Newly Admitted Graduate Students

Congratulations on your admission to UC Davis!

Please take the time to read through all of this important new student information to get you started. 

After you review the below information make sure to read your Next Steps and RSVP for any Orientations/Trainings. 

New Student Information

  • Student Housing
  • Housing in Davis can be complex. As soon as you accept and are positive you are not going to defer I would strongly encourage you to begin searching for a place. Most contracts begin September 1st, traditionally three weeks before the start of the quarter. As housing information becomes available it will be posted here: 
    • Student Housing Office (Official UC Davis information)
    • Community Housing Listing, operated by Associated Students of UCD. This site is especially helpful if you are interested in renting a room in a larger house.
    • Graduate Studies Resource Page: Lots of links and helpful information here!
    • Graduate/Profession Housing Facebook Group: This page is managed by students, and can be tricky to join. See instructions here.
    • Davis Enterprise annual Housing Day insert (not affiliated with UC Davis): Features individual listings and contact information for local rental management companies
    • The California Aggie: The campus student-run newspaper often carries classifieds and ads for housing.
    • (not affiliated with UC Davis). Some apartments, and room leases will be listed here.
    • (not affiliated with UC Davis). Like craigslist, has individual postings
    • (not affiliated with UC Davis). Includes reviews of apartments near Davis.
    • Note: Always be cautious of scams or misleading information when searching for housing online.
  • AggieCard - Student ID Card
  • All students will receive a student ID card called an AggieCard. You can upload a photo and get your AggieCard either mailed to you or have it ready for pick up when you are on campus. Find out more here
  • Quarter System vs. Semester System
  • UC Davis is a quarter-system school. As the name implies, a quarter system breaks the year into four pieces. These are 10-week sessions that occur in fall, winter, spring, and summer (optional). In this format, the average full-time student takes 3-4 courses per term, at least 12 units per quarter, not to exceed 16 units. An academic year on the quarter system usually runs mid-September through early June. The quarter system is a fast-paced environment that takes some time to adjust to, especially for students that are used to a semester system. It requires time management because each quarter moves along pretty quickly.
    Graduate academic life will be a significant shift from your undergraduate experience. Depending on your program, it is encouraged to take 1-2 courses related to your degree requirements per quarter. We encourage you to work with your graduate program advisor and coordinator to find the appropriate coursework load for yourself. At a minimum, you must be enrolled in 12 units to be a full-time student.
  • Skills for Graduate Students
    Aggie 201 module covering important skills including:
    • Time management
    • Self Awareness, Self Care, and Self Compassion
    • Good Communication & Networking
    • Being Proactive
    • Passion

  • Common Graduate Students Challenges
    Aggie 201 module covering common challenges graduate students will face:
    • Physical and Mental Health
    • Isolatation
    • Managing Personal Life and Relationships
    • Food, Housing, and Financial Insecurity
    • Mentorship Issues
    • Imposter Syndrome
    • Maintain balance

International Students

  • Services for Internaional Students and Scholars (SISS)
  • International students make up 50% of our student population and have to often navigate complex policies and processes domestic students do not face. To help with that, UC Davis has the Services of International Students and Scholars, an office of Global Affairs, that assists international students. Please go to their Newly Admitted Students webpage for important next steps as an international student. 
  • TA Language Proficiency Requirement
  • The Office of Graduate Studies requires all graduate students, except those with an undergraduate degree from an institution where English is the sole language of instruction (according to the World Higher Education Database or the Office of Graduate Studies), to demonstrate oral English proficiency before they are appointed to Teaching Assistant (TA) or Associate Instructor (AI) positions. Required scores can be found here
  • GLACIER is a secure online Nonresident Alien (NRA) tax compliance system that foreign visitors use to provide their immigrant and tax data to UC Davis.

    GLACIER helps determine tax residency, withholding rates, and income tax treaty eligibility. They also manage NRA paperwork, maintains NRA data, and prepares tax forms and required statements.

    The Student Services team will request a GLACIER account on your behalf, please do not request one. 

Your Network

Please see the Directory for a list of Staff and Faculty advisors. 

  • Graduate Program Coordinator 
  • Graduate Program Coordinators are staff members who often serve as your primary point of contact. They provide advising on admission requirements, degree requirements, campus policies/procedures, campus services, and funding opportunities.

