Frequently Asked Questions
BA/MIA and BA/MPP: April 10
MIA, MPP and MCEPA: Dec. 4 (early) and Jan. 15 (standard). After Jan. 15, applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.
MAS-IA: Admissions deadlines are Oct. 30 (early) and Jan. 15 (standard). After Jan. 15, applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.
Ph.D.: Dec. 10
All materials must be received or postmarked by the deadline date for which you are applying. The online 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.
Required materials can be uploaded to your application, which must be completed by the deadline to be reviewed by the admissions committee.
Learn about BA/MIA, BA/MPP, MIA, MPP, MCEPA or MAS-IA application details here.
Yes. All foreign documents, such as final transcripts and letters of recommendation originally written in another language, must be translated by an official translator. Transcripts do not need to be converted to a U.S. grade scale.
Yes, see requirements for MIA, MPP,
Applicants may self-report scores, including registration number, in the application. The admissions team can review an application with self-reported scores as long as the test was taken before an application deadline but cannot make a final decision until the official scores are received from the testing service. Tests taken after a deadline will be reviewed in the successive round of reviews.
BA/MIA and BA/MPP: No standardized tests are required for admission to this program.
MAS-IA: No standardized tests are required for admission to this program.
Ph.D.: GRE only
Standardized Tests Codes
Applicants must also have a minimum of five years of full-time professional work experience.
• The minimum IELTS Academic band score is 7.0.
• The minimum PTE Academic score required is a 65.
• The minimum TOEFL score required is 85 on the TOEFL iBT or 550 on the TOEFL PBT.
• The minimum IELTS Academic band score is 7.0.
I have completed coursework at a variety of universities. Do I need to submit official transcripts from all of them?
Yes. Submit transcripts from all college and universities that you attended as part of your post-secondary education, whether you received degrees from these institutions or not, to complete your application.
As part of the online application, you will provide your recommenders' contact information. An email with instructions will be sent to your recommenders so that they can upload their recommendations. Alternatively, recommenders can submit their recommendations in writing, using
Letters may be submitted after the applicant has submitted their application; however, an application is considered incomplete until all letters are received.
We prefer to have at least one letter from a direct supervisor who can comment on your skills as an employee. We also request at least one of your letters comes from a professor who can comment on your academic performance and potential. The third letter can be from either of those areas. We discourage you from submitting letters of recommendation from a family member or someone who does not know you personally.
Letters must be submitted directly from the recommender online or mailed to GPS in a sealed, signed envelope. The School will not accept letters sent in by applicants.
Yes. These letters are acceptable. Please keep in mind that we would like to see at least one letter from an employer.
The admissions committee does not interview all applicants. If an interview is needed, we will contact you directly.
You must use one of the following (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, JCB) to submit your application. You will receive a confirmation number after your payment is cleared. Your application will not be reviewed until it is completed and your application fee is paid.
Domestic fee: $120
International fee: $140
- currently receiving need-based financial assistance from an undergraduate or graduate institution
- claiming financial hardship based on current federal tax return income data
- participating in selected federal, state and private graduate school preparation programs
- U.S. military active duty or veterans
- More information can be found here.
GPS also provides application fee waivers to:
- Peace Corps and AmeriCorps volunteers
- PPIA alumni
- Rangel Fellow
We seek to enroll as many eligible and qualified students as space allows.
BA/MIA and BA/MPP: typically 25 – 30 students; is open only to selected majors at UC San Diego
MIA: typically 95 – 100 students
MPP: typically 55 – 75 students
MCEPA: typically 10 – 15 students
MAS-IA: typically 45 – 60 students
Ph.D.: typically 0 – 2 students
If you declined your offer of admission or were not offered admission, you may submit a new application in following years. You will need to pay the fee and adhere to any new application requirements. Certain materials such as test scores, transcripts and letters of reference may be used again. It is the responsibility of the applicant to verify test scores have not expired and that letters of recommendations are up to date. You may notify us in writing and indicate which
Waiting for the Decision and Responding
We understand you are eager to obtain a decision on your application and will work diligently to make decisions as quickly as possible. We will send you a notification when your application is complete and being sent to the admissions committee for review.
Official notification will come through the application portal. All students are notified via email, with the email address listed on your application. Please make sure that you check your email thoroughly, including spam folders.
MAS-IA: the early decision deadline is Oct. 30.
BA/MIA and BA/MPP: Not applicable
MIA, MPP and MCEPA: You must submit a written request for deferral to the admissions office via email. If deferral is granted, you must pay your seat deposit and a $1,000 deferral fee. Both will be credited to your account upon enrollment the following academic year. Any fellowships and scholarships awarded by the School do not carry over.
