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What is LAUNCH?


The LAUNCH program covers the cost* of one certificate program for full-time UC San Diego undergraduate students who want to ensure their first step into the workplace puts them on the right path to career success. LAUNCH students are responsible for $95 certificate application fee, textbooks, and any lab/materials fees.

Why get a certificate from UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies?

  • Get a jump on preparing for some of today's most promising jobs 
  • Gain practical knowledge from experts in the field
  • Network and learn side-by-side with working professionals
  • Document evidence of additional, focused study
  • Stand out as a more competitive job candidate


Certificates not eligible for LAUNCH: Biotechnology Project Management, Brewing, Clinical Laboratory Scientist Training, College Counseling, Emergency Department Nursing, Gifted and Talented Education, Leadership and Teamwork, Medical Writing, Power Systems Engineering, Reading Instruction, and Translational Science. For questions or concerns, please email 

Upcoming application dates:

Quarter Quarter Dates Application Dates
SUMMER 2023 June 26, 2023 - September 16, 2023 CLOSED
FALL 2023 September 25, 2023 - December 16, 2023 TBD
WINTER 2024 January 3, 2024 - March 23, 2024 TBD
SPRING 2024 March 25, 2024 - June 14, 2024 TBD


* Please note that the application for LAUNCH and the certificate program differs. To be considered for the LAUNCH program, students must submit a LAUNCH application. Students can access the application during the dates listed above.

If the application is closed, students should consider the Student Grant Program

To apply, must be:

  1. A current Junior or Senior at UC San Diego
  2. Interested in entering the workforce after graduation
  3. Able to complete the certificate program a quarter after you graduate from UC San Diego
* Graduating seniors are eligible to apply for certificates that can be completed in the quarter after they graduate. For example, the Accelerated Paralegal, Accelerated Business Intelligence Analysis, and CAD/BIM are programs that can be completed in a quarter. If your last quarter is Spring, you’re welcome to apply for LAUNCH if those certificates can be completed in the summer (if offered).

Next steps:

  1. Apply within dates listed above
  2. Application will be reviewed and students will be selected for interviews (via Zoom)
  3. Qualified students will be notified and offered a conditional acceptance with instructions on how to finalize their LAUNCH status

Frequently Asked Questions:


Is the program free?
If accepted, students are responsible for the $95 certificate application fee, textbooks, and any lab/materials fees. Some courses do not require any textbooks. Please refer to the course and certificate page for additional information. LAUNCH will only cover required courses needed to earn the certificate. We will not retroactively apply funds for courses taken in the past.
Can I apply if I have junior or senior standing?
Yes. Please view the other requirements listed above.

How long will it take me to complete a certificate program?
It depends on the certificate you are pursuing. It also depends on how many classes you take each quarter. Most certificate programs can take 1 – 2 years to complete. Students can also waive a required course if you have taken a similar course that is transferable. Students will need to check with the academic department for details. The fastest a student can complete a program is in one quarter. We have a few accelerated certificate programs (i.e. Paralegal and Business Intelligence Analysis) that only take one quarter to complete. Please refer to the certificate page for more information.
I am graduating this quarter. Can I still apply?
Yes, if the program you pursue only takes 1 quarter to complete. Students have a quarter after they graduate from UC San Diego to complete their certificate program. For example, if you are interested in the Accelerated Business Intelligence Program and you graduate from UC San Diego during Spring you’re welcome to take the accelerated program during Summer.
Do I apply to both the LAUNCH program and the certificate program?
To apply for the LAUNCH program, you only need to submit a LAUNCH application. Please note that the LAUNCH application differs from the certificate program application. The LAUNCH application will be available on the dates listed above. Once accepted to LAUNCH, students are instructed to apply for the certificate program and pay the $95 certificate fee. 
Can I apply again?
Yes, students are welcome to apply again if they are still eligible. If you did not get accepted, I would recommend taking advantage of the Student Grant Program. Students can still apply to LAUNCH after using the Student Grant Program.

FAQs for admitted LAUNCH students:


How do I enroll in a class?
Instructions will be provided in the LAUNCH acceptance email. Students will submit their request using the Enrollment Request Form. This will only be provided to students who are accepted to the program. Reminders will also be sent when enrollment is open each quarter. See Academic Calendar for dates.

Can I drop a course?
Students must notify the LAUNCH Coordinator of any changes in their status via email at Dropping a course may affect your status in the program. If you are still within the timeline to complete the program and the drop is made by the refund deadline, LAUNCH will still be able to fund the dropped course when you re-enroll the next quarter. The refund deadline for each course can be found on the course page and your MyExtension account. Excessive drops may lead to withdrawal of the program. If your drop request was made after the refund deadline, students will be responsible to pay for the course fees when re-enrolling in the course again. Students will also be required to send an updated education plan.

Can I take more than one Extension class a quarter?
Yes, students are welcome to take more than one Extension class each quarter. If this is your first time taking an Extension course, I would recommend starting off with one course. Please keep in mind that students typically take Extension courses concurrently with their UC San Diego courses. Some students will take more Extension courses during the summer.

What do I do after I complete all of my required courses?
Please email the LAUNCH Coordinator for instructions on how to request a certificate audit. A survey will also be sent to students who complete the program. A follow-up survey will also be sent a year after you complete the program.


Questions? Email us at for more information.