Skip to main content

Graduate Student Resources

This page provides a variety of information catered to Sociology Graduate Students on campus and departmental policies, procedures, and resources.


Graduate Coordinator: Teresa Eckert

Phone: 858-534-4626
Fax: 858-534-4753
Room: SSB 401

The graduate coordinator assists graduate students in all areas during their time in the PhD program. As a member of the staff, she is available to graduate students from the time of application through the defense, assisting graduate students in application procedures, enrollment processing, academic questions concerning required coursework, grading situations, qualifying examination, final defense, and more. She advises graduate students on employment campus opportunities and processes employment paperwork. She is responsible for the maintenance of all department graduate files and works with various department and university committees for the benefit of the graduate students.

The Graduate Coordinator is available for consultation on the following:

Walk-in Advising Hours

To verify the advisor is in the office, call 858-534-4626.

Director of Graduate Studies: Professor Mary Blair-Loy

Room: SSB 476

The Director of Graduate Studies is the faculty member who consults with graduate students on program requirements, academic progress, TA training and job placement, placement assistance, TA supervision, program advising, and curriculum planning.

To meet with Professor Blair-Loy, please e-mail
Please note: Appointments will only be accepted if made at least 24 hours in advance. If the appointment is made within 24 hours, it is subject to cancellation.

UCSD Division of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs (GEPA)

Division of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs (GEPA) website
Division of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs (GEPA) Degree Information Procedures and Completion

New Student Welcome Packet

Welcome to UC San Diego and the Department of Sociology!

We have put together a Welcome Packet to help with your acclimation to our campus and program. We invite you to read through the Welcome Packet and the Division of Graduate Education and Posdoctoral Affairs' (GEPA) New Graduate Student Orientation information. Please feel free to contact the Graduate Program Coordinator with any questions. We look forward to getting to know you and helping you succeed in your graduate studies.

More information for newly admitted students can be found here.

Graduate Community Committee (GCC)

About the GCC

The Graduate Community Committee (GCC) is a standing committee staffed by currently enrolled graduate students from the UCSD Sociology Department. The goal of the GCC is to build and sustain connections between faculty and graduate students that improve the graduate program community.

The GCC is comprised of two groups of people: core members and task-based committee members. The core GCC members include the GCC Chair, the Faculty Meetings Representative, the Graduate Program Committee (GPC) Representative, the Diversity Committee Representative, and one to two general members. These members hold GCC meetings periodically and work closely with the faculty leaders to improve the UCSD Sociology graduate student experience. The numbers of the task-based committee members vary from year to year, based on the need of the department. The representatives for the departmental functional committees speak on behalf of graduate students’ interests and viewpoints. The Graduate Student Association (GSA) Representative is voice of the sociology graduate student body in campus-wide graduate student organization. The Chair of the Graduate Student Workshop/Conference leads its Executive Committee and host an annual student workshop/conference. While these task-based committee members are welcome to attend the GCC meetings, they are not required to do so.

The positions in the GCC are generally filled by volunteers. In the event that multiple students apply for any one position, a vote will be held and the students with the most votes will be awarded the appointments.

2021-2022 GCC Core & Task-Based Committee Members

Core Members
  • GCC Chair: Open for Volunteering
  • Graduate Program Committee Representative: Carolina Petronis
  • Faculty Meetings Representative: Mohammad Bin Khidzer
  • Diversity Committee Representative: Ana Lopez
  • Treasurer: Open for Volunteering
Task-based Committee Members
  • Graduate Student Workshop/Conference Committee Chair: Amy Knight
  • Graduate Student Association Representatives: Open for Volunteering
  • Graduate Admissions Committee Representative: Rowan Hildebrand-Chupp
  • Undergraduate Program Committee Representative: Yen-Ting Hsu
  • Department Climate: Doreen Hsu

Contact GCC

If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions for how to further improve the graduate student experience in the department, please don’t hesitate to e-mail the GCC at We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Social Assets

Google Drive for Social Assets

Social Assets is a password-protected website that contains examples of our students’ successful NSF and other fellowship applications, materials for planning for the job market, information on which sociological fields our students are expert in, teaching resources for faculty and grad students and more.

