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University of California, San Diego

Program Overview 

Location: San Diego, California
Culture: International-minded, social
Neighborhood: Suburban, beachside
Housing: Off-campus apartments
English level: Intermediate - advanced 

The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) consistently ranks among the top 35 universities in the world and 15 internationally, according to the most recent Academic Rankings of World Universities conducted by  Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China.

Choosing to enroll in the University Professional Studies program places SAF Scholars right in the beautiful city of La Jolla, California. This beach community known for beautiful weather, clean air and safety.

With nearly 263 sunny days per year, 2,000 km of beaches and 2,000 meters of mountains to explore, San Diego, where La Jolla is located, offers its 1.3 million residents and tourists the perfect conditions to live an active lifestyle. 

SAF Scholars who would feel at home in a moderately sized city will enjoy frequenting the restaurants, shops and parks that San Diego has to offer.

Student Profile

High-achieving and active SAF Scholars, who would like to take a full-time schedule of credit-bearing classes alongside American university students, would be a good-fit for this program.

Other Programs at University

There are currently no other UCSD programs available to SAF Scholars.

Other Comparable Programs

Program Details

Program Dates by Term Availability

Fall (September 19 - December 15)
Winter (January 4 - March 24)
Spring (March 26 - June 15)

Progression or Concurrent Notes

There are currently no Progression or Concurrent options available at UC-San Diego.

Program Strengths

The University and Professional Studies program provides a flexible study abroad opportunity for academically excellent students. Universities in many countries count these credits earned in the program towards their own bachelor’s program at home. Popular courses for extension students include Business (#11 Ranked Nationally), Biological Sciences (#6 Ranked nationally), as well as Engineering (#20 Ranked Nationally)

# of Credits (per term)

12 units per term

Course Registration Policies & Procedures

University of California schools, including UCSD, participate in a course registration process called ‘course crashing.’ Scholars will attend a class at the regularly scheduled time and will need to gain permission from the professor in order to enroll in the class.

Course/Departmental Restrictions

Economics courses have limited access and have an extremely difficult enrollment process. Therefore, SAF Scholars cannot enroll in these courses prior to their arrival. However, if they choose, they can attend the course on their first day and check if there are any open seats and then obtain permission from the professor.
The following subjects are limited to courses within the Scripps Institute:
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Geology/Geophysical Science
Graduate Courses
Not available to enroll in Graduate Business courses or any courses in the School of Medicine or Pharmacy. Availability if graduate-level courses in other departments is limited and strictly controlled for prerequisites.

Housing Type

Off-campus apartments


Student apartments will contain kitchens, which will allow students to prepare their own meals to their specifications. Grocery stores and markets are nearby for students to purchase food. Additionally, students will be living off-campus and will have more opportunities to integrate with the local community by eating at nearby restaurants and other establishments. If desired, students may also purchase a meal plan at their own expense to eat frequently on-campus.

Type of Room

Shared or single bedrooms available
Student Life

Co-/Extra-Curricular Opportunities or Programs

To help students make the most of their stay in San Diego, the University Activities Manager organizes activities that provide students with opportunities to meet Americans and go on excursions to nearby attractions there, such as:
  • Stuart Art Collections
  • Sun God’ Statue
  • Day at the Bay Watersports
  • Whale Watching tours
  • Disneyland
  • San Diego Padres Game
  • San Diego Zoo
  • Universal Studios
UC San Diego also has lots of facilities and outdoor activities for SAF Scholars to take advantage of, such as:
  • Indoor and Outdoor swimming pools
  • 20+Tennis courts
  • An Aquatic Center
  • Sailing and Surfing courses
Last Updated: 1/9/19