Chemistry Graduate Program
Where there's a question, there's an answer or at least a link to
a helpful website. Information is grouped under four categories;
the department, the Twin Cities campus, housing, and Minnesota. If
you don't find answers to your questions please contact us at chmapply.
Some important people you will want to know...
Phil Buhlmann , Director of
Graduate Studies, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nancy Thao, Assistant to the Director of Graduate Studies, email@example.com
Who do I ask - Where do I go...
Chemistry Website with phone
numbers, offices, etc: http://www.chem.umn.edu
School forms questions: Nancy Thao firstname.lastname@example.org 115
RA Appointments: Student's research advisor or
the current Director of Graduate Studies.
TA Appointments: Nancy Thao, 115 Smith Hall, 624-0313, email@example.com
desks and mailboxes: Main Administrative Office, 139 Smith
Payroll (TA RA): Chemistry Accounting 141 Smith Hall,
Smith Hall, 626-1794
Computers and Electronics:
Electronics Shop, 136 Smith Hall, 624-7007
Web Site: Eric Schulz,
136 Smith Hall, 624-7007
Graduate Student Handbook
Important Places in the Department...
NMR Lab - S168 Kolthoff (Dr. Steve Philson and Dr. Letitia Yao)
X-Ray Lab -
S146 Kolthoff (Dr. Victor Young)
Lab - S145 Kolthoff (Joseph Dalluge)
Glass Shop - 49 Smith (Tom Stefanek)
Machine Shop - 49 Smith (Joel Fischer)
Computer and Electronics
Shop - 136 Smith (Bruce Moe)
Research Stockroom (S13-S17
Smith) Supplies and chemicals can be purchased here using a university
budget number. For chemicals, make sure you bring a container of some
type to completely hold the chemical in the event of a spill or you will
not be allowed to take your purchase with you. MSDS forms are also
The department’s safety officer is Dawn
Errede (4-1603). You will be required to take a short safety
training course at some point. Chuck Tomlinson in the front office
(4-6000) will give you information concerning safety training at
the same time he discusses your insurance benefits.
Spill carts are available in the
basement of Smith and the 4th floor of Kolthoff. Both are located
near the elevators. Accessible by any departmental key.
Repairs to building systems in either labs or
offices should be reported to the front office (4-6000).
Walter Library is the science
and engineering library. The last ten years of selected chemistry
and general science journals are located in the Walter Library
Reading Room (2nd floor). The rest are in the stacks (chemistry
journals are on stack level 10; general science journals are on
stack 11). You will need your Ucard to access the stacks.
Biological/biochemical journals can be found in the Biomedical
Hall) and the St. Paul Campus Library (McGrath).
Check the website for journal locations: http://www.lib.umn.edu For electronic
Library Copying In Walter library, you can buy copy cards for $10 or $40 to
use the self-service copy machines. With a budget number, you can have the
people at Photoduplication services do it for you.
All new students are expected to complete a two
week orientation program before the start of the new semester.
The orientation, which begins in mid-August, includes getting to
know the people that you need to know in the department, proficiency
exams, meeting with a Three Member Advising Committee to help you
design a course of study that suits you and teacher training, etc.
It is capped off with a party to which the entire department is
invited to welcome you to our department! Feel free to look at
the schedule from the new
orientation to get a better idea of
what is involved.
International Student English Course: A three
week course in speaking and teaching skills is required for all
non-domestic students. This program begins around the first week of August, prior
to our departmental orientation.
Newly Admitted Students: You
will register for courses after your meeting with your Three-Member
Advising Committee (TMC) during orientation. Before your TMC meeting,
you should look at the Chemistry courses at: www.onestop.umn.edu to
determine which courses you think you would like to take.
Current Students: All graduate students and
fellows must register as graduate
students during each semester of the regular academic year until
they graduate. No registration is required during the summer.
Teaching and Research Appointments:
Teaching Assistants (TAs) in Chemistry primarily are positions for
graduate students to teach. Expectations of what is required of TAs
depend upon the class involved. According to University guidelines,
TAs work no more than 20 hours per week: this includes both classroom
and preparation time. First year graduate students are typically
Teaching Assistants, and virtually all first year Chemistry graduate
students teach in the general or organic chemistry program.
During Chemistry Orientation, you will
be involved in an extensive TA Training Program that will properly prepare
you for teaching your classes, followed by weekly meetings with class coordinators
to help you keep up.
