Dine-with-a-Prof Program

Dine with a Prof Program

Looking to connect with a Professor or Graduate Student TA?  Want a chance to connect with a faculty member outside of the classroom?  What about a free meal? The Dine-with-a-Prof Program is a perfect way to get to know your Professor or Graduate Student TA a little better while also enjoying a delicious meal - ON US!  As a student you are invited to participate in a program, sponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and the six colleges, designed to foster informal, out-of-classroom interactions between you and your professor or graduate Teaching Assistants. It also gives you the opportunity to experience a professional dining atmosphere at one of four separate locations at UC San Diego.

Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity!  Meal vouchers will be sponsored, on first-come first-serve bases, one voucher per student per quarter.

This program runs from Week 5 in Fall Quarter until the last day of instruction at the end of Spring Quarter. *This program does NOT occur during Summer Sessions

2017 Updates:

Thank you for your interest and participation in the Dine with A Prof Program!

Unfortunately we are currently completely out of Vouchers!  The program will begin again in the middle of Fall Quarter 2017.

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How does it work?

First invite your Professor or Graduate Student TA to participate in the program with you.  You must have agreed upon a location and a date and time prior to coming to get your voucher.

Before obtaining your FREE meal card, be sure you have the following information:

  • The Date, Time and Dining Location agreed upon  (See below for approved dining locations)
  • The Full Name and UC San Diego Email Address of the Faculty Member or Teaching Assistant you will be taking to lunch.

Where and When can I plan to go?

You may participate in the program once per quarter during the academic year (the program starts Week 5 of Fall Quarter and does NOT run through summer sessions).

Choose one of the following locations and check the venue's website for current operating hours:

  • The Faculty Club Weekdays, 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. *for lunch only
  • Zanzibar Cafe Weekdays, 9:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • The Bistro Weekdays, 11:00 a.m. – 9:00pm  *Reservations strongly suggested
  • Sixty-Four North Weekdays,  11:00 a.m. – 9:00pm  *Reservations strongly suggested

How to Obtain your Meal Voucher

You can obtain your meal voucher for the program from your college's Student Affairs Office.  For ERC Students - please come to the ERC Student Affairs Office Front Desk (3rd Floor of the ERC Administration Building).

Please be sure to come in at least 48 hours before your planned meeting time to obtain your voucher.  Do not wait till the day of - we may not be in office and you may not be able to get your voucher.  Please also remember that there are only a limited number of vouchers available.  Once we run out we will not be getting more until the next academic year.  PLAN AHEAD.  Feel free to contact the office before you schedule to find out if there are vouchers available.

The meal card can be redeemed only if the faculty member or Graduate Student TA is present with the student. Multiple students (max of 3 students) are more than welcome to take one professor or TA, but each student must have their own meal voucher from their own college.  

Contact ERC Student Affairs office at ercstudentlife@ucsd.edu or 858-534-2237 for more information.

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 students per 1 professor or TA.  Each student must obtain their own voucher from their own college in order to participate.  The reason for this limitation is that the whole premise behind this program is that it fosters a more one on one interaction between the student and a professor or TA.  Additionally - each voucher is designed to pay for one faculty member and one student - when you start having multiple students taking out the same instructor then each of the vouchers start to lose value.

  • Can I invite my Graduate TA to lunch instead of a professor?

Yes, students may invite TAs - as long as they are a current Graduate Student TA.

  • Can I invite a UC San Diego Staff Member to Dine with a Prof?

No, unfortunately staff members are not eligible for this program.  You are still welcome to ask them to coffee if you would like (and they would LOVE IT), but the voucher will not work for it and you would be responsible for paying for the coffee on your own.  The voucher is only valid to be used with currently teaching TAs or Faculty.

  • Can I participate in Dine with a Prof more once a year?

Yes, students may participate once each academic quarter!

  • If I participate in Dine with a Prof does that mean I can't do Coffee with a Prof in the same quarter?

No - the 2 programs are not mutually exclusive.  You essentially have 3 opportunities to meet with a professor or TA each quarter.  ONCE per quarter with Dine with a Prof and TWICE per quarter with Coffee with a Prof.

  • 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 there are a limited number of cards provided to each college.

  • How should I decide which dining facility to eat at?

First, ask your professor if they have a preference.  Often the deciding factor can be the time in which you are meeting.  The Faculty Club offers a casual dining atmosphere with a buffet-style but is only available for lunch.  Zanzibar Café provides a lively dining experience with café-style ordering and is available any time they are open.  The Bistro is a modern eatery featuring an open kitchen, sushi bar, and an exciting Pacific Rim-inspired menu.  Sixty-Four North has a mix of California cuisine featuring local vegetables and trending international dishes.  It is recommended that in addition to getting your Dine With A Prof voucher, you also make a reservation directly with The Bistro or Sixty-Four North as they can get very busy very quickly.  

We recommend that you try one location one quarter and another location the next quarter and discover your new favorite dining spot on campus!