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Business Essentials

Business Essentials
(One, Two, Three, or Four Quarters)

UC San Diego's Business Programs for International Students - "Chase your dreams, ignite your career, and connect to the world."

Who should take this program?

The Business Essentials program provides students with a comprehensive overview of U.S. management practices and skills. Designed to provide a comfortable learning environment for international participants with limited work experience, the program presents opportunities for students to compare and contrast business practices around the globe. Students must also be 21 years old or older.  If students stay for three quarters, they will be in class with American students during their second and/or third quarter. After three consecutive quarters of study students are eligible to apply for Optional Practical Training.

Program benefits:

  • Develop business skills, knowledge, and abilities by learning American business fundamentals.
  • Participate in multiple business modules and get broad exposure to varied business disciplines.
  • Complement classroom work and gain practical experience in an American workplace by completing a 48-hour unpaid on-campus internship.
  • Study alongside international and American students and build your network.
  • Apply for OPT after three consecutive quarters of study.

Note: UC San Diego Extension International Programs follow a quarter system. Each quarter consists of 10-12 weeks of full-time study. There are four quarters per year.


2016 and 2017 Program Dates
One Quarter:
  • Fall 2016: September 22 - December 9
  • Winter 2017: January 12 - March 24
  • Spring 2017: April 6 - June 16
  • Summer 2017: June 29 - September 8
  • Fall 2017: September 28 - December 15
Two Quarters:
  • Fall 2016: September 22 - March 24, 2017
  • Winter 2017: January 12 - June 16
  • Spring 2017: April 6 - September 8
  • Summer 2017: June 29 - December 15
  • Fall 2017: September 28 - March 23, 2018
Three Quarters:
  • Fall 2016: September 22 - June 16, 2017
  • Winter 2017: January 12 - September 8
  • Spring 2017: April 6 - December 15
  • Summer 2017: June 29 - March 23, 2018
  • Fall 2017: September 28 - June 15, 2018
Four Quarters:
  • Fall 2016: September 22 - September 1, 2017
  • Winter 2017: January 12 - December 15
  • Spring 2017: April 6 - March 23, 2018
  • Summer 2017: June 29 - June 15, 2018
  • Fall 2017: September 28 - September 2018 (TBD)


View detailed course descriptions (PDF)
Please note: Courses are subject to change without notice.

Admission Requirements:

The minimum requirements to be accepted in the program are listed below. Applicants who satisfy these requirements are not automatically accepted. Space is limited and the admissions review is competitive. We carefully review the background and qualifications of each applicant to ensure that those admitted will have a successful experience.

Proof of Language Proficiency Requirement:
  • TOEFL paper-based: 530
  • TOEFL iBT: 71
  • TOEIC: 700
  • IELTS: 6.0
  • Cambridge First Certificate (FCE): Pass

Additional Admission Requirements:
  • University study: two or more years
  • Work experience: one year preferred, but not required
  • Official university transcripts, in English, from all universities attended, indicating a strong academic history; include grading key.
  • Letter of recommendation from a professor or supervisor attesting to your experience and ability to excel in the relevant field. Must be signed and dated, and on university or company letterhead.
  • Résumé or CV
  • Essay: 200 words explaining your qualifications and motivation for taking the program
  • Students must be 21 years old or older to take this program.


Application Deadline:

Applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis until all seats available are taken by the most qualified applicants. It is recommended to submit the application five months in advance.

Business Essentials Program Overview:


1st Quarter

(22 units)

2nd Quarter

(15 units)

3rd Quarter

(12-15 units)

4th Quarter

(12-15 units)

(beginning in January 2015)

The Business Essentials first-quarter program covers topics including business operations, human resources, communication, team building, project management, negotiation, planning, entrepreneurship and money and banking. The first quarter also allows students to participate in an on-campus internship experience. (First quarter textbook included.)

Second-quarter courses build upon the foundation developed in the first quarter of Business Essentials. The curriculum consists of the following required courses:

  • Introduction to Business
  • Basics of Project Management
  • Business Communication Skills
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Marketing: Experiential Learning

Third-quarter courses continue to enrich students' knowledge. The curriculum consists of the following required courses:

  • Bookkeeping for Business
  • The Recruiting Process
  • Strategic Cross-Cultural Communication
  • Elective--Students will have the opportunity to choose an additional class from a list of business elective courses as determined by the business department.

As a fourth quarter of Business Essentials, a student may pursue this marketing module, which consists of the following required courses:

  • Elements of Marketing
  • Web Analytics
  • Marketing: Experiential Learning II
  • SEO and Marketing
  • Elective--Students will have the opportunity to choose an additional class from a list of business elective courses as determined by the business department.


Program Schedule:

  • Monday - Friday, occasional Saturdays
  • Daytime and evening courses
  • Schedule varies


Most classes are held on the UC San Diego Extension campus in La Jolla or at the off-site University City Center near to campus.

Access to a car or other reliable transportation is required for evening and off-site classes.

Cost (In U.S. Dollars):

Application Fee: $200 (nonrefundable)

FedEx fee: $50 (optional, but recommended)

2016 and 2017 One Quarter Tuition: $7,000

2016 and 2017 Two Quarter Tuition: $11,500

2016 and 2017 Three Quarter Tuition: $16,000

2016 and 2017 Four Quarter Tuition: $19,500

International Student Service Fee: $350 per quarter

UCSD Extension medical insurance: $585 per quarter

Books/Materials: Approximately $300-$800 per quarter
(Payment CANNOT be made in advance. Books will be purchased upon arrival at UC San Diego.)


Additional Fees:

Note: There is an additional $500 Program Extension fee for Business certificate programs if the student decides after the first week of classes at UC San Diego to extend the duration of his/her Business certificate program. For details on the policy and procedure for this, please contact

There is a required $150 USD Program Change Fee by Extension International Student Services regardless of when the program change is made.

Housing Options:

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