Admissions Selection Process and the Importance of Diversity

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.

Academic Requirement

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

Notification of Admission

Only the official "Certificate of Admission" from the Dean of Graduate Studies constitutes formal approval of admission to a graduate program at the University of California, San Diego.

Official notification by the dean of Graduate Studies 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.

Denial of Admission

The dean of Graduate Studies 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

Deferral

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.

Readmission

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 Graduate Studies 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 OGS 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 Graduate Studies in certain instances. Non-degree students are eligible for graduate student privileges.

Duplication of Advanced Degrees

Normally, duplication of advanced degrees is not permitted. A professional degree is not regarded as a duplication of an academic degree.

Holders of a master's degree in one field may be considered in some circumstances for admission into a Master's degree program in another field. Holders of the Ph.D., in any field, are advised not to apply for admission.

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 Office of Graduate Studies 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.