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Admissions Policies

Academic Requirement

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 generally required.

Duplication of Advanced Degrees

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

Notification of Admission

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.

Denial of Admission

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.

Deferral and Readmission


Applicants who cannot register in 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 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 deferral from the previous year or quarter(s), applicants must notify the department that originally offered them admission. Applicants will be asked to begin a new application and submit a statement of activities and transcript(s) for any academic work taken since the first application. No application fee will be required.

Deferred application records such as official transcripts, test scores, etc. 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 reapplication process.


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.

Part-time, Half-Time, and Non-Degree Study

Part-Time, Half-Time Study

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.

Non-Degree 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.

Social Security Number Disclosure

Applicants for financial assistance should note the following: “Pursuant to Section 7 of the Privacy Act of 1974, applicants for student financial aid or benefits are hereby notified that mandatory disclosure of their Social Security number is required by the University of California to verify the identity of each applicant. Social Security numbers are used in processing the data given in the financial aid application; in the awarding of funds; in the coordination of information with applications for federal, state, university, and private awards or benefits; and in the collection of funds and tracing of individuals who have borrowed funds from federal, state, university, or private loan programs.”

Ethnicity Survey

The Graduate Division is required to provide reports to various federal and state agencies on the ethnic composition of the applicant population. Therefore, we ask that U.S. citizens and permanent residents answer the questions concerning ethnic identity on the application form. The university holds such information on individuals confidential and uses it only for statistical purposes. You may decline to state your ethnic identity.