Welcome M.S. in Computational Biology Graduate Students 2013-M.S. in Computational Biology - Carnegie Mellon University

Welcome M.S. in Computational Biology Graduate Students 2014

Congratulations on being accepted to the M.S. in Computational Biology program at Carnegie Mellon University! We are very pleased that you are joining us this fall. Use this monthly step-by- step instruction guide in order to prepare for your arrival.

Important Dates and Academic Calendar

University-Wide Graduate Student Orientation
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, August 11,13,14, 2014
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for all students.

International Graduate Student Orientation
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
MANDATORY for international students.

Department of Biological Sciences Orientation *Coming Summer 2014
Monday-Friday, August 18-22, 2014
MANDATORY for all students.

The First Day of Classes
Monday, August 25, 2014

The Elizabeth Jones Annual Retreat at Hidden Valley Four Seasons Resort
Saturday and Sunday, September 6-7, 2014
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for all students.

Academic calendar (2014-2015): http://www.cmu.edu/hub/calendar.html

Step 1: May Checklist

Various forms need to be completed as soon as possible and returned to the Graduate Programs Manager.

  • Transcript
    • If you graduated in fall 2013 or spring 2014, send your final transcript to the Graduate Programs Manager.
  • Andrew Account
    • Your Andrew Account will give you access to the university’s computing environment, including email, network registration, Computing Services public computer clusters and other resources. To familiarize yourself with these services and to find your Andrew ID, please visit www.cmu.edu/computing/accounts/index.html.  To set your initial Andrew account password, you will need your Andrew ID, which can be found by entering your name into the search field of the Carnegie Mellon Directory Search, and also your Admission ID number, which can be obtained by contacting the Graduate Programs Manager.
  • Health History and Immunization Information Forms
    • By June 30, students must complete the online Health History Forms and Immunization Requests from Health Services. You will need your Andrew ID (and password) and Admission ID to access the site. Select the HealthConnect button from their main page, which will take you to a secure site where you can enter your health and immunization information.
  • International Students Information Form (ISIF) and Affidavit of Support Form (international students only) 
    • In order for the Office of International Education (OIE) to generate an I-20, you must complete the International Student Information and Affidavit of Support forms. OIE will process these forms and email you when the Certificate of Eligibility (I-20) has been prepared and instruct you to login to the eShipGlobal website at study.eshipglobal.com to submit all your address data and payment for the FedEX or DHL shipment. This process allows you to provide an accurate mailing address and the ability to track the package. The cost of this service is your responsibility. You may also use eShipGlobal to send packages to CMU. You should expect to wait at least 3 weeks from receipt of all necessary documents plus verification of your admission from your academic department until you receive an email from OIE. After receipt of the Certificate, you will be able to pay the SEVIS fee and contact your embassy for an appointment.

Step 2: June Checklist

  • Health Insurance
    • Full-time, matriculating students must meet medical insurance requirements. Waivers, enrollment forms and deadlines may be found at the Student Health Insurance webpage. The Department does not pay for medical, dental or vision insurances. Any questions about health insurance should be directed to shinsure@andrew.cmu.edu.
  • Housing
    • Community Housing services provides the Housing Registry, which is a listing of available rental properties, information about the city of Pittsburgh, and resources for individuals who may be new to renting off-campus housing.
    • Your best resource about housing is our current graduate students. The Housing section from the Words of Wisdom from Current Students webpage is a great reference tool. The webpage may be found at Words of Wisdom.

      Disclaimer: This list of advice and information was put together by current graduate students of the Biological Sciences department, and does not express the views of the department. Most of the information below has been verified, but some may have changed including URLs, dates, and email addresses, so self-verification of information is advisable.

Step 3: July Checklist

  • Course Registration
    • During the departmental orientation, you will meet both as a group and individually with the Graduate Advising Committee to discuss coursework. Changes in the curriculum are ongoing. You may want to familiarize yourself with courses by reviewing the Schedule of Classes. There is no recommended overall reading list.
    • Individual course advising will take place during the program orientation to guide you on your interests. However, it may be accomplished earlier via email or phone, or when you arrive in Pittsburgh. If you have any questions about the courses that you should be taking, please contact Shoba Subramanian, Ph.D. by email (shoba@andrew.cmu.edu) or phone (412.268.3681), and provide as much detail as you can about what you would like to take.
    • The HUB website and Student Information Online (SIO) are valuable tools that assist student in the course registration process.

Step 4: August Checklist

  • Finances
    • You should arrive with $2,500 to $3,500 in traveler’s checks to cover your initial costs and a small amount ($100- $300) of U.S. currency in small bills ($5 and $10). These funds will be used for your arrival expenses such as taxis, meals, books, supplies, and other personal needs.
  • Emergency Loans
    • All students regardless of their program are eligible for the Emergency Student Loan, which is an interest-free and emergency base loan repayable within 30 days. It is available through the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs; students may apply for the loan by stopping in the Student Affairs Office or by calling 268.2075 for an appointment.
  • Student ID Card
    • The Carnegie Mellon ID Card identifies a campus community member and it is used to access campus facilities and services. The Card Accessible Services website includes a list of the services and resources that the card provides. New graduate students beginning classes for the fall semester may be issued an ID card after August 1 at the Card Office.
    • The Card Office address is A15 Warner Hall.
    • They may be reached at 412.268.8186 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday - 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday - 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or by email: idplus@andrew.cmu.edu.