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Frequently Asked Questions - UC Davis Graduate Students

Registration Requirement

  • Once I advance to candidacy, do I need to register?
  • If you intend to receive your degree, you must be either registered or on approved filing fee status. If you let your student status lapse, you may have to apply for readmission. You must be registered if you:

    • Hold an academic student appointment title such as a GSR or TA (unless you are using the one quarter exception to registration);
    • Use University facilities and consult regularly with faculty; or
    • Receive a fellowship or financial aid

    If your research requires that you be outside California for an entire quarter and you need to stay registered, you may petition for In Absentia Registration and pay partial fees. For more information, read the In Absentia Registration Policy and the FAQs. You may also download the In Absentia Registration form.

Filing Fee

  • What is the Filing Fee and am I eligible for this program?
  • The Filing Fee program was established expressly to assist those students who have completed all requirements for degrees except filing theses and dissertations and /or taking final examinations and are no longer using University facilities. The Filing Fee is a reduced fee, paid in lieu of registration fees. It is assessed only once. The Filing Fee option preserves your candidacy status with the University within approved time limits; however, you are no longer considered a full-time registered student by the university and are not entitled to the same benefits and privileges as a registered student. Filing Fee is approved for one quarter only.

Health Insurance

  • Will I be covered by the University of California Student Health Insurance Plan (UC SHIP) while I'm on Filing Fee or Planned Educational Leave (PELP) status??
  • UC SHIP members who go on PELP or Filing Fee status may extend their UC SHIP coverage for the first quarter of PELP or Filing Fee status only. This extension of coverage is not automatic and your insurance fees will be higher while on PELP or Filing Fee status. Application for enrollment as a PELP or Filing Fee student must be made within five days of your registration status change. Contact Student Health and Counseling Services for more information.

Let's Talk Money

  • Where can I find out about fellowships for dissertation research and writing?
  • The Student Financial Support section of this website is the place to begin researching fellowships awarded by the University, fellowship agencies, private foundations and corporations. The support office also has applications for major national fellowship programs.
  • When should I apply for fellowships for research and writing?
  • Do you need to travel to certain field sites, libraries, laboratories or museums to do research? Would you like several months of fellowship support while you write your thesis or dissertation? You should apply as early as possible and at least one year before you need the funds. Keep in mind that many agencies often take six months to review applications.

Writing Tips

  • Where can I get help with writing my thesis or dissertation?
  • Many students find writing a thesis or dissertation to be a difficult and time-consuming challenge unlike anything they have encountered in their education so far. You are not alone if you feel bewildered by the task ahead. The following are some helpful hints for getting a thesis or dissertation finished:
    • Find out what a thesis or dissertation looks like for your discipline. If your program doesn't keep copies, you can find copies of theses and dissertations filed by Davis students at the Shields Library in the Special Collections section.
    • Read the thesis and dissertation filing instructions. In the instructions we list several publications you may find useful.
    • Ask for help from Counseling Services if you have writer's block or feel yourself burning out. The center offers individual and group support for the rigors of academic life. For information or an appointment stop by 219 North Hall or call (530) 752-0871.
    • GradPathways partners with the University Writing Program to provide workshops, courses and individualized assistance to those who need writing assistance. Check the GradPathways site for a listing of workshops and events and make appointments for writing consultations.

Changing Your Committee

  • Is it possible to change the membership of my thesis or dissertation committee?
  • Yes. When membership changes must be made, your official graduate advisor must recommend to the Dean of Graduate Studies the new committee member and give the reason for the change. You can start the process by using the Reconstitution of Committee Membership Request form.

Smooth Sailing

  • How can I ensure that the path to the thesis or dissertation will be as trouble-free as possible?
  • Keep in touch with your thesis advisor. Keep track of each time you speak with your advisor, what s/he requested and what agreements you reached – a journal or diary of your activities is most helpful. Get feedback from your advisor as often as s/he is willing to give it to be sure you are proceeding on a direct fruitful path and not becoming sidetracked. Be sure your committee members have a generous time allowance for the review of the final draft.

Preparing for the Job Market

  • What about preparing for the job market?
  • According to the Internship and Career Center, success in the job market can be greatly enhanced by exercising a few simple principles:
    • Develop a professional network. Make contacts and present your research within the department and at national meetings. Invite faculty to observe and evaluate your teaching experiences. The broader your contacts, the wider the pipeline to position announcements and the stronger the statements in letters of recommendation.
    • Locate vacancy listings. Your best resource is your academic department. Ask your graduate program coordinator for the location of the job board or vacancy file. The Internship and Career Center and Shields Library also house flyers and professional journals with job listings.
    • Research the needs of the prospective employer. Request an expanded job description or talk to the search committee chair to get details on the position. Request promotional literature about the department and its faculty/staff.
    • Prepare an exemplary curriculum vitae (CV). Begin by attending the CV workshops offered by the Internship and Career Center or by emulating a "recent" successful candidate in your department. Your CV should be tailor-made, focusing on the skills that lend themselves directly to the employer's needs.
    • Be willing to relocate. Your first position should not be determined by geography. It does not have to be a lifetime commitment but it does need to be in an environment where you can establish credibility. Cast a broad net, land that first job and look forward to being "geographically" selective on the next position when you are a proven commodity.

Filing the Thesis or Dissertation

  • How do I submit the final version of my thesis/dissertation?
  • All theses and dissertations must be submitted electronically using the ProQuest Information and Learning Electronic Thesis/Dissertation (ETD) Administrator. Go to ETD's website for more information.
  • What should I know about filing my thesis or dissertation with the Graduate Studies office?
  • Consult the instructions for Preparing and Submitting Theses or Dissertations well before you plan to submit the final version. Degrees are awarded in March, June, September, and December. Consult the yearly calendar for filing dates. You must call ahead to schedule an appointment with the Student Affairs Officer in Graduate Studies who handles your discipline. Don't wait until the last minute or you might find yourself disappointed that you couldn't get an appointment time. Your ETD must be submitted at least two business days prior to your appointment.

The Final Product

  • How do I get my diploma?
  • Your diploma is available approximately four months after your graduation date. In order to receive your diploma you must submit a diploma mailing form to the Office of the University Registrar. All diplomas are mailed to the destination of your choice.