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Pre-GROW Resources 2024


Graduate Orientation Week (GROW) includes a variety of workshops, training programs, and events designed to introduce new students to the UC Merced campus community and prepare them for their graduate studies. GROW begins on Thursday, August 15, 2024, and all incoming students are required to attend in person. This date is also significant as it marks the deadline by which all new graduate students must be registered and have completed the necessary employment paperwork. 

Register for GROW here by Friday, July 26, 2024!

Welcome to the Chemistry & Biochemistry (CBC) Graduate Program here at UC Merced! We are excited that you have chosen to join us. 


Meet the Graduate Chair

Liang Shi

Associate Professor and Interim Graduate Chair
  • Postdoctoral scholar, 2014-2016 — Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Ph.D., 2014 — University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • B.S., 2009 — University of Science and Technology of China
Research Interests: 
Developing and applying multi-scale modeling methods to understand the structure, dynamics and spectroscopy of complex condensed-phase molecular systems.
The Graduate Group Chair is responsible for supervising graduate study in their Graduate Group, which includes:
  • Planning and carrying out graduate student recruitment,
  • Ensuring that each graduate student is assigned a Faculty Advisor and mentor,
  • Monitoring the progress of graduate students through the program,
  • Assessing resource needs and administration of the group’s budget,
  • Determining both graduate course offerings each semester & curriculum changes.

Department Contacts

Throughout your journey here, these are your key players in ensuring your success. Feel free to reach out to for additional questions prior to coming to UC Merced. 
Emily Heng
Department Manager
Alisa Kravchuk  
Department Coordinator
Associate Professor &
Interim Graduate Chair
Associate Professor &
Department Chair

Registering for courses will be your first step in preparation for Fall 2024. Below you will find helpful links and tutorials to navigate the process of selecting the correct coursework for your program and registering.

Course Registration


How to Register for Courses

Chemistry & Biochemistry Graduate Group Road Map 


Registering for Research Coursework

If you need to register for research units to get you to full time status of 12 units, please follow the instructions and steps below.

If you have any questions or need assistance, email

The next important step in starting your Graduate Career at UC Merced is to find housing in Merced. Check out the Graduate Student Housing options below!


Off Campus Housing

If you are looking for a place to live outside of campus or for a roommate, visit the UC Merced Off-Campus website. There you can find currently available apartment rentals, private property listings, and even roommates.

(2-4) Beds
(1-2) Beds
(1-3) Beds
(2-3) Beds
(1-2) Beds
(1-3) Beds
(1-2) Beds
(1-2) Beds
(2) Beds 


Finding Roommates 

On the roommates tab you can register with your UCMNetID and start looking for roommates. During your account set up you can edit your profile to best match the type of roommate you are looking for. You can customize your personal information, education, types of housing, preferences, roommate preferences, and more.

Other Housing and Roommate Resources

Another option for finding housing or roommates is through the UC Merced Classifieds facebook group. This group consists of students, faculty, and community memebers. You can find daily postings on housing, roommates, and more.

Off Campus Housing - FAQ

Can I buy meals and eat on campus?

  • Yes, anyone may purchase food at the Pavilion and the Library Café. You may pay by using cash, adding dining credit on your Cat Card, or signing up for a Meal Plan. Dining credits or a Meal Plan will allow you to simply swipe your card at the cashier station and go.

What do I do if I need furniture?

  • Some apartments and homes may be furnished. If yours is not, look for garage sales, discount stores, or in your parent’s garage! Don’t think you cannot live without a full living room suite, however. Talk to your roommates, and pool your resources.

I won’t have a car. What type of transportation is available to me?

Knowing what campus resources are available can help your transition into graduate school go a lot smoother. Here are a few resources we think will be helpful in your preparation for the upcoming semester.

UC Merced Connect Portal

You may access your UC Merced Connect Portal at or on your mobile phone by downloading the App.

Instructions on Accessing Your UC Merced Connect Portal

Health Services

Health Services's mission is to help each student strive for maximum physical and emotional health while pursuing their academic and personal goals at UC Merced. Health Services is committed to providing the highest quality primary health care, in combination with health education and wellness promotion through caring, accessible and affordable services.
Campus Health Services Insurance - UCSHIP Local Health Resources

Office of International Affairs (OIA)

The Office of International Affairs (OIA) advances global engagement at UC Merced by facilitating education abroad, providing visa and related support services, developing of international connections, and implementing a range of other internationalization activities. OIA accomplishes this primarily through its Study Abroad and International Students & Scholars (ISS) service units. It also works in collaboration with a variety of other campus offices on initiatives such as academic integration of coursework taken abroad, international student orientation and support, and inter-institutional partnership development.


