Graduate Admission

[ graduate degrees offered | graduate division | general requirements for higher degrees | financial ]

Admission Requirements

Academic

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 to that provided by the University of California. A minimum scholastic average of B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or its equivalent for course work completed in upper-division or prior graduate study.

Admission Policies

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, MPP, 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. Recognizing that there are circumstances in which it is appropriate for a student to pursue a second degree, the Graduate Council will consider the following criteria when reviewing requests for permission to do so at UC San Diego:

  1. The degree already held by the student must be in a fundamentally different disciplinary field from the department or program to which the student is applying. A request for permission to be admitted to a degree program at UC San Diego should document this clearly, and should indicate the differences both in intellectual training and in qualification for future employment that the second degree would confer.
  2. The department or program considering the applicant must make a clear case that there is no other way at UC San Diego for the student to obtain the same outcome for future employment prospects (e.g., by pursuing a master’s program or postdoctoral study rather than a second PhD).

If the decision of the Graduate Council is that the student should be admitted to a particular department or program for a master’s degree alone, the student is barred from requesting permission to continue for a PhD in that department or program.

Departments and programs that award an MA or MS in the course of progress toward the PhD may confer the master’s degree on any enrolled PhD student who has met the departmental and university requirements for the degree, unless the student already holds an MA or MS in the same or related field. In particular, departments and programs may confer the MA or MS on a PhD student who holds a master’s degree in a different discipline without the need for a petition to the Graduate Council or the dean of the Graduate Division.

Departments and programs are encouraged to consider waiving precandidacy requirements for students who already hold a master’s degree in the same or related field in order to decrease the time to degree.

Nondegree Study

There is no “student-at-large” classification at UC San Diego; application for admission must be made to a specific department or group. Applicants who wish to enroll for “course work only” within a department or group and who do not intend to pursue a higher degree at UC San Diego may request admission for nondegree study. Applicants for nondegree study must satisfy all admission requirements and are not eligible for fellowships or assistantships. Nondegree status is granted for up to one year; students may petition the dean of the Graduate Division for a second year of nondegree status.

Part-Time Study, Including Half-Time

Students who enroll in fewer than twelve graduate or upper-division units each quarter are considered part-time students. International students on F1 or J1 visas must be enrolled full-time each quarter. 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 (seven to twelve units) pay the same fees as full-time students.

Part-time study may be pursued in several masters’ programs and a few doctoral programs at UC San Diego. In all instances, part-time students must satisfy the same admission requirements as full-time students and are eligible, at the discretion of a department, for appointment to 25 percent time teaching or research assistantships. Admitted students must file the petition for half-time study with the Graduate Division no later than the last day of the second week of the quarter to be eligible for a fee reduction.

Application Procedures

When to Apply

Each graduate program sets a unique application deadline. Most deadlines occur between December and February for admission to fall quarter. A few programs accept applications for winter, spring, and summer admissions. For specific program deadlines, refer to the graduate admission instructions on the Graduate Division website or contact the specific program office. Applicants need not have completed their undergraduate programs prior to applying.

How to Apply

UC San Diego utilizes an online application. Payment of the nonrefundable application fee is made by credit card. The online application can be accessed via the Graduate Division website, where detailed instructions for completion of the application are provided.

Additional program and application information can be obtained from each graduate program office. Access the UC San Diego website and the appropriate program’s graduate study information. Telephone numbers and campus addresses are listed with the department information in this catalog. The Graduate Admissions Application includes application for a fellowship, traineeship, scholarship, or assistantship. The primary documents required in support of an application are listed below. Each program may require additional documents.

Required Supporting Documents

All supporting documents, including letters of recommendation, should be completed using the online application. Any supplemental materials may be uploaded to the online application or e-mailed directly to the applicant’s prospective major department or program according to department or program specifications.  

Academic Records

One set of final official transcripts of all previous academic work completed after high school graduation, including certification of degrees received or documentation of status upon leaving each institution, is required for each application submitted. Only official records bearing the signature of the registrar and the seal of the issuing institution will be accepted. Applicants with academic work in progress who expect to complete a degree program before the intended date of enrollment at UC San Diego must submit evidence of degree conferral and a final academic record, as soon as they are available. The undergraduate degree must be completed prior to the start of graduate study.

International Applicant Academic Records

In all applications for graduate admission, official academic records bearing the signature of the registrar or other responsible academic officer and the seal of the issuing institution are required. If the institution does not issue duplicate records, the copy of the official record must be certified. Properly certified copies should be sent instead of irreplaceable original documents. Unless academic records are issued in English by the institution itself, certified English translations must accompany official documents written in a language other than English.

Foreign academic records should show titles of all courses attended each year, years of study (or duration of study), examinations passed, seminars completed, and grades or marks received in all institutions where formal records are maintained. Official evidence of degree conferral must also be supplied, together with evidence of rank in class if possible.

Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) Scores

Most graduate programs require that applicants take the GRE. Contact the specific program for further information. Applicants who are applying for admission to a department, group, or school that requires that they take the GRE should do so as early as possible to insure the timely receipt of their score results. Applicants must take the GRE no later than fall in order to meet most departmental deadlines for admission. Consult the GRE website for further information. Only official scores sent to UC San Diego by ETS will be accepted for admission.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants should arrange to have three letters of recommendation submitted online to UC San Diego. If paper letters are necessary they must be mailed to the prospective major department, group, or school. It is most important that letters of recommendation be completed by individuals in a position to analyze an applicant’s abilities and academic or professional promise.

International Applicant Requirements

English Language Test

Demonstrated proficiency in the English language is required for all international applicants whose native language is not English and who have not received at least a B average and studied full-time for one uninterrupted year at a university-level institution in a country in which English is the language of instruction and in a country in which English is the dominant language. Three English proficiency exams are accepted for graduate study at UC San Diego:

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): The minimum TOEFL score for admission is 550 for the paper based test (PBT) or 80 for the Internet Based Test. TOEFL information and forms are available at the TOEFL website.

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic Training exam: The minimum IELTS score is Band 7.0. IELTS registration information is available on the IELTS website.

The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic). The minimum PTE academic score required for graduate admission is overall score 65. Registration and test information is available on the Pearson website.

International students whose native language is not English will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency before they may serve as teaching assistants.

International Applicant Financial Statement

International applicants accepting admission to UC San Diego are required to certify that they possess sufficient funds to cover all fees, transportation, and living expenses during the first academic year of graduate enrollment at UC San Diego. An International Applicant Financial Statement, for the purpose of indicating the amount and source of funds available for graduate study, is made available to applicants after accepting admission; the financial statement must be submitted before visa forms can be provided.

Opportunities for employment, on or off campus, are extremely limited, and international applicants should not base their educational plans on the hope of finding employment after arriving in the United States.

Admission and Registration

Official admission to graduate study at the university is contingent upon review of an applicant’s record; receipt of official final undergraduate transcript showing degree(s) awarded; receipt of official final transcripts of all attended institutions; an affirmative recommendation by the prospective department, group, or school; and action by the Graduate Division. The dean of the Graduate Division or the prospective major department, group, or school may deny admission if an applicant’s scholastic record is undistinguished, if the preparation is judged inadequate as a foundation for advanced work, or in the event that no further students can be accommodated for a given quarter. Only the official Certificate of Admission from the dean of the Graduate Division constitutes formal approval of admission to a graduate program at UC San Diego.

Official notification of admission by the dean of the Graduate Division will be sent via e-mail well in advance of the beginning of the quarter for which application has been made. Applicants should call their prospective major department, if formal notification is not received four weeks prior to the beginning of the quarter for which they applied.

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 will be available at department offices approximately two weeks before the opening of the quarter. (See Academic and Administrative Calendar.)

Deferral and Reapplication

Applicants who are admitted but decide not to register in the quarter for which they first apply may request deferral of their application for a later quarter within the same academic year or the academic year immediately subsequent. Application for admission of an approved deferred applicant for the subsequent academic year may be made by submitting a statement of activities and official transcripts of any academic work undertaken since the first application to the department or group. Admission is not guaranteed to previously admitted applicants who have an approved deferral. In no case are application files retained for more than four consecutive academic quarters from the date of first application. Application after this period may be made only by completing a new application and providing all necessary documents, including payment of the graduate application fee.

Students who are denied admission must submit a new application and fee together with required documentation in order to be considered for admission in another academic year.

Readmission

A graduate student whose status has lapsed because of an interruption in registration must petition his or her department for readmission at least eight weeks prior to the first day of the quarter in which reenrollment is intended. Do not complete an application for admission. Students must submit supplementary transcripts of all academic course work undertaken since last enrolled at UC San Diego, pay a readmission fee of $90, and complete a General Petition and a supplementary Statement of Activities. In addition, a Statement of Legal Residence is required for all students returning after an absence of two quarters or more.

