You are not just a face in the crowd at UC Merced. Our programs are small, so you get more one-on-one attention from our stellar faculty and more access to state-of-the-art research equipment and facilities from day one. More importantly, you can easily forge connections with faculty, students and staff in areas outside your chosen discipline — the research and networking opportunities are endless.

We are deeply committed to creating an environment that supports the success of our graduate students. In addition to the support you'll get from your faculty mentors and the graduate support staff in your school, the Graduate Division offers educational, professional and social programs designed to get you engaged, keep you productive and help you achieve your professional goals.

Our extensive professional development programming caters to students at every stage of their graduate careers, with workshops and talks that encompass everything from finding and applying for extramural funding to demystifying the academic publishing process to exploring various career paths.

graduate resource center

Signature Programming

Our Graduate Student Resource Center offers even more focused, individualized support, including one-on-one writing and statistical help, peer mentoring and a reference library of successful grant and fellowship applications. We also offer an application-based Competitive Edge Summer Bridge program to give selected incoming students a more comprehensive and immersive orientation to their graduate studies — something that research has shown makes a significant impact on completion rates.


Graduate Research Orientation Week (GROW) encompasses a number of workshops, programs and events held at the beginning of each academic year to provide new incoming students with an opportunity to take care of important pre-enrollment tasks and to learn about UC Merced and the Merced community.

Dissertation Bootcamp

Dissertation Boot Camp is an intensive workshop designed to provide dedicated and quiet writing space for students who are looking to jumpstart their dissertation, thesis, or proposal writing process. Accomodations include space for quiet writing, space for mini-workshops and space for breaks.

Grad-Excel Peer Mentorship Program

The GRAD-EXCEL Program is designed to promote early success in first-year doctoral students, through coaching and engagement with a community of advanced doctoral peer mentors. Each incoming doctoral student will be guided by a GRAD-EXCEL Peer Mentor — matched by research discipline — as they acclimate to UC Merced and their graduate studies during their first academic year. 


Graduate Enrichment and Advancement Resources and Services (GEARS) is the Graduate Division's multi-track professional development series designed to prepare graduate students for success while at UC Merced and beyond.

Competitive Edge Summer Bridge

The transition from undergraduate to graduate students can be extremely difficult, leading to potential problems with student success, retention and even graduation. The UC Merced Competitive Edge Summer Bridge program addresses this critical point in a graduate student’s development and helps to ensure that participants are better equipped to complete their degrees and go on to successful careers.

Grad Slam!

Grad Slam is a UC systemwide competition that provides you with a forum to explain the methods, results and significance of your research via a three-minute presentation to a non-specialty audience and panel of judges.

As a participant, you will be challenged to practice and perfect your answer to the inevitable question, “What is your research about?” Along the way, you will improve your presentation and PowerPoint skills, learn more about the research your fellow graduate students are doing here at UC Merced, and compete for some great prizes.