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.

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
  • Attend an admitted student day event on April 9
  • 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
  • Review your financial aid status, view and accept awards using the Financial Aid Tool


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.

2019 Schedule (mandatory unless specified):

Aug. 5: Prep Welcome

Sept. 10 or 11: Graduate Division Orientation (students without prep requirements only)

Sept. 16: Incoming Student Orientation

Sept. 22: International Center Orientation (international students only) 

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 i5 or better

Intel Core i5 or better


13-in active matrix LCD 

13-in active matrix LCD 

Memory (RAM)

8 Gigabytes or more

8 Gigabyte or more

Storage (Hard Drive)

250 Gigabytes or larger

250 Gigabytes or larger


Camera recommended

Camera standard


2-5 year warranty coverage 

2-5 year warranty coverage 

Operating System

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

MacOS X 10.12 (Sierra) of 10.13 (High Sierra)


Microsoft Office 2016

(provided by campus and free for students)

Microsoft Office 2016

(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. Be sure PowerPoint and Outlook are included with your purchase. MS Office 2011 for Mac does not include the ability to run macros and add-ins that are required in some classes. Free Mac software from can provide the same features as Excel on Windows. Not recommended for use: WordPerfect, MS Works, AppleWorks, Apple Pages, HWP and NJStar. 

Note 2: The School will supply the following free or specially licensed software and assist with installation: Mozilla Firefox, Acrobat Reader, Stuffit Expander, lab printer drivers, PrimoPDF 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 session as well as the School’s orientation.

International Student Financial Statement

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 during the weekday 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 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 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.

Prep Program

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