Readmission is not automatic.


Graduate Division

At UC San Diego, all programs leading to master’s degrees and to doctoral degrees (other than the MD and PharmD) are under the jurisdiction of the Graduate Council and are administered by the Graduate Division.

The San Diego campus emphasizes the research character of graduate education. Doctoral and most master’s degrees are the culmination of creative effort and attest to the ability of the recipient to continue original inquiry. In addition to requiring original research, most of UC San Diego’s graduate programs expect their students to obtain teaching experience.

Much of the training that UC San Diego offers takes place outside the classroom—not only in seminars but in independent research and in tutorial work. Students can benefit from the many visitors from other universities; there are opportunities to study at other campuses of the University of California; and many students become involved in the research activities of UC San Diego’s research institutes and centers. La Jolla has become one of the most important intellectual centers of the West. Not only has UC San Diego attracted many of the world’s great scholars, but other research institutions located nearby such as the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Sanford-Burnham Institute, and The Scripps Research Institute have enhanced the area’s reputation.

The Nature of Graduate Instruction

Graduate courses demand, on the part of both instructor and student, a capacity for critical analysis and a degree of research interest beyond those appropriate for undergraduate study. These courses generally carry a number in the 200 series and may be conducted in any of several ways: (1) as advanced lecture courses; (2) as seminars in which faculty and students present critical studies of selected problems within the subject field; (3) as independent reading or study under faculty supervision; or (4) as research projects conducted under faculty supervision. Graduate courses numbered 300–399 are designed for educational programs and may not be used to satisfy minimum graduate course requirements for degrees other than the specific degree program for which they are offered. Graduate courses numbered 400–499 are designed for professional programs and may not be used to satisfy minimum graduate course requirements for degrees other than the specific degree program for which they are offered. Courses at the upper-division level (100–197) may be taken in partial satisfaction of the requirements for an advanced degree.

Graduate students may take lower-division courses (1–99) for a letter grade, but grades earned in those courses will not be considered in their overall grade point average (GPA) for the purpose of determining good standing, except for students in the MIA programs who may take lower-division language courses for a letter grade and for inclusion in their GPA for the purpose of determining good standing.

The graduate student is accorded considerable liberty in choice of courses as long as the minimum departmental core course, departmental requirements and grading standards, and residency requirements are met.

Administration

The Graduate Division

The Graduate Division is administered by the dean of the Graduate Division, who is responsible for graduate admissions; graduate degree programs; the administration of fellowships, traineeships, and other graduate student support; the development of new programs; and the maintenance of common standards of high quality in graduate programs across the campus.

The dean reports to the executive vice chancellor of Academic Affairs and to the Graduate Council on the administration of graduate affairs.

The Graduate Council

The Graduate Council is a standing committee of the San Diego division of the Academic Senate composed of faculty and graduate students. The primary function of the council is to exercise overall responsibility for graduate study programs and to implement systemwide policies, procedures, requirements, and standards.

The Graduate Adviser

Graduate students direct requests for information about graduate study in a particular department or program to the graduate adviser. This position can be held by any faculty member who is eligible to serve as the chair of a doctoral committee. Please refer to the doctoral committee membership table for appropriate faculty titles.

The graduate adviser’s duties include

  1. Advising the dean on admission of graduate students.
  2. Advising graduate students regarding their programs of study and other matters pertinent to graduate work.
  3. Appointing individual advisers for each graduate student.
  4. Approving official study lists.
  5. Acting on the petitions of graduate students.
  6. Insuring that adequate records are maintained on all graduate students in the department, group, or school, and supplying relevant information as requested by the dean.
  7. Assisting the dean of the Graduate Division in the application of university regulations governing graduate students, graduate study, and graduate courses.
  8. Advising the chair of the department and the dean of the Graduate Division about developments of the graduate program in the department, group, or school.

Graduate Student Association

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is the officially recognized graduate student government at UC San Diego. It represents all graduate and medical students—including those at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the School of Global Policy and Strategy, Rady School of Management, the School of Medicine, and the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences—in academic, administrative, campus, and university matters. The GSA council, composed of six executive officers and representatives from each department, group, and school, nominates graduate student representatives for appointment to campus governing bodies and committees, including the Graduate Council, the Student Fee Advisory Committee, and the Systemwide Student Body Presidents’ Council. The GSA also sponsors projects and social activities designed to improve the academic and social lives of students. Meetings are open to all graduate, Skaggs School, and School of Medicine students.

For more information, contact the GSA at (858) 534-6504 or see Graduate Student Association.

Graduate Student Diversity

The University of California San Diego actively recruits and admits qualified students to graduate programs who will enhance the diversity of UC San Diego graduate programs.

UC San Diego recognizes the value to students, faculty, staff, and the community in having a campus that reflects the full richness and talents of the people of California. Diversity is viewed as a campus strength and a critical component of higher education. The campus has a firm commitment to recruit and admit graduate students from all demographic groups including students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds.

The Graduate Student Affairs Unit in the Graduate Division provides an array of counseling and advocacy services to assist US citizens and permanent residents in applying to graduate school, obtaining financial support, and successfully completing graduate degree programs.

UC San Diego offers the San Diego Fellowship Program, which is designed to increase campus diversity. The program fellowship provides two awards: the San Diego Fellowship and the Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship. Incoming students who have overcome significant economic, educational, or social hardship in pursuit of their education, or whose presence would enhance campus or departmental diversity in other ways, are eligible to apply for awards through the San Diego Fellowship Program. Refer to the “Fellowship and Traineeship” section for more details.

For assistance and further information about special opportunities for underrepresented students, contact the assistant dean, Graduate Division, Student Services Center (SSC), Fourth Floor, North, (858) 534-3555 or (858) 534-3550.

Career Services for Graduate Students

The Career Services Center offers a wide range of programs and services to assist graduate students with their career planning and job search needs. Individual career counseling is available on both an appointment and drop-in basis. In addition, workshops and special events are regularly offered, covering such areas as resume writing, job search strategies, and nonacademic employment options. The Career Services Center houses a career reference library containing information on employers, job listings, alumni contact list, salaries, sample resumes, and publications pertinent to graduate students’ career issues. An online database and Internet access computer lab are also available to assist in placement efforts. For more information, see Career Services Center.

General Requirements for Higher Degrees

Master’s Degrees

Master of Advanced Study (MAS)

The University of California offers graduate professional degree programs leading to the master of advanced study (MAS). This degree meets the needs of working professionals continuing in educational programs. While some MAS programs are tailored to career advancement, other programs enable individuals to pursue new career directions or advanced study in the liberal arts. Each MAS program accommodates flexible, part-time, academically qualified working adults who cannot be full-time students. All MAS programs must be in conformity with one of the following two plans: Plan I, Thesis Plan, or Plan II, Comprehensive Examination Plan. Pending program approval, an alternative capstone plan is a third option. Specific degree requirements, curriculum, and other details are available with each individual program.

Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Science (MS)

The master of arts and master of science degrees are offered under two plans: Plan I, Thesis, and Plan II, Comprehensive Examination. Since some departments offer both plans, with varying unit requirements, students should consult with their advisers before selecting a plan for completion of degree requirements.

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

The MBA is a professional degree that provides distinguished education in the theory and practice of management. The current program provides a comprehensive education in the fundamental disciplines of business coupled with a focus on the business and management issues faced by technology and innovation driven companies. Students interested in becoming managers and leaders in such companies and in understanding the role that technologies play in driving the global business marketplaces will be well suited for the Rady School of Management.

Master of Education (MEd)

The Department of Education Studies offers a master of education (MEd)/multiple subject credential to authorize teaching grades K–6, and a master of education (MEd)/single subject credential to authorize teaching grades 7–12 in the subject areas of biology, chemistry, geoscience, English, mathematics, and physics. For program requirements and curriculum, please refer to the “Department of Education Studies” in this catalog.

Master of Engineering (MEng)

The MEng is a terminal degree designed to address the technical needs of professional engineers. For program requirements and curriculum, please refer to the “Department of Bioengineering” in this catalog.

Master of Finance (MF)

The MF is a professional degree that emphasizes rigorous training in empirical finance, quantitative methods, financial econometrics, data analysis, and risk management. The degree is intended to provide a solid foundation in economic modeling and empirical finance. Please refer to the Rady School of Management.

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

The master of fine arts degree is offered in the Department of Literature, Department of Theatre and Dance, and Department of Visual Arts under a modified thesis plan. A short written thesis that may be regarded as a position paper, presenting a descriptive background for the student’s work, is required. There is no written final examination, but great weight is given to the candidate’s final presentation and the oral defense of the thesis.

Master of International Affairs (MIA)

The Master of International Affairs program provides training for those interested in pursuing professional careers in international affairs and international management with an emphasis on the countries of the Pacific Rim. The MIA is offered under two plans: a five-year BA/MIA offered only to current campus undergraduates majoring in International Studies and a two-year, post-graduate MIA. For program requirements and curriculum, please refer to the “School of Global Policy and Strategy” in this catalog.

Programs of Study

Plan I: Thesis Plan (for MA and MS)

A minimum of at least thirty-six quarter-units are required: twenty-four units in graduate courses, including at least twelve units in graduate-level courses in the major field and no more than twelve units in upper-division courses; and at least six units in research course work leading to the thesis. Students should consult their graduate program for specific unit and course requirements.

Following advancement to candidacy, the student electing Plan I must submit a thesis. The thesis committee, appointed by the chair of the department or group and approved by the dean of the Graduate Division, consists of at least three faculty members, with at least two from the candidate’s major department.

Information covering thesis preparation is contained in the publication, Preparation and Submission Manual for Doctoral Dissertations and Master’s Theses “Bluebook,” which can be found online. The completed thesis is submitted to the thesis committee for review.

When all members of the committee have approved the thesis, a final report of the thesis for the master of arts or master of science degree under Plan I must be completed. Prior to the formal submission of the thesis to the Graduate Division, the student is required to pay the thesis submission fee to the Cashier’s Office. Final approval and acceptance of the thesis by the dean of the Graduate Division (on behalf of the university archivist and Graduate Council) represent the final steps in the completion of all requirements by the candidate for a master of arts or master of science degree. All theses submitted in partial satisfaction of master’s degree requirements shall be catalogued with the university library and submitted to Proquest for publication.

Plan II: Comprehensive Examination Plan (for MA and MS)

A minimum of at least thirty-six quarter-units are required: twenty-four units in graduate courses, including a minimum of fourteen units in graduate-level courses in the major field; ten additional units in graduate courses; and twelve additional units in graduate or upper-division courses. Students should consult their graduate program for specific unit and course requirements.

Following advancement to candidacy, the student electing Plan II must pass a comprehensive examination administered by the major department. A final report of the comprehensive examination for the master of arts or master of science degree under Plan II is used to report successful completion of the examination requirement.

Plan III: Modified Thesis Program (for MFA)

Seventy-two quarter units for literature and visual arts and ninety quarter units for theatre and dance, with a GPA equivalent to 3.0 in upper-division and graduate course work undertaken, are required for a master of fine arts degree. Information covering thesis preparation is contained in the publication Preparation and Submission Manual for Doctoral Dissertations and Master’s Theses “Bluebook.” The completed thesis is submitted to the thesis committee for review.

Following advancement to candidacy, the student in the Modified Thesis, Plan III program, must submit a thesis. The thesis committee, appointed by the chair of the department and approved by the dean of the Graduate Division, consists of four faculty members: three from the department and one, preferably tenured, from outside the department.

When all members of the committee have approved the thesis, a final report of the modified thesis examination, Plan III, for the master of fine arts degree must be completed. Final approval and acceptance of the thesis by the dean of the Graduate Division (on behalf of the university archivist and Graduate Council) represent the final steps in the completion of all requirements by the candidate for a master of fine arts degree. All theses submitted in partial satisfaction of master of fine arts degree requirements shall be catalogued with the university library and submitted to Proquest for publication.

Apprentice Teaching

A maximum of six units of 500-level courses (apprentice teaching) may be credited toward the degree requirements.

Academic Residence

The minimum residence requirement for the master of arts or science degree is three academic quarters, at least one of which must follow advancement to candidacy. Academic residence is met by satisfactory completion of six units or more per quarter, some of which must be graduate level.

The minimum residence requirement for the master of fine arts degree is six academic quarters for literature and visual arts and eight academic quarters for theatre and dance, at least one of which must follow advancement to candidacy in all three programs. Academic residence is met by satisfactory completion of six units or more per quarter, some of which must be graduate level. The entire residence requirement must be satisfied at UC San Diego.

A candidate must be registered in the quarter in which the degree is to be awarded. (See “Registration in the Final Quarter for the Award of the Degree.”)

Advancement to Candidacy

After completing all preliminary requirements of the major with a GPA equivalent to 3.0 in upper-division and graduate course work undertaken, a total of no more than eight units of F and/or U grades, and a minimum of two quarters or more of residency, the student may file an Application for Candidacy for the Thesis or Comprehensive Examination, Plan I or II, for the master of arts or master of science degree, or for the Modified Thesis, Plan III, for the master of fine arts degree. An Application for Candidacy must be filed no later than two weeks after the first day of the quarter in which degree requirements are to be completed. (See Academic and Administrative Calendar.)

Transferring Credit

With the approval of the major department and the dean of the Graduate Division, upper-division and graduate course work completed with a grade of B– or better while in graduate standing at another campus of the University of California may be accepted in satisfaction of one of the three quarters of residence and up to one-half of the quarter-units of credit required for the master’s degree at UC San Diego.

On the recommendation of the major department and with the approval of the dean of the Graduate Division, a maximum of eight quarter-units of credit for work completed with a grade of B– or better in graduate standing at an institution other than the University of California may be applied toward a master’s degree at UC San Diego. Courses used must be taken prior to matriculation at UC San Diego.

In any case, no more than a total of one-half of the units required for a master’s degree may be transferred in from any UC or other institutions. Courses used for a previous degree may not be transferred. A letter from the institution from which the courses are being transferred will be required stating the courses were not used toward another degree.

Course work approved for transfer credit will not be included in calculating a student’s grade point average, regardless of the source.

Graduate Work Completed Elsewhere

In exceptional circumstances, a student may be given a leave of absence for the purpose of studying elsewhere. While appropriate credit may be allowed for course work completed elsewhere with a grade of B or better in a graduate program, the period involved will not reduce the UC San Diego academic residence requirement of six academic quarters for literature and visual arts and eight quarters for theatre and dance.

Doctoral Degrees

Doctor of Audiology (AuD)

The AuD is a professional doctoral degree offered jointly with San Diego State University (SDSU). The four-year degree program is designed for individuals who intend to specialize in clinical practice and to meet professional standards requiring a clinical doctorate as the entry-level degree for a certified audiologist. Graduates of this program will have the knowledge base, research exposure, and advanced clinical skills to enter the workforce in any setting, and will be prepared to function as independent audiology professionals in the expanding health care arena. For degree requirements and curriculum, please refer to the “Audiology” section in this catalog.

Doctor of Education (EdD)

The EdD is a professional doctoral degree in which regional professional educators gain content knowledge as well as specific skills related to instructional leadership within the K–12 and postsecondary educational community. Advanced EdD students will conduct research on professional practice within their own institution addressing specific local problems that have national implications for education. For degree requirements and curriculum, please refer to the “Department of Education Studies” section in this catalog.

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

The DMA degree is a professional doctoral degree that emphasizes the dual preparation for professional careers in the performance of contemporary music, as well as in the equally demanding area of teaching these skills on an advanced level. Candidates for this degree are expected to demonstrate musical excellence, artistic maturity, and the capability for doing original scholarly work. For degree requirements and curriculum, please refer to the “Department of Music” section in this catalog.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The PhD degree is a research oriented doctoral degree that requires individual study and specialization within a field or the establishment of connections among fields. It is not awarded solely for the fulfillment of technical requirements such as academic residence and course work. Candidates are recommended for the doctorate in recognition of having mastered in depth the subject matter of their discipline and having demonstrated the ability to make original contributions to knowledge in their field of study. More generally, the degree constitutes an affidavit of critical aptitude in scholarship, imaginative enterprise in research, and proficiency in communication, including—in most departments—practice in teaching.

Program of Study

The student’s program of study is determined in consultation with the faculty adviser who supervises the student’s activities until the appointment of the doctoral committee. A doctoral program generally involves two stages.

The first stage requires at least three quarters of academic residence and is spent in fulfilling the requirements established by the Academic Senate and by the major department, group, or school. When the department considers the student ready to take the qualifying examination, it arranges for the appointment of a doctoral committee. Immediately upon passing the qualifying examination administered by the doctoral committee, the student advances to candidacy.

The second or in-candidacy stage is devoted primarily to independent study and research and to the preparation of the dissertation. A minimum interval of three quarters of academic residence must elapse between advancement to candidacy and the final defense and filing of the dissertation.

Foreign Language Requirements

Some doctoral programs require candidates to demonstrate language proficiency in one or more languages as part of the formal requirements for the degree. In these cases, the testing of proficiency is the responsibility of the department, group, or school concerned.

Doctoral Time Limits

All graduate students in doctoral programs are subject to campus policy on time limits to their degree. Each graduate program has three time limits pertaining to students’ academic progress toward the doctoral degree: (1) the registered time by which a student must advance to doctoral candidacy, (2) the registered time during which a doctoral student is eligible for financial support, and (3) the registered time by which a student must complete all doctoral requirements.

