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Types of Graduate Programs

State-supported degree programs are those that are included in the enrollment count for state-supported students. Some state-supported programs also charge professional degree supplemental tuition (PDST). All Ph.D. programs must be state-supported; Ph.D. programs may not charge PDST or be self-supporting. Master’s programs may be state-supported (with or without PDST) or self-supporting.

For a detailed comparison of the different types of Master's degrees, please review the following models:

PROFESSIONAL DEGREE SUPPLEMENTAL TUITION

Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition (PDST) programs are state-supported graduate degree programs that generate additional program-specific resources used to maintain and enhance the quality of the program. PDST programs are not self-supporting programs. PDST programs promote an educated workforce in an increasingly competitive environment and may be developed for full-time and part-time students.

Submission Instructions

  • Programs/Schools submitting proposals for Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition must submit letters of intent to the Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor via the campus Budget Office and complete a multi-year plan for Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition levels. Please contact Karen Mizumoto in the Budget Office for current templates and further information.
  • The updated multi-year PDST template is usually available in late summer or early fall, and proposals are typically due in mid to late fall.
  • NOTE: PDST proposals may be developed concurrently with the development and approval of academic programs; however, PDST proposals will not be included in future Regents Action Items until the academic programs have received both systemwide CCGA and Presidential approval.

SELF-SUPPORTING GRADUATE PROFESSIONAL DEGREE PROGRAMS

Self-supporting graduate professional degree programs (SSGPDPs) typically differ from state-supported programs in various ways. They tend to focus on a particular type of student, type of program, location, budget and market factors, and/or additional services offered.  “Self-supporting” means that full program costs, including but not limited to faculty instructional costs, program support costs, student services costs, and overhead, are covered by program fees or other non-state funds. Self-supporting programs are not state-funded, and cannot utilize any state-funded resources without providing compensation to the relevant School/department. Self-supporting programs cannot utilize UC mandatory tuition and fee funds generated by matriculated students in state-funded programs.

Market Research

As part of the streamlined campus procedure for development of new SSGPDPs, preliminary market research must be conducted to determine the potential viability of and demand for a program before a School invests significant resources in the full development of a proposal. Please contact the Assistant Director of Academic Affairs, Kate Brigman, to schedule a consultation with Dean Leslie before completing the Market Research Forms below.

Fee Structure Conversion for Existing Programs

For instructions on converting an existing graduate degree program from state-supported to self-supported status or vice versa, please review the SSP conversion document.

Submission Instructions

  • Programs/Schools submitting proposals for Self-Supporting Graduate Professional Degree Programs must submit a fee proposal that includes a cost analysis template and questionnaire to the Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor via the campus Budget Office. Please contact Karen Mizumoto in the Budget Office for current templates and further information.
  • The call for SSGPDP Program Fee Proposals for the following academic year usually goes out in December. Proposals are typically due to UCOP in March.
  • NOTE: SSGPDP fee proposals may be developed concurrently with the development and approval of SSGPDP programs; however, SSGPDP fee proposals will not be formally approved until the corresponding academic program has received both CCGA and Presidential approval.

ONLINE GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAMS

Graduate distance learning or online programs enable students from around the world to pursue residency-free degree programs via the Internet. The UCI Division of Continuing Education and the Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation offer extensive support for online and hybrid master’s degrees. Please review the services provided by the UCI Division of Continuing Education and the Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation, as well as the FAQ on online programs for further details.

PROFESSIONAL SCIENCE MASTER'S

The Professional Science Master's (PSM) is a type of graduate degree designed to allow students to pursue advanced training in science or mathematics while simultaneously developing workplace skills highly valued by employers. PSM programs prepare students for science careers in business, government, or nonprofit organizations where workforce needs are increasing. Please see the resources available for developing new PSM programs.  A PSM designation may require a program to charge Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition.

INTERDISCIPLINARY GRADUATE PROGRAMS

Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs (IGPs) are integrated areas of study that are coordinated between academic units, departments, or Schools. Depending on the type of IGP, more than one degree can be pursued simultaneously. Please review the Intercampus Degree Programs Summary for more information on the types of IGP structures available.

CONCENTRATIONS, EMPHASES, AND SPECIALIZATIONS

Please review the process for establishing concentrations, emphases, and specializations within established degree programs.

GRADUATE ACADEMIC CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS

The Graduate Division may grant certificates of completion of graduate curriculum, also known as Graduate Academic Certificates (GACs). A GAC is defined as a certificate program that does not require its students to be enrolled in another graduate program; is not offered solely through a UC Extension Program; has an independent admissions process, which requires at least a Bachelor’s degree for admission; and carries a minimum of 3 quarters of full-time resident study.

UNDERGRADUATE/GRADUATE HYBRID DEGREE PROGRAMS

Undergraduate/Graduate hybrid degree programs (often called "4+1" programs) are degree programs that allow undergraduate students to complete undergraduate and graduate coursework simultaneously, often resulting in a reduced time-to-degree. Such programs typically feature a 5-year combined bachelor's and master's curriculum. Students typically apply for admission in their third year and begin graduate courses in their fourth year, while still an undergraduate. The Compendium provides specific guidance about the nature of review of such proposals at the campus and states that, once approved, any hybrid program proposal is to be forwarded to CCGA for review.