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Building Safe and Inclusive Learning Communities

Spring 2021 Housing

The health and safety of our campus community is a top priority. UC Merced continues to respond to the novel coronavirus, and the below information is subject to change. Please stay up to date with the latest information for students here.

Please see here the spring 2021 semester room and board rates.


Housing Services will process Spring 2021 housing applications within 36 hours once submitted.

Once the housing offer is sent, student will be given a housing assignment; room and board fees will be assessed and posted on the student's MyBill account.

Students will be given 5 business days to accept the housing offer and sign the housing contract. 

Students must go back to the HOUSING PORTAL to cancel if they decided to not accept, this will stop the room and board billing.

Application Process & Timeline

Current on-campus residents do not need to reapply. Current residents who do not wish to not return for spring 2021 are asked to cancel their housing contract by 11:59 p.m. Monday, Dec.14, 2020. Students can cancel through the Housing Portal.


Students will receive emails about possible housing offers on their UC Merced email. Students wishing to live on campus will need to sign their housing contracts by 11:59 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. Students who applied late please check their UC Merced email to check on the housing offer status and sign housing contract as soon as possible.

Housing assignments will be sent to students by the first week of January 2021. Students will receive move-in information by the first week of January.

All students will be assigned to single rooms. Students will not be able to choose rooms or buildings. Student will be housed on North campus - Cathedral, Tenaya, Half Dome, Mariposa, and Tuolumne.

Please click here to see housing/room and meal plan rates for spring 2021.

Students interested in residential overnight parking may visit the UC Merced Transportation and Parking Services site to learn more. The application deadline is Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. Overnight parking is available for permit holders in Bellevue Lot and in Scholar Lot - designated H Zone.

Housing Assignment

Students will be housed on North campus buildings - Cathedral and Tenaya, Half Dome, Mariposa and Tuolumne, Kern and Tulare in Valley Terraces.

Please visit here for housing and meal plan rates. 

Your room type is: Single Room  

Your room assignment is final.  

You will be assigned a move in date and time, will be sent to you first week of January. New residents will move in on Saturday January 16th, 8am to 5pm, and current residents returning to campus will be on Sunday, January 17, 8am to 5pm. We assigned each student a specific move-in date and time to comply with social distancing guidelines and to keep all students and family safe. Please move in at this assigned date and time. Please contact if the assigned move-in date or time not possible for you. Please understand that a change may take some time to figure out based on other students’ move-in dates and times.   

Move-In Date & Time

New Residents move-in is 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021.

Current resident returning to campus is 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021.

All students will be assigned  a move-in day and time, email about your housing assignment, move in day and time will be sent to you first week of January 2021.

What to Bring

UC Merced Housing and Residence Education wants to help make your transition to college as smooth and comfortable as possible. To help ensure students have what they need in their residence hall and make it feel like home, we have put together a list of what to bring and what to leave at home.

Before Moving in

Symptom Monitoring  

In preparation for your arrival to campus, all residents are expected to participate in the daily health check in for 14 days prior to your assigned move-in date. Your assigned move in date and time will be sent to you first week of January, 2021

However, if you signed the housing contract late, or have circumstances that would prevent you from submitting the daily health check in for 14 days prior to arrival, please compete the attestation form:

In addition, you must continue to respond to the daily health check in sent to your UC Merced email address while living on campus. This can also be completed using an app. More information on daily health check in can be found here. Another reminder is about your CatCard, if you do not have a CatCard, please email or visit to make sure they have a CatCard ready for you when you check in. 

If you were exposed to someone (meaning within 6 feet of them for more than 15 minutes or sharing a bathroom and/or kitchen with them) who tested COVID-19 positive within the last 14 days or you have been diagnosed as COVID-19 positive within the last 10 days, stay home and contact the COVID Response Center at or (209) 228-0000.  

You will receive more detailed emails with instructions about daily health check in the next few days. These emails will include information about how to use the UC Merced daily mail check in. To be approved to return to campus, you must enter one response each calendar day for 14 days prior to your assigned move-in date. Please read and follow the instructions in the emails about symptom monitoring.   

COVID Testing  

All residents are required to attend COVID testing in the California room upon their arrival to campus. Testing is available from 8:00am-5:00pm in the California room and students need to make an appointment online. If your exact arrival time isn’t available for an appointment, make an appointment for date and time closest to your arrival date and time.  

The testing administered will be saliva testing. Students should not vape, smoke, chew, eat, drink, or put things into their mouth for 30 minutes prior to their test.  


