Student Life

Being a student at the world’s top research and medical sciences institution means that it’s essential for you to be in the best shape mentally, physically and spiritually.

“I think the most important thing to understand is that life occurs regardless of you being a graduate student or not, and the science still needs to happen,” a fifth-year student observed during an October interview.

Michael Le
At the February 2014 GSA Board Meeting, your GSA representatives, consisting of graduate, nursing and physical therapy students, approved my appointment as interim president of GSA, taking over for Joseph Foy, who stepped down as president due to taking a leave of absence from UCSF. I believe my multi-year experience in GSA and my experiences as a DDS/PhD student will help me in my new role as interim GSA president, a role where I aim to continue the work of my predecessor for the current academic year.
I’m in my fourth year of the nursing PhD program and it’s been an interesting trip. I came in with a specific question or area, and now it is still the same area but with different questions. The coursework is good, but that’s just for the first two years.
If someone had told me how much I would have enjoyed it when I started, I don’t think I would have believed it. I’m glad, because I was reluctant to go to grad school in the first place.
It’s been a really good experience overall. I came straight from undergrad to grad school, and I’d done research in the lab before, but not full-time.
I never originally intended on going to UCSF. I had actually wanted to go over to the East Coast, but I distinctly remember my interview weekend, and after being here, I just couldn’t imagine going anywhere else. The facilities were amazing; the people were so smart, so friendly, so approachable. Nothing else could compare.

“How many graduate students are here — a few hundred?” a Dental student recently asked me.

UCSF has a welcoming environment, and they encourage students to leave our mark on the campus, academically and socially. I’ve had a lot of opportunities to get involved with extracurriculars and interact with faculty. There are always a lot of things to do, especially at Parnassus.

The first-ever UCSF School of Pharmacy Sumo Smackdown came to the world-famous — well, at least, UCSF-famous ­— Cole Hall arena last week.  This hallowed place has been witness to a lot of student carnage throughout the years, but usually in the f