Welcome to the Asian Studies Graduate Program
Dear New Graduate Students,
Congratulations on your admission to our graduate program! We look forward to seeing you in August at Orientation and for the start of the Fall semester. Our faculty and staff are here to help you in the successful completion of your graduate program and we encourage you to utilize the many resources available to you through the Department of Asian Studies and the University of Texas at Austin.
There are numerous matters to attend to as an new graduate student and this Welcome page provides information about:
- Advising and Registration
- Tuition, Fees, and Payment
- ID card, Email, and Communication Tools
- Campus Resources
- Housing, Transportation, and Parking
- Funding and Student Employment
The Asian Studies faculty and staff offices are located in the WC Hogg building (WCH) next to the Main Building (MAI) (aka the UT Tower). Contact information for Asian Studies faculty, staff, and graduate students may be found on the Asian Studies website. Please bookmark the Graduate Student Forms and Links webpage as you will need it often.
The Department of Asian Studies New Graduate Student Orientation will be Thursday afternoon, August 18, from 1:00-3:00 pm in the Meyerson Conference Room (WCH 4.118).
Orientation is mandatory and all new students are expected to attend. If you are unable to attend orientation, please contact the Graduate Coordinator as soon as possible.
International Students are required to make an appointment for, and attend, an Immigration and Briefing Check-in (IBC) session. The schedule for these appointments will be linked from the ISSS orientation page: http://world.utexas.edu/isss/students/new/orientation.
International Students also have opportunities to participate in a variety of orientation sessions, workshops, and social activities. The first orientation event is Friday, August 12. Here's the full ISSS Orientation Schedule.
International Students with a J-bar and those who will be Teaching Assistants will also need to complete the appropriate screening/training through the English as a Second Language (ESL) Program.
Advising and Registration
Before registering for classes, an official transcript, showing final semester grades and awarded degree, must be on file with the Graduate and International Admissions Office. A registration bar is in place until this transcript is received.
You will need a "high assurance" UT EID to register, pay tuition and other fees, access Blackboard for class, etc. Get an upgraded UT EID
The Graduate Adviser, Donald Davis, will advise new students before they register for classes. Advising will be on August 20-21.
Advising bars are placed on a student's record to insure that students seek academic advising prior to registration. Before your advising appointment, please look at the online course schedule and departmental course descriptions to identify potential classes for your first semester. You will discuss your classes with Dr. Brereton and he will contact the Graduate Coordinator to remove your advising bar. You will be assigned a Faculty Mentor at this time; you may suggest a faculty member if you wish. After the advising meeting, please contact your Faculty Mentor to arrange a meeting as soon as possible. Your Faculty Mentor may suggest alternate courses and you can make updates to your schedule during any of your access periods. In future semesters, you will meet first with your Faculty Mentor and then with the Graduate Adviser.
Registration for new students begins August 21. After your advising bar has been cleared, you will be able to register during the times listed on your Registration Information Sheet (RIS). If you do not register during the New/Re-Admitted Student access period, you can register during the next access period, but there is a late fee. The Academic Calendar for Fall and Spring lists official University dates and deadlines and the Graduate School maintains a list of key dates for graduate students.
The course numbering system at UT may be unfamiliar to you. The two or three letter prefix identifies the department or field of study of each course (ANS=Asian Studies, JPN=Japanese, HIN=Hindi, etc.). The first number indicates the number of credit hours. The middle number denotes whether a class is graduate or undergraduate (8 and 9 are graduate level classes; 0-7 are undergraduate classes). During the summer sessions, lower-case letters are placed in front of the course number to designate the session in which the course is offered (first, second, nine weeks, or whole session). Examples: ANS 384 = A graduate course of three credit hours – SAN 507 = A lower-division undergraduate course of five credit hours. Lower-division undergraduate courses cannot be counted toward graduate program requirements. JPN 330 = an upper-division undergraduate class (three hours credit). In some cases, upper-division courses may be counted toward the graduate degree. Please consult with the Graduate Advisor before taking an undergraduate class.
All courses have a 5-digit number, called the Unique Number, hyperlinked in the course schedule to additional information about the course. Use this 5-digit number to register for the class.
Registering for Fall 2016 Courses
Log in with your UT EID and password to ‘Find courses now’. The course schedule provides multiple ways to search for relevant courses – the first two (‘field and level’ and ‘keyword’) will be most the helpful at this point. Course descriptions for specific classes are posted on departmental websites. Faculty in the Department of Asian Studies post their course descriptions to the Asian Studies Course Descriptions webpage. Courses in other departments (History, Religious Studies, and Comparative Literature, etc.) will be posted similarly. Some Asian Studies (ANS) courses are cross-listed with other programs (i.e., same title/instructor listed with more than one course number). If a cross-listed course does not have a description on our page, look at the website of the cross-listed department(s). Courses not cross-listed with ANS may be counted towards your degree if the Graduate Adviser approves. Those descriptions will be found online with the appropriate department. Please look at the course listings and course descriptions prior to your advising appointment and pick out several courses that interest you. Most students take 9-12 hours per semester.