MAS-IA: A written request must be submitted. If deferral is granted, you will be required to pay your seat deposit.
Most admitted students have provisional admission, which can mean a few things:
- Graduate Division may not have your official transcripts. While unofficial transcripts are acceptable for the purpose of admission committee review, Graduate Division requires official transcripts prior to matriculation. The Graduate Division will be in touch with you directly regarding missing official final documents.
- Your provisional admission may be due to preterm prep class requirements.
BA/MIA and BA/MPP: not applicable
GPS Prep courses are designed to prepare students for the program's rigorous graduate-level coursework. Four types of prep classes are offered: English as a Second Language, Quantitative Methods, Economics and Analytical Writing.
Depending on your academic background you may be required to take prep courses. If you are required to take prep, you will receive a letter from admissions. You must complete the class(es) in residence at UC San Diego prior to the beginning of the fall quarter.
Most Prep classes begin in early August and end in mid-September. ESL classes may start in early July for some students.
Given the limited number of new student seats each year, we often have more qualified applicants than we can admit. This can result in some of our applicants being wait-listed. As we get a clearer picture of how many new students confirm their acceptance to the program, we are able to determine if there will be additional openings for students on the waitlist.
If you are on the waitlist you are not automatically guaranteed admission, nor does it mean that you have to accept our offer of admission, should we extend it. We will notify you if you are placed on the waitlist.
We are happy to provide constructive feedback on how to prepare a stronger application. Please submit your request via email, and we will respond as soon as we are able after May 31.
Financial and Fellowship Information
We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens and residents complete the FAFSA between Oct. 1 and June 30. You must complete a FAFSA to be considered for federal loans. Learn more detailed information on financial resources here.
BA/MIA, BA/MPP and MAS-IA: not applicable
Many students find employment on campus as interns, research assistants, teaching assistants, tutors or readers. Approximately 35 percent of the class hold teaching assistant or graduate student research positions throughout a variety of campus departments. Interested parties are encouraged to meet with the student affairs staff after completing the Fall quarter.
Additionally, all U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents not currently considered to be a California resident are strongly encouraged to establish California residency for their second year of study. Students who establish residency will receive a waiver of non-resident supplemental tuition. Our student affairs staff offers information and workshops to help students establish residency.
BA/MIA and BA/MPP: no deposit required
MIA, MPP, MCEPA and MAS-IA: $500 deposit that it credited to your student account upon enrollment and is nonrefundable. This fee is waived for U.S. Active Duty military and veterans.
Questions about the Degrees
We offer a joint Ph.D. degree with the UC San Diego Department of Political Science. The program is extremely competitive and purposely kept small. We typically accept one to two new students each year.
BA/MIA and BA/MPP: five-year degree programs offered with the UC San Diego International Studies Program and Department of Economics. These are only open to UC San Diego students of selected majors in the International Studies Program and Department of Economics. Transfer students or students who choose to study abroad may require additional time to complete the program.
MIA: A two-year, full-time program consisting of 98 units of coursework.
MPP: A two-year, full-time program consisting of 92 units of coursework.
MCEPA: A two-year, full-time program consisting of 96 units of coursework.
MAS-IA: The curriculum consists of a total of 12 courses (48 units). Students enrolled full-time complete the degree in a nine-month academic year (holders of F or J visas must study full-time). A part-time enrollment option (two academic years) is also available to professionals with flexible work schedules.
Learn more about academic requirements here:
BA/MIA, BA/MPP, MIA, MPP and MCEPA: full-time study only
MAS-IA: a part-time enrollment option (two academic years) is available for professionals with flexible work schedules. The Security of the Asia-Pacific track is also offered part-time.
We also offer classes through the Global Leadership Institute, which is a great alternative for executives looking to sharpen their skills.
While some courses are held in the evening hours, most of the classes are during the day.
The MAS-IA Security of the Asia-Pacific track is offered at night.
No. We do not currently offer online or distance-learning courses or programs.
With advance approval from both departments, elective coursework may be taken through other departments at UC San Diego.
BA/MIA, BA/MPP and MAS-IA: due to degree timeline, study abroad is not an option.
MIA and MPP: check out this site for more information on academic exchanges.
The MIA, MPP and MCEPA are two-year, full-time programs that lead to a master's degree.
The MAS-IA program requires a minimum of five years of relevant, full time professional work experience, may be completed in one year (full time) or two years (part time) and leads to a master's degree.
Our Global Leadership Institute (GLI) is designed for working professionals seeking additional exposure to the various areas of international management, international relations and comparative public policy. The program's duration ranges from 10 weeks to two years. Upon completion, the participant receives a certificate of study.