  • Graduate Advisors

  • The graduate advisor addresses academic matters affecting graduate students and their academic programs. The role of a graduate advisor is distinct from that of the major professor, in having official authority through Graduate Studies. A graduate advisor’s signature is the only signature (other than the chair’s) that Graduate Studies recognizes as an official signature.

    In general, a graduate advisor acts as your first source of academic information and provides assistance with the details of your plan of study in the graduate program.

    Graduate advisors:

    • Review and approve the program of study for each graduate student who has not advanced to candidacy.
    • Review and take action on each petition submitted by a graduate student to drop/add courses, or to take courses on an S/U basis, as well as make recommendations on petitions from graduate students who want to drop or add courses beyond the fifth week of classes.
    • Review and approve student petitions for Planned Educational Leave (PELP) and then forward such petitions to Graduate Studies for approval.
    • Provide general course advising.
    • Advise on policy.
    • Provide referrals to campus resources.
    • Advise students and faculty on mentoring best practices.
    • Oversee release of academic holds, leaves, grade extensions, and change of degree objectives. • Review advancement to candidacy, thesis, dissertation, and QE committees.

    • Review interim and annual progress reports.
    • Advise on disqualification procedures and appeal processes.
    • Oversee petitions for exception.

    We recommend that you check in with your graduate advisor quarterly.

  • Major Professor

  • The major professor is the faculty mentor with whom the graduate student works most closely (often their primary investigator-PI). The major professor guides the graduate student through the process of identifying a desired area of focus, pursuing a course of study that builds skills in that area, honing in on a research topic, completing the research, and preparing for a career after graduate school. All Ph.D. students are required to identify a major professor in their first quarter during EMS 200. It is important that each student have a faculty mentor who is guiding them through their graduate school journey. If a student has no major professor, then it is appropriate for the graduate advisor to serve as that student's major professor temporarily. 

    The major professor is not formally appointed by Graduate Studies. However, when the student declares their thesis/dissertation committee (by submitting a form to Graduate Studies), the major professor usually serves as Chair of the thesis/Dissertation Committee.

    We recommend that you check in with your major professor at least once a week. You should discuss meeting expectations and decide on the frequency of your meetings in your early conversations with your major professor.

  • Senior Academic Advisor

  • Senior Academic Advisors (SAA) reside in Graduate Studies and advise on degree milestones, Graduate Council and campus policies, graduation requirements, and mentorship issues. A graduate program's assigned SAA also supports graduate students, Graduate Program Coordinators, and faculty with any escalated issues related to academic performance and/or progress. 

    We recommend that you meet with your Senior Academic Advisor if you have questions or concerns related to degree milestones, mentoring issues, program issues, and academic probation. 

  • Graduate Program Chair

  • The chair is the academic leader and administrative head of a graduate program. The chair automatically has signature authority on all forms and petitions related to the program. In a departmentally based program, the department chair is responsible for the graduate program, even if day-to-day operations of the program are delegated to another individual deemed to be the Graduate Program Chair. 

    Graduate Program Chairs advise program members and students on:
    • Policies that govern graduate education
    • Student records and student progress and advising
    • Funding and tuition remission policies
    • Options and processes for student educational leaves
    • Student disqualification procedures
    • Campus resources and student services
    • Mentoring guidelines and best practices
    • Course curriculum and degree requirements

    The Graduate Program Chair is responsible for overseeing the work of the Graduate Advisors.

    We recommend meeting with the Graduate Program Chair when you have concerns beyond what your major professor or graduate advisor can assist you with.

Funding related to New Students

Be sure to check out the Funding Your Degree page for general information. 

  • All students eligible to fill out the FAFSA, should fill it out EVERY YEAR. There are a few awards each year, as well as work study opportunities which require a completed FAFSA, and it may qualify you for a small campus fee grant and loans.
  • UCPath
  • UCPath is the payroll system for UC Davis. If you have an academic employment (GSR, TA, Reader position), you will be able to see your employment and important employment information in UCPath.
  • Graduate Fee Payment Deadlines
  • Graduate students must pay their fees by the Thursday or second-to-last day of the 8th week of the quarter.  Students who have not paid fees on the Friday or last day of the 8th week of the quarter will be dropped from any future quarter enrollment and charged a $110 late payment fee.  Additionally, a hold will be placed on registration for the next quarter until the balance has been paid. 
    If you have an outstanding balance and think this is an error, contact the Graduate Programs Coordinator immediately using the contact information below. Contact the Graduate Programs Coordinator if you are dropped and wish to be reactivated. 
  • Funding Questions
  • All funding questions should go to the Student Services Team at until you are matched with a Faculty. 

Campus & Transportation

The online Campus Map is available via

  • Department Location
  • The Department of Chemical Engineering is housed in Ghausi Hall Room 3001 (staff offices) & Bainer Hall's third floor (faculty offices). Many of our labs are held in Bainer as well but can be found across campus depending on the faculty including, Ghausi, Kemper, Academic Surge, and more. Master of Science students have office space in Academic Suruge 1026 and the Teaching Assistant Office can be found in Academic Surge 1033
  • Bike
  • One of the primary ways that most UC Davis students, faculty and staff navigate campus is by bicycle. As one of the most bike-friendly campuses in the U.S., UC Davis has tons of bike pathsbike service stations and bike racks and lockers throughout campus, plus a map of bike commuter showers and lockers.

    Bike Barn: To buy a bike or any biking accessories, or to get your bike serviced, most students visit the ASUCD Bike Barn, which is located in the heart of campus. There also are a slew of bike shops in downtown Davis where you can buy a bike. When buying a bike, consider purchasing a bike that is durable enough to last four years, but isn't so expensive that it is tempting for thieves.

    Bike Registration: Since there are so many bikes at UC Davis, all bikes on campus must have a current California Bicycle License. You can get a bicycle license at UC Davis Transportation Services (TAPS), the Bike Barn or other locations in downtown Davis. Bicycle licenses are valid for approximately two years and for a nominal fee you can purchase a new license or renew an old one. If you lost your bike lock key or maybe it just stopped working, TAPS will cut your lock if your bike is registered.

    Bike Auction: Twice a year, usually in October and May, TAPS auctions off any abandoned or unclaimed bikes to the public.
  • Bus
  • Unitrans: UC Davis has a great, student-run campus bus system, called Unitrans, that students can use for to travel around campus and also places such as downtown Davis, West Village, the hospital, neighborhood shopping centers, medical offices, theaters and the Davis Farmers Market. Unitrans has a great website that not only provides information about routes, but also gives predicted arrival times along each route. The Unitrans bus system, which includes some London-style double-decker buses as part of its fleet, also serves the city of Davis and members of the public can purchase tickets for a minimal fare.

    Passes are available online at with credit card, at the UC Davis Campus Store in the Memorial Union, and UC Davis Downtown Store

    Yolobus: The red Unitrans bus isn't the only bus you'll see around town; the Yolobus can take you around Yolo County and neighboring areas. If you need a ride to Davis, West Sacramento, Winters, Woodland, downtown Sacramento, Sacramento International Airport, Cache Creek Casino Resort, Esparto, Madison, Dunnigan and Knights Landing then hop on a Yolobus.

    UC Davis Medical Center Shuttle: The UC Davis/UC Davis Medical Center shuttle will take you from UC Davis' main campus in Davis over to the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. UC Davis students, faculty, staff, interns, volunteers, patients and visitors can take the bus for a small fare. Drivers can't take cash so you must buy tickets. (See where to buy passes.)

    They offer transportation Monday through Friday, excluding university holidays, and all shuttles are ADA accessible and can accommodate bikes. Pick up locations are at the Silo Terminal, Health Sciences Lot 56 and the Mondavi Center. View a schedule of exact departure and arrival times.

    UC Davis-UC Berkeley Intercampus Shuttle: There also is an intercampus bus service that provides transportation between the Davis and Berkeley campuses for UC Davis and UC Berkeley faculty, staff and registered students. The intercampus bus service runs year-round, seven days a week, with the exception of some holidays.

  • Walk

  • Being located in Northern California, UC Davis has wonderful weather most of the year for walking around campus. Much of the campus is closed off to through traffic, so walking to and from class can be a breeze, as long as you watch for bike traffic.

