Introduction and Disclaimer

Congratulations on becoming a new member of the Department of Entomology at UC Davis. The next two to umpteen years of your life will hopefully be memorable, fun, and full of bugs. The “What I Wish I Knew…Before Coming to UC Davis” or WIWIK document was started in 2006 to provide incoming grad students with an easy to use information/survival guide written from the student perspective. This document covers important topics, such as, who are the people in the department, where do I get my money from, how do I find TAs, and how do I find housing in Davis. Read this document before you start school and you will be much better prepared for the life that awaits you.

It is important to note that this document is not an official, department-approved document. Consequently, any opinions contained in the document do not necessarily reflect those of the department, and it is possible that some of the material may not be up-to-date. Regardless, because students wrote this document, it should offer you a unique perspective that you can’t get anywhere else.

The current authors hope that this document will be revised and kept up-to-date on a yearly basis. As you use this document during your graduate school journey, please make note of how this document helped you and how it can be improved. That way we can continue to help students for years to come.

Advisors and Committees

There are lots of people offering important advice in grad school, but who does what, and who do you meet with when? Here is a run down of the various advisors 'you’ll encounter at UC Davis.

Major Professor

This is the most important advisor you will have while in grad school. They will help you select your research topic and design your experiments. He/she will help you secure funding and house you while you are in the department. This should be the first person you meet with when you get to campus, and they will usually be the person you will be in contact with after you leave.

Graduate Advisor

This is a faculty member other than your major professor. He/she is responsible for making sure you meet the requirements for grad school, including taking needed classes, having committee meetings, passing your departmental and qualifying exams, and getting paper work in. He/she does all the bureaucratic stuff your major professor doesn’t do. Schedule a meeting with your graduate advisor as soon as possible after arriving at UCD. The current entomology graduate advisors are: Peter Cranston, Jay Rosenheim, and Rick Karban.

Guidance Committee

Your guidance committee is comprised of your major professor and 2 or 3 additional members. This is not a formal committee, so members can include faculty from entomology or other departments, and even from other universities. You pick the members of your committee with the help of your major professor. Your guidance committee provides input on courses and research and serves until you pass your qualifying exam, at which time you create your thesis committee. You meet with your guidance committee yearly.

Entomology Exam Committee

The entomology exam committee administers your entomology exam at end of your first year. This is a 4 person committee assigned by the chair of the department. The committee is the same for all students in a cohort. It’s a good idea to meet with the departmental exam committee 1 to 3 times before taking the exam.

Qualifying Exam Committee

Your qualifying exam committee’s job is to administer your qualifying exam. They read and review your thesis proposal as part of this exam. Qualifying exam committees are comprised of 5 members, and in the entomology department, one of those members is from the entomology exam committee. The other 4 members include 2 covering areas within entomology and 2 areas outside entomology. You select your committee members with the help of your guidance committee and major professor, but Graduate Studies must approve your committee before your exam. Your major professor CANNOT be on your exam committee. Your qualifying exam committee can include members from UCD or other universities. Entomology students have also had county extension personnel and CDFA researchers on their qualifying exam committees. If you want to include outside scientists on your committee, you need to file a request form with Graduate Studies listing your reasons for needing an outside committee member. They approve nearly all requests. Your graduate advisor can provide you with this form and needs to sign off on it. Most students meet individually with their qualifying exam committee members 2 to 3 times before taking the exam.

Thesis Committee

Your thesis committee is comprised of your major professor and 2 or 3 other members. You create your thesis committee after passing your qualifying exam. Your thesis committee must be approved be Graduate Studies. Any members of your committee outside the UCD Academic Senate must be approved by Graduate Studies. Your thesis committee provides guidance on your research and reviews your dissertation. They must sign off on your dissertation before you can graduate. You meet with your thesis committee at least once a year.

Graduate Student Support


General Policy

The student will have one quarter support from their major professor, one quarter support from the department and will find a TAship for one quarter. The major professor will fund a 50% GSR during summer. Graduate students can work over 50% in the summer and by exception during the academic year. In most cases, first year graduate students are not obligated to be teaching assistants. Support each quarter as a Graduate Student Researcher is based on individual departmental policies. The quarterly support includes tuition, fees, benefits (health insurance) and a stipend of approximately $1300/month. After your first year, the standard support is one quarter major professor, one quarter department and one quarter TA (the department does not guarantee a TAship within the department). If your major professor cannot pay for his/her quarter, then it may be necessary for the student to TA for two quarters. Likewise, your major professor can buy out your one quarter TAship. The department makes every effort to work with the faculty, Graduate Studies, internal and external fellowships to secure funding for each student, but students are still highly encouraged to apply for external fellowships and grants. Further information on grants available to students can be found at Notices of potential funding opportunities are sent to the graduate student email lists throughout the year.