Research Assistants (RAs) work with their professor primarily with
lab research. Their pay may be less than that of TAs. For a standard
50% Chemistry RA, full tuition, health insurance and the University
Fee are provided in addition to salary. There are other
are the responsibility of the student. RAs are usually funded by
outside grants in specific, topic-related research they themselves
may be pursuing with their advisor.
How much and when will I
get paid? For 2012-2013 academic year (Fall and Spring), full
TA’s in the Department of Chemistry earn $17,980. Research
RAs normally receive a departmental average of $17,190 for
the academic year; however this can vary by research group. Always
read your award letters carefully. Summer earnings can vary from
$3,976 to $6,837 depending on the mix of RA and TA positions.
All figures are gross earnings. Pay periods are two weeks and
paychecks are available every other Wednesday. Paychecks come
10 days after the end of a pay period. Pay date information can
be found at www.hrss.umn.edu/pay/paydays.html.
deposit can be requested online at www.hrss.umn.edu.
Direct deposit pay stubs can be viewed and printed out at this
There are no breaks in pay between Fall and Spring semesters. Depending on your
summer appointment, however, you may have a break between the end of Spring semester
and beginning of summer, as well as between the end of summer and beginning of
Fall. You will receive the full amount of your offer letter by the end of summer
Foreign Nationals: After visiting the chemistry accounting office, you will
need to take your visa and passport to the central payroll office. From there,
you will be sent to the Social Security Administration to apply for the social
security card. After you apply for the card, you will be given a receipt. This
receipt must be faxed to central payroll, or you may bring it to the chemistry
If you are a full-time student with a 50%-time
TA/RA or Fellowship appointment you will receive a full tuition
scholarship and health insurance. Those students on a 25% appointment
will receive a 50% tuition scholarship.
Fees & Textbooks:
Students are responsible for paying student service
fees, computer fees, a university infrastructure fee and sometime
a course will require a special fee. The fees for 2012-2013 are
not finalized yet, but should be approximately $675.00-$770.00
per semester. You will also be responsible for buying your own
You do not need to register for any courses or credits during
summer terms. You will not need to pay for any tuition or fees
during the summer term.
Tuition Bills will be sent to you via your University
email account only. This is the only way that you will be contacted
regarding your fee statement.
International Students without Social Security Numbers:
See the Accounting Office (141 Smith
Hall) for instructions on obtaining a Social Security Number.
You must have a Social Security Number in order to be paid.
Please contact the Graduate Assistants Insurance
Office (GAIO) if you any questions regarding your health coverage.
Beginning in the 2004-2005 academic year all student will be charged
a minimal fee for health insurance coverage. The Health Insurance
Office is located in N-323 Boynton, 624-0627. firstname.lastname@example.org,
If you rent and your income is less than $35K/yr., you can obtain
a form (either in the MN State tax booklet, or from the post office)
to file for a property tax refund. Your landlord must give you a
Certificate of Rent Paid by Jan. 31 in order for you to file, and
refunds will come around August 15. You are also eligible if you
are a homeowner with an annual income of less than $60K.
MN state sales tax is 6.5%. There is no sales tax on clothing,
food, prescription drugs, and textbooks.
The Volunteer Tax Assistance Program prepares tax returns free of charge for students. International students may find additional resources on preparing taxes here.
You will be issued keys for the buildings and your research/teaching labs.
These keys may be picked up in 139 Smith Hall. You will need to pay
a $2.00 deposit for each key issued; this fee is refunded when they
You have been assigned a
mailbox next to 139 Smith Hall, where you can receive regular
mail, departmental announcements, etc. Please note that you will
most likely be sharing this mailbox with one or two people; whenever
there are announcements without specific names on them, please
take one. Please do not include you mailbox number on your return
address until your second year in residence when you will be assigned
a permanent mailbox.
Email Account Information:
You are automatically
given a central U of MN address (ends with "@umn.edu").
You are responsible for the contents of all messages sent to
your UMN account. Instructions to activate your account are at: http://onestop.umn.edu.
TWIN CITIES CAMPUS
University of MN Campus:
of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus is actually two campuses,
one in Minneapolis
and one in St. Paul. There are campus buses that
will take you from one campus to another (see below under Transportation/Buses).
