Frequently Asked Questions

Below, you can find answers to common questions from international freshmen, transfer, graduate, and EAP-Reciprocity students.

I am required to have an official letter of admission from UC San Diego. When will I receive my letter?

Freshmen and transfer students:

The Office of Admissons and Relations with Schools sends official letters of admission to UC San Diego by email only. No hard copy letters will be sent. You may download this official letter of acceptance from the email you receive.


Graduate students:

An email will be sent from the Dean of the Graduate Division, which will direct you to your decision letter. See the Graduate Division website for more information.


EAP-R students:

EAP-R acceptance letters are handled by the systemwide UCEAP office. See their applicant information page for more details.

How do I submit my transcripts? How do I know when they have been received?

Freshmen and transfer students:

Information about submitting your transcripts online can be found on the Undergraduate Admissions website.


Graduate students:

Information about submitting your transcripts can be found on the Graduate Admissions website.

When will I receive my I-20 or DS-2019?

Your I-20 or DS-2019 will be issued after you have submitted all of the required forms and documentation through the iPortal. The current processing time of 15 business days refers to complete applications only; incomplete requests will cause a delay in processing.

Allow the full processing time listed above before emailing any inquiries regarding your I-20/ DS-2019 or documents you have sent. If any items you sent are incomplete or invalid, you will be contacted via email after an advisor has thoroughly reviewed your request.

SEVIS Transfer students:

Your I-20 will be issued after you have submitted all of the required forms and documentation through the iPortal and after your SEVIS record has been transferred from your current institution to UC San Diego. We need to receive the SEVIS transfer from your current institution before we can issue you a new I-20, as only one institution can have access to your SEVIS record at a time.

You can check the status of your request by logging in to the iPortal at any time.

Urgent cases: What if I need my I-20 or DS-2019 sooner than your current processing time?

Due to the high volume of documents received by all incoming international students, it is difficult to process the I-20 or DS-2019 request faster than the processing time noted above. If you have a visa appointment in less than 3 weeks and have submitted all of the necessary documentation to receive your I-20, do the following:

  • Submit a request to iportal@ucsd.edu with the subject line "I-20/DS-2019: URGENT REQUEST"
    • The body of the email must include the following: 
      • Full name as listed in your passport 
      • Date you submitted all required documents through the iPortal
      • Date of your visa appointment and scanned copy of your appointment confirmation

If you are requesting faster processing for any other reason than your visa appointment, follow the instructions above and explain why you need your I-20 or DS-2019 sooner. This does not guarantee that your urgent request will be granted, but it will be reviewed by an advisor as soon as possible.

How can I have my UC San Diego I-20 or DS-2019 sent to me?

You will be sent the I-20/DS-2019 directly once you set up an eShipGlobal shipping account and provide your shipping confirmation number in your iPortal account. This includes EAP-Reciprocity students. ISPO no longer sends I-20/DS-2019 documents EAP-R students’ home universities for collection.

How much financial support do I need to document when I apply for my visa?

You must prove that you will have sufficient money to meet all your expenses while studying in the United States.


Freshmen, transfer, and EAP-R undergraduate students:

See the Budget and Cost Estimates page for required financial support amounts, including what types of documentation is accepted.


Graduate students (including graduate EAP-R):

See the Budget and Cost Estimates page for required financial support amounts, including what types of documentation is accepted.

If I have questions about the I-20/DS-2019 form I receive, whom should I contact?

You may contact the International Students & Programs Office at 858-534-3730 or email at iportal@ucsd.edu.

How can I receive my PID and password?

Freshmen, transfer and EAP-R students:

Please follow the MyApplication instructions to retrieve your PID and password.

Note: Have your passport and UC application ID number available to facilitate your campus account activation.

EAP-R students: Your UC application ID number is different from your UC San Diego PID.   Get the UC application ID number from your home university’s international office advisor(s). For more information, see the UCEAP Reciprocity FAQ’s.


Graduate students:

Please follow the GradApply instructions on the Graduate Admissions page to retrieve your PID and password.

How do I set up my UC San Diego email account?

Every UC San Diego student is assigned a UC San Diego email account. Upon arrival at UC San Diego, you need to activate your email account.

To activate your account, visit the ACS website and follow the directions. You will need your student Personal Identification Number (PID not your application ID). PID is usually the letter A followed by 8 digits. Use your application ID to login through TritonLink to get your PID.

How do I obtain a UC San Diego Photo ID Card?

For information on how to obtain your campus ID card, visit “Get Your Triton ID Card” and follow the instructions that correspond to your student level (freshmen, transfer, graduate).

What are the UCSD admission health requirements? Do I need to get any immunizations before arriving in San Diego?

The University of California is committed to protecting the health and well-being of our students. Therefore, all of the UC campuses have implemented procedures to ensure that students are educated about and receive vaccinations to prevent potentially serious and contagious diseases.

All new admits (including EAP-R) are required to obtain certain vaccines and undergo Tuberculosis screening.

For more information, review the Health Requirements page at Student Health Services.

When do I enroll in classes? What should I do if I have questions about which classes to enroll in?

Freshmen and transfer students:

Your specific enrollment appointment time will be available to by logging into TritonLink. For information on how to use TritonLink, please watch the website tutorial. For general undergraduate enrollment information, you may also access this guide to undergraduate enrollment.

Each college has specific guidelines for new student enrollment. We recommend visiting your specific college's Freshmen website for additional information, including timelines and contact information:


Graduate students:

You will receive registration information from your department. You may also access this guide to graduate enrollment for more information.


EAP-R students:

Your specific enrollment appointment time will be available to by logging into TritonLink. For information on how to use TritonLink, please watch the website tutorial. For general undergraduate enrollment information, you may also access this guide to undergraduate enrollment.


Don't worry!

Students must use online enrollment tool (WebReg) whenever possible. Do not despair though if you cannot get your ideal course schedule right away. Most students will be adjusting their schedules through the first week of the term.

Pick the courses that are the closest match for you to obtain a full schedule. Keep in mind that U.S. immigration regulations require a minimum enrollment of 12 units per term.

You may need to contact your advisor to get enrollment permission (see instructions above) or register for some classes after arrival. Although this process can be intimidating, this is common practice for both visiting and UC 

Do I need medical insurance during my stay at UCSD? How do I get insurance?

The UC Regents made health insurance a mandatory non-academic condition for enrollment. To ensure that all students have adequate health care coverage, including ongoing primary and specialty care, and to satisfy the mandatory health insurance requirement, UCSD automatically enrolls all registered students into the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).

Additional information regarding SHIP can be found at http://studenthealth.ucsd.edu/ucshipabout.shtml.

Do I need to attend both my college and/or my department/Graduate Division orientation AND new international student orientation?

The orientation for new international students is not mandatory, but it is strongly recommended for all international students.


Freshmen and transfer students:

College orientation requirements vary by college. We recommend visiting your specific college's orientation website for additional information, including timelines and registration information:


Graduate students:

Graduate Division Orientation is strongly recommended for all new international graduate students.


EAP-R students:

EAP-Reciprocity students are NOT required to attend their college orientation. Information from these orientations is covered during New International Student Orientation.

I am transferring from a U.S. high school or community college and want to take summer school at UC San Diego. How do I enroll?

To enroll in summer session at UC San Diego, follow the directions at http://summer.ucsd.edu/ under "Incoming Freshmen and Transfer Students to UCSD."

Where can I find information on housing?