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Prep Program

Prep is designed to equip students with the skills and abilities to succeed in the demanding environment of graduate studies. The program provides a review of classroom and career-related skills as well as insight into the academic and cultural environment at the School. Students may attend 18 instruction hours per week through five academic courses and several career development sessions throughout the summer. Prep is for anyone who wants to be up to speed on the first day of classes and prepared for success academically and professionally.

Schedule subject to change. Prep will be taught completely in person. There will be no remote, hybrid or asynchronous learning. 

Updated: June 3, 2024


Students who do not have an academic or professional background relevant to or sufficient for a particular course are conditionally admitted to the program and required to complete prep course(s). Admissions will send a list of required coursework via email to admitted students.

All Students except for students in the BA/MIA and BA/MPP joint degree programs will need to register through GPS Admissions. Please contact them if you need assistance.

BA/MIA - ISP, BA/MPP, BA/MIA - Political Science Students Only: You will be contacted directly regarding your Prep requirements. If you have questions about your requirements, please contact directly. 

Registration Fees

GLI Courses

GLI ESL Summer Session I – $1,500
GLI ESL Summer Session II – $1,500

Prep Courses
Analytical Writing:
MIA/MPP/MCEPA Students – $800
Quantitative Methods and Math Camp ("One Class" for fee consideration)
Economics and Math Camp ("One Class" for fee consideration)

Students taking more than one prep course are offered the following sliding scale (excluding ESL):
One Class – $800
Two Classes – $1,400 (Discount of $200)
Three Classes – $2,000 (Discount of $400)

If you need to request a payment deferral for your Prep fees, please contact GPS Admissions, 


Aug. 5, 2024 – Prep Students Only
Sept. 16, 2024 – Incoming Students Only

Virtual Mandatory Orientation
International Students & Programs Office (ISPO) – International Students Only – DEADLINE: TBD
Graduate Education & Postdoctoral Affairs (GEPA) – All Students

Admitted students are required to attend all new student orientations. Orientation provides students an opportunity to receive academic advising, meet classmates, talk with faculty and obtain information from campus representatives to maximize their graduate experience.

Analytical Writing (AW)

Analytical Writing (AW)

MCEPA, MIA and MPP only:
Session Dates: Aug. 5 – Sept. 12
Lecture: 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Location: RBC Auditorium, 3201, 3202, 3203
Course Material: None required

MAS-IA only:
Session Dates: Aug. 30 – Sept. 20
Lecture: 4:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Location: 3203
Course Material: TBD

These courses will prepare you for the typical analytical writing that is required for GPS. Analytical writing requires you to make an argument using factual evidence drawn from several sources. You will develop skills for:

  • Critical reading
  • Analytical thinking
  • Analytical writing
  • Evidence choice and use
  • Proper citation form and the use of the intellectual property of others

Math Camp

Math Camp

Mandatory Prerequisite for QM and ECON

Session Dates: Aug. 5 – Aug. 15
Lecture: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
TA Session: 1 – 1:50 p.m.
Location: RBC Auditorium, 3201, 3202
Course Material: None required

Math Camp is a 9-day course that reviews the algebraic and calculus concepts used in the core courses. This course is required for students registered for the QM and Econ components. Topics include:

  • Linear and nonlinear equations
  • Functions
  • Exponential and logarithmic operations
  • Differential calculus
  • Problem-solving, optimization and constrained optimization

Quantitative Methods (QM), including Math Camp

*Math Camp must be taken before Quantitative Methods (QM)
Math Camp Session Dates: Aug. 5 – Aug. 15 → More Information

Quantitative Methods (QM)

Session Dates: Aug. 19 – Sept. 12
Lecture: 9:45 – 11:15 a.m.
TA Session: 5 – 6 p.m. (M, W)
Location: RBC Auditorium, 3201, 3202
Course Material: "Modern Business Statistics with Microsoft Excel" (6th Edition) by Anderson, Sweeney and Williams [ISBN: 9781337115186]

The QM component provides students with the set of quantitative skills required for core courses. Topics include:

  • Exploratory Data Analysis
  • Introduction to Probability
  • Introduction to Distributions

