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Resources for Current Global Health MA Students

New Student Orientations

There will be several important orientations to attend prior to the first week of instruction at UCSD:

  • Global Health Program Gradaute Student Orientation - Typically right before the quarter begins
  • NEW Academic Student Employee (ASE) Orientation - REQUIRED for all NEW Instrutional Assistants (TAs, readers, and tutors) - Typically right before the quarter begins


UC San Diego, Associated Residential Community Housing (ARCH) offers housing to graduate students enrolled full time in four residential communities. As soon as you accept admission you should get on the waitlist for housing. Grad housing is not guaranteed for all students.

Additional Off Campus Resources:

Popular Neighborhoods:

  • UTC/University City – Closest to campus. Mostly apartments, a little more expensive.
  • Clairemont – Close and easy to get to campus. Cheaper houses and apartments, but a few not-so-great areas (check out the place before you commit).
  • Hillcrest and North Park – Trendy urban neighborhoods that are just north of downtown and have a lot to offer. A little further, but easy transit to campus.
Beach communities:
  • La Jolla– Usually more expensive, beautiful beaches and close to campus. There is a bus route to campus.
  • Del Mar – The beach community just north of campus. Some places in budget range, quieter more expensive beach town.
  • Pacific Beach (“PB”) – The beach community just south of La Jolla. College atmosphere, young area. Traffic in and out is an issue during rush hour, but it’s a unique neighborhood with lots of bars and restaurants and housing deals.
  • Mission Beach, Ocean Beach (“OB”) and Point Loma – OB and Loma might have some good deals, but they are definitely harder to get in and out of. The commute might not be worth the deal!


Once you accept your admission offer, you may begin to apply for employment on campus. Students apply online through ASES.

  • Employment as a TA, reader or GSR at a minimum of 25% (10 hours/week) will cover Registration and Enrollment fees (excluding University Center Fee, Recreation Facility Fee, GSE Fee, and Student Transporation fee).
  • Non-resident Tuition is not included.
  • All students are permitted to be employed at a maximum of 50% (20 hours per week).
  • Academic Title Pay Rates
  • Additional Grad Employment Details

The college writing programs usually have a lot of opportunities and we encourage you to apply for the Global Health Program Reader and TA pool. We have a few positions available each quarter.

Additional GHP TA/Reader resources can be found here.

For employment and HR questions, please contact Nancy Lee at

Computer/IT Support

Computer support for GHP grads is provided by the Social Science Computing Facility (SSCF). 


The helpdesk is available from 8am to 4:30pm Monday – Friday (closed 12-1 for lunch) and can be reached at 858-822-2423.

Location:1st floor of Social Sciences Building in SSB 142

SSCF will support Grad students in the following areas:

  • Setup of new machines
  • Web Hosting
  • Internet Connectivity
  • Email Support
  • Antivirus
  • General Troubleshooting
SSCF will not provide any assistance with IT issues related to illegal file sharing, pirated software, computer games, and legacy (discontinued) software.  "Unsupported" services may be supported by migrating users to a "supported" solution. Out-dated machines will not be supported. If for whatever reason SSCF cannot accommodate a user’s request, they will be referred to the appropriate on-campus support group.

Billing Questions

For questions regarding your pay checks, contact your HR contact in the hiring department.

Questions and concerns regarding student fee payments should now be submitted via a ticket to Services & Support

Graduate Division Commencement

Graduate Commencement Date: TBD

For additional details on graduation, visit the Grad Division Commencement page.

If you have any questions about graduate commencement, please contact the coordinator.

Coursework & Program Requirements

Requesting pre-authorization to enroll in courses

Some courses may have prerequisites or restrictions. Students may submit a pre-authorization request via the Enrollment Authorization System (EASy)


Current students will submit a petition to request approval to take a course not listed in the Global Health catalog or for any exceptions to the degree requirements. Please contact your graduate advisor and let them know which course you would like to petition and provide a justification. It will then be reviewed by the Program Director.

Enrolling in GLBH 298/299

For Independent Research working with a faculty member

  • Meet with the faculty member you plan to work with to discuss the terms of your independent research and come to an agreement of the work that will be completed. You will need the following information to submit your request:
    •  the nature of the project, frequency of contact, prerequisite knowledge needed, and the means of evaluation with the faculty instructor prior to enrollment in this course.
  • Complete the Easy Special Studies Request form

At the end of the quarter, you will submit the following to the instructor:

  1. For thesis track - Progress towards your thesis
  2. For non thesis track -  a 10-page Research Paper or Project 

Your faculty advisor will then assign you a grade at the end of the quarter (you may want to send them a reminder during week 10 or finals week).

