Bold Hearts. Brilliant Minds.

UCR students

Next Steps for First-Year Students


You’ve been admitted to the University of California, Riverside (UCR), and you’re ready to begin the next stage of your life as a Highlander in fall. You are going to receive a lot of emails, reminders, and notices about upcoming deadlines and to-do items, so this website is your one-stop destination for everything you need to know as you prepare for this exciting adventure! From your decision to attend UCR to your first day of school, this website will be a valuable tool!

First things first…

The first and most immediate task is to complete your Statement of Intent to Register (SIR). You’ll complete your SIR when you’re ready to commit to UCR and join the Highlander family. If you ever get confused by the term, just remember that it means you’re intending to register in courses here.

Say "YES" to UCR!
Submit your SIR by May 15

You’ll begin using MyUCR, the portal for admitted students. Check this account often for updated messages specifically for you, including financial aid awards, checklists, provisions of admission, and more! This is a vital place for updates and notices, either general stuff you should know or very specific alerts to just you about things you need to complete.

Set up your MyUCR account: Check your inbox for an email containing your username and instructions for creating a password. This email was sent to the address provided in your UC Application. If you did not receive an email, please contact Undergraduate Admissions.


 Follow Vital Departments on Social Media

During the next few months, you’ll want to stay in the loop with what’s happening and what’s required, and following some departments on social media is the easiest way to get updates sent directly to your feed!

Izabella Flores

“UCR offers many resources to students and has constant events to get involved in. I would suggest following all of UCR’s social media sites and staying up to date with events and resources the campus offers. In order to make the most out of UCR life, it is imperative to immerse yourself in the experience as often as possible.”

Izabella Flores
Class of 2023

 Complete FAFSA or Dream Act Application

Apply for financial aid — no matter what! You might be surprised to learn what kind of aid you’re eligible to receive. You can do this by either filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or if you’re an undocumented student, you can fill out the California Dream Act Application (CADAA).

Complete your FAFSA or CADAA by the extended April 2 deadline for priority consideration, but submissions may be considered after that as well.

Don’t forget to include UCR’s school code 001316 on these forms to make sure your information gets sent to us!

If you have already applied for financial aid, log into MyUCR to view your preliminary estimated financial aid offer. Visit Financial Aid for important dates and deadlines.

Fun fact: 85% of UCR undergraduate students who applied for aid were awarded aid, and 97% of undergraduate students who were awarded aid received need-based scholarships and/or grants. That’s money that doesn’t have to be paid back!

 Apply to University Honors (Invitation Only)

If you received an email invitation in early March, applications are due by March 17. Visit for program details and reference your email invitation for full details on applying!

If admitted to University Honors, students are also required to attend the first session of Highlander Orientation in July and, if living on campus, must reside in the living-learning community for University Honors located in the Pentland Hills Residence Hall.

 International Students - Apply for your I-20 or DS-2019

Apply for your I-20 (F-1 students) – You will find the I-20 application in an email from Undergraduate Admissions. An I-20 will be issued after you have submitted your Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) and have submitted a complete I-20 application form. The form may be prefilled with some of your personal information. Please check this form carefully and complete all required fields. If you are transferring your SEVIS record from another school, your I-20 cannot be issued until the record has been successfully transferred to UCR.

Apply for your DS-2019 (J-1 students) – Please review their website for information.

 International Students – Pay for SEVIS Fee

Pay the required SEVIS-901 fee after you have received your I-20 or DS-2019. The SEVIS I-901 Fee is a separate fee to be paid from the visa application and receipt of payment is needed prior to applying for the F-1 and J-1 student visa/scheduling a visa appointment. The fee is $350 for anyone on a F-1 Visa and $220 for anyone on a J-1 Visa. 

UCR’s school code for this process is LOS214F00177000.

Who needs to pay this fee?
  • If you are a new incoming student with an initial attendance I-20 or DS-2019 form you are required to pay the SEVIS fee before you apply for your visa or before you enter the United States (if a visa is not required).
  • If you are a SEVIS transfer student with a transfer pending I-20 form, you do not have to pay the SEVIS fee.
  • If you are changing status to F1 or J1, you will be required to pay the SEVIS fee.
  • If you are out-of status and re-entering the United States with an initial attendance I-20 form, you will be required to pay the fee.
  • Anyone on a F-2 or J-2 Visa does not need to pay this fee.

