New Student Orientation

New Student Orientation Fall 2017

Prior to Arrival:

  • Obtain an ISU Net ID (university email address) and let Dai know your new net ID. This is your log-in for campus computers and CyMail.
  • Set up your ACCESS PLUS account. To obtain an ACCESS PLUS password, call 515-294-4000, option 1, and ask for a temporary password. They will ask you for your University ID number. This number is located on your Letter of Intent, in box I, next to your name. 
  • For International Students: Fall 2017 Orientation/Temporary Housing/Graduate Student Check-in/Orientation Checklist
  • Students on ISU assistantships receive single paid Health Insurance, for which you will need to sign up via ACCESS PLUS. If you also want to sign up for Dental Insurance: note that the cost of dental insurance is partially covered by the University and partially by the student. See here the cost of dental insurance and health premiums for family.  
  • If you have not yet sent an official transcript from your educational institution(s), do so after your degree is awarded.  Address: Registrar Office, 210 Enrollment Services, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-2011, USA
  • Bring payroll verification documents (i.e. passport; OR driver's license AND social security card). Students will receive partial pay August 31 for August 15-31 (this is not a full month), provided they turn in their eligibility for employment and other payroll documents prior to or on August 15. All future Payrolls are paid once per month on the last working day of the month.
  • Registering for courses for Fall. You may do this before you arrive or after you arrive. Courses recommended:
    • GRST 565   Professional Practices in Science & engineering – Responsible Conduct   of  Research (1 Credit)                
    • Micro 551.    Microbial Diversity and Phylogeny (1 Credit)
    • Micro 552.    Bacterial Molecular Genetics and Physiology (1Credit)
    • Micro 553.    Pathogenic Microorganisms (1 Credit)
    • Micro 604.    Microbiology Seminar (1Credit)
    • BBMB 404    Biochemistry (3 Credits)
    • Micro 697.    Graduate Research Rotation (4 Credits)

       Please refer to online websites for:

Upon Arrival at Iowa State University

  • Obtain an ISU ID card (and Net ID if you have not already done so.).  ID cards are available in 530 Beardshear.  Email accounts will be set up automatically when you register for a Net-ID.
  • Click here for payroll sign up packet: Print out the payroll packet and complete it in advance of your actual visit in person to sign up for payroll. Take the packet and the required documents listed on page 2 of this packet (i.e. US Passport; OR Driver's License AND Social Security Card) to 3810 Beardshear Hall on campus. Page 2 is "Lists of Acceptable Documents, All documents must be unexpired". These documents establish both your identity and employment authorization. 
  • Student Health Insurance: Information on health insurance, dental, and pharmacy plans can be found here. Students on assistantship receive paid single health insurance and ISU Thielen Health Center pharmacy benefits. To sign up for your health insurance, go to ACCESS PLUS and sign in. Click on the STUDENT TAB and look at the menu on the left. Click on health insurance. Up at the top of the menu you will see in red "enroll". Go ahead and enroll even if the computer system says you are not a graduate student on an assistantship. The computer system may initially charge you for health insurance; however, that charge will be removed when human resources approve your payroll. Students may also consider signing up spouses and dependents for an additional cost. Students may also wish to sign up for dental insurance at an additional cost.    
  • Contact Dai to meet with her and provide her your new local address and telephone number, and pre-existing e-mail address if still used.  The Interdepartmental Microbiology (IM) Administrative Office is in 207 Science I. 
  • New IM students will be assigned desk space temporarily in the Graduate Student Office in room 272 and a mail box in the Microbiology Office in 207 Science I until they have identified a permanent thesis lab.  For keys to the student office and desk, please check with Dai in the main office.  Students can access their mailbox when the Micro office is open during work hours. 

IM Orientation Program 2017 

Monday, August 14:  IM New Student Orientation-  REQUIRED

  •       Time: 9:00-10:30 AM- Breakfast Meet and Greet with faculty and peer mentors
  •       Location: 221 Science I

      (Dr. Laura Jarboe will provide an overview of course requirements, registration, rotations, and orientation activities.)

August 10-18: Multi-Program Orientation Activities (see separate schedule)

August 15, 16, 17:  Lab Safety Orientation Training- REQUIRED

          See map.

