The following information should be helpful to you as you plan your move to Athens and the University of Georgia. The “to-do list” is divided into two sections— the Fall Departmental Orientation and MPA Socialization Seminar and the Spring Departmental Orientation.

Fall Departmental Orientation & MPA Socialization Seminar

MPA students are required to attend all sessions, and will receive 1 hour of academic credit in Fall semester, required for graduation. Attendance will be taken at all scheduled events. The MPA Socialization Seminar is a three-day event structured to orient new students to the MPA program, Department, University, and Athens community. The schedule for Fall 2018 Socialization is available here.

Spring Departmental Orientation

MPA Students beginning the program in the spring should plan to attend a brief orientation session. For more information please email


Classes begin August 13th. Visit Courses for departmental course listings, syllabi, and downloadable schedules.

See the UGA Bulletin for official information about majors, course and academics as well as important academic dates pertaining to the Graduate School.


Campus Transportation

The University of Georgia Campus Transit System provides prompt, safe, reliable transportation throughout the University campus. Class-day service is provided using 37 buses on 9 different routes and covering 3,500 route miles each day. A reduced schedule is operated evenings, weekends, and when classes are not in session. The University of Georgia Transportation Services now has bus routes and real-time tracking available on the UGA app which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.

Those participating in the Alternative Transportation Program will receive 1-2 days of free parking per month in designated locations, in return for biking, walking and/or riding an Athens Transit Bus as their primary means of getting to campus. More information is available from UGA Parking Services.

Parking on Campus

Campus is divided up into permit-required areas and short-term pay lots. Permits are distributed based on a unique priority system that takes into account factors such as cumulative hours for students, and years of service for employees. Parking Services implemented an online permit registration process to limit the amount of vehicles parking on campus.

  • You may choose specific parking lots and rank your preferences. Be sure to note that cost varies by lot location.
  • MPA Students tend to choose lots on North Campus (labeled with an “N” before the #) or West Campus north of Baxter St.
  • Two of the most popular lots among PADP students and faculty are N06 (North Campus Deck) and N08.
  • Pay parking lots on campus include all the parking decks and a lot at the Tate Student Center and Ramsey. These will cost no more than $10 a day. Parking permits are quite costly. If you are a part-time student, daily parking may be a less expensive option for you.
  • Gwinnett Center parking is available on the north and south sides of the Intellicenter Building. Parking is free and shared by UGA program participants and other building tenants. No parking decal is needed.

Bulldog Bucks is an online debit card program open to anyone with a UGA card. Bulldog Bucks are accepted as payment at the Bookstore, Food Services Retail Operations, and at several other on-campus sites. In addition, Bulldog Bucks may be used to pay for copying, printing, vending, and laundry services in the residence halls. You may open an account, make deposits online, and view account activity. Bulldog Bucks may also be used at stores and restaurants off campus.

  • Don’t forget to send your final transcript (if you are a graduating senior) and your immunization records to UGA before you arrive. If you do not do this, you will not be allowed to register.
  • Set up your UGA ID and email address online before you come to campus.
  • Get to the Tate Student Center UGACard Office as soon as you’ve registered to get your UGA ID card ($20).
  • Request a parking permit from Parking Services.
  • Explore the PADP and other UGA websites (more information below). Be sure to check out the course schedule and syllabi online to make advising and registration easier.
  • Fill out your Graduate Profile for Website Form for the departmental website with a headshot to If you do not have a headshot, you can schedule for one to be taken before or after your advising appointment at the above address. Remember this is a professional program and your headshot should reflect that.

New student advising and registration takes place the week of Socialization. Returning students receive instructions on advising in March and October of each year. For questions, contact Melody Herrington. Melody is also your contact for any future problems or questions with:

  • Registration rules
  • Program and Graduate School requirements, deadlines, and paperwork
  • Graduation paperwork and requirements
  • The MPA and PhD listservs
  • Comprehensive exams (MPA and PhD)
  • Scheduling Prospectus and Dissertation Defenses

You can contact Melody at 706-542-3510 or



Answers to many questions about UGA administrative details can be found on the UGA website: