US News Ranking 12
Qsranking 79
Timesranking 35

Brief background:

The University of California was established in 1960. It is a public research University and was counted amongst the top 20 Universities in the country by a QS World University Rankings survey. The University comprises of two professional medical schools, six different residential colleges, and three graduate schools and offers more than 200 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Its engineering school, The Jacobs School of Engineering, offers students the opportunity to specialize in six broad academic fields. The school offers Master of Engineering (M.Eng.), Master of Science (M.S.), Ph.D. programs as well as joint M.D./M.S. and M.D./Ph.D. programs. The engineering school is especially famous for its bioengineering program.


The University of California San Diego ranking is #54 in the QS Global World Ranking 2021. UCSD computer science ranking is 6th in the country among the public institutions, 21st in the world, and 11th in the country overall. UCSD engineering ranking is 7th among the public institutions in the country, 12th in the country overall, and 54th in the world.

Acceptance Rate

The UC San Diego acceptance rate is around 30% overall. Whereas, the University of California San Diego acceptance rate for Indian students is around 24%.


The campus of the University of California is spread over 1,200 acres. The main campus that comprises 1,152 acres has 761 buildings and 889 acres of natural reserves. The University also has 6 main libraries on the campus along with numerous coffee shops and bars. The Price Center, located in the campus, has many restaurants, a cinema, the central bookstore, and office space.

Residing Options:

Though the University offers on-campus accommodation, many students prefer to live off-campus and can be found in areas such as La Jolla. Students living in shared apartments at La Jolla pay approximately $ 600 every month. Since the rent in the neighboring localities is high, some students also prefer living in nearby cities such as Pacific Beach, University City, Claremont, and Mira Mesa.

Faculty and pedagogy:

The faculty of the University of California is excellent. In fact, currently, 29 professors have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, 45 professors to the Institute of Medicine, 70 professors to the National Academy of Sciences, and 110 professors to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


The University of California San Diego fees for Indian students is around $26,000 annually. The annual off-campus living costs around $8,000.

Financial aid:

Since the University has students with great profiles, it is quite difficult to get a scholarship or financial aid at this University. However, since it is a public University, the tuition fee is quite reasonable.

Jobs and placements:

For the UCSD graduates, the average starting salary is around $72K. The median salary of females is approximately $67K and the men’s median salary is around $82k. Senior Software Engineers make an average about $115K yearly and Software Engineers and Research Scientists approach $90K and $79K, respectively, Master of Science (MS) graduates make between $53,229 - $100,144. Popular employers are Northrop Grumman Corporation ($60,558 - $102,317); Illumina, Inc.($58,329 - $87,429); Qualcomm Inc ($68,702 - $117,110); Viasat, Inc. ($60,144 - $130,204). 52% of the alumni reported that their job makes the world a better place. 1774 passouts from the university were highly satisfied by the employment opportunities and rated 4 out 5 in terms of job satisfaction.


Some famous alumni who have passed out of UCSD include names such as Founder of D.E.Shaw & Co.  David E. Shaw, Co-developer of the Macintosh computer Bill Atkinson and   Editorial director of Mac Publishing Jason Snell.  


UCSD, without an iota of doubt, is one of the finest Universities in the country and thus deserves to be in your list if you have a good profile.


The university is located in the La Jolla neighborhood in San Diego, California. It is the 7th oldest campus of the University of California campuses. The nearest international airport to the University is the San Diego International Airport (SAN/KSAN) which is 18 miles away. Moreover, the closest domestic airport is McClellan-Palomar Airport (CLD/KCRQ) which receives domestic flights from Carlsbad, California. Public transit routes around the campus include bus stops at Nobel drive at La Jolla Village Square. Two buses called 201 and 202 run on the same route. Other buses run for non-affiliates and faculty members. Apart from the bus routes, campus shuttles are also present, which run around the campus for the faculty, students, and staff. The three main shuttles are Coaster Shuttle, East Campus Circulator and Medical Center Shuttle. The closest train station to the university is the Sorrento Valley Station, while students can easily access the Solana Beach Station and Morena/Linda Vista Station. The campus itself offers a link service called TritonLink where the campus shuttles coordinate the movement from airports and train stations. A permit has to be taken for parking on campus. Moreover, carpool and vanpool are other options recommended by the university to use for transportation.

