Skip to main content

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

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

If you have a question about the Dimensions of Culture Program that is NOT answered here, please e-mail the DOC office at

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 first-year students will take DOC 1, DOC 2, and DOC 3.
  • Transfer students should consult with Marshall Academic Advising about their particular requirements prior to enrolling in any DOC course.

Do I have to take the DOC sequence in order?

Yes, because the courses build upon each other, students must take the DOC sequence in order — DOC 1 in the Fall, DOC 2 in the Winter, and DOC 3 in the Spring.  The prerequisite for DOC 2 is completion of DOC 1 (with a grade of "D" or higher) and satisfaction of the Entry Level Writing Requirement.  The prerequisite for DOC 3 is completion of DOC 2 (with a grade of "D" or higher). 

Can I take DOC 1 concurrently with AWP 3?

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

Can I take DOC 1 concurrently with AWP 4A or AWP 4B?

No, students who are placed into AWP 4A and 4B (Analytical Writing and Academic English) must successfully complete those courses and have their Academic History be updated to show satisfaction of the Entry Level Writing Requirement before they can enroll in DOC 1.

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. 

Where do I find the syllabus for my DOC course?

All enrolled students will be able to access the syllabus, assignments, additional material, and notices via Canvas by the start of the quarter.

What is the difference between DOC lectures and discussion sections?

DOC 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 instructors who have earned PhD degrees, so students should refer to them using the “Dr.” title. DOC lectures are designed to provide students with context for course readings and assignments, and to facilitate discussion between students and lecturers about critical reading, writing, and course materials. 

DOC sections meet once a week in DOC 1 and twice a week in DOC 2 and DOC 3. Fewer than 16 students are enrolled in each DOC discussion section, and sections are taught by graduate student Teaching Assistants (or instructors who hold a Masters or PhD degree) in smaller classrooms. DOC sections supplement DOC lectures: they are designed to provide students with further guidance on course readings and assignments, and to facilitate discussion between students and teaching assistants about critical reading, writing, and course materials. 

How do I know who my Teaching Assistant is?

See the current quarter’s section schedule under Specific Information on the course page (for example,  These lists with the names of the Teaching Assistants assigned to each discussion section will posted at the beginning of the quarter. Students should choose their DOC section based on its day and time.  The TA assignments are never finalized until the week before each quarter.  TA office locations and office hours are posted under Course Contact Information on Canvas.

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

The short answer is YES. But keep in mind that UC San Diego 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.

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

See Course Contact Information > Teaching Assistants' Contact Info on Canvas.  If you have another class during the scheduled office hours, email the TA and ask them for an appointment at another time that works for you both.

Where can I find additional help on a writing project?

Both the Teaching + Learning Commons Writing Hub (located in Geisel Library) and Language Arts Tutorial Services at the Office of Academic Support + Instructional Services (located in Center Hall) provide free writing tutoring for all students. 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 and the OASIS LATS website to find their consultation hours and to make an appointment.

I think I lost something in one of the classrooms. 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 UC San Diego's Lost & Found, which is located at Campus Curbside at the Gilman Parking Structure.  See:

I have concerns about my DOC course grade from last quarter. What do I do?

To begin a grade review process, please email and ask for instructions. The DOC Directors handle all grade review requests for the DOC program, and should there be a reason to initiate a change in a course grade, it can be done through the end of the following quarter.  Please keep in mind the Dimensions of Culture Program does not “round up” students’ grades as that would constitute artificial grade inflation and is not an ethical practice.  

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 UC San Diego is offered by writing programs in the seven 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

How do I reach DOC Staff and when are they in the office?

Office: McGill Hall 2126

Phone: 858-534-0635

Please email questions or a request for an appointment to:
     Use your @ucsd email account, and include your PID in your message.

The DOC Program will continue to operate in a hybrid model. DOC Staff will be in the office Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and will work remotely on Thursday and Friday.