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New Graduate Student Checklist

Welcome to Binghamton University's community of scholars, researchers, and teachers!

You've made a great choice. We're confident you will find Binghamton to be an exciting and invigorating place to pursue your graduate studies. Below you will find a list of steps you must take and resources you can use as a new graduate student. (New non-degree (non-matriculated) students should click here.) Make sure to familiarize yourself with these resources as you prepare for graduate studies at Binghamton University.

Click here for a printer-friendly version of this Welcome checklist (PDF).

Accept Your Offer of Admission

Pay your tuition deposit to accept your offer of admission and confirm your intent to enroll at Binghamton Unversity. The $100 (USD) deposit will be credited to your first semester's bill. (Note: Non-degree (non-matriculated) students do not need to make a tuition deposit or confirm intent to enroll.  Accelerated students need to declare their intent to enroll as instructed in the acceptance letter.)

Enrollment Intent / Admission Deposit


Activate and Access Your BMail

BMail is your official Binghamton e-mail account. Since all official University communication will be sent here, make sure to check your BMail at least once a week prior to the start of the semester and more often during the semester. Get started.

Reminder: You must have activated your Binghamton University User ID in order to activate your BMail. If you haven't yet activated your User ID, click here and select "Activate Password."

Log into BMail.

Note: If you are accessing BMail from mainland China, you may have issues with the Google service. View alternative ways to log in.

Binghamton University Account Access



Manage Your Binghamton University Computer Account

Your Binghamton University computer account is used to access all online resources on campus, including the Binghamton Portal ( The portal will link you to Blackboard, BU Brain Self-Service, online bill pay, registration, transcripts, and more. You can also use your computer account to access other services such as public computers on campus and Internet connection. You access your computer account by logging in with your user ID and password.

Changing password or security questions: Go to the Binghamton University Account Access website. Click "Manage Account Profile." Enter your user ID and password. Follow the instructions for changing your password or security questions.

Binghamton University Account Access

Binghamton Portal


Accept the Code of Conduct

You are required to read and accept the online Code of Conduct. When you first access a web service through BU Brain, the Code of Conduct will be presented automatically. Once it appears, please review the information as required and select CONTINUE.

BU Brain


Submit Final, Official Transcript(s)

The Graduate School at Binghamton University requires hard copies of your official, final transcript(s) documenting your previous college and/or university coursework and degree conferral. This requirement applies to all enrolling students, both matriculated and non-matriculated. You must submit your transcript(s) no later than six weeks after the beginning of the semester in which you begin graduate studies.

It is essential that we receive the required documentation in a timely manner to assure that your student record is updated. If your final transcript is not received, you will be unable to register for coursework in future semesters. Also, missing such documentation may result in a rescinded admission offer or a hold on your student account, or prevent the future conferral of a graduate degree.

Please request your transcript(s) be mailed via the postal service; do not fax or e-mail your official, final transcript(s). Unofficial documents will not be accepted.

To assure receipt of delivery and timely processing of your transcript, please be sure your transcript(s) is(are) mailed to:

Binghamton University
ATTENTION: The Graduate School
PO Box 6000
Binghamton, NY 13902-6000



Submit Mandatory Health Forms

Certain health forms are required for all students. You must download the required immunization forms and submit them to the Decker Student Health Services Center via mail, fax, or a PDF e-mail attachment before you will be allowed to register. For more information, visit the Decker Student Health Services Center website or call 607-777-2221.

Health Insurance: There are several health insurance options available on campus to graduate students. Review plan options, eligibility requirements, and enrollment details here. Certain students are required to have health insurance.

Health Forms

Decker Student Health Services Center

Health Insurance


Obtain Student ID Card

All graduate students must have a student ID card to access most campus services. Binghamton University undergraduate students will need to obtain a new graduate student ID card in order to take advantage of extended library privileges and other graduate student services.

ID cards are available through the Registrar. New students may upload their own ID card photo in advance to avoid waiting in lines at the beginning of the semester. Use your Binghamton University user ID and password to login.  

Visit the Registrar website to learn where and when the office will be issuing student IDs. A valid photo ID is required.

Student ID Cards

Upload Photo



Register for Courses and Obtain Textbooks

You will use BU Brain, Binghamton University's online student services hub, to view the course schedule, check your registration time ticket, confirm your enrollment, and add and drop classes. You can access BU Brain by logging into the Binghamton Portal and selecting the BU Brain Self Service icon.  You may also access a public schedule of courses here. Registration processes vary across departments, so make sure you know how students in your program secure course registration. In some departments, students register themselves; in others, the department registers students for specific courses. Watch for communications from your school, department, graduate director, and/or faculty advisor. Contact your academic department with your specific questions.

Note: All students who have been admitted into a degree-granting program must maintain continuous registration each major (fall and spring) semester for a minimum of one credit hour. Students who do not register and who have not been granted a leave of absence must reapply to the Graduate School and pay additional fees. Readmission is not automatic.

Non-degree (non-matriculated) students may register for most graduate classes. However, some programs limit admission to certain specified classes. Contact your academic department with your specific registration questions. View requirements for newly enrolled non-degree (non-matriculated) students.


Visit the University Bookstore in the University Union to view the list of textbooks required for your courses and to buy or rent your textbooks. 

BU Brain

How to Register with BU Brain

Binghamton Portal 

Schedule of Courses

University Calendar

University Bookstore


Confirm Enrollment

Students are required to confirm their enrollments in their coursework every semester by the fifth day of classes. You will confirm your enrollment using BU Brain. For instructions, visit the Registrar website.

