New Students - Pathway to Matriculation

What happens once you've accepted our offer of admission?  To make life easier, we've provided a list of tasks, below, which you will need to complete prior to the beginning of classes and another list that outlines what you need to do once you arrive on campus.  If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact the [[registrar, SMS Graduate Registrar]] or call (804) 684-7106.

Important Dates:

1 June 2017    Deadline for New Student Health Evaluation Forms
15 June 2017 Deadline for International Student Requests for I-20's and Student Visas
31 July 2017 Deadline for WM-sponsored Student Health Insurance Enrollment
and Waivers
1 August 2017 New Student Registration Begins
19-20 August 2017 International New Student Orientation at W&M
28-29 August 2017 New Student Orientation at VIMS (All Students)
30 August 2017 Fall Classes Begin
15-16 September 2017 Field Trip to Virginia'a Eastern Shore

Complete prior to arrival:

  1. Activate your WMuserid to gain access to myWM, an online portal where students can access Banner, Blackboard, and your W&M email through WMApps.  For activation purposes, you will enter your student ID number (begins with 93) and application email address.  Both can be found in your VIMS Information Letter which was sent to you in early June.  Note: During the activation process, you will receive a link which is only active for 24 hours so be sure to verify your account within that time frame.  
  2. Setup your W&M Email Account through wmApps. Your W&M email address will be your WMuserid @ Official communications from SMS will be sent to your W&M e-mail address, thus it is essential that you setup your e-mail account as soon as possible after activating your WMuserid.  If you need assistance with setting up your account, please contact the [[w|support, W&M Technology Support Center]] or call (757) 221-HELP (4357).
  3. Student Health Center: Complete a Health Evaluation Form no later than June 1 (for entry in the Fall) or January 10 (for entry in the Spring). The form is available under "Forms & Documents" and requires a signature by a physician. If the form is not submitted by the end of the grace period (August 31 for entry in the Fall), a late-fee will be charged to the student account.
  4. Student Health Insurance: You must enroll in the WM-sponsored student health insurance plan or submit a waiver by July 31. All full-time students are automatically enrolled in the WM-sponsored student health insurance plan unless a waiver request is received by the deadline. The online waiver request form for the next academic year is available in mid-June and the online enrollment form is available no later than July 15. If you enroll in the WM-sponsored insurance plan, you will recieve a bill through your student account. VIMS/SMS does not pay the bill for you.  An allowance for health insurance is included in your stipend, but you must pay this bill by the beginning of the semester.  Please plan accordingly.  Refer to the website for the rates.
  5. Final Official Transcripts: If you haven't done so already, please submit a final official transcript (verifying completion of previous degrees awarded) to Registrar, VIMS Office of Academic Studies, Post Office Box 1346, Gloucester Point, VA 23062.
  6. Virginia Residents: If you are a resident of Virginia (see definition of domicile, here) you are eligible for Virginia In-State Tuition Privileges and should submit an Application for Virginia In-State Tuition Privileges to the Office of the University Registrar at W&M prior to the first day of classes for the term in which you will matriculate.
  7. Payroll Forms for Graduate Assistantships: To be setup on payroll, you must complete the online I-9 form (enter employer code: 14621 to access the site) as well as the federal (W4) and state (VA-4) tax forms via Employee Self-Service in Banner. If you are not employed at VIMS during the term prior to matriculation, you will only receive access to the tax forms in Banner after your I-9 documents have been verified. The direct deposit authorization along with a voided check or a letter from your financial institution should be mailed to VIMS Office of Academic Studies, Post Office Box 1346, Gloucester Point, VA 23062.  Note: When you first arrive to campus or during VIMS new student orientation at the latest, you will need to provide the original form(s) of identification to be used for your I-9 verification (see I-9 website for list of approved documents) to the Academic Studies Graduate Program Business Manager. Depending on when you submit your payroll forms, your first paycheck could be delayed as late as October 1. For questions, call (804) 684-7105.
  8. Advising & New Student Registration: Contact your interim advisor to discuss the classes you will be taking in your first semester.  Obtain an alternate pin from your advisor to access the online registration module.  New student registration begins August 1 (for entry in the Fall) and January 4 (for entry in the Spring).  Access the dynamic course schedule (select term and then filter by subject area - Marine Science) or open course list to view up-to-the-minute course offerings.
  9. Registration: Register for classes in Banner Self-Service (via myWM) during the new student registration period.  Degree-seeking students must register full-time (a minimum of 9 credit hours) each fall and spring semester, and 3 credit hours each summer. Students are also expected to register for seminar (MSCI 515) as required by their respective departments; however only two (2) credit hours will be applicable to the degree program.
  10. Tuition Bills: After you register for classes, you will be billed for tuition and fees.  View your eBill in Banner Self-Service. If you have questions about your bill, contact the [[academicstudies, Academic Studies]] Graduate Program Business Manager or call 804-684-7105.
  11. Housing: There is no student housing on the VIMS/SMS campus, and most students live in Gloucester Point, VA or in surrounding communities.  Rental housing is somewhat limited in the Gloucester Point area, but apartments in nearby Gloucester, Mathews, Yorktown, and Newport News are more plentiful if one is willing to commute a short distance.  The VIMS Housing Bulletin Board and the VIMS Incoming Class 2017-18 Facebook Group are other useful references.  A limited number of apartments for graduate students are also available on the Williamsburg campus.  Information and application forms can be obtained from the Office of Residence Life located on the main campus, (757) 221-4314, or [[w|living,]].
  12. Parking Decals: Register your vehicle with the Office of Parking Services to obtain a student parking decal.  All motor vehicles, including motorcycles and motorbikes, parked on VIMS/SMS property must be registered with Parking Services. Parking fees vary as students have the option of purchasing a College of William and Mary or the VIMS-only parking decal at a reduced price.  The VIMS-only decal is valid only at the William and Mary Hall lot when visiting the main campus in Williamsburg. Updated rates and vehicle registration forms for the next academic year should be available August 1.

