Computer Science

New Students


Welcome to the Department of Computer Science! You have received an offer of admission to our program. Before you start here in the fall, there are a few steps that you should take care of.

Statement of Intent to Register

The first step to take care of is to submit your Statement of Intent to Register, if you have not already. You can find the statement in your acceptance letter to our program. Your student ID number was also 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, the Office of 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.

There are also departmental computer accounts. Ken Gribble, the department’s system administrator, will give you information and access to those accounts at the department orientation.

Graduate Student Guide

Once you have finished those, read the Graduate Student Guide. 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. For more information, see Student Housing’s website.
  • 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 Office of 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 application information. TA selections are made on a quarterly basis. The department requires all first-year TAs attend the Center for Educational Effectiveness’ 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 are required to take either the TOEP or SPEAK test 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 here.

Registering for Classes

Schedule Builder 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. Registration dates are available on the Office of the University Registrar’s website. You will be able to register starting with the first day of Pass 1 for new students.

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 200-299) ECS class, for 4 units
  • ECS 293A, Research in Computer Science, 1 unit
    • This is an introductory seminar to research in the Department of 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.
    • It is only offered in the Fall each year.
  • ECS 390, The Teaching of Computer Science, for 1 unit
    • This class is required of all TAs in the Department of Computer Science.
    • If you are planning on TAing at any point during your study here, take this class.
    • It is only offered in the Fall each year.

More information about registering for classes, including the research units that fill the rest of your schedule, will be provided at orientation.

Department Orientation

Almost everything about our department, including class registration, will be explained at our department orientation. More information about orientation is available at our orientation page.

Please plan to arrive in Davis before graduate student orientation begins. Allow yourself time to settle into your new home, get a bicycle, and find out where things are.

Questions

If you have any questions that were not answered above, email Jessica Stoller, the Graduate Student Affairs Officer, at stoller@cs.ucdavis.edu.

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