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Applying

Beginning your online application is simple, and you may return to add further application materials before submitting your final application. The online application also includes a step-by-step guide to help keep your application on track. The drop-down menus will answer your questions and walk you through the process.

Should you need to update your application after submitting, please contact our admissions staff directly.

GPS adheres to all University of California policies and procedures regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action. For more information, please visit the UC San Diego Graduate Division.  

Deadlines

The application and supporting online materials must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on the day of the deadline. Hard copy materials must be postmarked by the deadline. If the date should occur on a weekend or holiday, the next business day will apply.

 Program  Early Notification  Deadline
 BA/MIA  N/A  April 22
 MIA  Dec. 4  Jan. 15*
 MPP  Dec. 4  Jan. 15*
 MCEPA  Dec. 4  Jan. 15*
 MAS-IA  Oct. 30  Jan. 15*
 Ph.D.  N/A  Dec. 10


 *After Jan. 15, complete applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. For MIA, MPP and MCEPA applicants, all materials must be received by Jan. 15 to be considered for fellowship funding.

Application Fee

The fee to apply is $105 for U.S. applicants and $125 for international applicants. The fee is non-refundable and payable by major credit card. Fee waivers are available for U.S. citizens and permanent residents with certain income levels, Peace Corps and AmeriCorps volunteers, U.S. military active duty and veterans. More information is available through the Graduate Division.

Mailing Supplemental Materials

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all materials are received by the deadline.
 
GPS Office of Admissions
UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive #0519
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519

BA/MIA Specific

Essays
Personal Statement
  • Your statement of purpose and professional objectives in international affairs and/or research interests.
  • How your background has prepared you to pursue these objectives.
Optional Statement/Supplemental Essay
  • This is an opportunity for you to discuss a matter that is not already addressed elsewhere in your application, and that you feel will help the admissions committee to understand challenges you have overcome or other circumstances that affected your successes. (250 word limit)
Resume/Curriculum Vitae
Upload a PDF version of your current professional resume or curriculum vitae.
 
Two Letters of Recommendation
All letters of recommendation must be in English and submitted directly by the recommender. Those making the recommendations can submit them directly to the online application system or mail them in a sealed envelope signed across the flap by the recommender. The recommendation must include complete contact information for the recommender.
 
Transcripts
Applicants may either submit official academic transcript(s) by mail in an unopened envelope sealed by the university's registrar or upload copies of transcripts in the online application system.
 
Admissions Interview
Invitations to participate in admissions interviews are sent after essays, resume, the completed online application and fees are received.

MIA and MPP Specific

Admission Specific Requirements
Applicants must have earned a four-year bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an institution of comparable standing to the University of California with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Essays
Personal Statement

  • Your statement of purpose and professional objectives in international affairs and/or research interests
  • How your background has prepared you to pursue these objectives
Optional Statement/Supplemental Essay
  • This is an opportunity for you to discuss a matter that is not already addressed elsewhere in your application and that you feel will help the admissions committee to understand challenges you have overcome or other circumstances that affected your successes. (250 word limit)
Resume/Curriculum Vitae
Upload a PDF version of your current professional resume or curriculum vitae.
 
Three Letters of Recommendation
All letters of recommendation must be in English and submitted directly by the recommender. Those making the recommendations can submit them directly to the online application system or mail them in a sealed envelope signed across the flap by the recommender. The recommendation must include complete contact information for the recommender.
 
Transcripts
Applicants may either submit official academic transcript(s) by mail in an unopened envelope sealed by the university's registrar or upload copies of transcripts in the online application system.
 
Standardized Tests Demonstrate proficiency in the English language
Applicants whose native language is not English, and who have not studied in English for one uninterrupted year at a university-level institution in a country where English is the official language, must demonstrate proficiency in the English language.
 
This can be achieved by taking and receiving passing scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), IELTS, or Pearson's Test of English-Academic (PTE-Academic) exam. The School requires minimum scores of: TOEFL 90 iBT or 550 PBT, IELTS band 7.0, or PTE-Academic overall 65.

MCEPA Specific

Admission Specific Requirements
Applicants must have earned a four-year bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an institution of comparable standing to the University of California with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Essays
Personal Statement

  • Your statement of purpose and professional objectives in international affairs and/or research interests
  • How your background has prepared you to pursue these objectives
Optional Statement/Supplemental Essay
  • This is an opportunity for you to discuss a matter that is not already addressed elsewhere in your application and that you feel will help the admissions committee to understand challenges you have overcome or other circumstances that affected your successes. (250 word limit)
Resume/Curriculum Vitae
Upload a PDF version of your current professional resume or curriculum vitae.
 
Three Letters of Recommendation
All letters of recommendation must be in English and submitted directly by the recommender. Those making the recommendations can submit them directly to the online application system or mail them in a sealed envelope signed across the flap by the recommender. The recommendation must include complete contact information for the recommender.
 
Transcripts
Applicants may either submit official academic transcript(s) by mail in an unopened envelope sealed by the university's registrar or upload copies of transcripts in the online application system.
 
