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Frequently Asked Questions

The Graduate Student Orientation is dedicated to providing opportunities for graduate students to improve themselves both inside and outside of the classroom, the program has expanded over the past years and continues to grow. These FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions) are designed to explain some of the features of the GSO program.

GSO is the Graduate Student Orientation. Our goal is to provide incoming graduate students with the training and skills that will enable them to reach higher levels of teaching competence, personal and academic proficiency, and research capabilities. The GSO is offered throughout the year as either the August Program or the Ongoing Program.

The August Program, also known as GSO Week, is held the week preceding fall semester in August. Participants in the program attend sessions scheduled on Tuesday and Wednesday of the week. The remaining three days, their academic departments offer their own activities (departmental programming) to orient new graduate students. The majority of students who complete their GSO requirements do so through the August Program. This offers participants an excellent opportunity to become familiar with campus and their department before they are caught up in the busy activities of the semester.

The Ongoing Program is offered to graduate students who were unable to attend or complete the August Program. The Coordinator of Ongoing Programs works closely with the students enrolled in the Ongoing Program. This allows students the option to tailor their individual professional development needs while meeting the requirements of their personal course work and assistantship duties.

Students are notified shortly after the beginning of the semester and must attend one informational meeting. This meeting is offered at two different times and students can attend the meeting that best fits their schedule. If both times conflict with class or assistantship duties, an individual meeting can be arranged with the Coordinator of GSO. Following this meeting, students are kept in close communication with the Coordinator via e-mail, phone, and written correspondence.

Any graduate student receiving their first assistantship contract from BGSU must complete the orientation.  This is only required for students receiving their first assistantship contract.  Once a student completes GSO they are not required to complete it again for any continuing assistantships unless their assignment changes (i.e., from teaching to research) and then they only need to attend sessions specific to their new roles.

All graduate students are invited to participate in GSO sessions. Anyone who wishes to do so may participate in the program and attend as many sessions as they like.

Yes, although these students are not required to complete GSO we encourage our part-time and fee-paying students to participate for a variety of reasons.  The August Program offers several opportunities for graduate students to get to know other students in their department as well as other areas giving them a greater exposure to the BGSU community.  They have a chance to become familiar with campus on a more relaxed level than if they arrive on campus the first day of classes and have to struggle with finding out where their classes are, where to park, where they can find computer labs, etc.  For our fee-paying graduate students, participation in GSO, in addition to those reasons cited previously, their participation in either the August Program or the Ongoing Program will allow them to complete their GSO commitment in the event an assistantship becomes available to them at a later time.

In most circumstances, no. Graduate students with assistantships are required to participate in the most immediate orientation available in relation to when their contracts begin.

The Graduate Coordinator will:

  • Appoint the development leader to represent your department during the GSO August Program. If your department is part of a division it is important that all graduate coordinators within the division work together to select 2 Development Leaders and work as a team with the DLs.
  • Work closely with your Development Leader/s to organize your department’s programming activities for the GSO August Program.
  • Encourage your part-time and non-funded students to participate in GSO. This offers them a greater chance to be part of the BGSU community, become more familiar with BGSU campus and various service offices, and to meet other graduate students.
  • Work with incoming students to ensure they complete their GSO requirements during the semester in which they receive their first assistantship contract to ensure they receive the training needed to meet the needs for their assistantship assignments.
  • Be on hand as much as possible during the August Program and particularly during any departmental programming activities that require your attendance.

The Development Leader (DL) is usually a second year graduate student nominated or appointed by the student’s department. This graduate student serves as the primary liaison between their department, their incoming student, and the GSO staff. The DL is responsible for working with their graduate coordinator to develop a schedule of department-specific programming to be offered during the August Program. This departmental program is offered in conjunction with the GSO sessions. The combination of these elements helps students quickly become familiar with their new surroundings, their role and responsibilities as graduate assistants, and as members of the BGSU community.

Graduate students who have not completed the program in the past may sign up for GSO by contacting the GSO Staff. Newly admitted graduate students receiving their first assistantship will receive an e-mail with a link to CANVAS that will show them the sessions they will attend during Graduate Student Orientation week.

Yes. There is no limit to the number of times or sessions a participant may attend.

Effective August 1, 2014, the Social Security Administration (SSA) office will no longer provide Social Security Number printouts/receipts to protect the integrity of the Social Security number and prevent fraud. Attached you will find the flyer being distributed by SSA about this change.
What does this mean for student employees? In order to work on campus, students are required to provide proof that they are eligible to work in the U.S.(using the I-9 form). In order to comply with Immigration and Naturalization Service requirements, most students provide a passport, OR an original birth certificate or social security card AND photo identification such as a driver's license or student identification card. Photocopies are not acceptable.


Previous policy allowed domestic students who did not have their social security card with them to visit the SSA office in Bowling Green and request a printout of their social security number. That printout could be used in place of a social security card as a form of ID. Beginning August 1, SSA will no longer issue SSN printouts, so students will be required to provide a different acceptable form of identification. Other acceptable forms can be found on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website: http://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/acceptable-documents

International students are still required to apply for a social security number before they can be cleared to work, but they will not be required to bring the printout/receipt from the SSA office.

Dates and times of Photo ID (BG1 Card) set-up will be announced as we approach GSO week. Please keep in mind that the $25.00 fee is not covered by any fee waivers.  This will be billed directly to your Bursar account.

You must have your BGSU account set up first so you can log in to MyBGSU.  Once you are logged in to MyBGSU you will see a navigation menu on the left – under Misc Services you will find Parking Registration.  After you complete the online registration you will be able to pick up your permit from parking services located at 001 College Park.  The fee for the parking permit is not covered by any assistantship waivers through the Graduate College and will be billed directly to student’s Bursar account. They also have a helpful FAQ page.

International students will be receiving a letter from International Student Services (ISS) which states that the student has valid F-1 or J-1 status. If they do not have the letter they should contact ISS as soon as possible to get a copy.

Bowling Green State University has implemented a Hard Waiver Health Insurance Program. This program states that all domestic students taking eight or more credits hours on the main campus, and all international students regardless of credit hours are required to have health insurance coverage. This resolution does not apply to domestic students exclusively at BGSU Firelands or distance-learning students.

Under the “required hard waiver” program, students must have health insurance that meets the basic minimum requirements set by the University. If students do not wish to purchase the BGSU offered Student Insurance Plan, they must have alternative health insurance coverage, provide that information to the University, and complete a waiver providing their current health insurance coverage information. If this alternative coverage does not meet the basic minimum requirements, the student must purchase the University offered Student Insurance Plan.  Domestic students log onto MyBGSU and select the “Student Insurance Requirement” link. International Students are required to stop in the Student Insurance Office to either enroll or waive.

Fall Waiver Deadline: By the end of August.

This form must be completed at the beginning of each academic year the student wants to be exempted.

Students may enroll their spouse/children in the University-sponsored health at an extra cost.

The University-sponsored health insurance usually does not cover medical expenses 100%. For more information about the University-sponsored health insurance, please visit the Student Insurance Office.