New Students-Welcome


Congratulations and welcome to the Program in Biomedical Sciences and Engineering (BMEB, MCDB, CB3, and MICRO Tracks) Graduate Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. The PBSE Program is designed to provide you with an opportunity to understand “how to” gain academic and personal success in the area of Biomolecular Engineering and Bioinformatics, Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Microbial Biology. During your years in the PBSE Ph.D. program at UCSC, your program/track Graduate Program Adviser will be your personal contact for all administrative processes and procedures required by the PBSE and the Graduate Division.

Please take a few moments to review the program information below, and feel free to email or call if you have any questions or concerns.

On behalf of the PBSE faculty, I welcome you and look forward to seeing you this Fall!

Grace Kistler-Fair
Graduate Program Coordinator/Adviser, MCD Biology


Thursday, September 13, 2018 from 8:00am-9:00pm at Roaring Camp ( 5401 Graham Hill Road, Felton, CA 95018.

Please be sure to try to carpool with a current graduate student to the PBSE Research Conference. Parking is limited at the Roaring Camp venue, so we encourage carpooling.

The PBSE Research Conference is a one-day event to introduce you to faculty, grads, postdocs, and other researchers in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, Chemistry, Microbiology & Environmental Toxicology, and Biomolecular Engineering.  This event will include faculty research talks, posters, lunch and dinner.  Your conference fees and meals have already been paid for by the departments.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017 from 9:00am-9:00pm at Happy Valley Conference Center ( 2159 Branciforte Dr, Santa Cruz, CA 95065

Please note: BMEB, MCDB, and MICRO Grads, please plan to attend the PBSE research conference only. CB3 grads, please plan to attend both PBSE and Chemistry conferences.


Monday-Tuesday, September 10 and 11, 2018 from 12:00 noon to 12:00 noon - MCD conference at Monterey Tides (2600 Sand Dunes Dr, Monterey, CA, 93940)

The goal of this two-day event is to introduce new students to the research environment within the Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology Department. This overnight event will be held off campus at Monterey Tides in Monterey, CA.  The event will feature research talks from graduate students, a poster session, research talks from 3 new faculty members joining the MCD Department, and group photos on the beach. Your conference fees and meals have already been paid for by the department.



Orientation is scheduled for Thursday, September 20 from 8:30am-5:00pm and your attendance is required by the departments. During orientation, you will attend several short training sessions and get an overview of the departments. We will also provide a pizza lunch in the afternoon and you will have several opportunities to meet and speak with new and current graduate students throughout the orientation. In addition, there will be a brief program overview by PBSE Director Professor Karen Ottemann.  Following the program overview, you will meet with your graduate advising committees for individual academic advising and review the required and recommended coursework.



International Graduate Student Orientation and TA Training
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Scheduled Event Start time End time Location

TA Training Check-In* & coffee

*All grads checking in must have their Student ID Cards. Please plan accordingly.

8:00 am 8:30 am
TA Training and Union Rep. 8:30 am
12:00 pm Main Stage
Lunch for TA Training, International Orientation 12:00 pm
1:00 pm
Title IX Training - Domestic students only 1:00 pm 2:00 pm
International Grad. Student Orientation 1:00 pm 3:00 pm Media Theater
Title IX Training - International students only 3:00 pm 4:00 pm Media Theater
Graduate Orientation
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Scheduled Event Start time End time Location
Check in for Title IX Training (for those who did not attend day before) & coffee 8:30 am 9:00 am Humanities Courtyard
Make-up Title IX Training for those who did not attend the day before 9:00 am 10:00 am Humanities Lecture Hall 206
Welcome Brunch 10:00 am 11:00 am Graduate Student Commons
Graduate Student Orientation 11:00 am 1:30 pm Humanities Lecture Hall 206
Grad. Orientation BBQ Social and Resource Fair 1:30 pm 4:30 pm

Rotations in labs are six weeks long. During the seventh week, first year students present brief rotations talks or posters on the goals and progress of their rotation projects. During the PBSE Orientation, you will be given a detailed timeline for the rotations and dates for when your lab rotation choices are due. We feel that six weeks is long enough to work on a research project and figure out if the lab is a "right fit" for you and your research interests.

Enrollment and other services will be available to you using the Academic Information System (AIS), available through MyUCSC Portal - New graduate students may begin the enrollment process June 22. If you need technical support, including help with your CruzID and Blue or Gold Password, please call (831) 459-4357 or email If you need help enrolling in a class, call the enrollment Help Line at (831) 459-4412 or email

Your CruzID is your UCSC account, sometimes referred to as your username, that gives you access to many campus services and systems. Your CruzID is the beginning part of your UCSC email address. For example, in the email, then "sammyslug" is the CruzID.

