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Program FAQs

Could this program be considered the same as a DBA?

While the doctorate in business administration (DBA) and the Ph.D. in management have many similarities, one is intended to prepare you for a career as a business executive with research tools (DBA), while the other (Ph.D.) trains you as a professional researcher focusing on the development of new theory in management, economics, finance and related fields.

Do you offer a part-time or online program?

No, our program is a full-time program. We do not offer a distance learning program, nor do we have an evening Ph.D. program.

How long will it take to complete the program?

The program is designed to be completed in four to five years depending on the student's previous preparation and progress. Regular interaction with faculty and other Ph.D. students is essential to success in the Ph.D. program.

When does the fall quarter typically start?

Fall quarter typically runs from late September to mid-December; new student registration begins at the end of August.

How many students do you typically admit?

Typically, we admit a very small class of about three to five students. We plan to continue to increase annual admittance to anywhere from five to ten students, depending on the applicant pool.

I already have an MBA. Can I transfer some of those credits to the Ph.D. program?

No, the educational outcomes of an MBA and a Ph.D. program are mutually exclusive; there are no overlaps in course content.

What are the fields of study available in the Ph.D. program?

All students will receive a Ph.D. in Management; however, they may focus on one of the following research specialties: finance, marketing, management, economics and strategy, and innovation, technology and operations.

What are some of the key areas of faculty research?

Some of the key areas of faculty research are finance; marketing; organizational behavior; micro-economics & strategy; and innovation, technology and operations.

What career options would I be preparing for?

Our Ph.D. program in management is intended to prepare students for academic careers involving teaching and research in top business schools.

I am an international student who received a master's degree from an American university; do I still need to take the TOEFL exam?

If you have recently studied full-time for one uninterrupted academic year at a university-level institution in which English is the language of instruction and in a country in which English is a dominant language, you are exempt from this requirement. Demonstrated proficiency in the English language (TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE) is required for all other international applicants whose native language is not English.

How can I establish residency?

All questions regarding residency need to be addressed to the Registrar's Office: (858) 534–3150.

How do I get a graduate application fee waiver?

Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents may request a waiver of the application fee.

What is the institutional code for the TOEFL exam?

The institutional code is “4836” for UC San Diego.

Can I get financial aid from UC San Diego even though I am an international student?

Financial assistance is available to all admitted students. Students receive a scholarship that pays for tuition and a modest stipend ($1,500—$2,000 per month).

UC San Diego's Office of Graduate Studies also offers tuition scholarships to a limited number of nonresident distinguished scholars.

How do I apply for housing?

As soon as you have been admitted to the program, submit an online application at the Affiliated Residential Community Housing (ARCH) Forms/Application page. It is important to do so as soon as possible, even if you are put on a waiting list as housing offers are made according to application dates.

Upon submitting your application, you will receive an e-mail confirmation. Please save this confirmation for future reference.

How do I search for housing and how much does it cost?

Information on housing on and off campus is available at

Do I need to earn an MBA before I apply for the Ph.D. program?

An MBA is not required to apply to the Ph.D. program.

What is the institutional code for the GRE exam? The department code?

The institutional code is “4836” for UC San Diego; a separate department code is not required.

I took the GRE exam six years ago. Do I have to retake it?

Yes, you will have to retake the GRE in order to apply to the Ph.D. program. These exam scores are reported and valid for only five full years after the test date.

What are your minimum requirements for GRE scores?

There are no minimum requirements. However, we anticipate a highly competitive applicant pool in which applicants would score in the high 80th and 90th percentiles.

What is your minimum GPA requirement?

The campus minimum GPA requirement is 3.0. However, meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission; we expect that our applicants will exceed any minimum requirements.

How much weight is given to GRE/TOEFL scores?

We anticipate that successful applicants would score in the high 80th and 90th percentiles of the GRE and would exceed minimums for GRE and TOEFL.

Do you require the GRE Economics Subject Test?

No. We do not.

Where should I send my transcripts?

Official documents will only be requested upon admission.

Can I apply to more than one program?

Yes. You may apply to more than one program or major at UC San Diego. You may not apply to more than one program within the same department.

How many applications can I make with payment of one application fee?

You may submit up to three applications with payment of one application fee.

When will a decision be made on my application?

All decisions will be made by the end of April. Once a decision has been made you will be notified by email, but you may also check the status of your application by going to the ‘Check Application Status’ page of your online application. Please note that individual status updates will not be available until a final decision has been made.

My official test scores and transcripts may not reach UC San Diego by the deadline. Will my application still be considered?

Official test scores and transcripts are not required in order to process your application and have it reviewed by the Admissions Committee. You may self-report the scores directly into your online application. If offered admission, you will then need to send the official documents.

How much does the program cost?

  • Rady’s Ph.D. program is fully funded for five years.
    • Non-resident supplemental tuition is covered for two years (six quarters) and is waived once students advance to candidacy (up to nine quarters).
  • Students are guaranteed a Teaching or Research Assistant role (approximately 10 hours of work/ week), which waives tuition fees, provides a monthly salary, and covers student health insurance costs. (Funding requires students to be full time and in good academic standing).
  • In addition to TA/ RA employment opportunities, students receive a monthly stipend.

How do I get a Teaching Assistant assignment? How much does it pay?

Graduate student teaching assistantship appointments are awarded primarily by your department with the recommendation of a faculty member. Appointments of 25 percent time or more for the quarter receive payment of the graduate student health insurance premium and partial fee remission but not payment of nonresident tuition.

Do you have any other need-based scholarships or loans?

UC San Diego's Graduate Students Financial Services Office has “A Graduate Financial Aid Information Guide” and other application enclosures available. There are also fellowships that are offered outside of the university for which all qualifying prospective students are encouraged to apply. A list of some major fellowships is available at the Office of Graduate Studies Website.