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New Graduate Student Orientation

Welcome to SPA's new master's degree students!

Congratulations on accepting your offer of admission to the School of Public Affairs! We are excited to officially welcome you to the SPA graduate student community and help you begin your graduate school career. To support your transition to SPA, we invite you to join your classmates, faculty, and staff at orientation!

Spring 2024 Orientation: Friday, January 12, 2024

All incoming residential master’s degree* and certificate students are required to attend orientation. Check your AU Student email for more information, including a link to register, as we move closer!

As you look toward your first semester at SPA, please be sure to: 

Register for Orientation and Welcome Week sessions. When registration opens (about 1 month before orientation), sign up to stay up to date with the agenda and location. Also plan to join any number of Welcome Week (optional) sessions the week before classes. Check your AU student email for more starting in December!

Sign up for a peer mentor to help support your transition to SPA graduate student. Our peer mentors are current students ready to provide you with guidance and support as you begin graduate school and navigate SPA's academic and social environment. Sign up for your mentor after you register for orientation!

Stay in touch with your advisor about course enrollment and your degree plan.

✓ Check Canvas for syllabi, readings, and messages from your professors before classes begin on January 16.

Watch AU’s virtual orientation and get to know more about student life and community resources.

✓ Upload your photo and pick up your AU One Card.

Update your chosen name in AU systems.

Sign up for (or waive) health insurance.

Seek academic or other accommodations

Email your official undergraduate transcript confirming your successful completion of a Bachelor's degree before the first day of the semester to

Get to know campus and plan how you’ll get to class. Look into campus parking or the free UPass!

✓ Browse SPA's resources using SPA Graduate Student Central. All students enrolled for Spring 2024 will have access to our internal Canvas course beginning in early January.

Reach out with any questions! Email Kelsey Wei at with any questions about beginning graduate school.


*Note, students in the PhD, Key Executive, MPAP, and MSCTHS programs have specialized orientations. Reach out to your program leaders for more information.