To access the website, you must have a google drive account using your UCSD credentials

  • Log in with your full UCSD email address (include and AD password
  • If you have logged into Google Drive using a gmail account, log out of Gmail and then log in with UCSD
  • Go to "shared with me"

If you have trouble accessing the site, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator.


Graduate Student Employment

ASE: Academic Student Employment

  • 2021-2022 Instructional Assistant (IA) Application Instructions
  • 2021-2022 IA Application - please check your e-mail.
  • Summer 2021 IA Application - please check your e-mail.

Financial Support

HERC: Higher Education Recruitment Consortium


Teaching Assistantships

About Teaching Assistantships

Teaching Assistantships (TAs) are the Department of Sociology's primary means of supporting graduate students. Graduate students are typically appointed as teaching assistants for courses with discussion sections.

A teaching assistant (TA) assists in the instruction of an upper or lower division course at the University under the supervision of a faculty member. The TA primarily assists the faculty member in charge of the course by conducting discussion or laboratory sections that supplement faculty lectures and by grading assignments and examinations.

A TA may also assist with the development of assignments or exams, hold office hours and proctor examinations. In the case of basic language, reading and composition, some other skills-building courses, and a few other courses, a teaching assistant may lead the class meetings, but as with all other TAs, the general instructional content of the course, as well as the official assignment of student grades and decisions on grade appeals, are the responsibility of the faculty member in charge of the course. In no instance shall a teaching assistant be assigned responsibility for the entire instruction of a course.  Learn more information for International graduate students employed as Teaching Assistants.


For academic year employment at 25-50% time, a student must be registered full-time (12 units or more). A student enrolled in less than 12 units, with departmental approval, is eligible for a maximum of 25% time employment.

A graduate student must be in good academic standing:

  • Meet departmental standards including a satisfactory annual spring academic progress evaluation.
  • Maintain a GPA of 3.0 in upper-division and graduate course work.
  • Must not have more than a total of eight units of F and/or U grades overall.

A graduate student must be within the departmental time limits:

  • PhD degree aim: no one may be employed as a teaching assistant and/or associate (teaching a course) for more than 18 quarters (unless an exception is granted by the Dean).
  • MA degree aim: eligible for up to 7 quarters of employment or other University funding.

Any employment outside of the student's academic (home) department must have prior approval from the home department.

Selection Process

Graduate students* will be asked in the winter/spring quarter of each year to submit requests for assistantships to the Graduate Coordinator. TAs are then selected, each spring, for the following year's courses by the department's Graduate Program Committee, based largely on overall student performance (via review of annual student evaluations) in the graduate program and on teaching ability. The Committee also assigns students to TA positions allocated to the department from other programs or departments. Unfortunately, resource limits and the selection process mean that not all student requests for TAships can be met.

*All international graduate students who are nonnative speakers of English are required to demonstrate a high level of oral competence in the English language before they can be employed as teaching assistants. In order to assess the level of language proficiency, UC San Diego is required to screen prospective TAs. For more information, please see International graduate students employed as Teaching Assistants.


For the most current rates, please see Graduate Student Academic Title Pay Rates

Fee Payment Information for Teaching Assistants (TAs)

Graduate students who are appointed as Teaching Assistants (sub 0, fixed salary) at a minimum of 25% (i.e. 110 hours) for the entire quarter are eligible for payment of graduate student health insurance (GSHIP) and partial fee remission that covers Tuition (formerly the Education fee) and the Student Services fee (formerly the Registration fee).  Nonresident Supplemental Tuition (formerly Nonresident Tuition) is not covered. 

Students are responsible for paying the balance of fees each quarter: University Center, Recreation Facility, GSA, and Student Transportation fees (currently totaling $219.66, AY 2020-2021). For more information, please see Fee Payment Information for Academic Student Employees

The fee payments are issued to those students whose fees are not paid by another fund source (example: outside agency, federal government, Cal Vet, etc.).