There is a ‘Register’ link on every course-related page of the online schedule. You can also link directly to the Registration page from the Course Schedule homepage. UT EID and password required, as well as the unique number for each class. Register during your designated access days/times (RIS link, above), after your advising bar is removed. If you encounter difficulties with registration, please let me know and I am happy to help you. In the future, advising and registration periods will occur approximately two months before the beginning of the next semester.
Classes begin on Wednesday, August 24. The University is closed for the Labor Day Holiday (Monday, September 5), so classes will not meet that day. Check out the academic calendars for the whole year.
Tuition, Fees, and Payment
Be financially prepared when you arrive in Austin. You need to be able to cover tuition, books, deposits and fees associated with leasing an apartment and getting settled in, and other normal living expenses.
Graduate student tuition rates: http://tuition.utexas.edu/
Please refer to the above-linked PDF. Fall 2016 tuition for nine hours (full time) enrollment in the College of Liberal Arts (Department of Asian Studies) is $4,165 for Texas residents and $8,256 for non-residents.
All tuition and fees are posted on ‘My Tuition Bill’: https://utdirect.utexas.edu/acct/fb/my_tuition/my_tuition_home.WBX
Student Accounts Receivable provides quick access to ‘ My Tuition Bill’, ‘What I Owe’ and ‘Tuition Loans'.
Payment of all tuition and fees and confirmation of $0.00 tuition bills must be made by 5 PM on Tuesday, September 2. Failure to pay tuition and fees, or failure to confirm a $0.00 tuition bill, will result in registration being cancelled (‘zapped’). You will be dropped from all of your courses and you will have to re-register. There will be a late fee, and, depending on when you re-register, additional paperwork and signatures.
Payment of tuition and fees can be made by:
- cash, check or money order
- credit card (Mastercard or Discover with a convenience charge)
- electronic funds transfer from your bank account
- financial aid (approved federal student loans only - not fellowships)
- tuition loan/emergency loan - an option available for every student every semester
An installment plan is also available: the first payment is half the total amount due and the other half is divided into two installments.
Students with a TA appointment receive a tuition benefit.
Additional payment information is available at http://www.utexas.edu/business/accounting/sar/.
ID Card, Email, and Communication Tools
Official ID Card
Obtain your UT ID card as soon as you arrive on campus to avoid the long lines during the first week of class. The ID center is on the ground floor of the Flawn Academic Center (FAC), and is open 8:30 AM to 6 PM Monday through Friday. A photo ID (driver's license or passport) is required. Request an ID card with High Assurance EID. A High Assurance EID will enable you to register, pay online, obtain a tuition loan, check out library books, see your grades online, etc. The ID card is $10 and you can pay by cash or credit card at Student Accounts Receivable in the Main Building, or pay online on the What I Owe page. Replacement charges for lost or stolen cards, if applicable, are the responsibility of the student. Immediate benefit of getting an ID card: City of Austin Capital Metro buses are FREE with a UT ID.
Email is considered an official form of communication by the University of Texas at Austin "You are responsible for ensuring that you receive all of your email from the University" (University Electronic Mail Student Notification Policy, 9.10). If you change your email address, you should notify the graduate coordinator and update your information in UT Direct.
All current students and alumni can obtain a free email account on the @utexas.edu domain. Claim your UT email address here.
Before the fall semester begins, you will be added to our graduate student listserve (asgradstudents[at]utlists.utexas.edu). This listserve is used to communicate important information throughout the year, including advising and registration, program-related presentations and events, announcements about conferences and funding opportunities, etc.
The Department receives many requests from campus and external organizations to forward announcements on to our graduate students. These announcements are posted on the Graduate Program Blog at http://blogs.utexas.edu/dasgrads/.
Blackboard and Canvas
Blackboard and Canvas are used in connection with your classes. Blackboard is also another way for departments and official organizations to communicate with their particular cohort. The Asian Studies Graduate Program Blackboard site (under 'Organizations) contains articles and other material of interest to our graduate students. You will be added as users and will be able to log in by the time the Fall semester begins.
University Health Services
Your tuition and fees help support the University Health Services. They provide a variety of services and resources for your physical and mental health and well being. Incoming students should be particularly aware of recommended and required immunizations, especially the required meningogcoccal vaccine. Services at the Counseling and Mental Health Center include Support groups and classes such as the Graduate Student Group, Coping with Anxiety, and the Grief and Loss Group. Your student fees help support CMHC so do not hesitate to utilize these resources!
