Incoming Students

Welcome to UC Davis!

We're so glad that you made the decision to have your graduate education here. This article is intended to give you a basic overview of the things you will need to take care of during your first year in Davis. We recognize that making the transition into graduate school, regardless of where you are coming from, can be taxing and challenging at times. Following this article will ease the transition and let you focus on your academics.

Establishing California Residency

Eligible graduate students are required to apply for residency in the State of California following the first year of their graduate degree. Some of the requirements are registering to vote, getting a California Driver's License, and changing your permanent address to California.

For more specific information, please visit the Registrar's article on California Residency for tuition purposes.

Housing, in and around Davis

We will be honest, housing is very challenging in the City of Davis. However, there are several resources that students can use to find housing that is affordable and fits the needs of graduate students. 

There are several apartment complexes owned by the university that cater specifically to graduate students, with some specializing in student family housing:

For those looking to rent in private complexes, students often utilize Facebook, craigslist, and the UC Davis Community Housing Listing. Several housing cooperatives exist in Davis, though there is often a waitlist. However, several graduate students have found these coops to be rewarding and affordable. 

Some students opt to live outside of Davis, and many live in Woodland, Sacramento, or the Bay Area. Commuter options range from train, bus, carpool, and car, though access and cost to those services are dependent on your location.

Graduate Student Orientation

Incoming students are highly encouraged to attend Graduate Student Orientation. The orientation takes place in the week prior to the beginning of classes and will cover topics relating to your employment, the graduate school process, and some trainings related to your new role as a graduate student. 

Teaching Assistant (TA) Orientation

If you are going to be a teaching assistant, or TA, at any point during your time as a graduate student at UC Davis, you are required to attend TA Orientation. This orientation is designed to introduce you to making lesson plans and working in a classroom. This one-day event makes a huge difference in being prepared for teaching, especially if it is your first time.


Making sure your employment runs smoothly is very important, especially in your first year. Please follow the link on the right side of the page to see what you need to do to ensure an easy employment process.