Students will not be permitted to continue in doctoral status beyond the precandidacy and total registered time limits. Students will not be permitted to receive UC San Diego-administered financial support beyond the support limit. Information about these time limits is given in the descriptions of each department’s graduate program in this catalog and departmental publications.

University policy requires that graduate students be continuously registered—unless on an approved leave of absence—from the first quarter of enrollment to completion of degree requirements. (See “Continuous Registration” and “Leave of Absence/Extension.”)

For purposes of calculating when precandidacy, support, and total registered time limits are reached, accrued time is the elapsed time from first enrollment as a graduate student at UC San Diego less up to three quarters approved leave of absence. Time spent in graduate study at another institution or University of California campus prior to beginning graduate study at UC San Diego will not count toward accrued time, with the exception of students entering the doctoral program in electrical engineering, computer science, or music who have earned a master’s degree in that discipline. All of the following will count toward accrued time: time spent at UC San Diego as a master’s, non-degree, or intercampus exchange graduate student; time spent on leave beyond three quarters; time spent between completion of or withdrawal from a graduate program at UC San Diego and readmission.  

Further information may be obtained from departmental graduate coordinators or the Graduate Division.

Academic Residence

The minimum residence requirement for a doctoral degree is six quarters, three of which must be in continuous academic residence at UC San Diego. Residency is established by the satisfactory completion of six units or more per quarter, at least some of which must be at the graduate level. Joint doctoral students meet the UC San Diego academic residency requirement by successfully completing a minimum of thirty-six units of course work at UC San Diego.

A candidate must be registered in the final quarter in which the degree is to be awarded. (See “Registration in the Final Quarter.”)

The Doctoral Committee

At least three weeks prior to a scheduled qualifying examination, the department requests approval for the appointment of the doctoral committee by the dean of the Graduate Division. This committee conducts the qualifying examination, supervises the preparation and approval of the dissertation, and administers the dissertation defense.

The committee consists of five or more officers of instruction, no fewer than four of whom shall hold professorial titles of any rank. The committee members shall be chosen from two or more departments/programs; at least two members shall represent academic specialties that differ from the student’s field and one of these two must be a tenured UC San Diego faculty member from another department. Consult the departmental graduate coordinator or the Graduate Division for further details.

Reconstituted Doctoral Committee

For a variety of reasons, a doctoral committee may need to be reconstituted. At least two weeks prior to a scheduled qualifying examination or defense of the dissertation, the department requests approval for the reconstitution of the doctoral committee from the dean of the Graduate Division. The request must adhere to the same requirements listed above and must include the reason(s) for requesting the change.

Qualifying Examination and Advancement to Candidacy

The doctoral committee administers the qualifying examination and authorizes the issuance of the Report of the Qualifying Examination and Advancement to Candidacy. Formal advancement to candidacy requires the student to pay a candidacy fee to the cashier prior to submitting the form to the dean of the Graduate Division for approval. Students must maintain a GPA equivalent to 3.0 or better in upper-division and graduate course work with a total of no more than eight units of F and/or U grades in order to take the qualifying examination and advance to candidacy.

If the committee does not issue a unanimous report on the examination, the dean of the Graduate Division shall be called upon to review and present the case for resolution to the Graduate Council, which shall determine appropriate action.

Dissertation and Final Examination

A draft of the doctoral dissertation should be submitted to each member of the doctoral committee at least four weeks before the final examination. The form of the final draft must conform to procedures outlined in the publication, Preparation and Submission Manual for Doctoral Dissertations and Master’s Theses “Bluebook.

The doctoral committee shall supervise and approve the candidate’s dissertation, and conduct the final oral defense, which shall be public and so announced.

If the committee does not issue a unanimous report on the examination, the dean of the Graduate Division shall be called upon to review and present the case for resolution to the Graduate Council, which shall determine appropriate action.

The Report of the Final Examination and Filing of the Dissertation for the Doctoral Degree form is initiated by the department, group, or school, signed by members of the doctoral committee, and the chair of the (major) department, group, or school.

The candidate submits the dissertation to the Graduate Division. Final approval and acceptance of the dissertation by the dean of the Graduate Division (on behalf of the university archivist and Graduate Council) represent the final steps in the completion of all requirements by the candidate for a doctoral degree. All dissertations submitted in partial satisfaction of doctoral degree requirements shall be catalogued with the university library and submitted to Proquest for publication.

Candidate in Philosophy Degree

In several departments, as approved by the Graduate Council, the intermediate degree of candidate in philosophy (CPhil) is awarded to students upon advancement to candidacy for the PhD. The minimum residence requirement for this degree is four quarters of continuous academic residence at UC San Diego. The CPhil cannot be conferred simultaneously with or following the award of a PhD.

Postgraduate Appointments

A UC San Diego graduate student is not eligible for any UC San Diego postdoctoral appointment until all requirements for the doctoral degree have been completed. Such appointments may begin after the university archivist has accepted the dissertation and the Graduate Division has accepted the final report.

Registration in the Final Quarter for the Award of the Degree

A student completing course work, using university facilities including the library, or making any demands upon faculty time (other than final reading of the thesis or dissertation, or administering the comprehensive or doctoral examination), must register in the final quarter in which the degree is to be conferred.

Filing Fee

A student registered in the immediately preceding quarter, or on an approved leave of absence who has completed all requirements except for the final reading of the dissertation or thesis or the taking of the final examination is eligible to petition to pay a filing fee in lieu of registering and paying all required fees in the final quarter. The filing fee applies to both residents and nonresidents. Students must apply for this privilege by means of a General Petition.

Special Degree Programs

Graduate Programs in the Health Sciences

UC San Diego offers research training programs in the health sciences leading to the doctor of philosophy degree. The purpose of these graduate programs is to prepare students for careers in research and teaching in the basic medical sciences. Program requirements are flexible, consisting of graduate courses and supervised laboratory or clinical investigation. Graduate programs in the health sciences are offered by (1) regular campuswide departments with activities related to the health sciences, for example, the Departments of Bioengineering, Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Psychology and (2) interdisciplinary groups of faculty drawn from the School of Medicine and from campuswide departments or from San Diego State University.

The following departments or interdisciplinary graduate groups provide research-training opportunities in the biomedical sciences and should be contacted directly for further information: biomedical sciences, biochemistry (in either biology or chemistry and biochemistry), bioengineering, bioinformatics, biology, biophysics, chemistry, clinical psychology, medicine, neurosciences, physics, psychology, public health (in epidemiology, global health, or health behavior), and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

PhD-MD Program

Students may meet the requirements for both the PhD and MD in programs offered jointly by the School of Medicine and the graduate programs in the health sciences. In most cases, students are first admitted to the School of Medicine and may then apply for admission to a relevant graduate program. However, those students who wish to be considered for admission to the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) may apply for admission to the School of Medicine and the MSTP concurrently.

Elements of the first two years of the medical school curriculum satisfy many of the requirements of the graduate program, but additional courses will be required. Thus, the student must complete requirements for the PhD in accordance with the regulations of a department or a group and must in addition meet the requirements for the professional degree. Students interested in such programs should consult the associate dean for Student Affairs, School of Medicine.

Joint Doctoral Programs

Certain departments of the University of California cooperate with similar departments on several campuses in the California State University System to offer joint programs of study leading to the doctoral degree. At UC San Diego, joint doctoral programs in audiology, biology, chemistry, clinical psychology, engineering sciences, geophysics, interdisciplinary research on substance use, language and communicative disorders, mathematics and science education, and public health (in epidemiology, global health, or health behavior) are currently offered in conjunction with San Diego State University, and in educational leadership in conjunction with California State University, San Marcos. A PhD in drama and theatre is offered in conjunction with University of California, Irvine. Applicants interested in these joint programs should consult the UC San Diego Departments of Bioengineering, Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Education Studies, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Family Medicine and Public Health, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Medicine, Structural Engineering, Surgery, or Theatre and Dance; or the San Diego State University Office of the Dean, College of Engineering; the Department of Psychology; the Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education; the School of Public Health; or the School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. Joint doctoral students meet the UC San Diego academic residency requirement by successfully completing a minimum of thirty-six units of course work at UC San Diego.

Special Programs

Intercampus Exchange Program for Graduate Students

A graduate student registered on any campus of the University of California, who wishes to take advantage of educational opportunities for study and research available on another campus in the UC system, must apply to become an intercampus exchange student on that UC campus. UC San Diego students must have completed at least one quarter of study and be in good standing prior to beginning an exchange.

Informal arrangements between departmental faculty on the two campuses must be undertaken prior to submission of a student’s application to ensure that space in desired courses, seminars, or facilities will be available.

