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 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) are designed to explain some of the features of the GSO program.

Make sure to check back often as new FAQs are constantly being added!

Bowling Green State University's Graduate Student Orientation (GSO) program is designed to acclimate new graduate students to the campus resources in order to foster community engagement and ensure student success. GSO provides initial training for students with first-time assistantships to ensure compliance with institutional policies as well as a successful start to their career. All new graduate students, as well as those who are first-time gradaute assistants, are encouraged to attend GSO.

As a new graduate student at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) and/or a first-time graduate assistant, you must enroll in a non-credit, transcripted course entitled GRAD 5000.  GRAD 5000 prepares newly enrolled students for the academic and professional expectations associated with graduate education, including Graduate College policies and preparation for graduate pedagogy, research, scholarship, and creative work.  This is an S/U graded course.  The content of GRAD 5000 compliments the material presented during the Graduate College Programming during Graduate Student Orientation (GSO) Week.

Please work with your department to make sure that you are registered for the proper section of GRAD 5000 should you have any questions.

If you need help access the the course in Canvas, you can view this helpful GRAD 5000-Quick Start Guide.

All graduate students are invited to attend orientation. Attendance at this program has proven to provide new graduate students a solid foundation for their academic career at BGSU both inside and outside the classroom.

Students who are part of a distance learning or professional program are more than welcome to attend GSO as well.  However, the material that is covered during our campus-based orientation program will be available in the GRAD 5000 Canvas course.

All graduate students are invited to participate in GSO sessions. The on-campus programming 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. 

If you are interested in attending GSO, please make sure to register.

If you can't attend GSO, please RSVP and let us know why you will be unable to attend.  This will allow us to make sure you are including in any communication targeted to our new graduate students as well as allow you access to the GRAD 5000 Canvas course.

Also, make sure to reach out to your department to let them know you will not be attending their programming as well.

The Graduate Coordinator will:

  • Coordinate the Graduate College Programming with the rest of the GSO Staff.
  • Assist in the promotion of department specific programming.
  • Work closely with your Graduate College Student Ambassador to assist in your transition to BGSU and to your department.
  • Encourage all graduate 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.
  • Be a valuable resource to incoming students to provide them a foundation for future academic success.

A Graduate College Student Ambassador (Ambassador) is a returning graduate student who serves as a role model to prospective and incoming graduate students.  The Ambassadors assist in forming a connection to BGSU with incoming graduate students through outreach over the summer prior to GSO.  Ambassadors aim to serve as a resource to incoming graduate students providing knowledge about the graduate culture and resources available to support graduate student success.

You can visit our GSO Registration page to learn more.

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

To be paid by the University or your employer in the US, you need to have a Social Security Number (SSN).

You can following this link to learn more about the process of obtaining an SSN.  If your application is accepted, a Social Security Card will be sent to ISS.

If you are a domestic student and you do not have your Social Security Card to complete the student employment on-boarding process, you can find other acceptable forms of identification on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website:

Students will be able to obtain their BG1 Card (student ID) during 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.

Click here to learn more about getting a BG1 Card.

The University uses License Plate Recognition (LPR) to issue virtual permit numbers that are linked to the vehicle license plate that you register via your MyBGSU "Manage Parking Account" link.

You must have your BGSU account set up, 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 "Manage Parking Account." 

For more information about permits, regulations, and where to park, visit the Parking Services webpage.

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.

The deadline for students to complete the 2019-20 Waiver or Enrollment Process will be announced soon.

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.

For more information about the University-sponsored health insurance, please visit the Student Insurance Office.