Enrollment Process

About a week after admission: Set up your UCSD ITS account and read about computer accounts for students in the BISB program.

Registering for fall classes: Registration typically opens in May. The typical first year fall quarter schedule is:

  • BISB track: Math 283; BNFO 281, 283, 298; an elective and/or ethics.
  • BMI track: Math 283; MED 262, 264; BNFO 283, 298; an elective and/or ethics.

Submitting transcripts: The Graduate Admissions office will contact you in August (timing may vary) to ask you to submit documents (such as official transcripts) by a late October deadline. They will email you and they will also put a checklist of required documents in your application portal. Please submit the required documents promptly or contact them to make arrangements if there are delays; otherwise, they may place a hold that will prevent you from registering for Winter quarter.

Use the following links on the BISB website under Graduate » Curriculum to plan your course schedule. Please discuss your schedule with your advisor. First year students have an academic advisor (not necessarily the same as the Rotation Lab advisor).

If you did not take an undergraduate Algorithms course, see additional Computer Science Background preparation needed before taking CSE 282 / BENG 202.

  • See Enrolling in classes at UC San Diego:
    • Use the Schedule of Classes to look up classes and WebReg to register.
    • The site also has links to detailed instructions and deadlines for adding, dropping, waitlisting, changing grading options, etc.
    • Use the Enrollment and Registration Calendar to find when registration opens and various deadlines. Fall quarter registration usually opens in May, but some classes (particularly BMI courses with MED course numbers) may not be added to the registration system until late summer. Winter registration usually opens in November, Spring registration in February, and Summer (not typical for this program) in April.
    • Please enroll or waitlist as early as possible, as classes may fill.
  • You may need to request authorization to enroll/waitlist in certain classes.
  • All Core and Elective courses for the degree must be taken for a letter grade.
    • When enrolling in core and elective classes, please be sure to pick the Letter grading option instead of Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) or Pass/No Pass (P/NP).
    • You may have to change this from the default option. Some classes/departments default to Letter grading, while some (including CMM) default to S/U.
    • If you enroll with the wrong grading option, go back into WebReg to fix it by the deadline (usually in Week 2). See S/U grading option on this FAQ for more info.
  • Holds on your account:
    • If there is a hold in WebReg (course registration) or your Student Account (financial matters), check the Holds tool for information on which office placed the hold and the steps to resolve it. Contact the BISB Graduate Coordinator if you need help.
    • First year students, please respond promptly to the notices from Graduate Admissions to submit your official transcripts from your previous school(s). If you don't submit them or make arrangements by the deadline, they will place a hold on your Winter registration.

All Core and Elective courses for the degree must be taken for a letter grade. Students must obtain a “B” or better in courses taken for the degree. If you receive a “B-” or lower in a Core or Elective class, or you take it on S/U grading, it does not fulfill your requirements. Please see the Grades FAQ if you have any grades of “B-” or lower or “U”.

Please also see GEPA's Good Academic Standing page and FAQ. Campus-wide requirements for all graduate programs include that you must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or the equivalent in upper-division, graduate, and professional course work, and must not have accumulated more than a total of eight units of "F" and/or "U" grades overall.

  • UCSD General Catalog: Look under Courses/Curricula/Faculty for a specific department. It has brief (one paragraph) course descriptions.
  • Division of Biomedical Informatics class descriptions
  • New classes, special topics classes (like specific offerings of CSE 291 or BENG 207), and School of Medicine classes usually are not in the catalog, but they are listed on the Schedule of Classes and in WebReg. They are typically announced by email or on department websites. Contact the instructor for information if needed.

For your current classes:

  • Check Canvas (canvas.ucsd.edu) for most of your classes, but some may be elsewhere (your instructor will provide the URL).
  • Canvas websites are usually only available to students enrolled or waitlisted in the class.
  • Class websites are usually posted the first week of the quarter, often just in time for the first class meeting.


When planning in advance:

  • Check the UCSD General Catalog for one-paragraph descriptions; see the section above about the catalog.
  • courses.ucsd.edu lists many (but not all) course websites and syllabi, including current and past offerings.
  • Check department and instructor websites for course information, or use Google to search for the course number.
  • The class website and syllabus will usually have a lot more information than the one-paragraph catalog description.
  • If you can't find the class website or syllabus, or if it's restricted, then ask the instructor for information.
  • Note: You probably won't be able to access past websites on Canvas or its predecessor, TritonEd. These systems are usually restricted to students enrolled or waitlisted in the class, and only for the duration of the quarter; also, TritonEd was discontinued in 2020. But past websites on other sites may still be available.

After regular admission to the program, all students are in major code BF76 (Bioinformatics and Systems Biology).

Students in the BMI Track should at some point switch to major code BF77 (Bioinformatics and Systems Biology with a Specialization in Biomedical Informatics). Please discuss the timing and process for doing this with the Graduate Coordinator.