When do new students need to pay the SEVIS fee? They must pay at least 3 days prior to going to a U.S. embassy or consulate for a visa interview, before appearing at the Port of Entry (if you do not need a visa because you are a citizen of an exempt country), or before filing a change of status form application while in the United States.

For more information, including the processes on how to pay, visit the International Students and Scholars website. After you pay, keep a receipt of your payment confirmation that you can bring with you to any visa interviews.


 Attend Highlander Day

Come to Highlander Day, UCR’s in-person open house for admitted students and their families on April 13, 2024. Learn more and register.

Highlander Day is a great way to tour the campus (if you haven’t already), meet staff and faculty, connect with other incoming Highlanders, and learn about resources and opportunities you can take advantage of!

 International Students – Schedule Your Visa Interview

Around April is when you’ll want to schedule your visa interview with a nearby United States Embassy or consulate. Every location has a different way to schedule appointments, so find the one nearest you and reach out to them about scheduling your interview. Your visa can be issued 120 days prior to when your academic program begins, so you may be able to do this step in later months.

 Submit Your Housing Contract

Campus housing is expected to be fully open but in high demand for fall 2024. With some exciting new complexes open, you’ve got plenty of reasons to live on campus!

Housing contracts and applications are available beginning in April 2024.

Choose from traditional Residence Halls or Family Housing if you’ve got a family of your own. Receive a guaranteed space and get priority access to the room self-selection process for available spaces if you apply by May 20

UCR Housing
 TIP: Gather Your Immunization and Tuberculosis (TB) Requirement Records

For fall 2024 incoming students, all UC required vaccines and TB clearance dates and records are due in the UCR patient portal ( by first day of quarter, September 23, 2024. A registration health hold will be placed in R'Web on October 21, 2024 for non compliant medical clearances in the patient portal. All UC immunization and TB compliance requirements and helpful video tutorials can be found at

If you need assistance with immunization/TB compliance, please send a secure message in your patient portal by clicking on messages, new message, choose immunization team, create your message, send and the team will reply in your patient portal messages.  


 Don’t Miss the Final SIR Deadline

If you haven’t already, the deadline to complete your Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) is May 15. Say “YES” to UCR by submitting your SIR via MyUCR!

 Complete Your Statement of Legal Residence (SLR)

If you’re a resident of California and don't want to be charged out-of-state tuition, you’ll need to submit proof of residency by Aug. 1, 2024. But why wait? Once you’ve submitted your SIR, you can access the Statement of Legal Residence (SLR) on MyUCR. To learn more, visit

 Take the Analytical Writing Placement Exam (AWPE)

The AWPE is an exam to see how well your writing skills have developed and it’s required for all first-year students who have not satisfied the UC Entry-Level Writing Requirement. Don’t worry, the results won’t affect your admission status, but it may affect which classes you can take during your first year.

If you didn’t satisfy the UC Entry-Level Writing Requirement (ELWR) by May 1, you should plan to take the AWPE. There are dates through May, June, and August. If you take the test on May 18 or May 19, you will be able to see your course placement at the end of June and be totally prepared for Orientation.

 Find Your Place

Now is the time to start making connections and meeting new friends before classes begin. Lucky for you, most student organizations allow new students to attend events and meetings, even before they begin classes!

Browse HighlanderLink to learn about our 300+ student organizations and find the best way to contact them. Many of them still do virtual meetings as well, so make sure to ask about opportunities to join them!

 Military-Connected Students: Apply for the CalVet Fee Waiver!

If you’re receiving any sort of benefits or tuition assistance because you’re a dependent of a military veteran, you don’t want to forget to apply for the CalVet Fee Waiver. To learn about the requirements, forms to complete, and other details, you can visit the CalVet Website or reference their full resource guide. If you need assistance, our Veterans Resource Center assists dependents navigating these forms.

 Start Submitting Transcripts and Test Scores

While they may not be due until later this summer, why not start turning in your test scores and transcripts now? We have an entire site dedicated to what you may need and how to submit them, so hopefully that answers most of your questions!

