GGIP Student Handbook


Registration Summary

New students, it is best that you plan out your class schedule as soon as possible and be prepared to register for fall quarter by late August/early September.  In addition to the classes offered by the Graduate Group, many elective classes are offered outside of the GGIP. The best resource for the variety of classes offered at the University in the upcoming quarter is the Class Search Tool.  Use the ‘Subject Area’ drop-down box. A complete list of course subject codes can be found here. Common course codes that our students search/take courses from include ANB, ABG, ANG, ANS, BCB, BIS, BIM, BST, BIT, CHA, CLH, DEB, GGG, IMM, MMI, MIB, MIC, MCB, MCP, NPB, NSC, PMI, PTX, STA, and UWP. 

Tools for Registering

You can register for your classes online using SISWEB or Schedule Builder.  GGIP Core Course registration numbers (CRN) can be obtained from the graduate group coordinator or by looking on the GGIP website. Note, GGIP core courses are not scheduled in Registrar Rooms, so classroom numbers will not show in Schedule Builder. Please look on the GGIP website. For other elective classes offered outside of the GGIP, you may need to contact the professor who is teaching the class for permission to add the course and the CRN number.  To be registered as a full-time student, you MUST sign up for a minimum of 12 units per quarter.  

Registration Appointment Times

Graduate students do not have assigned registration appointment times and may enroll in classes anytime Monday-Friday 6:00 am – midnight and Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. The only exception to this is during registration freezes. 

Graduate students may not enroll in more than 16 units of upper-division and graduate-level courses combined, or in more than 12 units of graduate-level coursework, without the approval of the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. As a continuing student, you will receive an email from the graduate program coordinator (GPC) when registration opens. Please register early, as classes do fill up. Also included in the registration email from the GPC are PMI 299 CRNs for each faculty. If your faculty prefers you to use a 299 CRN with their department, they will need to provide it to you. Registration emails for Fall, Winter, and Spring quarter registration will go out in May, November, and February, respectively.

Graduate (Academic) Advisor

A Graduate Adviser will be assigned to you in the GGIP.  They are available to talk with you about your course plan (MS or PhD) and track your progress throughout the program.  Your Graduate Adviser is the first point of contact for any conflict resolution, concerns with your mentor, lab, or funding. If you have any questions about the coursework, electives, examination, and thesis/dissertation research contact your Graduate Academic Adviser.  GGIP requests that all students meet with their academic advisor quarterly in years 1 and 2. All students are required to meet with their academic advisor at least once a year to go over their annual student progress report. Lisa A. Miller is the GGIP Master Academic Advisor and is always available as an additional resource for you.

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Major Professor (Mentor/P.I.)

Major Professor Summary

The role of the major professor is very important. Your major professor is also known as your primary mentor or the Principal Investigator (P.I.) in your lab. They will guide you throughout the program and oversee your research project.  They will also act as the chair of your dissertation committee (or MS thesis committee) and are crucial in securing funding for your dissertation project.  Finding a major professor who fits your needs as soon as possible will ensure that you meet goals within the targeted timeline.  Also, do not feel the need to apologize for making an appointment to meet with your major professor or any other professor at UCD.  Professors are here to help graduate students with their studies and research.  

Major Professor & Employment

Major professors are responsible for communicating to their student(s) how they will be paid for the entire year. If they hire you as a GSR, their department is responsible for providing you with a GSR appointment letter and for communicating who in their department is responsible for submitting your hiring ticket. If you don’t know who the hiring staff is, please ask! 


Academic Appointments

The most common form of graduate support, teaching and research assistantships, include a salary and tuition & fee remission (including student health insurance). Recipients are assigned to a major professor who supervises the experience. Graduate assistants support undergraduate or professional school instruction as TAs OR undertake research projects, as GSRs. Appointments are available only to graduate students who are registered for courses and enrolled in degree programs. Students whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate a sufficient level of English language proficiency to receive a teaching assistantship. 

Students should actively look for TAships 1-2 quarters in advance. Departments post applications on their website and/or on Handshake.

More information on understanding your graduate student funding can be found here. Information on the New Bargaining Agreements can be found here.


Fellowships are highly prestigious financial support packages that typically include a stipend and cover tuition & fees (including student health insurance). They derive from University or outside awards. Unlike academic employment, they do not have required instruction or research responsibilities. Recipients must be enrolled in a degree program and be registered full-time. Find out more information about Graduate Studies' fellowship competitions for incoming and continuing graduate students.

Fellowships are paid through Banner and are reported on your 1098-T. Information on fellowship disbursement dates can be found here.

If you are awarded an internal fellowship from Graduate Studies, please reach out to them directly ( about whether you are allowed to accept other fellowships or employment.

Loans and Financial Aid

A variety of aid is available for all income levels, including various types of student educational loans (Graduate and Professional Student LoansShort-Term and Emergency Loans), grants, and Work-Study funding. Contact your graduate program regarding the availability of work-study funding. Financial Aid is awarded on the basis of demonstrated financial need and is administered by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. Check the Financial Aid and Scholarships website for important dates and deadlines related to financial aid.

All UC Davis Students should fill out a FAFSA Application annually. The Graduate Coordinator will typically remind you when it is time to do this.


All students are expected to have a strong background in Cell Biology and the equivalent of the below UC Davis courses:  

STA    100    Applied Statistics    4 units

BIS     104    Cell Biology    3 units


You must take Cell Biology (BIS 104) before you take PMI 201. 

You must take Applied Statistics (STA 100) before you take PMI 203.

Please talk with your graduate academic advisor if you have not completed comparable courses. You can use the Fall quarter to complete the two deficiency courses above. STA 100 and BIS 104 are undergraduate courses, meaning they fill up fast. If you have to take these courses, please make sure to register ASAP. Both courses undergo prerequisite checking. If you submit a prerequisite petition and do not hear back within a week, please follow up with the instructor of record. 

Student Progress Assessment (SPA)

SPA Summary

In addition to completing MS/PhD coursework, Graduate Studies and GGIP REQUIRE that all graduate students complete the annual online Student Progress Assessment (SPA) report by June 15th of each academic year. Students must meet in person with both their major professor and their academic adviser to discuss progress. 

SPA & Dissertation Committee Meeting

Once the student has advanced to candidacy, they must hold a meeting with their dissertation/thesis committee before meeting with their academic adviser to discuss their annual progress. The entire dissertation/thesis committee must meet together. If you are having trouble scheduling this meeting, please let the GGIP Coordinator know.

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Mentor/Mentee Conflict Resolution Guidebook

GGIP’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee created a helpful Mentor/Mentee Conflict Resolution Guidebook, filled with information, resources, and exercises, including a contract for growing and moving forward. 

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GGIP Weekly Newsletter

To reduce inbox overload and endless forwarding, GGIP’s Coordinator will send you a weekly newsletter of all announcements and opportunities that either directly pertain to you or were asked to pass on to you. The newsletter always includes academic dates and deadlines for that week and other important information for you to review.

Learn more

International Students

Please refer to the Services for International Students & Scholars office for all questions related to international student status, passport, visas, etc. In addition, the office assists international students in their pre-arrival preparation and provides immigration advice, financial information, general advising and counseling, and a variety of cross-cultural activities. Due to these services, international students are charged a one-time administrative fee of $159.