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Newly Admitted Students

Welcome to UC San Diego and the International Studies Program! The ISP Advising Team is here to support you in your transition to UC San Diego. We encourage you to use this page and the ISP website to familiarize yourself with the major, resources, and services offered.

Visit plans.ucsd.edu to review a sample academic plan that includes your major requirements and college general education requirements.

Academic Information

Advance Placement (AP) & International Baccalaureate (IB) Credits

Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) credit may be applicable toward your major and College requirements. The following chart determines how AP or IB credit may be applicable to count as lower-division requirements relevant to International Studies (IS) majors. You will not receive additional credit if you take courses from which you are exempt. For the most accurate information refer to Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB).

Advanced Placement (AP)

Math Score Units Lower Division Equivalent IS-Major
Calculus AB* 3 4 MATH 20A IS-International Business
IS-Economics
Calculus AB* 4, 5 4 MATH 20A or 10A IS-International Business
IS-Economics
Calculus BC* 3 8 MATH 20A and 10B IS-International Business
IS-Economics
Calculus BC* 4, 5 8 MATH 20A, 20B or 10A, 10B IS-International Business
IS-Economics
*8 unit max for both tests
Economics Score Units Lower Division Equivalent IS-Major
Microeconomics 5 4 ECON 1 IS-Economics
Macroeconomics 5 4 ECON 3 IS-Economics

International Baccalaureate (IB)

Math Score Units Lower Division Equivalent IS-Major
Higher IB level 5, 6 or 7 8 Math 20A credit and 4 units of elective credit.

If Topic 9-Option: calculus completed, student should petition math department for both 20A and 20B credit.
IS-International Business
IS-Economics
Only Higher Level Exams are accepted for credit by the University of California; Standard Level Exams are not given credit to fulfill major requirements.
Economics Score Units Lower Division Equivalent IS-Major
Higher IB level 7 8 ECON 1, 3 IS-Economics
Only Higher Level Exams are accepted for credit by the University of California; Standard Level Exams are not given credit to fulfill major requirements.

Community College Credits

For transfer students, completion of Lower Division coursework prior to transferring is strongly encouraged but not required. Completing as much required lower division coursework as possible for your desired major before transfer will help you stay on track for enrollment at UCSD. See lower division requirements listed below. Some high school students may take community college courses as a high school students as well. Please use ASSIST.org to find equivalent courses at your community college.

IS Language Requirement: All students majoring in International Studies are required to demonstrate 4th quarter proficiency in a foreign language. There are many ways in which to complete the requirement for the International Studies major and minor prior to matriculation to UC San Diego.

IS-Major Language Requirement Lower Division Requirement
IS-International Business 4th Quarter Level Language MATH 10/20 A-B-C - Calculus

MGT/ECON 4 - Financial Accounting

MGT 5 - Managerial Accounting
IS-International Economics 4th Quarter Level Language MATH 10/20 A-B-C - Calculus

ECON 1 - Microeconomics

ECON 2 - Market Imperfections and Policy (must be taken at UCSD)

ECON 3 - Macroeconomics
IS-Philosophy 4th Quarter Level Language PHIL 10 - Introduction to Logic
IS-Anthropology 4th Quarter Level Language
IS-History 4th Quarter Level Language
IS-Linguistics 4th Quarter Level Language
IS-Literature 4th Quarter Level Language
IS-Political Science 4th Quarter Level Language
IS-Sociology 4th Quarter Level Language
Use ASSIST.org to find equivalent courses at your community college.

Review Your Specific IS-Major Requirements

Consider Study Abroad / Academic Internships

Plan ahead! Students may study abroad or participate in an internship while earning academic credit towards their ISP major or minor. Refer to the petition process to learn more about how to apply these experiences as academic credits to ISP requirements. 

Complementary Minors for IS-Major Students

Many academic departments and programs on campus offer minors which complement students' major coursework. The list below highlights minors that may be of interest to students in the International Studies Program. A complete list of all undergraduate minors and information on how to declare a minor can be found on Blink.

