New Students Guide

Welcome to FSU!


The History Graduate Student Association at FSU is made up of graduate students dedicated to promoting graduate education in the History Department by acting as a liaison between faculty and graduate students, providing opportunities for graduate student professional development, and supporting fellow graduate students through social events. All students enrolled at the graduate level in the History Department of Florida State University are welcome to become members of the HGSA. There are no dues or activities required of members.

First Steps

  1. Sign-up for the History Grad Student Listserv (
    1. This is the main way the department and HGSA communicates events and important information to graduate students.
  2. Join the HGSA Facebook Group (
    1. Or follow us on Twitter?
  3. Establish Residency
    • For those who currently reside in Florida (and claimed Florida residency on your application to FSU), you do not have to do anything.
    • For those who did not claim Florida residency on your application, this is extremely important. If you do not establish residency, FSU will continue to charge you tuition and fees at the out-of-state rate and you may not be able to obtain funding from the department. For all the details visit:
    • To request FSU to consider you as an in-state student for your second year, you must establish residency in the state at least one year prior to the first day of class of your second year. This means that as soon as you arrive in Tallahassee you need to plan to obtain as many documents as listed on the Admission’s website.
    • Next summer, you will file with the Admissions office a Residency Reclassification Form.
    • This may seem daunting, but the staff that deals with residency status is extremely helpful and always willing to meet with students.

The Department


HGSA can help you learn your way around the History department, which serves over 500 undergraduate majors and approximately 130 graduate students in fields ranging from Latin America and the United States to Europe and Asia. Start by:

  • Getting to know the faculty and staff
  • Learning which courses are available next semester
  • Find out about fellowships available within the department (and, while you’re at it, find out about all sorts of funding from the Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards)

Front Office

  • Diane Dittgen: Office Hours, Book Orders (when a TA), General Questions, Keys to offices before you get yours
  • John Netter: Paychecks, Reimbursements, Office Keys
  • Julie Register & Amanda Prochaska: General Questions, Keys to offices before you get yours

Advising Office

  • Anne Kozar: Class registration, Program of Study, all University Forms
  • Kelley Oakley: Assistantship Letters, Course Offerings, University Forms


If you are a GA or a TA, meaning you are grading for a course, you will receive an office in the department. Information on offices will be emailed to you in August as well as information on how to obtain a key. You can always borrow a key from the main office while waiting for key approval.


If you are a TA or GA your mailbox will probably be in the Main Office’s copier room. If you are not a TA or GA, your mailbox will be in the hallway outside the Main Office.

Student ID

You need a Student ID card to access many things around campus. The sooner you can get your card, the less busy the office will be. Visit for more information.FSUCardLogo-WhiteWeb


Once you get your card, you can e-mail Diane ( to have it activated to give you weekend access to Bellamy.


Graduate students do not have access to department copiers and scanners, unless you are a Teaching Assistant. Scanners are available in Strozier or other university libraries.

More info on Printing, Scanning, and Copying at the Library


You are responsible for paying your fees even if you are on University funding. These fees pay for many things, access to sporting events and gyms, access to computers around campus, etc.

If you are on University funding, you can sign-up for a Tuition/Fee payment plan each semester that will deduct those fees in equal payments from your paycheck throughout the semester. You will receive an e-mail in August on how to register for the plan.

Graduate Student Unionlogo-banner

The United Faculty of Florida has a chapter at FSU that you are welcome to join. Union dues are 1% of your bi-weekly salary. For more information visit




If the item you are looking for is not available at one of FSU’s libraries, you can request it through UBorrow (other Florida libraries) or Inter-Library Loan (non-Florida libraries). The library also delivers and picks up books from the history department’s main office. Sign-up at

Strozier has a large reading room restricted to graduate students. To gain access, fill out this form:

Health Care and Recreation on Campus

  • You are required as a student at FSU to have health insurance that meets specific requirements. You can learn about those requirements at:
  • You can purchase a plan through the University, which, while certainly not cheap, covers a lot. If you purchase the University health plan and you have an assistantship you can receive a reimbursement for a portion of the cost and pay for the insurance in payments taken out of your paycheck. To learn about how this works, see:
  • The Health & Wellness Building houses a variety of health services for students. Visit
  • Gyms: A small gym is located in the Heath & Wellness Building. It attracts graduate students and some faculty and undergrads. A larger gym and pool is located at the Leach Center (this tends to be more crowded and undergrad-heavy). Note that you pay a fee every semester, whether you use the gyms or not, for access to the gyms. Many other gyms exist around town and just like housing, gyms closer to campus tend to be more undergrad heavy than those located further away.
  • FSU Campus Recreation sponsors a variety of intramural sports, sport clubs, and off-campus adventures. While more undergraduate than graduate students participate, some history grad students have joined them in the past. For all that FSU Campus Recreation has to offer see: Other history grad students participate in Tallahassee sport leagues and there is an on-going weekly basketball group.

Getting Around

On Campus

See for parking lot information, parking permits, campus bus routes, mobile apps, and more.

