PhD Getting Started

As a new PhD student, this page serves as a check list to complete some tasks. You may print this page as a PDF from the "Tools" menu in the upper right corner of this window. 

 Obtain NetID

NetID and USF Web Portal 
All students must establish a NetID and designate their email address for all official USF internet communications.  Go to Create Your Account to get your Net ID. Your Net ID is also required to access the myUSF portal which includes a variety of on-line services and access to course materials.

 Student ID card

To obtain a Student ID Card, you can go to the ID Card Center, Student Service Building (SVC) 1032 (813-974-2357,  If you are an online student, you are still required to get a card, in order to access journal articles at the library and other services.  Instructions for getting an ID card can be found here.

 International Students

Refer to the International Student & Scholar Services for their specific instructions in addition to completing this checklist. Their office is located at CPR 107, 813-974-5102.

 Financial Aid

If you are receiving financial aid, be sure that you are fulfilling all of the enrollment requirements.  Information on scholarships and financial aid is available at the following places: the University Scholarships and Financial Aid Services website and the COPH Financial Aid website.


Read your acceptance letter from the Graduate Admissions Office.  Is your residency status correct?  If incorrect, call 813-974-8800 or contact Graduate Admissions before registering.  If you wish to establish Florida residency, please read the General Classifications Procedures for more information. Note that documents supporting the establishment of legal residence must be dated, issued or filed 12 months before the first day of classes for the term for which reclassification is sought.

 Students with Accessibility Services

Students in need of academic accommodations for a disability may consult with Students Accessibility Services to arrange appropriate accommodations. Students are required to give reasonable notice prior to requesting an accommodation

 Complete Immunization form

Have you completed and turned in your immunization form?  You must do this before you can register for classes.  Contact Student Health Services for more information at 813-974-4056, before registering.

 Enrolled in an Online course?

All online courses are supported by COPH Office of Educational Technology and Assessment (ETA). The ETA office in conjunction with course instructors, prepares Course-at-a-glance documents for all online courses. The CAGs assist students in learning more about the course, its requirements, course expectations, types of assessments and important testing dates for a given semester. To access these documents, go to the Online Course Listing and click on the course of interest.

Once registered, students in all online public health courses are expected to meet certain requirements to successfully participate in their courses. Failure to meet these requirements may cause problems accessing the course materials. It is the student's responsibility to ensure all requirements are met prior to the start of the semester. For a list of technology requirements, how to access your online course website, and order course materials, visit ETA's Technology Requirements page.


To purchase textbooks please go to the USF Bookstore Website. You may contact the USF BookStore at and (813) 974-2631. For information about textbooks or readings for a particular course, contact the instructor by email. This information will also be available on the first day of class.

 USF Box

USF Box Account

USF Box is a service that is available to all USF account holders to enable collaboration and storage in the cloud. This service is a partnership between the university, Box, and Internet 2 that offers a simple way for our customers to store, share, and collaborate files safely. Highlights of Box include:

  • 50 GB of Individual Storage
  • Share & Discuss Documents with internal and external users
  • Access your files across multiple platforms and devices
  • Access to multiple versions of your documents without IT intervention

Click here to log into Box. Visit to learn more about this service.

 After hours Access

To obtain access to the COPH Building after hours and daily access to Computer Lab A, you will need to fill out an access form at the desk in our front lobby.  Contact Mary Johnson at 813-974-7390 or  Then you will be able to use your student ID to gain access to the building.

 Shimberg Library Access

The Shimberg Health Sciences Library provides an excellent set of tools for research and training opportunities for students.

Monday - Friday: 7:30 AM - 11:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday: Noon - 11:00 PM

Phone: 813-974-2243

Quiet study space is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to all students of  USF Health. The space is located at the south end of the first floor in the West Wing of  the library. This space requires your USF ID card to open doors. If your card does not work, contact Mary Johnson at 813-974-7390 or and request access permission for "MDC 1225 SHIMBERG LIBRARY 24 HOUR QUIET SPACE".

 Parking Permit

In order to park on campus, you must have a parking permit. To purchase this permit or to see the campus map for directions, go to the Parking and Transportation Services website.

 Meet with Faculty Mentor

Your faculty advisor will help guide you through your career with the College of Public Health. You will be assigned a faculty mentor prior to the start of your program. It is mandatory that you meet with your faculty mentor regularly after the first year, at appropriate intervals to critically evaluate the student's progress.

Although it is ultimately the responsibility of the student to be acquainted with all policies and regulations, and be responsible for completing requirements, the Faculty Mentor's role is to guide students in all aspects of their academic program and to monitor and evaluate students’ progress toward their degrees. He/she should be aware of any difficulties that students may be facing in their coursework or research experiences and should work with students in resolving these issues. It is recommended that the faculty mentor and student understand each others expectations and that effective means of communication are established.


 Student Responsibilities
  • Meet with the faculty mentor at least once a semester
  • Seek assistance from the faculty mentor when a problem arises
  • Make and keep advising appointments
 Faculty Mentor Responsibilities
  • Serve as the primary contact for the advisee when problems arise
  • Guide the student through the academic curriculum
  • Provide information regarding the College’s policies and procedures
  • The faculty advisor will also participate in Referring students to the COPH Doctoral Training Office or other campus resources, as needed
 Change of Faculty Mentor

To change faculty mentor see the Archivum Change Of Faculty Mentor process.

 Review Information Regarding Safety at USF and COPH

See our web page on building and lab safety to review safety procedures at COPH. You should consider downloading the USF Safe App or signing up for the AlertUSF messaging system, part of USF's Emergency Notification System. Also review USF's Emergency and Safety Management pages.


 Complete Required Training Modules

The USF IRB requires human subjects protection certification courses offered by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) to better suit our research community. Your registration may be put on hold if you do not complete them as required. Students taking Directed Research, Thesis, Dissertation,or Doctoral Project courses for the first time will take the CITI course. They have also added several supplemental modules, distinctly curated for both our biomedical and social behavioral investigators, that individuals may complete if they are interested in the offered topic and/or if it is required by their Department. These supplemental modules will not count towards your certification, yet the additional educational information may influence and cultivate your research positively. Once you complete your CITI certification, the updated certificate should appear in the ARC system automatically; however, if your updated certificate does not generate in BullsIRB as you are completing research applications, please contact the ARC Help Desk at and our Help Desk team will be able to upload your certificate for you. Please reference the following  links for additional information on how to register for a CITI account and USF Human Subject Protection Education CITI course requirements.


All COPH doctoral students must complete the eIRB credentialing process during their first semester following admission, during their PHC 7982 Introduction to Doctoral Training in Public Health course. You can access the ARC Portal on this page: This meets the HIPAA requirement as required by all faculty, residents, students, staff and other members of the USF Health Community.


All USF doctoral students must complete the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) workshop offered by the Graduate School in the semester prior to submitting the dissertation, although we recommend that you complete this earlier. Information on ETD Workshops and Help Session can be found here.

Please contact the COPH Doctoral Training Office at if you have any questions. 

Please send feedback on the PhD Guidebook