FAQs | Kent State University


Want to get your grad school questions answered?  Kent State University's Graduate Student Orientation (GSO) has the information you need.  Read our FAQs.

Attending GSO

Who should attend GSO?

All new graduate students are welcome and highly encouraged to attend GSO.

I have already taught at another university, do I still need to attend GSO?

Yes, if you are a new teaching assistant, you are required to attend GSO regardless of prior teaching experience.

What if I have a department meeting or obligation during part of GSO?

GSO is designed to supplement departmental orientations.  All attempts to avoid scheduling conflicts have been made.  If you are required as a teaching assistant to attend GSO, notification of any conflict should be sent to Kyle Reynolds at kreynol3@kent.edu.

Is there a separate orientation for international graduate students?

All new international graduate students are expected to attend GSO.  The Office of Global Education holds an orientation program for international students, which will be held prior to GSO.

How do I register for GSO?

We encourage you to pre-register for GSO.  Registration opens on May 1 for Fall GSO and December 1 for Spring GSO.  You can register at the GSO registration page.

Where will GSO take place?

Graduate Student Orientation takes place on the second and third floor of the Student Center. The Student Center is considered the "living room" of the Kent Campus and is the community center of the University. The Kent Student Center (KSC) and the outdoor Risman Plaza spans more than six and one-half acres, provides facilities for meetings and special events of all kinds, offices for student clubs and organizations, campus services such as the bookstore, informal recreational facilities, fast food and fine dining. On the first floor is the Kiva Auditorium. 

Where do I park for GSO?

Free parking is available for students in the lot across Summit Street next to Michael Schwartz Center (C Campus Center Lot).

What do I need to bring with me for GSO?

While at GSO, you will be given a folder and many helpful handouts to help orient you to Kent State University and the Kent community. You may want to consider bringing a bag in which to keep your folder and handouts organized and safe. You will also want to bring a writing utensil of some kind with you. You may bring your own laptop, but it not required.

What sort of attire is appropriate or expected during GSO?

Most students feel comfortable wearing casual clothing; others choose to wear business casual style of dress.

Campus Resources

Where is the campus wireless network available?

Wireless connectivity is available across campus.

Learn more about wireless connectivity at Kent

Where is a computer lab I can use on campus?

Computer labs are located at various locations across campus.

View computer lab locations, hours, and available software

What is a FLASHcard and where can I get one?

The FLASHcard is your Kent State University ID card and more. Your card will let you take materials out of the Kent State libraries, access services such as Student Recreation & Wellness Center and athletic events, and purchase goods and services both on and off campus. To obtain a FLASHcard, you must bring a photo ID and, ideally, your Banner ID number to the FLASHcard office, located on the first floor of the Kent Student Center. You do not have to be enrolled in classes yet to obtain a FLASHcard, but must be admitted to your academic program.  For more information about FLASHcard, please click here.

Do graduate students need to have their FLASHcard student ID when attending GSO?

You do not need to have one before the start of GSO.   You will have opportunities during GSO to get your FLASHcard, the FLASHcard office will be open from 8-5 pm during GSO.  The FLASHcard Office is on the first floor of the Kent State University Student Center.

What is the ESL Center?

The English as a Second Language Center (ESL) offers several programs that provide intensive English language instruction to international students who want to enter American universities or learn English for other personal or professional reasons. The ESL Center also welcomes individuals or groups who are interested in special programs of study. ESL's goal is to help students learn to communicate and study effectively in English and to gain a greater understanding of American culture.

I am an international student who has already passed the TOEFL. Do I still have to go through the ESL process?

All international teaching assistants are required to go through ESL for clearance.

Area Resources

How can I obtain an Ohio driver's license?

According to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles website, "An individual must present the appropriate U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) documents to obtain a Non-renewable/Non-transferable driver license or identification card in Ohio. Please review the Non-renewable/Non-transferable driver license for further information."  Please review the usa.gov webpage for more information. You can drive with your international driver's license (issued in your country of origin) for a limited time only. You will have to get an American driver's license eventually.

I am an international graduate student and do not have an American ID yet. Do I need one? If so, where can I get one?

It is advisable that you have an American photo ID apart from your FLASHcard. You can get a State ID from the License Bureau. Your driver's license also counts as a photo ID.

I am an international graduate student and need a social security number. Where can I get one?

If you are going to be on an assistantship, you will need a Social Security number. The ISSS will make arrangements to get you a social security number during the international orientation. If you already have a Social Security card, there is no need to do it again.

Visit the ISSS website