Many graduate students will TA one quarter per year starting their second year. There are not enough TAships within the entomology department and many students seek TA positions in the college of Biological Sciences ( or within the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Graduate students are encouraged to explore TA opportunities with faculty during the courses taken their first year. Although a ‘call’ for TA applications is issued each year, more commonly a faculty member and graduate student self identify a TA match.

The following entomology classes have traditionally had TAships:


  • ENT1 Art, Science, and the World of Insects Diane Ullman
  • ENT100 General Entomology Lynn Kimsey
  • ENT/HDE117 Longevity James Carey


  • ENT 10 Natural History of Insects Harry Kaya
  • ENT 102 Insect Physiology Hammock/Leal
  • ENT 104 Behavioral Ecology of Insects Ed Lewis


  • ENT 107 California Insect Diversity Phil Ward
  • ENT 116 Biology of Aquatic Insects Sharon Lawler
  • ENT 158 Forensic Entomology Bob Kimsey
  • ENT 225 Terrestrial Field Ecology Rick Karban


  • ENT 109 Field Taxonomy and Entomology (aka Bug Boot Camp) Phil Ward

Entomology students have also served as TAs for the following classes outside of entomology:

  • BIS 1B Introductory Zoology
  • EVE 100 Introduction to Evolution
  • AGR 205 Experimental Design and Analysis

This is not, however, an exhaustive list. There are many more classes outside of the entomology department that students may be qualified to teach. Contact departments directly if you are interested. Departments and sections that may offer courses appropriate for entomology students to TA include: Evolution and Ecology ( Plant Sciences ( Nematology ( Microbiology ( Molecular and Cellular Biology ( Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior (

If you have taken a course in the first year that you are interested in, approach the professor as soon as possible. If you have a TA position from another department, be sure to tell Carol Nickles or the account manager for your major professor. If you have difficulty finding a TAship, please see the MSO (Pat Hunter) to discuss alternatives.

Applying within Entomology

TA positions within the department are highly in demand. Generally, there are fewer department TA positions than students seeking TA-ships. You will receive notification of available TA positions for the upcoming year sometime during the summer, but it is a good idea to contact the instructor of the course you are interested in the year before you will seek the TA-ship. Many instructors choose their TAs early, so this will increase your chances of getting the position that you want. You must submit a new TA application each academic year. All TA applications are submitted to our graduate coordinator, Carol Nickles. Entomology TA applications can be found on the department website at:

Applying outside Entomology

Many students will need to apply outside of the department for TA positions. The application deadlines and requirements differ between departments. Generally applications are due Winter or Spring quarter the year before the year you are seeking the position. Some departments do not have application deadlines, but do have specific times when they are choosing TAs. Getting your application in before these times greatly increases your chances of getting a position. Application requirements vary between departments. The following items are sometimes required:

  • GRE scores *
  • Academic transcripts*
  • A teaching statement covering your prior teaching experience
  • Letters of recommendation
  • References

* These should be on file with your graduate advisor and the graduate coordinator

You can find a list of available appointments on the grad studies website at: This list is often out of date, so it may be more helpful to contact the hiring coordinators for the specific department you are applying to. The following is a list of departments, coordinators, and deadlines. Most of this information can also be found on the Ecology Graduate Group website at: A list of courses offered by each department can be found at:

Agricultural & Resource Economics Christy Hansen, Phone: 2-6185, email: [email protected] Deadline: Dependent on course Applications accepted two months prior to each quarter

Agronomy & Range Science Merlyn Potters, Phone: 2-1715, email: [email protected] Deadline: Dependent on course. Contact faculty member teaching the course.

Animal Science Alisha Nork, Phone: 2-2382, email: [email protected] Deadline: March 1, Late applications accepted

Anthropology Lucy Day, Phone: 2-2742, email: [email protected] Deadline: April 15, Late applications accepted

Economics Marilyn Dexter, Phone: 2-0743, email: [email protected] Deadline: April 1, Late applications for alternates

Environmental Horticulture Lisa Brown, Phone:2-7738, email: [email protected] Deadline: Dependent on course Contact faculty member teaching the course

Environmental Science & Policy Silvia Castillo Hillyer, Phone: 2-6752, email: [email protected] Deadline: April 23rd Applications submitted by the deadline will be considered first. Late applications will be accepted TA application:

Environmental Toxicology Susan Kancir, Phone: 2-1042, email: [email protected] Deadline: Changes yearly, must have taken course, or equivalent

Evolution & Ecology Stephanie Macey-Gallow, Phone: 2-1274, email: [email protected] Deadline: February 7th Late applications encouraged for waiting list, preference given to applicants who submit in January. An EVE application is required, in addition to the DBS TA application. TA application:

