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Graduate Student Resources

Graduate Student Resources

Your path to success.

The resources listed below are designed to optimize your graduate experience, fostering a seamless and successful journey. If, after exploring the resources, you're still trying to figure out where to go or whom to ask, feel free to contact the School of Graduate Studies staff at graduatestudies@western.edu for assistance. They are here to help you make the most of your academic and professional journey

Graduate Student Resources and Information

General Resources

The Center for Dis/Ability and Accommodations works with students, faculty, and staff to ensure that all students at Western have equitable access to campus curricula, facilities, services, and resources. You can request accommodations through AIM or contact Di/Ability Services to learn how we can support you on your academic journey.

We understand attending graduate school is a notable financial, time, and resource commitment, and we want to assist you every step of the way. For information about financing options, visit Graduate Financial Aid.

Visit the catalog to access course descriptions, degree requirements, and academic policies.

View the student handbook to learn about student policies and community standards of conduct.

For all of your graduation information, visit the commencement page!

International Student Resources

All international students are highly encouraged to have health insurance. You do not have to purchase another plan if you can show proof of enrollment in an accident/sickness insurance plan from your home country that the United States accepts. Several insurance companies offer international student insurance, such as HTH Worldwide or International Student Insurance. These health insurance providers can offer prescription coverage, doctor’s visits (related to injury or sickness), and other inpatient and outpatient care. The Campus Health Center provides convenient treatment of illness and injury to Western students.

Without medical coverage, an unexpected illness could mean financial hardship for you and your family and could make it financially difficult to continue your education. If you are an intercollegiate athlete, you must follow the health insurance requirements provided by the Athletic Department at Western Colorado University. If you are an intercollegiate athlete, contact your coach to determine which health insurance plan you should purchase. The health insurance provisions and benefits are subject to change.

International students may only work in institutional positions. Browse work-study positions.

Do non-U.S. students have to pay taxes?

International students present in the U.S. during any portion of the past calendar year may be required to file certain tax forms with the U.S. federal government whether or not they worked in the U.S., gained income in the U.S. or received a scholarship during the past calendar year.

Be advised that Western staff are not trained in taxation and cannot answer specific tax questions or help you prepare your tax forms. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to meet your tax obligations and do so accurately.

U.S. tax guide for non-resident and resident aliens: https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-publication-519

View tax residency status examples here: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/alien-residency-examples

Who must file a U.S. tax return?

As an international student or scholar in the United States, it’s important that you understand the tax requirements of your visa and your filing obligations with the IRS (Internal Revenue Service).

Foreign nationals temporarily present in the United States as students, trainees, scholars, teachers, researchers, exchange visitors, and cultural exchange visitors are subject to special rules with respect to the taxation of their income.

There is no minimum dollar amount of income that triggers a filing requirement for a non-resident alien, including a foreign student or a foreign scholar.

Filing IS required by non-resident students and scholars who have:

Any other income that is taxable under the Internal Revenue Code.

If I do not work, do I need to file?

Yes. You must file IRS Form 8843. IRS Form 8843 is a tax form used by foreign nationals to document the number of days spent outside of the U.S. and help determine tax responsibility. All F-1/J-1 foreign national (and their F-2/J-2 dependents) who are non-residents for tax purposes are required to file Form 8843. This is the case whether or not you received income or are filing a separate tax return.

How do I determine my status as either a non-resident or a resident alien?

In the U.S. tax system, foreign nationals are considered non-residents or residents aliens for tax purposes. Your tax residency status depends on your current immigration status and/or how long you’ve been in the U.S. Most F-1 visa holders will be considered nonresidents for tax purposes.

Why is knowing my residency status important?

You need to know this information to file your tax return correctly.


What do I need to file my taxes?

  • Visa
  • Current and previous passports
  • Form 1-20
  • Social Security Number
  • Current and foreign/permanent address
  • S. entry and exit dates (stamps in your passport or your travel history listed on your I-94 entry documentation – view https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home)
  • Any tax forms you have received, which may include:
    • Form W-2
    • Form 1042-S
    • Form 1095-C
    • Form 1099
  • Western Information
    • 1 Western Way, Gunnison, CO 81231

What tax form should I use as a non-resident alien?

How do I file my taxes?

Follow form instructions carefully!

  • For Form 8843:
    • In part III – Item 9: Western Colorado University, 1 Western Way, Gunnison, CO 81231, 970.943.2232
    • In part III – Item 19: Laurel Becker, Western Colorado University, 1 Western Way, Gunnison, CO 81231, 970.943.2232
    • All other items you should be able to answer on your own.


All forms are due by April 15.

**If you are only filing IRS Form 8843, it is due by June 15**


Where do I mail the tax forms?

If you need to send in paper forms, mail to:

Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Austin, TX 73301-0215

Should I keep copies of my tax return forms?

Absolutely! You should keep returns and any supporting documentation for three years after the date of filing.

More Resources

Scholarly Support Resources

The Leslie J. Savage Library provides a wide range of resources accessible to everyone, regardless of your location. If you need help locating specific materials, schedule an appointment with one of our expert librarians. Within the library’s West Wing, you’ll find the graduate student lounge, a quiet study space designated for graduate students

Canvas Learning Management System

Canvas is the learning management system Western uses to facilitate the delivery of courses.

Instructors use it to organize and present class materials, assign and view homework, assess submissions, provide grades, and communicate with their students.

Students use it to manage their course requirements, find course materials, submit homework, assess their course progress, and communicate with instructors and classmates about course assignments and requirements.


  • Use your Western email and password to access Office 365 for the Microsoft Office Suite of desktop tools (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) and OneDrive for online file storage and sharing.
  • Install the Office Suite on up to five devices for free.  


  • Activate your Western Zoom account using your email and Western password.
  • Customize your Zoom background with views from campus and around the valley. Check out this gallery of Western-themed backgrounds created just for you!
  • Think outside the box! Zoom can be used in many situations outside of class, such as a virtual coffee date with a friend, a campus club meeting, or a group study session. 


Need assistance with all this new technology? Western IT Services is here to help! Please describe your issue in an email to help@western.edu, and they will assist you

Beyond academic pursuits, the School of Graduate Studies offers resources to develop your professional potential. Explore travel grants, resume guides, and tips for marketing yourself in both academic and non-academic spheres through our  professional development resources.


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Health and Wellness

At Western, we realize that health and wellness are essential to your academic and personal success. Learn more about the specialized resources and services available to you.

Upcoming Events

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Women's Elite Soccer Camp


High Altitude Distance Camp


Bottlerocket Hurricane Concert


Sundays at 6 Concert Series


Volleyball High School Elite Camp


Disney STEAM Youth Camp


Volleyball Skills Day Camp (K-12)


Football 11-Man Camp Session 4


Football Individual Elite Camp

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We keep the Mountaineer spirit going strong within our alumni community. Whether getting together with friends at an annual event, making a donation or mentoring a student, graduates continue to play an important role in the Western community.

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