Annual Events

Staff members throughout the Graduate Division collaborate on a range of events of all sizes throughout the year. However, the Graduate Division Dean's Office produces a few annual signature events to highlight and celebrate various aspects of graduate education and to build community among our learners.

Gokul Ramadoss

Grad Slam

This lively annual competition challenges PhD candidates to present their dissertation research in three minutes or less, for a general audience. The grand prize winner goes on to compete in the UC systemwide Grad slam competition, hosted by the UC President.

A graduate celebrates at commencement


Held each spring at SF's historic Herbst Theatre, the Graduate Division Commencement brings together graduates of UCSF's PhD and master's programs to celebrate their achievements with friends, family, faculty, and staff.


2023 mentoring awardees gather for a photo with Dean Blake

Dean's Mentoring Awards

Created in 2019 in partnership with learners, the Dean's Awards for Excellence in Mentoring for Grad Students and Postdocs highlight trainees who consistently serve as excellent mentors for their colleagues. The awards ceremony during National Mentoring Month gives the community a chance to celebrate the awardees and to promote a culture of mentoring at UCSF.


New Student Orientation

In September, new master's and PhD students enjoy a day of panel discussions, resource sessions, ice breakers, and meals to help them get acquainted with UCSF.

Photos by Susan Merrell (Grad Slam; Orientation), Maurice Ramirez (Commencement), Mike Mullen (Mentoring Awards).