NO LATER THAN FOUR WEEKS PRIOR to the opening of the term on the host campus, a student must complete the UC Intercampus Exchange Program Application, available online. This application, approved by the student’s departmental graduate adviser and the graduate dean of the home campus, is forwarded for approval by the department and the graduate dean on the host campus.

Students participating in an intercampus exchange must pay all required fees and enroll as appropriate at the home campus. Evidence of fee payment, at the home campus, must be presented to enroll in classes at the host campus.

An exchange student is not admitted to graduate standing at the host campus, but is considered a graduate student in residence at the home campus. Grades obtained in courses taken by the student enrolled in the intercampus graduate student exchange program are transferred to the home campus for entry on the student’s official record. Library, health center, and other student privileges are extended by the host campus.

Education Abroad Program and the Opportunities Abroad Program

Graduate students may apply to study at most Education Abroad Program (EAP) host institutions, provided that they meet EAP requirements and have completed at least one year of graduate work prior to departure, are in good standing, and have the support of their academic department and graduate dean. Students pay fees to the University of California and are enrolled at UC San Diego while abroad. Full academic credit is received for courses satisfactorily completed.

For a detailed list of the countries with EAP study centers and for study abroad information, see “Education Abroad Program.”

At UC San Diego, complete information and application forms for the various overseas campuses may be obtained from the Programs Abroad Office, International Center, University Center. (See Programs Abroad Office.) In addition, the Programs Abroad Office also offers information and advisory services to graduate and undergraduate students interested in pursuing other activities involving study, research, work, or travel abroad.

In Absentia Registration

(Other than Intercampus Exchange Program)

If the research and study program of a graduate student requires being outside the state of California for an extended period of a minimum of one quarter, the student may apply for in absentia registration. During such periods, a student is required to remain a registered student at UC San Diego and to carry twelve units of course work or research. Fifteen percent of the combined tuition and student services fee will be assessed. All required tuition and fees including, but not limited to the campus based fees, health insurance fee, and nonresident supplemental tuition, if applicable, must be paid.

A graduate student who holds a fellowship, traineeship, or a research assistantship and desires to register in absentia may do so under the following circumstances: The student must obtain the approvals of the academic department and the dean of the Graduate Division, and agree to comply with the rules and regulations governing the award or appointment.

Regulations concerning accepting additional awards or compensation for appointments as outlined under the financial assistance section apply to in absentia registration.

UC San Diego Extension

Students wishing to use UC San Diego Extension course work taken prior to admission at UC San Diego as a graduate student in partial satisfaction of requirements for a master’s degree must file a General Petition with the Graduate Division. Acceptance of such course work is subject to the regulations on transferring credit (which are described elsewhere in this catalog), the recommendation of the major department, and approval of the dean of the Graduate Division, and will be considered upon satisfactory completion of course work in a regular session.

Through a reciprocal agreement with UC San Diego Extension, a limited number of spaces in Extension classes are open to full-time graduate students (registered for twelve units or more) in good standing without payment of additional fees. The number of spaces available for each quarter varies. The student must obtain a UC San Diego Application for Enrollment from the Graduate Division and personally secure the necessary approvals. Course work taken through complimentary enrollment cannot be used in partial satisfaction of requirements for a master’s degree, nor can it be used toward the twelve-unit full-time enrollment requirement.

Postdoctoral Education

Postdoctoral education emphasizes scholarship and continued research training for individuals who have recently completed a doctoral degree. The postdoctoral scholar conducts research under the general oversight of a faculty mentor in preparation for a career position in academe, industry, government, or the nonprofit sector.

The Office of Research Affairs has responsibility for the administrative management of the postdoctoral scholar program. Interested candidates should directly contact the department, research unit, or faculty member for information on available positions or training opportunities. The department or research unit initiates all appointments.

Postdoctoral scholars are eligible for the UC postdoctoral scholar benefits program, academic photo identification card, and access to campus resources (library, recreation facilities, etc.).

Registration Requirements and Procedures

Standards of Scholarship

Only upper-division, graduate, and professional courses in which grades of A, B, C (including plus [+] or minus [–]), D, or S (Satisfactory) are earned can be counted in satisfaction of the requirements for a higher degree. An Incomplete grade, as well as a blank grade, will automatically lapse to an F or U if it has not been changed by the end of the following quarter. Students should regularly examine their transcript and consult with instructors and the department to clarify any discrepancies.

A student’s grade point average (GPA) is computed by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total unit value of graded upper-division, graduate, and professional courses undertaken at UC San Diego with the exception of those undertaken in UC San Diego Extension (see “Grading”).

Grades of S, U, I, IP, NR, and W are excluded in computing a grade point average. Lower-division course work units are not used in computing a graduate student’s grade point average or in satisfying program requirements for a higher degree, with the exception of language courses taken by students in the MIA program.

Each department or group prepares, not later than the second week of each spring quarter, a detailed, written evaluation of each of its doctoral or MFA students. These evaluations are designed to inform students of their progress and to improve communications between faculty and graduate students. Evaluations are discussed with students who may elect to add written comments before signing the copy of the evaluation sent to the Graduate Division. A student’s signature on the evaluation indicates knowledge of the assessment but does not necessarily signify agreement.

To be in good standing academically a graduate student must meet departmental standards including a satisfactory spring evaluation, maintain a GPA of 3.0 or the equivalent in upper-division, graduate, and professional course work, and must not have accumulated more than a total of eight units of F and/or U grades overall, unless departmental standards specify more stringent grade requirements.

Good standing is a requirement for

  1. holding academic and staff appointments
  2. holding fellowship, scholarship, or traineeship appointments
  3. participating in the Education Abroad Program (EAP)
  4. advancing to candidacy for a graduate degree
  5. going on a leave of absence
  6. receiving a graduate degree from UC San Diego

Graduate students who are not in good standing for any reason are subject to probation and/or disqualification from further graduate study.

Enrollment

All students must enroll and pay tuition and fees on or before the deadline dates established by the Office of the Registrar for each quarter to avoid paying late fees. Enrollment materials are obtained at the major department. See Schedule of Classes for current deadlines.

Full-Time Student

A full-time student is required to be registered for twelve units each quarter of each academic year until the completion of all requirements for the degree, including the filing of the thesis or dissertation.

Part-Time Student

A part-time student is enrolled in fewer than twelve units a quarter but is admitted as a regular student. A part-time student must pay full tuition and fees unless approved by the dean of the Graduate Division to enroll in half-time status for six units or fewer. A student must file the petition for half-time study with the Graduate Division no later than the last day of the second week of the quarter to be eligible for reduced tuition and fees. See “Part-Time Study, Including Half-Time.”

Schedule of Classes

Detailed information on registration and enrollment procedures is contained in the quarterly Schedule of Classes, found on the Office of Admissions and Records homepage. (See Schedule of Classes.) It is the responsibility of each graduate student to keep informed of and meet all enrollment and registration (tuition and fee payment) deadlines.

Registration Procedures

Students are considered enrolled when they have requested at least one course and space in it has been reserved. Every effort will be made to enroll students in their preferred class sections. Students are not considered registered until they have both enrolled in classes and paid registration fees.

Continuous Registration

All graduate students are required to be registered each quarter until all degree requirements have been completed, including filing of the thesis or dissertation and the final examination, or to be on an approved leave of absence.

A student who fails to register or to file an approved Leave of Absence form by the registrar’s deadline date (no later than the end of the second week each quarter) will be assumed to be withdrawn from UC San Diego and will be dropped from the official register of graduate students. In addition, all outstanding Incomplete grades, and NRs assigned by the registrar, will lapse to Fs or Us unless cleared by the end of the current quarter. A student who is on leave of absence or who has withdrawn from the university is not entitled to withdraw books from the library or to use other university facilities or faculty time. A student who is withdrawn must petition for readmission to resume study at a later date, pay the nonrefundable readmission fee, and be considered for readmission with all others requesting admission to that quarter.

Payment of Registration Fees

Please refer to the “Payment of Fees” section in the “Undergraduate and Graduate Registration” portion of this catalog or the quarterly Schedule of Classes, which outlines procedures for payment of registration fees.

Doctoral degree candidacy will lapse for graduate students who fail to register and are not granted a formal leave of absence. To be reinstated to candidacy, a graduate student must be readmitted, enroll and register, be readvanced to candidacy, and pay the candidacy fee.

Late Registration/Deadline and Penalty Fees

Students will be assessed late fees if not enrolled and registered by the registrar’s published deadlines outlined in this catalog and the quarterly Schedule of Classes. Please refer to the “Graduate Admission Information and Enrollment Deadlines” portion of this catalog or to the quarterly Schedule of Classes for additional information.

Changes in Course Selection

Add/drop changes in class enrollment must be filed with the Office of the Registrar in order for the student to receive credit for added courses and be relieved of responsibility for dropped courses. Please refer to the Enrolling in Classes portion of the registrar’s website for additional information.

