Admission

Applicants for admission to the University of San Diego graduate programs must hold a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited and approved institution. Applicants for admission to the doctoral programs must also hold a master’s degree. Selection for admission to a USD graduate program is competitive and based on evidence that the applicant will be able to pursue successfully a program leading to a post-baccalaureate degree, certificate, or credential in the field to which the student is applying. The applicant’s undergraduate training should reflect breadth as well as appropriate preparation for advanced study in the field selected.

Applicants should thoroughly review the departmental sections of this course catalog and website for special requirements such as special application deadlines, minimum GPA, standardized tests, required prerequisite courses or credentials and other requirements specific to the program.

The university does not admit applicants on provisional status to graduate programs. However, a department may recommend that an individual take additional courses or examinations prior to further consideration for admission. Or the department may require additional courses beyond program requirements as a condition for granting the degree.

Procedure

Application for admission should be made online at the University of San Diego’s Office of Graduate Admissions website. Supporting documentation, such as official transcripts, must be mailed to:

Office of Graduate Admissions
University of San Diego
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
(619) 260-4524

Application Priority Filing Dates for Admission

Most graduate programs at the University of San Diego have different deadlines. Please refer to the department or department Web site of the program to which you are applying for the appropriate admission deadline.

Applications that are received by the departments priority filing date will be given careful consideration, but please note that a program might be filled before the final filing date. Applicants are expected to ensure that all supporting credentials are received in the Office of Graduate Admissions by the final filing date. Applications will not be accepted after the final filing date indicated below.

Admission Filing Dates

Term of Matriculation: Fall

College of Arts and Sciences

  • MFA in Acting: January 5
  • MA in International Relations: Early March 1, Final July 1
  • MS in Environmental and Ocean Sciences: Early January 15, Final April 1

Professional and Continuing Education

  • MS in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership: August 7
  • MS in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership: August 7

School of Business

  • MBA, Full-Time Program:
    • November 1 
    • January 15
    • March 1
    • May 1
  • MBA, Professional Program: 
    • November 1 
    • January 15
    • March 1
    • May 1
  • MS in Accountancy: Rolling admissions for U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents. May 1 for International Applicants. 
  • MS in Business Analytics: 
    • November 1 
    • January 15
    • March 1
    • May 1
  • MS in Executive Leadership:
    • November 1 
    • January 15
    • March 1
    • May 1
  • MS in Finance:
    • November 1 
    • January 15
    • March 1
    • May 1
  • MS in Global Leadership: 
    • November 1 
    • January 15
    • March 1
    • May 1
  • MS in Real Estate:
    • November 1 
    • January 15
    • March 1
    • May 1
  • MS in Supply Chain Management: 
    • November 1 
    • January 15
    • March 1
    • May 1
  • MS in Taxation: Rolling admissions for U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents. May 1 for International Applicants. 

School of Leadership and Education Sciences

  • PhD in Leadership Studies: December 15
  • PhD in Education for Social Justice: Early April 15, Final July 1
  • MA in Leadership Studies: Early March 31, Final April 30
  • MA in Higher Education Leadership: December 15
  • MA in Nonprofit Leadership and Management: Early March 31, Final April 30
  • MA in Marital and Family Therapy: Early January 13, Final February 10
  • MA in Counseling/School Counseling, PPS Credential: Early January 13, Final February 10
  • MA in Counseling/School Counseling, PPS Credential with LPCC Eligibility: Early January 13, Final February 10
  • MA in Counseling/Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Early January 13, Final February 10
  • MEd in Curriculum and Instruction with Credential Eligibility: Early March 1, Final June 30
  • MEd in TESOL, Literacy and Culture: Early March 1, Final June 30
  • MEd in Curriculum and Instruction (Online): August 7
  • MEd in Inclusive Learning, Special Education and Universal Design (Online): August 7
  • MEd in Literacy and Digital Learning (Online): August 7
  • MEd in School Leadership (Online): August 7
  • MEd in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (Online): August 7
  • Graduate Certificate in TESOL: June 30

School of Nursing

  • Master’s Entry Program in Nursing (for Non-RNs): October 15
  • MS in Nursing/Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist: March 1
  • MS in Nursing/Executive Nurse Leader: March 1
  • MS in Nursing/Nursing Informatics: March 1
  • MS in Nursing/Family Nurse Practitioner; Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner: March 1
  • MS in Health Care Informatics: March 1
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice: March 1
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing: December 15

School of Peace Studies

  • MA in Peace and Justice: January 15
  • MA in Social Innovation: February 15
  • MS in Conflict Management and Resolution: March 15

Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering

  • MS in Cyber Security Engineering: August 7

Term of Matriculation: Spring

College of Arts and Sciences

  • MA in International Relations: Early October 1, Final December 1

Professional and Continuing Education

  • MS in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership: December 2
  • MS in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership: December 2

School of Business

  • MBA, Professional Program: Round 1: October 1, Round 2: December 1
  • MS in Accountancy: Rolling admissions for U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents. December 1 for International Applicants. 
  • MS in Taxation: Rolling admissions for U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents. December 1 for International Applicants. 

School of Leadership and Education Sciences

  • MA in Leadership Studies: October 5
  • MA in Marital and Family Therapy: October 15
  • MA in Nonprofit Leadership and Management: November 2
  • MA in TESOL, Literacy and Culture: October 21
  • MEd in Curriculum and Instruction with Credential Eligibility: October 21
  • MEd in Curriculum and Instruction (Online): December 2
  • MEd in Inclusive Learning, Special Education and Universal Design (Online): December 2
  • MEd in Literacy and Digital Learning (Online): December 2
  • MEd in School Leadership (Online): December 2
  • MEd in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (Online): December 2

School of Nursing

  • MS in Nursing/Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist: November 1
  • MS in Nursing/Executive Nurse Leader: November 1
  • MS in Nursing/Nursing Informatics: November 1
  • MS in Health Care Informatics: November 1

Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering

  • MS in Cyber Security Engineering: December 2

Term of Matriculation: Summer

Professional and Continuing Education

  • MS in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership: April 13
  • MS in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership: April 13

School of Business

  • MS in Accountancy: Rolling admissions for U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents. We are unable to accept applications for international students for the Summer term. 
  • MS in Taxation: Rolling admissions for U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents. We are unable to accept applications for international students for the Summer term. 

School of Leadership and Education Sciences

  • PhD in Leadership Studies: December 15. We are unable to accept applications for international students for the Summer term. 
  • PhD in Leadership Studies, Leadership for International School Leaders: Early December 15, Final March 15
  • MA in Leadership Studies: March 31. We are unable to accept applications for international students for the Summer term. 
  • MEd in Curriculum and Instruction with Credential Eligibility: Early February 1, Final May 1
  • MEd in TESOL, Literacy and Culture: Early February 1, Final May 1
  • Preliminary Single Subject Credential: May 1
  • Preliminary Multiple Subject Credential: May 1
  • MEd in Curriculum and Instruction (Online): April 13
  • MEd in Inclusive Learning, Special Education and Universal Design (Online): April 13
  • MEd in Literacy and Digital Learning (Online): April 13
  • MEd in School Leadership (Online): April 13
  • MEd in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (Online): April 13

Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering

  • MS in Cyber Security Engineering: April 13

USD Financial Aid Deadline1: April 1

(All deadlines are subject to change. Please refer to program website for further information.)

Materials to be Submitted by Applicants for Degrees, Credentials, or Certificates

Applicants must make sure that all of the following materials are submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions in order for their applications to be reviewed.

