on Blackboard

  • Pre-Arrival Orientation on Blackboard will open in May 2022.
  • Please successfully complete the required Pre-Arrival Orientation quiz before arrival.

9. Post-Arrival: Complete the New Student Arrival Reporting EForm

  • Once you have arrived to the United States, you should complete the New Student Arrival Reporting EForm, including uploading copies of your passport, visa, I-20/DS-2019, and I-94. 
  • Special Note for GA/TA student employees: International students are automatically enrolled in International Insurance through UnitedHealthcare, but certain eligible GA/TA employees have the option to opt-in to employment-based insurance through the Student Employee Health Plan (SEHP) instead.  If you are eligible for this other plan and intend to enroll you must provide a copy of your Social Security card, as well as additional documentation such as a copy of your birth certificate or passport. If you do not yet have a Social Security Number/Social Security card please complete the following steps as soon as you arrive to the U.S. to help speed up the enrollment process with SEHP:
    • 1.) You must be enrolled in classes full-time and report a SEVIS USA address (i.e. where you are living in Albany)
    • 2.) Submit your New Student Arrival Reporting EForm to active your F-1 program.  
    • 3.) Also submit the Social Security Status Letter EForm (including a copy of your GA/TA offer letter) to request a letter from ISSS which you can use to apply for a SSN.  There may be up to 3-10 business day waiting period from when your F-1 record is activated by ISSS to when the Social Security Administration receives your information in their federal system and can allow you to apply for a SSN.  

To Review:

Please review these Frequently Asked Questions.  Click the link(s) to find more information.