You will need your CruzID and Gold Password to access MyUCSC:

CruzID: <cruzID>
Password: <Your Gold Password>


When enrolling in Biol 200A, please be sure to enroll for a letter grade (ABC grading), not "S/U", Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.

MCDB Track - please enroll in the following courses after June 22:

Class ID Course Credits Class Number Instructor
Biol 200A Critical Analysis of Scientific Literature 5 Units 20997 Saxton/Ward
Biol 288 TA Training 2 Units 23256 Strome
Biol 291 Monday Seminar Series 2 Units 21150 Staff
Biol 292 Friday Seminar Series 0 Units 21151 Staff
Biol 297B-17 Independent Study 10 Units 10740 Strome

CB3 Track - please enroll in the following courses after June 22:

Class ID Course Credits Class Number Instructor
Chem 200A Adv Biochemistry 5 Units 21178 Rubin
Chem 291 Monday Seminar Series 5 Units 23114 Partch

BMEB Track - please enroll in the following courses after June 22:

Class ID Course Credits Class Number Instructor
BME 200 Research and Teaching in Bioinformatics 3 Units 21032 Green
BME 205 Bioinformatics Models and Algorithms 5 Units 21028 Bernick
BME 280B Seminar on Thursdays 2 Units 21033 Stuart
BME 296 Lab Rotation 5 Units 18187 Green

MICRO Track - please enroll in the following courses after June 22:

Class ID Course Credits Class Number Instructor
METX 200 Inter Approaches in Environ Toxicology 5 Units 22872 Smith
METX 292 Intro Grad Seminar 0 Units 21706 Yildiz

You will enroll in additional courses after you attend your Advisory Meeting at the PBSE Orientation on September 20th. All students are required to enroll in at least 15 units/quarter.


The Statement of Legal Residence should be completed (even if you are a California resident) and returned to the Office of the Registrar so that your resident status can be determined for tuition purposes.  Failure to return the completed form will result in your status being classified as a non-resident and being billed accordingly.


Please visit the Office of International Education for more information:

All international students must complete the Graduate Financial Certificate. Students currently attending another U. S. school will also need to complete a Transfer Form.  The Graduate Division cannot prepare the I-20 for an F-1 visa without these forms.


Paychecks for Teaching Assistants, Graduate Student Researcher, Fellowship recipients and Financial Aid are disbursed through the Student Business Services (831- 459-2159) or the Physical & Biological Sciences (PBSCI) Accounts Payable Office (831- 459-3650) or BSOE Accounts Payable Office.

  • Student Business Services is responsible for financial aid, fellowship and scholarship checks. SBS sends checks to your local or permanent addresses, depending on the funding classification and student account.
  • PBSCI Accounts Payable distributes your Teaching Assistant (TA) and Graduate Student Research (GSR) checks to your local campus address, unless your account is set up as direct deposit.
  • Both offices use your address information from your student portal, therefore it is extremely important to keep your student portal information up to date on a quarterly basis. We recommend checking your Portal at least once a month as well to check for any bills or fees posted to your account.

The departments strongly urge all students to sign up for direct deposit with SBS and PBSCI Accounts Payable.

Direct Deposit-Student Business Services Office Form used to electronically transfer funds (fellowships, summer support, travel grants, financial aid and loans) to your bank account. It generally takes two weeks to process the SBS direct deposit request. Please send this form directly to SBS.
Direct Deposit-PBSci Payroll Office System used to electronically transfer Teaching Assistant (TA) and Graduate Student Research (GSR) funds to your bank account. You can access this from your portal.
Stipend Amounts:

The PBSE (BCB [BMEB], MSCB [CB3], MCDB and MICRO tracks) pays its Graduate Student Researchers a quarterly stipend of $8,213 and its Teaching Assistants $6,884 per quarter. Registration/tuition fees ($6,216 per quarter) are charged to the faculty advisor's grants when supported as a GSR and to the Graduate Division if supported as a TA. Teaching Assistants will be required to pay a small offset fee (~$415) to the Registrar each quarter.

  • GSR and TA pay dates are as follows: Nov. 1, Dec. 1. Jan 1 (Fall); Feb 1, March 1, April 1 (Winter); and May 1, June 1, July 1 (Spring).
  • Quarterly regents fellowship (Cota-Robles, Chancellor's Fellowship, Dean's Fellowship, and Graduate Fellowships) pay dates are on the first day of each quarter.

