New Graduate Student Information

Before You Arrive As Soon As You Arrive Financial Matters Cory and Soda Halls Registration Center for Student Affairs Orientation Important Dates

Welcome to Berkeley! Below you will find important information and tasks to do before classes start. Most of the information applies to both EE and CS graduate students. You can also review more new student information at the New Student Checklist.

Before You Arrive

CalNet ID

You should have created your CalNet ID and received a Student Identification Number (SID) when you accepted your admissions offer. If you do not remember your CalNet ID or passphrase, or need assistance with your CalNet ID, please contact the Cal 1 Card Office at (510) 642-4126 or


Take the time to explore your CalCentral page. You will need your CalNet ID and passphrase to log in. Through CalCentral you will sign up for your berkeley email (bMail), find financial and academic information, receieve important notifications, and more.

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)

All students should sign up for Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) in order to be paid electronically.


The search for housing should begin before you arrive. Securing housing can take a couple of months, so we suggest you start your search early! One of the most common ways for new students to find housing is through the Cal-EECS-2016 Google group. Please email Patrick Hernan or Diana Smith if you need an invitation. New students can use this group to connect with one another and find potential roommates. Current graudate students may also post vacancies in existing households. You can also sign up for the EECS-Grads-Housing listserv by sending a request to the Other housing possibilites, which you can also find on the University Housing Homepage are:

International House: I-House is a dorm and cultural center for international and American students. It is a few minutes walk from the EECS buildings. This is a good choice if you want to meet people outside EECS and if need to look for housing remotely. Graduate students are given single rooms.

Manville Apartments: Manville houses studio apartments for graduate students only. The building is operated by the University and is within a 15-minute walk of EECS. There is also free campus shuttle nearby that will stop in front of Cory Hall.

Ida L. Jackson Graduate House Apartments: Ida L. Jackson Graduate House offers space for grad students in two-, three-, four-, five-, and six-bedroom shared apartments. It is also operated by the University and is one block from campus. A free campus shuttle is nearby that makes a stop in front of Cory Hall.

University Village: University Village in Albany offers apartments primarily for married, single-parent, and domestic partner student families. University Village is about 3 miles from the EECS buildings. There is a shuttle from the village that stops in front of Cory Hall. This is also a good choice if you need to look for housing remotely.

Cal Rentals: This is one of the best sources to find off-campus apartments and houses for rent. As a Berkeley student you have free access to this service. You will need your CalNet ID and passphrase to log in.

Berkeley Student Cooperative: The Berkeley Student Cooperative is a 501c3 nonprofit housing cooperative. Its mission is to provide a quality, low-cost cooperative housing community to Berkeley students. Each house is democratically run and residents contribute their labor to help keep housing costs affordable. Founded in 1933, Berkeley Student Cooperative the is the largest student housing cooperative in the United States. Most of their houses and apartment buildings are a short walk from EECS.

As Soon As You Arrive

Cal 1 Card Photo ID

Your Cal 1 Card Photo ID is also your proximity card and card key for Cory and Soda Hall. To obtain your Cal 1 Card, go to the Cal 1 Card Office at 180 Cesar Chavez Center in Lower Sproul Plaza. The office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 4:30pm. You will need to bring your Student ID number and a valid picture ID, such as a passport or driver's license.

Computer Accounts

Your EECS computer and email account can be activated after August 15. It cannot be activated prior to this and cannot be activated remotely. After August 15, please go to the EECS Helpdesk in 395 Cory Hall to activate your EECS account. Your EECS account will be the primary method of communication for Department business. The EECS Department will hold a mandatory IT orientation on Monday, August 22 as a part of the EECS Department orientation in H-P Auditorium. You must attend this orientation if you are receiving a Department laptop. During the orientation we will present pertinent information about EECS and UC Berkeley computing services as well guidelines and policies. Successful completion of this orientation is mandatory to obtain your laptop and activate it on our network. Please make every effort to attend. If you cannot attend please inform the EECS Help Desk at

International Students

Berkeley International Office (BIO) provides a series of online courses that are designed to inform international students of essential resources and responsibilities at UC Berkeley. All new international students receive an email invitation to the iStart 101 Course. There are four modules and each module has a set of quiz questions attached to it. You can access the modules through your CalCentral dashboard under "My Classes" or by logging into bCourses. There are also direct links to the modules below. If you are having issues with this or have questions, please contact the Berkeley International Office. This is a required part of Document Check. The four modules are:

Who is BIO?
Maintaining Your Status
Campus Life
Please also plan to attend the New International Students Orientation on August 17 and New International Student Resource Fair.