Enrollment Limits

A full-time graduate student in a regular quarter is expected to enroll in twelve units of upper-division or graduate course work with the exception that in the School of Global Policy and Strategy the normal course load is sixteen units. A student who wishes to take units in excess of these limits must obtain the approval of the graduate adviser or department chair.

Graduate students holding half-time appointments as graduate student researchers, teaching assistants, language assistants, readers, or other employment titles, or who receive support from traineeships, fellowships, or scholarships paid through the university or directly to the student, must enroll and register for twelve units of upper-division and/or graduate course work and research each quarter.

Teaching units (500 series) above the full-time program of twelve units are not considered an overload.

Graduate students approved for half-time study are limited to a maximum of six units of upper-division or graduate course work each quarter.

Changes of Name or Address

Students must file official change of name with the Office of the Registrar. (See Changing Your Name in University Records.) Students update their current or permanent address on their own TritonLink account.

Leave of Absence/Extension

A student who discontinues graduate study with the intention of resuming during a later quarter, with department approval, files a formal Leave of Absence/Extension form prior to leaving the campus. Graduate students must have completed at least one quarter of academic residence and be in good standing (GPA 3.0 minimum or equivalent and no more than eight units of U or F) to be granted a leave. All graduate students are limited to a maximum of three quarters of leave.

Prior to the end of the second week of instruction of the quarter in which the leave is to begin, a student must complete a Leave of Absence form and obtain required signatures as listed under the clearance section of the form, and the approvals of the graduate adviser or chair of the (major) department, group, or school, and dean of the Graduate Division. Tuition and fee refund will be subject to the refund schedule. (See Schedule of Refunds.) A graduate student who enrolled in classes before requesting a leave of absence must also request a withdrawal from course work for the quarter of leave to avoid paying tuition and fees for that quarter. Graduate students may request an extension of an approved leave prior to the expiration of the leave, up to the maximum of three quarters in all degree programs. For an extension of an approved leave, the student must complete a new Leave of Absence form and obtain the signatures of the graduate adviser or chair of (major) department, and dean of the Graduate Division.

Parenting Leave

During the quarter in which childbirth or adoption occurs, a graduate student may choose one of the following registration options:

  1. Continue registering as a full-time graduate student and retain eligibility for support.
  2. Reduce to part-time status (less than twelve units) and be eligible for up to 25 percent time employment on campus.
  3. Take a leave of absence.

During or after the quarter in which childbirth or adoption occurs, a graduate student who has primary responsibility for caring for a child up to the age of five will be granted, on request, a leave of absence for the purpose of caring for the child for a maximum of three quarters.

The total amount of time for which graduate students may receive extensions of time limits for parenting or childbearing may not exceed three quarters in a graduate student’s career at UC San Diego. Approved leaves for childbearing and parenting will not count in the three-quarter leave limit available to all graduate students.

In all types of approved leaves of absence, a student who has a long-term loan is considered to be out of school while on a leave of absence and must set up an exit interview with the Loan Records Office before leaving the campus. Since rules and regulations pertaining to such loans are complex, it is to the student’s advantage to determine loan requirements prior to seeking a leave of absence.

A student on leave of absence may not (1) be employed by UC San Diego, UC San Diego Medical Center, or UC Extension, or hold a fellowship, traineeship, or similar appointment administered by the university, (2) use university facilities, (3) complete a qualifying examination for advancement to candidacy, or (4) place demands on faculty, including discussion of thesis or dissertation work, either directly or by correspondence, during the period of leave.

A student may remain in student housing while on an approved leave of absence providing he or she has been a full-time student (twelve units or more) for three consecutive quarters immediately prior to the leave of absence and is eligible for university housing.

Students must return all borrowed library material if requesting a leave of absence or withdrawing.

Any student on an approved leave of absence must contact his or her major department to be reinstated and cleared for enrollment and registration.

A new statement of legal residence is required for all graduate students returning from a leave of absence of two quarters or more.

Withdrawal

Students withdrawing from the university must obtain a Withdrawal form from their graduate department and secure appropriate signatures. The approved form must be filed with the Graduate Division.

Tuition and fee refund will be subject to the refund schedule. (See Schedule of Refunds.)

A registered student who stops attending classes and fails to file a Leave of Absence, Extension, and/or Withdrawal form will receive a grade of F or U in each course, thus jeopardizing eligibility for readmission.

Bar from Registration/Nonacademic

After suitable warning, a student may be barred from further registration for a variety of nonacademic reasons, including failure to comply with official notices, to settle financial obligations when due, to provide final undergraduate transcripts, or other related matters.

Bar from Registration/Academic

Academic disqualification is determined by the dean of the Graduate Division in consultation with the student’s department, and normally relates to: unsatisfactory academic performance, e.g., failure to maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or better; failure to meet departmental criteria of performance; failure to advance to candidacy or complete the degree within established time limits; accumulation of more than eight units of F or U grades; or failure to comply with conditions set at the time of admission to a graduate degree program.

General Policies and Requirements

Integrity of Scholarship

See UC San Diego Policy on Integrity of Scholarship.

Student Conduct

Graduate students enrolling in the university assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner compatible with the university’s function as an educational institution. Rules concerning student conduct, student organizations, use of university facilities, and related matters are set forth in UC San Diego campus regulations applying to campus activities, organizations, and students. These are available online on the Office of Student Conduct website.

Student Appeals

Academic Appeals

The faculty of a department or program has primary responsibility for maintaining the excellence of graduate programs, and it is in the best position to judge its students’ academic performance. Consequently a graduate student appeal of an academic decision should first be made to the individual faculty member who made the decision. If this does not result in a resolution that is satisfactory to the student, he or she may appeal to the department or program chair. Graduate students may appeal a course grade or PhD or master’s qualifying or final exam result only if he or she believes that nonacademic criteria were applied in determining the course or exam grade. A student who wishes to appeal a course grade or exam result should follow the procedure described in “Grade Appeals.”

Nonacademic Appeals

Graduate students may appeal actions of departments, programs, individual faculty members, or administrators relating to a student’s academic program or financial support if they believe that

  1. due process was not followed in arriving at a decision, or
  2. personal prejudice affected the judgment rendered.

A nonacademic appeal may be submitted to the department or program chair, individual faculty member, or administrator within one month of the date of learning of the action or the date that the student should have reasonably known of the action.

If an appeal to an individual faculty member or administrator is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction, he or she may then submit a written appeal to the department or program chair, who shall attempt to adjudicate the case with the faculty member or administrator and the student within two weeks.

If the appeal is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction at the department or program level, he or she may then attempt to resolve the matter through written appeal to the dean of the Graduate Division, who will attempt to adjudicate the case within two weeks. The dean may take the appeal to the Graduate Council for review, which may extend the time required to reach a final resolution.

The student’s request for the dean’s review should include a written statement describing the nature of the grievance, along with copies of any and all documents in his or her possession supporting the grievance. Students are encouraged to contact the assistant dean for Student Affairs in the Graduate Division for assistance with the appeal process.

Employment Appeals

Students holding an academic appointment, such as graduate student researcher, are subject to the Academic Personnel Manual policy 140. A copy of this policy is online at the UCOP Division of Academic Affairs website. Appeals by teaching assistants, readers, and tutors are covered by the ASE/UAW contract that may be viewed at the UCOP Human Resources and Benefits website.

Other Appeals

Grievances concerning violations of student rights are covered by the Student Grievance Procedures. Examples of violations of students’ rights include those affecting rights to privacy or protection from discrimination. These grievances are handled by the Office of Student Conduct, (858) 534-6225.

Students who disagree with an instructor’s response to his or her request for disability accommodation may appeal the faculty decision or action to the Educational Policy Committee, as provided in the Academic Senate Bylaws and Regulations.

A student’s appeal of a grade based on disability discrimination follows the grade appeal process for resolution. A student’s challenge of any other action based on an alleged disability discrimination, must be lodged in accordance with student grievance procedures in the student conduct code.

Student rights grievances should be made promptly to the decision maker, if known to the student. If an appeal to an individual faculty member or administrator is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction, he or she may submit a written appeal to the appropriate committee, governmental body, unit manager, supervisor, or designated representative for review and disposition. Such appeal must be made not later than one hundred calendar days from the date of the incident causing the grievance. If the appeal at this level is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction, the appeal may be continued as described in the Student Grievance Procedures.

Appeal and other rights for students accused of violating UC San Diego policies and procedures are outlined in the student conduct code.

Exceptions

A student may request an exception to the normal procedures and requirements governing graduate studies by submitting a General Petition, available from the department. The petition must state clearly the reasons for requesting the exception and bear all required approvals before being submitted to the Graduate Division. All requests for exceptions supported by the dean of the Graduate Division will be submitted to the Educational Policy Committee of the UC San Diego Academic Senate for consideration.

