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Visiting Graduate Students

The Visiting Scholars Program has moved to Academic Human Resources. Questions about Visiting Scholar designations may be directed to the office at (734) 763-8938.

Visiting Graduate Student Program

Departments, programs and other academic units of the University of Michigan may invite graduate student researchers from outside the University as Visiting Graduate Students. This status is reserved for graduate students who are invited to pursue a program of research during a limited term of residence. Visiting Graduate Students may have access to certain limited services and resources. Currently enrolled U-M students, employed staff, and faculty of the University of Michigan are not eligible for this status.

Visiting Graduate Students must:

  • Be conducting research related to the graduate degree requirements of another university as their primary purpose;
  • Be invited by a department, program or other University academic unit; and
  • Be in residence for not less than one month and not more than two calendar years. Please note that the term of the appointment can be a maximum of one year in length and a renewal application must be submitted for the second year

Students visiting under student exchange agreements are not eligible for Visiting Graduate Student status.

For questions regarding the Visiting Graduate Student status at the University of Michigan, please contact the Rackham Graduate School Dean’s Office, (734) 764-4400 or

Application Process

Visiting Graduate Students must be sponsored by an academic unit of the University, which initiates the application to the Rackham Graduate School for credentialing.

The hosting academic unit should write a commitment letter to the Visiting Graduate Student which specifies the visitor’s activities and responsibilities, the start and end dates of the term of residence, as well as the resources which will be made available to the visitor while at Michigan. The letter should specify: access to lab or office space, computing accounts, or other facilities; availability of staff support; and assistance with living arrangements.

For Visiting Graduate Students who will be paid through the University of Michigan, the sponsoring unit makes arrangements with their unit Human Resources. Visitors who are compensated with University funds for services to the University of Michigan of any sort must be appointed as employees through University Human Resource Systems, or reimbursed as independent contractors, as appropriate. In either case, such persons are not visitors.

The Registrar’s Office handles appointments of non-paid visitors. The sponsoring department, center or program is the primary contact for the Visiting Graduate Student during the term of residence.

Once the application is approved by Rackham, the hosting unit will receive an approval e-mail. At that time, the hosting unit should write an approval letter to the Visiting Graduate Student which must include the term of the appointment, the hosting department name, and the student’s UMID number. Use the approval letter template as a reference when preparing the letter.

Hosting an International Visitor?

If needed, the sponsoring unit contacts the International Center to obtain a DS-2019 request for a J-1 exchange visitor visa. The DS-2019 request process through the International Center should be completed before submitting the Rackham Visiting Graduate Student application.

Visiting Graduate Student Application (for administrators only)


University ID Card

Visiting Graduate Students are issued an official University of Michigan identification card (Mcard). This photo identification card is required of all members of the University community, and must be presented for access to services listed below. Visitors may pick up their Mcard at one of several ID Issuing Stations on campus.


Visiting Graduate Students have full access to the University Library, including borrowing services. Fees are charged for copying and printing services. For more information, see University Library Services.

Computing Account

The University’s Information Technology Central Services (ITCS) maintains computing accounts, including e-mail and other access to the University’s online resources. A uniqname and password must be assigned for access. The uniqname is assigned when a Visiting Graduate Student is credentialed. Visitors should talk to a staff member in their sponsoring unit about arrangements for computing services. In some cases, access to these services will be handled within the department; otherwise, individuals will be directed to the ITCS Accounts Office.

Laboratory and Other Research Facilities

Access to laboratory or other research facilities requires the advance permission of the sponsoring department, program or other University unit.

Office Space

Use of an office or access to any support services is wholly at the discretion of the sponsoring University unit.


With permission of the instructor, Visiting Graduate Students may informally attend classes or seminars. No grades, credits, or transcripts will be issued. Visiting Graduate Students who want to take classes for credit must apply for admission to the Rackham Graduate School as a Non-Candidate for Degree. Tuition is charged for any student who is admitted as a Non-Candidate for Degree. For more information, see Rackham Admissions.


Visitors are responsible for providing for their own housing arrangements during their stay. The sponsoring unit may provide information or other assistance. University Housing may have space available in its facilities, and maintains listings of rental housing in the Ann Arbor area.

Recreation Facilities

For access to exercise and recreation facilities, visitors may purchase passes to the Central or North Campus Recreation Buildings. For more information, see Recreational Sports.

Parking and Transportation

Campus and city buses are free with the University ID card. On-campus parking is limited, but Visiting Graduate Students may purchase a parking permit depending on availability and at the discretion of the University’s Parking and Transportation Services.

Health Services

All visitors are expected to have health insurance. University Health Service (UHS) provides a comprehensive outpatient facility that provides a full range of medical services. A fee is charged for each service; some or all of these may be covered by health insurance.

Contact information

Rackham Graduate School

International Center

Central Campus

  • Phone: (734) 764-9310

North Campus

  • Phone: (734) 936-4180

English Language Institute

Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library

Housing Information Office

Information Technology Central Services (ITCS) Accounts Office

Mcard Center

Parking and Transportation Services

Recreational Sports

Central Campus

  • Phone: (734) 763-3084

North Campus

  • Phone: (734) 763-4560

University Health Service

NOTE: The conditions of this status are subject to change without notice, and may be canceled at the discretion of the University, consistent with University policy and practice.