Are You a new Graduate Student for Fall 2021? Learn more here!

Wednesday, August 4, 2021 - 12:00am

Welcome to the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science!

Please Note we are making plans to be face-to-face in the classroom this fall, of course, this is all dependant on the COVID status in Iowa.  The following information may change as necessary.  We will notify you if there are any updates that make any significant changes.

Last Updated, August 4, 2021


Zoom Meetings- Not required but may be helpful.  Meet with other students admitted and some current students. Zoom invite will be emailed later this month! Join us at 4 p.m. Central Standard Time on the dates listed below.

May 5- Meet the other new students and some current students. Answer general questions and discuss housing options.

June 2- Discuss the numerous orientations.

July 7- Discuss ESPA Test (English Speaking Proficiency Assessment) required for international students and students who's first language was not English.

August 4- Official Appointment, Meeting with Advisors, Payroll and Health Insurance.


Housing Information

The department has a housing webpage, please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. If you are looking for a roommate please let us know and we can update this web page!

Looking for housing options


Classes start on August 23, 2021

All students will register for classes the week before classes start.  International students must complete the required Orientation Program before they can register for classes.

MYUI, and its website will serve as a hub for students to access several of the UI systems and tools they use most. 


English Proficiency Requirement

If you are an international student and your native language is not English and your TOEFL score is below 600 on the paper-based test, or 100 on the internet-based test, you may be subject to this requirement.  If you have received a TOEFL waiver PLEASE read your admission letter to see if Admissions has determined that you need to take this exam.  More information can be found here:

ESPA and ELPT Tests for International Students

All “SUPPORTED” international students, whose native language is NOT English, will be required to complete the ESPA TEST.  Students who are offered financial support are automatically signed up to take this test.  The testing schedule can be found here:  Results take a few days to process, and evaluations are often sent to the department by August 23.  A copy of the report is put in your mailbox in the department’s office, 241 Schaeffer Hall on the 26 th or just stop in our office (see Margie) and we can share the results.

More information regarding Teaching Assistant preparation in English please go to Iowa's Intensive English Program and English as a second language department. ESPA & ELPT tests.

If you are NOT currently FINANCIALLY supported, and a international student and want permission to be evaluated you must make a DEPARTMENTAL request by completing this form and submitting. It does not mean that we will be able to support you (since support is very limited) however in the event that a position does open in our department those students who secure a “A” or “B” grade will then be considered for future semesters and we are often asked to make recommendations to other departments for teaching assistants.   (This past year our students have worked in Economics, Sociology, Mathematics, Educational Measurement, and Biostatistics, etc.).  We work very hard to find these positions too!

Required International Student Orientation, August 13-16

If you are an international student you will need to complete your international orientation prior to registration. Go here to see the Orientation Overview for F1 and J1 students.

Fall Classes Advising will be August 16-20

All NEW UI students must meet with their advisor prior to registration.  There is no worry about getting into any of the classes we teach. 

  • IF you are an Actuarial Science MS or PhD student you will need to meet with Professor Shyamalkumar.  Email him at to dicuss what classes to take.
  • IF you are a Statistics MS or PhD student you will need to meet with Professor Aixin Tan. I will email you a sign-up sheet for you to select a time to meet. 

New Graduate College Welcome and Orientation, August 18

The Graduate College Fall 2021 Graduate Student Orientation event will take place on Wednesday, August 18, 2021. Due to the COVID-19 and the transition returning to campus and in-person events starting in the fall, the orientation committee has decided to plan for both virtual and in-person events. The student panels and topical sessions will take place via Zoom starting at 10:00 AM and will go until 2:15 PM, followed by the information session and reception at 4:00 PM.

All new doctoral and master’s students are invited to attend. Please see the following orientation schedule:

Welcome & Student Panels (10:00 AM-11:00 AM) 

Join us for a warm welcome by the new Graduate College Dean and be inspired by graduate students as they talk about graduate students’ opportunities to grow during their graduate education. Learn about useful tips from experienced graduate students.

Topic Sessions (11:00 AM -12:40 PM) 

New graduate students will have the opportunity to register for three sessions from the following list:

  • University Library Resources
  • Graduate Student Teaching Resources
  • Working with Mentors & Advisors
  • Writing, Speaking & Conversation Center  
  • Mental Health Awareness & Impostor Syndrome 
  • Identity as a Graduate Student
  • Graduate Success Center
  • Creating an Engaging Synchronous Classroom  
  • Being a Parent in Graduate School
  • Anti-Violence & Bystander Intervention 

University Billing, Benefits & Payroll (12:45 PM-2:15 PM) 

Graduate students can ask the campus experts any questions that arose after navigating the Online Orientation resource!

Outdoor Social & Information Fair (4:00 PM-6:00 PM) - Optional

Join for free food and visit with representatives at the Iowa Memorial Union from various groups and communities inside the University of Iowa and in the larger Iowa City area. Connect with places and people in your new home!

Registration is now open! Please share with your new graduate students. Students can also register and find the full orientation schedule on the orientation website.


