Welcome New Students

Congratulations on becoming part of the University of Cincinnati community! The Graduate School staff wants to help you get oriented to the UC campus and your new graduate program. Below, you’ll find a short guide to the most important information you’ll need as a new graduate student. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us online or call 513-556-4335.

Senator Place

Senator Place is one of two official UC graduate student housing options.

After You Enroll

Make sure you have received your UCID (M-number) and Central Login username (6+2). You’ll use that username and default password (Uc!mmddyyyy) to change your password using the password self-service (PSS) system. (Make sure to enter your default password with a capital "U" and a lowercase "c".) Once you have changed your password, you can log in to your UC email account. All official university information, including registration dates, financial aid information and graduation deadlines, is sent to your UC email address. Be sure to check your email regularly as you prepare to start your program.

UC offers limited official housing for graduate students, so apply as early as possible if you want to live in a UC apartment complex. Houses and apartments are also available for rent from outside landlords throughout the area. The UC student government partners with a rental company to provide listings for many of these options. If you are an international student, you can reach out to UC International for help with getting settled in Cincinnati. Check out their Cultural Handbook for good advice on adjusting to American campus life.

Catalyst logo

You'll sign up for classes and pay bills using Catalyst, UC's online student information system.

Before you Arrive

As the start of your program approaches, you should register for classes using Catalyst. Contact your academic advisor to discuss the classes you would like to take; if you don’t have an advisor, your program coordinator can point you in the right direction. You should also make sure all of your financial information is correct, because bills are due five days before the term begins. Contact the OneStop Student Service Center at 513-556-1000 or onestop@uc.edu with any questions.

Finally, you should check into your options for health insurance. When you register for six or more credit hours, you are automatically enrolled in UC Student Health Insurance, a gold-tier plan with on-campus healthcare providers. If you will be a graduate assistant, you may be eligible for the Graduate Student Health Insurance (GSHI) award, which covers 75% of insurance premiums. However, if you already have insurance coverage, you can waive the student insurance fee through Catalyst.

Bearcat Card

Your Bearcat Card serves as your student ID and can also be used as a debit card around campus.

Arriving on Campus

Take a few minutes to get familiar with the UC campus map. Your first stop when you arrive should be the Keys & Badges office, located in 4 Edwards Center. Here, you’ll receive your photo ID (Bearcat Card), which you can also use as a debit card for purchases on and around campus. If you’ll have a car at UC, you can purchase parking permits at Parking Services, also in 4 Edwards Center. If you won’t have a car, or simply don’t want to deal with parking, UC offers an excellent shuttle system around campus and the surrounding community.

Your best on-campus resource will be your fellow graduate students. The Graduate Student Governance Association (GSGA) hosts regular “Grad Cafés” for informal networking—and free food—with graduate students from across the university. Each graduate program is also covered by a specific Graduate Student Association (GSA). The students in your GSA will be happy to answer questions about your program or life at UC in general.

International students are required to check into UC International, located in 1 Edwards Center, once they arrive on campus. That office also hosts a New International Student Conference in mid-August. Other graduate student organizations, such as the Association for India’s Development and the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, help students from specific countries.

CCM Performers

The College-Conservatory of Music hosts dozens of free performance events every semester on campus.

Exploring UC

UC has numerous resources to support your success as a graduate student. The UC Libraries provide research support, printing capacity and a Student Technology Resources Center that can help you ace your classes. The Academic Writing Center assists students with essays and longer writing assignments (including theses and dissertations). For broader academic support, the Learning Assistance Center offers free coaching and tutoring from experienced graduate student mentors.

If you are a teaching assistant, you should connect with the Graduate Association for Teaching Enhancement. This student-run organization hosts regular workshops and networking events to build community among graduate students with teaching assignments. You might also consider joining Preparing Future Faculty, a certificate program designed for students who hope to become teachers at the college level.

Beyond academics, UC boasts state-of-the-art fitness facilities at the Campus Recreation Center. The CRC’s intramural sports leagues are a great way to connect with the university community. Students can also get discount tickets to cheer on the Bearcats athletics teams against collegiate rivals. If you’re more interested in the arts than in sports, check out the galleries at the school of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning or visit the College-Conservatory of Music box office for free performance events.

Smale Riverfront Park

Vibrant fountains light up the night at Smale Riverfront Park in downtown Cincinnati.

Around Cincinnati

Once you’ve gotten settled on campus, you’ll want to explore more of the city. For basic grocery shopping and necessities, the closest option to campus is the Kroger on Corry Street. If you’d rather let someone else do the cooking, the area immediately surrounding UC is rich with restaurant options serving every cuisine from Caribbean to Thai.  

Cincinnati is bustling with arts and entertainment options. The banks of the Ohio River, anchored by the new Smale Riverfront Park, host a wide selection of bars and restaurants outside the gates of Great American Ball Park, the home of the Cincinnati Reds. Over-the-Rhine, the largest urban historic district in the United States, is flourishing with breweries and venues for local live music. The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Opera are among the best in the nation, and the Cincinnati Zoo (the second-oldest in the country) features over 500 animal species and 3,000 plants just down the road from campus.