Admitted Students

Congratulations on the huge leap forward you’ve taken by being admitted to GPS! We understand choosing a place of study is a crucial life-decision, and we want to do all we can to help you make an informed decision. Your application convinced us that you’d be a good fit with our scholarly community; let us show you that we are the right choice for your advanced degree.

Prep Program

Prep is designed to equip students with the skills and abilities to succeed in the demanding environment of graduate studies. Learn more.

Fall 2021 Admitted Student FAQ

What measures is UC San Diego taking during the COVID-19 outbreak?
The university is keeping the community updated via this dedicated website and has a Return to Learn plan that involves regular testing of students, faculty and staff.

I have provisional admission status even though I submitted documents. When will my status change?
The UC San Diego Graduate Division will start processing official documents in June. Provisional admission status will not affect your ability to register for your first quarter of classes. Provisional admission status is also acceptable for visa application purposes.

Who can I talk to about my visa questions?
The International Students and Programs Office (ISPO) has advising and FAQs for international students.

Will summer prep courses be offered online or in-person?

Our current plan is to have summer prep courses in-person but will continue to monitor ongoing global health and immigration issues.

Where can I find more information about summer prep classes?
Check out our prep webpage for information. Details about specific deadlines and times will be updated periodically. Further details about these courses will be sent by the GPS academic advising team in mid-June.

When are summer prep payments due?
Summer prep payments are due June 1 unless you requested a fee waiver. Those who requested fee waivers will receive an email from us or Student Affairs in late June to early July.

How will instruction be delivered this fall?
As of January 2021, the University of California announced a planned return to in-person instruction in Sept. 23, 2021. However, if you have Prep requirements, you will start in August 2021.

Are graduate apartments open?
Yes. Many GPS students have been living in graduate apartments on campus this year, and the graduate housing office will continue to clear the housing waitlist as fall approaches.

When can I start my student health insurance?
The earliest start date for student health insurance will depend on your start date. If you have summer Prep, you may begin your health insurance as early as July. If you are not required to start Prep, you may begin your insurance in mid-September. Student Affairs will provide you with enrollment information in late June. Contact Student Affairs in June for exceptions.

Where can I learn more about Academic Student Employment (RA, TA, reader, tutor positions)?
You can read more about Academic Student Employment here. Using your TritonLink account, you can browse open positions hereThe school recommends that you focus on coursework during your first fall quarter and wait to take any employment until winter quarter.

Why GPS?

Consider just a few of UC San Diego’s many advantages:

World-class professors. Perhaps you’re familiar with our distinguished faculty? If not, take some time to read their bios, research interests and authored articles. We’re excited about the work they do and think you will be too.

Focused academics. The GPS curriculum is strategically crafted with your career goals in mind. We combine coursework with the opportunity to develop and pursue customized professional research projects.

Hands-on experience. Class modules, case studies and a strong focus on analytical skills prepare you for the real-world challenges you’ll face as global leaders. Inside the classroom and out, your discussions, papers and projects will be based on practical contemporary issues.

Global expertise. GPS is the premier West Coast school for global studies on the Americas and Asia, as exemplified by the work done through our many research centers, including our 21st Century China Program, Japan Forum for Innovation and Technology and Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies.

Accelerated career development. GPS students pursue dynamic, innovative internships, many of which lead directly to job offers. Our expert Career Services team will help answer your job-search questions and transition you into your next chapter.

Connected alumni and resources. Wherever you find yourself after graduation, you’ll be near GPS alumni. Our graduates retain strong ties to the school, with class agents and an Alumni Board to help you optimize the GPS and UC San Diego alumni groups and networking opportunities.

We’re happy to offer our admitted students a number of resources for answering questions on matriculation. The calendar and topics below guide you from your acceptance through your first days on campus.

For more admitted student resources visit UC San Diego's Graduate Division.

Calendar and Tasks to Complete



  • Confirm acceptance
  • Submit deposit by April 15
  • Make plans to attend orientation and prep program (if applicable)





  • Attend our Prep Program (if applicable)
  • Work with student affairs staff on fall quarter foreign language course registration
  • For U.S citizens, permanent residents, and green card holder only: Review your financial aid status, view and accept awards using the Financial Aid Tool


  • Review academic policies
  • Attend orientations – GPS, Graduate Division, ISPO (International Students only)
  • Pay summer health insurance fees and fall tuition

Orientation (mandatory)

All incoming students are required to attend orientation prior to the start of the academic year. During orientation, various School and campus representatives will encourage students to make the most of the graduate experience by providing information about the campus and its resources. Orientation also provides students an opportunity to meet classmates, talk with faculty, receive academic advising and complete language placement exams.

2021 Schedule (mandatory unless specified):

Aug. 2 – Prep Welcome

Sept. 13 – Incoming Student Orientation (all incoming GPS students, which includes those not attending Prep)

Sept. 21 – All Student Orientation (all incoming and continuing GPS students)

Sept. – Graduate Division Orientation [VIRTUAL] - Please refer to your Acceptance Admission email from Graduate Division. Complete Orientation by start of Fall Quarter.