Fellowships awarded for less than the full academic year will be paid in equal installments Fall and/or Winter quarter (if the award is larger than one quarter of fellowship) unless you contact the Graduate Division requesting a change in this payment schedule.

If you are waiting for a check, then it is always a good idea to check with the correct office to confirm the status of your account (outstanding bills, address information, correct set-up). Incorrect mailing addresses and outstanding bills can cause unexpected delays and minimize disbursement payments.



MCDB Track students - Your mailing address is: 

UCSC Dept. of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology
Your Name, Faculty Sponsor’s Lab
225 Sinsheimer Labs.
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
Fax: 831-459-3139 
Mail stop Code: SIN-MCDB

MSCB (CB3) Track students - Your mailing address is:

UCSC Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Your Name, Faculty Sponsor’s Lab
230 Physical Sciences Building 
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
Fax: 831-459-2935 
Mail stop Code: PSB-CHEM

BCB (BMEB) Track students - Your mailing address is:

Your Name
UC Santa Cruz
1156 High Street 
Mail Stop Code: SOEGRAD
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
Fax: 831-459-4482

MICRO Track students - Your mailing address is:

UCSC Dept. of Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology
Your Name, Faculty Sponsor’s Lab
430B Physical Sciences Building 
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
Fax: 831-459-4719
Mail stop Code: PSB-METX 

Virtually all information will be communicated to you via an electronic mail account set up for you in the standard format of Your email accounts are already set-up.  Please get in the habit of checking your e-mail frequently as announcements about fellowships, employment, and department requirements are posted on a weekly basis. Please pay special attention to messages sent subject headings labeled as ACTION REQUIRED, RESPONSE NEEDED, and PLEASE READ.

You should have received email regarding your UCSC e-mail account; further instructions will be given during the PBSE Orientation. Please reserve e-mail questions for the computer orientation on September 20th with Mary Erikson, or forward them to

Alternatively, email can be accessed on the Internet using any browser (Netscape, Internet Explorer, and Firefox) by going to

All incoming students will need to get their pictures taken before the start of the fall quarter for their student identification cards.  ID Card Services is located on the first floor of the Bay Tree Bookstore building in between the Digital Copy Center and the Express Store in the UCSC Quarry. Refer to their website for their Fall incoming student ID services schedule. Enrollment stickers verify a student’s enrollment and quarterly status at UCSC.  A current sticker, on your ID card, functions as a free metro/shuttle bus pass around campus/town, recreation facilities card, and library card.  You will receive your Fall 2018 sticker when you pick up your card from the ID Card Services after your photo has been taken.  After Fall quarter, you will obtain your quarterly stickers from your track's graduate program coordinator after your enrollment has been verified by the department.

Title Name Email Address

BCB (BMEB) Grad Program Coordinator

Tracie Tucker
MCDB Grad Program Coordinator Grace Kistler-Fair

MSCB (CB3) Grad Program Coordinator Karen Meece
MICRO Grad Program Coordinator Allyson Ramage
Graduate Division Kris West
Email Account Tech Support ITS Help Desk
Enrollment Support Office of the Registrar


Student Portal-MyUCSC
Virtual UCSC Map
Housing Information
Office of Registrar
Student Business Services
PBSCI Payroll


Event When Where Event Information
Student ID Pickup Sept 5-9 ID Card Services Student Photos will be taken at time of pickup (Fri, 9/16 is the last day you can pick up your cards before the quarter starts)
PBSE Research Conference  

Sept. 13 8:00am-7:00pm

  Department Research Conference: one-day event to introduce new graduate students to faculty, grads, postdocs and other researchers in MCD Biology and affiliated departments of Chemistry, Environmental Toxicology and Bioengineering.
Chemistry Research Conference   Sept. 19 9:00am-9:00pm Department Research Conference (CB3 students ONLY): one-day event to introduce new graduate students to faculty, grads, postdocs and other researchers in MCD Biology and affiliated departments of Chemistry, Environmental Toxicology and Bioengineering.
PBSE Orientation Sept. 20 8:30am-5:00pm PSB 240

Introduction to the graduate program in PBSE

*Attendance required

Graduate Division TA and New Grad Orientation Sept. 25-26 New Teaching Assistant Orientation + Information regarding the campus and the Graduate Division (beginning at 10am). Box lunch provided. Graduate Student Association Resource Fair in the Quarry Plaza follows!
Instruction Begins Sept. 27

Your attendance is mandatory at the PBSE Research Conference, PBSE Orientation, and Graduate Division Orientations.