First-year Checklist

Electronic Registration with the University

  • Create and memorize your CalNet ID: CalNet
  • Create your berkeley.edu email address: CalMail

Class Registration and Making Sure You’re Full-Time

  • Receive initial enrollment information from the department graduate office.
  • Meet with your first-year advisor and plan a course schedule.
  • Log-on to Tele-BEARS (with your CalNet ID) and register for classes.
  • Use the following guidelines when registering for classes:
    • First enroll in Chem 300 Teaching/Prof Prep for 2 units (Letter grade).
    • Next, enroll in two Chem 298 seminars (the GRC-Physical or GRS-Synthetic, and one of the Topic Seminars based on your research interest), for 1 unit each.
    • Enroll in formal academic courses (~ 3-7 units) after you meet with your First-Year Advisor.
    • If you need more units to bring your total enrollment to 12 units, sign up for Chem 299, sec. 1 as research units, to bring your total to 12.

Teaching Requirements and Settling in as a GSI

  • Attend the departmental GSI training during orientation.
  • Attend the university-wide GSI training during orientation – this is mandatory!
  • Once you have your teaching assignment, talk with older students about what to expect!
  • Find out if your course is on bcourses (and learn how to use bcourses!).
  • Optional: Make an e-mail list of your students for your class section (you can export your students’ e-mail addresses as an Excel file from bcourses).

Getting Financially Square with the Department /Setting-Up Direct-Deposit Payroll

  • Go to the Human Resources Office (406C Latimer) and fill out the direct deposit form.
  • Make sure you’re setting up direct deposit for an in-state bank account (see residency section).
  • Fill out a FAFSA. The Department needs it to pay you.

Preparing for California Residency

  • Obtain a Californa Driver’s License within 10 days of moving to California. Make an appointment online.
  • If you have a car, get it smog-checked.
  • After your smog check, register your car in California.
  • Close any out-of-state bank accounts and open one in California.
  • Make a file to keep at home which will contain 1) your California tax return, 2) your in-state rental agreement, 3) stubs and receipts from air travel showing only brief trips away from California. This will be important for proving residency.

Making Sure You Have Healthcare

  • The first time you need an appointment with the doctor, go to the online scheduling program through eTang and click appointments on the left hand side to schedule a visit. When you go to the Tang center all you will need to present is your Cal1 card to check in for your appointment.
  • Keep an eye out for mail from Aetna, which will have your Aetna card. This is your insurance outside Tang. Except for emergencies, you’ll need to pre-approve services rendered.
  • If you plan to have your own health insurance, you may waive your university insurance by filling out the waiver form (but see the note in the Health Insurance section in the main text).