Grad Handbook

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View Graduate Student Handbook PDF here


Can grad students acquire a parking pass on campus?
Yes, please go to and log in. Sign up for Sustainable Transportation. A list of incentives for students who walk/bike to school are listed here: Students will receive 60 day passes (5 passes/month) and 60 evening/weekend passes (5 passes/month) that can be used from July 1 to June 30th the following year. The later you sign up, the fewer passes you will receive. Steps to receive these permits are listed on the link above.

How do I place myself on the private tutoring list on the math department website?
To be place on the private tutoring list, email the Graduate Coordinator with your hourly rate, description of yourself, contact info (Refer to the current students private tutoring listings for examples).

How do I create a website with a URL?
Please access the math department server and download WinSCP (for windows) or Fugu (for macs) or a SFTP software for our computer.  Sign into the server:, your user name is your UCInetID, your password is your email password. On the window, create a new folder with the name public_html, create a similar folder on the Local window.
On your computer, create a .html file on Notepad or a similar text processing software on your computer (Word will not work). Save the file with the name index.html. Find the file on your SFTP software and drag the file to the math sever and save it under the public_html folder. Right click the public_html folder and click “get info” or “properties”, on the octal mode representation type in 0755
 Now on your internet browser, go to, where it says UCInetID, insert your UCInetID. The website should work now.

Where are the printers located?  How do we get access to them?
There are printers in the 410 hallway, 440M (math library), 540 hallway, and in the 510 computer lab. The printers can be accessed by IP address. On your computer, add printer through preferences, and there is an option to add by IP address. Input the IP address for the printer(s) that you want access to.

 Can we checkout textbooks for courses that we are enrolled in?
 No, you may only checkout textbooks for the courses that you are the assigned Teaching Assistant.

What do we need to report on our taxes? (i.e. Fellowships, TA appointments, etc.)
Please be advised that Math personnel are not allowed to provide any tax related advice. Please consult a tax professional for complex circumstance or for tax related questions. If you have earned an income from the university, you will receive a W-2 from UCI to report your salary (TA/Reader, GSR), and form 1098-T to report any fellowships/tuition etc.

You may also contact Faye Shores in the Tax Compliance and Reporting Division or Elaine Wiederman, Tax Relief Act Coordinator, in the UCI Payroll Department, for tax related resources.

What are the steps to become a California resident? Why do we need to become in-state resident?  For residency questions please contact the UC - Irvine Campus Residence Deputy.  No other University personnel are authorized to supply information relative to residence requirements for tuition purposes.  Please refer to the University Registrar website on Residence Classification for Tuition Purposes for more detailed information:

How do I get a building key to get access to the building on Sundays/holidays?
Please discuss building access needs with the Math Department Front Office Coordinator in RH 340.

Can we switch our offices?
Under extenuating circumstances, the department may be able to accommodate an office change.  Please email the Front Office Coordinator and copy the Graduate Coordinator, and provide justification for the office change request.

Does the department provide funding for travel?
Yes, the Math Department may provide funding for travel depending on fund availability.  The Department may give up to $500 per request, per year, with a $1500 maximum during your entire academic career. Please write a formal request addressed to the Vice Chair of Graduate Studies, Patrick Guidotti, and send to the Graduate Coordinator. The request should include 1) a description of the purpose of the trip, name of the conference, dates and location, 2) tentative budget and an email from a faculty/advisor confirming your participation with a presentation or poster in the conference, 3) copies of receipts of the budget, 4) copies of the program in which you are presenting in the conference.



How many seminars are we supposed sign up for during our first and second year?
Two seminars. (1) is the graduate seminar that is held almost every Friday at 4pm. One of the purposes of this seminar is to expose first and second year students to the research of the professors in the department and also Teaching Assistant workshops.  (2) The other is a research seminar in an area of your specialization interest. The purpose of this seminar is to expose first and second year students to research in their chosen area. Guest speakers from other universities are invited to come speak on their research.

What are the steps to file for a Master’s Degree? Am I eligible for a Master’s Degree?
The criteria is (1) Pass two exams (comprehensive or qualifying) with at least a Master’s pass, (2) Complete 45 quarter units with a B or better, this is equivalent to about 12 courses, (3) Complete either 210/220/230 ABC series, and (4) be an enrolled student the quarter the degree is to be conferred.  “Advancement-to-candidacy signifies that the student has completed his or her coursework and other requirements and is ready to move forward to the dissertation phase for doctoral students or the thesis/comprehensive exam phase for master’s students. University policy requires students to advance to candidacy at least one quarter before they can earn the degree.”