For Students Enrolling in GLBH 299 for the Thesis Track

    • Meet with the faculty member you plan to work with to discuss the terms of your independent research and come to an agreement of the work that will be completed. You will need the following information to submit your request:
      •  the nature of the project, frequency of contact, prerequisite knowledge needed, and the means of evaluation with the faculty instructor prior to enrollment in this course.
    • Complete the Easy Special Studies Request form
It is expected that students will arrange to meet with the faculty advisor a minimum of three times during the quarter to discuss progress.

Portfolio Requirements

1) One single-spaced page that is an executive summary of your overall learning experience for the past year of your program.

2) A competency statement where you reflect on your interests, strengths, skills, and the areas or topics you wish to further pursue. You can refer to assignments, work or volunteer experiences, group projects, and other materials to support this statement.

3) A professional statement and goals.

4) Resume or CV.

5) Other work examples (assignments, opinion pieces, advocacy statements, etc.).

We recommend you regularly keep a “learning log” or journal that tracks your ideas, interests, and perspectives throughout the program.

Due: Week 10 of Spring quarter

Please review additional details here.

Completing your thesis

The MA thesis requirement is a 10,000 word paper (~40 pages) including an abstract, literature review, and analysis of qualitative data. Students will apply for the thesis track by the end of Fall quarter and begin writing during Winter quarter. Additionally, all thesis/research track students will participate in the Horizons of Global Health Research Symposium in early May.

Past Thesis Topics

  • “Detecting Electronic Cigarette User Disparity Behaviors: An Infovelliance Study on Twitter” - Cortni Bardier (Class of 2020)
  • “Healthcare Worker Preparedness Among Clinicians Treating the Forced Migrant Population” - Tianna McMann (Class of 2020)
  • "For and by Communities: An Assessment of Feasibility for a Novel International Healthcare Program in Rural Ghana and Nigeria"  - Rebecca Donham (Class of 2021)
  • "What Medical Schools Don't Teach You" - Rachel Yim (Class of 2021)
  • “Pediatric Trauma in the California-Mexico Border Region: Injury Disparities by Area Deprivation Index” - Alicia Gaidry Sykes (Class of 2021)
  • "Structural Gender-Based Violence and Unresolved Trauma: Power Structures and Social Dynamics that Influence the Migration of Women Fleeing the Northern Triangle Countries of Central America" - Frances Rivera (Class of 2021)
  • "Osteoarthritis in Asia: A Literature Review" - Nhi Nguyen (Class of 2021)

Apply for the Thesis Track

Students must receive approval from the Program Director to complete the thesis track. The application must be submitted by the end of Fall quarter.

Students must have the following information:

  • Proposed thesis topic
  • Project Description
  • Identify one thesis advisor who has agreed to serve on your committee (chair)
  • Proposed plan to complete thesis 
  • Proposed timeline

The application will be sent out during fall quarer.

Required: You must identify one advisor (chair) that has agreed to work with you at the time of applying. You must have all three of your advisors identified by week 5 of Winter quarter to continue on the thesis track. Please notify your graduate advisor once you have identified all advisors.

Thesis Committee

Your thesis committee must consist of three faculty members, one member will serve as the chair and two members who will serve as readers.

Additionally, please review the list of Global Health Affiliated Faculty.

To see which faculty are eligible to serve on your committee, please review the thesis committee membership guidelines.

* Please note the Global Health Program does not allow lecturers to serve as a committee member.

Students may request to work with faculty outside this list as long as it is relevant to your research interests and approved by the program director. Email your grad advisor with your request and include details on the faculty member and how it is relevant to your research.

*If possible, it’s best to ask a faculty member you have worked with before, especially if that faculty member has a project they are already working on or a data set you can work with for the thesis.

Role of Faculty Advisors:

  • Help you determine an appropriate topic for your research paper or project

  • Formally approve the proposed topic

  • Respond to questions and recommend appropriate academic reference materials

  • Provide feedback on your research/writing process, including how to effectively analyze the topic and develop your paper or project

  • Provide feedback on final draft of thesis paper prior to defense
  • Attend Thesis Defense during finals week

Writing your thesis

Please review the MA thesis writing page.

The Preparation and Submission Manual for Doctoral Dissertations and Master’s Theses “Bluebook”, from the UC San Diego Graduate Division, outlines the requirements for "the preparation, submission and dissemination of doctoral dissertations and master’s theses at UCSD." It includes sections on layout and organization, copyright, handling special materials, using published materials (including material submitted or being prepared for publication), electronic filing of dissertations and theses, and lists of necessary filing documents (including the release form where you can set a one or two-year embargo period).

Subject librarianSarah Buck Kachaluba

Advancing to Candidacy (Spring)

Master's students apply to advance to candidacy after completing all required course work for the degree requirements specified. GHP MA students will file while enrolled in their final coursework during Spring quarter.

