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Quarterly Certificate Program for Professionals

The GLI Quarterly Certificate Program

GLI Professionals from the U.S. and abroad learn from university professors internationally renowned in their fields, many of who have served as leaders in industry and government.

GLI’s quarterly certificate program provides graduate-level coursework for professional development in international affairs, including politics, public policy, management, economics, sustainability, security and regional studies. Participants study alongside GPS master's students by enrolling in courses as non-degree seeking students. The duration of study may range from one quarter (11 weeks) to two years or more and follows the UC San Diego academic calendar.

For international professionals, English as a Second Language (ESL) courses are offered year-round as well as content-based courses during the academic year designed for non-native English speakers to supplement the GPS curriculum. GLI’s intensive ESL program is offered each summer to help individuals prepare for courses at UC San Diego. GLI also offers local, state and national professional seminars (site visits) to build upon your academic education.

GLI accepts applications on a rolling admissions basis for a start date in fall (September), winter (January), spring (March) or summer (July or August) quarter. GLI recommends applying at least two months prior to enrollment.

Become a quarterly certificate professional:

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Application Process & Deadline

How to Apply: Applicants can complete the GLI Certificate Program Application Form online and submit supporting documentation through the portal. Supporting documentation includes the sponsor’s statement, passport copies, university or college transcripts, and English test scores. All applicants must meet the GLI admissions requirements.

When to Apply: GLI accepts applications on a rolling admissions basis for a start date in fall (September), winter (January), spring (March) or summer (July or August) quarter. GLI recommends applying at least two months prior to enrollment.

After You Apply: GLI staff will contact you within 2 days of receiving your application with your admissions status and instructions to begin your visa processing. You will also receive instructions regarding payment of the GLI application fee and Form DS-2019/I-20 processing fee.

Requirements for Admission:

  • Bachelor’s degree (copy of diploma or degree conferment)
  • University or college transcripts
  • TOEFL score (minimum 68 iBT), IELTS (6.0) or TOEIC (620)

An English test score may be waived if the applicant enrolls in GLI's intensive Summer ESL program, if English proficiency is determined appropriate, or if the applicant is a native English speaker or has recently studied full-time for one uninterrupted academic year at a university-level institution in which English is the language of instruction and in a country in which English is a dominant language.

English Language Requirement

  1. English language proficiency is a basic requirement of GLI Certificate/Non-degree Programs. To help the Admissions Committee evaluate non-native speakers of English, GLI requires applicants to submit proof of their level of English language abilities.
  2. A minimum score of TOEFL 68 iBT, IELTS band 6.0, or TOEIC 620 (Listening & Reading Test or Speaking & Writing Tests) is necessary for admission to GLI. An English test score may be waived if the applicant enrolls in GLI's intensive Summer ESL program.
  3. Professionals with scores less than TOEFL 80 iBT, IELTS band 6.5 or TOEIC 750 (Listening & Reading Test) and Level 6 (Speaking & Writing Tests) are expected to enroll in supplemental English language courses offered at GLI.
  4. Professionals may request to enroll in only graduate-level courses after completing two quarters of study or by meeting the English language proficiency requirements indicated in line 3 above.

Tuition & Fees

Current tuition and program costs for GLI's quarterly certificate program can be found online. 

We accept a check, money order, traveler’s checks or bank draft in U.S. dollars, payable to “UC Regents.” If you would like to pay by bank wire, please contact us for bank wire instructions. Please note that if you pay by bank wire, you have to pay all bank wire fees.

Refunds are permitted according to the UC San Diego Schedule of Refunds.

Visa Information

GLI supports professionals on a J-1 or F-1 student visa. Once you are accepted to the GLI program, you will be given a DS-2019 or I-20 application form. The DS-2019 and I-20 are a certificate of eligibility that you must provide to the U.S. Embassy or consulate when you apply for your J-1 or F-1 visa. The J-1 and F-1 visa allows professionals to bring eligible family members to the U.S. as J-2 or F-2 dependents. Eligible family members are the spouse of the GLI Professional and their unmarried children under the age of 21.

GLI staff will support you throughout the visa application process. It is very important that you complete the required forms and keep GLI informed of any changes or updates that may impact your visa application.

Academic Calendar

The GLI Academic Calendar is available online and provides information for each quarter relevant to the program, such as dates for orientation, instruction, exams, and holidays.

Admitted Students


When you arrive, you will need to come to our offices and check in by attending an orientation session. Orientation takes place the week before or the week of the first day of classes. Please check the GLI Academic Calendar to see the scheduled orientation date for the start of your program. Additionally, at the beginning of most quarters we will have a reception for all incoming and continuing professionals.


As a full-time, enrolled professional, you are required to take at least 12 units each quarter to fulfill your certificate requirements and to maintain your nonimmigrant visa status. GLI professionals choose from graduate courses offered at GPS, which are supplemented with customized GLI English language and content-based courses. If you are interested in part-time study, please contact us.


During the academic year, UC San Diego campus housing is only available to students enrolled in degree programs. Housing options near campus include renting your own apartment, sharing off-campus housing with students and staying with a host family (homestay). GLI is happy to provide you with resources to find housing and to answer questions about your stay.

Professional Seminars

Integral to GLI’s programs are professional seminars (site visits) to prominent multinational industries and influential government agencies. Available to all program participants, these seminars provide unparalleled insight into an organization’s operations and business practices. Professional seminars have included site visits and presentations at the San Diego Association of Governments, TaylorMade Golf, PriceSmart and Qualcomm Inc. world headquarters. Further enhancing the breadth of this educational experience, professional seminars are offered annually to San Francisco (including Silicon Valley) and Washington, D.C.


It is strongly recommended that all fellows have a personal notebook computer for use during their studies at GLI, with the appropriate security and firewall software installed. Some courses require you to bring a laptop (notebook) computer to school every day the class meets. See the computing services section for the most current recommendations and specifications.

Health Insurance

The Department of State requires that all visiting scholars and dependent family members have minimum health insurance coverage. View the PDF for more information regarding GLI health insurance requirements (PDF).

Parents with School-Age Children

Professionals and scholars at GLI may enroll their children (ages 5-18) at no cost in San Diego’s outstanding public schools. The location of your home in San Diego determines which public elementary, middle or high school the child may attend. GLI staff can provide additional information during the visa application process.