Requests for exceptions to time limits require a letter of explanation and support from the student’s research adviser, and support and justification from the program’s graduate adviser, and endorsement by the department or group chair. Such requests are submitted to the Graduate Council through the dean of the Graduate Division. Exceptions to the time limits policy are granted only in the case of truly exceptional and unavoidable circumstances.

Financial

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees are subject to change without notice. For updated information regarding tuition and fees, see the Registration Fees website.   

All receipts for payments made to the cashier, whatever their nature, should be carefully preserved. Not only do they constitute evidence that financial obligations have been discharged, but they may be required to support a claim that certain documents or petitions have been filed.

Tuition and fees for graduate students approved for enrollment in a half-time program (not to exceed six units) may be reduced by one-half of tuition and one-half of nonresident supplemental tuition for nonresidents.

California Residency and Nonresident Supplemental Tuition

Each new student entering UC San Diego is required to submit a Statement of Legal Residence to the Office of the Registrar. No nonresident supplemental tuition is charged to students classified as residents of California. Nonresidents, however, are required to pay quarterly nonresident supplemental tuition.

For a complete statement covering California residence requirements, determination of residence for nonresident supplemental tuition purposes, and/or recognized exceptions, read online about residence for tuition purposes. Additional information may be obtained from the Campus Residence Deputy, Office of the Registrar, Student Services Center, Second Floor, Suite 261. No other university personnel are authorized to supply information relative to residence requirements for nonresident supplemental tuition purposes. Students seeking to establish California residency for nonresident supplemental tuition purposes are advised to review the requirements and deadlines. Adherence to the published deadlines is the responsibility of each student and is essential. Exceptions to waive or extend deadlines are not considered.

To the extent funds are available, subject to change, waiver of nonresident supplemental tuition may be granted to spouses and dependent, unmarried children under age twenty-one of university faculty members who are qualified for membership in the Academic Senate. Inquiries should be directed to the Office of the Registrar or the Academic Senate Office.

University Student Services Fee

The university student services fee is a quarterly fee required of all registered students, and it must be paid at the time of the student’s registration. This fee is for services that benefit the student and are complementary to, but not part of, the regular instructional programs of the university. No part of this fee is refunded to students who do not make use of these services; however, students who petition and are approved for in absentia study will receive a waiver of 85 percent of the student services fee. Exemption from this fee may be granted to surviving children of certain deceased California fire fighters or police officers. Students who believe they may qualify for an exemption on this basis must consult with the Financial Aid Office, Student Services Center (SSC), Third Floor North, for a ruling.

Student Health Services and Insurance Plans

The Student Health Service (SHS) is a nationally accredited health care facility providing primary health care for no or minimal charge during the academic year for all students who pay the university registration fee. Students with the University of California Student Health Insurance Plan (UC SHIP) in the spring have access to the SHS during the summer at no additional charge. Students without UC SHIP may be seen in the summer for a modest fee. Additional information on the wide variety of services available at SHS is available via the web at http://studenthealth.ucsd.edu.

SHS provides primary health care to all students with UC SHIP. Access to UC SHIP benefits requires written SHS referral except in cases of emergency care or care 150 miles out of the UC San Diego area.

The Student Health Insurance Program (SHIP)

UC SHIP is a mandatory year-round insurance plan for graduate and professional students unless a waiver has been granted. (See “Waivers.”) Students must be enrolled in UC SHIP for the spring quarter in order to retain coverage through summer. Three quarterly payments will provide year-round coverage under UC SHIP. The spring quarter premium extends insurance coverage through the summer quarter. Benefits and additional information may be viewed at the website http://studenthealth.ucsd.edu.

Premium payment for UC SHIP is due with the payment of the registration fee. Premiums for students holding graduate academic appointment titles for a full academic term at 25 percent time or greater will be paid directly by the university. Premiums for most students holding fellowships and training grants are also paid directly. Loans to cover premiums may be available for students who receive need-based financial assistance.

For first-year students arriving on campus prior to the start of the academic calendar year, it is highly recommended that the student review current insurance status and purchase short term coverage if necessary. Insurance information may be obtained by calling the insurance counselor at (858) 534-2124.

Refunds

No premium refunds are permitted, except when a student withdraws on or prior to the first day of classes, in which case a full refund of the premium will be made and coverage for that quarter will be canceled effective from the first day of the quarter. If an insured enters the armed forces, a pro-rata refund of premium paid will be made upon request. Tuition and fee refund will be subject to the refund schedule. (See Schedule of Refunds.) That refund schedule is effective beginning on the first day of the quarter and counts all calendar days. Students cannot expect exceptions to this schedule, regardless of the circumstances of the leave of absence/withdrawal request.

Leave of Absence

A student is eligible to be enrolled in UC SHIP for a lifetime total of two academic quarters when on an approved leave of absence. A student on approved leave is responsible for his or her health insurance enrollment, premium payment, and Student Health Service fee payment. Enrollment in UC SHIP is through the Student Health Insurance Office.

Waivers

Students already insured under a policy containing benefits equal to or better than UC SHIP may be eligible for UC SHIP waivers for up to one academic year. Documents required for a waiver are: 1) student’s written request, 2) proof of present insurance and premium payment to the end of the quarter, 3) a copy of the summary of insurance benefits, and 4) a copy of the insurance identification cards. Submit written requests with all required documents directly to UC San Diego, Student Health Insurance Office, 9500 Gilman Drive # 0039, La Jolla, CA, 92093-0039 no later than the last business day of the first week of the quarter. The insurance coordinator will mail final decisions regarding waiver requests to the student.

Tuition

Tuition was established as a required fee for all students beginning with the fall quarter 1970. It is used to cover a variety of educational costs as determined by the regents. Tuition may be reduced by one-half for students enrolled in six units or fewer. (See “Part-Time Study, Including Half-Time.”)

Reduced Fee Enrollments

  1. Eighty-five percent of the combined tuition and student services fee may be waived for graduate students whose research or study requires them to remain outside the state of California for five weeks or more of the quarter. Students must file a General Petition for this privilege. The reduction pertains to 85 percent of the combined tuition and student services fee only. A student must pay, in addition, all required fees including, but not limited to, the remaining tuition and student services fee, student center fee, recreation facility fee, health insurance fee, and nonresident supplemental tuition fee, if applicable.
  2. Graduate students approved for enrollment in a half-time program (not to exceed six units) are eligible for a reduction in fees of one-half tuition, and, if applicable, one-half of the nonresident supplemental tuition fee.
  3. A full-time employee who is not subject to nonresident supplemental tuition, who has worked full time for the university for at least six months prior to the latest date that registration will be accepted, and who meets the admission requirements of the university is eligible for two-thirds reduction of both the university student services fee and university tuition for up to nine units or three regular session university courses per quarter, whichever is greater. An employee so registered is ineligible for the services and facilities of the counseling center, recreation facilities, or the Student Health Services, other than those services to which the employee is regularly entitled (University of California Staff Personnel Policy 260.23). Authorization for this privilege is secured from the Staff Personnel Office for staff employees, or from the Academic Personnel Office for individuals on academic appointments.

Note: In accordance with Academic Senate regulations, no voting member of the San Diego Division of the Academic Senate shall be recommended for a higher degree from UC San Diego unless the dean of the Graduate Division shall have certified that all requirements for that degree have been met prior to the appointment to a rank carrying the voting privilege.

Miscellaneous Fees and Fines

Graduate Students should also be aware of the following charges:

Application fee for admission
 
   Domestic
$80
   International
100
Petition for Readmission
80
Advancement to Candidacy for PhD
50
Late payment of fees (Late registration)
50
Late enrollment
50
Filing Fee
162
Master’s Thesis submission fee
25

 

Financial Assistance

Several kinds of financial assistance are available to graduate students at UC San Diego. These include fellowships and traineeships; assistantships in teaching, language instruction, and research; scholarships in full or partial payment of tuition and/or fees; and loans. Further details about these awards/appointments may be obtained from departmental, group, or school offices.

Descriptions in this section deal entirely with awards administered directly by the university.

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.”

Fellowships and Traineeships

Regents Fellowships, offered to students with excellent academic and research qualifications, may provide a maximum stipend of $34,000 plus tax-free tuition and fees and nonresident supplemental tuition, if applicable. These awards may be supplemented with a partial graduate student researcher or research fellowship from available departmental resources. The amount of the supplement varies by department.

The San Diego Fellowship is designed to increase the quality of education and research by enhancing campus diversity. Currently it provides a minimum stipend of $1,666 per month plus resident fees and one year of nonresident supplemental tuition. These awards are usually given for two years. Academic departments are responsible for two additional years of support for the PhD, DMA, or EdD students awarded this fellowship. For further information, see http://grad.ucsd.edu/financial/fellowships/entering-students/sd-fellowship.html.

