Welcome New Students

The graduate students of the Physics Department at Washington University began a peer mentoring program in the Spring of 1999. Currently, there are twelve student mentors whose purpose is to help our new students transition into graduate school and to provide support throughout your first few years. We run both the Physics Department orientation in the fall and the Prospective Student weekend in the spring. Additionally, we host lunches and events for you several times throughout the year to discuss helpful topics like preparing for midterms and finals, choosing a research group, getting to know St. Louis, or just to have fun. And, most importantly, we're always available to answer questions, give advice, and provide any sort of help you may need. Never hesitate to ask or come to us; that's what we're here for!

This page contains useful resources for prospective graduate students, first-year graduate students, and anyone else interested in the program. If you would like to talk to someone, please contact the entire group at or select an individual from the list below.


Weekly Events

Physics Department Colloquia

Departmental Colloquia are good ways to see what's happening in our physics community as a whole. (Remember, even professors sometimes don't understand everything that's going on!)

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Graduate Student Seminars

The Graduate Student Seminar Series, held every Friday at 4:00 pm in Crow 206, is a great opportunity to get to know fellow grad students and learn about their research. All are welcome; first- and second-year students are particularly invited to attend. (Note that there are also free snacks and beer!)

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Helpful Graduate Student Resources


To add some helpful tips and tricks in your next social media break, check out these profiles! This is an easy way to learn something while scrolling through Instagram or Twitter – both mental health accounts have a disclaimer that all content is for educational purposes only and should not substitute professional help:

  • @mindfulcounseling – mental health studio with experience in eating disorders and faith transitions
  • @nedratawwab – therapist with lots of bite-size tips for mental health 
  • @beyondtheprof – focus on career plans after the PhD, in and outside of academia
  • @thefinancialdiet – get your finances in order with a fresh approach to all things money
  • @legogradstudent – for some relatable laughs


The academic community on Twitter is huge and you can interact with a lot of different areas, scholars and students. Look for the hashtags #PhDchat, #AcademicTwitter and lists such as Science Writers and Science Journals. It can be a wonderful tool to be up to date with all things science, no matter your expertise and also connect with peers across the globe. Science outreach and communication also has a big community with #SciComm

WashU resources

There are a ton of resources here at WashU, take your time to explore all websites full of useful information and enjoy your time as a graduate student here. Some highlights:

  • The Graduate Center – For all things graduate student related, the Graduate Center is your spot on campus to interact with peers and participate in grad focused events. Sign up for their newsletter to be updated on all upcoming activities. 
  • Office of Recreation – the athletic complex has everything you need to take care of you physical health. Besides the gym and fitness classes, there are also cooking lessons, field trips and massage chairs for relaxation, and much more. All included in the grad student package!
  • Writing Center – all resources to improve your writing and presentation skills, with focus groups and one on one coaching available. 
  • Teaching Center – the Teaching Center offers workshops and certifications to perfect your teaching skills, very handy for that AI position and future prospects!
  • Campus Maps - directions to the campus.
  • Danforth Campus Map - labeled map to help you find your way around campus.
  • WashU Parking and Transportation - especially look for info on the U-Pass (lets you ride all St. Louis public transportation for free!) and shuttle routes
  • WebSTAC - provides access to online course registration, campus card management, student billing account, etc.
  • Student Technology Services - provides information about connecting to the WUSTL network, along with other technologies available to students
  • Student Health Services - health care services offered for students

Library books

ThinkWell collection – this PhD focused book collection has everything you need to set yourself to success during your academic years. These books are short and effective and very much worth reading! We currently have the titles:

NYT - We have a free subscription to the New York Times through WashU: go to  and use your WUSTLKey to login and select undergrad student, it works just fine (there’s no option for grads at the moment.)

LinkedIn Learning - Unlimited access to more than 7,500 video tutorials covering business, creative and technology topics, including all content. 

Getting Started in St. Louis:

Professional (and other) Societies:

Support and Advice for Graduate Students: