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FP Guide

2018 Applying to Grad School

UC San Diego, School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS)

 

Successful applicants to UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) often have experience related to their intended field of study—whether from an internship, job, volunteer opportunity, or study abroad. “Students who have unique background experiences can often bring more to classroom discussions and get more out of the skills learned at GPS,” says Dustin Clinton, assistant director of admissions.

Clinton says successful candidates also take the time to research the program by gathering information about program strengths, areas of faculty research, and where alumni are working. They learn, for example, that GPS works extensively with the science, engineering, and medical facilities of UC San Diego. “Such cooperation is central to the character of the school. We are investing resources to really give our students a sophisticated understanding of science and engineering, and also blending that with policy analysis and solution design,” says Peter Cowhey, the school’s dean.

“In your application, let your work experience tell a story about where you’re coming from, what knowledge and skills you have gained from that experience, how you can apply it to the classroom, and how you hope to combine it with your academic experience to launch your career after graduating.” -Dustin Clinton, Assistant Director of Admissions, School of Global Policy and Strategy, UC San Diego

GPS applicants also need to understand that the school’s programs emphasize a rigorous, data-driven analytic training based in economics, advanced statistics, and related fields. Students acquire a systematic approach to program design and evaluation, whether their interests focus on advancing human rights, promoting sustainable energy use, or other endeavors. Having an interest or background in quantitative analysis therefore strengthens a candidate’s application and is often associated with success in the program.

A strong application may focus on work-related experience. “In your application, let your work experience tell a story about where you’re coming from, what knowledge and skills you have gained from that experience, how you can apply it to the classroom, and how you hope to combine it with your academic experience to launch your career after graduating,” Clinton advises.

He also suggests taking time to study and prepare for the GRE or GMAT, which is required for all two-year programs: the Master of International Affairs, Master of Public Policy, and Master of Chinese Economic and Political Affairs. The Master of Advanced Studies in International Affairs, an executive degree, does not require an exam for applicants.

GPS requires three letters of recommendation. “We prefer a mix of professional and academic recommendations,” says Clinton. “The most effective ones are personal and come from someone who knows the applicant well.”

Master’s Degree Program Options:
• Master of International Affairs
• Master of Public Policy
• Master of Chinese Economic and Political Affairs
• Master of Advanced Studies in International Affairs (executive degree)

Priority Application Deadline for Fall 2019: January 15, 2019

Standardized Exam Scores: GRE or GMAT required (except for executive degree program)

Recommendation Letters: Three required

Application Checklist: gps.ucsd.edu/apply

Visit the Request Info page to receive more information.