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Looking for Academic Policy Advice?

Below is a listing of helpful policies. Please connect with advising staff for support, academic planning and help with finding resources at the university.

Academic Appeals

A student may appeal a final exam result or course grade only if they believe non-academic criteria not directly reflective of academic performance in the course were used in determining the result. Please see: UC San Diego General Catalog and Academic Senate Regulation 502.
  • Student appeal must first be made to the individual faculty member or teaching assistant who made the decision.
  • Appeal must be made within one month of the decision or within the first month of the following regular academic quarter.
  • If this does not result in a resolution that is satisfactory to the student, they may appeal to the associate dean. Appeal to the dean is the final step within the School.
Students have one year to appeal any action by UC San Diego that concerns information on the transcript such as denial of a right to withdraw, change of grading option or dropping/adding a class.
  • Petition should be made to dean of the Graduate Division.
  • Appeals after 12 months must be made to the Academic Senate.
Non-Academic Conduct Appeals:
Students’ accused of violating policies on conduct will find appeal procedures outlined in the UC San Diego Student Conduct Code.

Academic Dishonesty

All suspected cases of academic dishonesty will be referred to campus for adjudication. Academic violations consist of the following three categories.
Cheating includes the attempt to:
  • give or receive any unauthorized aid or assistance;
  • give or receive any unfair advantage on any form of any academic work; and
  • use of electronic aids including calculators, translation programs, dictionaries or cellphone apps without explicit permission.
Plagiarism includes the attempt to:
  • pass off as your own original work the language, argument structure, ideas and/or thoughts that have been copied from another’s written or spoken work;
  • paraphrasing without attribution; and
  • the use of someone else's data, code, or model or rationality for a model or variable selection.
Falsification includes the attempt to use:
  • statements of any untruth, either verbally or in writing, that misrepresent one’s academic performance such as the forgery of official signatures, tampering with official records, adding or deleting information on academic documents, changing/removing a grade on an assignment, or changing/removing comments on coursework; and
  • turning in work for a course assignment that was produced for another course/employer without the explicit permission of both instructors or one’s employer and professor.
A student who has concerns or questions about how these academic principles apply to any assignment or classroom-related circumstance is responsible for obtaining specific guidance from the instructor before submitting the assignment.
Detailed procedures for the disposition of academic dishonesty cases are fully described in the UC San Diego General Catalog.

Academic Probation

All students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 (be in good academic standing) in order to receive a degree.
  • Students with more than eight units of “U” and/or “F” or a cumulative GPA of less than 2.0 may be required to withdraw.
  • Students with a cumulative GPA below 3.0 in any quarter will receive notices of probationary standing from both the associate dean of GPS and the dean of the Graduate Division.
  • The student is required to make an appointment with either an academic advisor or the associate dean of GPS to establish an academic plan.
For MIA, MPP and MCEPA and part-time MAS-IA students (two-year programs)
In the quarter subsequent to the first notice of probation, if the student:
  • raises their cumulative GPA above a 3.0, they will be returned to good standing;
  • earns a second quarter below the required 3.0, academic probation will be extended and they must meet with student affairs staff to sign and discuss the conditions of an academic contract;
  • fails to achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.8 or higher by the end of spring of their first year will be required to withdraw from the program; and
  • second-year students on probation must attain the required cumulative GPA of 3.0 by the end of the second year as failure to do so will result in dismissal from the program.
For second-year BA/MIA and full-time MAS-IA students (one-year programs)
In the quarter subsequent to the first notice of probation, if the student:
  • raises their cumulative GPA above a 3.0, they will be returned to good standing; or
  • fails to achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0, they are subject to dismissal.
Academic probation disqualifies all students from:
  • student leadership positions;
  • academic appointments (including teaching assistant, research assistant, apprentice teacher, tutor, intern or reader);
  • enrolling in Independent Research (GPGN 499) courses;
  • receiving merit-based financial aid; and
  • receiving non-School financial assistance.
The ability to enroll for any quarter does not imply that probation has been lifted or that a student will be allowed to remain in a program.


All degrees:
  • Enrollment and registration deadlines must be met to avoid a required late fee.
  • All fees, including late fees, must be paid in full by the end of the second week of instruction to avoid cancellation of enrollment.
  • Reinstatement requires payment in full of all fees and approval from both student affairs and Graduate Division.
  • Non-payment by the end of the fourth week will result in cancellation for the entire quarter.
  • Fees/stipends paid by the School or other award sources will not be credited to a student’s account until enrollment is complete.

Full- & Part-Time Study

The MIA, MPP, MCEPA and BA/MIA are full-time degree programs:
  • MIA and MCEPA students are expected to take at least 16 units each quarter.
  • Second-year BA/MIA students are expected to take at least 16 units each quarter.
  • UC San Diego policy requires enrollment in at least 12 units per quarter to maintain full-time status.
  • Registering for fewer than 12 units requires formal approval from student affairs staff and Graduate Division.
  • Students enrolled in seven – 11 units will pay full-time tuition and fees.
  • Students enrolled in six units or fewer must pay professional fees and student health costs.
  • Visa status requires full-time enrollment in 12 units.
The MAS-IA may be pursued at either a full-time or part-time pace:
  • MAS-IA full-time enrollment is at least 16 units each quarter.
  • MAS-IA part-time enrollment is eight units each quarter.

