Skip to main content

gep-banner.png

For Prospective Students

Thank you for your interest in UC San Diego! Before you apply, please review the information below. If you have any questions or need additional information, please email globalexchange@ucsd.edu.

Participating Universities

UC San Diego has established academic year exchange agreements with the following universities:

Some of the exchanges are specific to certain majors. Check with your study abroad or international exchange office to ensure you are eligible to participate in the program. 

For students who are not enrolled at one of the partner universities listed above, below are other opportunities to study at UC San Diego:

For Degree-Seeking Students: 
UC San Diego Office of Undergraduate Admissions
UC San Diego Graduate Division

For Students Interested in Short-Term Programs:
UC San Diego Extension- International Programs
University of California Education Abroad Program (select universities only)

Nomination and Application Deadlines

Before applying, students must be nominated by their home universities. Any students who are interested should contact the study abroad or international exchange office at their home university to learn about the nomination process.

For the 2022-2023 Academic Year, partner universities must nominate their students by the following dates:

  • For Fall Quarter (Sept 19, 2022 to Dec 10, 2022) - Tuesday, February 15, 2022
  • For Winter Quarter (Jan 4, 2023 to Mar 25, 2022) - Sunday, May 15, 2022
  • For Spring Quarter (Mar 29, 2023 to June 16, 2023) - Thursday, September 15, 2022

Once nominated, a student can apply to the Global Exchange Program. The application deadlines are: 

  • Fall Quarter 2022 - Tuesday, March 1, 2022
  • Winter Quarter 2023 - Wednesday, June 1, 2022
  • Spring Quarter 2023 - Saturday, October 1, 2022

Required Documents for Application

The application form will ask you to submit certain documents. You must submit all required documentation for your application to be considered.

  • Evidence of English Proficiency -  See the UC San Diego International Admissions Page for the tests that are accepted and the minimum scores needed. If English is an official language of your country of citizenship, you do not have to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. 
  • Copy of Passport Biodata Page - When traveling to the U.S., it is recommended to have a passport that is valid for up to six months after your planned departure. At the time of application, please upload your current valid passport. If you receive a new passport, contact iContact@ucsd.edu to find out how to upload your new passport details.
  • Unofficial Academic Transcript from Home University - Please provide a document from your university that shows what courses you have taken so far in your degree program. This assists the UC San Diego faculty to determine if you meet any pre-requisites. If the transcript is not English, please provide a translated copy. 
  • Proposed Enrollment Course List - Please provide a list of courses that you wish to take for each quarter that you study at UC San Diego. See the Course Information and Full-Time Study section below on how to find courses. Please note that you must consult with your academic advisor at your home country to ensure that the courses you choose will count towards degree requirements. 

Due to high-demand and limited courses per quarter, we cannot guarantee placement in a desired course.

  • Letter of Support from UC San Diego Faculty (GRADUATE STUDENTS ONLY) - If you plan on taking graduate courses, please provide a letter of recommendation from a UC San Diego faculty member stating that they support your application. Our office can assist you in identifying a faculty member.

Any questions from a student or adviser should be directed globalexchange@ucsd.edu.

Term Start and End Dates

UC San Diego operates on a quarter rather than a semester system. Exchange students can come in the Fall, Winter and Spring quarters to UC San Diego. The Global Exchange Program does not cover summer courses. For start and end dates of every quarter, holidays and final examination periods, please review the UC San Diego Academic Calendar for your period of study.

Course Information and Full-Time Study

Full-Time Enrollment: International students are required to enroll in at least 12 units for each academic quarter to maintain their visa status. It is strongly recommended to not take 16 or more units per quarter.

For undergraduate students, please see the specific department website for the courses usually offered for each quarter. For graduate students, available courses can be found through the program's website.

Please note that the course catalog for each quarter isn't finalized until much closer to the start date of the quarter. Therefore, when looking for courses use the course offerings for the current academic year as a guide to decide which courses you want to take and in which quarters they are offered. There is usually very little variation with course offerings in different academic year. Should a course be unavailable, consult with your academic advisor at the time of enrollment to review alternative courses and which would count towards your degree requirements at your home university. 

After you apply, our offices will contact you when the enrollment period begins.

Due to high-demand and limited courses per quarter, we cannot guarantee placement in a desired course.

FEES: Though tuition is waived for global exchange students, some courses might charge nominal fees such as materials fees or lab fees. Fees will be charged to your student account prior to the start of the quarter. We cannot waive these required fees for certain courses.

Housing

Housing, especially on-campus housing, is not arranged or guaranteed for exchange students. Our offices will try to assist exchange students in providing as many housing options, but ultimately housing and all costs associated with housing are the responsibility of the student. 

On-Campus Housing: The Office of Housing, Dining and Hospitality (HDH) manages all campus residence halls. If you want to stay on-campus, please visit the HDH website for information, applications and deadlines.

Off-Campus Housing: Should you want to live off-campus, please visit the International Students & Programs Office's (ISPO) Housing Page for resources to help you find suitable accommodation in the San Diego area. 

Cost of Living

Please note that UC San Diego is located in an affluent neighborhood in San Diego. Therefore, the cost of living is quite high. Please keep this in mind when considering UC San Diego as a study abroad destination.

For an estimated breakdown of living costs, click HERE.

Visas

The most common visa for exchange students is the J-1 (Exchange Visitor) Student Visa. If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you do not need a student visa. 

Visit this page for information on how to request immigration documents to apply for your visa. 

Health Insurance

All students are automatically enrolled into the UC Student Health Insurance Plan (UC SHIP) and are responsible for paying for their coverage for the program. Students who are currently covered under a private health plan and do not wish to be covered by UC SHIP may submit an online application to opt out of (waive) the UC SHIP. Visit the UC SHIP page for more details. For more information about paying for your UC San Diego insurance and fee’s please see the page here.

For a list of health, wellness and recreation resources available to you at UC San Diego, click HERE.

Student Life and On-Campus Engagement

  • Research Opportunities- Global Exchange Program students, particularly graduate students, can conduct research while studying. However, it is entirely at the discretion of the faculty member who is responsible for the lab. If you would like to conduct research, please indicate this in your application and provide which lab or labs you are interested in.
  • ISPO's iPrograms Events Calendar- ISPO has a robust calendar of activities and events for international students. Visit iprograms.ucsd.edu for more information
  • Center for Student Involvement (CSI)- There are literally hundreds of student organizations and clubs for a multitude of interests. Visit getinvolved.ucsd.edu for more information.
  • Athletics- UC San Diego is a Division I school, which is the most competitive tier of U.S. collegiate athletics. Visit ucsdtritons.com for information on on-campus sporting events.
  • Recreation at UC San Diego- UC San Diego has multiple facilities for physical fitness. Recreation also organizes excursions for students including hiking, backpacking, snorkeling, paddleboarding, and more. Visit recreation.ucsd.edu for more information on memberships. 

Apply to a Global Exchange Program

We can't wait to see you on campus!

Apply Here!