Newly Admitted Students

Newly Admitted Students

Welcome to the Graduate Group in Computer Science!

Welcome to the Computer Science program! You have received an offer of admission to our program and we look forward to seeing you here on campus. Before you start here in the Fall, there are a few steps that you should take care of.

  • Statement of Intent to Register (SIR)
  • The first step to take care of is to submit your Statement of Intent to Register (SIR), if you have not already. You may submit your SIR Yes via your admission portal where you originally applied. Your student ID number can be found listed on your acceptance letter. This number is used often when interacting with university services, so you may want to remember it.
  • First Steps and Computing Accounts
  • After you’ve submitted your Statement of Intent to Register to our program, UC Davis Graduate Studies has a list of steps to take, including making your campus computing account and your UC Davis email account. Your UC Davis email account is the method in which you will be contacted by most, if not all, university services. 

    Your admission portal will include a checklist of tasks for you to complete, including Aggie201, sending official transcripts, and other items. We recommend that you complete these items as soon as possible. The Graduate Studies' FAQs for Newly Admitted Students website may also be helpful to you.

  • Graduate Student Guides
  • Once you have finished those first steps, read the Graduate Studies Resource Guide and the Helpful Resources for GGCS Students webpage. There are other steps that you will need to take before you start here, such as:
    ♦   Arranging transportation, whether it be by car, bike, bus or otherwise.
    ♦   Finding a place to live for your first year here. 
    ♦   Managing funding for the time that you are here.

  • Teaching Assistants (TAs)
  • Teaching Assistantships are open to all graduate students, but subject to the rules and selection procedure outlined in the Graduate Student Guidelines. You can read more about TA positions on the Graduate Studies’ website. TA positions provide a partial fee waiver and a stipend for every month you are employed.

    It is relatively rare for entering graduate students to be able to secure a TA position in their first quarter.  Nevertheless, all interested students are encouraged to apply. You will receive an email in August with TA application information. TA selections are made on a quarterly basis. Accordingly, the TA application is likewise distributed each quarter. The department requires all TAs attend the Center for Educational Effectiveness (CEE) TA Orientation. You can find registration information on CEE’s website.

  • International Students
  • Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS) provides all support for international students on campus. If you have any questions about visas, OPT, CPT, and so on, SISS is the office on campus that will help you. Our department cannot answer any questions about these topics.

    International students should note that they may be required to take the TOEP exam when they arrive on campus in order to be eligible for a TA position. These tests are designed to measure the comprehensibility, fluency, grammar and pronunciation skills of a non-native speaker’s oral English. Due to the necessity of this exam, international students take the exam in the Fall Quarter that they are admitted, and are not eligible for TA positions until Winter Quarter, the quarter after. You can find more information about these tests and qualifying to be a TA here.

  • Registering for Classes
  • ScheduleBuilder is the tool used to register and adjust classes. Graduate students are not assigned appointment times, and are able to register for classes during any time open for students. Some individual courses may have pass restrictions, so please review these in detail to ensure you are prepared. Registration dates are available on the Office of the University Registrar’s website. In order to be considered a full-time student, graduate students must enroll in 12-units every quarter.

    For your first quarter, your recommended schedule is:

    ♦   One graduate level (numbered 200-289) ECS course of your choice (4-units)

         - We have found that most new graduate students are most successful taking only one graduate-level course during their first quarter. This will allow you time to acclimate to life as a graduate student, and after relocating to Davis.
         - If you would like to register for one special topics course (ECS 289A-M) as your one graduate-level course, you may do so. More information about special topics courses on offer during the upcoming quarter will be distributed to you once it becomes available.

    ♦   ECS 293A (1-unit), Research in Computer Science
         - This is an introductory seminar to research in the Graduate Group in Computer Science.
         - It also helps you build relationships with the rest of your cohort.
         - It is highly recommended that you take this class in your first quarter here, but not required.

    ♦   ECS 390 (1-unit), The Teaching of Computer Science
         - This class is required of all TAs in the Department of Computer Science.
         - If you are planning on TAing at any point during your studies, take this class.

    More information about registering for classes, including the research units (ECS 299) that fill the rest of your schedule to reach full-time student status, will be provided at Graduate Group in Computer Science (GGCS) Orientation.

  • Graduate Group in Computer Science (GGCS) Orientation
  • Almost everything about our department, including class registration, will be explained at our Graduate Group in Computer Science (GGCS) Orientation. Please plan to arrive in Davis no later than the Monday before Fall instruction begins. Allow yourself time to settle into your new home, get a bicycle and find out where things are.

"How to Be a Good Graduate Student" by Distinguished Professor Emeritus Biswanath Mukherjee
Be sure to also check out our general FAQs for current graduate students. For any additional new-student questions, please email our advisors at