Acceptance Rate for Indians 24%
STEM Masters Awarded to International Students 484
STEM Doctorates Awarded to International Students 90
TA Appointments 720
RA appointments 1,250
Research funding $178,809,528
Source : GyanDhan's analysis & partner data as of year 2018

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

The alumni of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering include many reputed current professors and scientists, who have won numerous accolades. The undergraduate program of this department ranks 20th in America for Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, along with being ranked 11th out of the 191 engineering schools in America. Moreover, it has an endowment fund of $141 million. The research expenditure per faculty member ranks 4th in the country. The B.S. program is offered in the combined major of Mechanical, Aerospace and Environmental engineering. The graduate program offers both M.S. and Ph.D. in Engineering Sciences and Materials Science and Engineering. There are 2 different Master Plans. The first one requires a Thesis Defense, while the other focuses on a comprehensive examination. An MAE Doctoral Program, typically for 5 years, is offered in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Areas of Expertise: Robotics; Design; Thermal Sciences; Dynamical Systems and Controls; Energy - Combustion, Fusion, Renewables; Materials Science and Engineering; Aerospace Engineering; Solid Mechanics; Fluid Mechanics; Environmental Science/Technology
List of Labs (Mechanical): Center for Energy Research

Materials Science and Engineering

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering offers undergraduate and graduate courses in Materials Science and Engineering. The graduate M.S program provides a degree in Materials Science offering both Thesis Plan I and Comprehensive Examination Plan II. Moreover, a special award called the Gareth Thomas Materials Excellence Award is given jointly by UC Berkeley and UC San Diego to M.S. students who are making excellent contributions to research. Each year, 2 awards are given - one for each university.

Areas of Expertise: Biomaterials; Magnetic materials including information storage materials; Structural materials and composites; Semiconductors and photonic crystals; Electronic materials & Energy materials; Nanomaterials


The department was established in August 1994. The department's doctoral Bioengineering was ranked #1 according to the National Research Council study (2010). The 2015 U.S News & World Report ranked the department's graduate program #2 and the undergraduate program #7 in the United States. The Department of Bioengineering offers four undergraduate majors - Bioengineering; Bioengineering: Biotechnology; Bioengineering: Bioinformatics; Bioengineering: BioSystems. The graduate programs offered by the department are Integrated Bachelor's/Master's Degree Program (B.S./M.S); Integrated BS/MS Transition to the MS Program; and Doctor of Philosophy/Ph.D. The department also offers M.Eng. in Bioengineering. For the M.S. degree, there are 2 plans. One program is thesis-based, while the other program is comprehensive examination based.

Areas of Expertise: Bioinformatics and Systems Biology; Therapeutic Bioengineering Design; Functional genomics; Biomedical Nanotechnology; Bioengineering in Clinical Medicine Analysis and Design; Flexible and Stretchable Materials; Nanomachines and Microrobotics; Multiscale Bioengineering and Biomechanics; Computational Nanotechnology; Genomic Technologies; Molecular, Cell & Tissue Engineering; Cardiovascular Imaging and Precision Medicine; Molecular and Nanomaterials; Systems Medicine; Systems Bioengineering; Nanotechnologies for Energy and the Environment; Bioinformatics; Nanomanufacturing; Computational Biology; Cellular Pathways; Regenerative Medicine, Biomaterials and Stem Cell Engineering; Bionanotechnology and Biophotonics; Systems Biology and Bioengineering


