Welcome to UCSB! Making the transition to graduate school can be an exciting but also anxious time. Check out the information and resources on this website to learn more about the community of scholars that you will be joining and how you can set yourself up for success.

Jump to information about:

Key Resources to Connect With
Getting Oriented to Campus
Getting Access, Registering for Classes, & Establishing Residency
Living & Getting Around In Santa Barbara


Many of your questions on how to get started in grad school will likely be answered by several specific campus offices, including your home department. Here are some important resources to connect with from the get-go:

Your Graduate Program Faculty and Staff
Every department has designated faculty and staff that oversee the graduate program and assist graduate students in a variety of ways – from academic advising to employment and fellowships to registering for classes. Be sure to connect with your department's graduate program faculty and staff early on!

Academic Services (Graduate Division)
Find out what you need to know about academic policies and procedures related to graduate school, including forms, petitions, deadlines, degree requirements, interdisciplinary emphases, and academic accommodations. The Graduate Division also offers academic counseling to provide holistic support for students on their academic journey.

Financial Services (Graduate Division)
The Financial Support unit administers fellowship programs and certifies student eligibility for fellowship funding and graduate student academic appointments. You'll also find information on student fees, tax information, and parenting accommodation policies related to graduate employment.

The Graduate Student Resource Center and the GradPost (Graduate Division)
The GradPost is the digital outpost of the Graduate Student Resource Center (GSRC) and serves as the primary source for news, funding, professional development, advice, events, and more related to graduate student life at UCSB. Sign up for the daily digest from the GradPost and follow the GSRC on Facebook for the latest information. You can also find out more about the GSRC staff and peer advisors here.

Graduate Student-Led Organizations (Office of Student Life)
UCSB has a number of student-led organizations just for graduate students. Check out Shoreline, UCSB's student org management platform, to find out more. (Note: you will need to log in with your UCSB NetID.)

Graduate Student Association
The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is the elected representative government that ensures graduate student concerns are addressed in campus and off-campus policy decisions through representations on campus-wide and system-wide. They offer activities, grants, and other opportunities to get involved on campus.

Click below to download our 2020-21 How to Navigate Through Graduate School guide

Still have questions? Check out our New Grad FAQs to see if they've already been answered!

The Graduate Division also maintains several living FAQ documents specifically related to COVID-19 and campus operations. Be sure to check there for the latest updates.


Grad Success Series logo-square largerThe Graduate Division offered a series of summer workshops, panel discussions, resource fairs, and social events called the Grad Success Series to help incoming UCSB graduate students make a smooth transition to grad school life. This year, the Grad Success Series was held virtually, so we were able to record a number of our events. Be sure to check out the Grad Success Series page for links to videos and other resources from organizations across campus.

Additionally, the Graduate Division hosted New Graduate Student Orientation on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. In case you missed it, you can watch all of the videos on the Graduate Division's Vimeo showcase here.

Orientation Screencap

NOTE: we are working on providing captions for all of our New Graduate Student Orientation videos, and we will provide an update here once this has been done.


*Please note that this information is subject to change due to the evolving conditions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic; please contact the host departments directly for the most up-to-date information

CALI (Cultural Awareness, Laws, and Immigration) Training for International Students
This training is provided by the UCSB Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS). Registration and attendance is required for all new international graduate students.

English Language Placement Exam (ELPE)
This exam is administered by the UCSB English for Multilingual Students (EMS) Program. All international students whose first language is not English are expected to take the exam unless exempted. There is also a list of FAQs about the ELPE.

Campus-Wide Orientation for New Teaching Assistants and Readers
This orientation is hosted by Instructional Development. Attendance is required of all first-time Teaching Assistants and Readers with secured appointments at UCSB, even if duties will not begin until Winter or Spring Quarters.

Department Orientations
Check with your department for information about orientation sessions and other pre-quarter activities for new graduate students.


Setting Up Your UCSB NetID (you can do this 1-2 days after submitting your Statement of Intent to Register)

Activating Your UCSB Umail Account

Getting a UCSB Access Card (this is your official University ID and used to access essential campus services)

How to Enroll in Courses

GOLD (UCSB's online registration and information portal)

BARC (UCSB's online portal for paying tuition and fees)

Information About Statement of Legal Residence

How to Establish Residency (view a recording of the webinar on establishing residency that was hosted by the UCSB Registrar on July 31)


The GradPost Life Section
Information on fun events and ways to get involved in the campus and surrounding community

Information about on-campus parking options and alternative modes of transportation

Campus Maps

Printable Campus Map
Take a Virtual Campus Tour

Housing Guides and Resources

On-Campus Housing Guide
Off-Campus Housing Guide
Short-Term Housing

Roommate Search Resources

UCSB Graduate Student Roommate Search Facebook Group

New Graduate Student Facebook Group (a separate group is created each year in early July, and all incoming students are sent instructions via email about how to join; please e-mail Shawn Warner if you have any questions)


Shawn Warner, Director of Professional Development, UCSB Graduate Division

Hannah Lawrence, Assistant Director of Professional Development, UCSB Graduate Division