New Graduate Student Steps to Success

Welcome to Graduate School!

“Welcome new MatSE grad students! Get ready to pioneer materials research in a highly collegial and collaborative environment equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. A world of opportunities awaits you.

Here you’ll tailor curriculum to meet your specific needs and interests to preparing you for an exceptional career, whether you’ll be developing novel solutions for combating emerging diseases, making data-driven discovery of new materials for efficient, creating sustainable generation and storage of energy, and beyond.

This is an exciting time, and I look forward to working with you as you engage in innovative classes and research. I can’t wait to see you learn and push the boundaries of knowledge in materials science.”

Moonsub Shim, Director of Graduate Studies

Meet Your Peers

Before You Arrive

Before you arrive on campus to start achieving your dreams, be sure to check out the Graduate College GradMap. Also be sure to complete all 10 items on the Graduate College's Quick Guide below.

Explore the Quick Guide

We can't wait to see what you'll accomplish during your time here!

 [cr][lf]<p>Patrick Kwon, left, and Carlos Juarez-Yescas, center, work under the guidance of Beniamin Zahiri to conduct the SelectPureLi team’s lithium extraction process at the Engineering Sciences Building in Urbana, Ill. on Feb. 23, 2022.</p>[cr][lf]<p>“I hope these efforts inspire other researchers to tackle similar challenges in materials science now,” Juarez-Yescas said.</p>[cr][lf]

Steps to Success

Set yourself up for success, Illini. Cross off the important steps listed in our New Graduate Student Checklist prior to your arrival on campus. A few of these key steps will require you to take action once you've arrived on campus. Please make sure to read each step very carefully.

When Should I Arrive on Campus?

All students are required to arrive prior to the start of the Fall 2022 semester (Monday, Aug. 22).

*International students should plan to arrive on campus by the program start date listed on your I-20. If you anticipate visa processing to delay your arrival, please let our department know as soon as possible. In the case of visa delay, the Graduate College and MatSE recommend your arrival on campus no later than the 10th day of instruction of the Fall 2022 semester (Monday, Sept. 5).

All International students are required to check in with International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) upon arrival to campus. ISSS will provide updates for all your needs, including check-in, ISSS orientation, transportation and much more. For questions, please contact ISSS directly and be sure to review all important ISSS links below:

Plan Your Courses and Register for Class

You will need to register for classes via the UI Integrate Self-Service. For guidance on course suggestions and planning your first semester, check out these resources:

Ensure you register for required MSE courses inlcuding MSE 595 colloquium and MSE 529 or 559 to meet your seminar requirements in the fall semester as noted in MatSE's degree requirements.

For comparison textbook shopping, visit the Illini Union Bookstore.

Who Will My Academic Advisor Be?

  • Master's students: Your advisor will be assigned to you after you begin the Fall 2022 semester.
  • Doctoral students: If you haven't already done so, please reach out to a MatSE faculty member of interest directly. You will be required to confirm your research group after the start of the semester. More information about advisor/group selection will be provided at orientation.

I am a doctoral student with an Assistantship, Now What?

You will need to check-in with the MatSE Human Resource Office to complete your new-hire paperwork prior to Tuesday, Aug. 16, if possible. Be sure to have a form of state-issued identification card, such as a driver's license, passport or social security card.

After completing your new-hire paperwork, you will receive your first paycheck in September. For more information, check out the Graduate College's assistantship policies. Please also see

Where Can I Find Housing?

Need help finding your home away from home? Check out your housing options with the Graduate College's Housing Map.

For on-campus housing, explore the Graduate Upper-Division Halls. If you're considering an off-campus housing option, make sure to check with Off-Campus Community Living before signing a lease.

Save the Date

MatSE's New Graduate Student Orientation
is expected to be held in person
Tuesday, August 16th
 9:00am-4:00pm, check in 8:45am
Materials Science and Engineering Building (MSEB)
1304 W. Green St., Urbana, IL 61801


More details regarding orientation will be provided to all incoming students closer to the start of the Fall 2022 term!