Your fellow graduate students are often the best resources for answering questions and giving advice about graduate school at UMass Dartmouth!

The GSS has compiled some useful information that other grad students have learned over the years, and helpful university resources to help you navigate common graduate student challenges.

If you have a helpful tip to share, please email us! We would love to hear from you, and add your advice to this webpage. The information contained in this page is accurate to the best of our knowledge but if you encounter inaccuracies please email us so we can update this page.


Finishing your thesis tips & links

Your defense must be announced a minimum of 2 weeks in advance of your defense date.

Graduate students frequently have jobs/research schedules that make it prohibitive to attend classes in the middle of the day. Is there a mechanism to request that classes (especially core classes) be scheduled back-to-back, or only on a few days of the week (like Tues/Thurs), or after normal business hours?

Answer from the Registrar, March 2020: A student’s best bet when it comes to scheduling is to talk to their department chair or graduate program director (GPD). They are the ones who send me the schedules for inputting into COIN. I rarely weigh in on the timing unless it looks very peculiar or falls outside of our standard meeting blocks. Most GPD’s are happy to make changes to the schedule if they receive similar feedback and rationale from multiple students.


Funding opportunity links

UMass Dartmouth Fellowships & Funding Page:

Where can I find travel funding to attend a professional event?

  • Many conferences and meetings offer travel support for student attendees, be sure to look through conference websites for these opportunities.
  • Graduate students can apply for travel funding through the Graduate Student Senate, more information on applying can be found here.
  • Some departments and schools have additional travel resources available to students. Administrative assistants in each department often have the most up-to-date information on applying for these funding options.

Distinguished Doctoral Fellowship tips & links

If you have a Distinguished Doctoral Fellowship (DDF):

You will NOT receive a notification that your DDF is expiring! You must check your award letter for the last day of the contract, and set a calendar reminder several months before that date so that you can seek alternative funding!

TA and RA Funding tips

  • TAships are independent of your advisor, and they follow you if you change advisors.
  • RAships are provided by your advisor, and do not follow you if you change advisors.
  • If you have a question about your pay, first ask your department chair, then the dean of your college/school, and then Dr. Meressi (the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies).


Healthcare links

UMass Dartmouth Health Services Page:

UMass Dartmouth Health Insurance Page:

Health & dental insurance tips

Health and dental insurance obtained through the university silently auto-expire on July 31st! Set a calendar reminder for July 1st to renew your policies before they lapse.

Counseling resource links

UMass Dartmouth Counseling Center:

Tuition & Fees

What if Alumni and Graduation fees appear on my student invoice but I am not graduating?

You may be charged Alumi and Graduation fees if your graduation date is wrong! To check your expected graduation date, log into COIN and then click on My Advising Center. Look at the “Expected Graduation” section to see when the Registrar thinks you are graduating. If your graduation date is wrong, email the Registrar (registrar@umassd.edu) to update it so these fees will be removed from your account.


Building key-card access

Key card access for university buildings and labs silently auto-expires every December 31st and May 31st (at the end of each academic semester)! Set calendar reminders 3 weeks in advance to email the appropriate people and ask them to extend your access expiration date BEFORE your key card access expires.

University paperwork

Keep a copy of all signed paperwork that you submit to the university (for instance, take a picture of it before submitting). You need to have a record of what you submitted, just in case!