  1. The Application for Admission.
  2. The stipulated Application Fee. This is a nonrefundable fee and is subject to change. International students must pay in United States currency.
  3. An official transcript from each college or university attended, documenting every course taken beyond the high school level (whether or not within a degree program) and all degrees awarded. Transcripts that do not bear the registrar’s signature and/or the institution’s seal are not official and are, therefore, unacceptable. Applicants from outside the United States must submit a course-by-course transcript evaluation performed by an independent credential evaluation service such as World Education Services (WES) or Education Credential Evaluators (ECE).
  4. Three letters of recommendation preferably submitted through the online application, from professors familiar with the applicant’s scholarly work or from professional supervisors who have had experience in a graduate program and who can provide information regarding the applicant’s potential for success as a graduate student. Applicants for the School of Business are required to submit two professional letters of recommendation.
  5. Current résumé.
  6. Personal statement or research interest statement. Certain programs require multiple statements. Please refer to the departmental website for more detailed information.
  7. Standardized admission test scores when required by department (see program sections and Admission Tests below).

Admission Tests

Some departments require applicants to submit the results of one of the standardized tests (see Additional Requirements for Admission in the program sections). Registration forms, fee schedules, available test dates and additional information for these tests can be found through the testing service Web sites. USD’s Institution Code number for ETS exams is 4849 and the institution code for Pearson is 29B-Q2-68; these numbers must be included on the test registration form in order to have the official results sent to the university.

International Student Applicants

The University of San Diego welcomes applications from international students who can demonstrate their ability to undertake graduate work successfully in the United States. Applicants for admission from foreign countries must give evidence of eligibility for university entrance by furnishing official records covering all collegiate work as well as academic recommendations. International applicants are required to have course-by-course transcript evaluations performed by an independent credential evaluation service such as World Education Services, Inc. (WES) or Education Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ECE).

World Education Services (WES)
P.O. Box 5087
Bowling Green Station
New York, NY 10274, USA
www.wes.org

Education Credential Evaluators (ECE)
PO Box 514070
Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470 USA
www.ece.org

Students from non-English-speaking countries are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). See English Proficiency, page 25.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
TOEFL/TSE Services
P.O. Box 6151
Princeton, NJ 08541-6151
Phone: (609) 771-7100, Fax: (609) 771-7500
www.toefl.org

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
IELTS International
825 Colorado Boulevard, Suite 112
Los Angeles, CA 90041
Phone: (323) 255-2771
www.ielts.org

International students cannot rely on financial assistance or awards from the university and must provide for their financial support from non-university sources. They must submit adequate proof of financial resources for all obligations for the full period of time for which they will be attending the university. Accepted students should send a nonrefundable tuition deposit which will be credited to the student’s account. The nonrefundable tuition deposit may vary with individual degree programs. Registration information will be sent upon receipt of the deposit.

USD is authorized under Federal law to enroll non-immigrant alien students. The applicant must be accepted as a full-time student working toward a degree before he or she is eligible for an Immigration Form I-20. The Form I-20 will be sent to the accepted student upon receipt of an affidavit of support indicating the amount and source(s) of finances and a commitment deposit.

International students must show proof of adequate health insurance coverage while enrolled at USD and may select from several plans designed specifically for international students. Should you need to purchase insurance, information and forms are available in the Office of International Students and Scholars, Serra Hall, Room 315, (610) 260-4598.

English Proficiency

Students enrolled in graduate programs at USD must be able to comprehend written English easily, to understand rapid, idiomatic English used in lectures and group discussions and to express themselves clearly in spoken and written English. A student who is not proficient in English may need to take courses in an “English as a Second Language” program at USD’s English Language Academy. Applicants are advised to contact the English Language Academy at (619) 260-8808 about this learning opportunity. All graduate applicants, regardless of citizenship, whose undergraduate education was principally in a language other than English must demonstrate competence in English. Those who do not possess a bachelor’s degree from a USD-approved post-secondary institution where English is the principal language of instruction must receive a minimum score of 580 (paper-based), 237 (computer-based), or 83 (Internet based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or receive a minimum IELTS overall band score of 7.0.

The School of Business graduate programs require a minimum score of 92 on the Internet-based exam. The minimum score required on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an overall band score of 7.0. Individual degree programs may require a higher minimum score.

The TOEFL is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and is given at test centers throughout the world, including locations within the United States. The IELTS is jointly managed by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL) and delivered through more than 800 locations in over 130 countries.