Register by August 13, 2021



New Teaching Assistant Orientation for ALL new Supported Graduate Assistants, August 19, Virtual Event

Not required but highly recommended.

This event will introduce participants to the role of teaching assistant at the University of Iowa and prepare them for the first week of classes and beyond.

Participants will discuss evidence-based teaching strategies, including for lesson-planning, inclusive teaching, and face-to-face instruction, with Center for Teaching staff. Participants will also choose two workshops of interest to them out of several options; these will be facilitated synchronously by experienced TAs.


Financially Supported Graduate Students must come in person and present required documents for employment verification.  Please sign up here for an available appointment on August 19th (1:00pm - 4:00pm) or August 20th (11:00am - 1:00pm).

  • U.S. Citizens bring either:
    • Passport, or
    • Driver’s license and Social Security card.
  • Foreign Nationals bring all of the following:
  • Permanent Residents bring both of these:
    • Permanent Residency Card, and
    • Social Security Card.

New Student Department Orientation, August 20 at 9 a.m., 131 Schaeffer Hall.

  • New Student Orientation —Group Introductions and General Policy Procedures at 9:45 we break into two groups. 
    • Statistics Students move to another classroom and Professor Tan goes into great details of the academic program. 
    • Actuarial Science Students will not have an addtional session.

New Graduate Assistants Orientation, August 20 at 1 p.m., Zoom meeting.

Our Director of Graduate Studies will have a department review of expectations and your specific roles in our department. Teaching and grading assignments will be explained, as well as preparation, teaching tips, problems and questions, quizzes and exams, weekly meetings, grading, appropriate office use and the Sexual Harassment Prevention Education. This is likely a Zoom meeting.  More details later.

New MS Statistics Students, August 20 at 3 p.m., cancelled.

Mailbox in 241 Schaeffer Hall 

All graduate students will have a mailbox in our main office.  The faculty do as well.  Please check your mailbox at least once a week!

Office Desk Assignment

Nearly all supported students will have a desk in one of our offices.  The assignment priority (in this order) includes: Ph.D. and Fellowship candidates, research assistants, half-time teaching assistants, quarter-time teaching assistants and lastly graders.  Having a desk is a privilege and should be used only for University business.  Office assignments will be given to students on the first day of classes, August 20th.  Keys are checked out ONLY after that time.  Please remember to keep the rooms clean and take out all trash to the large bins in the main hallways.

Set-up your University of Iowa Email

All University of Iowa students are required to activate their assigned email address, as all official communication from university offices are now sent via email, rather than hard copy. This address usually follows the pattern  (However, often times a number is also attached.) 

To activate the account:

  • Log on to MyUI
  • Click on My UIowa / My Email / Request Email Account
  • Complete the specified steps

Students who prefer to maintain only their work or home email addresses can do so by routing the email to a work or home account. To do so, follow these steps:

  • Log on to MyUI
  • Click on My UIowa / My Email / Update Email Routing Address
  • Complete the specified steps

Important Notes:

  • If your email address is routed to a different account, you will not need to change your address in ICON, as your messages will already forward to your routed address.
  • To reduce bulk/mass email: 
    As a University of Iowa student, you may be receiving emails which are related to university activities but which do not apply directly to you or your program. To "unsubscribe" from these mass emails sent out by the university (except from university administration and UI Student Government):
    • Log on to MYUI
    • Click on My UIowa / My Email / Email Account Filter filter bulk mail
    • Make sure that none of the categories are checked

Do you want a part-time Job?

A great way to find jobs on campus is the following web sites:

Required Graduate Assistants Teaching Courses:

  • ONLINE CLASS Requirement: Sexual Harassment Prevention Edu.  Use your HawkID and password to log into Employee Self Service. Click the Personal tab, next (under Learning and Development) click on Sexual Harassment Prevention Edu., follow instructions.
  • ONLINE CLASS Requirement:  Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Use your HawkID and password to log into Employee Self Service. Click the Personal tab, next (under Learning and Development) next click on Available Online Icon Courses, next FERPA Training, then click on View Details twice and the last click will be to Enroll in this ICON Course Session.
  • International Students, If you pass the ELPT/ESPA you are required to take an 212:009/TAPE:5330  class called TA Preparation: Orientation Program
    • A six-hour orientation program will be required of all students who are certified at level A or B and are teaching for the first time.  This orientation helps new teaching assistants understand the culture of the U.S. classroom and treats topics such as student expectations, teacher-student relationships, and understanding and answering student questions. Discussion focuses on suggestions for maximizing comprehensibility in spoken English. This course meets twice for 3 hours early in the semester. Both meetings are held in the evening.

Administrative Department Staff:

Professor Aixin Tan

Director of Graduate Studies, Statistics Graduate Advisor:  (319) 335-0821

Professor N.D. Shyamalkumar

Actuarial Science Graduate Advisor:  (319) 335-1980

Margie Ebert

Academic Services (319) 335-2082

Heather Roth

Administrative Services Coordinator (319) 335-0712

Tammy Siegel

Department, (319) 335-0706