Newly Admitted Grads

Updated for Fall 2019

Congratulations and welcome to the Mathematics Department at UC Santa Cruz! Please take a few moments to review the below information about what you'll need to do as a new graduate student. Scroll through the page or click one of the links below to be taken directly to a topic.

Be sure to check your UCSC email frequently for any updates!

Graduate Program Contacts | Important Dates | International Student Information | California ResidencyStudent ID Cards & Other Proofs of Identification | Health Insurance | Teaching Assistantships | Payroll & Financial Information | HousingParking Permits | Directions to the Math Department | Email and Computers | Enrolling in Courses | Getting Added to the Mathematics Graduate Directory | Past Orientation Presentations

Graduate Program Contacts

Longzhi Lin, Graduate Vice Chair | 831-459-4180

Gina Hernan, Graduate Advisor and Program Coordinator | 831-459-5461

Important Dates - Fall 2019

Fall 2019 Department Newsletter (link coming soon!)

Monday, August 26th - Thursday, September 19th
MANDATORY Graduate Prep Program (GPP) for international students. All Graduate students who are non-native English speakers and have been offered a TAship for Fall will be required to attend GPP unless they meet the waiver requirements outlined below.

Wednesday, September 18th 
MANDATORY Inclusive Classroom Practices Using 21st Century Pedagogy, day one of special two-day training. Schedule TBA.

Thursday, September 19th 
MANDATORY Inclusive Classroom Practices Using 21st Century Pedagogy, day one of special two-day training. Schedule TBA.

Saturday, September 21st
Fall Quarter Begins

Monday, September 23rd 
MANDATORY Math Graduate Orientation for new grads. Schedule TBA.

Tuesday, September 24th
MANDATORY all Math Graduate Orientation for current and new grads. Schedule TBA.

Wednesday, September 25th
MANDATORY New Graduate Student Orientation. Schedule available HERE.

Thursday, September 26th
Instruction Begins
TA assignment meeting, 3:30pm in McHenry 1240

Friday, September 27th
Algebra Prelim 9-2

Tuesday, October 1st
Mathematics Welcome Back Event, 3:00pm in the Tea Room (McHenry 4161)

Wednesday, October 2nd
Fall Sections Begin

Friday, October 4th
Analysis Prelim 9-2

Friday, October 11th
Geometry-Topology Prelim 9-2

Friday, December 6th
Fall Instruction Ends

Monday, December 9th - Friday, December 13th
Fall Finals Week (Fall Quarter Ends)

NOTE: More academic dates and deadlines can be found on the 2019-2020 Academic Calendar.

International Student Information

UCSC Email
You must contact the Graduate Advisor and Program Coordinator if you will not have access to your UCSC email account (gmail) prior to your arrival. The Department will need an alternative email address for correspondence. 

Complete the Visa Check-in within 15 days of program start-date. MANDATORY for all international students. 
Please click HERE for a list of required documentation and for more information on how to check-in. Note that all check-ins can be completed electronically. 

Attend Orientation Sessions
Programming specific to international students is on Wednesday, September 25th. Please click HERE for a full schedule.

Obtain a Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

Teaching Assistantship Information

Additional Information
More information is available on the International Student Services & Programs (ISSP) website


California Residency (Domestic Students)

Statement of Legal Residence
The form used to determine if you will be assessed fees as an in-state student or an out-of-state student is called the Statement of Legal Residence, also known as the online SLR.

Students required to complete the online SLR will be prompted by a request in their To Do List in the MyUCSC Student Center. Instructions will navigate you to the link where you will complete the online SLR.

Obtaining California Residency
It is your responsibility to complete the residency petition process. Students who fail to gain CA residency by their second year will be responsible for all non-resident tuition costs

Gaining CA residency is a full year process that starts as soon as possible. Please read the below information carefully, including all sited links:

Establishing Physical Presence and Intent:
To meet these requirements, you must be continuously physically present in California for more than one year (366 days) immediately prior to the residence determination date (generally the first day of classes) and intend to make California your home permanently. You can demonstrate your intention to stay in California by relinquishing legal ties to your former state and establishing legal ties to California; you’ll need to relinquish out-of-state ties and demonstrate intent while simultaneously meeting the physical presence requirement.

