Information for New International Freshmen

Current I-20 Document Processing Time:

Fall 2017 Admits:  The iPortal will be available for I-20/ DS-2019 requests from March 15, 2017. The International Students & Programs Office will begin reviewing and processing iPortal requests from April 3, 2017. The deadline for graduate students to submit I-20 or DS-2019 requests via the iPortal is August 1, 2017.

The current I-20 or DS-2019 document processing time is 15 business days upon receipt of a complete application via the iPortal. Allow additional time for mailing. You may check the status of your application by logging in to the iPortal.

SEVIS Transfer Students: If you are transferring from another US school, your new I-20/DS-2019 can only be issued AFTER your SEVIS record has been transferred in SEVIS to UC San Diego. Please follow-up with your International Student Advisor at your current school to coordinate the transfer of your SEVIS record.

What is the timeline for new freshman international applicants?

Application Cycle: Freshmen Students

Early November
Application cycle begins

Mid-March to March 31
Freshmen admission decisions are posted

April 8
Triton Day

May 1
Deadline to accept UC San Diego's offer of admission by submitting the Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) and Statement of Legal Residence (SLR) through MyApplication.
iTriton International Online Orientation Access Opens 

July 1
Deadline to FINAL transcripts

September 1
Deadline to register for New International Student Orientation

September 15
Deadline to complete iTriton International Online Orientation

September 24
International Student Orientation

September 25
Fall quarter begins

September 28
First Day of Classes

How do I get my I-20 (F-1 visa) or DS-2019 (J-1 visa)?

How to request the I-20 or DS-2019: 

Submit the I-20 or DS-2019 request through the iPortal. 

Note: Sign on using your UC San Diego Personal ID (PID) to access the iPortal. Incomplete requests will not be processed.

You will need the following documentation to submit your request.  All documents must be in PDF format.

  • Copy of passport information page
  • Evidence of financial support
  • Transfer Students currently studying in the U.S. must also include:
    • Copy of current I-20/DS-2019 (page 1 only), F-1 visa, and I-94 (unless already surrendered at departure)
    • Authorize current school to release your SEVIS record to University of California, San Diego

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

Information for Freshmen Transferring from a US High School

When you are ready to transfer from your current school to UC San Diego, please ask your student advisor to transfer your SEVIS record to our institution. Review the SEVIS Transfer Instructions sheet with the International Student Advisor at your transfer out school.  Determine the date that the transfer out school will transfer your SEVIS record to UC San Diego. You will need the transfer out date when completing your iPortal request.  UC San Diego does not use a transfer in form for students transferring into our school. If your current school needs verification of your SEVIS transfer, please ask them to contact our office.

The deadline to submit your transfer I-20 or DS-2019 request via the iPortal is August 1.

Download the SEVIS Transfer Instructions sheet

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 listed above 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 directly after an advisor has thoroughly reviewed your request.

FRESHMEN STUDENTS TRANSFERRING FROM A US HIGH SCHOOL: 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 or DS-2019, 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.

Program start date on the I-20

Generally, the date of International Student Orientation will be the program start date on your I-20. You may enter the US up to 30 days PRIOR to the program start date on the I-20. 

Requesting an early start date on the I-20:

Some freshmen students may want to enroll in the Summer Session at UC San Diego, prior to the Fall start of courses and more than 30 days prior to the general start date on their I-20. If you would like your I-20 to be issued with an early start date you must be enrolled FULL-TIME in the Summer Session. Full-time enrollment in the summer is considered 8 units (per session). This is different than full-time enrollment during the academic year. Full-time enrollment during the academic year is 12 units per quarter. 

Summer Session 1 and 2: If you will be entering the US for Summer Session 1, you must be enrolled full-time in Summer Session 1 AND Summer Session 2.  Your I-20 will be issued with a 7/3/2017 start date.

Summer Session 2 only: If you will only be enrolled for Summer Session 2 only, your I-20 would be issued with an 8/7/2017 start date.  

To request the early start date on the I-20, follow the instructions above to request your I-20. After you click "Start Application" in the iPortal, indicate in the comments box of question 1 that you are enrolled full time in the Summer Session. In addition, please submit a message with the subject line: "SUMMER SESSION EARLY START I-20" to iPortal Inquiries. You will need to be enrolled in the Summer Session(s) before we issue the I-20. Please note, the deadline to request an early start date on your I-20 is May 15, 2017. We will not be able to issue I20s with summer session start dates after this date.

***If you request a summer session start date and we process your I-20 with a summer session start date, we will not be able to retroactively change it to September if you decide to not attend summer session. Please only request a summer session start date if you are sure you are coming and you will be enrolled full time from the start date on your I-20.