Additional Information


About Readerships

A Reader assists a course instructor by grading homework, papers, or exams and may also hold office hours to answer students' questions about such assignments. Readers are expected to attend lecture and grade midterm/finals (and papers if applicable).


Readers are paid $17.26 per hour (AY 2020-2021). For the most current rates, please see Graduate Student Academic Title Pay Rates.

Fee Payment Information for Readers and Tutors

Graduate students appointed as Readers or Tutors at a minimum of 25% for the entire quarter are eligible to receive partial fee remission that covers graduate student health insurance (GSHIP), Tuition (formerly the Education fee) and the Student Services fee (formerly the Registration fee). Nonresident Supplemental Tuition (formerly Nonresident Tuition) is not covered. 

Students are responsible for paying the balance of fees each quarter: University Center, Recreation Facility, GSA, and Student Transportation fees(currently totaling $219.66, AY 2020-2021). For more information, please see Fee Payment Information for Academic Student Employees

Effective fall quarter 2011, GSHIP, Tuition and Student Services fee payments are issued at the beginning of the quarter based upon the assumption that the student will work the minimum hours required for fee remission (110 hours).  Fee remission will not be paid at the start of the quarter if a student has a registration or financial “hold” placed on his/her account because he/she is in arrears from a previous quarter.

NOTE:  If the student does not work the required number of hours by the end of the quarter, the fee payments will be rescinded and the amount must be repaid by the student.

The fee payments are issued to those students whose fees are not paid by another fund source (example: outside agency, federal government, Cal Vet, etc.).

Financial Support

Division of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs (GEPA): Financial Support

Departmental Graduate Student Funds

Graduate students in sociology will receive individual accounts of $2,000 for research and travel (please see below for more information).

Research and Travel Funds

$2,000 will be allocated to graduate students for research and travel expenses.


After successful completion of the first year in the doctoral program, a graduate student's individual Research and Travel account will be funded with an initial allocation of $1,000. A second allocation of $1,000 will be allocated upon advancing to candidacy

Graduate students must be:

  • Enrolled full-time, actively engaged in research, or approved leave of absence with the intent to register in the following quarter.
  • Within campus support time limits.
  • In good academic standing.

How to Use the Funds

Funds from your individual Research and Travel account can be used for:
  • materials or supplies for research (including access fees)
  • photocopying of research materials
  • transcription services
  • purchase of minor equipment other than computers
  • transportation for field, library, or museum study
  • transportation to present papers at scholarly meetings
  • lodging, hotel for conferences and scholarly meetings, limited to $75/night.
Research and Travel funds may not be used for:
  • computers (laptop, desktop, tablet)
  • costs associated with preparation of the final copy of the dissertation or thesis (including typing, copying, microfilming, photography or related costs)
  • subsistence (meals, incidentals) while traveling to present a paper at a meeting
  • costs associated with routine dissertation committee meetings (including travel, refreshments or related costs)
  • transportation to other UC campuses (for travel to other UC campuses, funded by the Academic Senate Committee on Research, fill out the graduate student Intercampus Travel Application Form)

These funds are restricted to travel for registered graduate students for research purposes only. They are not to be used to attend seminars, conferences, or university-wide UC meetings. Reimbursement will not be approved unless the name of the faculty consulted and title of the research component/project is recorded on the travel reimbursement form.

How to View Funds

Graduate students will be set up with an individual Research and Travel project number and will be able to view balances and expenses online. Project numbers will be created on July 1, after successfully completing first-year in the doctoral program.

The University currently has no system in place for our faculty or students to easily  access their project balances or drill down into their expenses like the legacy MyFunds system. Central campus is still developing these reports.  In the meantime, If you need to check the status of your funds, please contact the department's Fund Manager.

How to Be Reimbursed

Determine the type of use: research or travel.

