Admissions Requirements

The Climate Science & Policy Admissions Committee reviews all applications holistically and considers the following required items:

  • Statement of Purpose

    In ~750 words, applicants should describe their interest in this field, demonstrated commitment to climate solutions, and rationale for applying to the program. Applicants should also explain how the program will further their career goals. Additional Details

  • Bachelor's Degree

    All applicants must hold at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher education with a minimum 3.0 GPA

  • Resume/CV

  • Letters of Recommendation

    Applicants will submit three (3) letters of recommendation. Recommenders may reflect applicants' varied experience and can include employers, supervisors, former professors, etc Read more

  • College Transcripts

    Upload unofficial copies. Official copies will be requested upon admission. Additional Details

  • English Proficiency

    Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), for international applicants only. Minimum score is 85 (iBT) or 550 (PBT), or 7 IELTS. Read more

  • Note: The GRE is not required
  • Note: The application asks for preliminary Capstone ideas.
    Applications do not need to include an endorsement of a Capstone advisor and reaching out to faculty is not expected.
Sparkling shallow water with rays off Scripps Pier.

Photo: Risa Farrell

Application Process

The application for the 2024-2025 program is now open (see the Application Timeline below).

To begin the application, all students must create a UC San Diego account. Register at:
Under "Program Selector" portion of the application, please indicate:
Degree Type: Master of Advanced Studies
Program Interest: Climate Science and Policy
Term: Summer 2024

The application includes an application fee of $135 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents, and $155 for international applicants that can be paid with a major credit card. Applicants may qualify for a fee waiver upon verification of need-based federal aid, financial hardship, U.S. Military Service, or graduate prep program participation.

If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact us at:

CSP students eat at table overlooking Pacific Ocean.

Application Timeline

Students apply in the Fall for a program start date the following July.

Application Opens – September 2024
Early Consideration Deadline –January 17, 2025
Regular Application Deadline – March 13, 2025
Decisions Released – February-April 2025
Program Dates – July 2025-June 2026


Admission FAQs

Letters of Recommendation Questions

  • Can I submit more than 3 letters of recommendation?
    • Yes, but we request only three letters.
  • How can I correct a recommender's information in the application?
    • If the application is currently in progress, changes may be made to the Recommender's information in the "Recommendations" section of the application. If the application has already been submitted, changes may be made by going to the application portal. After selecting the "Edit" button next to the Status of the recommender, you will be able to edit the Recommender's personal information, as well as send a reminder email or exclude them from the application. Please note that Recommenders' emails as well as the Buckley Amendment waiver will not be able to be changed.
  • Did you get my letter of recommendation?
    • You can check on the status of your letters of recommendation by logging back into your application. Within the application, you can also resend recommendation requests or send new recommendation requests.
  • Can I submit my application even if my recommenders have not yet completed the recommendation letters?
    • Yes. Submit your application by the deadline. The letters of recommendation may be uploaded by the recommender after your submission, but preferably within two weeks of the deadline. Please note that we may not review the application until all letters have been received.
  • Do my recommenders have to submit their letters before the deadline?
    • Recommenders are strongly encouraged to submit their letters by the deadline, but will still be able to submit after the posted date. The application deadline is provided to recommenders in the Letter of Recommendation Request email. Please note that we may not review the application until all letters have been received.
  • Can I use Interfolio to submit my letter(s) of recommendation?
    • Yes, you can use Interfolio. You will be required to enter the recommenders' information in your application and use the email address provided by Interfolio.