Good Standing Requirements

All degrees require students to:
  • maintain a 3.0 GPA, including UC San Diego courses taken outside the School; and
  • have no more than eight units of F and/or U grades appear on transcript.

Please see academic probation for further information about the consequences of failing to remain in good standing.

Grading Policy

All GPS courses are graded using the School’s grading guideline as follows:
  • In classes with enrollments of 25 or more, the median grade should be no higher than B+, the number of grades strictly above and below a B+ should be equal.
  • In classes with fewer than 25 students, A grades (including A+ and A-) should not be given to more than half of the class.
  • Students who take the class on an S/U basis are not included in the enrollment number for the purpose of this policy.
  • When there is a justifiable exception to the guideline, the faculty member shall attach an explanatory note to the grading sheet.
  • Non-GPS students may be included in the curve.
Eligibility for an incomplete requires the following:
  • Student has completed work beyond the fourth week drop deadline that is of passing quality.
  • The inability to complete the course must be a consequence of an emergency such as illness or family crisis.
  • Students must provide documentation to the faculty of record for the request.
Clearing an incomplete requires the following:
  • Students have until the Friday of 10th week of the subsequent quarter to complete work for an incomplete but faculty retain the discretion to set an earlier deadline.
  • If an incomplete is not resolved as required, the incomplete grade will convert to a permanent F, and there are no retroactive appeals.
  • Extensions on incomplete grades cannot be made retroactively. Allowable extensions on incompletes require campus approval and will go forward from student affairs staff only with documentation showing that the original emergency has not resolved.
  • Students with pending incompletes are not eligible for a leave of absence.
The No Report/No Record (NR) Grade:
  • If a blank appears on a transcript it is the student's responsibility to resolve a No Report/No Record (NR) grade before the end of the following quarter when it will lapse to a permanent F or U grade.

Graduate Courses

BA/MIA, MIA, MPP, MCEPA and MAS-IA courses are listed on the TritonLink Schedule of Classes in the 400 series and in the online UC San Diego General Catalogue.
Prior approval via petition is required for:
  • upper-division undergraduate courses (100 series); and
  • non-School graduate level courses (200 series).
University Rules for non-School courses:
  • No more than 16 units of outside coursework may be used toward the degree, excluding approved language coursework
  • Only 12 of these units may be at the undergraduate level
With the exception of the Education Abroad Program (EAP) and the University of California Intercampus Exchange (ICEX), no degree coursework may be taken outside of UC San Diego.

Leave of Absence

Leave of absence:
  • Students are eligible for a maximum of three quarters leave of absence.
  • Students must file for a formal leave of absence and/or withdrawal prior to leaving the campus.
  • Students must have completed at least one quarter of academic residence and be in good standing to be granted a leave.
  • A student on a leave of absence cannot use university facilities or faculty time, be employed at UC San Diego, UC San Diego Medical Center or UC Extension.
  • Aid and fellowship recipients are advised to meet with a member of the student affairs staff or the UC San Diego Financial Aid Office to discuss the impact of leave on their aid packages.
International students on leave of absence:
  • International students are not permitted leaves of absence except in cases of a documented illness or a documented intention to return to their home country for the duration of the leave.
  • These must be approved by the UC San International Students & Programs Office (ISPO).
  • See student affairs staff in the 300 building, bottom floor.
Parental leaves of absence:
  • A student who is either expecting a child or has the primary responsibility for the care of a newborn or an adopted child under the age of 5, is eligible for up to three quarters of parental leave. During the quarter in which the childbirth or adoption occurs, the student may, with departmental approval:
    • continue to register as a full-time student and retain eligibility for support;
    • reduce to part-time status (fewer than 12 units);
    • be eligible for up to 25 percent time employment on campus; and
    • take a leave of absence and request a one-quarter extension of all unexpired time limits.
Students are entitled to no more than three quarters of parenting leave total, regardless of the number of children.


Official transcripts must be ordered through the UC San Diego Office of the Registrar. Transcripts are delivered through secure PDF.

Waiving Courses

Student may petition to waive a (first year) core course, as well as required regional and career-track courses.
The Director of Academic Degree Programs must be provided with a transcript showing the following:
  • two upper division undergraduate courses with a grade of B+ or higher in the same disciplinary area of the waived course, taken within the last seven years; and
  • a graduate-level course in the same disciplinary area and subject matter, taken in the last seven years, and passed with a B or better.

Petitions for waivers must be submitted to the director no later than the end of the first week of the quarter in which the course in question is scheduled.

Waiving a course does not reduce the number of units required for the degree.

Students who will miss a required course due to study abroad may be allowed to substitute a similar course. Course substitution must be included in the student's Education Abroad Program study abroad plan and approved by petition by student affairs and the associate dean prior to departure. Learn more about EAP.