Below are some ways you can establish intent. Italicized bullets indicate actions that you should take as soon as possible: 
  • Remain in California when school is not in session.
  • Register to vote and vote in California elections.
  • Designate your California address as permanent on all school and employment records, including current military records.
  • Obtain a California driver's license within 10 days of settling in California. (If you've never had a driver’s license in any state, then obtain a California identification card.)
  • If you have a car, obtain a California motor vehicle registration within 20 days of settling in California.
  • Work in California and file California resident income tax forms from the date of entry into the state. Income earned outside of California after that date must also be declared in California.
  • Establish and maintain active bank accounts in California banks and close out-of-state accounts.
  • Surrender all out-of-state identification (including driver's license).
  • Establish a permanent home where your belongings are kept.
Sections III.A/B/D will be the most useful

This form must be filled out in order to gain CA residency for Fall 2020. Students may begin petitioning in June 2020 for the Fall 2020 quarter; the deadline for submission of the petition is the first day of instruction for Fall 2020 (October 1, 2020). You may submit your petition and supporting documentation in person, via mail, or secure upload to Filelocker.

Student ID Cards & Other Proofs of Identification

Student ID Cards
Photos for Grad student ID cards can be taken at the ID Card Services Office next to the Baytree Bookstore. Visit ID Card Services as soon as possible. If you are not immediately able to receive your ID, they will let you know when to return and pick it up.

The ID Card Services Office is open Monday-Friday from 8:00am-5:00pm. You will need to show a form of picture ID, such as a driver's license or passport, and have your student ID number available. For questions about student ID cards, please call 831-459-2990 or email Click HERE for additional information. 

What You Can Do with Your ID Card:
  • Your ID acts as a key to get you into the McHenry building after-hours. You will need to have your ID activated in order to use it as a key for the building doors. To activate your card, go to the PBSci Keys Office located in the Physical Sciences Building, Room 216. The office is open Monday-Friday from 10:00am-12:00pm.
  • Your ID serves as a Santa Cruz County Metro Bus Pass with a valid quarter sticker available each quarter from your Graduate Advisor and Program Coordinator. If you need a temporary bus pass before you receive your photo ID, you may obtain one at the Graduate Division Office at the second floor of Kerr Hall.
  • Your ID serves a Recreation Facilities Pass with a valid quarter sticker.
  • Your ID serves as a Library Card; the UPC code on the front of your ID card is your library check out a number.
  • Your ID serves as a Food Service/Flexi-Dollar Card. Cafeteria food plans and declining balance Flexi card plans are available. Click HERE for more information about dining and meal plan option. Contact with any questions. 


Driver's License
If you are either employed or a student in California, you must obtain a California Driver's License in order to drive. This includes those on F-1, J-1, H-1B, and TN visas and their dependents. If you are going to purchase a motor vehicle (a car, scooter or motorcycle), most insurance companies will not provide coverage unless you have a valid California License.

To obtain a California Driver’s License, contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) located at 4200 Capitola Road (near 41st Avenue) in Capitola: 1-800-777-0133. Click HERE for more information. 

In addition to permitting you to operate a motor vehicle, a driver’s license is also the most recognized means of identification. A California ID Card is also available through the DMV as a means of identification for those ineligible for a driver's license. You will be asked for a Social Security number and your passport to obtain either the Driver’s License or the ID card. If you are not eligible for a Social Security card, you should be able to indicate this to the DMV, and still apply for a Driver's License.

Social Security Cards/Numbers and Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers
Please bring your original Social Security Card. You cannot be hired for a Teaching Assistantship without it.

Information for International Students:

Social Security Numbers (SSN) and Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN)
A SSN is required for everyone who works in the U.S. It is a unique, nine-digit identification number valid for life, and is issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to maintain an accurate record of wages. Its primary purpose is to track individuals for tax purposes; it is not a work permit in and of itself.

Some students or dependents not yet eligible for SSNs can apply for an ITIN. This is a unique identification number valid for 5 years or until you receive an SSN, whichever is first.

When to Apply
You may apply from abroad as long as you have the necessary documentation, or you may apply once you have arrived. Because of the time required to process ITINs, we urge you to have additional funding available to you to cover your first quarter while you await your ITIN and payments.

You must be physically present in the U.S. to apply for an SSN. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will verify your legal presence in Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program (SAVE) before issuing an SSN.

Newly Arrived Students...
  • Must wait at least 10 calendar days after arriving in the U.S.
  • Must wait at least 2 business days after initial registration of your SEVIS record. A student advisor will register your record after you have completed the visa check-in process, enrolled full-time, and updated your U.S. address in MyUCSC.
  • No more than 30 days before your employment start date.

