Graduate School Preparation Academy
Who should take this course?
The Graduate School Preparation Academy (GSPA) focuses on preparing you to enter a master’s degree or doctoral program at an American university. GSPA students have a rigorous course load focused on writing, research, and speaking excellence. You will develop the skills necessary to meet the high expectations of faculty and peers at America's universities.
Students with advanced levels of English proficiency (level 7 or 8) are welcome to apply to this program. All new students must take an online placement test to determine their English level before starting the Graduate School Preparation Academy. The placement test is part of the required online pre-arrival orientation.
Additional Admission Requirements
- Proof of completion of an undergraduate degree OR
- Letter of acceptance or provisional/conditional acceptance to an accredited graduate program OR
- Transcripts for the most recent four semesters
- July 3 - 28 (July 4 is a holiday)
- August 7 - September 1 - CLOSED
- July 1 - 26
- August 5 - 30
View a complete list of all program dates.
All programs close when they are full. Applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis until all seats available are taken. Acceptance deadline is 3 weeks before the program start-date.
All enrolled students are required to complete an online pre-arrival orientation before starting the Graduate School Preparation Academy program.
- 4 weeks
- 20 hours per week
- Monday – Friday
- Schedule varies depending on level and scheduled classes
- Can be taken two times
- Students are prepared to enter master degree or doctoral programs in American universities.
- Matches your goals and record of achievement to university admission standards
- Assistance choosing degree program
- Guidance in the application process to ensure timely and complete submission of university application materials
Graduate School Preparation Academy classes may include:
- Critical Analysis and Discussion
- Discussion and Fluency for University Success
- University Lecture and Note-taking Skills
- Academic and Professional Presentation Skills
- Research Paper Writing
Concentrated Academic Skills classes may include:
- Academic Reading and Writing
- Public Speaking Skills
- Advanced Vocabulary Skills
- Advanced Grammar Skills
The 4-week Graduate School Preparation Academy (GSPA) may be taken twice, in two consecutive sessions, for all GSPA classes and maximum benefit.
Students who complete one or two sessions in the Graduate School Preparation Academy have the opportunity to continue their studies at the UC San Diego English Language Institute until they receive university admission. Students may enroll in Academic English, or University and Professional Studies following one or two quarters in the Academy.
Note: Course offerings will depend on the session you enter the program. Required courses will repeat with alternating curriculum as available.
Cost (in U.S. dollars)
2023 & 2024
- Application Fee: $175 (nonrefundable)
- Tuition: $2,300
- International Student Service Fee: $200
- UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies medical insurance: $220
- Books/Materials: Approximately $250 – $400 (Payment CANNOT be made in advance. Books and materials must be purchased upon arrival at UC San Diego.)
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For a complete list of all programs, please visit our Courses and Programs page.
Advisory About Variable Enrollments
Enrollment numbers in our 4-week English language programs vary from month-to-month. Therefore, if we have low enrollments in the original 4-week program, we will notify you within 30-days of your program start date, so that you may cancel your enrollment or enroll into another 4-week program.
If our online pre-arrival placement tests indicate that your English proficiency level does not permit placement in the original 4-week program class, we will place you in 4 weeks of study in a corresponding 4-week or 8-week program or provide a combination of classes and individual tutoring to ensure a program of 15 or 20 hours per week for 4 weeks. Alternatively, we may decide to place all 4-week program students in level-appropriate classes in a corresponding 4-week or 8-week program in order to provide a program of 15 or 20 hours per week for 4 weeks. When this happens, the students’ 4-week program will have the features described for the new 4- or 8-week program, not the features described for the original program. The tuition and fees for the students’ 4-week program enrollment will remain the same.