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New Transfer Student Guide

It can be difficult to prioritize as a new transfer student. This guide was created by our transfer peer coaches to ensure you are making the most out of your time at UC San Diego before and during your first quarter. 

The image below provides a printable overview of the New Transfer Student Guide. Open each quarter below for further information and ideas. 

Pre-Fall: Set Yourself Up For What's to Come

  • Check your UC San Diego email as often as possible for important updates and action items!
    • This email is available after you receive your student ID number. 
  • Review Incoming Student Health Requirements and Deadlines on UCSD My Student Chart to prevent academic holds.
  • Learn about your College!
    • Research opportunities to get involved during the quarter.
  • Participate in college and department orientations.
  • Begin researching research opps. Take notes of deadlines. 
  • Thinking about changing your major? 
  • Sign up for the Transfer Year Experience (TYE)!
    • What is a TYE (Transfer Year Experience) course?
      • TYE is an exciting  2-unit course (pass/no pass) designed to help new students get the most out of their first year at UC San Diego and become more engaged and informed students.
    • What are the benefits of enrolling in a TYE course?
      • Receive practical advice about student life and educational strategies for success
      • Get connected to your college and campus resources, as well as research and involvement opportunities campus-wide
      • Learn from faculty who are committed to supporting your transition to college life
      • Interact with upperclassmen (discussion leaders) who remember what it is like to be a new student
    • How do I sign up?
      • Your college usually emails you before the quarter starts to notify you about this course. 
  • Sign up for accomodations with the Office for Student with Disablities.

What to focus on this week?
Handshake and the Real Portal become available as soon as you have a Student Sign-on

  • Find on-campus jobs and register for the Career Fair NOW on Handshake
  • Find research and internship opportunities through the Real Portal

Week 0: Triton Welcome Week

Week 0 only occurs during fall quarter and includes Welcome Week activities and events for new and continuing students before classes begin. 
  • Attend events, explore resources, meet other students, and walk the campus to get a sense of how long it will take you to get from class to class.
  • Connect with the Triton Transfer Hub to find out about transfer-specific events, resources, and professional development tips.
  • Review your syllabi in advance, and make sure to have your textbooks purchased and skimmed so you are prepared for Day 1!

What to focus on this week?
Find 1 - 2 clubs that pique your interest and join their mailing list. Make time to attend meetings!


Week 1: Welcome to Your First Week of Classes!

  • You may decide to add or change a course during Weeks 1 and 2. Keep in mind that because of the speed of the quarter system it is easy to get behind. See an advisor before making any major changes.
  • Have a resume or cover letter available to be prepared and attend career fairs on campus. 
  • Plan Ahead: 
    • Go to workshops, information sessions, and other events to meet other students.
    • Ask many questions, and explore some of the many academic resources available to you as a transfer, such as the Writing Hub and Tutoring Centers. 
    • Prioritizing your time will be necessary. Take a moment to anticipate some obstacles that may come up as the quarter continues, and to purposefully search out resources that you may find useful 
    • Review your course syllabi and enter all assignment dates and deadlines into your favorite organizational tool (a planner, your phone, etc.).
What to focus on this week?
  • Visit an event hosted by a resource center on campus. (iLead, the Zone, Raza Centro, etc.) 
  • Familiarize yourself with the services of the UCSD Library.
  • Exchange phone numbers with classmates and other students.

Week 2: Get Connected to Your Class & Career Path

  • Begin reviewing lecture notes, start preparing flash cards and other study guides that may help you prep for any upcoming midterms. It may seem early, but the quarter system moves fast!
  • View or print out professors' lecture notes to use as reference in class – these are generally available through Canvas if your professor shares them.
  • Connect with students in class, start a study group and/or trade contact information with another student in case you have to miss class or borrow notes.
  • Remember to continue to explore resources, as well as attend workshops and information sessions.
  • Do you have a clear career path? Take a moment to identify where you would like to end up when you finish your time at UC San Diego, and connect with people to help you find the resources to get there.
  • Set your goals for this quarter - academically, personally, and professionally
What to focus on this week?
  • Meet with a Transfer Peer Coach for help with your goal setting!
  • Start asking for help even before you have questions. A good way to do this is by attending office hours with a professor or TA.  It is important to attend office hours not only to get extra help and feedback for a specific course, but also to build potential mentoring relationships with professors.  
  • Seek out department resources as well as the Career Services Center to get connected to your professional goals.

Week 3: Tap into Academic Resources

 Week 3 to week 6 is considered midterm season; you may have midterms, papers, or larger assignments due during this time.

What to focus on this week?