Standardized Tests

Demonstrate proficiency in the English language
Applicants whose native language is not English, and who have not studied in English for one uninterrupted year at a university-level institution in a country where English is the official language, must demonstrate proficiency in the English language.

This can be achieved by taking and receiving passing scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), IELTS, or Pearson's Test of English-Academic (PTE-Academic) exam. The School requires minimum scores of: TOEFL 90 iBT or 550 PBT, IELTS band 7.0, or PTE-Academic overall 65.

Additional proficiency in Mandarin Chinese
Applicants must also have a minimum of two years of university-level Mandarin Chinese study or its equivalent. Students should be comfortable reading and speaking in Mandarin.

MAS-IA Specific

Admission Specific Requirements
Applicants must have earned a four-year bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an institution of comparable standing to the University of California with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
 
Applicants must have a minimum of five years of professional experience and relevant international experience. The requirements for international experience may be met in a number of ways, including:
  • Foreign work experience or work experience with a multinational enterprise, government entity or NGO with foreign operations.
  • Extended residency abroad.
  • Other relevant international experience considered on a case-by-case basis.
Personal Statement
  • Your statement of purpose and professional objectives in international affairs and/or research interests.
  • How your background has prepared you to pursue these objectives.

Resume/Curriculum Vitae
Upload a PDF version of your current professional resume or curriculum vitae.
 
Three Letters of Recommendation
All letters of recommendation must be in English and submitted directly by the recommender. Those making the recommendations can submit them directly to the online application system or mail them in a sealed envelope signed across the flap by the recommender. The recommendation must include complete contact information for the recommender.
 
Standardized Tests
Not applicable.
 
Demonstrate proficiency in the English language
Applicants whose native language is not English, and who have not studied in English for one uninterrupted year at a university-level institution in a country where English is the official language, must demonstrate proficiency in the English language.

This can be achieved by taking and receiving passing scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), IELTS, or Pearson's Test of English-Academic (PTE-Academic) exam. The School requires minimum scores of: TOEFL 80 iBT or 550 PBT; IELTS band 7.0; or PTE-Academic overall 65.
 
Transcripts
Applicants may either submit official academic transcript(s) by mail in an unopened envelope sealed by the university's registrar or upload copies of transcripts in the online application system.

Ph.D. Application

Admission Specific Requirements
Applicants must have earned a four-year bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an institution of comparable standing to the University of California with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

For International applicants, the U.S. GPA equivalencies will be determined. Applicants with strong quantitative coursework in their undergraduate degree are encouraged to apply.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required for international applicants whose native language is not English and who have not studied full-time for one uninterrupted year at a university-level institution in a country where English is the official language.

Personal Statement
  • Your statement of purpose and professional objectives in international affairs and/or research interests.
  • How your background has prepared you to pursue these objectives.
Resume/Curriculum Vitae
Upload a PDF version of your current professional resume or curriculum vitae.
 
Three Letters of Recommendation
All letters of recommendation must be in English. Those making the recommendations can submit them directly to the online application system or mail them in a sealed envelope signed across the flap by the recommender. The recommendation must include complete contact information for the recommender.
 
Standardized Tests Transcripts
Applicants may either submit official academic transcript(s) by mail in an unopened envelope sealed by the university's registrar or upload copies of transcripts in the online application system.
 
Demonstrate proficiency in the English language

Applicants whose native language is not English, and who have not studied for one uninterrupted year at a university-level institution in a country where English is the official language, must demonstrate proficiency in the English language.

This can be achieved by taking and receiving passing scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The School requires minimum scores of: paper based (600), computer based (250) and Internet based (100).

International Applications

An international applicant is neither a U.S. citizen nor a U.S. permanent resident at the time an application is submitted. Visit the Graduate Division for detailed application requirements.

An international student whose postsecondary education is completed outside the United States must hold the equivalent to a U.S. baccalaureate degree, granted by a non-U.S. university or university-level institution.
 
International Academic Records

  • Official records (transcripts and diplomas) bearing the signature of the registrar or other responsible academic officer, and the seal of the issuing institution are required in all applications.
  • True copies, facsimiles, or photo-static copies will be accepted if they have been personally signed and stamped by an educational official who certifies that they are exact copies of the original document.
  • Academic records must be in the language of the institution and an official English translation must accompany official documents written in other languages.
  • International academic records must show all courses attended each year, examinations passed, seminars completed, and grades or marks received at all institution where formal records are maintained.
  • Official evidence of degree conferral must also be supplied, together with evidence of rank in class if available.

Please note that properly certified and signed copies should be sent instead of irreplaceable original documents.

See additional degree specific application requirements.

Reapplying

Applicants who were not offered admission may reapply in subsequent years. Files are kept for one year. Please contact us to notify of your intent to reapply and to confirm your application materials are still on file.

All individuals reapplying must submit a new application, pay the application fee and adhere to any new requirements. Certain materials, such as test scores, transcripts and letters of reference may be used again. Please keep in mind it is the responsibility of the applicant to verify test scores have not expired and that letters of reference are up to date.

Admitted Students

Discover a number of resources for answering questions on matriculation to GPS. Learn more >>