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Dine\Coffee With a Prof Program

The Dine-With-a-Prof and Coffee-With-a-Prof programs allow undergraduate students to get coffee or dine with one of their esteemed faculty members or graduate teaching assistants for free!

UCSD Dine with a Prof program logoCoffee-With-a-Prog Logo

In accordance with the recent UC San Diego campus guidelines for Spring Quarter 2020, this program will be off line until May 10, 2020.

Please check back after that date!

Undergraduate students may participate in the Dine-With-a-Prof program once per quarter during the academic year and the Coffee-With-a-Prof program twice per quarter during the academic year. Neither program runs through summer sessions.

We're excited to announce the expansion of the Coffe-With-A-Professor and Dine-With-A-Professor programs to new venues on campus! See below for our additional options that will be available starting in Spring Quarter!

Interested? Here's how the programs work.

Step 1:

Check with YOUR college to make sure that there are vouchers available. Due to high demand, our quarterly supply of vouchers are usually exhausted by Week 8 or Week 9, so plan ahead! Also, please note that each college has a different process for distributing vouchers.

Contact your college’s program representative to check if there are vouchers available:

Step 2:

Contact your professor or graduate teaching assistant (TA) and choose a date, time, and location to meet for coffee or a meal.

Dine-With-a-Prof Program Locations:

Check the appropriate website for operating hours.

Coffee-With-a-Prof Program Locations:

Check the appropriate website for operating hours!

Example Invitation:

Dear Professor Smith,

My name is John Muir and I'm currently a student in your ENVR 101 course. Would you be interested in having lunch or coffee this quarter? I'd really like to get to know more about your research and how you got started in your field. There are two great programs (Dine-With-A-Professor and Coffee-With-A-Professor) that will let us get coffee or lunch for free!

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you!

—John Muir

Step 3:

After your professor or TA have confirmed everything in step 2, stop by your college's Student Affairs Office to sign up and pick up your voucher.

This voucher is your ticket to free food or free coffee and can only be redeemed by the professor at a participating location. If you sign up for the program and have not come by to pick-up your voucher after five business days, your voucher will be forfeited and made available for another student to use.

Also, please note that each college has a different process for distributing vouchers. It may not be possible to pick up a voucher on the same day. Check with your college for more information!

Step 4:

Enjoy your time with your professor or TA! If you want some conversation starters for your meeting, see the Table Topics below!

Table Topics

  • 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?

Step 5:

Give us feedback! At the end of the quarter, you'll receive an invitation to participate in a survey about your experience with the program. Please fill this out, as all feedback is welcome and helps us improve the program.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to participate?

  • Student eligibility: The program is open to all currently enrolled UCSD undergraduate students. If another student would like to join your lunch or coffee, that student must pick up a separate meal voucher at her/ his college of registration.
  • Faculty eligibility: The professor or graduate teaching assistant must be currently employed by the university. They cannot be staff, administrative advisors, or counselors.

Can multiple students take the same professor out to lunch or coffee together?

Yes, students may coordinate up to 3 people per event. 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 for lunch, and up to two times per quarter for coffee.

Can I invite my Graduate TA to lunch or coffee, 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 or coffee — can I still invite them?

Of course! However, the professor or TA must be currently employed by the university.

Something came up and we have to reschedule.  What should I do?

Not a problem! As long as you use the voucher before the end of the quarter, there won't be an issue!

I lost my meal card — can I get a replacement card?

No, we cannot give out replacement meal cards, as cards are limited.

How should I decide which facility to eat lunch or get coffee 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.

My professor and I can't meet anymore. What should I do with the voucher?

If you're unable to use the voucher with your professor, please return it to your college to allow another student the opportunity to use it.

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