OIA Website

Office of Information Technology (OIT)

To explore the services and resources provided by OIT, click the image links to the right.
Step-by-step tutorials
How to get help
A complete list of services offered

Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS)

Here you can find bus schedules for Summer. This includes CatTracks, the Bobcat Express, and Route UC.
Please know Fall schedules will be published in August, close to the start of Fall Semester.
TAPS manages Parking Permits related to campus. You can pay for hourly parking with "Flowbird", purchase a Graduate Student Parking Permit, or find more information on parking permits by clicking the button on the right.
CatTracks & Routes
Parking Information

Emergency Funds and Emergency Housing

Emergency funds provide financial support to current UC Merced students when they need assistance with unexpected, unforeseen, and unavoidable emergency expenses surrounding situations such as accidents, illness, homelessness, fire damage, or need for temporary housing. Emergeny housing is intended for students in need of short-term housing due to unexpected homelessness, emergency displacement, or in the midst of a crisis. Click the link below to learn about eligibility requirements.

Emergency Resources

Different Types of Student Funding

Graduate students can be funded in many ways, but the most common forms are the following:
  • Teaching Assistant (TA) – A form of employment to support instruction in courses.
  • Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) – A form of employment to support specific research projects.
  • Fellowship – A form of student aid to support the student’s academic progress.
  • Student Loans – A form of student aid that helps defer the cost of educational expenses by borrowing now and repaying later.
  • Personal Funds – Individual savings/income and/or private loans.
Student Funding FAQ
Internal Fellowships
External Fellowships

Teaching Assistant Application

As per standard practice, most incoming graduate students will be a Teaching Assistant (TA). In order to receive a TA appointment, you will need to apply to the TA recruitment pool in AP Recruit for the 2024-25 Academic Year (includes Fall 2024 and Spring 2025 TA Positions). You will need to create an account and submit unofficial transcripts to complete the application. Please be sure to also register for the required 12 units. 

AP Recruit - Chemistry & Biochemistry (JPF01707)

In preparation for the Fall 2024 semester, we seek your input on identifying courses you would like to be assigned if appointed as a Teaching Assistant. You can select up to three courses you would like to be considered for and possibly assigned to as a TA for Academic Year 2024-25. Please note, desired assignments do not guarantee that the courses you select will be given.

TA Course Preferences Survey

Here you will find various locations for entertainment and popular restaurants in/around the Merced County area. Take a moment and browse some of the key spots in town. Don't miss some of the favorites in town!

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is best known for its mesmerizing waterfalls, but there is much more to see and do. Activities include: hiking, backpacking, tours, biking, fishing, rock climbing, horseback riding, volunteering, and much more.


Lake Yosemite

Lake Yosemite is only a few minutes away from UC Merced. If you enjoy a beautiful sunset, here is the place to be. Other activities include: picnics, fishing, volleyball (sand courts), paddle boarding, and kayaking.


The Cue Spot Billiards

The Cue Spot Billiards is located in downtown Merced just under 10 miles from UC Merced. Go with friends, shoot some pool, enjoy some drinks, and just have a great time!


Coffee Bandits

Coffee Bandits is also located in downtown Merced a few miles from campus. Enjoy some coffee, pastries, and a calm peaceful environment. Occasionally, they will have local musicians perform.


Dust Bowl

The Dust Bowl is a brewery/restaurant located in nearby Turlock, CA. They offer over 20 taps at the inside bar and patio dining area.


The Art Kamangar Center at The Merced Theatre

The Art Kamangar Center at The Merced Theatre also located in downtown Merced, has been host to hundreds of events. The Theatre offers movie screenings, stand up comedy, orchestras, concerts, and live theatrical productions.


The Castle Air Museum

Castle Air Museum gives visitors a peek into the past and lends insight into the evolution of aircraft and the past milestones of aviation. It offers visitors of all ages a glimpse of what the future of aerospace might hold.



Joystiq, located in downtown Merced, offers an abundance of entertainment options, including 100 classic and modern arcade games, karaoke, a bar, and kitchen. 


Merced/Atwater Flea and Farmers Markets

The Merced/Atwater Flea Markets have a variety of vendors. They have fresh fruits, vegetables, food, household items, plants, furniture, collectibles, and anything else you can think of!

Restaurant Recommendations

Additional Locations


The GROW schedule will be posted here. 

PreGrow Webinar Schedule