Acceptance letter in hand... now what? You have received either an email or snail-mail acceptance letter. You should also get a call/email from a faculty member, but if you don't, give us a call to talk about your interests and the department. Check out various portions of our website such as the research section to learn what special areas of astronomy research are carried out at UCLA.
Visit us before you decide. There will be a couple of days set up for prospective graduate students to visit the campus and talk with professors and other graduate students. This is the best opportunity to find out whether UCLA is the place for you. A current graduate student will be available to host you, provide a place for you to stay, and give you an insider's view of the department. We will also set up a schedule of interviews with various professors in the department. A visit also gives you an opportunity to check out Los Angeles.
During your visit you should receive a packet of information outlining financial support options and lots of information about classes and the Astronomy PhD program. Much of this information can also be found on this website. Also bring your questions, we are all willing to answer them. You will get a tour of the graduate student offices as well as the rest of the department. UCLA Astronomy has a very cohesive graduate environment and has strong support from the faculty.
The UCLA campus is quite large. The Astronomy department is located on the third floor of the Physics and Astronomy Building (PAB). If you are staying with a graduate student, he or she should be able to lead to you the right place, but if you are staying on your own you will find a campus map very handy.
Find out about the Astronomy faculty. The best place to learn about the UCLA Astronomy faculty is from the research webpage and the individual faculty webpages listed on this website. Visiting the campus also gives you the opportunity to talk to professors individually and to get a sense of whose research group you might like to join. Most professors are responsive to email. You can view the faculty's recent publications using NASA's Abstract Data Service or, if you don't have access to this site, try astro-ph which is a preprint service where many astronomers post their papers shortly before publishing.
Find out about the other Astronomy graduate students. You can see a list of current graduate students here, many of whom have individual websites as well.
Join us at UCLA. Once you decide to join us at UCLA you'll submit a Statement of Intent to Regsiter form. This form can be filled out online on the UCLA URSA website (go to the Newly Admitted Students section). Use your student ID number (should be on the top of your acceptance letter) to login. Also it's a good idea to email the Astronomy department indicating that you are planning on attending UCLA. You are now officially an incoming grad so proceed to the Incoming Grads page to find out what to expect.