Fill out the petition for Master’s Degree form:

Once you have completed this form, bring it to the Math Graduate Coordinator to get it signed and we will send the form over to Graduate Division for processing.  

During the quarter the degree is to be conferred, you will receive an email from the Graduate Coordinator to fill out the Graduate Division Exit survey. Open the Master Exit Survey: (PhD students that are pursuing their MS degree reroute are not be required to actually complete the survey, at this time).

What happens when I miss a graduate seminar?
Email the Vice Chair of Graduate Studies and copy the Graduate Coordinator (the Vice Chair will be hosting the seminar) to let them know.

What if there are graduate courses that I want to take but they are scheduled in the same hour?
Contact the instructor of the courses that are in conflict and explain the situation; ask if they are willing to change the time of their class(es). If there are students currently signed up for the class(es), ask them to see what time works best for them. If the instructor agrees, they will make contact the department (Undergraduate Coordinator, Mike Vo) to see if it is possible to change the time or the course.

What happens when I receive a B- in a course?
Generally (1) exception can be requested for a B- if it is used for a course requirement (MS or PhD). Please contact the Graduate Coordinator for details. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA or better in order to be appointed as a TA.

What are the steps for Advancing to PhD Candidacy?
Once you are in your 3rd year and your advisor has deemed that you are ready to advance (you should have done a significant amount of research with your advisor at this point), please contact faculty member that you and your advisor will want to be on your Advancement Committee. Your committee must consist of (1) your advisor, (2) three Senate-faculty members of the department (Senate-faculty members of the department can be found on, and (3) one Senate-faculty member outside of the department. Ultimately, you will need five Senate-faculty members, at least three must be in the math department and at least (1) must be outside the department.
Once you have contacted your committee, schedule a date that works for all five members. This date must be at least two weeks from when you assemble your committee. Once you and your committee settle on a date, email the Graduate Coordinator to let them know (we need at least two weeks notice of the date) and we will assign a room and a time for your advancement.  Let your committee know of the day, time, and room. Remind them the week of.
If you have a working document on your research that you will be presenting for your Advancement, email that document to your committee so that they can review your work prior to seeing your presentation.
Prior to the day of your advancement, fill out the advancement to candidacy form:
Once you pass your advancement, give the form to Donna to sign. Go to the cashier’s office, located in Aldrich Hall, and pay the $90 filing fee (cash only). And turn in the form with the receipt of the filing fee to Grad Division (101 Aldrich Hall).

How can I give a talk on my research in the department?
Yes, there are the research seminars that you can present by the permission of the professor who is leading the seminar. There are also the Learning Seminars in the department, where the purpose of these gatherings is to learn and teach each other on varying research topics related to ones field of interest.

Finally, there is the Mathematics Graduate Student Colloquium (MGSC) that is hosted by grad students. The purpose of the MGSC is for grad students to present their research or any related topics to other grad students, this is to create a safe space for grad students to share current research, work on presentation skills, and to peer review.

What happens when I do not satisfy my exam requirements by the beginning of the 2nd year? By the beginning of the 3rd year?
Please speak with the Graduate Coordinator.

What is expected of us at “vacation time?” Can we go home during finals week when we don’t have exams?

Please review the Academic Calendar.  The Math Department’s expectation is that one arrives back to campus and are prepared for the academic year (If you are a US-Non/resident seeking CA residency, please refer to the link on the question above pertaining to residency for tuition purposes).  If you are working with your faculty advisor, please discuss travel or away plans as well as their expectations during breaks in the academic year.
When should I choose an advisor?
One would choose an advisor no later than the fall quarter of their 3rd year.  At this point, one should have successfully passed Qualifying exams and a majority of one’s course requirements. Graduate Seminars are an ideal space to meet Math Department faculty.  We encourage graduates to branch out and speak with many faculty members from one’s discipline of interest, if you are unsure or having trouble selecting an advisor.  Another option is to request Professor Guidotti’s input.