Students may not declare a minor in the same department as their discipline. For example, International Studies - Economics students, may not declare a minor in Economics or Management Science. There is one exception to this policy: International Studies - Linguistics students may minor in General Linguistics, Language Studies or Speech and Language Sciences.

Minor Description Department/Program
Accounting The Accounting minor helps students understand the development and use of financial and accounting information by decision makers. Rady School of Management
Chinese Studies

With an ever-intensifying job market, having a second language in your arsenal can make all the difference as you build a satisfying and purposeful career.

Chinese Studies Program
Communication Communication at UCSD emphasizes the role of technologies of communication in shaping human experience and relationships. May be of interest for students wanting to enter marketing, advertising, or sales. Communication
Data Science The minor will provide basic training in computer programming, linear algebra, as well as probability and statistics, and a high-level overview of the different types of data and methodologies. Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute
Economics Emphasizes tools of economics analysis and their applications to contemporary problems and government policies.

*Not open to IS - Economics Majors
Economics
Finance

Develops current knowledge that firms are seeking in areas like sustainable investing, financial modeling and forecasting, private equity and new venture finance, along with sound fundamentals of corporate finance, investment banking, and financial accounting. 

*Open to IS - International Business Majors, Effective Winter 2022

Rady School of Management
Global Health Besides the health professions, Global Health can be addressed through positions such as social workers, health educators, engineers and even roles such as marketing and journalism. Global Health
Health Care - Social Issues Designed to enhance student competence in analyzing the complex social and ethical ramifications of health care issues that impact modern health care. Warren College
History At the crossroads of the humanities, the arts, and the social sciences, history is the study of human experience as it has unfolded over the ages.

*Not open to IS-History Majors
History
Law and Society An interdisciplinary minor that explores the complexity and interrelationship of legal, social, and ethical issues in their historical context. Warren College
Management Science Covers some of the functional fields of business management; more focused on quantitative methods than a traditional business administration major. Helps to prepare students for MBA programs.

*Not open to IS - Economics Majors
Economics
Marketing

Emphasizes both solid theoretical foundations and hands- on skill development, and builds on foundations laid in business analytics, computer science, economics, psychology and statistics. Every business, government and nonprofit enterprise involves some component of marketing.

*Open to IS - International Business Majors, Effective Winter 2022

Rady School of Management
Political Science Addresses some of the fundamental problems facing human society. Questions concerning world peace, government policies, the management of environmental quality, political competition, law to affect social and political change, and the gap between the rich and poor are all on the research agenda of contemporary political scientists.

* Not open to IS - Political Science Majors
Political Science
Public Service Develop civic-skills and service-learning experience through academic and practicum-based means of civic engagement. Marshall College
Real Estate and Development Recognizes that the next generation of real estate development innovators will need to understand the nexus between real estate finance and development, data analysis, urban planning and design, environmental regulations, and new technologies. Urban Studies and Planning

Is the Five Year Joint Degree BA/MIA Program for You?

The International Studies Program and the School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) have collaborated to create a combined five-year Bachelor of Arts / Master of International Affairs program (BA/MIA).

Visual Animation to Explain How the Five Year Joint Degree Program Works

We offer three degree pathways open to students in the International Studies Program:

ISP Community & Academic Advising

International Studies Student Association (ISSA)

The official student organization of the International Studies Program (ISP) at the University of California, San Diego. The organization gathers like-minded individuals who share diverse interests in international studies and international relations. ISSA provides a platform of rich experiences and opportunities in international studies. Members are not required to be IS majors.

IS Honors Program

The IS Honors Program recognizes and promotes academic excellence in the major by allowing qualified students to complete an honors thesis in close collaboration with a member of the UC San Diego faculty. You must meet the requirements, apply and be accepted into the program to participate.