The Department of Nanoengineering has an active faculty of over 36 members. It offers B.S and M.S. contiguous programs in Chemical Engineering and Nanoengineering which can be completed within 5 years. The requirements for this program are an upper-division GPA of 3.5 or better and an overall GPA of 3.0. There are 2 plans for this: Thesis Plan I and Comprehensive Examination Plan II. Entry requirements include 3 letters of reference from professors. The program does NOT ensure automatic eligibility for Ph.D. The M.S degrees Chemical Engineering and Nanoengineering can be taken with either the Thesis Plan or the Comprehensive Examination Program. This program requires students to complete 36 units. At the same time, there is a time limit of seven quarters for full-time M.S. students. The Ph.D. program is offered in Nanoengineering. Prospective students may be able to complete the degree within 7 years. Multiple examinations have to be passed over the course of the Ph.D. degree.

Areas of Expertise: Catalysis; Chemical/Biochemical Reactor Design; Chemical Engineering; Environmental Engineering; Surface Chemistry

Computer Science and Engineering

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering has over 50 distinguished faculty members along with excellent research facilities. There are many majors that are offered by this department including Algorithms, Complexity and Cryptography, Artificial Intelligence, Bioinformatics, Computer Architecture and Compilers, Database and Information Management, Embedded Systems and Software, Human-Computer Interaction/ The Design Lab, Programming Systems, Robotics, Security and Cryptography, Software Engineering, Systems and Networking, Ubiquitous Computing and Social Dynamics, Visual Computing and Computer-Aided Design, etc. The undergraduate programs offered by the department are BA computer science, BS Computer Science, BS computer engineering, or BS Computer Science with specialization in bioinformatics major. The graduate-level offers both M.S. and Ph.D. programs. The graduate programs offered by the department are Five-Year Bachelor’s-Master’s Program; Master of Science Program (Thesis or Comprehensive Exam); Master of Advanced Studies in Architecture-Based Enterprise Systems Engineering; data science and engineering and Ph.D. Programs in Computer Science and Computer Engineering.

Areas of Expertise: Ubiquitous Computing and Robotics; Computer Architecture, Embedded Systems, and VLSI/CAD; Security and Cryptography; Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning; Systems and Networking; Computer Vision and Graphics; Programming Systems; Databases and Information Management; Bioinformatics; Algorithms and Complexity

List of Labs: Center for Networked Systems; Center for Visual Computing

Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers B.S in electrical engineering, engineering physics, and computer engineering programs. Moreover, there is also a BA in electrical engineering and society program available. Graduate courses include M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Applied Electromagnetics, Applied Ocean Science, Applied Physics – Electronic Devices and Materials, Communication Theory and Systems/ Magnetic Recording, Computer Engineering (Impacted Major), Intelligent Systems, Robotics, and Control, Machine Learning and Data Science, Nanoscale devices and Systems, Photonics and Signal and Image Processing. The Ph.D. degree requires students to perform the required research and taking examinations like Preliminary Examination and University Qualifying Examination. The department has a faculty of over 62 members. Moreover, there are others who teach in the department as adjunct faculty and affiliated faculty. The department offers multiple research opportunities to its students. The department also publishes a qualified alumni newsletter.

Areas of Expertise: Communication and Information Theory and Systems including Wireless and Optical Communication; Signal, Image and Video Processing and Communications; Machine Learning, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, Internet-of-things; Applied Electromagnetics & Applications; Photonics and opt-electronics; Intelligent Systems and Robotics; Electronic Circuits and Systems; Medical Devices and Systems, Neurosciences; Computer engineering, Cloud Computing, VLSI, Cyber Security; Micro and nano-scale electronic/photonic materials and devices

List of Labs: Center for Wireless Communications; Center for Memory and Recording Research; Center for Machine-Integrated Computing and Security

Annual fees for Indians $26,000
Annual off-campus living $8,000
Source : GyanDhan's analysis & university's website as of year 2018

