Graduate student handbook


Welcome to the School of Environmental Sciences!  Here are answers to some common questions that will help you in your first semester:

Where do I get my morning coffee? Bovey Greenhouse Café coffee cart. $1 a cup or talk to the Coffee cart rep for discounted tickets or how to volunteer and get FREE coffee. Proceeds go to funding SES graduate student council events. 

Where do I get my office/lab/building key? Administrative Assistant: Ian Turner (, Alex 261.  Greg is also your connection for building maintenance, department vehicles, copier codes, safety and security, expense claims, and equipment booking related questions. 

How do I get my student card? Visit the Student ID Card Centre on the third floor of the university centre, bring a piece of government issued photo ID. 

How do I sign up for courses? Course enrollment is done on the school’s WebAdvisor site. You must sign in with your username and password to select courses. Those available, their descriptions and other helpful information can be found in the graduate calendar. There are two periods when you are able to select courses, emails will alert you to both. The first period is a few weeks prior to the semesters start and you select courses one semester at a time. The second is in the two weeks around the start of that semester. See the schedule of dates in the graduate calendar for specific dates on course drop and add periods. Note: Even if you are NOT taking any classes you must register for UNIV*7510 (for full-time students) or UNIV*7520 (for part-time students) AND UNIV*7500. 

How do I pay my tuition and fees? There are three popular options. 1. Graduate settlement, where tuition cost is deducted from your stipend every other week. This needs to be arranged before the semester begins. 2. Scholarship settlement, this is done through WebAdvisor where you must confirm your intent to register by the payment deadline. 3. Direct payment through your banking institution (options found on Student financial services site). Jen LaPorte ( and the schedule of dates are great resources for more info. 

Where do I find TA information? Postings: UoG’s TA and sessional lecturer site. The SES director is in charge of assignments and can be contacted with any questions or concerns. Union representation: CUPE 3913 office is Rm 213A in UC, forms and collective agreement on their site 

How do I find and apply for scholarships? Graduate scholarships can be found using the student financial services search tool. A financial need form can be filled out and submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies (3rd floor UC) when this is a requirement. Paper copies of this form are available on the third floor of the UC on shelves near the ticket machine.  For more information, go to the current graduate students page

Who is responsible for which aspects of my program? The graduate studies site is a great resource for this and many other such concerns. Roles and responsibilities are summarized on the grad studies site. 

Who do I approach with other questions about my program? Look for the contact information list on  the current grad students page.

How do I build an advisory committee? You must select an advisory committee by the halfway point of your second semester in consultation with your advisor. The Advisory Committee Appointment Form must be submitted to Grad Studies on the third floor of the UC once it has been signed by you, your advisor and grad coordinator (with a copy to the grad administrative assistant-Jen LaPorte).  

How do I plan which courses I’m taking? You must work with your advisory committee and by the halfway point of your second semester the Graduate Degree Form must be signed and submitted to Jen. 

Who do I approach with writing and data related problems? There are a number of amazing services provided by the library through the learning commons. Questions about data collection, GIS mapping or data analysis can be fielded in the data resource centre on the first floor of the library. The graduate student learning initiative provides a number of workshops on all aspects of graduate work, they can be found and registered for online. (BrainFood is recommended for new grads and Dissertation Boot Camp for those closer to the end of their program).    You also have access to the Statistics support sessions and the OAC statistics consultant.  Visit the OAC stats site for more info.

Who do I approach about the Bovey greenhouse space and supplies? Greenhouse Technicians: Ron Dutton ( Bovey 1516; Roger Tschanz ( Bovey 3117 

Who do I approach about purchase orders and reimbursements? Purchasing Clerk: Izabella Onik ( Alex 264A 

Who do I approach about payroll, health and safety forms or human resource concerns? Trust Fund and Human Recourses Clerk: Kaitlin Milley ( Alex 267

How do I contact the director?  You can book an appointment by contacting Erin Levesque or email the director directly.

Secretary to the Director: Erin Levesque ( Bovey 1107.

Director: Jon Warland ( Bovey 1106. 

How do I join intramurals or athletics classes? There are thirteen teams and 20 classes to choose from, visit the athletics centre to sign up and the gryphons site for cost and schedules. 

Are there any departmental social events where I can meet new people? Yes! The SES graduate student council organizes monthly events. Watch your email, message boards around the building or the Facebook page for the details. Seminars are held every Friday afternoon for all department members to attend, you will receive emails with subjects and speakers. The graduate student association and Ontario agricultural college also hold events attended by our students. School wide there are a number of clubs, movie nights, and events to meet your social needs. 


We hope this quick rundown of new grad FAQs will help you transition to life here at Guelph. If you have any more questions along the way, your advisor, senior students or our graduate administrative assistant Jen, will be happy to point you in the right direction. See the GSA website, under the resources tab, for UoG information about health and wellness, academics and general student life subjects. 

Prepared by the SES graduate student council (updated May 2019)