MS DSC Graduate advising sessions (drop-in and appointments) are currently offered via Zoom and in person. Our business hours are Monday-Friday from 8:00 am-12:00 pm PST and 1:00 pm-4:30 pm PST (excluding weekends and holidays).

SP24 Drop-In Advising Hours:

  • MS: In person or on Zoom: Wednesday: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm PDT
  • Zoom link provided in weekly newsletter or can be requested through the VAC
  • PhD: No more drop-ins available for the quarter. Please submit a VAC request.

Contact Us:

  • Virtual Advising Center (VAC)
  • Location: HDSI Building, 1st Floor, Rm.110
  • Email:

Graduate Student Handbooks

MS | PhD

Learn More About Our Advising Options:

Virtual Advising Center (VAC)

All students are strongly encouraged to connect with the DSC graduate department through the Virtual Advising Center for non-urgent academic inquiries. The DSC Graduate Student Affairs team will respond to student inquiries in the VAC within 1-2 business days.

Students can access the Virtual Advising Center through TritonLink or by directly by clicking the VAC Button on this page. To reach the DSC Graduate Advising Office directly, choose “Data Science” from the drop-down menu under “Direct To.” Choose “Notify Via Text Message” to ensure you see the VAC response as soon as a DSC Advisor has responded.

Students can refer to the VAC after drop-in sessions and advising appointments for a summary of the meeting and access any discussed links.

Drop In Advising

All students are strongly encouraged to attend drop-in advising PRIOR to scheduling an advising appointment. Drop-in sessions are designed to be 10-15 minutes in length and are open to all students, regardless of program. These sessions are for 1-2 questions that can quickly be addressed. If the DSC Grad Advisor determines an inquiry will take longer to address, students will be asked to schedule a follow-up advising appointment.

Drop-in advising is given on a first come, first served basis; there is no guarantee that you will see an advisor during drop-in advising. Students will not be allotted additional time as we often have several students waiting. The last student will be seen 15 minutes before the end of the advising hours available that day. Drop-in advising topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Degree checks
  • Review of courses for the current quarter
  • Selection of courses for the upcoming quarter
  • Review already completed forms (Petitions, Study Abroad documents, Financial Aid Academic Plans, etc.)

Academic Advising Appointments

Scheduled appointments are available during specified times in 15- to 30-minute increments. Advising appointment topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Developing long-term academic plans
  • Students facing academic difficulty or other challenges that may require a referral
  • Assistance preparing/submitting academic forms
  • Discussions of academic difficulty or other challenges

Students should contact DSC Student Affairs at least 48 hours in advance to schedule an appointment. To schedule an appointment:

  • Submit a VAC Message
  • Please include:
    • Name
    • PID
    • Preferred dates and times based on available hours
    • Reason for appointment

If you need to cancel your appointment, we request that you notify the department at least 24 hours in advance.


Prospective students not currently enrolled at UC San Diego can contact the department with questions at

Current students can contact if they have an urgent need requiring an immediate response and a VAC message has not yet been answered in the 1-2 business day time allotted.

We also reach out to current students about internship and research opportunities along with program announcements using the address, so please make sure the email is set up to filter into your inbox and not to your junk or spam folders.

A course petition is available to MS and PhD Students. This form may be used to:

  1. Receive credit for a course substitution. For example, if you have taken a course that is not on an approved list published in the general catalog or department publications and you would like to receive credit for the course towards your degree, you will use this petition.
  2. Request to waive a prerequisite requirement for any required course. Remember to include a course number.

*Please keep in mind that submitting a petition does not guarantee approval. It is dependent on faculty or course instructor review and approval.

Completing the Course Petition Instructions

  1. Please fill out the petition with as much detail as possible.
  2. Attach your academic history and the course syllabus for review.
  3. Once you have submitted your petition request, the Grad Student Affairs team will review for documents, forward to faculty for review and let you know the outcome via the VAC.

For Course Petition Click Here


In order to provide the tools and resources needed to achieve academic, professional, and personal development goals, the Data Science program has a committed staff available to support students and their needs. At this time, our staff includes the following individuals:

Jessica Peurifoy

Master's Program Advisor

Kimber Worthy

PhD Advisor