Orientation General

Graduate Student Orientation

This webpage is designed for new graduate students to the College of Sciences. Included on this page is information about the college as well as program completion requirements and student responsibilities while pursuing a degree or certificate program. In addition to the information provided here, new student information is also available on the UCF College of Graduate Studies website:

www.students.graduate.ucf.edu > New Student Checklist
Watch the College of Graduate Studies Orientation Videos (from past orientations)

Watch the International Services Center Multimedia Presentation – Information about UCF for all graduate students
Review the International Services Center Survival Guide – Useful information for all graduate students

Click on the links below to jump to a section and review:
E-mail or call:
General College Information
Faculty/Student Accomplishments
Information for New Students
Student Records
Graduate GPS/Program of Study
Graduate Policies
Integrity & Responsibility
Financial Assistance/Funding

Welcome to UCF as a graduate student

New Graduate Student Information

As new graduate students, here is some information that you need to know about being a student in our college.

Who we are.

The College of Sciences Academic Services Office is located in CSB (College of Sciences Building) room 250.

Main Office

Phone: (407) 823-6131
Fax: (407) 823-3976

Dr. Jana Jasinski, Associate Dean
Phone: (407) 823-6568

Tonya Walker, College Graduate Services Specilist
Phone: (407) 823-3898

Drew Lorenz, Graduate Services Student Assistant
Phone: (407) 823-0361

The College of Sciences

The College of Sciences is the largest college at UCF, housing a diverse array of graduate offerings in the physical, social, natural and computational sciences. Our departments include: Anthropology, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, School of Communication, Mathematics, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Statistics. Our interdisciplinary programs include Modeling and Simulation and Biomedical Sciences.

  • This college teaches approximately half of the student credit hours for the entire student population of the university – a number of undergraduate “general education program” coursework are sciences courses
  • If you are a GTA, you will probably be assisting in teaching “over half the student credit hours” for our undergraduate

We offer Graduate Degree and Certificate Programs in all of the following areas:

Degree Programs

Anthropology MA
Applied Mathematics MS
Applied Sociology MA
Biology MA
Biomedical Sciences PhD (interdisciplinary)
Chemistry PhD
Clinical Psychology MA
Communication MA
Conservation Biology PhD
Forensic Science MS
Industrial Chemistry MS
Industrial/Organizational Psychology MS
Mathematical Science MS
Mathematics PhD
Modeling & Simulation MS, PhD (interdisciplinary)
Physics MS, PhD
Political Science MA
Psychology PhD
Security Studies PhD
Sociology PhD
Statistical Computing MS


Computer Forensics
Conservation Biology
Corporate Communication
SAS Data Mining
Certificate programs are an excellent opportunity to compliment your current degree with a specialized area of coursework. But you are not limited to these Sciences certificates – be sure to check out all of the certificate programs that UCF offers!

College Institutes and Centers

UCF is home to a number of internationally renowned research institutes, including:

  • National Center for Forensic Science
  • Institute for Simulation and Training (IST)
  • Women’s Research Center
  • Florida Solar Energy Center
  • Florida Institute of Government

These centers and institutes provide excellent opportunities for research and development of ideas. You may have the opportunity to work at these locations, or have access to the data and information that they hold. These are just some of the research institutes associated with the Colleges.

The Sciences Faculty

  • Over 370 full-time faculty members
  • National and international experts with research that transcends the classroom
    • Faculty contribute to a multitude of local, national and international research areas, including Florida conservation issues, local and national discussions organized by the Lou Frey Institute of Politics and Government, research presentations at international symposia, and astronomical discovery about planets and stars in distant galaxies.
    • Our faculty are nationally and internationally renowned, and these are the individuals who will be teaching your classes or working next to you through research.

Faculty Accomplishments

For a listing of our faculty accomplishments, please visit sciences.ucf.edu and then click on Students and Highlights.

The Sciences Students

  • Over 700 active graduate students
  • National and international diversity
    Your colleagues in the College of Sciences are not only from Florida and the southeast, but from all over the nation and the world.

