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 Before Arriving at UMass Dartmouth

Special health notice for students traveling from or through the Middle East and parts of Africa

Travelers' Health Ebola information page from U.S. Centers for Disease Control




This page summarizes pre-arrival requirements and recommendations of the U.S. Government and UMass Dartmouth to help you prepare for your arrival to the U.S. and to the university. 

U.S. Government requirements and recommendations

International Students and Scholars must adhere to U.S. governement requirements before and upon entering the U.S.

Visa status
Port of Entry
Form I-94
Other Resources


A SEVIS fee must be paid at least three days prior to your F or J visa appointment at an embassy or consulate. Once you have paid the fee, please print the receipt and bring it to the visa appointment as proof of the SEVIS fee payment. Learn more about the SEVIS fee.

Visa status

The U.S. Department of State provides an online visa status check. This allows you to check the status of your case at the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC). 

Port of Entry

What happens at the Port of Entry in the U.S.?  Learn more at the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (U.S. CBP) website.

Form I-94 automation

During the admissions process at your U.S. port of entry, a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officer will create an electronic automated arrival Form I-94 record from a scan of your passport. Learn more about Form I-94.

Other Resources

The U.S. Department of State sponsors a network of advising centers and a website for international students interested in studying in the U.S. Learn more at EducationUSA.    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security offers this information to students new to the U.S.

UMass Dartmouth requirements and recommendations

Arrival Form
Billing and payments
Health office requirements
Registering for classes
Buying textbooks
Student employment
Social security numbers
Meals and Food
Campus and community activities

Please supply us your Arrival Information

We recommend you arrive in the United States several days early to settle into your housing and adjust to any time zone changes.  Please complete this Arrival Form to tell us whether or not you will be able to attend orientation and the University in the Fall, and whether you will be living on campus.  As always, please feel free to contact us by e-mail at intl_office@umassd.edu.

Admissions process

For questions about the admissions process, please contact the admissions department directly:

Please address questions regarding assistantships directly to the academic department in which you will study.


It is important to make arrangements for housing before you arrive in the U.S., or else have money to stay in a hotel nearby temporarily while searching for housing.

Living on campus

Undergraduate students usually make their on-campus housing arrangements as part of the admissions process.  Graduate students must make their own arrangements for on-campus housing and should follow the steps below.

The standard academic year housing contract does not cover semester breaks or summer. Living on campus during semester breaks and during the summer costs extra.  Please view this cost chart, including 10- and 12-month options, for on-campus housing. 

Graduate students should follow these steps to arrange for on-campus housing:

1.  Pay the housing deposit   (see **note below):   

  • call the University credit card line at (001) 508-999-9129 and pay the $200 housing deposit with a credit card; or 
  • mail a check for $200 usd to the University Enrollment Center, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Road, North Dartmouth, MA 02747-2300 USA;
  • your UMass Dartmouth student ID number must be written on the check; then

2.  Contact Housing Office

  • email Brad Rohrer, the Assistant Director for Housing Administrative Services, at brohrer@umassd.edu and request a housing contract.  You will be directed to the housing online contract at that time.
  • For additional information, please email housing@umassd.edu.  

**Unfortunately, it is not possible yet to pay your on-campus housing deposit through the University website or your COIN account

Learn more about Housing and Residential Education and on-campus rules and regulations.

Living off campus

If you choose to live off campus, you will be responsible for finding your own accommodation.  Many graduate students choose to live off-campus.  This link may help you find off-campus housing*:


*Disclaimer: This information is provided as a service to students with the understanding that the university has not inspected the rentals and cannot warrant their condition, nor can the university guarantee the professional behavior of the property owners or managers. A written rental agreement is recommended. Although care is taken to provide correct information, there may be unintended errors, changes or deletions without notification. Users of this information communicate, contract and do business with individuals, companies, or firms at their own risk. The university, officers, agents, and employees of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth shall not be liable for any errors or omissions made in the compilation or printing of this information.

For information about your rights as a tenant in Massachusetts, refer to these government agencies: 

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Massachusetts Attorney General's Office

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Billing and payment processing

To check your University account for charges and payments, log onto your COIN (Corsairs' Online INformation) account

For questions about billing or wire transfers, contact: 

  • Bursar's Office:  508-999-8090 (International Call: 001-508-999-8090) or Ms. Helen Reilly, Assistant Bursar, at 508-999-8174 or HReilly@umassd.edu
  • Enrollment Center:  508-999-8857 (International Call: 001-508-999-8857)

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Required Health Immunizations and Insurance

Health care in the United States is very expensive without health insurance coverage. All international students must purchase the university’s student health insurance; the university will automatically bill you for this coverage. The health insurance covers a full twelve months effective from August 1 of the current year through July 31 of the next year. 

