New Graduate Student Survival Page

When you arrive at school, you will need to do the following:

If you have an assistantship or are planning to work on campus:

  1. Obtain your I-9.  International students and domestic students must go to Wells Hall 113 to obtain their I-9 from the Payroll Office (Wells Hall 113). 
  2. Both international and domestic students must take a copy of their I-9 receipt to the Graduate Office (Fidel Center second floor).
  3. Sign your contract at the Graduate Office.  Generally contracts originate in your department or with your work supervisor and are then sent to the Graduate Office (Fidel Center second floor), where they will await your signature. 

Health Insurance

  • If you are a full-time graduate student you must have health insurance coverage in effect during the time you are a student at NMT (by federal law).  For US residents, you are responsible for your health insurance and by registering you are certifying that you are covered.  
  • International students must report to the International Office (Fidel Center second floor, west end). You must provide proof of insurance to the International Office before registration.  An automatic "Hold" has been placed on your account and before you may register it must be removed. As an international student, any change of status must be reported to the International Office. 

Meet with your advisor to discuss classes for the coming semester.  It is handy to have the current Course Schedule, your program pages from the NMT Catalog, and a registration form for this meeting. 

Obtain your advisor's signature on the registration form or your alternate PIN if you are going to register online.  Online registration is available after your first registration. 

Register for classes

Validate - Validation is a process specific to NMT that involves paying your tuition and fees for the semester or making formal arrangements for payment:

  1. If you are prepared to pay your tuition and fees immediately, go to the Cashier's window (Fidel Center Second Floor). 
  2. If you have a contract and would like to use one of the deferred payment plans (GDP, visit the Student Accounts Office (Fidel Center, second floor).  
  3. Get keys to your office and any labs you will be using. 
  4. Get an ID card from the Registrar's Office (Fidel Center second floor).
  5. Set up a computer/email account with the Tech Computer Center (TCC) in Speare Hall.
  6. Get a campus post office box (Fidel Center first floor, west end). 

If you arrive in Socorro before the beginning of the semester, you may take care of most of these items before school starts. Be certain to register for classes on or before Registration Day.  Thereafter you will be charged a $27.25/day late Registration fee. Registration may be accomplished online on or before Registration Day or at the Registrar's Office. The procedure is described below under Registration. You must also pay your balance (or set up a payment plan--see Payment Options) on or before Registration Day, or you will be charged an additional $27.25/day late Validation fee. 

Important Dates for each semester are as follows:

  Summer 2013  Fall  2013 Spring 2014
Graduate Orientation online August 16-17 online
Registration and Validation June 10 August 23  
Classes Begin June 11 August 19 January 13
Late Registration and Validation Fees Commence June 13 August 22  
Last Day to Add Classes June 18 August 23 January 21
Last Day to Drop Classes   September 6 January 31
Grade Option Deadline (last day to withdraw or pass/fail) July 15 November 6  
Final Exams Begin   December 7 May 3
End of Semester  August 2 December 13 May 10
Commencement     May 10

Note that full details of the current semester calendar are found on the NMT Calendar page.

The I-9

Employees (domestic and international) of New Mexico Tech must verify employment eligibility.  This is accomplished by completing and submitting a Form I-9. 


Assistantships (teaching and/or research) are processed using a contract between NMT and the student.  These are important not only because they will get you paid, but because with them all students qualify for deferred payment of tuition and some fees, and nonresident students qualify for resident tuition.  Therefore, it is crucial that your contract be completed BEFORE you go to validate so that you will qualify for these accommodations.  If you have an assistantship, you need to sign your contract in the Graduate Office (Fidel Center, second floor). If it isn't ready, check with your supervisor to see if he/she is preparing one for you.

Getting Paid - Depending on your needs, there are several options available for getting your pay.  You may:

  • pick up your check at the cashier's window;
  • have your paycheck delivered to your campus box;
  • have your paycheck delivered to your department mailbox; or
  • have your paycheck deposited directly into your bank account. If you choose to have your check direct-deposited, you must attach a voided check to the form.

Paydays are alternate Fridays. In order to receive a paycheck on the first payday, your contract must be processed at least 7 business days prior to this date. 

Health Insurance

All students are required to have health insurance. At the time of registration, international students must show proof of health insurance to the international office.   


In most cases, your research advisor is also your academic advisor, however, if your research advisor is not a regular faculty member in your major department, you will be assigned an academic advisor from the regular faculty members in your major department. 