What are the PhD course requirements?
You must complete the entire series of 210, 220, and 230. Once you have decided your area of concentration (this decision will be concurrent with your decision of choosing an advisor), then you will need to complete two courses inside your area and two courses outside of your area. Note that 205/206 do not count as an inside/outside course.
210/220/230 can be used as an inside or an outside only when they are not being used for a Qualifying exam requirement.

The following are the courses that can be used as possible inside/outside courses:

Algebra: Math 230ABC (core), Math 232ABC, Math 233ABC, 234ABC, 235ABC, 239ABC

Analysis: Math 210ABC(core), Math 220ABC(core), Math 211ABC, Math 260ABC, Math 295ABC, Math 296

Applied and Computational Mathematics: Math 290ABC (core), Math 225ABC, Math 226ABC, Math 227AB, Math 291ABC, Math 295ABC

Geometry and Topology: Math 218ABC(core), Math 222ABC, Math 240ABC, Math 245ABC, Math 250ABC

Logic: Math 280ABC (core), Math 281ABC, Math 282ABC, Math 285ABC

Probability: Math 210ABC, Math 211ABC, Math 270ABC, Math 271ABC, Math 272ABC, Math 274

What are the steps for Advancing to PhD Candidacy?
Once in your 3rd year and your advisor has deemed that you are ready to advance to candidacy (you should have done a significant amount of research with your advisor at this point), it’s time to contact other UCI faculty members and request that they serve on your committee.  Your committee must consist of (1) your advisor, (2) three Senate-faculty members of the department (Senate-faculty members of the department can be found on, and (3) one Senate-faculty member outside of the department.  Once we’ve submitted your committee to the Graduate Division for approval, contact your committee and schedule an advancement date that works for all five members. This date must be at least two weeks from when you assemble your committee.  Once you and your committee settle on a date, email the Graduate Coordinator to check room availability. It will be the graduate student’s responsibility to let their committee know the day, time, and room location.

Prior to the day of your advancement, fill out the “Ph.D. Form I - Advancement to Candidacy Ph.D. Degree” form located on the Graduate Division’s forms web page.  You will need each committee member to print and sign their name on the form as well as indicate their recommendation for advancement.  Once one has passed their advancement, bring the form to the Graduate Coordinator for signature and then to the cashier’s office, located in Aldrich Hall, to pay the candidacy fee (cash or check only).   Lastly, turn in the form with the receipt of the filing fee to the Graduate Division (101 Aldrich Hall) for processing.

When is the latest that I can advance to candidacy?
One must advance before the first day of the fall quarter of their 4th year. 



If an instructor wants me to attend lecture, am I supposed to?
Yes, as long as you do not have a conflicting schedule (i.e. own class obligations).  The department expects TAs to communicate any conflicts that may affect one’s TA duties in a timely manner with the department and/or their assigned instructor. 

What percentage of the midterm are TAs supposed to grade?
Depending on the number of grads that are assigned to a particular course, it is expected that the TAs will work out a fair grading schedule amongst themselves so that they are both maintaining a 20 hour per week schedule as well as grading and returning mid-terms to undergraduates in a timely manner.

What happens when I forget to login at the Tutoring Center?
Email the Graduate Coordinator to let them know, and schedule to make up those hours that you missed.

What if I wanted to change the room for one of my discussions? Who do I talk to?
Please contact the Undergraduate Program Coordinator (Mike Vo).

What if an instructor asks me to cover their lecture? Am I allowed to?
No, graduate students are not permitted to be the Instructor on Record (IR). IR roles and responsibilities are to lead lectures and provide new materials to students that will be discussed in discussion and may be tested on the exams.  An instructor may ask to switch their lecture time with one’s assigned discussion time to hold a makeup session, but it is expected that this is communicated with the assigned TA in a timely manner.

How long do TAs have to hold onto assignments that students did not pick up? (i.e. homework, quizzes, midterms, finals, etc.)
TAs should turn in all assignments that were not picked up by students to the Instructor, they will determine if graded papers should be turned into the department for shredding.
Final exams are to be held by the IR and for a period of two academic years.

How do I reserve a room to lead a review session for my students’ midterm/final?
Contact the Undergraduate Program Coordinator (Mike Vo) two weeks prior to the date that anticipated review session date.

Are TAs responsible to submit grades at the end of the quarter?
Typically, the Instructor of Record will submit grades at the end of the quarter.

