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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a Frequently Asked Question below to see the answer. 

If you have a question that is NOT answered here, please e-mail the DOC office at

Can I take DOC 1 concurrently with AWP 1?

Students who are placed into AWP 1 are allowed to take that class concurrently (during the same quarter) with DOC 1 if they wish.  If a student prefers to complete AWP 1 by itself, that student will not be penalized for waiting until his/her/their sophomore year to take DOC 1, DOC 2, and DOC 3.  

Can I take DOC 1 concurrently with AWP 2A or AWP 2B?

No, students must successfully complete AWP 2A and 2B (Analytical Writing and Academic English) before they can enroll in DOC 1.

Do all Marshall College students take the whole DOC sequence?

That depends.  All students should review their own course recommendations provided by the TMC Academic Advising Office. 

  • All incoming TMC freshmen will take DOC 1, DOC 2, and DOC 3.
  • Transfer students should consult with Marshall Academic Advising prior to enrolling in a DOC course.

Do I have to take the DOC sequence in order?

Yes, because the courses build upon each other, students should take the DOC sequence in order — DOC 1 in the Fall, DOC 2 in the Winter, and DOC 3 in the Spring.

If the section I want to enroll in is full, should I put myself on a waitlist?

Rather than putting yourself on a Waitlist, you should look at all the sections which have openings, and go ahead and enroll in whichever one fits your schedule. The only way you will get into a class that you are waitlisted for is if someone who is in the class drops it, and since DOC classes are relatively small, the chances of that happening are slim. Keep in mind that you often won’t be able to create your "ideal" class schedule, and in order to take the classes you need you may be inconvenienced to some degree. 

How do I know what I'm supposed to read for DOC?

On the first day of lecture, you will be able to access the Syllabus which spells out the requirements of the course, including the readings and assignments.

What is the difference between DOC lectures and discussion sections?

Our lectures meet three times a week in large rooms that can accommodate the approximately 300 students enrolled in each one. The lectures are taught by faculty members who have achieved Ph.D. degrees in their fields. Only a small number of students are enrolled in each DOC discussion section, which are taught by graduate student Teaching Assistants. DOC 1 sections meet once a week, and sections for DOC 2 and DOC 3 meet twice a week.

How do I know who my Teaching Assistant is?

See the current quarter’s section schedule on the course page.

The names of the graduate student Teaching Assistants will be added to this schedule when they are finalized at the beginning of the quarter. Students should choose their DOC discussion section based on its day and time.

TA office locations and office hours will be posted on the People page by the end of Week 2 every quarter. 

Do DOC discussion sections meet the first week of the quarter?

The short answer is YES. But keep in mind that UCSD classes start on Thursday of "Week Zero" during Fall Quarter. DOC 1 sections start the following week, which is "Week One." So in the Fall Quarter, you will most likely go to DOC 1 lectures two or three times before your first DOC 1 discussion section meets. But in the Winter and Spring Quarters, discussion sections start on the Tuesday or Wednesday of the first week of classes.

I missed class the day my TA handed back our work. How can I get mine?

See the TA list on the People page of this website for your TA’s office location and office hours. If you have another class during the posted office hours, email the TA and ask him/her for an appointment at another time that works for you both.

How do I get in touch with my TA outside of class?

See the TA list on the People page of this website for your TA’s office location and office hours. If you have another class during the posted office hours, email the TA and ask him/her for an appointment at another time that works for you both. Keep in mind that your TA’s job is officially only half-time, so he/she may not get back to you right away. TAs are not required to be on campus or to respond to email every day.

Does DOC offer help specifically for international students?

Yes!  Assistance with DOC writing assignments is available to students whose first language is not English.  Our dedicated tutor, Gwen Fish, can offer assistance at different stages of the writing process, including getting started, making a plan, revising drafts, and understanding feedback.  Gwen's hours for each quarter will be announced by your DOC lecturer, and are posted on Sequoyah Hall 120.

Where can I find additional help on a writing project?

The Teaching + Learning Commons, located in Geisel Library, provides free writing tutoring for all students through the Writing Hub. Make an appointment with one of their writing consultants for individualized feedback on any writing project at any stage of the writing process, including DOC 1, 2, and 3. Visit the Writing Hub website to find their consultation hours and make an appointment.

I lost my textbook. What should I do?

First, make sure your name and/or PID is marked prominently inside all your books, notebooks, cell phones, pencil cases, etc.  This way if the item gets turned in to a campus office the staff can look you up on TritonLink to contact you. If found items have no identifiable markings, they can end up at Campus Lost & Found, which is located at the Police Station, (858) 534-4361. If you don’t want to buy a replacement book, you may use the DOC books which are on reserve at Geisel Library – but you are not allowed to check them out.

I took DOC a few years ago, and am now trying to transfer to another school, but there is no English Composition on my transcript and the new school is questioning it. What can I do?

Composition instruction at UCSD is offered by writing programs in the individual undergraduate colleges. The Dimensions of Culture Program is the writing program at Thurgood Marshall College. Students who have completed the DOC sequence have satisfied the University of California Writing Requirement. See