Common Questions

As a new student, we know that you have a lot of questions! Here are some quick answers to some commonly asked questions.

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General Questions

Q: What does college affiliation mean? [show]

A: All undergraduate students at UC Santa Cruz, whether they live on campus or not, are affiliated with a residential college. Each College is a vibrant living/learning community supported by faculty and staff who provide academic support, organize student activities, and sponsor events that enhance the intellectual and social life of the campus. Every college community includes students with diverse backgrounds and academic goals. The college affiliation is not tied to a major.

Q: Are you allowed to utilize resources at a different college than the one you are affiliated with? [show]

A: Generally, resources are for specific colleges, BUT you can always ask that specific college if they would make an exception. It really depends on what the resource is that you are attempting to utilize and if there is space for you to do so. If you are trying to enroll in a course that is restricted to college members only, you can contact the instructor to see if there is space for non-affiliated students.

Q: When do I take my ID picture? [show]

A: You will receive information to upload your photo after you submit your Statement of Intent to Register (SIR). Follow the photo submission instructions carefully  to submit your photo and get your photo approved. It is important that you get your ID card photo approved in July since your card gives you access to buildings, the dining hall, city buses, and much more.

Q: When is my class enrollment appointment date? [show]

A: You will receive the date of your class enrollment appointment once we receive your offcial transcripts and verify completion of Part 1 and 2 of the Orientation Course.

Q: When signing up for classes, will we see the times and days that the class takes place? [show]

A: Yes, you can also use the Schedule of Classes to verify when and where a class is offered.

Q: I come from a semester school, what should I expect from the quarter system? [show]

A: It might take some time to adjust to the quick pace of the 10-week quarter system. It might be stressful at first, but you will be OK. The quarter does go by very quickly; midterms can start as early as the second or third week of class! You can prepare by getting your books early, starting your reading/studying, reviewing the class syllabus, marking all of your exams (midterms and final) in your calendar, and planning your study time in advance. It is easy to fall behind in your work as you transition, so be sure to ask for help as soon as possible. UC Santa Cruz Learning Support Services provides free tutoring and study skill information for all students. Get support early!

Q: What should I do if I forgot my CruzID and gold passwords? [show]

A: Go to CruzID manager at or request help from ITS.

Q: How do I learn about tutoring opportunities? [show]

A: View Modified Supplemental Instruction (MSI) schedules or sign up for tutoring at Learning Support Services (LSS) once classes begin. Pay close attention to specific course deadlines sent by tutors.

Q: What is research like? What happens during research? What benefits come from participating in research? [show]

A: Everyone has a different experience with research and you can research almost anything! Professors lead research, direct you to resources, and expose you to their area of expertise. We recommend you look at the Undergraduate Research Opportunities website to get an idea of what research is like at UCSC.

Q: Is it possible to order books for my classes so I can study ahead of time to prepare? Do I email professors or can these books be found online? [show]

A: It may be possible to view and find your class textbooks and purchase them in advance. Textbook listings will be added over the summer as fall approaches. You will also receive more information on which books are required through your class syllabus. Most instructors send an email with all required texts prior to the start of the quarter. Most of the time the books are available for purchase from the bookstore. Some classes use textbook apps that come with the homework. The class syllabus will provide details on which reading material is available without a fee and which need to be purchase.

Q: What are the tuition fees? Do I pay by unit? When do I pay? [show]

A: View the tuition and fees webpage to see the breakdown of the fees. During the fall, winter, and spring quarters you will pay tuition as full-time or part-time student, not by unit. The bill is sent prior to the start of each academic quarter. Note: Some or all instruction for all or part of the Academic Year may be delivered remotely. Tuition and fees have been set regardless of the method of instruction and will not be refunded in the event that instruction occurs remotely for any part of the Academic Year. Figures for tuition and fees represent currently approved or proposed amounts and may not be final. Actual tuition and fees are subject to change by the University of California as determined to be necessary or appropriate. Final approved tuition and fee levels may differ from the amounts presented.

Q: I want to waive UCSC's UC SHIP health insurance. How do I do this? [show]

A: Refer to the UCSC Health Center’s Billing and Insurance Information page for information. UC SHIP has specific deadlines to waive UC SHIP each quarter.

Q: What should I do about insurance if I do not have any? [show]

A: All UCSC students are required to be insured. Students are automatically enrolled in the University Health Insurance Program, UCSHIP. The fees will be added to your student account if you do not opt to waive the insurance.

