Once you've been admitted, we know you will be eager to take the next steps toward starting your graduate education. International students have additional requirements to meet before coming to MU.
Visit MU and your degree program prior to enrolling
Many of our academic programs hold visit weekends in the spring before the acceptance-of-offer deadline. If you have not received information about visiting your degree program, ask the director of graduate studies. Visiting campus is optional, but strongly encouraged.
Seek extra financial support
- If you are seeking federal loans, complete a FAFSA form by March 1 for priority consideration.
- Contact your academic degree program about assistantships and other funding.
- Follow up on financial support and informational tips.
- Search campus-wide assistantship listings. You'll need your username (pawprint) and password to log in.
- Review the information about seeking funding from the Office of Student Financial Aid.
Inform your degree program that you officially accept the offer of admission
Contact the degree program as soon as possible to inform them if you have decided to enroll or decline admission. This assures that other talented students may be admitted if you decline. As a member of the Council of Graduate Schools, prospective students have until April 15 to finalize acceptance of financial support offers.
Locate appropriate housing
We recommend that you start looking for a place to live as early as possible. It is difficult to find suitable housing in August, so begin your search in May or June.
- University-operated housing options
- For information about living off-campus and in the Columbia community: Off-Campus Student Services
- Chamber of Commerce Relocation Guide
Activate your MU username (pawprint)
Memorize your pawprint and password — they allow you to register for classes, request transcripts online, check grades, access email and more.
- Activate your pawprint - Log in to myZou with the PawPrint and Temporary Password your received via email from Graduate Admissions. During your first log in, you will be required to create your own official password. (You don't have to be on campus to do this.)
- Access your email with your pawprint and password
- You may also be able to personalize your university email address
Register for courses
Contact your academic adviser to discuss course registration. Your academic program may require you to consult with your adviser before you register for classes. Consult your academic program before registering for courses. After you have determined your program’s registration requirements, please check the registration dates.
Learn about school or daycare options (if needed)
The Columbia Chamber of Commerce lists schooling and daycare options in Columbia.
Help your spouse or significant other find a job
Columbia offers a range of job opportunities both on and off campus. University employment databases contain job postings for faculty and staff, health related professions and students. Other faculty and staff positions are available at six other local universities and colleges. Local job postings may be found on the city’s HR site or in the Columbia Daily Tribune and the Missourian. The state capitol is only a half hour’s drive and provides additional state and federal job opportunities. See the State of Missouri and federal government sites for their job search engines.
Obtain a student ID card (TigerCard)
The TigerCard is used for meal plans, checking out library books, charging or debiting university purchases to your university account and more. You can get your card at the MU Bookstore in the MU Student Center as soon as you're officially enrolled as a student.
Confirm that you have all required immunizations
Make sure you meet all medical requirements to ensure you can enroll at MU.
Consider transportation options
Explore graduate student health insurance options
Graduate students should enroll in a health insurance plan. Investigate MU's insurance requirements and insurance plan. Find out if you qualify for a subsidy to help offset costs. Enroll in MU's student health insurance program by calling the cashier's office at 573-882-3097.
Graduate students with a half-time assistantship (20 hours per week) are eligible for a subsidy. However, subsidies are not automatic. In order to activate a qualified health insurance subsidy, contact coordinator Karen Gruen or visit 210 Jesse Hall.
Insurance for children and spouses is also available. Fees are paid by year or semester.
Visit TigerTech for hardware and software needs
TigerTech is part of the University Bookstore, and many of its deals can be accessed online. To see a list of software with prices, click the “Site License Software” link and input your pawprint (student username) and password.
Find the textbooks you'll need for classes
Access your bill online
The MU Cashier's office allows you to view and pay your bill online.
Attend Graduate Student Orientation
The Graduate Student Orientation for all new students occurs the week before classes each fall.
Graduate Teaching Assistants' Orientation
If you plan to teach at MU, Teaching Orientation is strongly encouraged but not mandatory. It is held the week before classes begin. Register online or walk-in registration is available. International Teaching Assistants are required to attend a specialized session called ONITA