Prepare: First Steps

Housing and childcare services are very competitive on and around UO's Eugene and Portland campuses. Make sure to get started early on these searches. See below for other activities to complete as soon as you decide you are heading to Oregon. 

All students: ADMINISTRATION | HOUSING | HEALTH   Additional tasks for: FAMILIES




Respond to Admission Offer

  • Respond to your offer of admission via your application status portal.
  • If you want to defer your admission, the UO has deferral policies that vary by program. Reach out to the departmental contact as indicated in the Admission Offer letter. If you are unsure, find the graduate coordinator or director of your prospective program.

Submit Required Documents

Submit official transcripts from all colleges or universities from which you received a bachelor's degree or higher. Transcripts must show the title of the degree earned and the date the degree was conferred. Read more here about how to submit official transcripts.

If you are applying for an F-1 or J-1 visa, you will need to submit proof of financial verification. 

  • Personal and Financial Verification: Required to obtain I-20 (F-1 visa) or DS-2019 (J-1 visa)
  • Note: Submit this form as soon as you accept your admissions offer. You cannot begin the visa process until this form is submitted.

Start the Visa Process (for F visa applicants) as soon as you receive your I-20 or transfer your I-20 from a previous U.S. institution*

International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) will be in direct contact with you as soon as you submit the Personal Information & Financial Verification form. Based on the information you provide, ISSS will determine if you need F-1 or J-1 visa sponsorship, if you need to transfer your visa sponsorship to UO, or if you don’t need any visa sponsorship support.

If you do need visa sponsorship, ISSS will issue an I-20 (F-1 visa) or DS-2019 (J-1 visa) depending on your personal circumstances and funding. If you are already in the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 status, you will need to work with your current institution to transfer your I-20 or DS-2019 to the UO.

For more information, refer to the “Incoming Students Visa Checklist.”

Claim your Duck ID and Memorize your UO ID Number (95#)

Duck ID: Your Duck ID functions as your username for logging into most services at the UO (email, Canvas, wi-fi, etc.) and it is the first part of your official UO email address (for example, "duck" in For summer and fall, account claiming opens in April and you can claim your Duck ID two business days after you accept your offer of admission in your status portal. Detailed instructions about how to claim your DuckID are available here. 

UO ID: Your UO ID is your unique personal identifier at the UO. It is a 9 digit number and starts with 95. You will use this ID when interacting with various campus offices. Your UO ID is available your application status portal.

Enroll in Duo Mobile

Once you claim your DuckID, you need to enroll in Duo, UO's two-step login service to secure your DuckID accounts. View Instructions and get started.

Set Up your UO Email

After you claim your DuckID you will need to set up the UOmail app on your phone and/or laptop. Be sure to check your email daily as you will receive important notifications for required actions. View instructions.

Explore Financing Options

If you are interested in tuition and fees for your program, click here to calculate the total per term.

In addition to the resources above, many schools and programs offer department-specific award opportunities. Please contact your program directly to learn more.

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Start Housing Search

Eugene housing options:

Portland students: Click here for housing information

Make sure you start your housing search as soon as possible.

Temporary Homestay Program (Optional)

New international students can request to stay with a local host family (for free) prior to the start of the International Student Orientation (ISO) and prior to moving into on or off campus housing. The maximum amount of time you can request to stay with a host family is one week. This option helps to ease the transition if your campus housing is not available immediately upon your arrival. Email with any questions.

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Review Health Requirements for Enrollment

The UO Health Center is your source for information on required immunizations, Tuberculosis (TB) questionnaire, and insurance requirements. Review the enrollment requirements now, and to plan ahead.

  • Note: International grad students are required to submit documentation of required immunization (vaccines) and a TB questionnaire before arrival in the U.S. There is also a registration hold on your student account specifically for the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. You will need to submit your proof of MMR vaccine to remove this hold in order to register. All other vaccines can be submitted up until the start of term. Email with questions. 

Review Your Health Insurance Options

You will be automatically enrolled in and billed for the UO Student Health Benefits Plan. If you have other health insurance, you may qualify for a waiver of the UO Student Health Benefits Plan, but deadlines apply, and waiver criteria are strictly enforced. For full details, go to Insurance Requirements.

  • Submit a waiver request form to decline UO Student Health Benefits Plan
  • Note: If you will have a Graduate Employee (GE) appointment and wish to sign up for the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation (GTFF) Health Insurance Plan, DO NOT use the online waiver request form. New GEs will be waived out of the UO Student Health Benefits Plan upon enrollment in the GTFF plan. You will be able to enroll in the GTFF plan when you arrive on campus. More details about this will be provided to you via email.

Request Accommodations (Optional)

If you are a student with disabilities that may impact your academic progress, we encourage you to visit with the Accessible Education Center website to learn more and, if needed, begin the process of accessing accommodations and services.

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Plan Child Care

Childcare is in high demand in the United States and securing a spot for your child(ren) can take some time. We encourage you to start finding care early on if you prefer regular care. The programs listed below are affiliated with UO and provide a unique environment of high-quality early childhood education and care that exceeds state certification standards.   

Moss Street Children's Center: Moss Street Children's Center, a program of the Erb Memorial Student Union, offers university student families priority and a tuition discount. The center serves children from three months through 5 years.  For more information: or contact the center directly at 541-346-4384. 

Co-op Family Center: The Co-op Family Center is an independent, nonprofit childcare center located in UO Spencer View Family Housing. Student Families receive priority and a tuition discount. Parents may co-op in the classroom and at events for tuition reduction. The center serves children from eight weeks to eleven years old. For more information: or contact the center directly at 541-346-7400.

Plan for your Spouse or Partner

If your spouse/partner accompanies you during your stay in the U.S., you will need unique services and resources to help them feel at home. Living in one of the UO family housing units is an effective way to find community and supportive resources. 

Education: If your spouse/partner decides to pursue a degree program while in the U.S., speak with an advisor in International Student & Scholar Services well in advance to make sure it is legally possible to do so. For example, F-2 visa holders may study part-time in the U.S. but must change their visa status to F-1 before beginning a full-time program. This can be a lengthy process (up to a year), and planning is necessary to make sure a change of status is completed smoothly and on time. 

Employment: Getting a job in the U.S. could be an effective way for your spouse/partner to become integrated into the community and gain valuable experience. Dependents with J-2 status are allowed to apply for a work permit to work in the U.S. However, many dependent visa types are NOT allowed to have paid employment in the U.S. such as F-2 and H-4. Check with the ISSS office about your spouse/partner’s work eligibility before he or she accepts any paid job offers. 

Unpaid or Volunteer Work: If your spouse/partner is not eligible for paid employment due to their visa status, unpaid or volunteer work may be a suitable alternative. As a volunteer, they can gain experience and become a part of the community. 

J-2 Employment: J-2 family members (spouse or child dependents age 14+ of J-1 visa holders) are eligible to apply for a work permit and work full time in the U.S. Although J-2s are free to seek employment anywhere they like, the purpose of the employment should be for cultural enrichment and should not be based on financial need. Be aware that J-2 dependents cannot apply for a work permit until they are physically present in the U.S., and they have received an employment authorization card (EAD) from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Employment authorization cards can take three or more months to process from the time of application and will need to be renewed yearly. 

Inquire about the Dependent Visa Process

If you are planning to arrive with your spouse or child(ren), be sure to inquire about the dependent visa process

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