Around Town

StarMetro provides public transportation in Tallahasse. For route maps and a live map of bus locations, see For more general information about the bus system in Tallahassee, including route maps, schedules, and rider announcements, see Service on Saturdays may be slow or nonexistent in some areas.



StarMetro Transloc

Living in Tallahassee

Navigating the housing/apartment market in Tallahassee can be a bit difficult for graduate students.

Items of Advice:

  • Most large (and newer) apartment complexes, which are also the ones with the best online presence, primarily house undergraduates. These do come with some welcome amenities, like furnished rooms, pools, gyms, and tennis courts, but be careful: these amenities come at a price, both financially and with increased noise.
  • Be careful with the listed prices of many complexes. Especially if they are marketing for students, the prices may be per bedroom, not per apartment.
  • In general, the closer you live to campus, the higher percentage of undergrads; the farther away you live the quieter it will be.
  • In general, rent decreases the farther from campus you are
  • The biggest perk of living close to campus is being able to walk to campus (and sporting events), for as you will learn quickly, parking is the most frustrating part of FSU.
  • A good resource to begin searching for housing is 
  • A few graduate students do live on campus and you can find information on on-campus housing here:


Apartments in Tally

Things to Do

Sporting events
Tallahassee thrives on the FSU sports teams, especially football. As a student, you have free access to all FSU sporting events, although you are not always guaranteed a ticket. Football and men’s basketball require you to pre-order tickets. For all other events, you just need to show up and present your FSU ID card. Even if you are not a sports fan, attending a sporting event (especially a football game) is something every student should experience.



Tallahassee certainly is not lacking when it comes to chain restaurants, but there are a large number of locally-owned restaurants and bars around town. With the large student population, there is a plethora of “fast-casual” or counter-service restaurants that are easy on the wallet, but also produce good food. Some favorite of ours include Monks/Wells Brothers Bar and Grill and their sister restaurant Midtown Caboose, Mr. Robato, Voodoo Dog, Guthrie’s, Kool Beanz Cafe, Bella Bella, Maple Street Biscuit Company, MoMo’s Pizza, Dog et Al, Gaines Street and Midtown Pies, Gordos, The Lunchbox, Jim & Milt’s Bar-B-Q, Up In Smoke, Kiku, Merv’s Melt Shop, Sakura, and Siam Sushi.

Food on campus is a bit limited. You can buy a dining plan or pay per meal to eat at the dining halls. The Student Union houses a Chili’s, Subway, Papa Johns, Pollo Tropical, Einstein Bagels, Salad Creations, a frozen yogurt place, and an Asian/sushi place. There are now three Starbucks on campus, although the lines at them can be long. There is also a Dunkin Donuts on campus near the School of Music. A few other places for a quick bite to eat are located just off campus on “the Strip” (along Tennessee Street on the north border of campus) and within walking distance of Bellamy. These include Pitaria, Tropical Smoothie Café, Gumby’s Pizza, The Joint, Little Athens Gyro, Echalee Mexican Grill, another Starbucks, and the not to be missed Donut Kingdom.

For grocery shopping, the two main supermarket chains in town are Publix and Winn-Dixie. Tallahassee also has a Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Piggly-Wiggly, the locally-owned co-op, New Leaf Market, and an organic/locally-conscious Earth Fare.

With all the students in town, Tallahassee has a lively bar and “club” scene. Like housing, the closer the bar to campus, the higher percentage of undergrads. While some of these undergrad-heavy places have known reputations (Potbelly’s, Bullwinkle’s, The Strip), the recommendation is that it is better to stay clear of well-known undergrad places as you may encounter your students there. Grad students and young professionals frequent the Midtown area. Proof Brewing Company, Grass Lands Brewery, and Fermentation Lounge are popular micro-beer places.

Things to Do

Although a small to mid-size city, Tallahassee and the surrounding region has a variety of things to do, from cultural and music offerings to many parks and outdoor activities.

  • Visit the “Visit Tallahassee” website to learn more about things to do in the city:
  • FSU’s School of Theater, Tallahassee Community College, and Theatre Tallahassee have a variety of performances throughout the year.
  • FSU’s School of Music, Florida State Opera, and the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra also have performances throughout the year.IMG_0283
  • Major events each year:
      • Downtown Marketplace: Artists, Farmers, and Food vendors gather downtown every Saturday morning from March-November
      • Downtown Get-Downs: Street Festival with vendors, food, drink, and entertainment
        every Friday night before a home FSU football game.
      • 1st Fridays: The First Friday of every month the stores and art galleries of Railroad Square stay open late.
      • Winter Festival: December; street festival, run, and nighttime parade
      • Springtime Tallahassee: March/April; street festival and parade
      • Museums/Historical Sites: Mission San Luis, Museum of Florida History, Meek Eaton Black Archives and Museum at FAMU, Tallahassee Museum, Old State Capitol and Museum, Antique Car Museum, The Riley House
  • Outdoor Activities: City Parks, Hiking Trails, and Bike Trails abound in the city and neighboring areas
  • Beaches/Day Trips: Wakulla Springs, Alligator Point, St. George Island, Panama City