Graduate Student Orientation

January 2021 - Orientation for New Graduate Students

New Graduate Student Orientation is designed to provide a valuable and engaging introduction to life and studies at Notre Dame and to the multiple on- and off-campus resources available to support student success and well-being. Effective orientation programs play an important role in integrating graduate students into the university community, and studies have shown that graduate students who participate in orientation programs tend to have more rewarding and profitable experiences throughout their time at their institutions. We therefore appreciate your participation and look forward to setting you on a reliable path to success from the moment you step on campus.

This January we will be providing orientation for new graduate students in two parts: shared online content that students can access at any time, and live sessions over zoom during which new students can hear from and ask questions of key staff and faculty. The live sessions will be held on the dates and times listed below, and email invitations will be sent to all new students soon.

  • Thursday, January 14, 7:00pm Eastern
  • Thursday, January 21, 8:00am Eastern


2020 Fall Orientation Schedule

2020 New ND Grads Facebook Group

Join the group to connect with other incoming students, enter our photo contests, and get answers to your questions about life in South Bend! You can also follow Grad Life on Twitter (@NDGradLife), Facebook (@NDGradStudentLife) and Instagram (ndgradlife).



We are taking every precaution to keep you safe and well throughout orientation. In order to do so, all participants are required to do the following:

  • Complete a daily health check online prior to arrival on campus Monday morning.
  • Stay home if you have any symptoms related to Covid-19 or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus. (Contact UHS for follow-up care if needed.)
  • Stay home if you have not yet received negative test results from your pre-matriculation Covid test by Monday morning.
  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth for the duration of all orientation events, with the exception of when you are eating lunch. 


In order to assure physical distancing during registration, all students will be given an assigned arrival time between 8:30 and 9:45 a.m. Your assigned time will be sent via email by the end of the day this Friday. Please arrive on Monday during your assigned time and check in at Gate B of Notre Dame Stadium. This is the gate on the southeast corner, close to the parking lot and the Joyce Center. Members of our Graduate Orientation Team - G.O. Team! - will be there wearing bright green shirts to greet you.


All new and returning students will be given a Welcome Package from the university which includes several masks, a thermometer, hand sanitizer, and more. Students attending orientation in-person can pick theirs up at registration Monday morning. All others can get theirs inside Door 16 of the Duncan Student Center on August 6, 7, or 10 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.


Many students are planning to participate online, and others may be required to do so based on safety needs. Links to live-stream content during the events will be sent out by the end of the day this Friday, and will also be available on the ND mobile app. Links to access recorded content at any time will be sent out shortly after orientation is complete.


If rain is expected Monday morning, we will change the welcome and plenary session to online only, and will send out notice of such Sunday evening along with the link to live-stream the Monday morning session from home. We will still have boxed lunches available for pick-up at Gate B of the stadium between 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., so please come enjoy a free lunch on us! Breakout Sessions will occur as scheduled starting at 1:30 p.m. followed by International Orientation at 3:30 p.m.


All new international students are required to attend the International Orientation session on Monday at 3:30 p.m. Hosted by Notre Dame’s International Student and Scholar Affairs, the session will include information about maintaining your visa status, obtaining a Social Security number and Driver’s License, adjusting to a new culture and setting, and more. Questions about this session or any aspect of your arrival in the US can be directed to


The best place to park for orientation is the C1 parking lot located between the Purcell Pavilion and the Compton Ice Arena. It is a very short walk from there to the stadium. Accessible parking is also available in that lot for those who need it.


The Notre Dame mobile app is a must-have for orientation and life at ND. With it, you can take your daily health check, access campus maps, browse events, and see the detailed schedule for all orientation activities. You can download it for free at your app store by searching “ND mobile,” or access it online at When asked, select the Graduate Student Persona.