Welcome new students

Welcome New Chemistry Grad Students Fall 2017!

On behalf of the Chemistry & Biochemistry faculty, I would like to welcome you to the Chemistry graduate program.   Student at white boardYou will spend the next five years learning about chemistry, conducting research and sharing your findings in many different settings.  It will be a challenging, enriching and fulfilling experience and I hope you take advantage of all of the wonderful opportunities the program offers to shape your career in research and/or teaching.  During your graduate time at UCSC I will be your personal contact for administrative processes and procedures required by the department and the Graduate Division.

On this page you will find a detailed schedule for Orientation Week and a summary of important tasks and information you will need to be familiar with during Fall quarter and your first year.  Feel free to consult this page and the Graduate Handbook page often.

I look forward to seeing you at Graduate Orientation.


Karen Meece
Graduate Program Cooordinator

(Orientation Schedule for Fall 2017 will be posted soon!)

Graduate Student Orientation Schedule - Fall 2016

All activities are mandatory except those marked *.

Aug 1 - Sep 9
M-F, 8 am - 5 pm

ID Cards
UCSC Student ID Card Services, Bay Tree Bookstore. (Bring photo ID, Student ID number.)  No appt. necessary.
Photos will be taken and cards issued.  After Sep 9, lines will be longer.

Monday, Sep 12

Chemistry New Graduate Student Orientation Part I
240 Physical Sciences Bldg.

9:15 – 9:45 am

Pick up Orientation packets, light refreshments

9:45 – 11:00 am

Yat Li, Graduate Program Director.  Introductions.
Welcome, overview of graduate program.  Coursework, research, teaching, degree requirements by year.

11:00– 11:15 am


11:15 am – 12:00 pm

Janet Jones, Graduate Program Coordinator.
TA appointments, tuition and fees, fellowships, health insurance, loans, direct deposit.  CA residency.  Graduate handbook, office assignments, mail, web site, advising appointments.

12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

12:45 - 1:15 pm

Lunch with Chemistry faculty, continuing students, researchers and staff.  PSB south entrance patio.  Photographs of new students.

1:30 - 2:30 pm

Christy Hightower, Science & Engineering Library
Library resources and the Chemistry & Biochemistry collections.  Gather at 1:20 and walk as a group to S & E Library, room 215.

2:45 – 3:15 pm

Representative from the Assoc. Student Employees/UAW (TA) union.  240 PSB.

3:15 - 3:45 pm

Representatives from PBSci Payroll will help you complete paperwork for TA employment. Bring photo ID and Social Security card. International students bring passport with visa, I-20 and I-94.  To set up direct deposit: bring bank routing and account numbers.  240 PSB.

3:45 – 4:00 pm

4:00 - 4:30 pm

Select desk space in first-year grad student office,
431 PSB.

Mary Eriksen, PBSci Academic Computing Group.
Computer support, email, IT services. 431 PSB.

Tuesday, Sep 13
9:00 am – 8:30 pm

Departmental Scientific Meeting
Faculty, researchers, grad students.  Happy Valley Conference

Thursday, Sep 15

Attainment Exams

10:00 am - 12 noon

Organic Chemistry Attainment Exam
194 Engineering 2

2:00 - 4:00 pm

Physical Chemistry Attainment Exam
194 Engineering 2

Friday, Sep 16

Attainment Exams

10:00 am - 12 noon

Inorganic Chemistry Attainment Exam
194 Engineering 2

2:00 - 3:20 pm

Biochemistry Attainment Exam
194 Engineering 2

Monday, Sept 19


9:00 am – 4:00 pm

International Students: Mandatory Orientation     Jack Baskin Auditorium (Baskin 101).  You must attend this before you can register with SEVIS or start a Social Security application.  Detailed schedule here.

10:15 am - 5:00 pm

Academic Advising: your course plan for 2016-17
Individual appointments with members of the Graduate Affairs Committee.  357 PSB.

Tuesday, Sept 20
9:00 am - 2:00 pm

*Campus-Wide Teaching Asst Orientation and Resource Fair (includes lunch)
Sponsored by Graduate Division and Center for Teaching Excellence.
Classroom Unit 2, lecture hall.

Wednesday, Sep 21

1:00-4:30 pm

Chemistry New Graduate Student Orientation: TA Training (part of Chem 296) and Lab Safety Training for TAs.  Part of this training will take place in the teaching labs.  Randa Roland, Caitlin Binder, Lecturers, and Terra Haddad, Environmental Health & Safety. 240 PSB.

 Thursday, Sep 22

First day of instruction.