Geology Marlene Belz, Phone: 2-9100, email: [email protected] Deadline: February 15 Late applications for alternates

Human & Community Development Cat Huff, Phone: 2-1926, email: [email protected] Effie Kolbeins, Phone: 4-4109, [email protected] Deadline: May 1 Applications accepted all year

Land, Air & Water Resources Marie Boisvert-Smithers, Phone: 4-9646, email: [email protected] Deadline: None Submit application ASAP

Mathematics Celia Davis, Phone: 2-8131, email: [email protected], or Perry Gee, Phone: 2-8130, email: [email protected] Deadline: Open. Applications accepted all year

Microbiology Millie Ling-Tsai, Phone: 2-0261, email: mling Deadline: Mid April. Late applications for alternates

Molecular & Cellular Biology Carole Nicholson, Phone: 2-0202, email: [email protected] Deadline: May 15 Late applications accepted

Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavior Debbie Abbott, Phone: 2-9696, email: [email protected] Deadline: End of March-May, accept late applications TA application:

Plant Biology Tori Hollowell, Phone: 2-7094, email: [email protected] Deadline: January 15. Positions are offered one year in advance. Applicants should check Plant Biology website, at the end of each quarter, for last-minute TA openings (

Psychology Anna Libonati, Phone: 2-9362, email: [email protected] Deadline: Mid April. Applications accepted all year. (

Sociology Heidi Williams, Phone: 2-4147, email: [email protected] Deadline: April 1 Applications accepted all year

Statistics Pete Scully, Phone: 2-2362 email: [email protected] Deadline: February 15 Late applications for alternates

Wildlife, Fish & Conservation Biology Steven Garcia, Phone: 2-6586 email: [email protected] Deadline: May 1. Accepts late applications. (


When students are paid by the department, they may be paid a stipend on block grant funding (through Student Accounting) or through payroll (through Entomology office).

If you are being paid through the payroll system, you will be paid once a month on the first of the following month (or earlier if the first falls on a weekend). Timesheets are due to the office staff on the 15th of the month. You will need to fill out a monthly timesheet if you are a GSR (grad student researcher) or if you are receiving work-study. TA's do not need to fill out timesheets.

Grad students cannot work more than 50% time during the academic year and up to 100% time during the summer (depending on faculty funding), so students should complete timesheets based on their paid appointment. Students are not paid for overtime but are paid for holidays if they work at least 50% time during that month. TA's do not accrue vacation. GSR's accrue vacation leave with an appointment of six months or longer at 50% time (retroactively if your appointment doesn't start out at six months). Vacation accrues at 16 hours/month based on 100% time, so most months grad students receive 8 hours/month of vacation. If you take vacation, indicate it on the timesheet. Timesheets are available on-line or by the department office door and must be filled out in ink and signed by supervisors.

More information about appointments on the Grad Studies website:

There has been confusion between block grant funding and payroll. Usually, first-year students are paid on block grant funding. For financial aid purposes, all students have to complete a FAFSA each year and have to let Financial Aid know of all their support.




Students should register for fall classes over the summer, with the class schedule and registration guide. The classes chosen can always be changed after meeting with your guidance committee upon arrival. It is advisable that you meet with your guidance committee (your major professor and two to three other faculty members) within a few days of arrival to choose classes. If you are not sure what classes to take, register for 12 research credits with your major professor. To get the CRN (course registration number) for research credits with your major professor, e-mail Carol Nickles ([email protected]). Students must be registered for 12 credits per quarter during the school year. These may be all classes, all research credits, or a mixture of both. Register online through the registrar’s website:

One of the perks of being a grad student is that you can register for classes whenever you want, so feel free to ignore talk of Pass 1 and Pass 2, etc. The only situation where this may be an issue is if you want to register for courses restricted to certain majors or departments outside of entomology. If you find you can’t register for a course you are interested in, contact that department directly.

Required Classes

The Entomology Department does not have any required classes, with the exception of seminars. Your guidance committee and the graduate advisor will determine if you have any deficiencies that need to be fulfilled. These deficiencies should be fulfilled as soon as possible. You and your guidance committee will determine which courses you should take and plan a schedule for completing that coursework.

The entomology department does have, however, minimum preparatory course requirements (MPCR) which must be met either through undergraduate coursework or within your first 2 years. A student entering graduate school with a biology degree typically has had most, if not all, of these classes already, but many incoming students must take at least a few of them. The MPCR are at least one course in the following: Biology (Botany and Zoology), Chemistry (Introductory and Organic), Physics, Microbiology, Genetics, Biochemistry, and Statistics.