  • Alternatively, you can take this training online.  Setting up a login for Environmental Health and Safety for Lab Training on-line. You will need your ISU Net ID to register. This can be done before you arrive or by the end of the first week. It takes a minimum of 1-2 business days to create your account. After you receive your login information you will (1) log into the learning management system, (2) click on the Course Catalog under My Menu, (3) scroll through the alphabetized ONLINE Course Catalog, and (4) Click the Launch link next to the desired course. Take "Laboratory Safety: Core Concepts" and "Fire Safety and Extinguisher Training". NOTE: Do not use Internet Explorer as your browser. Everything else should work.

Friday, August 18:  Faculty Presentations and Poster Presentations (optional)                                                                   

       Time:  9:00 am-4:00 pm

       Location: Molecular Biology Building (map)

       Program Itinerary:

Monday, August 21:   CLASSES BEGIN

Thursday, August 24:  Graduate College Student Orientation

       Time: 5:30-7:30 pm

       Location: ISU Alumni Center/420 Beach Ave. (between C.Y. Stephens Auditorium & Jack Trice Stadium) (map)

       Food and refreshments will be provided

       There will be numerous speakers and a short Q&A session afterwards.

Online Registration

Friday, August 25:  GPSS Social Picnic

       Time: 6:30-8:30 pm

       Where: Brookside Park

Thursday, August 31:  IM Fall Picnic & New student reception

       Time:  6:00-9:00 pm

       Address: 2913 Ross Rd. in Ames

Thursday, September 7:  Latest date to start a rotation

Thursday, October 5: IM Annual Retreat



  • Obtain ISU Net ID, Access Plus Account, and ID Card
  • Sign up for Payroll
  • Take courses "Lab Safety" and "Fire Extinguisher" Training (on-line optional)
  • Sign up for classes
  • Sign up for health insurance (after you register)
  • Attend Graduate Student Fall Meetings.  Dates to be posted as they come up.

IMPORTANT-- Rotation students should be thinking about potential rotations.  They should have a good idea about 2 or 3 labs that they are interested in before they arrive. We will post information on rotation opportunities on the program website late in the summer or early in the fall.

Fall 2017 New IM Students

Ben Cortes PhD (rotation)

       Temp Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jarboe (CBE)

       Graduate Student Mentor: Luke (VMPM)

Elena Thornhill PhD (rotation)

       Temp Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jarboe (CBE)

       Graduate Student Mentor: James (VMPM)

Allison Brost PhD (rotation)

       Temp Faculty Advisor: Dr. Melha Mellata (FSHN)            

       Graduate Student Mentor:  Nick (GE AT)            

Chloe Wasendorf PhD (rotation)

       Temp Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Jarboe (CBE)

       Graduate Student Mentor: Clair (VMPM)

Abesh Bera PhD (rotation)

       Temp Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jarboe (CBE)

       Graduate Student Mentor:  Swastik (CBE)

Debarpan Dhar PhD (rotation)

       Faculty Advisor: Dr. Shao (CBE)

       Graduate Student Mentor: Swastik (CBE)

Jeannett Clampitt (direct admit)

       Faculty Advisor: Dr. Minion (VMPM)

       Graduate Student Mentor: Clair (VMPM)


Orientation week checklist

Maps of campus:

____ Obtain an ISU Net ID (Cymail) account.  When students register for a Net-ID, their Cymail account will be created automatically.  To register for a Net-ID, go to Net-ID Services ( and click on “Register for a Net-ID”.  They will need their University ID number on their ISU card to do this.  Please note that ISU class lists will only print out ISU email addresses as a means of contact from faculty.

____ Sign up for payroll in 3810 Beardshear Hall.  Students should have all the payroll documents filled out before they arrive.  The sign-up packet is available online:

____ Obtain University ID card in 0530 Beardshear Hall.

____ New incoming IM students should provide local address and telephone number, and pre-existing e-mail address if still used, to the Interdepartmental Microbiology (IM) Administrative Office, 207 Science I. 

____ Read the IM Handbook: posted on IM website. 

__ __ Rotation students will be temporarily assigned desk space in the Graduate Student Office in room 272 and a mail box in the Microbiology Office in 207 Science I.  For keys to the student office and desk, please check with Dai in the main office.    

