The University of California, San Diego offers admission to those applicants who have the highest potential for graduate study and who, with the benefit of graduate education, are most likely to contribute substantially to society and to their academic or professional fields through teaching, research, or professional practice.
Because the academic and professional community benefits from a diverse membership, and because the educational experience is enhanced by a diverse student body, the university views as a high priority the enrollment of men and women from different social and economic backgrounds and from different cultural and demographic groups. Successful efforts at overcoming socio-economic, educational, or physical disadvantages are viewed, in combination with other factors, as indicators of future performance.
The graduate admission process provides a great deal of autonomy to individual degree-granting programs. The faculty in each program reviews the applications and recommends admission or denial to the graduate dean.
Admission decisions are based on the quality of the applicant's academic degrees and record, the statement of purpose, letters of recommendation from professors or others familiar with the applicant's academic work, performance in aptitude and achievement tests as appropriate, relevant work experience, preparation in the proposed field of study, the fit between the applicant's goals and the program, and between the applicant's research interests and those of the program's faculty. Some programs have additional admission criteria that applicants must meet.
By the time they enroll, successful applicants must hold a bachelor's degree or the equivalent from an accredited institution in the United States or from a recognized university-level academic institution abroad. At least a B average (3.0 GPA) or its equivalent is required for admission. Satisfaction of minimal standards does not, however, guarantee admission, since the number of qualified applicants far exceeds the number of places available. As a consequence, many well-qualified applicants cannot be accommodated.
U.S. Applicants - Applicants for graduate admission must present official evidence of receipt of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education or the equivalent, with training comparable in standard and content to that provided by the University of California. This must be provided by the beginning of the first academic year of study at UCSD. A minimum scholastic average of B or 3.0 GPA (or its equivalent, if the letter grade system is not used) is required for course work completed in the final two years of undergraduate study and any post baccalaureate study.
International Applicants - An international student whose postsecondary education is completed outside the U.S. must hold the equivalent to a U.S. baccalaureate degree, with above average scholarship, granted by a non-U.S. university or university-level institution
Normally, duplication of advanced academic degrees—MA, MS, PhD—is not permitted. A duplicate academic degree is one at the same level (e.g., a second master’s degree or second PhD), regardless of the discipline or the specialization awarding the degree. A professional degree at the master’s or doctoral level (e.g., AuD, DMA, EdD, MAS, MBA, MEd, MEng, MF, MFA, MIA, MPIA, MD, PharmD) is not regarded as a duplicate of an academic degree.
Students who already hold an advanced academic degree may be admitted to UC San Diego to pursue a second advanced academic degree at the same level only under limited circumstances, and only with the consent of the Graduate Council.
**If you are interested in pursuing a duplicate advanced degree, you may contact your department of interest for more information.
Only the official "Certificate of Admission" from the Dean of the Graduate Division constitutes formal approval of admission to a graduate program at the University of California, San Diego.
Official notification by the Dean of the Graduate Division normally will be e-mailed well in advance of the beginning of the quarter for which application has been made. Applicants should contact their prospective major department if formal notification is not received four weeks prior to the beginning of the quarter for which they applied.
Applicants admitted by March 15 must respond by April 15. Applicants admitted after March 30 have three weeks after the date printed on your Certificate of Admission to respond. Admission to graduate standing does not constitute registration for classes. A student is not officially registered for classes until the entire registration procedure is completed each quarter. Information and all necessary registration materials for entering graduate students will be available at department offices approximately two weeks before the opening of the quarter.
The Dean of the Graduate Division or the prospective major department may deny admission if an applicant's scholastic record is undistinguished, if the preparation is judged inadequate as a foundation for advanced study, if the program does not meet the applicant's area of interest, or if the program facilities are already filled to capacity.
Applicants who are denied admission must submit a new application together with required documentation in order to be considered for admission in the next or in a subsequent academic year.
Applicants who are admitted but are unable to register for the quarter to which they were admitted, may request a Deferral for the following year or the following quarter within the same academic year. The department must pre-approve the deferral request. A deferral is not a guarantee of admission. The deferred application will be considered along with the next year's applicant pool.
To activate the application for admission in the subsequent academic year the applicant must notify the department and submit a statement of activities and official transcript for any academic work taken since the first application. No application fee will be required.
Deferred application files are retained for approximately one year from the quarter to which the applicant was admitted. Deferred applicants are allowed one reactivation of the application. Reapplication for admission after this period may be made only by completing a new application and providing all necessary documents, including payment of the graduate application fee. Use the same email and password to facilitate the application process.
Applications not reactivated within a year will need to reapply.
If you have previously registered as a graduate student at UCSD at any time, whether or not you completed any course work, DO NOT FILE A NEW APPLICATION. Obtain a petition for readmission from your former department, group, or school graduate office.
Graduate students who enroll in fewer than twelve graduate or upper-division units each quarter are considered part-time students. Students who are approved by their major department and by the Dean of the Graduate Division for enrollment in a program of half-time study (maximum of six units or fewer) for reasons of occupation, family responsibilities, or health may be eligible for a reduction in fees. All other part-time students must pay the same fees as full-time students.
A general petition for half-time study must be completed by admitted students who wish to enroll for half-time study at UCSD. The petition is obtained from the graduate coordinator in the major program. The form must be filed with and approved by Graduate Division on or before the first day of registration. Formal approval for half-time study must be granted prior to any fee reduction.
Less than full-time study may be pursued in several master's programs and a few Ph.D. programs at UCSD. In all instances, students must satisfy the same admission requirements as full-time students and are eligible, at the discretion of the department, for a maximum 25 percent time appointment as a teaching assistant or graduate student researcher. International students on student visas are not eligible for part-time study.
There is no student-at-large classification at UCSD; application for admission must be made to a specific department. Applicants who wish to take course work only within a department for non-degree study to satisfy a particular need or stated purpose, must have departmental approval before submitting an application.
Admission as a non-degree student is for one year; a second year of non-degree study may be approved by the dean upon recommendation of the department. Applicants for non-degree study must satisfy all graduate admission requirements and, under campus policy, are not eligible for graduate student support. Exceptions to this policy may be granted by the Dean of the Graduate Division in certain instances. Non-degree students are eligible for graduate student privileges.