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.

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 graduate students are encouraged to attend GSO and is required for graduate students receiving their first assistantship contract from BGSU.

The August Program, also known as GSO Week, is held the week prior to the start of fall semester in August. Participants in the program attend institutional and departmental sessions scheduled Monday through Friday of GSO week and throughout the semester. The majority of students who complete their GSO requirements do so through the August Program.

The Online Program is offered to graduate students who were unable to attend or complete the August Program. Students will be invited to the Graduate Student Orientation 2017-2018 Canvas portal to complete the program.

All graduate students are invited to attend orientation. However, any graduate student receiving their first assistantship contract from BGSU is required to complete GSO. Once a student completes GSO they are not required to complete it again.

All graduate students are invited to participate in GSO sessions. 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 non-degree and our fee-paying graduate students, participation in GSO, in addition to those reasons cited previously, their participation in either the August Program or the Online 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.
  • 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.

Registration for 2018 is not yet open. Please contact if you have any questions.

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:

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.

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.

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 Manage Parking Account.  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 August 15.

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.