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prospective students

New and Prospective Students

Thank you for your interest in the International Studies Program at UC San Diego.  We welcome talented prospective students from across the nation and around the world.  Our program challenges students to explore the processes and consequences of interactions among institutions and individuals at the international and national, and global and local levels. The curriculum provides students with both a firm grounding in academic disciplines and the intellectual flexibility to reason through the diversity of interests behind human actions.  Information on how prospective students can prepare for the major is provided below.

Undergraduate Admissions

UC San Diego’s Admissions Office handles undergraduate admissions for both freshmen and transfer students.  Students interested in majoring in International Studies or pursuing our combined Bachelor/Master Program must first be admitted to UCSD as an undergraduate student.

Academic Planning and Timely Degree Completion

In general, Timely Degree Completion strategies include:

Transfer Students

Be sure to utilize the resources available to you through the Triton Transfer Hub, specifically:


International Studies Program Fall 2020 Orientation Dates - RSVP here!

Freshman Student Orientation: Wednesday, Septemeber 16 at 4:00pm (PST)

Transfer Student Orientation (students should only attend one):

  • Wednesday, August 5 at 4:00 pm (PST)
  • Wednesday, September 30 at 4:00 pm (PST)

Welcome to the International Studies Program and UC San Diego!  To learn more about the International Studies Program, major requirements, campus resources and to learn fall course recommendations, we highly recommend that you attend an International Studies Orientation.  This is different from your college orientation, so you should attend both.


ISP Major Preparations

ISP Language Requirement

All students majoring in International Studies are required to demonstrate basic 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.  Click here to learn more about the language requirement.

The following three majors in the International Studies Program have lower division requirements.  Students can prepare by taking high school AP courses and community college courses to complete these requirements prior to attending UC San Diego.  Although these courses to not need to be completed prior to arriving at UC San Diego, it is highly recommended.

International Studies - Economics

  • Economics Courses:
    • ECON 1.  Microeconomics at UC San Diego
      • Score of 5 on the AP Microeconomics Exam
    • ECON 3.  Macroeconomics at UC San Diego
      • Score of 5 on the AP Macroeconomics Exam
  • Math Courses:
    • Take courses that will prepare you for college calculus (Calculus - MATH 10A-B-C or 20A-B-C)
    • Check with the Math Department for Calculus Equivalencies
  • Many community colleges offer courses equivalent to lower division economics and math courses
    • Check articulations through ASSIST.org for California Community College transfer course equivalencies

International Studies - International Business

  • Accounting Courses:
    • ECON/MGT 4. Financial Accounting at UC San Diego
    • MGT 5. Managerial Accounting at UC San Diego
  • Math Courses:
    • Take courses that will prepare you for college calculus (Calculus - MATH 10A-B-C or 20A-B-C)
    • Check with the Math Department for Calculus Equivalencies
  • Many community colleges offer courses equivalent to lower division accounting and math courses
    • Check articulations through ASSIST.org for California Community College transfer course equivalencies

International Studies - Philosophy

  • Philosophy Courses
    • PHIL 10. Introduction to Logic at UC San Diego
  • Many community colleges offer courses equivalent to lower division philsophy courses
    • Check articulations through ASSIST.org for California Community College transfer course equivalencies

Transfer Preparation

IGETC Certification

Completion of the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) is strongly recommended for all students transferring from a California community college.  This curriculum will serve to clear most general education requirements for incoming transfer students, leaving one to eight (1-8) general education courses depending on which of the six UCSD colleges the student is admitted into.