Economics (ECON), including Math Camp

*Math Camp must be taken before Quantitative Methods (QM)
Math Camp Session Dates: Aug. 5 – Aug. 15 → More Information

Economics (ECON)

Session Dates: Aug. 19 – Sept. 12
Lecture: 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
TA Session: 5 – 6 p.m. (T, Th)
Location: RBC Auditorium, 3201, 3202
Course Material: “Managerial Economics" (8th Edition) by William Samuelson [ISBN: 9781119554912]

The ECON component prepares students for core economic and management courses. The course builds on the basic mathematical tools acquired in the first week of the Quantitative Methods component and provides students with a set of useful tools and concepts for economics and finance. Topics include:

  • Comparative advantage and specialization
  • Demand: utility, individual vs. market demand and consumer surplus
  • Supply: profit maximization and producer surplus
  • Elasticity: price, income and cross-price
  • Maximization: using calculus and graphs
  • Market structure: perfect competition, monopoly and oligopoly
  • Expected value and net present valuation

Career Orientation Program

The Career and Professional Development Center (CPDC) welcomes you to GPS! Please read the following VERY CAREFULLY and note these important dates about our REQUIRED Career Orientation Program (COP) in your calendar. It is important that we work with you prior to school starting on your internship search, as there are early fall deadlines for many internships (i.e., big consulting firms).

Since the vast majority of you will be here for our summer Prep program, we have designed a series of sessions that will give you the foundation to take charge of your career and manage it proactively, whether you have very little work experience or you are a seasoned professional. You are making an important investment in your future by embarking upon an intensive master’s degree program – we want to ensure you maximize the return on that investment. Our Career Orientation Program sessions will offer the following: 

  • Review of Career and Professional Development Center (CPDC) and UC San Diego Career Center resources, programming, employer relations and recruiting timelines
  • Alumni panels
  • One-on-one and small group resume and coaching sessions

COP will be held two days a week during Prep

  • Sessions TBD

Optional sessions COP events: 

  • International Student Success Series (ISSS) workshops - TBD
    • For all F-1, J-1, and other visa holders only
  • U.S. government (federal, state, and local) workshops - TBD
    • Due to hiring guidelines, these sessions are for all U.S. citizens and permanent residents only

Non-Prep or enrolled in ESL courses during Prep

If you are not required to attend Prep or enrolled in ESL courses, you will be given the option to participate in an alternative COP. However, if you are in town, please join us for COP and meet your classmates in advance. An email with more information will be sent out in June/July.


COP is not a requirement for MAS students; however, those interested in utilizing CPDC resources now or in the future are welcome to participate in COP. If you are taking Prep, please join us for the full six-week COP.

PLEASE NOTE all MPP, MIA, MCEPA, BA/MIA and BA/MPP students: Your participation at COP is REQUIRED for use of GPS CPDC's services at any point in time (including as an alum), and attendance will be taken. Students who do not participate will not be eligible for our career resources (career coaching and job board), summer internship funding, or professional development funding. If you do not wish to avail yourself of our services and resources because you plan to return to or continue in your same job after graduation, please complete this form so we can exempt you from attending. If you have COP related questions, please email


GLI Academic English

ESL Summer Session I (for international degree students)
Orientation Date: June 30
Dates: July 1 – Aug. 1
Lecture: M – Th: 8 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.
Location: TBD
Course Material: TBD

ESL Summer Session II (for international degree students)
Orientation Date: Aug. 1
Dates: Aug. 5 – Sept. 5
Lecture2 – 4:50 p.m.
Location: 3202, 3203
Course Material: TBD

These courses are designed to prepare international students for graduate-level classes in the fall and to instill confidence in everyday English speaking and listening skills. Intensive Integrated English combines face-to-face classroom instruction with a self-paced online curriculum that is monitored and evaluated by the instructor to reinforce weaker skills that can be practiced by the individual student. Through small group and class discussion, students will develop the following critical academic skills:

  • Reading and skimming for main ideas and key phrases
  • Paraphrasing and summarizing
  • Writing well-supported paragraphs and essays
  • Giving and receiving feedback during peer editing and class discussions
  • Improving listening and note-taking skills
  • Expanding and applying knowledge of vocabulary and grammar