Information for Incoming Graduate Students

Fall 2017

Keep an eye out for letters from the Graduate School. Over the course of the next few months you may receive letters from the University of Nevada, Reno Graduate School: read these letters! Occasionally the letters will remind you to submit information missing from your records that is needed before you can enroll for the Fall semester. Frequently the needed information will be:

  • Proof of immunizations.
  • Receipt of final, official transcripts from your previous institution, showing degree conferral.

Please keep the Chemistry Department and Graduate School informed of your current mailing address.

1. Arrival in Reno
2. Chemistry/Chemical Physics Contact Information
3. Important Dates
4. Registration Exams
5. Housing
6. Helpful Links
7. About your postal addresses at Nevada
8. Activating your NetID
9. Special information for international students

All new graduate students should arrive in Reno no later than August 1, 2017. Be sure to check into the department as soon as you arrive to meet your new friends, sign your TA contract, and to receive any late announcements. The chemistry main office is located in room 213 (southeast corner, second floor) of the Chemistry Building. The Chemistry Building is on the New Quad (see the general campus map). If you will travel to Reno by air, someone from the department can meet you at the airport. Contact Professor Sheridan ( to make arrangements.

Prof. Christopher Jeffrey, Chair, Graduate Admissions Committee
Phone: 775-784-6688Clipart of a phone

Chemistry Main Office:
Jennifer Heck, Graduate Administrative Assistant
Phone: 775-682-5760Clipart of a phone

Prof. Robert Sheridan, Director of Graduate Studies
Phone: 775-784-6730Clipart of a phone

Prof. David Leitner, Director of Chemical Physics Program
Phone: 775-784-1968Clipart of a phone


August 1
All students should have arrived in Reno and checked in with the department. In addition international students should have checked in with OISS as well.

August 7-8
SPEAK test (international students only, see below). Coordinate with Jennifer Heck to make an appointment for the exact time for the exam at the IELC office.

August 14, 10 a.m. - 12 noon, CB 316A
Chemistry/Chemical Physics New Graduate Student Orientation Meeting
Agenda: Introduction, Overview of Department, Graduate Study Guidelines, etc. and General Safety Talk

August 14 - 16, 2 - 5 p.m.
Chemistry (or Chemical Physics) Registration Exams (see additional information below).
All exams are given in CB 111 and may consume the entire afternoon.
Physical Chemistry: 2 p.m. on August 14
Inorganic Chemistry (or Mathematical Physics): 2 p.m. on August 15
Organic Chemistry (or Mechanics): 2 p.m. on August 16

August 15, 9 a.m. - 11 a.m., CB 316A
New TA Meeting

August 17-18, times and locations by appointment.
Individual course advisement for new graduate students

Bridge Placement testing. Int'l only.

August 22, 9 - 12 noon., CB 316A
Chemistry Help Center Training

August 23, 8:15 a.m. - 12 noon, WRB 2006/2009 
Laboratory Safety Training class and Fire Extinguisher and Fire Safety Training

August 24, 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Ballroom A, JCSU
UNR Graduate Assistant Training (GRAD 701S). This program familiarizes new teaching assistants with UNR instructional policies and instructional methods and is required.

August 24, 1 - 5 p.m., Ballroom A, JCSU
UNR new graduate student orientation

August 24, 5 - 7 p.m., JCSU Ballroom
GSA Social

August 25, 10 - 12 noon, CB 316A
TA meeting

Monday, August 28
Instruction begins

Thursday, August 31, 4 p.m.
Chemistry Department Welcome Picnic, Rancho San Rafael Park, Peavine Pavilion

For other important dates, see the UNR Academic Calendar.

Registration exams will be given to assess each student's background at the undergraduate level. Students enrolled in the Chemistry M.S. and Ph.D. programs take exams in Physical, Inorganic, and Organic Chemistry. These are ACS standardized exams and cover the subject material corresponding to undergraduate courses in each of these areas of chemistry. Students enrolled in the Chemical Physics Program take the ACS Physical Chemistry exam plus examinations in mathematics and mechanics. The registration exams also serve as the Qualifying Exams required by the Graduate School for the Ph.D. program (consult the general catalog). All incoming students should prepare for these exams since any student failing a registration exam will be required to take the corresponding undergraduate courses and obtain a grade of "B" or better. A cash award is given to the student showing the best overall performance in the registration exams.

Standard texts which have been used for typical courses covered by the registration exams are as follows:

o Physical Chemistry: Atkins, Physical Chemistry, Freeman.
o Organic Chemistry: Solomon, Organic Chemistry, John Wiley and Sons.
o Inorganic Chemistry: Huheey, Inorganic Chemistry, Harper and Row; Shriver, Atkins, and Langford, Inorganic Chemistry, Freeman.
o Mathematical Physics: Boas, Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences, John Wiley and Sons.
o Mechanics: Halliday, Resnick, and Walker, Fundamental Physics, John Wiley and Sons.

This is the first matter to which you should attend when you arrive in Reno. On-campus housing options for graduate students include the University Village apartments (family housing), though nearly all single graduate students secure private housing off campus. There are many housing options near the University campus. Entering graduate students can often find roommates or leads on apartments through graduate students already in the program. Contact Professor Shearer ( for help in making graduate student contacts.

See "Off Campus Housing" on the Residential Life website.
o See "Relocation Guide" section of
o Once on campus, a "for rent" listing service is available in the Residence Life and Housing Services Office located in the lower level, lakeside, of Juniper Hall.


Your departmental mail address and contact information at the University of Nevada, Reno will be:

Department of Chemistry
University of Nevada
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno, NV 89557-0216

Department general phone number: 775-784-6041Clipart of a phone

Please activate your NetID by logging in to MyNevada prior to your arrival. You will need your NSHE ID to do this. This should be found on your acceptance letter from the Graduate School.


  • You must arrive in Reno by August 1, 2017 in order to have enough time to complete the paperwork for the employment which includes applying for a social security number. Obtaining a social security number takes about one month, but you can receive a temporary number for TA contract purposes. You will need a valid picture identification card that is more than one year old in order to apply for a social security number.
  • International graduate students for whom English is not their native language must take the SPEAK test upon arrival at the University. Students who have a sufficiently high score on the TSE (Test of Spoken English) or on the TOEFL may be exempted from this requirement. The SPEAK test will be administered during the week of August 1. The Chemistry Department Office will have already arranged appointments with the IELC Office.
  • All international students must visit the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) before they register for classes.
  • International student arrival information from OISS.