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Admitted International Students

Welcome to UC San Diego

Congratulations on your UC San Diego admission! As a newly admitted international student, please complete the additional steps listed below. 

Apply for Form I-20 or Form DS-2019

Please wait at least 48 hours after accepting admission to complete this step.

International students requiring an F-1 or J-1 visa to study in the USA must request a form I-20 (certificate of eligibility for non-immigrant F-1 students) or form DS-2019 (certificate of eligibility for non-immigrant J-1 exchange visitors). The I-20 or DS-2019 is required to apply for the F-1 or J-1 visa from abroad. International students who are currently in the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 status and plan to transfer their SEVIS record to UC San Diego are also required to submit the I-20 or DS-2019 request. 

For questions regarding your I-20/DS-2019 or F-1/J-1 Visa, please visit here:

Attend Graduate Student Orientation

International Graduate Students must attend the International Student Orientation.  This is in addition to the Graduate Division New Graduate Student Orientation. 

Meet the English Language Requirement

English Language Requirement for International Teaching Assistants (TA)

International graduate students who are nonnative speakers of English must be certified as having requisite language skills before they can serve as teaching assistants (TAs; UC San Diego Graduate Division policy in compliance with Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 41).

Evidence of English Language Proficiency : Certification as Teaching Assistant Cut Off Scores

Students may be certified either on the basis of their score on one of the following:

  • have a TOEFL iBT Speaking subscore of 28-30
  • have an IELTS Speaking subscore of 8.5-9.0
  • have a PTE Speaking sub-score of 83-90, and 2
  • be an international graduate students who serve as language assistants in courses conducted in their native language.

Those students with TOEFL speaking scores of 23 – 27, IELTS speaking scores of 7-8, or PTE speaking scores of 65-82 are required to take the English Language Certification Exam

Students who do not pass the English Language Certification Exam are given the opportunity to improve their language skills.

Those students who are admitted but have a speaking TOEFL score below 23 will not be allowed to take the certification test. Students who fall into this category may acquire the required English language proficiency skills via courses offered in the English Language Institute  and the English for Academic and Professional Development Program.

Watch ISPO Webinars

The Graduate Division and International Students and Programs Office (ISPO) are offering a series of webinars this summer to provide information to incoming international graduate students. Presentations will be posted here after the webinar has ended.

March 10, 2021 at 8:30am PST - Welcome to UCSD: First Steps

March 31, 2021 at 8:30am PST - Graduate Student Housing

April 7, 2021 at 8:30am PST - Applying for your U.S. VISA

April 14, 2021 at 8:30am PST - Immunization Requirements & Student Health

April 28, 2021 at 8:30am PST - Teaching Assistantship & English Proficiency Requirements

May 6, 2021 at 8:30am PST - Graduate Student Finances & Funding

May 11, 2021 at 8:30am PST - Campus Safety

May 13, 2021 at 8:30am PST - Student Life & Getting Involved - Grad