Did You Know…?

Over the last three years, UCF has been ranked four times among the top ten strongest in the country for patents (2011).

In 2008, UCF is ranked 8th in the nation on the “Patent Scorecard” which determines the strength of a university’s patents as measured by how frequently they are cited as subsequent patents. READ MORE

UCF’s Carnegie Classification is Doctoral/Research Universities-Intensive.

UCF is ranked 38th in the nation for the strength of its research and patents by Technology Review, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s magazine of innovation. Only the University of Florida, at 20th, ranks higher among Florida state universities.

UCF ranks among the top 50 “Best Values in Public Colleges” in the U.S. according to Kiplinger (2011).

U.S. News & World Report (2010) names UCF the nation’s No. 7 “Up-and-Coming” university for its “innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty, and student life.”

UCF has graduated about 30,000 masters and about 2,000 doctoral students since 1968.

UCF DiplomaTo learn more about UCF and our Graduate Programs, visit the College of Graduate Studies website.UCF plans to enroll approximately 65,000 students this fall 2017 semester, and UCF is currently ranked 2nd largest university in the nation.

Get to know UCF!
Information for new students

Graduate Catalog
The UCF graduate catalog is only available online.

Campus Map
Link to the interactive university campus map.

Campus Tour
Undergraduate focused, but a great way to discover UCF’s campus.

Getting Started at UCF

Parking Decal – find this at UCF Parking Services
Register your vehicle online and pick up your permit at the Parking Services Office located at the South Parking Garage

Wireless Access
From a secured connection and as a UCF student, you can connect into the UCF Wireless network. For more information about wireless networking go to this website and click on “How To…” or call 407/823-5117

UCF Card
You pay a $10 annual fee for the UCF card that is also your library card. Be sure to stop by the UCF Library to have it activated so you can use the online library services. In addition, the card carries UCF Cash, good for use at any on-campus dining facility (including several off-campus sites), vending machines, and the UCF Bookstore. Have your photo taken for your UCF card at the UCF Card Office across from the UCF Bookstore in the John T. Washington Center.

Knights E-Mail
Campus e-mail address required of all students.

Taking Care of Yourself

Graduate school can be difficult. These are resources available to you to ensure that you are taking care of yourself physically and mentally, as well as academically.

UCF Global
Serves as a source of information, advocacy and support to international students, including providing assistance in adjusting to a new academic environment and culture and to provide immigration and advising services to new and current students. UCF Global also provides assistance with employment questions and paperwork, program of study changes, academic status, transfer out and travel guidelines.

Dining Services
Check the website for more information about UCF’s dining options.

UCF Health Services
Your semester health fee pays for all of the services provided by the UCF Health Center. Medical care provided for injuries or illness and many additional services available to students.

Counseling Center
Counseling services and alcohol and drug prevention programming.

Victim and Advocate Services
Victim advocates for you or someone you know who may have been a victim of a crime. Victim advocates can help answer questions about available services and resources, criminal justice options, reactions to victimization, self-care, and crisis intervention.

Creative School for Children
The Creative School offers an affordable learning and discovery environment for all children.

Facilities and Services

UCF Libraries

Student Union
Dining, services, and student areas

UCF Bookstore
Textbooks, school supplies, magazines, gifts, UCF merchandise, literature, and coffee.

UCF Writing Center
Assistance to masters and doctoral students with reports, essays, resumes, and any other documents as well as assistance with thesis and dissertation topic development and formatting.

Student Accessibility Services
If you have a documented disability, please register with SSS. The services they provide will not make your graduate experience easier, but they will provide appropriate accommodations to “level the playing field” so your disability doesn’t prevent you from doing the best you can. Services are provided as needed – you don’t have to use them but if you need them, you must be registered with them.

Recreation & Wellness Center
Workout and health facilities

Career Services

myUCF Student Center

https://my.ucf.edu > Student Self Service

Please keep your contact information up-to-date with the university. If you change your physical address, please update this information.

