Welcome New Fall 2020 Admits!

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 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, we welcome you and look forward to seeing you this Fall!

Grace Kistler-Fair, Graduate Program Coordinator, MCD Biology
Travis Wiggans, Graduate Program Coordinator, MICRO
Karen Meece, Graduate Program Coordinator, CB3
Theo-Alyce Gordon, Graduate Program Coordinator, BMEB



Thursday, September 10th, 2020 - Virtual Conference

Registration details will be posted shortly.

The PBSE Research Conference is a one-day event to introduce incoming grads to faculty, current 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 and posters.

*For those participating in the Grad. Prep. Program, please contact your Dept. adviser since the program dates and research conference overlap.



For more information and to register by August 15th, please visit the MCD research conference page.

The goal of this event is to introduce new students to the research environment and community within the Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology Department. The event will feature research talks from graduate students and a poster session.


PBSE GRADUATE ORIENTATION - attendance is required by all tracks

Monday, September 20th from 9:00am-5:00pm PST

Considering COVID-19 safety considerations, we will be hosting a virtual orientation event. During orientation, you will attend several short sessions to get an overview of the departments and campus resources. You will also have several opportunities to meet and speak with new and current graduate students and 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 for your track. 



Friday, September 25, 2020
Location: Virtual
Time: 12:00pm - 7:00pm
Please visit our website for more information. Karen Meece will register you for this event.


Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - Virtual Orientation
Registration details will be emailed to incoming grads and posted here once available.
This campus-wide orientation is separate from the PBSE orientation, and will cover a different set of topics, including:
  • International student orientation
  • Teaching Assistant/UAW info session
  • Title IX training
  • Overview of campus resources

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 (a general timeline is also below). 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.

Important Rotation Dates:
  • Lab rotation requests sent out: Sept. 14
  • Rotation 1 requests due: Sept. 24
  • Rotation 1 dates: Sept. 28-Nov. 6
  • Rotation 2 requests due: Nov. 9
  • Rotation 1 talks: Nov. 10-13
  • Rotation 2 dates: Nov. 16-Jan. 15
  • Rotation 3 requests due: Jan. 19
  • Rotation 2 talks: Jan. 19-21
  • Rotation 3 dates: Jan. 25-March 5
  • Rotation 3 poster session: March 12
Permanent lab discussions start after poster session ends March 12

Enrollment and other services will be available to you using the Academic Information System (AIS), available through the MyUCSC Portal. New graduate students may begin the enrollment process June 20. If you need technical support, including help with your CruzID and Blue or Gold Password, please call (831) 459-4357 or email help@ucsc.edu. If you need help enrolling in a class, call the enrollment Help Line at (831) 459-4412 or email registrar@ucsc.edu.

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 sammyslug@ucsc.edu, then "sammyslug" is the CruzID.

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

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


MCDB Track - please enroll in the following courses after June 20. Please note all of the courses will be virtual, except for lab rotations which are still being planned for in-person.

Class ID Course Credits Grade option Class Number Instructor
Biol 200A Critical Analysis of Scientific Literature 5 Units Letter 22067 Arribere, Ward, Vaske
Biol 200E Experimental Design 3 Units Letter 24432 Bhalla
Biol 291 Monday Seminar Series 2 Units S/U 22090 Staff
Biol 292 Friday Seminar Series 0 Units S/U 22091 Staff
Biol 297A-10 Independent Study/Lab Rotation 5 Units S/U 10680 Kamakaka


CB3 Track - please enroll in the following courses after June 20:

Class ID Course Credits Class Number Instructor
Chem 200A Adv Biochemistry 5 Units 20624 Rubin
Chem 291 Monday Seminar Series 5 Units 21971 Johnstone

BMEB Track - please enroll in the following courses after June 20:

Class ID Course Credits Class Number Instructor
BME 205 Bioinformatics Models and Algorithms 5 Units 22093 Bernick
BME 280B Seminar on Thursdays 2 Units 22097 Forsberg
BME 296-04 Lab Rotation 5 Units 15384 Corbett-Detig


MICRO Trackplease be sure to enroll in METX 200 for a letter grade (ABC grading) and in METX 292 with the S/U option. 
Please enroll in the following courses after June 20:

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

You will enroll in additional courses after you attend your advisory meeting during PBSE Orientation. All students are required to enroll in at least 15 units/quarter.