Financial Matters

In mid-August you will receive a statement via your student portal for Fall quarter charges.  Fee credits are applied to your account in mid-September.  These include TA tuition and fee fellowships, and Supplemental Non-Resident Tuition fellowship if applicable.  You must be enrolled in at least 5 units before funds will be paid on your behalf.  The deadline for payment of graduate fees is Fri, Sep 30.  You may disregard the earlier due date that appears on your statement--this is for undergraduates only.

Salaries and stipends: Regents fellowships, Cota-Robles stipends and other fellowship stipend checks will be mailed at the beginning of the quarter to the address you provide in your portal.  Regents fellowships will be paid the first week of Fall quarter.  At Orientation on Sep 12 you will complete employment paperwork for TAships and GSRships.  These are salaried positions with monthly paychecks issued on these dates:

Fall quarter paychecks: Nov 1, Dec 1, Jan 2
Winter quarter paychecks: Feb 1, Mar 1, Apr 1
Spring quarter paychecks: May 1, Jun 1, Jul 1

You are encouraged to sign up for direct deposit (1) for paychecks, and (2) for fellowship stipends and refunds.  It takes one monthly cycle for direct deposit to be processed and become functional.  In the meantime, paychecks will be held for you in the department office.


Beginning Wednesday, June 22, you may enroll in classes through your student portal using your AIS user name (your cruzID) and gold password.  Student at computerFor technical support call (831)459-4357 or email help@ucsc.edu.  If you have not already done so, please enroll in the following courses:

Chem 291 Chemistry Research Seminar (5 units), #22904, grade option Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory(S/U)

Chem 292 Departmental Research Seminar (2 units), #20899, grade option Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U)

Chem 296 Teaching Chemistry (2 units), #20900, grade option Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory(S/U)

Core courses and Electives (enroll in 5-10 units now or after your advising appointment, send email if you need a permission code to override prerequisites):

   Chem 200A Advanced Biophysical Methods (Rubin, 5 units), #20895, grade option Letter Grade (LG) or S/U

   Chem 242B Modern Organic Synthesis (Braslau, 5 units), #23029, grade option Letter Grade (LG) or S/U

   Chem 269 Electrochemistry (Chen, 5 units), #22216, grade option Letter Grade (LG) or S/U

   Courses in other departments: BME, EE, Physics, etc.

If you have been advised to take a course to meet one of the attainment requirements (i.e. you are not taking one or more of the attainment exams), enroll in the upper-division course that meets the requirement:
   Organic: Chem 143 Organic Chemical Structures and Reactions (5 units), #20883
   Physical Chemistry: Chem 163A Quantum Mechanics (5 units), #20887, and Chem 163B (5 units), Winter quarter, and Chem 163C (5 units), Spring quarter
   Biochemistry: Chem 103 Biochemistry, Winter quarter
   Inorganic: Chem 151A Inorganic Chemistry, Winter quarter
If you will be enrolling in more than 19 units, send email so I can raise your units limit.  Note: The higher limit will not take effect until the first day of class (Sep 22).

Statement of Legal Residence for US Citizens

If you are from out of state, you will be charged Non-Resident Tuition for your first year ($5034 per quarter); the department will pay this for PhD students only, in the first year only.  If your CA residency status is unclear based on information from your graduate program application, the Registrar will require you to submit a Statement of Legal Residence.  This requirement will appear on the To-Do list in your my.UCSC.edu portal.  If you see this to-do item, you must complete a Statement of Legal Residence and return it to the Officer of the Registrar with the required documentation by August 15, 2016, so that your resident status can be determined for tuition purposes.  Failure to file this form by the deadline will result in your being classified as a California non-resident and you will be responsible for paying Supplemental Non-Resident Tuition yourself.  (The department does not pay tuition or Supplemental Non-Resident tuition for Master's students.)

International Students

  • Log in to the visa check-in web site and follow the instructions.  You will be asked to upload the following in pdf format, so scan these materials before logging on:

            1.  Scan of the ID page in your passport.
            2.  Scan of paper (both sides) or electronic I-94 record (one page).
            3.  Scan of your F-1 visa page from passport.
            4.  Scan of the first page of your I-20.

You are required to attend the Mandatory International Graduate Student Orientation Sep 19:

  • Part I: 9am - 12pm, Jack Baskin Auditorium (SOE 101).  SEVIS, maintaining visa status, other regulatory items.
  • Lunch: 12 - 1pm, Baskin Auditorium Courtyard.
  • Part II: Workshops: Classroom culture, communication strategies, student panel.

For more information visit the Office of International Education web site.

  • Language testing: you will be contacted in early September by the Graduate Division to schedule a Versant test of English fluency (cost $45).  Test is waived if you scored 26+ on the Speaking section of the TOEFL exam.  If you do not pass the Versant test, you are required to take the course LAAD 210 Oral Communication in the US Classroom.  The tuition fee for this course is $750.