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Dine With a Prof Program

UCSD Dine with a Prof program logo

The Dine-With-a-Prof Program allows undergraduate students to dine with one of their esteemed faculty members for free!

You're invited to lunch with your professor, in a program sponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and College Student Affairs Offices.

The program fosters informal, out-of-classroom interactions between you and your professors. It also gives you the opportunity to experience a professional dining atmosphere at the UC San Diego Faculty Club, or the more casual setting of Zanzibar @ the Loft.

How it works

After you've invited your professor out to lunch, obtain a meal card at your college's Student Affairs Office. The meal card can be redeemed at the Faculty Club or Zanzibar Cafe.

Before requesting your meal card, make sure you have:

  • The full name and e-mail address of the faculty member or teaching assistant you will be taking to lunch.
  • The dining location: The Faculty Club or Zanzibar Cafe.
  • The week number and quarter that the lunch will be held.
  • Invited your professor or TA to lunch prior to obtaining the meal card.

Who can attend

The meal card can be redeemed only by the faculty member with the undergraduate student as a guest.

If another student would like to join your lunch, that student must pick up a meal voucher at her/ his college of registration.

Who is eligible

Student eligibility: The program is open to all currently enrolled UCSD undergraduate students.

Faculty eligibility: The professor or graduate teaching assistant must be currently employed by the university. They cannot be staff, administrative advisors, or counselors.

Where to sign up

Bring the above information to your college's Student Affairs Office to sign up and receive your free meal card:

  • Revelle College – Revelle Administration Building (map)
  • John Muir College – Student Affairs Desk, H&SS Room 2126 (map)
  • Thurgood Marshall College – Dean of Student Affairs Office, northeast wing of TMC Admin Bldg (map)
  • Warren College – Warren Administration Building, EBU3B Room 1148 (map)
  • Eleanor Roosevelt College – ERC Administration Building, Room 300 (map)
  • Sixth College – Sixth College Administration Building, 2nd floor of Pepper Canyon Hall (map)

When to plan your lunch

You may participate in the program once per quarter during the academic year (the program does not run through summer sessions).

Restaurant hours:

  • The Faculty Club: Weekdays, 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Zanzibar Cafe: Weekdays, 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Table topics

It’s easy to ask a professor a question in class or in office hours, but how do you start a conversation at lunch? Here are some conversation starters to get you talking:

  • How did you get interested in your field?
  • How have you seen ______ field grow and develop in the past few years?
  • What changes do you anticipate in the field?
  • What do you believe are the hottest growth areas in your field?
  • What advice do you have for someone just entering the field?
  • What do you like to do when you’re not teaching?
  • Where are you from? Where have you traveled?

Frequently asked questions

Can multiple students take the same professor out to lunch together?
Yes, students may coordinate up to 3 people per lunch. Each student must obtain their own meal card to participate.

Can I participate in the program more than once per academic year?
Yes, students may participate once each academic quarter!

Can I invite my Graduate TA to lunch instead of a professor?
Yes, students may invite their graduate TAs.

What if I am not currently enrolled in a class with a professor or TA that I am interested in taking to lunch — can I still invite them?
Of course! However, the professor or TA must be currently employed by the university.

I lost my meal card — can a get a replacement card?
No, we cannot give out replacement meal cards, as cards are limited.

How should I decide which dining facility to eat at?
Ask your professor if they have a preference. The Faculty Club offers a casual dining atmosphere with a buffet-style lunch. Zanzibar Café provides a lively dining experience with café-style ordering.

College contacts

E-mail your college’s program representative for more information about the program:

Dine-With-a-Prof Program Coordinator: Sophia Davidson

Lunch or Coffee

Under the same rules and procedures as Dine-With-a-Prof, the Coffee-With-a-Prof program allows you to take a faculty member/ graduate teaching assistant out to coffee at select coffee carts on campus.

Contact your college's Student Affairs Office for more information or to sign up.