University & Professional Studies
Who should take this program?
If you are a high-achieving university student or professional who would like to take a full-time schedule of credit-bearing classes at UC San Diego or UC San Diego Extension while studying alongside American university students, the University and Professional Studies (UPS) program might be right for you. With UPS, it is possible to study at the Bachelor’s and Master’s levels, across nearly all the departments at UC San Diego.
In fall, winter, and spring quarters, you can take a full-time program (12 units) consisting of UC San Diego and/or UC San Diego Extension courses for university credit. The following are examples of some of the subjects that previous University and Professional Studies students have studied:
- Academic Writing
- Aerospace Engineering
- Business (upper-division undergraduate business courses through the Rady School of Management and graduate international business courses through the School of Global Policy and Strategy)
- Computer Science
- Electrical Engineering
- International Relations
- Marine Biology
- Mechanical Engineering
- Molecular Biology
- Political Science
- Spanish for Communication
- Stem Cell Biology
- Visual Arts
- and many more
For a complete list of all UC San Diego courses please search tritonlink.ucsd.edu. For UC San Diego Extension course offerings please see extension.ucsd.edu. Enrollment in all classes is on a space-available basis and requires instructor and/or departmental approval.
Note: UC San Diego Extension courses in Master of Advanced Studies programs, graduate business courses at the Rady School of Management or any courses in the School of Medicine or Pharmacy are not permitted for enrollment through UPS. Availability of graduate-level courses in other departments is strictly controlled for prerequisites.
Dates (click here for complete list of program dates):
- Winter 2020: January 2 - March 21
- Spring 2020: March 23 - June 12
- Summer 2020: June 15 - September 4 - All instruction will be by remote learning, either asynchronously or on Pacific Standard Time, due to the COVID-19 situation.
- Fall 2020: September 24 - December 19
- Winter 2021: December 29, 2020 - March 20, 2021
- Spring 2021: March 22 - June 11
- Summer 2021: June 17 - September 11
- Fall 2021: September 20 - December 11
We carefully review the background and qualifications of each applicant to ensure that those admitted to the University and Professional Studies (UPS) program will have a successful experience. The minimum acceptance requirements are listed below.
Language Proficiency Requirements:
There are three different language proficiency tracks for UPS.
UPS Track 1 English Proficiency Requirement:
- TOEFL internet-based: 80
- IELTS: 6.5
- Cambridge Advanced Exam: Pass
- CEFR: B2
- PTE: 64
- DAAD Listening Comprehension—4 stars (4/5), Spoken Language—4 stars (4/5), Reading—4 stars (4/5), Writing—4 stars (4/5)
Track 1 Course Distribution (12 credits):
- Maximum of 4 main campus credits (including all subjects available for all tracks)
- 3 credits in either Oral Presentations or Academic Writing & Research
- 5 credits in Extension courses (Business, Engineering, Computer Science, etc.)
UPS Track 2 English Proficiency Requirement:
- TOEFL internet-based: 85
- IELTS: 7.0
- Cambridge Advanced Exam: Pass
- CEFR: C1
- PTE: 68
- DAAD: Listening Comprehension—5 stars (5/5), Spoken Language—5 stars (5/5), Reading—4 stars (4/5), Writing—4 stars (4/5)
Track 2 Course Distribution (12 credits):
- Maximum of 8 main campus credits (including all subjects available for all tracks)
- 4 units of Extension courses (Business, Engineering, Computer Science, etc.)
UPS Track 3 English Proficiency Requirement:
- TOEFL internet-based: 90
- IELTS: 7.5
- Cambridge Proficiency or Advanced Exams: Pass
- CEFR: C1
- PTE: 73
- DAAD: Listening Comprehension—5 stars (5/5), Spoken Language—5 stars (5/5), Reading—4 stars (4/5), Writing—5 stars (5/5)
Track 3 Course Distribution (12 credits):
- 12 units of main campus or Extension courses
Additional Admission Requirements for all tracks:
A copy of transcripts in English for the two most recent years of academic studies. Transcripts must clearly indicate excellent academic achievement – top 10% in his/her school.
UPS Course List Form of 12-15 courses per quarter, organized by quarter, that you would like to take at UC San Diego or UC San Diego Extension. Students must use the UPS Course List Form to submit their selections. UC San Diego courses are listed at tritonlink.ucsd.edu. For a list of all of UC San Diego Extension course offerings please see extension.ucsd.edu.
A one-page statement explaining your reasons for choosing UC San Diego for your study abroad experience.
Once admitted into the program, students must maintain above-average final grades in all coursework (“B” or better).
- 12-13 weeks each quarter
- Monday – Friday (occasional Saturday workshops)
- Schedule varies depending on classes chosen
Note: Participating in this educational program does not provide preference in admission to the University of California (UC) degree programs. Students interested in applying to UC degree programs should refer to the UC Admissions website or the websites of other UC campuses they wish to attend for details about their admissions process.
Cost (in U.S. dollars):
- Application Fee: $200 (nonrefundable)
- FedEx fee: $50 (optional, but recommended)
- 2020/2021 Tuition: $7,800
- International Student Service Fee: $380 per quarter
- UC San Diego Extension medical insurance: $585 per quarter
- Books/Materials: Approximately $200-$800 per quarter (Payment CANNOT be made in advance. Books and materials must be purchased upon arrival at UC San Diego.)