Advice from ISP Alumni

ISP Academic Advising

Your ISP Academic Advisors are available during in-person/virtual drop-in hours, by appointment and through the Virtual Advising Center (VAC). Please see the ISP Academic Advising page to learn more.

General FAQ

What should I enroll in for my first quarter?

Check to see if you will have satisfied the major's language requirement. If not, it is important that you enroll in the appropriate level of language in fall quarter. You will need to take a placement exam to determine the proper level and enrollment.

Prioritize enrolling in your college writing course (if applicable) as it is a prerequisite for INTL 101 and INTL 102. Once you complete your college writing course, you can enroll in INTL 101 or 102.

Consider enrolling in one of your upper division Disciplinary Focus or Interdisciplinary Elective/Regional Requirement courses. Please note that you are responsible for completing all prerequisites for these upper division courses, so it is important to pay attention to these when planning your schedule.

  • Review your general education (GE) requirements with your college advising office
  • We recommend enrolling in 12-16 units during your first quarter at UC San Diego. 12 units are considered full-time status. Keep in mind that you will be adjusting to a new school and the pace of the quarter system (10 weeks), so enroll in an academic load that is most manageable for you.
  • Be sure to visit plans.ucsd.edu to review an academic plan the includes your major requirements and college general education requirements.

What courses can I take for a P/NP grading option?

The only courses which may be taken for a P/NP grading option for International Studies majors are language courses. Language courses may be taken for P/NP or a letter grade of C- or better. All other major requirements must be taken for a letter grade of C- or above.

Can I take lower division courses at a community college?

You can take a lower-division course at a community college. Use ASSIST.org for guidance on the specific course to take. Contact ISP via the Virtual Advising Center if you do not see your course listed. Keep in mind that you can transfer a maximum of 105 units from other institutions. After 105 units, you may apply completed courses towards your major requirements but you will not earn units for the courses. See ISP Advisors with any questions.

How do I find my appointment date for enrollment?

You will find your enrollment appointment time/date on TritonLink. Click on the Classes & Enrollment tab, then WebReg, then appointment time.

Can I switch into an International Studies major, or switch to a different International Studies discipline?

Yes, all International Studies majors are open (not capped) majors, and students can easily switch into the major or into another discipline online after they have enrolled in classes for their first quarter.

How do I add a minor?

You can add a minor using the major/minor tool on TritonLink after you have enrolled in Fall coursework.

Transfer Students FAQ

I’ve completed the IGETC Certification but it’s not showing up on my Academic History or Degree Audit. What do I do?

IGETC certification is often separate from one's transcripts sent by your prior institution and usually needs to be sent separately. To find out if the Admissions Office has received your IGETC Certification please reach out to them via email at personalreply@ucsd.edu

Can I switch into an International Studies major after I transfer, or switch to a different International Studies discipline?

Yes, all International Studies majors are open (not capped) majors, and students can easily switch into the major or into another discipline online after they have enrolled in classes for their first quarter.

How can I maximize my next year with ISP?

Is it possible to study abroad as a transfer student?

Yes! The International Studies Program allows up to 4 courses from another institution (including institutions abroad) to be used towards major degree requirements. With this, it is possible to work on your major requirements while abroad, so you don’t have to delay your graduation. Start by checking out the Study Abroad Website for information on first steps and exploring programs. Come visit ISP Advising early to incorporate study abroad into your quarter by quarter plan!

Transitioning to UC San Diego

Freshmen

Checking out undergraduate student organizations on campus will help ease your transition to UC San Diego. Explore and get involved with an organization you feel aligns with your interests or expands your network to get you towards your goals.

Transfer

The Trition Transfer Hub is a great resource for transfer students. They assist students in their transition through active engagement in opportunities that support their paths and build community so students can thrive academically, professionally, and personally.

International Students

Advisors at the International Students & Programs Office (ISPO) can assist you with any questions or concerns related to maintaining your F-1 or J-1 status, CPT or OPT work authorizations, as well as helping you make the most of your time here as an international student at UC San Diego.

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