The Student Center is where you will find your personal information as well as current and past enrollment, where you can register for classes and where you can find out about any holds you may have on your records.


The course schedule is available without logging-in to the myUCF Student Center. You will need to be logged-in to register for classes. If you need assistance navigating the registration system, “Class Schedule Search” and “Course Enrollment” are two tutorials available in myUCF.

Registration Guides are also available on this website. Click on Graduate Links and navigate to “New Student Guides.”

Be certain to pay close attention to the dates and deadlines with respect to the end of the registration period. During the last week of registration (the “Late Registration and Add/Drop” week), the deadlines differ for how long you are able to DROP/SWAP courses as opposed to ADD courses. You are able to add courses for one day longer than you can drop/swap. Please refer to the Academic Calendar for the exact dates each semester.


This administrative course is designed to avoid late fees. If for whatever reason you are unable to enroll into a course by the close of regular registration, enroll yourself into UCF 1500 and this administrative course will allow you the week of late registration and add/drop to finalize your enrollment for the semester. After the close of registration, this course will drop itself.

Add/Drop Deadlines

Each semester, during the week of late registration, the ability to drop courses ends one day prior to the ability to add courses. Please be aware of these deadlines by checking the Academic Calendar, because you cannot drop a course on the last day of late registration.

UCF E-mail

Knights E-mail

UCF uses e-mail as the official means of communicating university, college and program announcements, academic information (including notices and deadlines), and correspondence regarding your student status. The university will send all business-related and academic messages to your Knights e-mail address to ensure receipt of that information.
Every student must register for, and maintain, a Knights e-mail account. You should check this account regularly to avoid missing important and critical information from the university.

Program of Study and your Graduate GPS

  • Your graduate program may use either a university document or an internal document to outline your degree requirements. This is called your Program of Study. The program of study is reflected in your Graduate GPS, which is the university’s technical document used for keeping track of your degree requirements. You should check your GPS from time-to-time to ensure that it correctly reflects your degree requirements. GPS can be found online at myUCF.
  • The information in your program of study/GPS is based on your catalog year of admission.
  • Policies associated with program completion are enforced when enacted, and while past policies may be grandfathered, students are generally held to graduate policy as currently published.
  • The GPS is the document used to certify you for completion of the program.
  • Meet with your advisor to set up your program of study: Doctoral students must have a program of study on file by the third semester of enrollment; Masters students must have a program of study on file by the second semester of enrollment.
  • The GPS is the only place where you will find your program of study GPA and your graduate status GPA – both used for academic standing and graduation.
  • Changes to your GPS based on enrollment and your program of study. Your program of study can only be revised wtih your advisor’s approval.

What do I do if my GPS is incorrect?

  • See your advisor first.
  • The GPS is corrected based on your program of study being approved by the College Graduate Office.

Graduate Policies


For a complete listing of graduate policies, please refer to the Graduate Catalog. Actual program policies may be more strict. Please refer to your program’s graduate manual or see your program’s graduate director for more information. Information regarding policies that are frequently sited in the college can be found on the Policies webpage.


Full-Time Enrollment

These are university minimums for full-time enrollment, your program may require more hours.

  • 9 hours in the Fall and Spring Semesters
  • 6 hours in the Summer Semester
    • With exceptions for thesis/dissertation enrollment
  • Follow departmental and university policies
  • Always check with advisor when registering
  • For Financial Aid recipients, full time enrollment is defined by Student Financial Services

7-Year Rule

  • Courses are only counted for 7 years toward completion of your degree program.
    (Courses in certificate programs are only counted for three years)

Transfer Courses

  • You may be able to transfer courses from previously earned master’s degrees or graduate coursework taken outside of your program.
  • Grades in transferred courses must be a B- or better.
  • Check with your advisor for policies regarding transfer courses and approval.

Academic Progress

Academic progress is monitored by your program, the college and the university.

Your program may have more strict requirements.