Transcript Questions

  • Can I upload unofficial transcripts to the application?
    • Yes. You may upload your most recent unofficial transcripts for application review purposes. Official copies of final transcripts are only required if you are offered and accepted admission.
  • My school's GPA does not use a 4.0 grading scale. Should I convert my grades to a 4.0 scale?
    • It is not necessary to convert your school GPA into a 4.0 scale. You may report your grades as is and indicate the scale that your institution uses. Uploaded transcripts should also contain a grading legend for your school's grading scale.
  • Do I need to upload the final transcript before the application deadline?
    • No, many applicants still have classes in progress at the time of the application deadline. Upload your most recent transcript(s) to your application. If admitted, you will be required to provide official copies of your final transcripts.
  • When do I send my official transcripts?
    • We do not require official copies of transcripts until after you have been offered and have accepted admission. For application review purposes, scanned and uploaded copies of transcripts are acceptable.
  • What is the minimum GPA for admission to graduate study at UC San Diego?
    • There is an institutional expectation of a minimum scholastic average of B or 3.0 GPA (or its equivalent). Departments evaluate applicants based on all aspects of the application. Some exceptional applicants with lower GPAs may be recommended for admission. Additionally, a GPA of 3.0 or higher does not guarantee admission. Contact your department of interest for more information.
    • Provisionally admitted students with academic work in progress are expected to continue to maintain a 3.0 or better GPA after admission. Admission may be rescinded if the final GPA drops below 3.0.
  • Does UC San Diego accept transcript evaluations?
    • Verified transcripts from WES (World Education Services) are accepted. Please note that if you are admitted and the transcript you provided was verified before the conferral of your degree, you will be required to submit either an updated verified transcript from WES or official copies of the final transcripts and degree certificates, if applicable.
  • How can I check to see if my transcript has been received?
    • Transcripts are processed within 3-4 weeks of receipt. You can check on the status of your documents by logging onto Please note that the "Provisionally Admitted" status will not affect your ability to register for Fall classes. All pending documents should be received by the start of Summer Session.
  • I'm an international student, how do I submit my official transcripts?
    • All admitted students who have earned a degree from an institution outside of the U.S. are required to submit a WES Course-by-Course Evaluation in order to have their admission finalized. Details can be found here. Once you create an account with WES, you will be walked step by step through the requirements for a complete WES evaluation. Admitted, international student should not submit their official documents directly to UC San Diego. They must go through WES.
  • What do you mean by "official" transcript?
    • Official transcripts bear the signature of the authorized official of the issuing institution, the seal of the institution, and are received by our office in a sealed envelope from the institution. Domestic applicants can either bring the unopened transcripts into the office or have your institution(s) submit them electronically to or mail them to UC San Diego directly at the following address:

      University of California, San Diego
      Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs (GEPA) - Graduate Admissions
      9500 Gilman Drive #0003
      La Jolla, California 92093-0003

      All admitted students who have earned a degree from an institution outside of the U.S. are required to submit a WES Course-by-Course evaluation in order to have their admission to UC San Diego finalized. If you have earned a degree from an institution outside of the U.S., do not have your official materials sent to UC San Diego directly.

  • What if my school does not provide another official transcript?
    • If that is the case, we require a letter from the institution stating that only one transcript can be issued. You can then send a copy of the original transcript to the school and ask them to stamp and sign it, and return it to us in a school-sealed envelope.
  • I obtained my undergraduate degree from UC San Diego. Am I required to submit all of my official transcripts again?
    • Yes. The Registrar cannot give us the transcripts you provided to them as they are a required part of your permanent undergraduate record. We will need official copies of all transcripts for your graduate record. We will accept either official hard-copy or electronic transcripts from the UC San Diego Registrar.
  • Does my degree certificate/diploma also have to be in a school-sealed envelope?
    • If you are providing copies issued by the school, they must have a school stamp for verification and must also be in a school sealed envelope. For students who have attended an academic institution in India: You may bring us your unsealed, original degree certificate/diploma and we will make a true copy of it for your file.
  • My school will not issue my degree certificate/diploma until a year after graduation. What can I do in the meantime?
    • Ask your school to provide a letter explaining the cause of delay regarding the issuing of your degree certificate/diploma.

International Applicant Questions

Undocumented Student Questions