How to Apply
Refer to the ITIN Presentation for step-by-step guidance.

  1. Complete the Social Security Authorization Form with signatures from your hiring supervisor.
  2. Obtain an ISSS support letter. You must bring the Social Security Authorization Form to an ISSS advisor in order to get this letter.
  3. Complete the SSN application Form S-5, available on the Social Security Administration website or at the Social Security Office.
  4. Bring your Form S-5 and required documentation to the Social Security Office. The local SSA office is at 169 Walnut Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz. They are open Monday-Friday from 9am-4pm, with the exception of Wednesdays, when they close at 12pm instead. You will be informed at the time you apply if the card will be processed.
  5. Once approved, request a verification receipt of your application. The UCSC Career Center and many departments can accept the receipt in order to give you your blue card or set up your account.
  6. Wait between 2-3 weeks for the Social Security card to arrive in the mail. Sometimes students and scholars can get the SSN itself before receiving the card by going to SSA to ask for it.
  7. Show the Social Security card to your employer for review. Don't forget to input your SSN into your GLACIER account, if necessary. ISSS does not need a copy.
  8. Store your original SSN card in a safe place. Avoid carrying it with you in your wallet.

Graduate Student Health Insurance Program (GSHIP)

All graduate students are automatically assessed a quarterly fee for mandatory Graduate Student Health Insurance Program (GSHIP) unless the student has opted out of the program with the Cowell Health Center. Students obtain waivers by demonstrating to Cowell Health Center that they have comparable coverage under another health insurance policy.

Teaching Assistants, Teaching Fellows, Associates In, and Graduate Student Researchers who have appointments of 25% time or greater will have the fee covered for them either by UCSC or by their hiring professor the quarter of their appointment.

GSHIP provides year-round and worldwide coverage. Please click HERE for more information. 

Teaching Assistantships

Here you will find information about financial support and TA appointments, assignments, and duties.

The above link provides information about Graduate Division policies, including academic appointments, academic salary scales, union contracts, and the Graduate Division TA Handbook. 

This webpage provides pathways to campus resources that can support faculty and graduate students in their teaching roles. CITL is also developing a resource hub for materials that support professional development in teaching, including best practices and evidence-based strategies for effective teaching.

Information for International Students

International graduate students who self-identified as non-native English speakers in their applications and who do not have qualifying test scores (26 speaking on TOEFL, 8 speaking on IELTS) must either pass language tests (IELTS, TOEFL) or participate in the Graduate Prep Program (GPP) before they are able to work as Teaching Assistants.

All Graduate students who are non-native English speakers and have been offered a TAship for Fall will be required to attend GPP unless:
1. The student has a Master's degree from an accredited US university AND the student has experience as a Teaching Assistant.


2. The student has a qualifying TOEFL Speaking score (26) or IELTS Speaking score (8).

​If you wish to waive the GPP requirement, you will need to obtain official documentation that shows proof that the waiver requirements have been met.

The dates of GPP are Monday, August 26, 2019 - Thursday, September 19, 2019. The Mathematics Department will pay the $1,000 program cost; living expenses are to be paid by the student. Students who attend GPP will be given a different start date on their I-20s and will be expected to be participate in this program in-full; by leaving the program early, a student could void the terms of their F-1 immigration status.

More information about GPP can be found HERE.

Payroll & Financial Information

All new incoming Grads will be scheduled to meet with Andrew Melford from the Physical and Biological Sciences (PBSci) Business Office. This year, all incoming grads will meet with Andrew during the Department orientation on September 23rd. You can contact Andrew at or 831-459-3565. 

Each student will need to provide a document that establishes personal identity such as a passport, driver's license, state ID card, or valid student ID. Each student will also need to provide a document that establishes employment eligibility, such as a US birth certificate or social security card. All non-citizen and non-resident alien students will also need to provide all visa and passport documentation, including the I-94 and I-20 forms.

Pay Dates
Fall Quarter: November 1st, December 1st, and January 2nd
Winter Quarter: February 1st, March 1st, April 1st
Spring Quarter: May 1st, June 1st, July 1st

Direct Deposit
The Mathematics Department requests that all paychecks are deposited into a bank account via direct deposit. Please click HERE for instructions on how to sign up for direct deposit. If you are an international student, you do not need to obtain a social security number before you can open a checking account; in most cases you will need to show your passport and your I-20 or DS-2019 to open an account. Having your student ID may be helpful.

