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The Graduate College at Illinois has created and implemented a new approach to graduate student orientation, called GradMAP.

GradMAP reimagines the very idea of orientation, offering a suite of resources that provide new graduate students with comprehensive first-year experience in the form of webpages, newsletters, videos, handouts, and a set of Canvas modules. The impact of GradMAP has been to lay bare key components of the “hidden curriculum” of graduate school, including how to find good mentors, how to build community and how to communicate research effectively to different audiences. 

GradMAP began as a way to meet the orientation needs of Illinois’ diverse and growing graduate student body and move away from the traditional concept of orientation as a day- or week-long in-person event.

In recognition of this new GradMAP approach to graduate student orientation, the Graduate College received the 2023 Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools Award for Excellence and Innovation in Graduate Education, which recognizes outstanding contributions to graduate education.

Learn more about innovation in the Graduate College.