Complete upon arrival at VIMS/SMS:

  1. VIMS New Student Orientation: Participate in the mandatory orientation for new incoming students; get your student ID card and set up your VIMS website student directory page during orientation (you will need access to a digital photo; see website for examples). Also, students must present the original form(s) of identification to be used for I-9 verification purposes (refer to I-9 website listed above for list of approved documents) to the Academic Studies Graduate Program Business Manager.
  2. Complete the Student Check-In Form.
  3. If you arrive in early to mid-August, please stop by the Office of Academic Studies because you can get a jump start on early verification of I-9 documents and the student check-in process.
  4. VIMS Email Accounts: Email account information will be distributed prior to your arrival unless you check-in early. Once your account is created, remember to set up a forward on your W&M email account (through WMApps) to automatically forward W&M correspondence to your VIMS email account.
  5. Field Trip to Eastern Shore Lab: Participate in the mandatory Eastern Shore Lab Field Trip to Wachapreague, scheduled on 15-16 September 2017.

International students also must:

  1. Attend the mandatory Graduate International Student Orientation in mid-August sponsored by the Reves Center for International Studies on the Williamsburg Campus. For more information, refer to the International Student Arrival Guide accessible from the International Student Orientation webpage.
  2. Obtain the proper immigration status. The Reves Center issues I-20's and DS-2019s for students as VIMS and W&M. By May 1, students will receive an email from iStart which will link them to an online request form for the I-20 or DS-2019. The process is outlined on the Visa Information page of the W&M website. The deadline to finalize immigration requests with the Reves Center for International Studies is June 15 (for Fall admits), December 5 (for Spring admits), and April 15 (for Summer admits). If you have questions, please contact [[cake, Cathy Cake]] in the Office of Academic Studies or call (804) 684-7105.