If we are giving evening or Saturday review sessions, are there rooms open in RH? Do we have to reserve the room?
Ideally, one shouldn’t hold review sessions on the weekends or late evenings, but in the event one would like to still submit a request, please discuss with the Undergraduate Program Coordinator (Mike Vo).

Where are current (and previous) syllabus file located?

They are located on the math website.

When undergraduate students ask you advising questions what should you do?
Please do not advise students on specific program policy but rather direct them to the Vice Chair of Undergraduate Studies, the Undergraduate Program Coordinator (RH 340B), or Student Affairs (RH 134).

When do we find out about TA assignments for the following quarter?
We hope to inform students of TA assignments approximately one week prior to the start of the quarter.

Can we get our teaching schedule changed?
Under extenuating circumstances, we may change your TA assignment.  Please contact the Graduate Coordinator as soon as you are able to discuss this possibility.

Can I cancel my discussions?
No, please do not cancel your discussion. TAs must hold discussion sections at the time that they are assigned on Webreg, or one must have their TA buddy hold the discussion for you for that day. You cannot cancel your discussion in hopes to make it up at a later point in the quarter. You cannot move your discussion time to an earlier or later time without contacting the Undergraduate program coordinator or Donna (this is rarely approved).

How do I find a TA buddy?
You can ask another fellow TA from your cohort or a current grad student who is also a TA to be your TA buddy. You can email the math forum ( to ask the entire grad student body to be your TA buddy. But you must list a TA buddy within the first week of the quarter.

What happens when my TA buddy can’t cover my discussions or tutoring center hours?
If for some unforeseeable circumstances that your TA buddy cannot cover for you, then you must find a replacement TA buddy by asking another TA that has an assignment in the quarter that you are requesting. 

What happens when I can’t find a TA buddy?
Ask your pedagogical fellow to be your TA buddy.

Is there a timesheet for being a TA or a grader?
There is only a timesheet for being a grader. Please log-in when working in the tutoring center (this log-in is to keep track of your hours).

What if there is a question that we have about teaching that hasn’t been addressed yet (in training, seminars, FAQ, etc.)?
Please contact your pedagogical fellow. If you have any teaching problems or conflicts, with students or Instructors, please contact the 2A/2B coordinator (Professor Chris Davis and Professor Alessandra Pantano).


How many times can I take a certain Qualifying Exam?
You can take an exam up to 3 times. After the second attempt, you will need to submit a petition to the Graduate Coordinator, to take an exam for a 3rd time. The petition will be forwarded to the Graduate Studies Committee for review and decisioning.

If we do not show up to take a Qualifying exam, will that still count as an attempt?
No, but please let the Graduate Coordinator know as soon as you decide not to take it so the exam roster will be complete and accurate.

Are we allowed to know who is on the Exam committee? How does the committee work?
You are not allowed to know who is on the committee. For every exam, there are three professors on the committee. Historically, one of the professors on the committee is the instructor. There may be times where the instructor is not on the committee (vacation, sabbatical, scheduling, etc.) The committee will choose a set of problems for the June and September exams. It is up to the discretion of the committee to decide how they want to grade the exams and decide what is a passing score. The decision on what is a passing score is determined after all exams have been graded.  The passing scores are reviewed and approved by the Vice Chair of Graduate studies, prior to being released to the students.

What can I expect on the day of a Qualifying exam or comprehensive exam?
On the day of, you should have your student ID, a few pencils, and an eraser. The proctor will take attendance and hand out paper (you should have at least one sheet for every problem of the exam); please only use one side of each sheet and write your name and ID on each paper.  You must only use one side of every paper that you use. You must write your name and ID on every paper that you use. Please label each problem and only solve one problem per sheet of paper (that is you cannot have two problems on the same sheet). Please do not staple your exam when your turn it in.

When do we find out about our results for our Qualifying exams?
The Graduate Coordinator will email you your results about a two weeks after the exam has taken place or when all the results have been received from the Exam Committees.  

When can we look at our exam results?
Please visit the Graduate Coordinator for your exam results.  If requested we can make you a copy. 

What happens if you feel that you would like to contest your score on the Qualifying exams?
Email the Graduate Coordinator, with specific details of the problem(s) you are addressing, and she will forward your email to the Vice Chair of Graduate Studies; he will review the issue and meet with the Exam Committee.