BU Brain

Confirmation of Enrollment Instructions


Attend Orientation(s)

Binghamton University offers several orientations: an orientation for new graduate students (fall only), an orientation for all international students (fall and spring), an orientation for new teaching assistants (fall only), and program-specific orientations hosted by individual academic departments (fall and spring). For information on orientation times, locations, and requirements, click here.

Teaching Assistant Orientation

International Student Orientation

Graduate Student Orientation


Find Housing; Arrange Transportation and Parking

The Binghamton area offers a wide variety of affordable off-campus housing for graduate students. Free bus service to campus makes it easy to get around. For more information on housing and transportation, or to begin your housing search, visit the Off-Campus College website here. If you plan to park on campus, learn about parking permits here.



Off-Campus College

Parking Services


Finalize Financing

Financial Aid: All domestic graduate students who seek federal loans or need-based tuition scholarships should file a FAFSA. If awarded, accept or decline your loans online through BU Brain. For more information, contact Financial Aid.

Student Employment: To find part-time employment opportunities on and off campus, check hireBING regularly for job postings. New fall graduate students will have access after August 1.

Funded Students: New teaching assistants (TAs), graduate assistants (GAs), research project assistants (RPAs), fellows, and tuition scholarship awardees must sign and submit the award letters you received with your offer. In addition, TAs and GAs should contact Human Resources for information regarding health insurance plans and required paperwork. RPAs should contact the Research Foundation Personnel/Payroll Office at 607-777-4264 with questions.

Proof of Enrollment/Enrollment Verification: If you need to obtain proof of enrollment for an insurance company, scholarship program, loan company or other third party, go to "Student Service Tools" (under the "Student" tab) on BU Brain.


BU Brain

Financial Aid


Human Resources

Research Foundation Personnel/Payroll Office


Pay Your Bill

Your semester bill notification will be sent to your BMail. The first semester bill notification is sent after you have registered for classes and confirmed your enrollment. You may pay your tuition and fees online through Student Accounts through Quikpay. Make sure to pay by the date listed on the bill to avoid penalties. If you have questions regarding tuition, billing, or payment, please contact Student Accounts directly at 607-777-2702 or

Student Accounts



Establish New York State Residency

If you need to establish New York residency for tuition purposes (a requirement for most tuition scholarship awardees), you will need to obtain the following items before classes start:

  • New York State Lease/Land Deed
  • New York State Driver's License
  • New York State Car Registration
  • New York State Voter's Registration

For more information on residency requirements, go to the Student Accounts Residency website or contact Student Accounts directly at 607-777-2702 or

Student Accounts


Set Yourself Up for Academic Success

One way to help yourself have a successful graduate school career is to be proactive in knowing and fulfilling your degree requirements. Here are some suggestions:

  • Meet with your advisor at least a couple times per semester. Prepare an agenda. Tell your advisor about your progress, ask for feedback, discuss your career aspirations, and so forth.
  • Pay attention to deadlines. Failure to meet deadlines can cost you time, money, or both.
  • Check with your department about its specific requirements for satisfactory progress. Graduate programs often have requirements that are more demanding than the minimum requirements monitored by the Graduate School. Individual department satisfactory progress criteria are usually printed in the department's student handbook.
  • Consult the Graduate School Manual if you have questions about enrollment, academic policies, funding, and other topics pertaining to graduate studies at Binghamton.

Familiarize Yourself with Campus Resources

Blackboard: Interact and communicate with fellow students and professors in a virtual classroom related to your courses. Access Blackboard through the Binghamton Portal. Use your Binghamton University user ID and password. 

bMobi: The bMobi application for iPhones, iPods, iPads, Blackberries, Androids, and other web-enabled cell phones and tablets provides course schedules, campus maps, news, videos, directories, athletic news, information on campus events, images, and more. View instructions and download bMobi.

Bookstore: Buy textbooks and more at the University Bookstore.

NY-Alert/RAVE: Receive text messages or e-mails through NY-Alert/RAVE, the University's emergency alert system. Sign up or decline.

BUC$: Turn your student ID card into a debit card that you can use at numerous locations, both on and off campus. Learn more.

Campus Map: Access a campus map. View a list of building abbreviations.

Campus Meal Plans: Learn about Binghamton University dining options and meal plans at BUDining.

Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD): The CCPD, along with the Graduate School and the Graduate Student Organization (GSO), will present a number of professional development workshops during the semester. Be sure to check your BMail for notifications. Visit the CCPD website.

Center for Civic Engagement (CCE): The CCE helps students connect with the Greater Binghamton area through community-based research, internship, and volunteer opportunities. Visit the CCE website.

Computer Hardware and Software Discounts: Many vendors offer computer hardware and software at a discount to Binghamton University students. View hardware and software information.

Libraries: Binghamton University libraries have three locations: Glenn G. Bartle Library, Science Library, and University Downtown Center Library. Learn more, search the library catalog, and access journals and databases on their website.

Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS): The ISSS provides resources and advice for international students, including information on visas, housing, and international student organizations. Visit the ISSS website.

Printing Services: Students receive a quota each semester to print using the Pharos laser printing system on campus. View instructions and more information.

The Graduate School Manual: This essential resource provides important information on Graduate School policies, including degree requirements. Access the online manual.

University Bulletin: Review specific information about academic programs and degree requirements in the University Bulletin.

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Last Updated: 7/6/15