Week 4: Prepare for Future Quarters

  • Look out for enrollment information on tritonlink/WebReg
  • Consider applying for research opportunities through the office of Academic Enrichment Programs (AEP).  Research is a way to extend your intellectual curiosity beyond the classroom and develop critical thinking and communication skills that will be useful to you during and beyond your undergraduate career.  Some research opportunities also provide scholarships and/or course credit.  Reach out directly to AEP staff and subscribe to the AEP newsletter to stay updated about various opportunities
What to focus on this week?

Week 5: Balance Midterms, Registration, and Stress Management

As mentioned, Weeks 3 to week 6 is considered midterm season; you may have midterms, papers, or larger assignments due during this time.

  •  If you are feeling stressed about midterms, assignments, and/or feeling connected academically and socially, you are not the only one! Everyone is feeling the pressure of midterms and the speed of the quarter system.
  • Keep your eyes open for enrollment information. 
What to focus on this week?
  • This is a great time to visit or get familiar with resources on campus like CAPS, the ZONE, etc.  
  • (Here, we can list health and well-being resources)
  • Usually there will be events to de-stress or prepare for midterms which can be a great opportunity to meet new people on campus! 

Week 6: Ensure You're Connecting Academically and Professionally

  • Now that you have completed a few midterms, check in with professors or TA’s to see how you’re doing in class? How can you improve if needed to? And what should you  expect during finals week? Check in with yourself, too!
  • Meet with your major advisor to look into possible research opportunities or events linked to your major. 

What to focus on this week?

  • Meet with a Transfer Peer Coach to discuss how you have been doing in your classes and at UC San Diego!
  • Visit the Career Services Center and discuss your pre-UC San Diego transferable skills.
  • Visit Handshake for internships or jobs on campus

Week 7: Self-Reflect and Seek Feedback

  • Generally, midterms are finished by week 7. If you have not done so already, make time for relaxation! 
  • There might be another wave of midterms coming (or finals prep); evaluate if there are any study tactics you need to shift to prepare for upcoming finals/final papers.
What to focus on this week?
  • Did your study skills work for you? Did you manage your time well? If you want to shift the way you approached your academics or even if you just want to continue to stay ahead of the game, be sure to utilize the resources that can help with this.
  • Attend any workshops or events that may be of your interest.

Week 8: Continue Connection with Campus Resources

Begin preparing and studying for finals. Make a finals week success plan for yourself, including when you will study for what classes (and your breaks!). 
  • Go to office hours. If you are not sure what to talk about, ask them about their own intellectual interests, career path, and/or personal journey, which might help to identify points of connection between you and them. Remember that faculty mentors can serve as advocates, role models, professional references, and intellectual colleagues.

What to focus on this week?

  • Meet with a Transfer Peer Coach for help with your finals week planning!
  • Be sure to utilize the resources available to you if you are feeling overwhelmed. Visit CAPS, or academic resources that may be of great use to you and provide ease to any pressure you may be feeling.
  • Attend any workshops or events that may be offered by student organizations/clubs.

Week 9: Form Study Groups & Attend Office Hours

  • Continue to prepare for finals and attending office hours.
  • Form study groups.

What to focus on this week?

  • Remember self-care is important!  Make sure to give yourself breaks. Visit The Zone for stress relievers.

Week 10: Practice Self-Care

  • Attend events: 
    • There will be many de-stress events offered on campus during week 10 and finals week. 
    • Many of the centers on campus will have extended hours during finals week and some provide printing, study supplies, and snacks! 
    • Fill out your CAPES to give anonymous feedback on your professors and TAs! This is your chance to reflect on your courses this quarter and provide helpful feedback that will help future students who enroll in the course.
What to focus on this week?
  • Self-care reminder: Get enough sleep to be prepared for finals!
  • Make sure to look at your class schedule on Tritonlink/WebReg to know what time and day your final will take place! 
  • Plan accordingly if you have finals that overlap with each other and talk with your professors to make any arrangements.

Finals Week! YOU MADE IT!

  • Double-check your class schedule on Tritonlink/WebReg to know what time and day your final will take place! 
  • Friday of finals week is generally the last official day of the quarter.
  • Meet with a Transfer Peer Coach to talk about this experience and ways you can prepare for the next quarter! 
  • Consider becoming a TYE Transfer Discussion Leader for your college! 
    • Through teaching, students have the opportunity to learn a lot about our campus, make friends, build professional experience, and connect with faculty and staff. 
    • Applications usually open during fall and winter quarter and training will happen during spring quarter. 
  • Make sure to celebrate this accomplishment with friends and family!