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Programs : Doctoral : Student Handbook : Section Three

What Happens Between the Time I’m Accepted and When I Enroll?

You might want to contact your SDSU faculty sponsors to see if they have any suggestions for readings that you could do during the summer to get up to speed or a head start in specific areas. Many new doctoral students find it helpful to visit San Diego in the spring or summer to see the Department, meet some faculty and other students, and scope-out the housing market. If you want to visit, just call or e-mail the Doctoral Adviser, Fernando Bosco (; (619) 594-7187) and tell us when you're coming so that we can arrange to make folks available to you.

You should receive a Notice of Admission, signed by the Doctoral Program Advisers and Graduate Deans of both SDSU and UCSB. Be sure to sign and return it as soon as possible.

In August, you will receive an official contract (Statement of Terms and Conditions) from the Dean of the College of Arts and Letters at SDSU appointing you as a Teaching Associate (more information on this below). It will state your annual salary and appointment dates. You need to sign this document and return the original to the Dean's Office and a copy to Allison Bailund, SDSU Geography acting Graduate Coordinator, Department of Geography, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182-4493. This will make you a real, live Teaching Associate! If that isn't enough, just remember that without signing this document you cannot begin to receive your monthly stipends. During the first week of each semester, you will receive your assignment, supervisor and list of duties. You should check in with your listed supervisor to clarify your responsibilities for the semester.

SDSU uses a web based registration system. Fall registration begins in mid-July. No hard copies of the class schedule are available; they are only available online. Be sure to check with Dr. Bosco (SDSU Geography Program Adviser), Allison or Patti O'Leary (SDSU Geography Department Coordinator;; 619-594-4861) before registering. First semester Ph.D. students usually take 6 units of credit and no more than 9 units. Your fees (for 6 units) will be paid by the University, so don't send any money! If you intend to enroll in more than 6 units then please check with Dr. Bosco or Patti. If you don'tregister early, don't worry too much--you can register when you arrive on campus. One of the courses you should take during the first semester is Geography 701 -- Seminar in Development of Geographic Thought, unless you already completed it as a MA/MS student at SDSU, or if you completed a similar course during your master's studies at a different university. Either way, you must receive permission from the Doctoral Adviser to waive Geography 701. Also, SDSU will only pay for units that are necessary for your doctoral program, so be sure to see your Adviser prior to enrollment.

By the way, you'll need to prove that you have had a measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccination prior to the end of your first semester at SDSU. Bring your inoculation records, show proof of immunity or, as an added bonus, you can get low-cost vaccinations at Student Health Services on campus.

The Geography graduate program at SDSU is pretty large. We normally support 25 or more doctoral associates and another 25 - 35 master's-level graduate assistants. Additionally, there are another 15 - 25 or so full-time graduate students here. As a result, our grad students come in all shapes and sizes, represent a wide range of ages and sexes, are married, single, attached, unattached, with kids and without. They have discovered an array of housing accommodations to meet their varied situations. In short, your new colleagues are a great source of information on housing and other matters of critical interest to you as a newcomer to the Department and, perhaps, the San Diego community. Moreover, many of our current grad students would be glad to share their knowledge with you, having recently experienced just what you'll be going through. A good idea would be to contact the doctoral student representative, whose contact information is available on the department's website. There are two graduate student-oriented apartment complexes that are near campus and run by the university, but no family student housing. Here are a few pertinent web sites pertaining to housing.

Handbook Topics

How did I get Admitted?
What does the Financial Offer I Accepted Mean?
What Happens Between the Time I'm Accepted and When I Enroll?
Okay, I've Arrived at the Department. What do I do?
My First Semester's Started: Now What?
Beyond My First Semester
When Should I Plan on Spending My Year at UCSB?
Any Information that might Help Me for My UCSB Residency?
What are the Major Mileposts in My Program?

The statements found on this page/site are for informational purposes only. While every effort is made to ensure that this information is up to date and accurate, official information can be found in the university publications.