    And if you are looking to take a stroll through campus, then you should visit the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, which is a 100-acre public garden that has a beautiful two-mile paved walking trail running through it.

  • Drive

  • Another way to navigate campus is using a car, although many students don't choose this mode of transportation since no cars are allowed in the heart of campus. If you do decide to drive, you will need a parking permit, which you can purchase at Transportation Services (TAPS). They sell parking permits in person or online for daily, quarterly or yearly parking.

    Roadside Assistance and Carpool: TAPS doesn't just sell permits and hand out parking tickets, they also offer lockout service, tire inflation, jumpstart and will even take you to the gas station. It is also the place to go if you want to register to become part of a carpool or vanpool.

    Where to Park: There are a number of parking lots located around campus, but accessibility depends on the type of permit or parking pass that you have. Be sure to view the UC Davis parking lot map to see the best place for you to park when you are on campus. You can get daily permits at kiosks located in many of the parking lots or short-term and long-term permits at TAPS.

    Go Green With Your Car: If you have an electric car, you are in luck. As one of the "greenest" campuses in the U.S., UC Davis has a number of electric car charging stations located around campus. The campus also has Zipcars available to rent if you are 18 years or older.

  • Other Services

  • Aggie Hosts Security Service: Aggie Hosts are non-sworn student security officers that will provide rides or walking escorts to students, staff and faculty. Don't hesitate to call if you don't feel safe walking alone on campus, especially since the service is free.

    Mobility Assistance Shuttle: If you need help getting around on campus, the Mobility Assistance Shuttle (MAS) gives UC Davis students, faculty and staff with documented disabilities (temporary or permanent) a ride. They only provide on-campus rides to specified locations for academic or work-related purposes year-round.

    Tipsy Taxi: Tipsy Taxi provides undergraduates with a safe ride home within the Davis area for a nominal fee. Just give Tipsy Taxi a call or request a ride online and wait for the taxi to arrive. You can even save yourself a dollar by buying a Tipsy Taxi ticket in advance from the Unitrans Business Office.

    Mobility Assistance Shuttle: If you need help getting around on campus, the Mobility Assistance Shuttle (MAS) gives UC Davis students, faculty and staff with documented disabilities (temporary or permanent) a ride. They only provide on-campus rides to specified locations for academic or work-related purposes year-round.

    AmtrakTake a mini-vacation to the Bay Area or maybe visit Sacramento for the day; either way, Amtrak can get you there.

    Davis Airporter: If you're heading to the airport, consider using the Davis Airporter. You will need to make your reservation ahead of time, but they'll pick you up at your door and drop you off at either the Sacramento or San Francisco airport.

Student Health & Insurance

*For Emergencies, Dial: 911 – this FAQ only provides information on non-emergency services

Technology Toolbox

  • Duo
  • Duo is a multi-factor authentication system which will better protect your UC Davis accounts. Enroll now.
  • MyUCDavis
  • is a single point of access that connects frequently used student services. On the home page you’ll find links for Academics, Finances, Student Life, and Resources. Sub-links include: your email, MyAccounting, MyAwards, Canvas, OASIS, ScheduleBuilder, and links to the Graduate Studies and UC Davis Libraries homepages. In the Finances tab, you will also see a link to myAwards – please note that these are awards through the Financial Aid office, and completely separate from any funding through the department or college. Academic appointments and departmental fellowships for example are not reflected in myAwards.
  • OASIS is the online advising student information system. It displays important academic dates and deadlines. You can use OASIS to view the total units and GPA for your classes, by course or quarter, or your entire academic career. OASIS also lets you schedule an appointment with a Senior Academic Advisor in Graduate Studies and Graduate Program. Your appointment history from any advising appointments is also available in OASIS
  • Canvas
  • Canvas is an online learning management system that instructors use to interact with students. You may find syllabi, assignments, announcements, quizzes, and grading on Canvas. Resources for students are also available on the Canvas dashboard. Get to know this resource especially if you are going to serve as a Teaching Assistant during your time at UC Davis!
  • Schedule Builder
  • Schedule Builder is the only system used for registering for courses each academic session. Please do not enroll until you receive the Course Registration Numbers for your first quarter after August 1st. 


Please contact the Student Services team at