Create a WarnMe account. WarnMe is UC Berkeley's alerting and warning service for students, staff, and faculty. The service will alert you through either phone, text message, or email if there is an immediate threat to safety or health affecting the campus community. By default WarnMe will send a message to your official email address in the CalNet directory (typically your address). To receive emergency warnings via any other method, such as by text or phone, you must click the "Update your contact information" on the right side of the WarnMe page. Please visit for more information.

WarnMe is part of the campus's emergency communications system. In all emergencies, natural disasters and other crises, information will be posted on Berkeley's home page and on the backup off-site emergency website at It will also be recorded on the off-site, toll-free emergency number (1-800-705-9998) and the campus radio station KALX 90.7 FM (, and it will be posted to Twitter @UCBerkeley and to UC Berkeley's Facebook.


You should arrange to meet your assigned faculty advisor soon after you arrive. Before you see your advisor, plan a tentative course schedule for fall using the Schedule of Classes. You may also want to consult the EECS course list. For additional advising resources, you may also consult your staff advisor, who is listed below.

EE MS/PhD and PhD advising: Shirley Salanio
CS MS/PhD and PhD advising: Audrey Sillers
EE and CS MS, MEng, MAS-IC, & 5th-Year MS advising: Michael Sun

Lab Safety Training

All EE graduate students, including Master of Engineering students, must take Lab Safety Training. To take the online training please follow the instructions below:

Financial Matters

California Residency

All US citizens and permanent residents, who are not officially recognized as California residents for tuition purposes, will need to establish California residency before the start of their second year of graduate studies. You'll need to begin the process of establishing California residency as soon as you arrive. To establish residency, you'll need to prove that you have lived and remained in California for at least one year. To do this, some things you'll need to do are: open a bank account, use your credit and deibit cards, collect documents, get a California driver's license, update your local and permanent address in the UC system, and register to vote (a voter registration table is usually set up near the Student Union and forms are available outside of 309 Sproul Hall). For more details, please visit the Residency Office website. Remember that we expect all U.S. citizens and permanent residents to become legal residents of the State of California by the beginning of their second year. There will be a California Residency workshop on Tuesday, August 23 in Dwinelle Hall as a part of Graduate Division's New Graduate Student Orientation (NGSO).

Tax e-mail for International students

If you are an international student, you will receive an e-mail from about your GLACIER form and proper tax withholding. Since you must respond within 10 days of receiving it, we encourage you to add the above e-mail address to your contacts and to check your spam folder.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

US citizens and permanent residents should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by June 15. It does not matter that the deadline has passed. This form is required for certain types of financial support.

Graduate Student Instructor (GSI)

Any student who is a GSI and is teaching for the first time at Berkeley is required to take either EE 375 or CS 375. These courses provide more information on being a GSI and should be taken during the semester in which you are first teaching. You register for your course through CalCentral. When you become a GSI, you must also go to 199M Cory Hall (on the mezzanine level) as soon as possible to complete GSI payroll paperwork. This paperwork triggers your GSI fee remission.

International GSIs

If you are an incoming student who stated on your application that English is not your native language and you do not have an undergraduate degree from a U.S. institution, please submit a language proficiency screening questionnaire by July 15. Language proficiency is a requirement for all GSIs. International GSIs are also encouraged to enroll in the Language Proficiency Program offered through the GSI Teaching and Resource Center in 301 Sproul Hall.

Cory and Soda Halls

Desk Space

Please ask your faculty advisor for information about your new work area. Please notify if there are any changes to your work area.

Building Access

After you get your Cal 1 Card, please submit a Building Access Form to get basic graduate student level clearances for the EECS buildings. Basic graduate level clearances includes building entries, grad student offices, conference rooms, and lounges. Access to research labs and other restricted spaces will require authorization from your advisor and/or lab PI. If you find your card is not working at any time, please visit the front desk at 387 Soda Hall.