The seven most outstanding nominees for the San Diego Fellowship are awarded the Cota-Robles Fellowship. Fellows receive a $25,000 stipend plus fees for two years. Nonresident fellows are eligible for a nonresident supplemental tuition scholarship in their first year. Doctoral fellows are guaranteed comparable departmental support for at least two additional years.

All other fellowship stipends are established by the department, group, or school and may vary in tenure from one to twelve months and in any amount up to a maximum of $3,850 per month. Fellowships awarded for one, two, or three quarters will also provide tax-free tuition and fees and nonresident supplemental tuition, if applicable. US citizens and permanent residents are eligible for nonresident supplemental tuition scholarships only for their first three quarters at UC San Diego. Awardees must register for twelve units of upper-division and graduate-level work each quarter and must remain in good academic standing, as described under “Standards of Scholarship” in this catalog.

Fellows and trainees on twelve-month tenure are required to devote full time to graduate study and research during the summer as well as during the academic year. A brief resume of proposed summer graduate study or research, approved by the appropriate adviser, must be filed with the dean of the Graduate Division before the end of the spring quarter preceding the summer portion of the fellowship or traineeship tenure.

Some fellowships and traineeships offer the privilege of participation in the teaching or research programs of the university.

The principal types of fellowships/scholarships at UC San Diego are the following:

  1. Regents Fellowships
  2. San Diego and Cota-Robles Fellowships
  3. Research fellowships
  4. US Public Health Service Predoctoral Traineeships
  5. Tuition and Fee Scholarships
  6. Nonresident Supplemental Tuition Scholarships (eligibility limited to international students and first-year domestic nonresident students, only)

Note to Fellowship, Scholarship, or Traineeship Holders

The first billing statement will be sent to each enrolled student about one month prior to the start of each quarter. Tuition and fees and nonresident supplemental tuition awarded to pay registration fees will be credited to the graduate student’s account and appear on the statement as a payment or credit. Each award recipient should carefully check the amounts listed on the statement against the graduate award letter and contact the Graduate Division immediately if there is a discrepancy. Graduate students with partial tuition and fees and/or nonresident supplemental tuition awards will be required to pay the balance by the deadline to complete their registration.

Fellowship, scholarship, or traineeship holders must enroll in and maintain full-time enrollment status (at least twelve units per quarter).

Assistantships

Graduate students may be appointed by UC San Diego on a part-time basis as graduate student researchers and teaching assistants. Graduate students enrolled full-time (twelve units or more) may be appointed up to 50 percent time (twenty hours/week) during the academic year and 100 percent time during the summer months, although most departments limit support to 50 percent time year-round. Students enrolled for less than full-time (one to eleven units) are eligible, at the discretion of the department, for 25 percent time appointments. Appointees must remain in good academic standing, as described under “Standards of Scholarship.”

Graduate students who are appointed as graduate student researchers are eligible for remission of tuition and fees if they have a minimum 25 percent appointment for the entire quarter for which tuition and fees are paid, or the dollar equivalent; have an appointment effective with the first week of instruction in the quarter for which tuition and fees are paid; and are within the time limits for support described earlier in this section.

Teaching assistants and others appointed on academic titles at 25 percent time or more for the quarter are eligible for payment of partial tuition and fee remission of 100 percent of the annual tuition and student services fee and 100 percent of the Graduate Student Health Insurance fee.

Graduate students appointed as teaching assistants, associates, readers, or tutors (ASEs) are represented by the Association of Student Employees/UAW under a collective bargaining agreement with the University of California. All salary payments under these titles are subject to a deduction for union membership dues or agency fee deduction for students who choose not to become members of the union. The university/UAW agreement is available at http://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/labor/bargaining-units/.

All graduate students who are US citizens and appointed as teaching assistants or graduate student researchers or are employed by the university in other positions are required by the California Constitution to sign the State Oath of Allegiance. In addition, all graduate student appointees and employees are required by university policy to sign the university’s Patent Agreement. Copies of both documents may be obtained from the student’s academic department.

Note to Students on Academic Titles

Eligible students appointed 25 percent time or more as graduate student researchers on the tuition and fee remission program may have the amount of their required tuition/fees credited to their account when they enroll. This payment will also appear on the student’s university billing statement.

Eligible students appointed 25 percent time or more as teaching assistants, associates, and readers, or tutors guaranteed by the hiring department to work at least 110 hours (25 percent) for the quarter may have partial tuition and fee remission (including remission of the health insurance fee) credited to their university account when they enroll. Eligible students who are readers and/or tutors who are not guaranteed 25 percent time at the beginning of the quarter, but subsequently work 110 hours or more, may be issued refunds for partial tuition and fee remission at the end of the quarter.

Teaching assistants appointed 25 percent time or more are eligible to apply for the TA fee deferment program. Under this program, the balance of fees (but not nonresident supplemental tuition) is deducted from the second and third paycheck each quarter.

During the fall quarter only, teaching assistants appointed 25 percent time or more may be eligible to apply for the TA loan program.

For additional information, contact your graduate department or the Graduate Division.

Full-time graduate study and support requires enrollment in a minimum of twelve units each quarter.

Taxability of Awards

Under the 1986 Tax Reform Act, the taxability of awards is as follows:

  1. Fellowships and Scholarships. The portion of the stipend used for tuition, fees, books, and course-related expenses required of all students in the course is not taxable income. The portion of a stipend used for other purposes is taxable income.
  2. Graduate Student Researchers and Teaching Assistants. All compensation is taxable income.
  3. Payment of tuition and fees under the graduate student researcher tuition and fee remission program and payment of partial tuition and fee remission for those appointed 25 percent time or more as teaching assistants or other academic titles, is nontaxable income. Payment of SHIP on the student’s behalf is considered taxable income.
  4. Grants for Travel to Scholarly Meetings and for Graduate Student Research Expenses. May be taxable.

Students are advised to review available tax materials and make their own decisions about tax withholding, reporting of income, excluding income from taxation, and filing required tax forms. UC San Diego departmental and central administrative staff may not advise students on individual tax matters.

Graduate student fellowships, scholarships, and traineeships are not subject to withholding for taxes under the Federal Insurance Contribution ACT (FICA). The salary of graduate students appointed as teaching assistants, graduate student researchers, readers, tutors, or who are employed on campus are exempt from FICA/DCP if the students are registered for a minimum of six units by the third week of each quarter and employed less than 80 percent. Nonresident aliens on F-1 and J-1 visas are, by federal law, exempt from FICA/DCP. If students do not meet the exemption requirement, 8.95 percent (7.5 percent for DCP in lieu of social security and 1.45 percent for Medicare) will be deducted from their salary.

To remain exempt during the summer, a student employee (noncareer) must be employed less than 80 percent and be registered by the first day of summer session in a minimum of six units for an undergraduate student, three units (five-week session) or six units (ten-week session) for a graduate student.

Application Procedures

Entering students. The online application form for graduate admissions is used to apply for any of the following: fellowships, traineeships, scholarships, and assistantships (teaching, language, or research).

In order for an applicant to be considered for the ensuing academic year, all supporting materials must be received by the department application deadline. No assurance can be given that requests for fellowships, traineeships, or scholarships can be processed after stated deadlines.

Continuing and returning students. Consult with their departments.

Award Notification

The awarding of fellowships and similar awards for the following academic year should be announced not later than April 1. UC San Diego subscribes to the agreement of the Council of Graduate Schools of the United States, under which successful applicants for awards are given until April 15 to accept or decline such awards. An award accepted from one of the member universities may be resigned at any time through April 15. However, an acceptance given or left in force after that date commits the student not to accept another appointment without first obtaining formal release for that purpose.

Loans

See Financial Aid.

Time Limits for Graduate Student Support

For doctoral students, all financial support administered by UC San Diego (including fellowships, scholarships, and appointment but excluding loans) is restricted to students who are within their departmental support time limits (see “Doctoral Time Limits” and description of each department’s graduate program).

MFA and MPIA students can be supported for a maximum of ten quarters. MA and MS students can be supported for a maximum of seven quarters.

Fellowships and Research Awards from Outside the University

In addition to fellowships, traineeships, and loans administered by the university, other types of graduate student support are available through federal agencies and private foundations. Students wishing to explore such sources of support for their studies at UC San Diego are urged to consult one of the many directories available in the reference section of Geisel Library, the fellowship listings provided via the following websites: Community of Scholars, Grants Select, and the University of California’s research opportunity page, the Office of Research and Graduate Studies. Most application deadlines occur in the fall or early winter. Among the many organizations that award fellowships to students at UC San Diego are the Department of Defense, Department of Education, Ford Foundation, Hertz Foundation; Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Institute of International Education; National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council. Additional application support is offered by the Graduate Division and the graduate fellowship adviser.