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Policies for international students will not top Biden's priority list. What's your take?
On the 20th January 2021, the world will witness the US President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony. The day will mark the swearing of 46th president and the ceremony will as opulent as it can be- with Tom Hanks hosting the inauguration TV show, more than 20,000 National Guard members present in the nation's capital to help secure the President-elect, and what not! With him coming to the office, loads of hopes will rise in the hearts of pandemic-hit civilization that became crestfallen due to the factors such as the depreciating world economy, increasing fundamentalism, worldwide diplomatic tussles, etc. Donald Trump's populist and non-inclusive policies, especially the H1B Visa Ban, has demoralized many study abroad aspirants who want to study in America and make it big in their careers. For Indians looking to work and study in the US, the foremost question with this new government is how their fortunes would be changed? Would Biden serve their interest better? Biden’s pre-election interviews and speeches definitely give international students hope of a brighter tomorrow, but with several other issues in hand, international students might not be at the top of the list of priorities of Biden. He would definitely take an action in the support of international students in the future, as his past statements suggest, but an overnight change would be too optimistic to expect from him. Biden is famous for being a left-liberal and will be tempted to upend all of Trump’s policies. It would be rational to assume that his immediate preoccupation would be the coronavirus pandemic and when he will get it under control, he might go on and turn his attention to other substantive policy areas. At present, things are not in the cards to look up in the near future for current and potential international students. At the same time, it is imperative to know that there is bipartisan support for the India-US relationship, which has achieved a more robust and substantive trajectory that systematically embraces multiple verticals. It suggests that we could see softening from the US administration in order to accommodate Indian concerns. But all this will take a certain time, perhaps a couple of years. That’s our take and understanding of the current situation and you have all the rights to think otherwise. **Sign-up now and vote!** [poll type=regular results=on_vote chartType=pie] # **Will Biden Presidency bring positive changes for international students anytime soon?** * Yes * No * Can't Say [/poll] Whatever you think about and hope from the Biden presidency, post your thoughts in this thread. Also, shoot any questions you have regarding the new government and its probable policies in relation to the international students. Let’s start! ... Read more

