Various bottles of solutions above a lab bench

Curriculum and Requirements Questions

When do I go "TGR" and what does that mean?

TGR stands for Terminal Graduate Registration. When you transition to being a TGR student, tuition fees are reduced as you are telling the University you have completed your course requirements and are working on your thesis. Most students go to TGR their Spring quarter in their 4th year. To go TGR you have to be admitted to candidacy, have completed all required coursework for your degree, and have satisfied the residency requirement of 135 units. To go to TGR by Spring of your 4th year you must take 10 units each quarter.

What do I have to keep in mind when planning my coursework?

When planning ahead, be sure to remember that not all courses are offered every year or in the same quarter every year. Also, be sure to understand your departmental requirements and that courses that are required for the degree must be taken for a letter grade (as opposed to credit/no credit). Lastly, you must take 10 units each quarter.

What if I decide my Home Program is not right for me?

You should seek counsel with your advisor as well as your program's graduate student advisor. Transfers to other Home Programs are possible, but require approval of all programs involved. It is important to keep your Student Services Administrator informed of your situation.

What if I make a mistake with my lab choice?

  • In a rotation – If you realize a few weeks into a rotation that the lab is not a good fit for you, then there is no reason for you to stay any longer. There is no required minimum length for a lab rotation. If you would not consider joining the rotation lab and if you feel like you are not getting anything out of the rotation, then you should begin setting up your next rotation, regardless of whether the quarter is over or not.
  • In your thesis lab choice – If you feel that the only way for you to move forward and be successful is to change labs, then quickly apply yourself to figuring out what you want and need and plan your exit. You should seek out counsel from your department chair, first year advisor, and/or any mentor you have identified for advising, including the Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Education (Dan Herschlag). Switching thesis labs is not uncommon. Many other students have been in your shoes, and we can direct you to them for advice and discussion.

Please go to the Student Services Administrator if you believe the program you would like to join has funding concerns which are hindering your ability to change Home Programs, as the Student Service Administrators are aware of the outside resources available to students in those situations.

Do I still have to register once I am done taking classes?

Yes, you must register on time every quarter in which you are a matriculated graduate student, even if you are not taking classes. Prior to reaching TGR status, you should be enrolled in 10 units each quarter. Once you reach TGR, you need to enroll by the registration deadline in the TGR course for your program at 0 units (e.g. BIOC 802).

During TGR, you also have the option of enrolling in up to 3 additional units of study each quarter at no additional cost to your P.I. However, those units do not count toward your GPA.

How many units should I be enrolled in?

You should be enrolled in 10 units each quarter, with most programs having an independent research course to complete your schedule. If you want to enroll in more than 10 units you will be responsible for the tuition associated with each additional unit.

Once you reach TGR, you need to enroll in the TGR course for your program at 0 units (i.e. BIOC 802). During TGR, you also have the option of enrolling in up to 3 additional units of study at no additional cost to their P.I. However, those units do not count toward your GPA.

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