The Statement of Legal Residence should be completed (even if you believe that you are a California resident) and submitted 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 International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) for more information: https://isss.ucsc.edu/students/newlyadmitted/index.html.

All international students must complete an I-20/DS-2019 Request. Students currently attending another U.S. school will need to discuss a SEVIS transfer with that school. You should receive an email directly from ISSS about preparing and submitting 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 your payment as either direct deposit, or paper check to your permanent addresses as stated in your MyUCSC account, depending on the funding classification and your MyUCSC student account setup. It is highly recommended that you establish direct deposit as a payment option as soon as possible.
    • Make sure your MyUCSC Student Portal is up to date with your current address and all contact information. We recommend checking your MyUCSC student Portal at least once a month to check for any bills or fees posted to your account.
  • PBSci and BSOE Accounts Payable distributes your Teaching Assistant (TA) and Graduate Student Research (GSR) checks to your home mailing address as listed on UCPath, unless your UCPath account is set up as direct deposit.

The departments strongly urge all students to sign up for direct deposit with FAST, SBS and PBSci/BSOE Accounts Payable.

Direct Deposit-Student Business Services Office Form used to electronically transfer funds (travel grants, financial aid and loans, and international student fellowships) 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/BSOE 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 UCPath account.

Stipend Amounts:

PBSE (BMEB, CB3, MCDB, and MICRO tracks) pays its Graduate Student Researchers a quarterly stipend of $8,712 and its Teaching Assistants $7,303. Effective 10/1/2020, Teaching Assistants will increase to $7,523 per quarter.

Registration/tuition fees ($6,443 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 (~$327) 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)
    • May 1, June 1, July 1 (Spring)
  • Quarterly fellowships (Regents' Fellowships, 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

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: Chemistry

BMEB Track students - Your mailing address is:

[Your Name]
UC Santa Cruz
1156 High Street 
Mail Stop Code: SOEGRAD
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

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 @ucsc.edu. 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.

By early summer you should have received an email regarding your UCSC e-mail account set up. If not, please contact your graduate adviser for assistance.
All incoming students will need to get their pictures taken (or upload their ID picture) 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 the ID Services 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 2020 sticker when you pick up your card from the ID Card Services. 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

BMEB Grad Program Coordinator

Theo-Alyce Gordon thkgordo@ucsc.edu
MCDB Grad Program Coordinator Grace Kistler-Fair


CB3 Grad Program Coordinator Karen Meece kmeece@ucsc.edu
MICRO Grad Program Coordinator Travis Wiggans metxadmn@ucsc.edu
Graduate Division Dana Eugenio dmeugeni@ucsc.edu
Email Account Tech Support ITS Help Desk help@ucsc.edu
Enrollment Support Office of the Registrar registrar@ucsc.edu


Student Portal-MyUCSC http://my.ucsc.edu
AIS FAQ http://registrar.ucsc.edu/faqs/students/index.html
Virtual UCSC Map http://maps.ucsc.edu/
Housing Information http://housing.ucsc.edu/housing/graduate.html
Office of Registrar http://reg.ucsc.edu/
Student Business Services http://sbs.ucsc.edu/

UC SHIP/Student Health Center

PBSci Payroll http://pbsbo.ucsc.edu/acapers/index.html
BSOE Payroll https://organization.soe.ucsc.edu/business-office/about-hr
UCPath https://ucpath.ucsc.edu/


Event When Where Event Information
PBSE Research Conference 

Sept. 10

Virtual A one-day conference to introduce new graduate students to faculty, grads, postdocs and other researchers in PBSE
MCD Biology Grad. Student Retreat

Sept. 17-18


(MCD students only) 2-day retreat to introduce new students to the research environment within the Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology Department

PBSE Welcome and Orientation

Sept. 21



Introduction to the graduate program in PBSE, training sessions, and individual advising sessions.

*Attendance required

Chemistry Orientation

Sept. 24 (tentative)


(CB3 students only) Introduction to the Chemistry Dept.

Chemistry Conference

Sept. 25


(CB3 students only)

Graduate Division TA and New Grad Orientation September 30 Virtual New teaching assistant orientation, training sessions, and information regarding the campus and the Graduate Division.
Instruction Begins October 1

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