PhD students must complete four participatory (2 credit) seminars within the Entomology Department and two outside of the department. MS students are required to take 2 seminars within the department and 1 outside. Participatory seminars are those in which you give a talk or lead a session. Seminars within the Entomology Department are posted on the department website and flyers are posted throughout the department. Additionally, seminar announcements are frequently e-mailed to students. To find seminars outside of the department, one can check individual department websites and keep an eye out for announcement flyers. Entomology students often take seminars offered by Nematology, the Ecology Grad Group, Animal Behavior, and Plant Sciences to fulfill these outside requirements. Seminar requirements do not need to be fulfilled prior to the qualifying exam.

Classes that Ent students often take

Although there are no formal required courses for either the PhD or MS programs, entomology students often take classes during their first few years at UCD. Students typically take classes related to their dissertation. In the past entomology students have taken the following classes and would recommend them to incoming students:


  • ENT 102 Insect Physiology
  • ENT 103 Systematic Entomology
  • ENT/PLP 123 Plant/Virus/Vector Interactions
  • ENT 153 Medical Entomology
  • ENT 225 Terrestrial Field Ecology

Applied Biological Systems Technology

  • ABT 180 Introduction to GIS

Animal Genetics

  • ANG 212 Sequence Analysis

Atmospheric Science

  • ATM 133 Biometeorology


  • ECL 200A Principles of Ecological Theory
  • ECL 200B Principles of Ecological Theory
  • ECL 203 Physiological Ecology
  • ECL 205 Community Ecology
  • ECL 208 Conservation Ecology
  • ECL 216 Ecology & Agriculture
  • ECL/PBG 231 Mathematical Methods in Population Biology


  • EVE 102 Population and Quantitative Genetics


  • EPI 205A Epidemiology Concepts
  • EPI 206 Experimental Design (EPI205A is prerequisite)
  • EPI 207 Advanced study design


  • NEM 290 Revising Scientific Prose (Taught by Dr. Bruce Jaffee)

Plant Biology

  • PBL 102 California Floristics

Plant Pathology

  • PLP 150 Fungal Ecology
  • PLP 210 Biochemistry & Molecular Biology of Plant-Microbe Interaction

Plant Sciences

  • AGR 205 (PLS 205) Experimental Design and Analysis
  • AGR 206 (PLS 205) Multivariate Analysis and Modeling

Population Biology

  • PBG 200ABC Principles of Population Biology

Population, Heath, and Reproduction

  • PHR 214 Vector Borne and Infectious Diseases
  • PHR 266 Analytical and Applied Epidemiology

Soil Science

  • SSC 111 Soil Microbiology (Fulfills Microbiology minimum preparatory course requirement)
  • SSC 112 Soil Ecology


  • PLS 205 (AGR 205) Experimental Design & Analysis
  • PLS 206 (AGR 205) Multivariate Systems & Modeling
  • STA 100 Applied Statistics for Biological Sciences


  • ETX 214 Mechanisms of Toxic Action

Outside Entomology

Connecting Outside Entomology

Center for Population Biology

The Center for Population Biology (CPB) is a cross-discipline group, part of the UCD College of Biological Sciences, that "aims to advance understanding of the origins and maintenance of diversity of biological systems through ecological and evolutionary research). It sponsors the Tuesday seminars and Monte Carlo seminars as well as two week-long workshops, has two postdoc positions, has been a recipient of IGERT training grants, and has some research funding for graduate student affiliates. Grad students in Population Biology are automatically part of CPB, but postdocs and grad students in other programs, such as Entomology, can become affiliates. Interested students or postdocs should find a CPB faculty member (who include several Entomology faculty, such as Rick Karban, Sharon Lawler, Jay Rosenheim, and Phil Ward) to submit a letter sponsoring them for admission to CPB. Candidates should also submit a CV, current transcript, and a listing of any Monte Carlo seminars, CPB seminars, or PBGG courses that they have taken. Admission materials are reviewed by the CPB steering committee in October and decisions about acceptance released in November. More information about CPB is available at

Entomology Office

Who are all these people and what can they do for me?

The place

The Entomology Department Administrative offices are located on the third floor of Briggs Hall. To get there, enter Briggs Hall from the east side of the building, take the first right, and walk down the hall until you see room 367. This is the main office and it is where most of the administrative staff work. The people in administration are your friends; their main job is to understand and take care of all the bureaucratic nonsense that inevitably accompanies any organization. By doing so, they make the lives of both faculty and students much more pleasant. It’s a good idea to get to know who’s who in the office so that when, not if, you have a problem, you will know who to talk to.