The Application for Candidacy must be filed with the Graduate Division within the first 2 weeks of the quarter in which the degree requirements are to be completed.

Your Graduate Coordinator will intiate this paperwork vis Docusign.

Thesis Formatting Workshop and Manual

Students are required to attend a thesis formatting workshop. These workshops are offered quarterly by the graduate division. Your graduate coordinator will keep you informed of the dates.

See additional details here.

Schedule your thesis defense

You will need to schedule a date to defend your thesis based on availability of committee. Once you have asked your committee for their availbility, email your grad coordinator to reserve space.

The last day to defend is finals week.

On the day of the defense, you will need to bring the final report signature page for your committee to sign off on. Members of your cohort will be invited to attend your defense and show support.

Thesis Defense Format:

  • 15-20 minute presentation of thesis (powerpoint recommended)
  • 15- 20 minute Q&A
  • Commitee meets to discuss outcome and returns to share decision with student
  • Commitee signs final form (sent out via docusign by graduate coordinator)

Please note: The preferred means to conduct the defense is when all committee members are physically present. Graduate Council, however, has determined that a master's committee member can participate in one of three ways: 1) physically present (meaning they are in the room), 2) telepresent (meaning they participate by live video teleconference), or 3) in advance (if they must be absent on the exam date, it is permissible to examine the candidate in advance of the exam date).

  • More than half of the master's committee must be physically present. No more than one member may be telepresent.
  • The committee chair, or one co-chair, must be physically present
  • If an emergency situation arises that affects the number of committee members present, the committee chair (or co-chairs) may decide how to proceed. There must be sufficient expertise among present members (either physically or telepresent) to examine the student.

Final Report Signature pageThe Final Report  must have the original signatures of all members of the thesis committee, the program’s graduate advisor, and the program’s chair. The form for Plan I must also indicate if the student will continue at UC San Diego or will terminate. Proxy signatures are not accepted.

Preliminary & Final Graduate Division Appointment

Pre-liminary appointment (2-4 weeks prior to defense)

A student must make an appointment with the Graduate Division for a preliminary check of his/her thesis .

At that appointment the format is checked and instructions on the final preparation and submission of the thesis are given.

The thesis must be formatted according to the requirements explained in the Preparation and Submission Manual for Doctoral Dissertations and Masters' Theses.

At the Preliminary Appointment, students can choose to have their review done in one of two ways:

 1) Upload the complete fully formatted dissertation or thesis to the morning of the preliminary appointment. Print and bring hard copies of all preliminary pages (title page through abstract). If this option is chosen, the entire dissertation or thesis does not need to be printed. This will not be the definitive version. Students will have the opportunity to make changes and resubmit prior to their final appointment. 


2) Bring in a complete, unbound, single-sided, fully formatted printed copy of the dissertation or thesis.


Final Graduate Division Appointment (once committee as approved)

  • The student submits the final approved thesis along with the Final Report of the Thesis to the Graduate Division at the final appointment
  • The thesis submission fee of $25 must be paid at the cashier’s office prior to the student’s final appointment with the Graduate Division. 
  • Final approval and acceptance of the thesis by the Dean of the Graduate Division (on behalf of the University Archivist and Graduate Council) represents the final step in the completion of all requirements for the Master's degree.

The deadline to submit final degree paperwork to the Graduate Division is the 11th Friday of each quarter or early September for summer graduation (see general deadlines and the Registrar’s Enrollment and Registration Calendar for more information on deadlines and specific dates). If the deadline is missed the degree will be awarded in the next quarter.


Thesis FAQ

How do I choose a topic?

Think of your career goals and the substantive area you want to pursue.  The topic should be something in which you are interested and about which you are passionate.  It should also be something that is realistic to address and about which there is already literature you can draw on. 

When should you start writing?

Winter Quarter

Can I write on the same topic as my undergraduate thesis?  You can write on a related topic but not on the same topic, and the thesis must be altogether different from your senior thesis.

Additional Resources

Graduate Student Association (GSA)

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) exists to advocate the rights and interests of our diverse community, to provide for the enjoyment of social, cultural, and service-oriented events, and for the betterment of academic and non-academic life of all graduate and professional students at UC San Diego.

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) created a Travel Grant program to award graduate and professional students grants of up to $300 for in-state and up to $500 for out-of-state travel to conferences where you will present your own professional work. More details here.

For current information on the GSA travel award, see the GSA website at:

International Student Resource Center

The International Students & Programs Office’s (ISPO) mission is to enhance the academic and intercultural experiences of international students, provide the highest levels of knowledge and expertise in advising and immigration services, and facilitate global education through programs and services to the campus community.

Residency Guidelines