The Minneapolis campus is further divided into an East Bank and a
West Bank by the Mississippi River. Cross between banks on the upper
level (the walking bridge) of Washington Ave or again, take the campus
The Chemistry Department is located in both Smith and Kolthoff Halls on the
East Bank. These buildings are connected via skyways and tunnels on all but
the first level. Also, much of the building is underground: in Smith, you have
the basement (B) and the sub-basement (SB) levels; in Kolthoff, there are the
plaza (P), street (S), and basement levels.
University info: 612-625-5000 from off-campus; "0" from
any campus phone. University extensions are accessible by the last
5 numbers. Dial 8 to get an outside line. Long-distance calls require
a UPAC number. Minneapolis and the U (both campuses) have a 612 area
code; St. Paul is 651. You must dial all 10 digits to call between
area codes. Do not dial a "one."
G22 Coffman Memorial Union, 612-626-9900, http://www1.umn.edu/ucard/umtc08/
A photo ID must be presented. Digital photos are taken as part of the card
issuance process. Replacement cards (lost, stolen or damaged) cost $25.
Getting around Campus:
Campus shuttle system
Biking at the U
Parking at the U
Campus tunnel "Gopher Way" system
Campus escort and security services
Places to go/things to do:
U museums and galleries
Virtual tour of campus
University Rec Sports and facilities
Coffman Memorial Union: 624-9941, www.coffman.umn.edu
CMU Postal Station 624-8602
Computer Lab 625-7850
Info Desk,/BusPasses/USave 624-INFO or 624-4636
Security Monitors 624-WALK
Goldy's Gameroom 624-8722
TCF Bank 626-2785
Useful Web Links:
Chemistry Women In Science Team (WISE): http://nmr.chem.umn.edu/wise/wise.html
Class Schedules, Grades and Course Information: www.onestop.umn.edu
U Cards: G22 Coffman Memorial Union, 626-9900,
UMN Bookstore: G55 Coffman Memorial Union, 625-6000, email@example.com
Student Accounts Receivable/Billing:
20 Frasier Hall, 624-1111, http://onestop.umn.edu/onestop/tuition.html
E-mail in a question: firstname.lastname@example.org
One Stop Counselors will be responding to these e-mails.
Financial Aid: 333 Science Teaching and Student Services Building, 624-1111, http://onestop.umn.edu/onestop/financialaid.html
Education Tax Benefits:
This page is a resource for UMN students who may be eligible for education
related tax benefits.
The University of Minnesota does not provide personal tax advice. To determine
your eligibility for a higher education tax credit, a student loan interest
deduction or a deduction for qualified education expenses, please contact a
personal tax advisor or the IRS.
Graduate Assistant Employment Office: 70 Donhowe Building, 624-7070,
International Student Scholar Services and Visas: International
Student and Scholar Services (ISSS), 190 Hubert Humphrey Center,
Health Insurance: Graduate Assistants Insurance Office (GAIO), N-323
Health Service: Boynton Health Service, 410 Church St. S.E., 625-8400,
Minnesota International Student Association: http://www.tc.umn.edu/~misa/
Parking Transportation Services: www1.umn.edu/parking
Department of Recreational Sports: www.recsports.umn.edu
Graduate School: www.grad.umn.edu
Council of Graduate Students: www.cogs.umn.edu
Useful COGS publications: www.cogs.umn.edu/guides.htm
Disability Services: http://ds.umn.edu/
Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action: www.EOAffAct.umn.edu
Office of Graduate School Outreach: www.grad.umn.edu/oeo/index.html
Gay Lesbian, Bisexual Transgender Programs Office: www.umn.edu/glbt
Multicultural Support Services and the Office of Multicultural Affairs: http://www.mcae.umn.edu/
Program Against Sexual Violence (Aurora Center): www.umn.edu/sexviol Crisis Line: 626-9111; Business Line: 626-2929
Student Dispute Resolution Center: 107 Eddy Hall,
Student Legal Services: www.umn.edu/usls
University Counseling and Consulting Services:
How to find a new place to live:
The University Housing Office in Comstock Hall (next to Coffman
Union, to the West, 4-4476) (www1.umn.edu/housing) offers information
on a variety of on-campus housing options, as well as resources for
finding off-campus housing. Both daily newspapers [Star Tribune (http://www.startribune.com)
and Pioneer Press (http://pioneerplanet.com)] have good housing search
options on their web sites. Places with off-street parking are important
during snow emergencies. There are Tenants Unions in Mpls and St.