  • The College of Sciences has a 3.000 program of study GPA requirement; and the university has a 3.000 graduate status GPA requirement to maintain regular graduate student status and to graduate
    • Program of Study GPA: Calculated from any courses that are included in your program of study. May include transfer courses and approved 4000-level courses (master’s programs only).
    • Graduate Status GPA: Calculated from any graduate level course taken from the semester of admission to degree completion.
  • A maximum of 6 semester hours of unsatisfactory grades are allowed in the program of study.
    Unsatisfactory grades include:
C+ (2.25) C (2.0) C- (1.75)
D+ (1.25) or lower Incompletes Unsatisfactory
  • Only grades of C- or higher can be used toward course completion.
  • Grades of D+ or lower will count against your GPA but will not count toward completion of a program requirement.
  • “I” grades need to be resolved as soon as possible (after one academic year they will change to an unsatisfactory grade.
  • A GPA below 3.000 will place you on probation for a maximum of 9 hours.
  • A GPA that is not resolved after probation or a GPA below 2.000 will result in your dismissal.
  • There is no “grade forgiveness” in graduate school.

Academic Integrity

“Integrity, scholarship, community, creativity, and excellence are the core values that guide our conduct, performance, and decisions.” The UCF Creed (http://creed.ucf.edu)

You are responsible for upholding your own, personal integrity; practicing ethical and responsible research, demonstrating respect for your colleagues, and conducting yourself responsibility with respect to assignments, projects, and tests.

UCF and the Graduate College offer tools through Ethics and Responsible Conduct in Research workshops that will instill an awareness and understanding of the fundamental issues of academic integrity and responsible conduct in research.

Student Responsibility

It is the student’s responsibility to keep informed of all rules, requirements, policies and procedures relating to their graduate program.

Please familiarize yourself with the Graduate Catalog and Golden Rule Student Handbook and consult when questions arise.

Financial Assistance:


  • Financial awards offered to students on the basis of academic merit and other criteria
  • UCF Fellowships are available to new, regularly admitted, full-time students by department nomination. These are competitive awards that are normally announced in the spring term.
  • If you are an award recipient, and have questions about the requirements of the award, contact the Graduate College for more information
  • Other Award Opportunities – There are also a number of non-university related funding opportunities available to students. This web-link (still within the college website) provides information about these opportunities and access to several online databases of funding sources. Be certain to explore national, local, regional, and community award opportunities for which you may also be eligible.
  • For more information, contact either the College of Graduate Studies, the College of Sciences Graduate Office or your program’s Graduate Director.

Graduate Assistantships

Assistantships are positions of employment offered to graduate students to supplement the academic requirements of a degree with an assignment of teaching, conducting research, or performing other tasks within the university.

  • Graduate Assistants must be enrolled full-time.
  • Contact your program advisor for more information
  • GTAs must attend the GTA Training offered by FCTL and complete an online Legal Module. See the Graduate College’s Website for more information.

Students employed on assistantship positions will be able to access their paycheck from the myUCF Employee Self Service pages.

Health Insurance

All students who are a recipient of a university fellowship, or who are employed on a graduate assistantship position that pays tuition are eligible for student health insurance. Please contact the College of Graduate Studies Office of Financial Assistance for more information.

Tuition Remissions/Waivers

  • Waiver of tuition costs (if you are offered one, be sure to ask for a dollar $$ amount)
  • Fellowship or assistantship recipients may receive both a remission and waiver
  • Contact your program advisor for more information
  • If you are a domestic student, and plan on establishing residency, please contact the Registrar’s Office for more information about this process.

Student Loans

Student loans are available through the Student Financial Assistance Office. If you are a financial aid recipient, know who your financial aid advisor is… and isn’t. Your academic advisor, your instructor, your friends are not financial aid advisors!

Office Contact
Website: http://finaid.ucf.edu/
Phone: 407/823-2827
E-Mail: finaid@mail.ucf.edu
Location: Millican Hall, room 120

Other Orientation Information