If your expense falls under research
  • Obtain written or email approval for the research expense from your faculty advisor. This can be done in advance or retroactively. Forward the approval to Fiscal Assistant Rick Clarke.
  • Submit receipts showing proof of purchase to Fiscal Assistant Rick Clarke
  • . Original receipts or electronic submissions are acceptable.
If your expense falls under travel
  • Prior to taking the trip, complete the UCSD Student Certification for Business-Related Travel form. Be sure to check the first box "Directly supports the faculty/PI project or research program" or the second box "Presenting at a conference." If second box is checked, attach a copy of the program listing your name and UCSD. Obtain your faculty advisor's signature.
  • Submit receipts showing proof of purchase to Fiscal Assistant Rick Clarke
  • . Original receipts or electronic submissions are acceptable.
  • For more information, please review Travel Policies and Procedures.

Prior to submitting any reimbursement request, please note what is and what is not reimbursable by referring to the "How to Use the Funds" section.

In Absentia Registration Fees

As a matter of policy, beginning Fall 2017, the Department will pay for up to three quarters of fees (15 percent of the combined Educational and Registration Fees, and all the campus based fees) for a graduate student who registers In Absentia.  To be eligible, a student must be in good academic standing.

Under this policy, if a student wishes to register in absentia during a quarter or year in which they have guaranteed support from the department, the department will not count this against the student’s guaranteed support and will allow the student to resume their use of department funding when they return from being in absentia.

Additional information about in absentia registration:

  • Effective Spring 2022, used if research is conducted outside the designated local campus region* or outside the state of California during a given quarter.
    • the research location must be outside of California or outside the following counties in CA: *Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, Imperial County, and San Bernardino County.
  • Academic doctoral students must have advanced to candidacy by the time the in absentia status would begin.
  • Student or department must submit a separate request for each quarter. 

Effective Fall 2023, the department will not pay for in absentia registration fees beyond three quarters. If there is a need for a student to register in absentia beyond three quarters, the student will be required to pay the 15 percent of the combined Educational and Registration Fees and pay all applicable campus-based fees on their own. Please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator for more information.

For full details about in absentia registration, please refer to the information provided by the GEPA.

Direct Deposit for Graduate Students

Please enroll in direct deposit in order to expedite the receipt of funds.

There are three (3) offices on campus that provide direct deposit for graduate students:

1) Student Business Services

  • Stipend payments for domestic students

2) Payroll

  • Employment paychecks (e.g. Associate-In, TA, Reader, and GSR)

3) Disbursements 

  • Travel and other personal reimbursement
  • Stipend payments for international students (please note: stipend payments for international students are subject to tax withholding. For more information, please see below.)

Stipend Payments for International Students:

  • If an international student has a current PPS appointment (GSR, TA, etc.), the stipend payment will be issued according to the direct deposit information in PPS.
  • If the student does not have a current PPS appointment at the time the title code 3296 appointment is created in PPS, the stipend payment will be issued according to the direct deposit information in Disbursements.
  • To be on the safe side, an international student may want to sign up for both:
  • If you are unable to enroll for Payroll Direct Deposit online, you may submit a Payroll Wage Disposition Form via ASK (login required) or via mail to MC 0952.

For additional information on Direct Deposit, please click here.

Grant Funding Opportunities

Ready to Apply?

  • For a Fellowship/Traineeship:

  • For a Grant (Faculty is the Principal Investigator and you as the co-PI):

Where can I find more funding opportunities?

  • Visit UCSD's Division of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs (GEPA) Blog

Grant Search Engines

UC Opportunities

External Grant Agencies 

NSF Fellowship

Division of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs (GEPA) serves as the administering unit for NSF GRFP fellowships for fellows who attend UC San Diego.

Primary Coordinating Official (Principal Investigator): Dean of Division of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs (GEPA)
Graduate Fellowship Coordinator
9500 Gilman Drive, MC: 0003
La Jolla, CA. 92093-0003



Note: This was previously the NSF Doctoral Dissertation Grant. It is now considered a private fellowship.

 American Sociological Association Doctoral Dissertation GrantThe ASA Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants (ASA DDRIG) program supports theoretically grounded empirical investigations to advance understanding of fundamental social processes. Up to 25 awards of a maximum of $16,000 will be given each year.


For additional guidance on the Grant Proposal Process: Sociology's Contract and Grants page.



Other UC San Diego Resources