Students with offices in Cory or Soda halls must read all 4 pages below:
Cory Hall Building Emergency Plan (BEP)
Cory Hall Injury and Illness Prevention Plan (IIPP)
Soda Hall Building Emergency Plan (BEP)
Soda Hall Injury and Illness Prevention Plan (IIPP)

Receiving Mail

EE Students: You have a mail folder that will serve as your mailbox in the EECS Main Office in 253 Cory Hall. This folder is for academic mail only (no personal mail). All journals, bank statements, junk mail, etc. should be sent to your home address. It is very important that the words "EE GRAD" appear in your address because the mail arrives in the main office and is sorted to your folder. Your mail should be addressed like this:
Your Name, EE Graduate Student
U.C. Berkeley
EECS Department
253 Cory Hall #1772
Berkeley, CA 94720-1772
CS Students: You have a mail folder that will serve as your mailbox in 396 Soda Hall. This folder is for academic mail only (no personal mail). All journals, bank statements, junk mail, etc. should be sent to your home address. It is very important that the words "CS GRAD" appear in your address because the mail arrives in the main office and is sorted to your folder. Your mail should be addressed like this:
Your Name, CS Graduate Student
U.C. Berkeley
EECS Department
396 Soda Hall #1776
Berkeley, CA 94720-1776


Registration is a two-part process: enrolling in classes and paying your fees.

A) You will be able to enroll in classes through CalCentral during your enrollment appointment. You can find your enrollment appointment in CalCentral, under the "My Academics" tab and "Class Enrollment." As a new graduate student, your appointment should be between August 5 - August 14. If you are unsure about which classes to take, please contact your faculty advisor. If you happen to miss your enrollment appointment, take a look at the adjustment period, which is also displayed under "Class Enrollment." The adjustment period for new grads should be August 15.

B) Students who have EECS Department support, such as a fellowship, GSI or GSR, will have their fees paid by the Department. Some students on external fellowships such as the NSF or NDSEG will also have their fees paid. Details of your fee payment status can be found under the "My Finances" tab in CalCentral.

Once you have enrolled for classes and your first installment or full fees have been paid, you are officially registered for the semester.

Center for Student Affairs

The Center for Student Affairs staff is always here to help you. They are your best resources for any procedural or bureaucratic questions you might have throughout your academic career. The Center for Student Affairs is in 205 Cory Hall and is open from 9am-12pm and 1pm-4pm.

Patrick Hernan handles the graduate admissions process for EE students. He is also responsible for GSI hiring and fellowship competitions. He is located in 205 Cory Hall.

Diana Smith handles the graduate admissions process for CS students and is responsible for GSI hiring. She is located in 205 Cory Hall.

Shirley Salanio advises EE graduate students in the MS/PhD and PhD programs. Her office is 217 Cory Hall, and she can be reached at (510) 643-8347 or

Audrey Sillers advises CS graduate students in the MS/PhD and PhD programs. Her office is located in 367 Soda Hall, and she can be reached at (510) 642-9413 or

Heather Levien also provides advising for both EE and CS continuing students. Her office is located in 253B Cory Hall and can be reached at (510) 642-3497 or

Michael Sun works with students in the MS, 5th-Year MS, MEng, and MAS-IC programs. His office is in 205 Cory Hall, and he can be reached at (510) 643-8107 or

Susanne Kauer is the executive director of the Center for Student Affairs, and she administers student financial matters. Her office is located in 221 Cory Hall, and she can be reached at (510) 642-3694 or


EECS Orientation is on Monday, August 22 at 1:30pm in H-P Auditorium, 306 Soda Hall. It is preceded by lunch at noon in the Wozniak Lounge, 430/438 Soda Hall. Please plan to attend. This day includes valuable information about the Department and social events with your classmates and continuing students. It also includes IT orientation, which is required in order to receive a Department laptop. A list of campus orientations and receptions are to come.

Important Dates for New Students

Date Event Location
August 5-14 CalCentral enrollment period for new graduate students CalCentral login
August 15 CalCentral enrollment adjustment period opens CalCentral login
August TBD Parallel Programming Bootcamp TBD
August 17 New International Graduate Students Orientation TBD
August 17 New International Student Resource Fair TBD
August 18, 8:30am-3:00pm New International GSI Orientation Dwinelle Hall Lobby
August 19, 8:00am-4:00pm New GSI Orientation (for all GSIs, International and Domestic) Dwinelle Hall Lobby
August 22, 12:00pm-1:15pm EECS Orientation Lunch Wozniak Lounge, 430/438 Soda Hall
August 22, 1:30pm-4:30pm EECS Orientation (including mandatory IT orientation) H-P Auditorium, 306 Soda Hall
August 23 Laptop distribution begins (IT orientation on August 22 required) 395 Cory Hall
August 23 New Graduate Student Orientation (NGSO) Dwinelle Hall Lobby
August 24 First day of classes (Academic Calendar) Campuswide

updated 5/19/16