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Graduate Student Orientation Information

Welcome to Penn State College of Medicine and Hershey! We are excited to welcome you as a graduate student and we are busy preparing for your arrival. The information below provides additional details on several important parts of the onboarding process.

Please review the items below carefully as some have firm deadlines.

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Important Information

Note: All graduate students must bring a thermometer to campus.

Welcome from the Associate Dean Expand answer

Congratulations to the entering students for fall 2020! You are part of a record high number of students that will be pursuing their doctoral and master’s degrees at Penn State College of Medicine. Although you are starting your graduate school years at a time of great uncertainty, it is our goal to provide you with a safe environment to optimize your educational experience. At this point in time, we cannot with certainty state whether orientation and fall classes will be held in-person or remotely, or a combination, starting in August. Much depends when state and federal authorities relax stay in place orders, and when the College ramps up laboratory research.

Our campus is unique due to its affiliation Penn State Health, and a two-week quarantine will be mandatory for all incoming students. You will therefore be expected to be living in the Hershey area by Monday, Aug. 3, 2020.

As you look for housing in the Hershey area, please make sure that your apartment has high speed internet. On-campus and neighboring private apartment complexes will fill up quickly! It is our suggestion that you reserve housing now. You are competing for limited apartment availability with others!

All matriculating students must arrive with a laptop computer and a functional video camera. These requirements will facilitate onboarding and educational experiences, and will enable you to fully participate in remote learning, if that option is necessary.

We will look forward to meeting each and every one of you in person in August during orientation. Until then, please be safe and watch for future emails from Graduate Education regarding onboarding requirements.

Dr. Charles Lang
Associate Dean for Graduate Studies

Watch: Zoom sessions about Orientation Expand answer

The June Zoom session about orientation for new graduate students was recorded and is available to watch via Mediasite.

Watch orientation recording here

The July Zoom orientation session for new graduate students was recorded and is available to watch via Mediasite.

Watch recording here

Course Registration for Fall 2020 Semester Expand answer

Register Online Using LionPATH

The fall 2020 registration timetable is now available on the Office of the University Registrar website. Undergraduate and graduate students can view the timetable to determine the first date they may begin registering for fall 2020 courses in LionPATH. Students also can find their first day to register in their Enrollment Dates box in the LionPATH Student Center.

Enrollment Shopping Carts

LionPATH shopping carts is the place for students to create and maintain their class schedules for the upcoming semester. It is used to temporarily save classes until it is time to enroll for the semester. (Students should remember to take courses out of the shopping cart when really ready to register – shopping cart is a temporary saving place.)

Course Registration

Students are only eligible to enroll in classes once they have completed their Fall 2020 Pre-Registration Activity Guide, which includes verification of emergency contact information and the Financial Responsibility Agreement (FRA). The Activity Guide can be found in the student’s To Do List within the LionPATH Student Center.

To learn more about how to use the LionPATH Planner, please view the LionPATH Planner video tutorial or read the step-by-step instructions.

To learn more about how to use Schedule Builder, please view the Schedule Builder video tutorial or read the step-by-step instructions.

For a detailed walkthrough on how to complete the Pre-Registration Activity Guide, please view the video tutorial or read the step-by-step instructions.

To learn more about how to use the LionPATH Shopping Cart please view the LionPATH Shopping Cart video tutorial or read the step-by-step instructions.

Health Insurance Expand answer

You will receive information from the University Health Services (UHS) on the processes to follow to enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) or decline SHIP insurance. See SHIP details here.

Note: All graduate assistants and fellows are automatically enrolled in this insurance, so if you do not want SHIP you will need to decline the coverage.

Computer and Internet Requirements Expand answer

Students are expected to have a computer, high speed internet, and a webcam at their place of residence.

Parking information for students living off campus (by Aug. 7) Expand answer

Parking Registration Form

Fill out the Parking Registration Form

All students who are driving on campus must provide complete vehicle information for any vehicles you will be driving. You will receive a vehicle permit sticker for each vehicle you register when you arrive for orientation. To be compliant with Penn State Hershey Medical Center Parking Policy, your parking registration card must be submitted by August 7!.

Before Arriving on Campus

Graduate School Bulletin Expand answer

The Graduate Bulletin is Penn State’s comprehensive source for graduate academic information and program requirements.

See program details in the Bulletin here

Housing Information Expand answer

Housing in the Hershey area should be secured as soon as possible. Information regarding on-campus housing is available here. Another popular option is Briarcrest Gardens.

Information for Current Employees Expand answer

If you are a current employee of Penn State, Penn State College of Medicine or Penn State Health and will be appointed as a graduate assistant or fellow, your current employment with Penn State must terminate by July 31, 2020. Your graduate appointment begins Aug. 1, 2020.

Immunizations Expand answer

Penn State requires all incoming degree-seeking students to be compliant with immunization requirements. All students, regardless of program or other affiliation with Penn State or Penn State Health, must provide proof of immunizations prior to arrival on campus. Note that the College of Medicine and University requirements are different!

Requirements for Penn State

Requirements for Penn State College of Medicine

Student Disability Services Expand answer

Students who have disabilities should complete the online Information Request Form.

Details can be found on the Student Disability Services webpage.

All information is confidential.

Tax Information for International Students Expand answer

Global Penn State has provided information about tax requirements for international students.

See details here

Orientation Events

Orientation will take place Aug. 17 to 21, 2020.