Sept. 8-20 – International Center Orientation [VIRTUAL] (Mandatory for international students only) - Register here.

GPS Career Services Orientation: Please refer to the Career Services – Career Development Program for dates

Parking: The majority of orientation activities will take place within the Robinson Complex. Recommended parking locations are the Hopkins parking structure and the Pangea parking structure. Day permits can be purchased from machines located in each parking structure.

Applying for California Residency

U.S. citizens and permanent residents are encouraged to apply for California residency for tuition purposes. Out of state students cannot apply for California residency until after their first year.

Full details about eligibility and the residency process are published here.

Financial Support

Merit-based fellowship offers are made each March and must be accepted by April 15. If you are applying for need-based aid as a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Please note that fellowship offers from the School may negatively affect need-based aid offers.

Many students work as research and teaching assistants. In addition, our staff keeps a continually updated fellowship funding page.

Students who would like to work on campus to offset their graduate education expenses are encouraged to meet with the Student Affairs staff.

Computing Services

Technology is an integral part of the curriculum. All students are required to have their own laptop (notebook) computer. The cost of a computer can be included in your budget for financial aid. We recommend the purchase of a new computer with an extended warranty.

The campus is a cross-platform computer environment and supports Mac and Windows computers. The specifications below outline the minimum hardware and software we recommend you purchase. Laptops may be purchased from any supplier. The UC San Diego Bookstore Computer Center sells many laptop models at very competitive prices, including special models that meet the minimum requirements listed below.

Questions? Contacts


Minimum Windows

Minimum Macintosh


Intel Core i7 

Intel Core i7 (Late 2020 Model or Newer) or Apple M1 chip


13-in display 

13-in display

Memory (RAM)

8 GB or more
16 GB preferred

8 GB or more
16 GB preferred

Storage (Hard Drive)

260 GB or larger (SSD Required)

260 GB or larger (SSD Required)


Camera required

Camera standard


2-5 year warranty coverage 

2-5 year warranty coverage 

Operating System

MS Windows 10
Note: Windows 7 is no longer allowed at UC San Diego

MacOS X 10.15 (Catalina) or greater


Microsoft Office O365

(provided by campus and free for students)

Microsoft Office O365

(provided by campus and free for students)

Backup Drive

500 GB minimum

500 GB minimum

Virus Scan

Any current software

Any current software           

Note 1: MS Office includes Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint. Microsoft Office 2016 is free for students. 

Note 2: The School will supply free or specially licensed software and assist with installation: UC San Diego VPN, WePa printer drivers and anti-virus software.

Note 3: Some classes will require you to purchase specialty software. See each course syllabus for specific requirements.

Note 4: To meet the UC San Diego Network Connection Minimum Standards, the operating system, anti-virus software and anti-spyware software must have current updates installed. A firewall program must be installed and activated. All accounts on the computer must have strong passwords.


On-campus housing is available for single graduate students, couples and families. Please visit the graduate and professional student housing site for more information and the application process. Apply early for a better chance of securing a space. You can apply for housing as soon as you receive a confirmation to the program from Admissions.

There are many options available if you choose to live off campus.

View this site for international students when considering both short-term and long-term housing options.

International Student Orientation

All international students are required to register upon arrival to the U.S. Detailed information about the registration processes and the documents you need to present can be found at the UC San Diego International Students and Programs Office website. 

Please note that international students are also required to attend the mandatory New International Student Orientation sessions as well as the School’s orientations.

International Student Only – Financial Statements

Once an international applicant has received an offer of admission, they must indicate in a financial statement the amount and source of the funds they will use for graduate study in the U.S. This form is forwarded to international applicants upon their admission. Written evidence of sufficient financial resources must be provided before visa forms will be issued. Questions regarding the international applicant financial statement should be addressed to the Graduate Division.


Parking permits are required every time you park a car on campus. Hourly and one-day parking permits are available for purchase through vending machines. Annual parking permits and other transportation needs such as bus passes can be purchased online or at the Gilman Parking Structure. There are considerable savings over the daily permit rate with pre-purchased permits, and the UC San Diego Transportation and Parking Office has a list of commuting alternatives, including public transportation.

In addition to the city's Metropolitan Transit System, the university is served by a network of campus shuttles. Except for the campus loop shuttle and San Diego Metro bus 101, most shuttle and bus stops are approximately a 10 – 15 minute walk from our complex. Some shuttles have limited summer service during the time of our Prep Program. For more information on transportation see the UC San Diego Transportation and Parking Office website.

Student Identification Cards

All students enrolled for the current school quarter are entitled to a Triton Card. This is your official university ID card. You are issued just one active card.

You will need your student ID card for verification across campus and to access certain areas within GPS such as the student lounge.

TritonLink / Single Sign-On

TritonLink provides information for current students, including links to events, academic announcements and deadlines, and ways to get involved at UC San Diego. TritonLink is also where you will enroll in courses, submit payments, view your grades and track your degree completion. Familiarize yourself with all the TritonLink Tools.

To register for classes, view your billing, and a variety of other TritonLink online tools, you will need a personal identification (PID) number. Your PID is available on the application status page of the online application. Once you have your PID, you can create your Single Sign-On account.