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Incoming PhD Student Guide

Welcome, new Bren PhD students! 

Use this page to reference important information, dates, deadlines, and resources to help you as you prepare for the first day of orientation on September 21, 2020. Orientation is required so please plan to accordingly. If you are completing the Economics and Environmental Science emphasis (more information below), Math boot camp starts August 24, 2020. 

If you still have unanswered questions after you've reviewed this page, please contact the Student Affairs & Admissions team at or by calling 805-893-7611. 

Summer Timeline

May 2020

  • Submit your student housing application by May 13 if you want to live on campus. Explore more housing options under Campus Resources.
  • Submit your Statement of Legal Residence (SLR). Failure to do so may result in additional out-of-state fees and issues with financial aid. You will need your UCSB Net ID and password to log-in. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of the Registrar at or 805-893-3033.  
  • Send in your official documents. Please send your official transcripts to the UCSB Graduate Division if you were asked to do so in your official admission letter. See the Graduate Division’s Admitted Applicants page for detailed information about where to send them and special instructions for international students (UCSB graduates are not required to submit official final UCSB transcripts).
  • International students, please visit the UCSB Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS)'s Newly Admitted Students page to start your visa process and make sure you're on track to matriculate this fall. Also, click here for COVID-19 FAQs for international students.
  • Review the vaccine requirements. All incoming UCSB students are required to receive the vaccinations and tuberculosis screening noted in the immunization requirements outlined on the UCSB Student Health website.

June 2020

July 2020

  • If you filled out a FAFSA application, it is likely you will receive your financial aid packet by the end of July. The Bren School does not have access to your financial aid information so if you do not receive your packet by the end of July, please contact the UCSB Financial Aid Office at (805) 893-2432.
  • Submit your immunization records per UCSB requirements (see Student Health page for information).
  • Submit your health insurance waiver if you do not wish to use UC SHIP.
  • Connect with Bren’s Compute Team if you have any questions about information technology at the Bren School ( Visit their FAQ knowledge base for general computing questions. 

August 2020

  • Begin taking the appropriate steps necessary to establish residency (if applicable; for more information visit the Registrar's website regarding residency status and "Understanding Residency" from UC. Additional questions about this process are best directed toward the Residency Deputy:
  • International students, complete the first step toward your Culture, Academics, Laws and Immigration (CALI) training online. There will also be a training during Orientation on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. When planning your arrival, please note that you cannot enter the U.S. sooner than 30 days before the start of the MESM program.
  • Submit your health insurance waiver if you do not wish to use UC SHIP (deadline September 1, 2020).
  • Economics and Environmental Science (EES) Students: Math Camp with the Economics Department starts on Monday, August 24, 2020. Mark Patterson from the Econ department will be in touch with more information. 

September 2020

What should you be doing now?

PhD core courses and registration timeline

Orientation events for the Bren School, including the PhD Retreat, lab safety training, Graduate Division orientation, and activities for international students

Cost of attendance, paying your bill, BARC, FAFSA, establishing residency, and TA/GSR positions

ACCESS student ID cards, computing, email, health insurance, housing, transportation, campus resources, and more