The people

Summary for New Students: You probably won’t be able to remember who everyone in the office is or what they do, but there are a few key players that you should not forget. The most important person for grad students is Carol Nickles. She is the Graduate Program Coordinator for Entomology and Integrated Pest Management. If you have any questions regarding the administrative side of things and can’t remember who to talk to, go talk to her. Even if she is not the correct person to talk with for your particular problem, she will direct you to who is. Your Account Manager is also a good person to know. They will answer most of your questions regarding employment/payroll. Lastly, Lenny Beneze handles all purchasing and shipping operations in the department and you will most likely need her assistance at some point for making product orders. The Account Managers are located in 367 Briggs and Lenny and Carol are in 396 Briggs. You may need to interact with other administrative staff at some point, but if you know who the above people are you will be fine. All the staff and a brief description of what they do is listed below.

  • Dr. Lynn Kimsey ([email protected]) is the Chair of the Entomology department. The Chairperson of Entomology is appointed by the Chancellor. As the leader of the department, the chair is in charge of planning in the department, the programs in teaching, research, extension and public service, and is responsible for recruitment selection and evaluation of both faculty and staff. All departmental activity is subject to the Chair’s review and approval. The Chair is largely responsible for the cohesiveness and efficiency of the department. If you feel that the department is not running as well as it could, she would be a good person to approach.
  • The Management Services Officer (MSO) position is currently open. She oversees administrative functions for Entomology. Under the direction of the Department’s Chair, she is responsible for facilities planning, administrative personnel, academic personnel, fiscal and strategic planning and analysis. She manages and supervises the daily business and administrative operations for the department including supervision of administrative staff, contracts and grants, purchasing/shipping/receiving, payroll, personnel, travel, equipment inventory, gift acceptance, strategic planning and analysis for business services. If you need to get something approved, such as having the department pay for a summer class, talk with the MSO. If you have difficulties with any administrative processes, talk to her.
  • Susan Padgett ([email protected]), Yoke Dellenback ([email protected]), Charlene Adan ([email protected]), and Susan Ragsdale ([email protected]) are Account Managers who are responsible for payroll/personnel and should be informed anytime there are changes affecting your payroll and student status. They handle payroll personnel for employees who work with their assigned Principle Investigators (PIs). She has current information on benefits eligibility and university benefits, including health, dental, vision care, retirement and reporting leave accrual and use. Before leaving the university or changing your appointment, employees should check in with their appropriate contact to determine the status of benefits, change in funding, or to complete termination forms. It is important to leave a forwarding address as well. The Account Managers are also responsible for contract and grant administration, gift acceptance, accounts payable and account reconciliation for faculty who have been assigned to them.
  • Clara Pacheco ([email protected]) is an Executive Assistant. She provides support to the Chair and MSO by doing such jobs as keeping their calendar and scheduling appointments. She coordinates and prepares academic merit/promotion, recruitment, appraisal and review processes for Entomology faculty. Clara is responsible for the administrative portion of the Agricultural Experiment Station for departmental faculty. She also provides administrative support for faculty seminars and special events, and handles the department list serve email lists.
  • Carol Nickles ([email protected]) is the Graduate Program Coordinator to the Entomology and Integrated Pest Management Programs. Carol is responsible for all administrative functions related to graduate affairs. Individuals inquiring about the Entomology and Integrated Pest Management Programs should contact her. She maintains records on all graduate student activities, including application, enrollment, progress, receipt of degree, and alumni status. She provides staff support to the Entomology teaching program, course scheduling, and reservation of classrooms 158 and 122 Briggs Hall. She coordinates the TA’s for the department teaching program. She processes travel and entertainment reimbursements for students. She also provides administrative support for faculty seminars and special events.
  • Nancy Dullum ([email protected]) is the front desk receptionist in room 367. She also handles purchasing, invoicing, travel, entertainment, and is assistant to the Student Program Coordinator.
  • Lenny Beneze ([email protected]) works in purchasing and is responsible for purchasing, invoicing, and travel and reimbursements for the department. She distributes all receivables, reimbursements, and equipment inventory.

Ordering Supplies

Vet Med Central Services

Vet Med Central Services (VMCS) is located in 1131 Haring Hall and carries common lab and office supplies at reasonable prices. They are open M-F 8:00am-12:00pm, 1:00pm-4:00pm. You can walk in and pick up your supplies in person or order online ( and they will deliver to your lab. Orders received before 11:00 am will be delivered the same day FREE! You’ll need to give them a lab recharge or account number and your name. Sign and date the receipt and give the receipt to the Entomology account manager.

Orders/General Info: 752-0157 Faxed Orders: 752-2151 Billing Questions: 752-6815


The UC Davis Bookstore is located in the Memorial Union and carries UCD clothing, art and office supplies, textbooks, general books. You can pay in cash, with your lab recharge number* or with an advanced purchase order. * Your name must be listed on the account to use the recharge number - your account manager can set this up for you. With the recharge # you’ll also need a photo ID at time of purchase.