Sequestering means minimizing in-person interactions among students, faculty and staff, whether in the dorms, dining facilities, classrooms or other campus locations where students congregate. It also includes off-campus spaces for those students who live at home or in off-campus housing.  

Students should leave their on- or off-campus residences only to participate in essential activities. For UC Merced, essential activities are defined as getting food from the dining hall, participating in low-risk outdoor recreational activities, obtaining health care services, picking up mail and picking up books. Students should plan to stay on campus during sequestration and should move in prepared with all items needed for the first 14 days on campus.  

The daily health screening must take place each day for 14 days prior to your arrival. Please set a reminder on your phone or write yourself a note. If you have questions or concerns, or if something is not working, please contact or call 209-228-0000. 

Moving In

We will assign each student a specific move-in date and time to comply with social distancing guidelines and to keep all students and family safe. Please move in at this assigned date and time. Please contact if the assigned move-in date or time not possible for you. Please understand that a change may take some time to figure out based on other students’ move-in dates and times.

Campus Safety Measures  

All persons on campus will be expected to wear a face covering and to follow the university’s guidelines for physical distancing. 

Move in consists of the following steps once you arrived campus. There are signs to guide you along:  

Arrive in Scholars Lot.  (Bellevue Lot for graduate students moving into Sentinel Rock or El Portal apartments.)

Get COVID tested at the California room (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday) 

Get your CatCard (New/Replacement) in the Alpine Room (Tenaya 175), check in and get keys and carts.  

After hours arrivals at Resident Services Desk at Valley Terraces: 

Jan. 16-17: 5-7pm 

Janu. 18 – forward: Monday - Friday, 10 a.m to 6 p.m., Saturday 2 p.m. - 7p.m. and closed on Sundays. 


Half Dome, Tenaya, Cathedral, Tulare, Kern: Scholars Lot only  

Mariposa and Tuolumne: Muir Pass or Scholars Lot  

Move car to long-term parking in the Bellevue Lot or depart campus.  

Check-In Stations  

You will get your room keys at the check-in station in the Alpine room.  

Please look for maps and signs at the Scholars Lot to Alpine Room and California Room for testing.  

Unloading and Moving In

Families can accompany students to campus to help with unloading. Due to physical distancing requirements, students are limited to two adult guests to enter the building for move in. Children under 13 can accompany the adults, but all persons must wear a face covering and to follow the university’s guidelines for physical distancing. Elevator use is restricted to one occupant per elevator, per trip. Family members can wait in the student’s room to assist with unloading and unpacking but must stay in compliance with physical distancing. This requirement includes no congregating in hallways or lounge areas. All persons will be expected to wear a face covering while helping with move in.

Family or friends are not permitted to spend the night with students in their room. Guests who do not comply with our policies will be asked to leave. Students are responsible for the actions of their guests at all times, including during move in.

Your first step to move-in is completion of a COVID test. You'll park in the Scholar's lot, then walk to the testing center, which is located in the California room, near the visitor's center. There will be signage to guide you. Testing is for students only; family members do not need to be tested.

The saliva COVID test is free and quick. However, you will need to schedule an appointment for testing in advance of your arrival using the Student health center website. Please schedule your appointment as soon as possible at the website: The scheduling tool is available now!

If your exact arrival time is not available, select the closest time to your arrival from the appointments. As long as your appointment is on the same day as your arrival, Saturday January 16th, you'll be able to access testing. Testing is quick, but requires that you don't eat, drink, or put anything in your mouth for 30 minutes prior to arrival. This includes no water, coffee, gum, vaping, or anything else in the mouth for 30 minutes prior to your testing.

If you test positive for COVID-19, or are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 prior to arrival, please contact the Covid Response Center (CRC) at or 209-228-0000 as soon as possible. Do not come to campus if you are experiencing symptoms or have tested positive without consulting the CRC.

Mailing Address

Use the following format as your mailing address:

[Your Name]
[Building] [Room]
5400 N. Lake Rd.
Merced, CA 95340

You can pick up your mail at the Valley Residence Education Office.

Download the complete instructions for using smart lockers via Smiota PoDS.


Valley Terrace Center Residence Service Desk Hours

Please direct question to the office at 209-228-4663 or the Housing Contact Form.

Move-In Parking

All residents of Mariposa and Tuolumne using Muir Pass for loading and unloading must leave a driver with the car on Muir Pass. Use of unloading areas in Scholars Lot and Muir Pass are limited to 40 minutes for unloading.

Overnight Parking Permit for Students Living on Campus

If you are interested in buying an Overnight Parking Permit for residential students, please visit or contact Applications for Overnight Parking Permitare due Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. Family or friends are not permitted to spend the night with students in their room.