All UMass Dartmouth students must submit a completed health form, including the immunization page, signed by a health care provider, to UMass Dartmouth Student Health Services. If Student Health Services does not receive your completed immunization form you will not be allowed to move into your residence hall, register or attend classes.

Please read the detailed information regarding the immunizations and download the required health form. Health Services has limited resources to assist with these required vaccines and urges students to receive these immunizations in their home countries.  

Please use the University's form and be sure that it is signed by your physician. You may bring the original with you or you can mail it to the Health Services address, which is listed on the form. It can be sent by fax to the number on the form, or you can scan it, attach it to an email, and send it to knunes@umassd.edu. If you do mail the original be sure to make a copy first and bring it with you. When traveling and living internationally it is best to have this information with you.

All UMass Dartmouth students must be immunized for the following or show evidence by titer that they are immune.  Note that there is no titer for Tdap:

  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Tetanus diptheria (Tdap)
  • Hepatitis B
  • Chicken Pox (Varicella)

In addition, all new residential students must read information about Bacterial Meningitis and receive the meningitis vaccine or sign a waiver declining it. Both the meningitis information and waiver are available at the Health Center web site.  

Health Services has limited resources to assist with these required vaccines and urges you to receive these immunizations in your home country.

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Registering for classes

New Undergraduate students typically register for classes during Orientation.

New Graduate students typically register for classes by consulting with the director of their graduate program or with their assigned advisor.

There is no formal schedule for meeting with your academic advisor during Orientation, so you can email ahead and make an appointment after Orientation with your academic department or graduate program. Some departments will arrange to register you for your classes by email.

Look up your academic department or graduate program.

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The University Campus Store opens for extended hours during the first few weeks of the semester. The store will have all your textbooks for sale on-site and online. We recommend waiting until after your first class to buy your textbooks. The cost of new books can range from $350 USD to $600 USD per semester. Learn more about textbooks at University Campus Store  

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Student Employment

As an international student, your visa type determines your ability to work, where you may work, and how many hours you may work.  Although most international students are eligible to work on campus as soon as they begin study, on-campus jobs are limited. For more information, see the Student Employment Office.

Many international students cannot work off campus until they have been in the U.S. for one full academic year per immigration regulations. After you have been enrolled for one full academic year, the International Student & Scholar Center has information regarding the requirements for working off campus. 

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Social Security Numbers

In order to work in the United States, you must have a Social Security Number. In order to successfully apply, F-1 students must have proof of an offer of employment signed by the immediate supervisor and by the International Student & Scholar Center. J-1 students need a letter of authorization from the International Student & Scholar Center. This application process will be discussed at Orientation.

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Meals and food

You may either buy meals and snacks on campus through Dining Services or purchase food to prepare yourself from local grocery stores.

On-campus dining:  Dining Services provides several options for dining on campus: traditional meal plans, declining balance plans, and block plans. Some options require signing a contract and paying in advance for the academic year. Learn more about Dining Services.

Off-campus food and household shopping:  There are large grocery markets near the campus: Stop and Shop  and Shaw’s Market . A nearby Target store also carries groceries. Most household items can be purchased at WalMart or Target , and these stories are close by UMass Dartmouth.

Target, Walmart and Stop&Shop all sell personal daily needs. However, the closest one is Target. You can walk to Target from campus in about 15 minutes, depending on where your dorm is located.

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The Student Mail department provides incoming and outgoing mail services for students living on campus. Learn more about Student Mail.

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The university's Campus Transportation department provides the free Corsair Shuttle service to help you travel throughout campus, the immediate local area, and to stores for shopping nearby. Campus Transportation also provides information about other local transportation options including Zipcar and local taxi services. Our transportation page also includes information on the local bus company, SRTA, that provides service to the campus from the nearby cities of Fall River and New Bedford but is not under University control.  There is also currently bus service to Boston from campus by DATTCO bus.  Visit Campus transportation.

Most services are available only during the semester when classes are in session. 

Public transportation is available from the Boston and Providence airports to UMass Dartmouth. Learn about public transportation options

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Student Organizations and Related links

Learn about opportunities on- and off-campus to participate in recreational, social, and cultural activities and organizations: 

Student Activity, Involvement and Leadership (SAIL)

The SAIL Office keeps a list of student organization contacts, including the Asian, Indian, and Muslim student associations.

Graduate student visitor's guide

Campus and community

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Weather in Dartmouth

The weather in and around Dartmouth can range from extremely cold in the winter (below 0°F or -18°C), to extremely hot in the summer time (in excess of 90°F or 33°C). For winter, be sure to get adequate clothing such as boots, scarves, hats, and gloves. Get information about current Dartmouth weather conditions

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Updated 08/07/2014