Regular Hours M-F: 8:30am-6:00pm Sat: Noon-5:00pm

Summer Hours M-F: 8:30am-5:00pm Sat: Noon-5:00pm

Tel: 530-752-6846

Other sources

Such as: Fisher, Bioquip, Applied Biosystems, etc

A Purchase Order (PO) is needed Go to Click Administration  Forms  Purchasing Click on Purchase Request Form Fill out form Have SRA/PI/Person In Charge of Lab sign to OK purchase Place completed form in Lenny Beneze's mailbox

Academic Time Lines



Week one:

  • Meet with major professor.
  • Decide on coursework requirements.
  • Pick members for the Guidance Committee (major professor + 2 others).
  • Meet with Graduate advisor.
  • Discuss courses that will fulfill requirements.

First Fall Quarter:

  • Meet with Guidance Committee.
  • Design academic plan (pick actual classes to satisfy the requirements identified in Week 1).
  • Have committee members sign Attachment G from the Normative Progress document and submit this to your graduate advisor.

First Spring Quarter:

  • Register for group study for the Departmental Exam.
  • Meet with Guidance Committee.
  • Annual Appraisal of Progress
  • Provide each member of your Guidance Committee with a 1-2 page written summary of progress.

First Summer Quarter:

  • Departmental Exam (general entomology section of Qualifying Exam)
  • Study with cohort.
  • A date in September will be set to take the test.

End of second year:

  • Thesis proposal
  • Two weeks before proposal defense, submit a 3-5 page written proposal to your Guidance Committee.
  • Reserve a room, send an announcement and defend your thesis proposal.
  • If you have not yet passed your Qualifying Exam, meet with Guidance Committee for second Annual Appraisal of Progress.

Before the end of the 9th Quarter:

  • Qualifying Exam
  • Consult with major professor and / or graduate advisor to decide on 4 subject areas and select 4 members for the Qualifying Examination Committee (someone from your Departmental Exam committee must also be present at the exam). One committee member must be designated chair.
  • Schedule a time to take the exam.
  • At least two weeks before the exam date, submit the “Application for the Qualifying Examination” form to Grad Studies. If you wish to include someone outside Davis, you must also submit the “External Committee Membership Application.” Both forms can be found on the Grad Studies website.
  • Meet with each of your committee members and discuss subject material.
  • Take the exam.
  • Be prepared to begin your exam with a brief proposal of your thesis.
  • Apply for advancement to Candidacy, and establish your Thesis Committee.
  • The chair of Qualifying Exam Committee will give you a form that reports the results of your test and asks for the names of your three Thesis Committee members (major professor + 2 others), and your expected graduation date. Submit this form to Grad Studies. If any committee members are from outside of Davis an additional form must be submitted.

Before you leave:

  • Check Grad Studies website for thesis formatting and due-dates.
  • Each spring meet with Thesis Committee for your Annual Appraisal of Progress.
  • Give exit seminar (not required but strongly encouraged).

MS plan II

Week one:

  • Meet with major professor.
  • Decide on coursework requirements.
  • Pick members for the Guidance Committee (major professor + 2 others).
  • Meet with Graduate advisor.
  • Discuss courses that will fulfill requirements.

First Fall Quarter:

  • Meet with Guidance Committee.
  • Design academic plan (pick actual classes to satisfy the requirements identified in Week 1).
  • Have committee members sign Attachment E from the Normative Progress document and submit this to your graduate advisor.

By the end of first Spring Quarter:

  • Complete 18 / 36 unit requirements (no more than 11 can be in 299’s, and at least 8 must be 200 level entomology courses)
  • Meet with Guidance Committee
  • Annual Appraisal of Progress
  • Provide each member of your Guidance Committee with a 1-2 page written summary of progress.

Before the start of the second Spring Quarter:

  • Submit “Candidacy for Master’s Degree” application to grad studies (you will need the signature of your Graduate advisor)

By the end of second Spring Quarter:

  • Complete all coursework.
  • Take oral comprehensive exam
  • Usually administered by Guidance Committee
  • Grad studies must approve of Committee membership
  • Submit the “Master’s Report Form” to Grad Studies

Graduate Student Association

Your Graduate Student Association Representative for 2007-2008: Yao-Hua Law email: [email protected]

What is it?

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is an organization that represents the academic, professional, and social interests of UCD graduate students to the University administration. All registered graduate students at UCD are members of the GSA. The GSA homepage is:

How does it work?