Everything You Need to Know About Pearson Test of English (PTE) | GyanDhan
<p> Published date: 13 Jan 2021 Updated on: 13 Jan 2021 &nbsp; Are you thinking about applying to abroad universities? Or thinking of immigrating to a different country? A jump from a non-English country to an English speaking country is fraught with multiple steps and exams. One of them is clearing the English language proficiency test.&nbsp; As a student, you have a choice between taking the IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE. All three exams will evaluate your understanding of the language. But what exactly is PTE? Let’s find out -&nbsp; What is the Pearson Test of English (PTE)?&nbsp; Pearson Test of English is the first entirely computer-based test of English language for abroad education and immigration. The test will assess four skills - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. The test duration is 3 hours and provides the score based on the Global Scale of English (GSE).&nbsp; You can book a test conveniently 24 hours in advance all around the year. &nbsp; Where is the PTE score accepted?&nbsp; PTE is accepted worldwide by universities like Harvard, Yale, INSEAD. Students can check the full list of institutions accepting PTE on the website. They can browse the same by country/region.&nbsp; Like TOEFL and IELTS, PTE is also accepted by the UK, Australian, and New Zealand governments for visa purposes. Students applying for a Canadian Student Visa through the non-SDS route can also take the PTE for visa purposes.&nbsp; Need Help in Study Abroad Admission Counselling Click Here When and Where is the PTE held?&nbsp; The PTE is conducted at assigned test centers in India. You can schedule a test in 24 hours advance 365 days a year. After registering for the test, students can select the nearest test center. The PTE is provided in the following cities -&nbsp; Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Cochin, Coimbatore, Dehradun, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Jalandhar, Kolkata, Ludhiana, Mumbai, Nagpur, New Delhi, Noida, Patiala, Pune, Rajkot, Surat, Vadodara, and Vijayawada.&nbsp; The cost of the test is around Rs. 11,000. This is an approximate cost. The final cost will depend on the center selected. &nbsp; How many types of PTE are there and which one should you choose?&nbsp; There are two types of PTE offered to test-takers - PTE Academic and PTE Home.&nbsp; PTE Academic - If you are applying for admission to foreign universities or thinking of shifting to an English-speaking country, PTE Academic is the test for you. The test is accepted by thousands of institutions worldwide. It is also accepted by immigration authorities of the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.&nbsp; PTE Home/Academic UKVI - PTE Home is an ideal choice for those who are looking for a study, work, family, or settlement visa in the UK. The Secure English Language Tests (SELT) is approved by the UK Home Office. On successful completion of the test, the test-takers are provided with proof that their English language proficiency meets the Common European Framework for Reference (CEFR) Levels A1, A2, and B1. Test takers can further decide the level they wish to take.&nbsp; What are the eligibility criteria for taking the PTE? The conducting body of the test has not laid down any specific criteria for taking the test. However, in order to take the test, a student must be 16 years of age. Students below the age of 18 should get a parental consent form.&nbsp; What is the PTE Exam pattern?&nbsp; There are three main sections in the PTE - Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking (together). It is a three-hour session with an optional 10-minute break between the Reading and listening parts. The academic test will evaluate your language skills in a real-life setting with a range of questions. There are twenty different types of questions in the test, ranging from multiple choice answers to essay writing.&nbsp; PTE Exam Pattern&nbsp; &nbsp;PTE Academic&nbsp; section Description Speaking and Writing &nbsp; 77 - 93 minutes Part 1 will focus on your speaking and writing skills. To assess both the skills, the ability to speak and write in an academic environment will be tested. Types of questions asked - Personal information, Read aloud, Repeat sentence, Describe image, Re-tell lecture, Answer short questions, Summarize written text, and Essay. Each question type will last for about 10 seconds to 40 seconds. Summarizing written text and Essay questions will get 10 minutes and 20 minutes respectively. Reading &nbsp; 32 - 40 minutes Part 2 will focus on your reading skills.* This section will contain 15-20 independent and integrated skill tests. Types of questions asked - Reading and Writing Fill in the blanks, Multiple choice - Multiple Answers, Reorder paragraphs, Fill in the blanks, and Multiple choice - Single answer. Listening &nbsp; 45 - 57 minutes Part 3 will focus on your listening skills. The questions consist of audio or video clips, which start playing automatically. These clips are played only once and will not be repeated. You are allowed to take notes while the clip plays. You have the opportunity to adjust the volume of the clip with each question. Types of questions asked - Summarize spoken text, Multiple choice - Multiple Answers, Fill in the blanks, Highlight correct summary, Multiple choice - single answer, Select missing word, Highlight incorrect words, and Write from dictation. *PTE Academic test is an integrated skill test. Each section of the test will assess multiple skills at a time.