____ Fill out Health Insurance Form on-line through ACCESS PLUS.  Students will need their ISU ID card to do this.  Best to wait until 3 days after filling out and turning in payroll documents.  Go to the ISU homepage and select ACCESS PLUS.  Go to Student Tab and then to Health Insurance.  Single health insurance is provided as part of their assistantship and to insure that they are not charged for this expense it is necessary that we have payroll documents in the system.  For more information please go to:  (

____ Students can register for courses on-line using AccessPlus.  If they are unable to register on-line, they can fill out a "Request for Schedule Change (Add or Drop)" form (yellow, half-sheet).  Forms are available in 207 Science I.  After the advisor and graduate student sign the form, it should be taken to Room 10 Enrollment Services.  Students can sign up for a total of 12 credits.  A typical 12 credit schedule for fall is:

     GRST 565     Responsible Conduct of  Research (1 Credit)                   

     Micro 551     Microbial Diversity and Phylogeny (1 Credit)

     Micro 552     Bacterial Molecular Genetics and Physiology (1Credit)

     Micro 553     Pathogenic Microorganisms (1 Credit)

     Micro 604     Microbiology Seminars (1Credit)

     BBMB 404   Biochemistry (3 Credits)

     Micro 697     Graduate Research Rotation (4 Credits)

Students participating in rotations should begin their first rotation by Thursday, September 7.

Rotation students are to let Dai Nguyen ( and Dr. Laura Jarboe ( know when they begin their first rotation. Students should remember to submit rotation evaluation form after each rotation.  Ask Dai to send form.


Additional information for International Students Only:

As soon as you arrive at ISU

_____ Check in with International Students and Scholars at 3248 Memorial Union

Maps of campus can be found here:

Download or pick up the Fall 2017 Graduate Student Orientation Schedule at ISSO Orientation/Temporary Housing/Graduate Student Checkin/Orientation Checklist. The orientation will be held from August 10, 2017 to August 18, 2017.

_____ Fill out an I-9 form while at the International Students Office which is used to verify your eligibility for payroll. The beginning payroll date is based on when you complete this paperwork and the date on your letter of intent. Example: if your letter of intent begins August 15 but the I-9 paperwork is processed on August 23, August 23 is the earliest we will be able to begin your payroll. Payroll forms are available on line at this location:

Note: payroll is on the last working day (Monday through Friday) of the month so you are paid once per month.

_____ The International Student Office will advise you as to when it is best to apply for your social security number. This will be somewhere around two weeks after you arrive in the country. You will need a letter from ISSO. You will apply at the Social Security Administration Office at 600 5th Street in Ames. You will need to take passport/visa, I-20, I-94 card, and documents showing that you will be receiving an assistantship or Fellowship (letter of intent).

_____ ENGLISH PLACEMENT TEST: This test is REQUIRED for all international students whose TOEFL score is less than 105 and can be taken only by admitted students. International students with TOEFL scores of 105 or better or have a US degree should check in with the Graduate College in 1137 Pearson to establish they do not need to take the English Placement Test. The Graduate College will note on your graduate student records that you have met this requirement. International students, who are from countries where the TOEFL examination is not required, do not need to take the English Placement exam. After taking this examination you may be required to take English coursework your first semester. Failure to take the examination and/or failure to take the required English coursework, during your first semester, will result in your not be allowed to register in the spring. You will need to bring two #2 sharpened pencils, a ballpoint pen and your ISU Card or passport. Students bring ISU ID Card or a valid photo ID. They should also have a black or blue ballpoint pen for the test. If you need more information, please contact the English Department, 337 Ross Hall.

English Placement Test: Schedule for Fall 2017

For further information and test online registration:   

What to Bring:

  • Required: ISU ID card (or a photo ID* with ISU ID number)  (*passport, driver's license, or state ID)

    • Students are NOT allowed to take the test without a photo ID.
  • Required:  Two sharpened pencils, an eraser, and a pen
  • Optional:  ISU NetID (i,e., ISU e-mail address)

EPT Registration:

NEW international students who want to take the English Placement Test should check in with the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) first and then complete online registration for EPT before coming to the test place.  Non-native English speaking students who hold a U.S. citizenship do not need to check in with the ISSO.  ISU ID number (the middle nine digits on the ISU card) is required for the registration. NetID should be entered if students want to check their results online.

Go to the signup page. (Note: Online test registration will be available a week before each test date.)


If you need to change test dates after the registration, please log into the registration site using your ISU ID number and password you set when you signed up for the test. Use the drop-down menu at the bottom of the page to select a new test date.