Meal Plan

Your CatCard is used to access your r

You can find out what meal plan you signed up on the Housing Portal.


You can change your meal plan by 5 p.m. Friday, January 15, 2021. You can go the Housing Portal to change your meal plan. Changes to a meal plan will result in changes in total meal plan billing to your student account.  Please contact if you have questions. 

Your meal plan starts: Saturday, January 16, 2021  

Dining location: As part of UC Merced’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, Dining Services will only operate the Pavilion Dining Center for meal service. Dining will be for take-out only and additional protocols will be in place to protect public health. Additional information on how to use the Pavilion will be posted on the Dining Services website soon.   

Move-in dining hours:   

Saturday, January 16 – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.  

Sunday, January 17 – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.  

Monday, January 18 (Holiday) – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.  

Monday, Aug. 24 onward – Please check the dining website for spring 2021 hours.   


Your CatCard is used to access your residence hall and to get food and services on campus. Each student living on campus must have a CatCard.  

New students must submit a photo online. Photos can be submitted here: If you have any problems with this service, please email   

At move in, new students will pick up their CatCard at the Alpine Room after COVID testing at the California room. Please follow the signs from the California room to the Alpine Room. You’ll need to provide a form of picture ID to claim your CatCard.  

Continuing students who have lost their CatCard and need a replacement should visit and follow the instructions to replace their card.   

University Store

Th University Store is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 16-17. Starting Monday Jan.19, the store will be open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Please check for updates. 

If you have questions about textbooks and course materials, please contact store manager Jon Neeper at

















Campus Policies

The housing handbook covers all the policies, rules and amenities for students living on campus. Please review this handbook and pay attention to interim policies related to COVID-19. We’ve also provided overviews of what to expect from life on campus in fall for both housing and dining below.


All campus buildings that are authorized to reopen will be cleaned regularly. Facilities Services will clean all building public spaces consistent with public health recommendations and OSHA guidelines for disinfection. Public spaces include building entries, lobbies, elevators, hallways, bathrooms, hallway door knobs and designated conference rooms. Public spaces do not include offices/office suites, faculty labs, etc. It will continue to be the responsibility of building occupants to clean their own, non-public spaces, such as cubicles and offices. Facilities Services will provide disinfecting wipes when possible, but encourages departments to purchase their own disinfectant or disinfectant wipes. As supply is available, Facilities Services will maintain hand-sanitizer stations at building entrances, elevator stops and high-traffic areas.

Building occupants should wipe down their own frequently commonly used surfaces before and after use with products that meet the EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19 and are appropriate for the surface. Such surfaces include any shared-space location or equipment (e.g., copiers, printers, computers, A/V and other electrical equipment, coffee makers, personal desks and tables, lab and office light switches, doorknobs, drinking fountains, elevator call buttons and elevator panels, handrails for stairs, braille signage, etc.). We recommend that employees using cleaning and disinfection products should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, such as those pertaining to concentration, contact time, and wash hands thoroughly after cleaning.

Students First Center – Admissions, Financial Aid and Registrar

The Students First Center will be open the following dates and times to assist students with questions related to admissions, financial aid, registration and billing:

In person: This service is currently not available. Please continue to check the website for updates.

Phone: 209-228-7178

Hours: Monday through Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Chat Hours: Monday through Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1-4:30 p.m.

Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1-3 p.m.

Virtual Zoom Appointments

Hours: Monday through Thursday: 4-5 p.m.

Weekends and holidays: Closed.

Please visit for updates, contact information and potential changes related to COVID-19 health and safety needs.

Student Business Office

Emails and phone calls only. No in-person services. Closed on weekends. Office hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. General inquiries of the department can be made to

Academic Advising

The Bobcat Advising Center (BAC) is the academic advising home for all first-year students in every major.

Recreation Center

The recreation center will be closed until further notice. Recreation center operation is linked to Merced County’s health orders, as well as the orders from the state of California.

Please visit for most current information and updates.

UC Merced Police Department

For information about campus safety escorts or bike and electronics registration, please contact UC Merced Police Department at

IT Help Desk

For questions related to technology/online courses, game console set up and VPN, please contact


For updates and services, please go to the library FAQ at

No Longer Living on Campus?

If you no longer need on-campus housing, please cancel your housing contract. You may submit your cancellation on the Housing Portal under "Housing Cancellation." as soon as possible. There is no  housing cancellation or termination fees for spring 2021 semester for undergraduate housing contracts.