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New Student Resources

Tips & Shortcuts* for Getting What You Need on Campus and in Merced

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UC Merced on Social Media

UC Merced Classifieds:
Other sites, which you either have to ask to join or have to be a member of the social media site
to view:
● FB: Merced Social Graduate Students (still a thing?)

“The advice I wish I had heard before starting graduate school . . .” (from 8/17/17 workshop)

  • Graduate school is a marathon, not a race! Pace yourself with self-care and clear boundaries between your research/training (most important!) and your TA work/campus service. Take advantage of the resources on campus: health and mental health care services, tutoring, mentoring and methods training opportunities across campus! Start plotting your course now (i.e. I will take qualifying exams at beginning of third year, write prospectus the next fall, fieldwork in AY4 & 5, so on) so you can plan out which fellowships to apply to, when you will need to be done with your methods training, etc. I’d also add that it is crucial to participate in program events and processes - if you aren’t active, your absence will be noted and you could lose potential opportunities (DoriePerez)
  • You are the only person holding yourself accountable, no one else! While our advisors are there to help us along the way, the truth of the matter is that you must be proactive and hold yourself responsible for the progress you make toward your research and degree completion. No one will come to you with the answers; you have to actively seek help. Don’t be afraid to email professors or other graduate students for assistance. Everyone here has different strengths and we can draw from one another to ensure we have productive and meaningful experiences while in grad school. *Practical advice regarding exams: ask your advisor for reading lists sometime in your first year. It helps tremendously to think about your exams as early as possible! (Neama Alamri)
  • 1) Make yourself responsible for developing and continuing to refine your skills as an effective instructor. Without the ability to effectively communicate your research -- be it to specialists who shares your depth of knowledge and discursive history, or to a student who will not necessarily be conversant in the details of your scholarship--in way that is both clear and accessible, and of legible importance, it remains isolated and its implications are unable to reach out into the world. Instruction is also the place in which you will be able to pass on and refine those vital and more general skills (critical thinking and all of the significance it entails) that allow the deepening of knowledge beyond your specialized subject, and so represents a space in which a great amount impact can be made on your part. 2) Locate a/the major journal in your disciplinary field or in the disciplinary field (this does not preclude interdisciplinary journals) you wish your work to speak to, and read it and its newly arriving issues in their entirety. This is both a meant to see what other scholars are writing about and how they are writing about it, and to remain current in a particular field. 3) Apply for everything, even if connections to your own project or appropriateness to your candidacy seems tenuous. 4) Understand the work you do here as a vocation rather than a job. (Trevor Jackson)
  • Approach all course materials with an open mind. Because of the nature of this program, you will be reading a lot of texts that utilize methods and theories outside of your core discipline, especially in the first year or two here. So if you are a historian, you will be asked to also read texts of critical theory, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, etc. You should try and apply the theories and ideas from these texts to your own work, even if you do so as a kind of thought experiment and never use them in your own dissertation. Because this is an interdisciplinary program, you should leave here with the ability to confidently engage scholarship from disciplines outside of your core field. You have a unique opportunity here to study things you wouldn’t be encouraged to study in more traditional departments. Take advantage. (Christopher Caskey)
  • Put some effort into finding places in Merced and the region where you can fulfill your personal needs outside of academic life. For better and for worse, this may take a little more work here in Merced than a typical college town. The Central Valley can be an alienating place at times, but it is fascinating and beautiful even at its most grotesque. The adventures are here (or only a drive/train/bus away) if you’re willing to look for them with an open mind and open heart. If you’re having a hard time finding them, feel free to drop me a line for some local knowledge. I’m always happy to offer suggestions. (Christopher Caskey,

General Questions About Graduate School?

UC Merced Grad Division (admissions, enrollment, etc.)
209-228-4000 Grad Div Forms, Funding & Loans, Advising
Career (Humanities) Contact - Cassie Gunter 
Internal UC Merced Fellowship information:
The Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning:
Teaching Matters Workshops (The Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning):
Instructional Internship (The Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning):
Certificate in Undergraduate Learning Outcomes Assessment (The Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning):
Monthly Graduate events (dinners, bowling, bbqs, etc.) via UC Merced Grad Life, email Jen Quiralte,

Questions about your TAship/Teaching?

  • Classroom IT helpdesk - 209-228- 4357
  • Classroom tech, admin, etc. or WHAT TO BRING TO TEACH:
    • Bring VGA/HDMI converters (PC), or Apple converters for classroom projectors if you use Mac (Mac converter sometimes available in classrooms, HDMI not available from IT)
    • FYI in most classrooms, the projector display screen password is “2005”
    • Bring dry erase markers, as most classrooms don’t have them on site
  • Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning:
  • Mitch Ylarregui (for research units, other TA related questions) -
    • ** for independent research units, use this form and submit it to Students First instead. ***
  • Issues with TA employment/employer
    • TA Union UAW 2856, contact Campus Rep David Rios
    • UC Merced Ombuds Callale (FYI she can confidentially advise and inform on your behalf, but her actions are non enforceable and limited in scope, other than she legitimizes your claim with a formal inquiry) 209-228-2598

Questions about the IH program?

IH Handbook (Current 2014 version) & IH Bylaws
IH Forms: Language Exam, Committee, Dissertation Prospectus IH Progress Report Form
Grad Div Milestone Forms: Qualifying Exam, Qualifying Exam Report, Master’s Thesis Checklist,
Dissertation Checklist
Form to Change Advisors & Reconstitute Committee
Contact: or IH Conference Chair Neama Alamri,
Also see semesterly IH program workshops on professionalization (CV & Job search), requirements for
*You can also email 2017/18 IH Graduate Student Representative Gina Palefsky

Questions About Healthcare & Benefits?

UC Merced Health Center (appts, requests) - 209-228-2273 (M-F, 8-5) Counseling (CAPS) & After Hours Hotline - 209-228-4266
UCM SHIP Insurance campus contact:
Anthem Blue Cross Customer Service- 866-940-8306
Benefit Enrollment (adding spouses/children, send marriage/birth certs): or call 800-853-5899, spousal enrollment in health/dental/vision benefits is
$980/semester (Spring semester is usually more, as it covers all of summer).

Questions About Research?

Questions About IT/Facilities on Campus?


* compiled collectively by Dorie Perez, Joshua Semerjian, Karen Deeming, Shaina Molano & Neama Alamri, 2017