&nbsp; How will you be scored? The test is scored against a Global Scale of English. The score can be related to any other English language test such as the IELTS and the TOEFL. Refer to the table below for an overview of the scoring scale -&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;PTE Academic&nbsp; &nbsp;30&nbsp; &nbsp;36&nbsp; &nbsp;42&nbsp; &nbsp;50&nbsp; &nbsp;58&nbsp; &nbsp;65&nbsp; &nbsp;73&nbsp; &nbsp;79&nbsp; &nbsp;83&nbsp; &nbsp;86&nbsp; IELTS &nbsp;4.5&nbsp; &nbsp;5.0&nbsp; &nbsp;5.5&nbsp; &nbsp;6.0&nbsp; &nbsp;6.5&nbsp; &nbsp;7.0&nbsp; &nbsp;7.5&nbsp; &nbsp;8.0&nbsp; &nbsp;8.5&nbsp; &nbsp;9.0&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;PTE Academic&nbsp; 38 42 46 50 53 59 64 68 72 78 84 TOEFL iBT &nbsp; 40-44&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; 54-56&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; 65-66&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; 74-75&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; 79-80&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; 87-88&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; 94&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; 99-100&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; 105&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; 113&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; 120&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; The score report will include your overall score, communicative skill scores, and enabling skill scores. The score range for each skill is 10-90 points.&nbsp; Your overall score is based on all the items of the test and will reflect your overall English language ability.&nbsp; Your communicative skills are based on the skill items like reading, writing, listening, and speaking, either independently or together with other skills.&nbsp; Your scores for enabling skills are based on skills like grammar, oral fluency, pronunciation, spelling, vocabulary, and written discourse.&nbsp; The scoring is done based on the correctness, formal aspects, and quality of the answer. For every correct answer, you will receive 1 point. You may also receive partial credit for a partially correct answer.&nbsp; Your test scores will be available within 5 days of taking the test. The scores are only accessible online through your PTE account. You will be notified of the same through an email. Furthermore, you can send your scores to as many institutes as you would like and to the UK, Australia, or New Zealand visa offices for visa purposes.&nbsp; Need expert help in admissions abroad? Fill the form below How can you practice for your PTE Academic test?&nbsp; The conducting body of the test has provided free resource material to prepare for the test. You can refer to official practice test papers, online courses with video guidance provided free of cost, and make use of the PTE Academic official practice app. You can also download offline practice test sets, as well as refer to The Official Guide to PTE Academic.&nbsp; What can you expect on the exam day? You can expect the following on your test day -&nbsp; The test is taken at a secure testing center. Before you leave your home, remember to take your ID or passport with you for identification. The name on your ID should match the one you mentioned on your test registration form.&nbsp; Reach at least 30 minutes before the scheduled time to complete the identification formalities. The exact address of the test center will be mentioned in your confirmation email.&nbsp; At the center, you need to fill in security and identity verification. You will also be asked to read the test takers’ rules and agreement.&nbsp; After finishing formalities like showing your ID, signing, getting your photograph taken, you can sit for the test. You will be provided with a small compartment to store your belongings. You will not be allowed to take personal belongings during the test such as watches, jewelry, outerwear, etc. The computer screen will guide you through an equipment check following which you can start the exam.&nbsp; There is an optional 10-minute break between the reading and the listening section. To take the break, just raise your hand and the test administrator will show you out.&nbsp; After the test is finished, you will receive a Confirmation of Attendance notice. You can then collect your belongings.&nbsp; The result will be out within 5 business days.&nbsp; What is the COVID-19 PTE Academic Exam alert? The conducting body of the PTE Academic test has not yet initiated home testing. Therefore, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the testing centers were closed and the test was not being conducted. With gradual ease in restrictions, some test centers have begun usual work. Before you register for the test, you can check the availability of test centers and time slots.&nbsp; How can you cancel or reschedule the exam? You can cancel or reschedule your exam any time you want through your PTE account. It is advised to cancel or reschedule the exam as soon as possible to reduce the cancellation charges.&nbsp; You can cancel or reschedule your exam for free if there are at least 14 days remaining before your exam date. You will be charged 50% of the registration fee if you wish to cancel or reschedule with 13 to 8 days remaining before the exam. Your entire registration fee will be charged if you wish to cancel or reschedule the test with 7 days remaining before the test.&nbsp; Planning to study abroad? GyanDhan can help you in every step of your abroad education journey. Get expert admission counseling from us and avail of expert assistance on your test preparations, college shortlisting and more. In addition to this, we can help you get a study abroad loan to fund your overseas education. Get in touch with GyanDhan and be rest assured of getting personalized assistance and guidance from the experts with immense experience of making an abroad education journey easier for thousands of students in India. </p> <hr> <small>This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at <a href="https://www.gyandhan.com/blogs/information-on-pte">https://www.gyandhan.com/blogs/information-on-pte</a></small> ... Read more

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