Guide to UC San Diego/Textbooks and Course Materials
Instructors at UC San Diego normally require that their students purchase textbooks or other course materials for their courses. Instructors have a number of options regarding what kind of course materials they want students to buy and where students should get these materials. The instructor normally provides this information on the course syllabus or in class. This information is also normally available before the course begins and can be obtained by clicking on the 'book' icon by the course listed in the Schedule of Courses.
UC San Diego Bookstore
The UC San Diego Bookstore is located in the center of the main campus. It is part of the Price Center complex and opens out to the Price Center Plaza. There is also an entrance to the Bookstore on Library Walk and another facing the Town Square. The Bookstore contains a Textbook and Course Materials department, a General Books department (which is similar to a Borders of Barnes and Nobles bookstore), Customer Service, Perks Coffee Shop, a clothing department, a medical supplies department for School of Medicine and School of Pharmacy students, as well as other areas students can shop at. Facing the Price Center East foodcourt is the Sunshine Market, a convenience store run by the Bookstore. There is also a satellite bookstore by the new housing at the northern end of the campus which includes many of the items available at the main Bookstore. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography also has a bookstore which specializes in oceanography and related science books.
Textbook Reservation Service
During their orientation, incoming freshman and transfer students can sign up for the Textbook Reservation Service (TRS). Representatives from the bookstore will be at a table during most of the college orientations with the campus organizations and other groups students can visit during a portion of their orientation. This is a free service offered by the UC San Diego Bookstore to incoming students only for the Fall Quarter. Students can fill out a form for this service or can complete the form online by going to the UC San Diego Bookstore website. Students can select their textbook preferences and their method of payment on this form. During move-in weekend before the start of the Fall Quarter, students who signed up for this service can go to the Price Center Ballroom West and get their textbooks. Changes can be made to their order at this time as well. Their textbooks will be in a convenient cardboard box students can carry out with them after checking out. After the Fall quarter, students cannot use the TRS again but can order their textbooks online using TxtXpress.
For a certain period of time before the academic quarter starts, students can order their textbooks online from the UC San Diego Bookstore. Their books will be pulled from the shelves and will be ready to pick-up at Customer Service in the bookstore. This service is free but is only available for a certain time period each quarter (about two weeks before classes start each quarter). Check the bookstore website for more information.
Textbooks are normally returnable for a full refund up to Saturday of Second Week. To return textbooks, students need their receipt and the textbook must be in the condition it was purchased in. This means no software has been opened and no online access codes have been uncovered. New books must be in the condition they were purchased in. There is more leeway with Used books students are attempting to return. Some books cannot be returned if they have been opened (looseleaf textbooks in particular) and this will be indicated on the book with a sticker that says something like "Nonreturnable in unwrapped." After that, textbooks can only be returned if the student has a Term Audit (obtained from the Registrar's Office) stating that the student dropped the course the textbooks are for and the rest of the conditions described above have been met. The rules are somewhat different for Extension and ELI textbooks and the Bookstore website should be consulted for the return policy for these textbooks. The policy is also modified for Summer Session courses since they are shorter than regular courses.
During the First Week and during Final Exam Week of each academic quarter, a textbook wholesaler visits the campus and students have an opportunity to sell some of their textbooks. The most a student can get for a particular textbook is half the cost of a new textbook. Students can bring their old books to the white tent in front of Price Center Plaza of the Bookstore and check to see what price the buyer will offer them for their books. There is no guarantee the buyer will buy their book and what price they will offer for it. The employees in the Textbook department do not know if the wholesaler will buy back a particular book and can only offer an educated guess based on mainly on whether the book is being used for the upcoming quarter. It is recommended that students try to sell their books early in the week because the buyer can buy only so may of a particular book so they many have filled their quota by the end of the week.
Instructors have a number of options regarding course readers. Instructors can have UC San Diego print course readers for their course. These readers will be available in the UC San Diego Bookstore. They can also have students order their course readers through companies like University Readers. If an instructor does this, students have to purchase the reader from the company and cannot buy the reader from the Bookstore. Instructors can also have Cal Copy print the course reader for them. Students will have to go to Cal Copy to purchase their reader if this is the case. Cal Copy is located near the Villa La Jolla entrance to the main campus behind the gas station on Villa La Jolla Drive.
AS Soft Reserves
AS Soft Reserves is a service run by the Associated Students (AS) of UC San Diego. They print materials for courses such as packets and lecture notes. For some courses, a note-taker is paid to produce notes which are available to students at AS Soft Reserve. AS Soft Reserves is located at the old Student Center, which is behind Mandeville Center and near Porter's Pub.
Groundworks Books is a student-run bookstore that specializes in left-wing political and social publications. They also carry textbooks for a number of courses, especially Ethnic Studies and Sociology courses. Groundworks Books is located in the old Student Center, which is behind Mandeville Center and near Porter's Pub.
The General Store sometimes has copies of certain textbooks available for purchase.
Some professors require that students buy a small handheld device known as a "clicker" or "transmitter." This is typical for lower division chemistry course and physics courses. If this is the case, the type of clicker a students must buy will be listed with the other textbooks they need for the course. The UCSD Bookstore sells three types of clickers. One is known as a "RAD" or "H-ITT" or "13-button" clicker. It looks like a small, neon remote and comes in several colors (green, orange and yellow). It requires a 9 volt battery (which can be purchased at the bookstore). Another is the PRS transmitter. It has a metal cover with a LCD in it. The third type is the I-clicker. It is beige and flat. The same return and other policies apply to clicker that apply to textbooks. Students may also be able to sell clickers back like they can textbooks.