Freshmen Students transferring their SEVIS Record from a US High School:

You are eligible to study in the Summer Session during the transfer period between schools.  Your UC San Diego transfer I-20 will be issued with a 9/25/2017 start date. Full-time summer study is NOT required if you are transferring your SEVIS record. 

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 I-20/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 message using iPortal Inquiries with the subject line "FRESHMAN I-20: 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 with 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/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.

I've already received my I-20 or DS-2019, what should I do next?

Who can I contact if I have additional questions?

I have a question about: I should contact: Their email address is:
Admission letter Office of Admissions & Relations with Schools admissionsreply@ucsd.edu
Immunization/health requirements
Student Health Service Website:

https://wellness.ucsd.edu/studenthealth/about/Pages/contact.aspx or call 858-534-3300

Enrolling in classes Undergraduate College Virtual Advising Center (use to contact an advisor at your specific college) or the New Student Site
Health insurance UCSD Student Health Insurance (SHIP) ship3@ucsd.edu
Orientation International Students & Programs Office istudents@ucsd.edu
Undergraduate College

See links below:

Revelle College

Muir College

Marshall College

Warren College

Eleanor Roosevelt College

Sixth College

Summer school Summer Session Administration summer@ucsd.edu
Transcripts Office of Admissions & Relations with Schools admissionsreply@ucsd.edu
Transcripts status: refer toMyApplication receiptoftranscript@ad.ucsd.edu

Other frequently asked questions

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

The Office of Admissons and Relations with Schools is currently in the process of mailing out official letters of admission.

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

The California Department of Public Health recommends that all incoming college students be assessed for their risk of developing Tuberculosis (TB). All incoming students are now required to complete the TB Screening prior to the start of their first quarter. Fall admits will need to have testing done and submit the TB Assessment form by mid-summer. Exact date to be announced on the Student Health Services website.

  • Undergraduates must complete the TB Screening Questionnaire on MyApplication.

For more information about TB and TB testing, visit:

Read Student Health Service's TB FAQs (PDF) to review the most commonly asked questions.

For more information, contact Student Health Services at (858) 822-1015or studenthealth@ucsd.edu,

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

Your specific enrollment appointment time will be available to by logging into TritonLink.

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:

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 athttp://studenthealth.ucsd.edu/ucshipabout.shtml.

Do I need to attend both my college orientation AND new international student orientation? What if I cannot attend the new international student orientation?

The orientation for New International Students is mandatory for all international students. Failure to attend an International Student Orientation may result in your inability to enroll in classes. You should make every effort to attend the freshmen orientation or an alternative orientation session. If you are unable to attend any of the scheduled orientation sesesions, you will be contacted in September with instructions to attend a makeup orientation, so check your UCSD e-mail account regularly.

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

I am transferring from a U.S. high school 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 athttp://summersession.ucsd.edu/enroll/application.html under "Incoming Freshman and Transfer Students to UCSD."

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

UC San Diego uses an online system called Docufide. Additional information about submitting your transcripts online can be found by logging into MyApplication and reading the instructions next to "Transcripts Status."

International students also have the option of mailing their transcripts in a sealed envelope to:

University of California, San Diego
Office of Admissions and Relations with Schools
Attn: Transcripts
9500 Gilman Drive, Dept 0021
La Jolla, CA 92093-0021

ALL transcripts must be received no later than July 1, 2017. If you have concerns about the receipt of your transcripts, or the name of your academic institution is not noted in your MyApplication checklist, e-mail receiptoftranscript@ad.ucsd.edu or contact the Operations Unit at 858-534-4208.

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, you may either:

  1. Visit Academic Computing Services (ACS)
    Applied Physics & Mathematics Building (AP&M) in Room 2113, or
  2. Visit the ACS website and follow the directions at http://acs.ucsd.edu/students/. 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 register for UC San Diego courses?

  • Undergraduate Students: You will receive course registration information at your college orientation. Online enrollment for new freshmen will randomly assign appointment time. Enroll in classes via TritonLink at http://tritonlink.ucsd.edu. Meet with an academic advisor if you need assistance with selecting courses. You are not required to visit your academic advisor before registering for classes.
  • Graduate Students: Meet the graduate coordinator in your academic department

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

Upon arrival at UC San Diego, obtain a UC San Diego photo ID card. You need to show your ID card whenever you receive services at the university. ID cards are processed Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm (hours may change during the summer) at Student Services Center (SSC) (Suite 355 - third floor) at the corner of Rupertus Way and Myers Drive, just south of the Price Center expansion, across from the Chancellor's Complex (map).

  • Undergraduate Students: ID pictures will be taken during your college orientation program. If you miss your college orientation, contact your college first. Then, go to SBS to obtain your ID card.
  • Graduate Students: Contact your academic department.

Where can I find information on Housing?

Find information on housing resources.