 Take the Mathematics Advisory Exam (MAE) by July 12 (if needed) -

If your major requires at least one course in mathematics, you should take the MAE for appropriate placement. The colleges below require one course in math:

  • All majors in the Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering (BCOE), the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (CNAS), and the School of Public Policy.
  • The following majors/programs in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS) require at least one course in Mathematics, and students in these majors must take the Mathematics Advisory Exam (MAE): Pre-Business, Psychology, Neuroscience, Liberal Studies, Economics, Economics with Administrative Studies, Economics with Law and Society, Business Economics, Political Science with Administrative Studies, Sociology with Administrative Studies, History with Administrative Studies, Art History with Administrative Studies, and Psychology with Law and Society.
  • The following undergraduate majors/programs in the School of Business require at least one course in Mathematics: Pre-Business, Business Administration, and Actuarial Sciences.

UCR only accepts the following for math placement:

  • A score of 3, 4, or 5 on either the AB or BC Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus Exam.
  • A score of 2 on the AB Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus Exam will clear a student for enrollment into Math 5 (pre-calculus). No course credit is awarded for the score. It’s recommended that students with this score still take the MAE to see if they might place higher.
    • Make sure Undergraduate Admissions has received your AP scores.
    • Go to the “Math Classes at UCR” tab at to see what course your score places you into.
  • A UC transferable college course at the Pre-Calculus Level (Math 5 at UCR) or higher from an accredited institution.
  • A score of 5 or higher on the International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher Level Math Exam.

If you do not have one (1) of the above, then you MUST take the MAE by July 12. Learn more at

 Register for Orientation

Highlander Orientation is a mandatory, two-day program for new first-year students. Discover resources and network with staff, faculty, advisers, and other first-year students. Explore student organizations and get a head start on registering for classes. Check MyUCR for registration information. Sign up early! There are sessions throughout July and August but you’ll want to have flexibility to choose your dates, so register as soon as you can, typically soon after you SIR!

International students… There is a separate orientation for international students immediately before classes begin, reference the September section for details.


 Submit Final Financial Aid Documents

In order to receive the maximum amount of aid that you might be eligible for, it’s vital that you turn in everything that Financial Aid requests. The priority deadline to submit any supplemental information or documents to UCR is June 1.

Visit for important dates and deadlines.

 Gather Your Immunization and Tuberculosis (TB) Requirement Records

All students are required to complete their immunization dates and submit proof of their immunization records for the UC required vaccines in their patient portal. You must answer the TB Screening questions and complete any additional TB clearance requests, if needed. Failure to comply will result in a registration health hold in R'Web on 10/21/2024. If you need assistance with immunization/TB compliance, please send a secure message in your patient portal by clicking on messages, new message, choose immunization team, create your message, send and the team will reply in your patient portal messages.  

 Upload your R’Card Photo

The UCR ID Card (R’Card) is your multi-functional campus identification card that connects you to dining plans, library resources, printing services, building access (door key), free campus events, and more. Newly SIR’d students may request their R’Card online starting June 1, 2024. This action should be completed by September 8, 2024, if living on campus, to ensure Housing’s ability to program residents’ R’Cards with meal plan and door access prior to Move-In Day.

Learn how to request your R’Card and review photo submission deadlines to ensure your R’Card is ready at Orientation. A New Card fee of $36 will appear on student accounts automatically, even if no request has been made. R’Cards not collected at Orientation may be picked up in person from the Highlander Service Station.

Begin the process to get your R’Card!
RCard Layout 2023
 Waive Health Insurance (if needed)

All UCR students are required to have health insurance coverage and are automatically enrolled in our university health insurance plan UCSHIP. If you already have comparable health insurance coverage, you can waive out of UCSHIP. Visit for details.

 Military-Connected Students - Apply for Your GI Bill Benefits!

If you’re a student veteran or dependent, you may have GI Bill benefits that would likely cover many of the financial expenses of attending UCR but that’s all reliant on the right forms and processes being done. If you haven’t already, read their basic overview and then feel free to reach out to the campus Veterans Affairs School Certifying Official (VASCO) at with any specific questions or if you want to meet with them.

 Get an Early Start at UCR

The Highlander Early Start Academy (HESA) is a 7-week in-person program from July 28-September 14, 2024 for incoming first-year students. HESA allows students to earn 8-10 units before starting their first fall quarter. Students will also get to know their personalized peer mentor, meet other first-year students, get to know campus, understand resources for success at UCR, and (most importantly) have fun! Financial aid and housing are both available!

To see if you're eligible and fill out the interest/registration form, go to


 Submit Official Academic Documents

Official, final high school and college transcripts are due by July 1. Official test scores including any AP (Advanced Placement), IB (International Baccalaureate), and TOEFL or IELTS scores are all due by July 15. Make sure to turn everything in on-time or risk not meeting pre-requisites for courses or even putting your enrollment in jeopardy. Reference our test scores and transcripts page for what you might need and how to submit!

 Attend Highlander Orientation

Highlander Orientation dates run through July and August for incoming first years. Make sure you’ve signed up and make sure you show up. Orientation is a required step to enroll at UCR, so make sure you’re not missing it. Missing your date may delay your class registration and may even jeopardize your admission. Sign up for dates and see the FAQs about Orientation at


 Log Into Your Student Health Portal

Finish completing all mandatory non-compliant immunization and TB screening/clearance items. Class registration will be held if all medical clearance requirements are not compliant so make sure you’re responding quickly to any secure messaging from the immunization team in your patient portal at If you need assistance with immunization/TB compliance, please send a secure message in your patient portal by clicking on messages, new message, choose immunization team, create your message, send and the team will reply in your patient portal messages.  

 Deadline: Submit your Statement of Legal Residency!

If you’re a resident of California and don't want to be charged out-of-state tuition, you’ll need to submit proof of residency by August 1, 2024. Once you’ve submitted your SIR, you can access the Statement of Legal Residence (SLR) on MyUCR. To learn more, visit

 Student Veterans and Beneficiaries – Attend an Onboarding Session

In addition to the mandatory Highlander Orientation, you’ll also have a specialized onboarding hosted by the Veterans Resource Center, typically right before classes begin. This session will cover financial benefits, disability benefits, career preparation opportunities, research tips, and other topics that incoming student veterans may want to know about. This onboarding is optional but may help you get some questions answered prior to classes beginning! Contact the Veterans Resource Center (VRC) with questions!

 Purchase Your Parking Permit

Prior to classes beginning, you'll want to purchase your parking permit for the year. This may be a commuter parking permit, if you'll be driving to campus, or a residential parking permit, if you'll be living on-campus. These become available in late August, check the Transportation and Parking Services website for updates!

 Get Involved!

With classes beginning soon, take the remaining time in summer to think about what you want your college experience to be.

Search HighlanderLink to see clubs and organizations that you can join. Most of them are free to join and they’d love to have you. Most also allow prospective students to attend meetings and events, so you can even get involved now if you wanted to start getting to know them and make friends before classes even begin!

You can also start looking for events that you might want to attend on our campus event calendar. You may find a concert you want to attend, an open house for one of UCR’s many Ethnic and Gender Centers, or even academic events, like lectures and research symposiums. There’s always something going on!

Jennalyn Resendez

“It's okay to feel intimidated, but don’t be afraid to try new things and put yourself out there. UCR has so many different organizations and clubs that students can be a part of, and you can find where you belong only by trying new things and meeting new people.”

Jennalyn Resendez
Class of 2024


 Fall fees due!

Monday, Sept. 16, 2024, by 4 p.m. is the deadline to pay fall fees without a $45 administration processing fee and potential loss of class enrollment. All in-person payments are due by 3 p.m. on Monday, September 16, 2024. Online and drop-box payments (check/money order) are due by 4 p.m. Please be advised postmarks are NOT accepted.

The grace period for final payment will end on Monday, September 23, 2024. Please refer to the academic calendar.

 International Students - Arrival to the U.S. and Check-In

Students in initial F-1 or J-1 status can enter the U.S. up to 30 days prior to the "program start date" on the I-20 or DS-2019. If you hold a "transfer-pending" I-20, you may return to the U.S. at any time between your programs without a travel signature.

Once you arrive in the United States, you will need to submit your check-in documents to the International Students and Scholars (ISS) Office to verify your entry documents and activate your I-20/DS-2019 in SEVIS. Visit their website for more information and to see which documents to submit.

 International Student Orientation

Now that international students are hopefully all moved in and ready for fall, join us for the mandatory International Student Orientation. It’s typically held right before classes begin and you can visit their website for dates and registration information.

 Classes Begin!

You’ve made it! Have a great quarter and enjoy being a Highlander!

During this first quarter, consider looking for an on-campus job, stopping in to meet your faculty members and TAs one to one during their office hours, and explore if any study abroad options fit your academic schedule.