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This page consolidates a number of resources for new CS graduate students. If you have a question or concern that isn’t addressed by the information below, please consider reaching out via the Graduate Admissions Inquiry Form.

New to the area? Check out our guide to the area for incoming students!

Table of Contents

Health Insurance

Information on Graduate Student Health Insurance – including how to waive the University Student Insurance.

Note:  You have received information on waiving the University Student Health Insurance.  If you are a student with guaranteed funding, you will not be able to waive this until you enroll in GSHIP (Graduate Student Health Insurance Program: a.k.a. The RA/TA Health Insurance).  GSHIP enrollment information will be available in the beginning of August.  If you have guaranteed funding, you can complete and return the enrollment form before you are assigned an actual RA or TA position at orientation.

University Healthcare Waiver Deadline: September 1

GSHIP Verification and Enrollment Form

More information can be found on the Procedure for Enrolling in GSHIP page.

Adviser Assignments

Initial adviser assignments are made by the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) making the best attempts to match student and adviser interests. These advisers are the ones listed in your admission offer letters. Keep in mind that these assignments are based on limited information and are not binding.

The adviser’s role is to provide advice on academic related issues and questions as well as to serve as contact points for alerting the student to academic progress milestones.  During the faculty’s review of student progress (which occurs each semester during a faculty meeting), the program adviser is called upon to describe the student’s progress and discuss any problems or delays in that progress.

Consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) is recommended in advance of a change of adviser for any reason other than designation of the research director as the program adviser.  Changes of adviser for that reason are completely normal and almost automatically approved.

Once students settle into their program and have gotten to know and work with different faculty members, you should feel free to request a change in faculty adviser.

To request a change of adviser, the student should send the request by e-mail to the student services manager ( with a copy to the DGS and involved faculty (old and new advisers).  Such requests are usually approved without comment, but factors such as faculty load sometimes intervene.

The DGS serves as the backup adviser for routine signatures if your program adviser is not available.

NOTE:  Notification of initial assignments will be emailed to each individual student before orientation.

Registration Information

First semester students are allowed to enroll for courses prior to attending orientation.  Your schedule will be reviewed by the adviser assigned to you during orientation and changes may be required/suggested.  There will be a time during orientation for students to meet with their advisers and/or the DGS.  Students have through the first week of class to make changes to their schedule.

How to register

Course registration is done through Connect Carolina using your Onyen and your Onyen password.  The average course load for a first year graduate student is three (3) courses or nine (9) hours.  Registration for Fall is now open.

Registration Tips

  • The course prefix for Computer Science courses is COMP
  • Graduate level courses are numbered 700 and above. Undergraduate/Graduate level courses are 600 level courses.  Undergraduate CS major courses are 500 level courses.
  • Most special topics courses (790) should be three hours unless otherwise noted. The system defaults to 1.0 hour.  You can manually edit this during the enrollment process.

Enrolling Instructions

NOTE: Students who did not register before the end of July 20 must pre-pay or provide proof of financial aid prior to registering. More information on important registration dates can be found on the University Cashier’s website.


Admitted with Support

Those of you admitted with a guarantee of support should plan on attending the Graduate Research Fair on Monday, August 14, 2023.  Also be pro-active (before the Research Fair) in reaching out to faculty members regarding an RA position for the Fall & Spring semester.

Admitted without Support

If you were admitted without a guarantee of support, you should plan on paying for all costs associated with attending UNC-CH.   The chances of getting support are difficult to predict and you should not count on it.  Information on the cost of attending UNC-CH can be here:

If you are assigned a position, you will be reimbursed for your in-state tuition and will have the opportunity to enroll in the RA/TA (GSHIP) health insurance program.  See information on Tuition Remission (out-of-state portion of your tuition bill).

Types of Tuition Support

Tuition Remission

A tuition remission reduces your tuition to the in-state rate. For out-of-state students only.

In-State Tuition Award

An in-state tuition award provides full support for the cost of in-state tuition. This benefit includes tuition only, not student fees.

Tuition Support for In-State and Out-of-State Students

Tuition support varies based on in-state or out-of-state residency status.