Non-Degree Students

Any interested individual holding a bachelor’s degree from an approved and accredited institution may apply through the Open Campus process to take graduate coursework on a non-degree basis. All students applying though Open Campus need approval from the appropriate Graduate Director and Dean’s Office. After the student receives approval, the student will complete the Open Campus application process, which includes submitting official transcripts of all attempted college work. Please note that the School of Business restricts non-degree access to courses to students already enrolled and in good standing in graduate programs at USD or other accredited and approved institutions.

Students may take a maximum of 18 units per semester. However, typically only a maximum of 6 units may be eligible to apply to a USD graduate degree. Some, but not all, departments will consider allowing a student to take courses through Open Campus while completing the program application process. Admission and enrollment as an Open Campus student does not obligate the department to admit an otherwise unqualified applicant. Financial aid is not available to Open Campus non-degree students.

Admission to Dual-Degree Programs

Students desiring to pursue two degrees in one of USD’s dual-degree programs must be admitted separately to each of the two programs involved. Current admission requirements and procedures for the College of Arts and Sciences and the Schools of Business Administration are included in this course catalog. For information regarding these joint graduate degree programs, please call the Office of Graduate Admissions at (619) 260-4524. Information and materials regarding admission to the School of Law should be requested from the Law School Admissions Office at (619) 260-4528.

Please Note: The School of Law operates on a different calendar and students are responsible for meeting all law school deadlines for application, registration, payment, etc., as set forth in their own publication.

Reconsideration for Admission

An applicant who has been denied admission to a USD graduate program may request reconsideration under the following conditions:

  1. The applicant must request of the Director of Admissions in writing that his or her application be reconsidered;
  2. In that written request, the applicant must indicate what new, substantial evidence is being provided for review by the admissions coordinator or committee;
  3. The applicant may then be reconsidered for admission, along with the total current applicant pool for the admission date in question and will be subject to the policies and requirements of the course catalog in effect at that time; the applicant will be informed of the committee’s decision at the appropriate time.

Testing Information

California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST)

CBEST Program
National Evaluation Systems, Inc.
P.O. Box 340880
Sacramento, CA 95834-0880
Phone: (916) 928-4001
Fax: (916) 928-9242
www.cbest.nesinc.com

We also require the CSET for some SOLES programs:

California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET)

Evaluation Systems
Pearson
P.O. Box 340880
Sacramento, CA 95834-0880
(800) 205-3334 or (916) 928-4003
es-west-customersupport@pearson.com
www.cset.nesinc.com

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

Educational Testing Service
P.O. Box 6000
Princeton, NJ 08541-6000
Phone: (609) 771-7670, (800) 537-3160
Fax: (609) 771-7906
www.gre.org

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

Pearson VUE
GMAT Program
P.O. Box 581907
Minneapolis, MN 55458-1907 USA
GMATCandidateServicesAmericas@pearson.com
www.mba.com

Test Of English As A Foreign Language (TOEFL)

TOEFL Services
P.O. Box 6151
Princeton, NJ 08541-6151
Phone: (609) 771-7100
Fax: (609) 771-7500
www.toefl.org

Miller Analogies Test (MAT)

The Psychological Corporation
555 Academic Court
San Antonio, TX 78204-3956
Phone: (210) 921-8802, (800) 622-3231
Fax: (210) 921-8861

Praxis Series

Educational Testing Service
P.O. Box 6050
Princeton, NJ 08541-6050
Phone: (609) 771-7395, (800) 537-3161
Email: praxis@ets.org

Test Preparation Courses

The University of San Diego offers courses to prepare students for the LSAT, GMAT and GRE. Free sample classes are held on-campus to acquaint students with exam questions, general test-taking skills and details of the courses.

Weeknight and weekend schedules are available. Discounts are offered to members of USD Clubs and Organizations that host guest speakers, benefits-earning employees of USD, and those serving in the US military.

The Test Preparation Office is located in Barcelona, Room 204; (619) 260-4579.

For more information, go to www.sandiego.edu/testprep