Q: Do students that study abroad go in their third year primarily? Is it not possible to go earlier or later? [show]

A: Each student is different! Many students participate in study abroad in their third year, but some do go earlier or later. It depends on the student, their major, and the programs of interest. You should meet with your college advisor and an advisor from Programs Abroad at Global Learning during the academic year to discuss your plan and options. Learn more at the Global Learning site.

Q: When is Fall Welcome Week? [show]

A: Fall Welcome Week begins on your affiliated college's move-in date. Since this differs from college to college, be sure to view the emails sent by your college and the Orientation Office and view the fall move-in schedule. There are some programs that are optional and some are required.

Q: How do I know I was accepted into EOP (Educational Opportunity Programs)? [show]

A: EOP will send students a message about the program. You can also check your MyUCSC Student Portal under the "Student Advising Summary" in the "Milestones/Groups" tab.

Q: [Work-study] Is it possible to work on campus at UCSC without being in the work-study program? If so, how can I get involved and how difficult is it to get the job? [show]

A: There are both work-study and non-work-study jobs available on campus. The Career Center posts listings for jobs on campus, and you can actually look up different types of jobs and internships.

Q: [Employment] When can I apply for on-campus jobs? [show]

A: You can apply for jobs 10 days before the quarter starts. Utilize Handshake to access employment options.

Q: Does UCSC utilize an online learning management system in order for students to submit assignments or view grades for a class? [show]

A: UCSC uses Canvas which allows students to view their course syllabi, assignments, and submit homework. Not necessarily all classes utilize this, however it is very common. Ask your professor for more clarification!

Q: How can I communicate with my professor or other students in my classes? [show]

A: Most professors use Canvas which allows students to communicate with their professors and other classmates. We encourage you to attend office hours or email your professor directly! In terms of connecting with other students in your class, most students will communicate with others outside of class or through social networking sites such as Discord, GroupMe, etc. 

Q: How do I find out who my counselor or advisor is? [show]

A: You will have a team of advisors at your college and a major advisor. You can find their contact information on the college website or major website.

Housing Specific Questions

Q: I am living on campus during the school year. When can I move in? [show]

A: Your move-in date depends on your college affiliation.

Q: When will I be able to contact my roommates? When do I receive my housing assignment? [show]

A: Feel free to contact your college's housing office. Room and roommate assignments will be sent out in August.

Q: Is there a list of things needed for dorm rooms? [show]

A: Your college housing office will send more information, and you can also view a helpful What to Bring page provided by the Housing Office. It is also helpful to view the What NOT to Bring section.

Q: For dormitory life, what happens when roommates do not exactly get along with each other? Can I request to be moved to a different room? [show]

A: There is a protocol for these types of situations. We expect that first, the roommates would try to work things out by confronting the issues. Mediators or Resident Assistants (RAs) are available to help mediate and set roommate agreements that work for both parties. If after this mediation the issues are not resolved or you still do not feel comfortable in your space, then you can request a change of room. Your college housing office will have more details and timelines. Space is very limited on campus and our goal is to first try to resolve the issue before moving anyone.

Q: I am planning on living off-campus and I do not yet have a place to live. When should I start looking? [show]

A: You need to start now. Santa Cruz is not an easy location to find housing. Community Rentals is a great on-campus resource that has hundreds of local housing listings and offers a variety of workshops (e.g. Renters Workshop) and other important resources. 

Summer Edge Specific Questions

Q: Can I take classes this summer at UCSC? [show]

A: You have until June 15 to register for the early start Summer Edge program, where you can come live on campus and take your first class before the fall.

Q: Who do I talk to about choosing my summer classes? [show]

A: You can book a Zoom appointment appointment with the Summer Session Office or email

Q: If I register to take classes this summer, does it change anything for fall? [show]

A: Summer Edge students still have to complete orientation, but a few of your deadlines will be accelerated, for example, your ID photo, your waiver of UC SHIP, and your summer housing application. Visit the Summer Edge website or email with specific questions.

Q: Do I have to go home between the end of Summer Edge and the start of fall? [show]

A: No, Summer-Fall Transitional Housing is available to students living in Summer Edge Housing who also have a fall housing assignment. Students in Summer-Fall Transitional Housing will relocate to their fall housing assignment after the summer housing contract. Additional early arrival fees apply. Students apply for Transitional Housing as part of the Summer Edge housing application process (

Q: Can I get financial aid if I take Summer Edge classes? [show]

A: Yes, Financial Aid is offered to eligible students based on the number of credits they take. You can get as summer grant estimate on the Financial Aid website.