Other UT Resources for Graduate Students
The Graduate Student Assembly is the elected governing body of The University of Texas’ approximately 12,000 students. GSA is the principal body for the representation of graduate student interests on campus.
The Office of Graduate Studies also known as OGS or "the Graduate School", administers all graduate programs at UT and gives final approval on all graduate student matters. The Graduate School website has many services and resources available to you. Check out the Grad Guide, OGS' handbook for new graduate students.
The Center for Teaching and Learning offers workshops and programs to assist graduate students in becoming better instructors.
Liberal Arts Career Services assists Liberal Arts students with career exploration and preparation.
The Graduate School has compiled this list of Campus Services for easy reference.
Housing, Transportation, and Parking
Many of our students live off campus in Hyde Park, which is the area just north of campus, or off Far West boulevard. We recommend avoiding West Campus and Riverside as those areas are full of undergraduate dorms, fraternities, and party apartments. We also recommend living along the bus line. The UT shuttle bus and Capital Metro are a useful reference when considering where to live in Austin.
Here are some resources to get you started:
General apartment rental information
- Housing and Food Services: information on Graduate and Family Living
- Provost's information on housing
- Graduate School info on housing
- Housing Resources (International Office)
Housing listings also available in local newspapers and by way of numerous apartment locator services
Transportation and Parking
Parking and Transportation Services provides information on parking permits, shuttle bus route maps, and links to transportation resources. Parking permits may be purchased as an optional fee during registration or from Parking and Transportation. Parking on campus, even with a permit, is not guaranteed.
Austin is a bike-friendly city. We recommend sticking to streets that have a dedicated bike lane or the smaller streets. Check out the City of Austin's bike route map. Bike racks (and some bike lockers) are available throughout campus. The UT Police Department recommends using two bike locks on campus due to the high number of bike thefts. You can register your bike with UTPD.
Funding and Student Employment
The Department of Asian Studies endeavors to provide funding, in a variety of ways, to as many graduate students as possible. Graduate students are also expected to seek out fellowships and grants from other sources to help support research, travel, and educational expenses. Please refer to our financial aid webpage and the Graduate School’s page on Financing Your Education for information about and links to a variety of funding sources. The Office of Student Financial Services also has a search tool to help identify resources. We forward funding opportunities to the asgradstudents listserve, as they come to our attention.
If you have been awarded a fellowship, it will be released after you have registered and paid. Most fellowships under $1000 are paid as one lump sum, whereas fellowships over $1000 are divided into two semesterly payments or 10 monthly payments. Fellowships can be received (1) as a Direct Deposit payment to your bank, (2) by picking up the check in the Main Building, or (3) via the US postal service, mailed to your local address. You can set up Direct Deposit in UT Direct. Please note that, in most cases, scholarships and fellowships are taxable income.
Employment: Academic Appointments (Teaching Assistants, Assistant Instructors, and Graduate Research Assistants)
The department of Asian Studies employs Teaching Assistants primarily in undergraduate language courses and a limited number of lower-division departmental content courses. On occasion, an Assistant Instructor position may become available. Graduate Research Assistant positions are rare. TA positions are sometimes available in other departments; please consult the department's graduate coordinator to inquire about available positions.
Most new students will not have an academic appointment in their first year. All graduate students must meet certain conditions to be employed in an academic position. There is employment paperwork to complete, including an I-9 form and submission of appropriate documentation to work in the United States. International students also need to complete the International Teaching Assistant English Certification Program with the English as a Second Language office. More detailed information will be sent to students who are offered an academic appointment. Academic appointments beginning in September will receive the first paycheck on October 1. Appointments beginning in January receive the first check on February 1. Students employed in academic positions are expected to complete required on-line training in a timely fashion and should become familiar with the responsibilities of, and training opportunities available to, TA's and AI's.
Employment: Other Options
Keep in mind that graduate school is a full-time job in its own right. Some graduate students choose to take a part-time job to supplement their income. If you do not have an academic appointment and you must work, please consider your options carefully. Many graduate students enjoy working for one of the libraries on campus, particularly the Physics and Math Library. You can find out more about working at a campus library at http://www.lib.utexas.edu/admin/employment/. Other sources of employment include:
- OFS Student Employment (‘hire-a-longhorn’) – work-study and non-work-study jobs. Please note that ‘work-study’ is a designated financial aid award and work-study positions are only available to US citizens
- UT Job Search
- Access UT - for UT students and alumni
- Austin-American Statesman classifieds
- Work in Texas
Thank you for taking the time to read through this information. We hope it has begun to prepare you for graduate life at UT. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact our Graduate Adviser, Dr. Joel Brereton, at email@example.com.
We’ll see you soon!!
Jennifer Tipton, Graduate Coordinator