The GSA holds monthly general assembly meetings during the academic year. Each department and graduate group has a designated GSA representative that attends these meetings, but all GSA members are able to attend and vote as well. In addition to the general assembly, the GSA has the Executive Council, comprised of the Chair, Vice Chair, External Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Public Relations Officer, and the Campus Organizing Director. The Executive Council meets with general assembly and acts as representatives for the general assembly to the University administration. Members of the Executive Council are elected by the general assembly once a year. Detailed information on the roles of the Executive Council and can be found in the GSA bylaws at:


"What services does the GSA offer?"

Financial Support

The GSA recommends funding for student travel, organizations, and special projects. The most common funding used by Entomology grad students is the twice yearly travel award. For more information on travel awards through the GSA, go to the GSA homepage at:


The GSA hosts a number of events, including the popular free coffee bagel donut day. GSA events provide an opportunity for graduate students to meet students from other departments. For more information on GSA events:

Legal support

The GSA has a lawyer on retainer who will provide students with a free 15 minute consultation.


In some cases, graduate students run into conflicts with their advisors, staff, or other students. In some cases, these conflicts may not be easily resolved. The GSA provides assistance and advocacy for students who find themselves in this situation, including help with filing grievances. The MSO (Pat Hunter) can also be consulted for assistance.

General Davis Information


Word of mouth amongst graduate students is probably one of the most useful ways to find the best housing in town. Make your housing necessities known to other students in the department when visiting. There are also a number of fliers posted around campus in locations such as the memorial union and lecture hall bulletin boards. Housing complexes may urge that housing contracts should be signed early, this is not always the necessary. Instead some of the best deals are found last minute so don’t get too stressed out if it seems like its coming down to the wire. Here are some other resources to help you in your housing search:

Anything and everything Davis is posted on this site. While there are no housing advertisements posted, there is an extensive housing guide that includes a comprehensive list of apartment complexes in Davis along with contact info. Although the site is a bit of a maze to navigate through, its well worth exploring what Davis Wiki has to offer for housing and entertainment in Davis.

Craigslist is an online “local community classifieds and forums” site. It is free to post and browse through housing listings in the Sacramento region. The site was started up in the Bay Area so it is utilized heavily enough in this region to make it a useful resource for house hunting.

The Aggie is the UCD student newspaper and does have a classified section. It is noteworthy however that being a newspaper, the housing descriptions are shorter and less informative than on Craiglist or other sites listing housing.

University housing may not sound that appealing to graduate students, but you’d be surprised what Davis has to offer. Some of the nicest and most affordable apartments are just off campus at Russell Park. Several of the complexes including Russell Park were created to provide affordable housing primarily to students with families and have daycare services available. There are also the Atriums at La Rue Park Apartments, The Colleges at La Rue, Primero Grove and the Parks (Orchard Park and Solano Park).

Living Outside Davis

Most students choose to live in Davis but it is also an option to live in nearby cities like Woodland or Sacramento. Living in Sacramento has its perks, especially if you prefer city life to that of a small town, and the price of housing is lower there (but this is often countered by the cost of transportation). If you are considering living outside of Davis, the most important thing to consider is the commute and avoiding traffic on I-80. Here are some words of advice from one of our graduate students who lives there on the best areas in Sacramento:

“Its best to not live south or east of Downtown Sacramento. The highways (5 South and Business - 80 east) are horrible beyond that point during rush hour. The prime locations are Natomas, down/mid-town, Landpark and West Sacramento. Avoid Arden-Arcade, the Pocket, Citrus Heights. They should think twice about Rio Linda, some parts seem cool, others are a little sketchy.”

The commute from the "prime locations" to campus is about 17 minutes. Excellent sushi can be found at Sushi King (don't let the name fool you) in Natomas on West El Camino.”


The campus Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) website ( has extensive information about all the available transportation options. Below are some tips on the most utilized forms of transportation.


You will quickly find that bicycles are the primary form of transportation in Davis and the entire town is set up to be bicycle friendly. Intimidating at first for some, the rules are quite easily learned although you’ll occasionally see chaos at the roundabouts in the beginning of the school year when new students arrive. Almost inevitably you will accumulate and inherit bikes as the years go on, but to get you started here are a few insider resources for obtaining and maintaining your bike:

  • Bicycle Maps of Davis: available on the Transportation and Parking Services website – Davis has many bike paths so avoiding traffic and cars is often an option.
  • [Bicycle Licenses]: Technically a bicycle license is required by law, although many bikes in town go unregistered. Besides avoiding tickets (see below), the perks of being registered typically come into play if your bike is stolen and recovered, or if your bike lock needs to be cut (Transportation and Parking Services will do this service if your bike is parked on campus but require you to register on site if not already). The cost is $8 for a 3 year license, $4 for renewals that also last 3 years. See the TAPS website for details.
  • Learning the Rules of Biking: The Transportation and Parking Services website lists cycling tips for those who haven’t learned the rules yet. At night, it is required to have a light in the front. It is seriously useful to peruse through their list of the top 10 ways to avoid a ticket before starting cycling in Davis.
  • Bicycle Citations: Because there are so many bicycles in Davis, the rules are heavily enforced and bicycle citations can be comparable to driving citations so I’m trying to hit it home here – read through the Transportation and Parking Services website and save yourself some dough! You should know that biking under the influence (BUI) in Davis carries the same monetary and other penalties as a DUI.
  • Bicycle Maintenance and Purchasing: There are a number of bike shops in town but almost every quarter there is an auction held by Transportation and Parking Services to sell abandoned, unused and recovered stolen bikes. Check the website for dates. Listings of bike shops can also be found on Davis Wiki. One of the best places to buy and maintain your bike is at the Bike Barn on campus (near the Silo, a food hub you should definitely discover if you are housed in Briggs, Storer or Academic Surge). Bike Barn offers a selection of used and new bikes, tubes, locks, etc. What makes Bike Barn so useful is that they allow you to use their tools for free, and offers superb advice. They also offer repair services at a reasonable price. There is a bike church by the domes off of Orchard Park Drive. You are free to rummage about through the spare bike parts there or even find one and fix it up
  • Bike Theft: It will happen to you at some point if you’re not extremely careful. Good bike locks are an essential – and the store clerks should know which ones are the most difficult to bust at the time. Always lock your bike, even in the least risky situations. Here are the numbers to call to report a stolen bike: in Davis 747-5400, at UCD 752-1655, in Yolo County 666-8032. It should be noted that a U lock, or a braided plastic coated cable are the best options. Locks just keep honest people away.
  • Bike Accidents: They are common. Undergraduate Entomology major Allan Rae recommends not biking with a soda in one hand, and a burger from the silo in the other. He says unless you like hitting concrete posts you should steer clear of such ideas, although admittedly it was quite funny to watch. For those of you wondering, the burger survived. Report Bicycle accidents to the following numbers: In Davis 756-3740, at UCD 752-1230, in Yolo County 666-8920

Cars are certainly not a necessity in Davis since most places are within walking and biking distance. As in most college towns, parking is scarce in highly trafficked areas. Campus parking permits are available in daily, quarterly, or yearly increments, they are however quite expensive, running around $120 for the quarter. Parking citations typically run around $30. See the Transportation and Parking Services website for more information on parking permits, carpool information, driving in Davis etc.

Public Transportation

We have a great public transportation system here! Some of our buses are authentic London import double-decker buses, and the bus drivers are typically students. The busses run all over Davis, and most lines run every 15-20 minutes during high traffic hours. Visit for more information. There is also the Amtrak station downtown for transportation to anywhere in California including weekend trips to Sacramento or the Bay Area. (

The Yolobus ( is a county-wide public transport system with buses to Winters, West Sacramento, downtown Sacramento, intercity Davis, and Sacramento International Airport. Fares are $1.50 to $2.00 for regular service and express (no intermediate stops), respectively. This is by far the cheapest way to get to the airport if your flight is during the day. The Yolo Buses run all day Sundays and other times when Unitrans buses do not, such as finals week and vacations.

UCD Transportation and Parking Services also runs a twice daily Davis Berkeley shuttle to the UC Berkeley campus. This bus picks up and drops off at Shields Library. Tickets are $5.50, one-way. Info on where to purchase ticket and reservations is at:

Finally, UCD also runs a UCDMC Bus Line between the Sacramento UCMC campus and the Davis campus. Students living in Sacramento often use this shuttle to get to and from campus. More information is at:


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2007-08-13 17:44:15   Living outside of Davis in Citrus Heights or Carmichael is actually pretty cool. Lots of young people who seem to be down to earth. Basically avoid living anywhere close to the freeway and north of old Auburn Road. San Juan/Auburn Road in Citrus Heights is not a good place to live, with lots of biker bars and strip joints in this part of town, but Fireside Lanes has awesome karaoke! As an aside, the commute through Natomas to and from Davis is getting worse and worse. Take this into consideration. —SlutMan

Everyone knows Midtown Sacramento is the best place to live around here. ;-) —CharlesMcLaughlin

2008-05-07 14:30:00   Hey SlutMan! Where are all these down to earth young people in Citrus Heights? When I lived there, I couldn't find any such people. Of course, I spent most of my time in Davis, even then. All I had was my house and a bunch of big-boxes nearby (you can probably guess my stance on big-boxing Davis). Anyhoo, for students, I suggest either living in the City of Davis or somewhere nearby like Midtown. It's nice for young people/students and it's not that far away from campus. —CurlyGirl26