Out-of-state students

Out-of-state students may receive both a tuition remission award as well as an in-state tuition award. These two funding sources, used in combination, provide full tuition support.

Out-of-state students must receive a tuition remission to be eligible for an in-state tuition award.

In-state students

In-state students may receive an in-state tuition award.

See Graduate Student Handbook for additional information.

Eligibility for Tuition Support


To be eligible for an in-state tuition award or tuition remission:

  • You must be a full-time, on-campus, degree-seeking doctoral or master’s/doctoral sequence students. You may also be eligible if you are a student in a terminal master’s program.
  • You must be enrolled full-time for the entire semester to be eligible for tuition support.
  • You must be a full-time student who is matriculated and for each term:
    • Registers for 9 or more graduate credit hours in a fall or spring term


    • Registers for a minimum of 3 hours of thesis substitute (992), thesis (993), or dissertation (994) in a fall, spring, or summer term. A student may register for additional courses as needed, but if registering for less than 9 hours, this must include a minimum of 3 hours of 992/993/994 to be considered full-time


    • Registers for fewer than 9 graduate credit hours in a fall, spring, or summer term, exclusive of 992/993/994, and has been granted a “waiver of hours” for that term.

There is no minimum credit-hour requirement during the summer sessions (neither tuition remission nor in-state tuition awards are available for summer enrollment).

Assistantship Requirements

In order to be eligible for instate and tuition remission awards, a student must meet certain eligibility requirements, including earning a minimum stipend for work performed with an appropriate job code. You must hold the assistantship for the entire semester.



You can NOT be hired until an I-9 is complete and approved

Step One: Complete the following forms*

US Citizens

  1. Employee Information
  2. Student Employee Certifications & Conditions of Appointment (COE)
  3. NC-4 & W-4 Withholding Allowance Certificate:  Available in Connect Carolina under Self-Service > W4 & NC4 Tax Information
  4. Direct Payroll Deposit Authorization Form (required) + a voided check (also required)

Non-US Citizens

  1. Employee Information
  2. Student Employee Certifications & Condition of Appointment (COE)
  3. NC-4 NRA Withholding Allowance Certification
  4. W-4 Federal Withholding Allowance Certification with Special Instructions (Notice 1392).
  5. Direct Payroll Deposit Authorization Form (required) + a voided check (also required).

Step Two: I-9 Verification:  Employment Verification and Authorization

The Employment Verification and Authorization allows anyone (US Citizen and Non-US Citizen) to work in the US.  You CAN NOT be hired until your I-9 Verification has been done.

There are TWO Sections of the I-9.

Section One:  Can be completed anytime.  You will receive an email about how and when to complete Section One.

Section Two:  Must be done in person

  1. See one of the three people listed below to complete the I-9 Verification Form electronically no earlier than 14 Aug. and NO later than 18 August.
  2. From the List of Accepted Documents, bring the original of any document(s) you choose to one of the three people listed below.
  3. Non-US Citizens must bring their original Passport, I-20, & I-94 original documents.

If you have not completed both sections of your I-9 by 5pm on Friday August 18th, your pay for the semester will be prorated on a daily basis until your I-9 is complete and you will NOT receive a check in August.

* Turn in forms referenced above at the time you come in to verify your I-9.

Authorized I-9 Verification Agents:

Tatyana Davis~

Student Services Manager ~

Cost of Attending:

Tuition and Fees Amounts

Cost of Living Comparisons

International Student Information

The ISSS web page has important information for new students.  All international students should already be familiar with this information.

New International Students

New International Student FAQ

Check in with ISSS

ISSS Orientation


Graduate Student Guide – Includes information on and about campus, Chapel Hill, funding, housing for graduate students, and the transit system.

The Graduate Student Handbook – contains most of the policies and procedures you need to know of and about The Graduate School.  This can answer a lot of questions you will have so I encourage you to refer to it often.

Registrar Calendar  – Includes very important dates and deadlines

Graduate & Professional Student FederationResource Guide for New Graduate Students.  Includes information on housing, transportation, finances & funding, and so much more great information

Resources for Newly Admitted Graduate Students

Guide to the Chapel Hill/Triangle Area

Graduate Student Guide (from The Graduate School)