Paul to help resolve disputes with landlords.
Neighborhoods that are close to the campus:
Dinkytown: Dinkytown is a retail district next to the U of M Minneapolis
in Southeast Minneapolis. It is just across University Avenue from
the east bank campus. It's been around 80 years or more, as the campus
is well over 100 years old. It's part of the University community,
with coffee shops, a bookstore, a travel agency, a bank, and a dozen
various restaurants and bars. Fraternities, student housing, a residential
neighborhood, and University facilities like the Bierman field and
the University parking lots surround it.
Village: Stadium Village is a similar, slightly
smaller district to the east, on the other side of the east bank
Seven Corners: Located on the west bank of campus across the street from the
law school, 1/2 block from the Humphrey Institute, and a block away from the
Carlson School of Management. There is a variety of apartments, restaurant
and retail locations.
Prospect Park: Prospect Park is a residential area wedged between the Mississippi
river, two freeways, and University Avenue in Southeast Minneapolis. It is
an old neighborhood with winding streets.
away from campus is Uptown - a commercial district centered on the intersection
of Lake Street and Hennepin Avenue in south Minneapolis.
St. Paul: A
little further away, St. Paul offers many varied communities. Como and
St. Anthony are St. Paul neighborhoods closest to campus.
Como Student Community Cooperative:
Student families, with or without children, or single parents who
have 50 percent or greater legal custody of minor children are eligible
to live in the University
of Minnesota Student Family Housing.
Temporary Housing for International Students:
Temporary student housing is available for newly
admitted international students. http://www.isss.umn.edu/new/housing.html
We are known by our license
plates as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes," but
Minnesota actually has 12,000 lakes. Since 1997, Minnesota has been
ranked the “Most Livable State” in the country by
Morgan Quitno Press, an independent private research publishing
company. Rankings are based on high home ownership rates, job
growth, strong education, and low crime rates, among other indicators.
Minnesota Public Radio
Faces of Minnesota
How does the Twin Cities compare?
Annual unemployment rates for Minneapolis-Saint Paul
Minnesota salary tool
Cost of living calculator
What about the weather?
Worried about the cold and snow? Winter offers great recreational
opportunities. St. Paul and Minneapolis downtowns both have skyway
systems and U has a tunnel and skyway system to keep you out of the
elements. Our first freeze of autumn comes around October 5 and April
28 is the average date for our last frost in spring. Typically, the
first measurable snow falls around November 6, with the first inch
around November 16. The first 1-inch snow cover is around November
Seasonal weather averages
The Weather Channel - Minneapolis
The University of Minnesota campus spans both
of the Twin Cities—Minneapolis
and St. Paul.
These cities offer something for everyone—a nationally recognized arts
and theater community, a thriving entertainment industry, a host of Fortune
500 companies, four glorious seasons of outdoor recreation, exciting professional
sports, shopping, and restaurants for every taste—all located close
The Twin Cities art scene includes the First Avenue and 7th St. Entry Nightclub,
Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis Children's Theatre, Minneapolis Institute of Art,
Ordway Music Theatre, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Theatre de la Jeune Lune,
and the Walker Art Center.
The Twin Cities is home to a number of professional sports teams, including
the Twins (baseball), Vikings (football), Timberwolves (men’s basketball),
Lynx (women’s basketball) and the Minnesota Wild (hockey). There are
also minor league teams, in baseball (St. Paul Saints), hockey, soccer, and
There are several shopping malls in the area. The Mall of America is known
as the largest enclosed shopping mall in the United States (4.2 million square
feet) and is visited by people from all over the world.
Need to get your Minnesota drivers license? Check the online information
for locations and procedures. http://www.dps.state.mn.us/dvs/
Employment for Spouses
There are numerous employment opportunities on campus as well as
within the surrounding metropolitan area. Persons interested in on-campus
positions, including Civil Service jobs, should contact:
The University of Minnesota Job Center
170 Donhowe Building
319 15th Av. S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Telephone: (612) 625-2000
Job Center's Webpages
There are a number of employment agencies operating within the Twin
Cities. Also, various state employment offices keep on file a number
of job openings and provide counseling services for job hunters.
One such office is:
The Minnesota Department of Employment Services
309 Second Ave. South
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Telephone: (612) 333-0912