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GROW 2020


Graduate Orientation Week (GROW)

Graduate Orientation Week (GROW) encompasses a number of workshops, training programs and events held at the beginning of each academic year to introduce new students to the campus community and prepare them to start thier graduate studies at UC Merced. 

GROW will be held remotely this year because it normally happens in relatively large gatherings of all incoming graduate students with various faculty and staff. Remote delivery of GROW does have one advantage—it can be spread out over more than a week. We cover a lot of material and we hope that spreading it out over time will help students take it all in.

August 17th is a milestone at the start of each year because it is the date by which all new graduate students should be registered as students and paperwork completed for employment (more info soon about paperwork processes this year). It is also the official start of GROW, and we will still have some required training starting August 17th. However, other parts of GROW have been spread out over a pre-GROW summer schedule that includes webinars, zoom panels, and email updates. The full schedule along with more information can be found here: 

GROW Schedule

Be sure to check your UC Merced email for updates and reminders for upcoming pre-GROW events. 

GROW registration is now open! Please sign up at your earliest convenience.

Register for GROW by Friday, July 31 by noon (12 p.m.). 


Campus Operations Update

The pandemic continues to unfold throughout the state, country, and world. The UC Merced community is working around the clock to mitigate the risks of the virus spreading on campus. Information about the health measures being taken to protect our community can be found here:

The good news is that our health plans for relaunching research on campus have been approved by the Merced county health department, and these plans include graduate student research. Some of you may be starting your research activities soon after you arrive, and you can check with your graduate program faculty members for more information.

The plan for Fall instruction is to delivery about one quarter of instruction in person, small classes only, focused on courses for freshman, first-year graduate students, and graduating seniors in need of courses to graduate. The delivery mode for individual courses is still being finalized, but you can check current progress on the Registrar’s page: Because this process is ongoing, assignments for Teaching Assistants are also being finalized, with more information coming soon. New students with Research Assistantships or Fellowships should check with their faculty contacts for information about Fall research and training activities.

Plans for campus operations with low-density, in-person instruction will require review and approval by the county health department to enable our envisioned hybrid mode of instruction. We are also preparing for fully remote instruction if needed at any time during the semester. In either case, we will start the academic year as scheduled, with our new graduate student orientation as summarized below. We plan to progress through the academic calendar until Thanksgiving, with the remainder of instruction delivered remotely through the end of the semester. On-campus research activities are lower density and therefore may continue if and when instruction is remote.

We will keep in contact as plans progress from here. The campus and the world will be different this Fall, but scholarship will endure. Embarking on your graduation education will be an adventure like never before, and we hope you can share it with your new peers, mentors, instructors, advisors, and colleagues. We are doing all we can to support you and everyone in this regard, through both in-person and remote modes of interaction and learning. If you need special accommodations, please reach out to academic counselor Maria Nishanian at

For more information, visit the grad admissions and grad funding FAQs.


More important GROW information can be found below:

New Student Checklist

Microteaching Language Evaluation Information

School of Natural Sciences Orientation Information


Contact Information: 
For general GROW related questions, please contact:


Natural Sciences:

Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts: