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Welcome to the College of Education and Human Development!

Understanding university and college expectations, policies, and resources is essential to your success as a graduate student. Before you embark on your graduate journey with CEHD, prepare for what’s ahead by participating in the CEHD Graduate Orientation.

The CEHD Graduate Orientation is a program specifically tailored to the needs of graduate students. In a series of asynchronous online modules, you will learn about academic policy and expectations, navigate Mason resources and services, and have a chance to ask questions of the CEHD Office of Student and Academic Affairs.

For further information about CEHD Graduate Orientation, please contact CEHD Communications Coordinator for Student and Academic Affairs, Anna Ondieki, at

The CEHD Graduate Orientation is made available virtually, through the Blackboard online learning platform. Newly admitted students are notified via Mason email about how to access CEHD Graduate Orientation shortly before the start of their first semester.

In addition to the CEHD Graduate Orientation, some graduate programs offer program-specific onboarding events for new students. Students are highly encouraged to attend both the CEHD Graduate Orientation and their program session where available. Check your Mason email or contact your program office for more information about program-specific onboarding.

Updated annually, the CEHD Student Guidebook provides essential policy and resource information for CEHD graduate students.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to complete Mason’s Graduate Orientation and the CEHD Graduate Orientation?

Yes. Please note that CEHD Graduate Orientation is distinct from the online graduate orientation hosted by the Graduate Division. As a CEHD student, you are expected to complete both orientations in order to ensure you are fully prepared to make the most of your Mason and CEHD experience. Learn more about Mason’s online graduate orientation.

Is the CEHD Graduate Orientation open to all CEHD graduate students?

Yes. All Master’s, PhD, Bachelor’s/Accelerated Master’s (in their transition semester) and Graduate Certificate students, whether taking courses online or in-person, should participate in the CEHD Graduate Orientation. Members of contract cohort programs may also take part.

How does the CEHD Graduate Orientation Work?

It’s an online, self-paced series of orientation information modules that takes most students about 2 hours to complete. Some modules include discussion questions, giving you a chance to meet other new CEHD grad students in your chat group. If your program is hosting a program-specific onboarding session it is wise to complete the CEHD Graduate Orientation before that session, if possible.

When can I access the CEHD Graduate Orientation modules?

You will have access to the modules via Blackboard beginning a couple weeks before your first semester and you should aim to complete the CEHD Graduate Orientation by the start of the semester.

Good news! You will continue to have access to the modules in your Blackboard account throughout your first semester. However, you are expected to know and follow Mason policy from day one, so now is the time to review the materials.

I haven't accessed Blackboard before. How do I access the CEHD Graduate Orientation?
  • Go to
  • Click Mason Bb Login
  • Enter your NetID and password click Login
  • From your Blackboard home page, select Courses
  • Under Course List, select CEHD Graduate Orientation
  • Start with the welcome from Dean Guerra-López!
Is my program also hosting an onboarding session?

Information about program sessions will be available soon. Check your Mason email for more information and updates about these sessions.

I’ve been a Mason student before. Do I need to participate in the CEHD Graduate Orientation?

You sure do! Even if you have studied at Mason before, and even if you have been a College of Education and Human Development student before, we can guarantee you that you will learn something valuable. There are different expectations and new resources for graduate students, and graduate policies are often different from your undergraduate years. If you encounter a topic you’re already an "expert" in, you can skip ahead.

I’m really busy. Can I skip the Blackboard modules and just ask what I need to know at my program onboarding session?

No. First of all, no one wants to tune in to your program session to hear you ask what you could have discovered in one of the CEHD Graduate Orientation modules!

Secondly, you don’t know what you don’t know. Whether it’s what to do if you have a personal life crisis that forces you to miss several classes, or how to get a parking permit, there is always something to learn and we’ve got you covered. Reviewing the modules is time well-spent.

Can I skip my program-specific onboarding session?

No. If you have a program-specific onboarding session in addition to the CEHD Graduate Orientation, you can rest assured that it will include lots of new information that you're going to need!

Is the CEHD Graduate Orientation mandatory?

We don’t like to use the M-word. This is grad school after all. Think of it this way: your graduate degree or certificate represents a big commitment in time and a financial investment in yourself. Why wouldn’t you want to give yourself the best possible start? We survey all of our students after the CEHD Graduate Orientation and we have never had one tell us that it was a waste of their time.

Please note: Some program-specific onboarding sessions ARE mandatory, so check with your program office if you are unable to attend!

I just received my admission letter from CEHD and I haven’t received information on how to access the CEHD Graduate Orientation. What should I do?

It may take a few days for your CEHD Graduate Orientation invitation email to arrive. If you have not received an invitation a week out from the start of the semester, please contact the CEHD Communications Coordinator for Student and Academic Affairs, Anna Ondieki, at