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New Students

Welcome to UC San Diego!

The information provided here is designed to supplement the publications you will receive from your academic departments by providing you with additional information to facilitate your transition to UCSD and the San Diego area.

Prior to the beginning of instruction many departments schedule formal orientation activities for entering graduate students. These orientation activities occur in September in the weeks leading up to the Fall Quarter. Look for announcements describing these events and check with your department for exact times and dates. New Graduate Student Orientation, hosted by the Graduate Division, will take place during the week before classes begin. This event will bring all incoming graduate students together for an informative day filled with workshops and presentations designed to share campus services and resources for graduate students.

The Graduate Division is located on the fourth floor of the Student Services Center, south of the Price Center near the center of campus. The office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. For information and general questions, contact our front desk at (858) 534-3555.

Before you Arrive on Campus

To assist you in preparing for registration you will need to bring important documents, such as a driver's license or picture identification, social security card, birth certificate, passport, marriage certificate, medical certificates and automobile registration. Also remember to bring copies of previous correspondence with UCSD: letter of admission, financial aid award letter, housing agreement, etc.

If you are missing academic transcripts or are on a provisional admission status, remember to arrange to have any necessary academic records forwarded to:

Graduate Admissions
Student Services Center (SSC), 4th floor
Mail Code 0003
9500 Gilman Dr.
La Jolla, CA 92093-0003

Once at UC San Diego

Once you arrive on campus be sure to take care of all your academic and financial matters. Contact your Graduate Coordinator if you have any questions.

Registration - Enrollment and registration materials for new graduate students will be available in your academic department. Detailed information on enrollment and registration procedures is provided in the Schedule of Classes, which can be accessed through TritonLink.

Check with your department for possible changes in the Schedule of Classes before registering. The General Catalog contains detailed course descriptions. After paying fees and registering, students obtain a photo I.D. card from Student Business Services, 3rd Floor Student Service Center, (858) 822-4727.

Establishing Residency - Students seeking classification as a resident for tuition purposes must have established residence in California for more than one year immediately preceding the residence determination date for the term during which s/he proposes to attend the University. The residency deputy is the only person authorized to advise residency matters. Inquiries should be directed to the Residence Deputy at the Office of the Registrar at residencedeputy@ucsd.edu, (858) 534-4586.

Automobile Registration - If you are considering becoming a California resident, you must register your vehicle. If the car is registered in your

name and you are a resident of the state in which you purchased it, license plates will generally continue to be valid until the expiration date, but for no longer than one year from the date first used in California. This is true even though the license plate may be valid for more than one year in your home state. For further information on vehicle registration contact the Department of Motor Vehicles at (800) 777-0133.

Driver's License - If you drive a vehicle and plan to establish residency in California, you must obtain a California driver's license within ten days after your arrival in San Diego. Proof of Auto Insurance is also required in San Diego. Locations and information can be found at the Department of Motor Vehicle website or at (800) 777-0133.

Voting - To register, U.S. citizens must be at least eighteen years of age and a resident of San Diego County for one day or more with a permanent address. For further information on voting contact the Registrar of Voters at (858) 565-5800. Students who plan to establish California residency should first consult with the residency deputy in the UCSD Office of the Registrar prior to making arrangements to vote by absentee ballot in their home state. Students are strongly encouraged to actively participate in the community; voting is one way to do so.

International Center - If you are neither a U.S. citizen nor a Permanent Resident of the United States, please pay an early visit to the UCSD International Center located between Mandeville Lane and Library Walk. The International Center is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

After arriving, all international students, professors, and researchers are required to do two things:

  • Check In - Bring your passport, I-20 or DS-2019, and any other related document(s) so that you can complete check in. (F-1 and J-1 students must check in before SEVIS registration can be completed).
  • Attend Orientation - All new international graduate students are required to attend a mandatory orientation session.

New international graduate students, particularly those coming from other U.S. institutions, need to check in or complete the necessary transfer process at the International Center before they can receive funds from UCSD. Contact the International Center for more information.

Academic Calendar

Review the upcoming academic calendars, which include the quarter’s start and end dates, final exams, and holidays.

Tuition, Fees, and your Budget

Consider your budget which include tuition, fees, meals, supplies, and personal expenses.

Graduate Housing

On-Campus Housing

Housing, Dining, and Hospitality offers housing to eligible graduate and professional students in five residential communities: Coast Apartments, Mesa Residential Apartments, One Miramar Street Apartments, Rita Atkinson Residences, and Single Graduate Apartments. Please visit Associated Residential Community Housing (ARCH) for eligibility, application process, and additional details.

Off-Campus Housing

The UCSD Office of Off-Campus Housing offers a variety of resources for students looking for a place to live, including information on the neighborhoods in the area, advice on renting in San Diego, and searchable listings of apartments or rooms for rent. A special log-in and password is required to access the Off-Campus Housing website. To obtain a login and password to get access to the site, contact offcampushousing@ucsd.edu.

Graduate Housing Opportunities Listserv

The housing listserv is especially for UCSD graduate students who have off-campus or on-campus housing needs or housing opportunities to share. Students post their own messages regarding housing needs. To subscribe or unsubscribe from the listserv, visit http://mailman.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/grad-housing-op-l.

Parking and Transportation

There are numerous options for Parking and Transportation around campus.  Be sure to learn more about parking permits, the shuttle schedule, and commuting alternatives.

Health Insurance

Health Insurance is required for all graduate and professional students as a non-academic condition of enrollment. Learn more about the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), benefits, and waivers.

Computing Services

Academic Computing and Media Services (ACMS) provides support for all students, staff, and faculty for a broad range of needs, such as email access to printing to software distribution.

Child Care

If you are a graduate student parent, there are resources and options for on- and off-campus care for young children.


UC San Diego Recreation is dedicated to enhancing wellness, fitness and quality of life for students, faculty, staff, and the community, by providing facilities, programs, activities and the opportunity to participate in cooperative and competitive programs, Recreation provides life-long fitness and wellness opportunities.

On-Campus Personal Services

There are numerous Personal Services available to graduate students, including ATMs and Bank/Credit Union options, copying and printing, on-campus dining, lactation accommodations, mail/postal services, passport applications/photos, phone locations, and restroom locations.