What is Direct Deposit?
Direct Deposit allows your pay to be deposited into your bank account directly from the University’s bank early on payday morning, rather than receiving pay through a paper paycheck.

Advantages of Direct Deposit
  • Your earnings statement (pay stub) is available online three days prior to payday, and is viewable by computer browsers and most smartphones
  • Delays due to lost or misrouted paper checks are eliminated
  • Better for the environment as paper for checks and envelopes is not used
  • Saves a trip to the bank or ATM
Financial Matters
In late August you will receive a statement via your MyUCSC portal for Fall quarter charges. Fee credits are applied to your account in mid-September. The deadline for payment of graduate fees is Friday, Oct 4th. You may disregard the earlier due date that appears on your statement -- this is for undergraduates only.
Please click HERE for information on how to access your bill.

Financial Aid Emergency Advance Program
The Financial Aid Emergency Advance is a resource available to assist UCSC students experiencing temporary difficulties meeting their financial obligations due to a delay in the disbursement of their financial aid. The Financial Aid Emergency Advance is made against yet-to-be disbursed current quarter institutional, state and federal funds. 

The Financial Aid Emergency Advance Application can be obtained by visiting the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office located at 205 Hahn Building. Graduate students may also request funding from the Department by completing the online Mathematics Funding Request Form



On-Campus Graduate Student Housing
Note: The application process opens up on May 2, 2019. Graduate students should apply for on-campus housing by May 17, 2019.

Off-Campus Housing

UCSC Housing List
This is an internal housing list run on a volunteer basis by UCSC employees. The goal of this list is to help current (and incoming) UCSC graduate students, postdocs, staff, and faculty find and retain safe and reliable housing.​ 

Email to join the list; include "Housing" in the subject line. 

Parking Permits

Parking permits can be obtained from Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) at the main entrance to campus. You can also fill out the online student parking permit application on the TAPS website. Email with any questions. 

Please visit Santa Cruz Metro/Transit Online or call 831-425-8600 for more information on alternative transportation. 

Directions to the Math Department

The campus is located at 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064. Click HERE for a map to the McHenry building. The closest parking lot is Parking Lot 101.

Once you have arrived at McHenry, enter through the front doors and take an immediate left; you will see a doorway with the sign "Mathematics Department". You can then take the elevator up to the 4th floor. We are not in the "library", so you are in the wrong area if you've gone through metal detectors.

The Mathematics office is McHenry 4111, right by the elevator. If you have any trouble finding the office, please call 831-459-2969. 


Email and Computers

All grad students have access to computers and workstations. General graduate student computer use will be in McHenry 4170.

Students are expected to check their UCSC email address on a daily basis during the academic year. 


Enrolling in Courses

New grads may begin to enroll in Fall 2019 courses on Thursday, June 20th. The deadline to enroll without late fees is Friday, October 4th. Please see the current Academic Calendar for other important enrollment dates.

Please click HERE for instructions on how to enroll.  

The Mathematics Department advises that first year students enroll in two graduate mathematics courses every quarter; this is usually the first courses in two of the core sequences (most often algebra and analysis).

The new mathematics pedagogy course, Math 288A, is also recommended for incoming students. This course is degree requirement starting with the Fall 2019 cohort. The course can be taken at anytime, but will be most useful during the first year. Since this course is only 2 units, this would be in addition to the two courses mentioned above.

Students who have not advanced to candidacy must be enrolled in at least 10 units per quarter to be considered full-time; students who have advanced to candidacy must be enrolled in at least 5 units per quarter to be considered full-time. Permission is needed to enroll in more than 19 units per quarter. Part-time status is granted on special approval by the Graduate Vice Chair only. 


Getting Added to the Mathematics Graduate Directory

  1. Print and sign the Photo/Video Release Form.
  2. Send the form to the Graduate Advisor and Program Coordinator along with a headshot of yourself. If you do not have a current headshot, you can request one from the Mathematics Department. 
  3. You will be added to the Mathematics Graduate Directory and to the picture board outside of the Mathematics Office in McHenry!


Past Orientation Presentations

Fall 2018 Mathematics Department Orientation (Prezi Presentation)

Fall 2018 Graduate Division Information Session (Google Presentation)

Fall 2018 Graduate Division Information Session (Video of Presentation)