Your academic advisor is the person who will guide you through the requirements for your degree and approve your semester by semester registrations.  Meet with your academic advisor to discuss classes for the coming semester before registering. After you have agreed on the classes to be taken enter these on your registration form and have your advisor, the Business Office and Graduate Dean sign the form.  After your initial registration your advisor will give you an Advising PIN number (APIN) at your meeting to plan the next semesters classes.  This APIN will allow you to go online (Banweb) to register for the semester.

Course Schedule and Catalog

Each semester's Course Schedule is available online at Banweb (click on Class Schedule).


New Mexico Tech has moved to online registration, however, first time students will have to register in the Registrar's Office (Fidel Center, second floor).  Present your registration form (signed by your advisor, the Business Office and the Graduate Dean) in the Registrar's Office.  Registrations processed after Registration Day are subject to a $30.00/day late registration fee.  

Subsequent registrations will be accomplished online (or in the Registrar's Office if you have special considerations).  One special consideration is if you are planning to take a course numbered below 300.  Even so, you may register online for all but this lower-division class and then complete the registration with visits to the Graduate and Registrar's  Office.  Note that this restriction does not apply to certain community courses (e.g., physical recreation, health and wellness, etc.). However, such community courses do not count towards full-time enrollment. Before you attempt to register online, you must obtain a Advising PIN for the the coming semester.  The APIN is available from your advisor and typically it is provided as part of the dialog you have with your advisor during which you plan the courses to be taken that semester.  If your advisor has misplaced his/her list of Advising PINs, he/she may obtain yours with a call to the Registrar. 

Registration vs. Validation

Being registered for classes does not necessarily mean that you are validated. Being "Validated" means that you are in good financial standing with the school. Validation is usually accomplished by paying your bill or by arranging for a payment plan (see Payment Options). After you pay your bill or set up a payment plan, check with the staff in either Student Accounts (Fidel Center, second floor) or the Cashier's Office (Fidel Center, second floor) to make sure that you are validated. Failure to validate by the end of the day on Registration Day will result in a $30.00/day late validation fee.

Payment Options

At the beginning of each semester, students must either pay the balance for tuition and fees or make prior arrangements for payment.  Note that the amount shown for required fees does not include medical insurance (which is required for all students, unless you have proof of other insurance), and course fees. Otherwise you will be charged a $30.00/day late validation fee (See Registration vs. Validation).  Payments may be made by check, cash, or credit card (Mastercard, Visa, Discover, or American Express).

If you do not have a contract, you must pay your tuition and fees when you register.  

If you have a contract, payment on your account may be done in one of several ways. Your bill contains required tuition and fees (the items that all students are required to pay), and perhaps other charges specific to you (e.g. lab fees, insurance charges, tuition for any credit hours above 13). Your payment options may include any or all of the following options:

  • You may pay your entire balance (tuition, fees, insurance) at the Cashier's office. 
  • Payments for tuition and certain required fees may be distributed over the semester with a Graduate Deferred Payment (GDP) Plan.  The Graduate Deferred Payment Plan allows you to defer payment of tuition (up to 13 hours) and required fees. Instead of paying these tuition and fee charges at the time of registration, they will be deducted in eight equal installments from your first eight paychecks of the semester. The Graduate Deferred Payment Plan does not cover lab fees, health insurance, matriculation fee, room, board, or tuition for any credit hours above 13. To choose the Graduate Deferred Payment Plan, you must sign the appropriate form at Student Accounts (Fidel Center, second floor) on Registration Day.  

To set up a GDP, you must go to Student Accounts (Fidel Center).  The remaining balance not covered by your GDP must be paid at registration.


You may get a key request form from your department secretary. If you know what project you'll be working on, your research advisor should be able to tell you for which labs you will need keys. Your advisor must sign the key request form. Don't forget to include your office key and the building key. Take the key request form to the Key Control Office,(Fidel Center, first floor). The key deposit is $5/key. After you have been notified that your keys are ready, go to the Cashier's Office (Fidel Center, second floor) to pay the $5/key deposit. Take your receipt to Key Control Office, (Fidel Center, first floor) to pick up your keys.

ID Cards

Student ID cards may be obtained at the Registrar's Office (Fidel Center, second floor), with some proof that you will be a student here, such as your printed course schedule you'll get from the Registrar after you register for classes. Your ID card is used to check out books from the library, to check out equipment from the gym, to check out software manuals from the computer center, and as proof that you are a student at NMT (including for discounts at many local businesses).

