New Student Help


Students are required to enroll in a minimum of (12) units each quarter to be considered full-time, where classes are generally (4) units and seminar classes are (1- 2) units. During the first year, it is quite common for all units to be from classes. These are generally taken for letter grades, but some have options to be S/U, or may be required or better taken as S/U, e.g., SIOG 232 or SIOG 239. In later years, students typically enroll in many fewer classes and 1-12 Research units under their advisor (Res. units must be taken S/U). Students may create a new class under Special Topics by proposing it, finding someone to teach it, and getting a minimum of 4 students to enroll. Detailed descriptions of classes can be found in the online course catalog:

Research - First-year advisor(s)

Research - Expected progress
Students may engage in significant research during their first year Sept - June, but many find they need to primarily focus on classes. During the summer of their first year, students are expected to do research full-time in an area they wish to pursue and with the advisor they wish to do their dissertation work with. The summer project may or may not relate to their larger dissertation project.

Conferences and Field work

Many students attend the fall AGU meeting (in Dec.) during their first year often presenting a poster or oral presentation on their research. Students are encouraged to attend for the exposure to current research in Earth Science, and to help them learn what topics in Earth Science interest them most. Funding for travel may come from first year advisor(s) but is not guaranteed. Students interested in attended AGU should discuss options for travel funding with their advisor or their first-year mentoring committee. Subsequent conference attendance, during the first year or thereafter, is generally dependent on presentation of one's research. The fall AGU conference usually coincides with exam week or winter break, and so does not interfere with classes.

Earth science research often takes students into the field. However, during the first year, students are expected to attend classes regularly, and only take up field work which does not interfere with class or which is integral to their doctoral work.

Office Keys

Victoria Alzona, IGPP front office


Netops, 534-1753

For answers to all computing-related questions (IGPP network information, printers, email, help with Macs, Unix support, and all general issues), go to When you arrive at IGPP, ask your 1st quarter advisor about computing resources, when you get your laptop you should head up to the NetOps office (Revelle, Rm. 4112, x41753).

Employment Paperwork

Iris McCrary, IGPP front office & Shelley Weisel, SIO Department office, 2nd floor Eckart Bldg

Register for Classes


• GEOP Program Director: Jeff Gee
• GP Curr. Grp Chair: Dave Stegman
• Scripps’ Ombudspersons: Paul Jensen, Jennifer McKinnon
• SIO Grad office: Gilbert Bretado, Josh Reeves, Denise Darling
• GP Student Rep: Nick Lau


If you are dialing a UCSD number (beginning with 534-xxxx or 822-xxxx), simply press 4-xxxx or 2-xxxx. If you are dialing off campus, first press '8', then the off-campus number. 


The SIO Graduate department will issue you a mailbox (2nd floor Eckart) with Mail Code 0208. You will also be issued a mailbox at IGPP (central Munk lab), with Mail Code 0225, which you will share with the other 1st year students. While it is up to you which mailbox you prefer to have your mail sent to, it is wise to check both boxes frequently, as miscellaneous (and sometimes important) mail always ends up at both.

Admission and Employment

When you arrive at SIO, you will need to make an appointment with Shelley Weisel (4-1695), to make sure that all of your necessary admission paperwork is complete and that you are placed on the payroll. You will also need to stop by the IGPP business office and see Iris McCrary regarding employment paperwork. Monthly pay is issued either by check or by direct deposit to your bank account.

Residency info

After your first year, you will need to apply for California residency status. The SIO Graduate Department can give you the necessary forms/materials needed for this process. It is best to KEEP EVERY BILL during your first year (including pay stubs and bank statements) to ensure that this process runs smoothly. Other suggestions include acquiring memberships to Blockbuster, Ralphs/Vons (supermarket clubs), San Diego Zoo, etc. for the "proof of membership to local merchants" requirement. It is also good to keep a file of these items early on.
Tax forms and instructions may be found at Tax workshops, for the bureaucratically challenged, are offered each year on upper campus. Separate workshops are also offered for international students.

E-mail lists

All new students should be automatically placed on specific curricular group list servers (Gilbert Bretado, 4-1694, [email]gbretado@ucsd,.edu[/email]). If you suspect that there is a problem with your email address on an IGPP list server, check with NetOps ([email][/email], 4-1753).

Check out for a complete list of available list servers at SIO and how to subscribe.

Faculty Guidance

If you have an academically-related problem, or simply need someone to talk to (besides your advisor) about an unpleasant occurrence at SIO, there are quite a few people to turn to. The Geophysics Graduate Advisor is available for help with choosing an appropriate advisor, course selection, and overall advice within the Geophysics Curricular Group. For more personal issues, the Student-Faculty Ombudsmen provide non-biased, and confidential, faculty assistance. Both the Graduate Department Chair and Vice Chair are also available to assist students when needed.

Student Groups



Intermural Sports

Innertube Water Polo, IM Soccer, Softball, Beach Volleyball, Roller Hocky or any other sport offered by RIMAC (you can organize your own team!).

IGPP @ YouTube

IGPP's YouTube channel now features the recorded versions of the Virtual Seminar Series.

Keep up with IGPP online

IGPP on Twitter.