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Onboarding & Orientation

Three diverse students sitting together

Welcome to UT Southwestern!

We are excited to welcome students to our Division of Basic Science, Biomedical Engineering, and Organic Chemistry programs. You belong here! We’ve complied all the tasks, resources, and information you need to be successful -- it’s a lot of stuff to review, and we know how overwhelming it can be. We’re here to help. Please reach out to us in the Teams channel or through email.

Please use the FAQ to help plan for your start date, look for rotations and prepare for life in Dallas.



  • COVID Response

    Will I be required to be vaccinated before I start classes and rotations?
    Vaccinations are not required for learners. You will receive communication from Student Health about scheduling a vaccination quickly and safely on our campus.

    Will classes be in person or online?
    At this time, classes are anticipated to be held in person.

  • HR Onboarding

    How do I get paid? How do I set up direct deposit?
    Nearly all students are paid through direct deposit to a bank account. You can set up direct deposit through PeopleSoft. You can find more detailed directions in the D2L Orientation Classroom.

    What documents are required for my I-9 Verification?
    You will need a passport or social security card to complete your I-9 verification. Please consult the Human Resources website or Robyn Eichorn for more information.
    *International students will complete this verification process during check-in with our Office of International Affairs. 

    Do I need to complete any required trainings?
    Yes! You will need to complete lab safety, radiation safety, and animal handling training, as well as online compliance modules within your first 30 days of work. Once you have started your employment, you can access these trainings through TaleoLearn or the D2L Orientation Classroom. If you have any questions about required trainings, please contact Robyn Eichorn.

  • International
  • Core Course

    What courses am I required to take?
    Most incoming students will take Genes, Cells, and Proteins in the fall and Introduction to Biostatistics in the spring. Some students in BME and OC will only take some of these courses – your program director will reach out to you with information about your degree requirements. Additionally, all students will take Responsible Conduct of Research, which meets monthly throughout your first year. If you have additional questions about required coursework, please email Deb Evalds.

    Can I test out of core classes? Can I get a waiver for core classes?
    You cannot test out of Genes, Cells, or Proteins, but you can apply for a waiver for Introduction to Biostatistics. If you would like to apply for a waiver to Introduction to Biostatistics, please contact Robyn Eichorn or Deb Evalds after November 1.

    Will I take other courses during my first year?
    Yes! OC and BME students will have additional coursework from the first day of the fall semester, and BBS students will select electives for the second eight weeks of fall and during the spring semester, please contact Deb Evalds or your program coordinator.

  • Rotations

    Can I rotate in a lab I’ve worked in before?
    No. We want our students to use the rotation periods to work in new labs so they can make the best decisions for their permanent affiliations. We do not permit rotations in labs in which you’ve previously worked.

    How soon can I join a lab?
    Students can join a lab after completing two fall rotations.

    Where can I get more information about labs?
    Research labs at UTSW each have a lab website at labs at UTSW each have a lab website at The Graduate School will host a Research Rotation poster session with our faculty members during Orientation activities in August. You will also receive rotation history information so you can discuss the lab experience and culture directly with our graduate students who have rotated or joined the research lab. We will also host small-group discussions with the faculty on our Student Advisory Committee to determine how to identify the best lab fit for you.

    Our Graduate School Deans, members of the Student Advisory Committee, or Deb Evalds are happy to meet individually with you to discuss lab choices. Your big sib and our student groups are also great resources.

  • Technology Requirements

    Can I access UTSW websites or files while off-campus?
    Yes! You will need to download our campus VPN software to access web pages on the intranet. D2L and Mediasite are accessible without VPN.

    Are there other specific software I need to download?
    You will need to download the Zoom desktop application and Duo Multi-Factor authentication. You are also encouraged to download GraphPad, Prism, and Pymol. Please contact Mike Dixon or David Price if you have questions about software.

    How do I log into my email?
    Incoming students should have received an email from UT Southwestern admissions with instructions and details on how to access their new UTSW email accounts. 

    Does it matter if I log into Zoom with an account associated with my personal email?
    You will need to create a Zoom account using your UTSW email address. 

    Is Microsoft Teams required? What do we use Teams for? How is it different than D2L?
    Microsoft Teams is for quick communication – it's the perfect place to find a study group, see what the Graduate Student Organization is up to, or ask an administrator a question. D2L is where your course materials (like slide decks, problem sets, and links to Mediasite lecture recordings) are housed.

  • Student Life

    How do I get involved on campus?
    We have many student organizations and events on campus you can get involved with. You can check out our campus calendar for events happening around campus, or you can watch your email for communications from Suzette Smith, Deb Evalds or our deans, Dr. Arnaldo Diaz-Vazquez, Dr. Lisa Gardner or Dr. Stuart Ravnik.

    Is there a gym on campus?
    The Bryan Williams Student Center on south campus has free gym facilities for students and postdoctoral scholars. You can learn more about the Student Center here.

    Do I need a parking permit?
    Yes, a permit is required for all parking on-campus. You can purchase a permit through the parking services page online, or you can visit the parking services office on South Campus. As a UTSW student/employee, you can also purchase a heavily discounted Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) pass.

  • Life in Dallas

    Will UT Southwestern reimburse my moving costs?
    UT Southwestern does not reimburse moving costs.

    Who can I contact for employment verification for my apartment lease?
    Robyn Eichorn and Deb Evalds  are happy to provide employment verifications.

    Is there on-campus housing?
    UT Southwestern does not offer on-campus housing, but the MedPark apartments are owned by the university. There are many housing options close to campus – you can check out our student housing survey for more insight into where students live.