Computer Account

Set up a computer/email account with the user consultant in the Tech Computer Center (TCC), in Speare 5. The computer center has mostly PC's with Windows and linux. There are also some Sun workstations and some Mac's. If you have a computer at home with a modem and would like to be able to access the TCC computers, you will be charged $5/month.  The TCC web page includes instructions on how to access NMT restricted pages from off campus as if you were physically located on campus (i.e., using NMT's VPN). 

Announcements related to classes, degree progress, scholarship and job opportunities are increasingly communicated via email and it is crucial that you have an email account.  Although a hotmail, yahoo or similar non-Tech account will work for many communications, information related to your academic status may be sent only to your personal TCC ( address.  If you prefer to receive your email at a non-Tech address, you may insert a forward file into your NMT account to automatically forward email to your preferred account.  Once you have settled on an email account, send an email to with your name and email address so that the Graduate Office may contact you. Note that all official NMT email will be sent to your TCC address and you are responsible for all email communication sent to that address. 

Campus Mail Boxes

The campus post office is in the Fidel Center. All students pay a post office box fee, so you should get a P.O. box there.  Most of campus mail including information related to your studies will be sent directly to your campus P.O. box. To get a box, go to the post office window and tell them you would like a box.

Other Relevant Information

Full-Time Status. To be a full-time graduate student you must enroll in 9-12 credit hours per semester. If you have an assistantship, you must register for and complete a minimum 12 credit hours of classes appropriate for your degree. First-year students typically take three classes and fill the remainder of the 12 credit hours with directed research or seminar. If you do not have an assistantship, you may register for and complete as few as 9 credit hours of academic classes, however, tuition and fees are the same. If you want to take a physical recreation class or a fine arts class, you may do so using your 13th credit without additional tuition costs. Because you are a graduate student, you will be charged graduate tuition rates for all classes, even classes listed under the Community College.  Note that courses such as physical recreation and fine arts do not count towards full-time graduate enrollment (they do not count toward the required 9 or 12 credits discussed above). 

Part-time Status

Part-time graduate students register for from 1 to 8 credits appropriate for their degree.  Tuition is paid on a per hour basis and fees are reduced.

Registering for lower-level classes

If you must register for a 100- or 200-level class, you will need to fill out a special form.  These classes cannot be used as credit toward your degree, but you may need them as prerequisites for other classes or as deficiencies. You may get the form online or from the Graduate Office (Fidel Center, second floor). You will need signatures from your advisor, the department chair, and the graduate dean. With the necessary approvals, these classes do count towards full-time enrollment. This form is not required if you are taking a Physical Recreation or Fine Arts class as a 13th credit.

Long distance telephone calls

Many student offices have a telephone which may be used for on-campus (last four digits) and local calls (dial "9" and the number). If you want to make long distance calls from anywhere on campus, you will need a personal Telephone Access (TAC) Number. You may get this number at the Information Systems Department (call extension 5700).  Once you have this number, you may call long distance from any phone on campus. Just dial "3", your TAC number, "9" (to get off-campus), "1" (for long distance) and then the number. 

Health Care Center

Access to the Student Health Center is provided by fees paid by all full-time students.  Part-time students and dependents of students may be covered with payment of an additional fee.  The New Mexico Tech health center is open to students five days per week while school is in session. The health center is located in the Fidel Student Center (Building #14). The health center is staffed by a nurse practitioner and an RN, and provides primary care free of charge, except for costs incurred for laboratory analyses. They will refer you to a specialist or another doctor if necessary. If you are referred to another doctor, and if you have the Tech student health insurance, your deductible will be waived for the doctor's visit. 

Tuition and Fees. Tuition for the 2013-2014 academic year is $2,960.00/semester for New Mexico residents and $9,041.00/semester for non-residents. If you choose to take more than 13 credit hours, you will be required to pay tuition on the additional hours. Required fees for full-time students for the Fall and Spring semesters of the 2013-2014 academic year are $323.84/semester. You will also have to purchase health insurance (or show proof of other insurance). If you do not have an assistantship, be prepared to pay the total amount for tuition and fees at registration. If you have an assistantship, you are automatically granted resident tuition rates, and you may have tuition deducted from your paycheck (see Graduate Deferred Payment Plan). 

* This document was developed by members of the Graduate Student Association and hosted on their web pages until August 2005.  To facilitate ready updates to information contained in this document, the document was moved to the Graduate Office web pages at that time.