Joint Doctoral Program

Joint Doctoral Program San Diego State University:

The University of California San Diego and San Diego State University have a Joint Doctoral Program (JDP).

For questions regarding the MAE UCSD JDP contact MAE Student Affairs at:

For questions regarding the MAE SDSU JDP contact Donovan Geiger at:


Note: Admission into the MAE JDP are processed by SDSU.

Information about SDSU Admissions:


JPD students should be enrolled at both institutions every quarter, but with SDSU as their "home base."

Students should be enrolled in 6 units at SDSU, and 1-12 units at UCSD. For JDP International students, their visa is issued through SDSU; thus, they will need to be enrolled at SDSU and abide by ISPO visa regulations. 

Ensure to enroll at UCSD by the Registration deadline or you will be assessed late fees. 

A 3.0 GPA at UCSD is considered Good Standing. A 3.5 GPA at SDSU is considered Good Standing. JDP students must maintain a 3.5 GPA. 

Course Clearance:

JDP students will contact UCSD Academic Advisor to clear them to enroll into MAE 299 1 unit of research. Every other course should go through Enrollment Authorization Request (EASy). In EASy, please ensure you add a comment under “Justification” of courses you’ve taken that are similar to the prerequisites if there are prerequisites listed.

JDP PhD Exams:

Students are required to take the same three exams as UCSD MAE students. However, there are different exam forms for JDP students to complete.

  1. Department Qualifying Exam

DQE Committee: 

    1. UCSD Faculty Advisor
    2. SDSU Faculty Advisor
    3. UCSD MAE Faculty
    4. SDSU or UCSD Faculty (Optional)

DQE Form (Provided by UCSD Academic Advisor)

Please see the PhD page for the DQE course requirements. JDP students should plan to take all courses at UC San Diego. However, if needed 1-2 courses can be taken at San Diego State for the DQE with Faculty Advisor approval. 

Note: JDP students who have an MS already can do research courses at SDSU to fulfill the 12 unit research requirement option. 

  1. Advancement to Candidacy Senate Exam

Students fill out JDP Form 3 (Provided by SDSU Coordinator)

Please see PhD page for the Senate Exam requirements.

Note: The faculty committee is different for JDP students. Please see Committee Membership section below. 

Note: JDP students are required to complete 3, 1 unit seminars total before they Advance to Candidacy. 2, 1-unit seminars [i.e. MAE 205] need to be at UCSD. They can take 1,1-unit seminar at SDSU to fulfill this requirement. 

  1. Dissertation and Final Defense Examination

Students fill out JDP Form 5 (Provided by SDSU Coordinator)

Please see PhD page for the Final Defense requirements. 

Note: JDP students are required to complete the 1 quarter Teaching Assistant experience at UCSD or SDSU before your Final Defense. 

Committee Membership:

Students will contact UCSD PhD Advisor to constitute or reconstitute their PhD committee for the Senate Advancement and Final Defense.

JDP Committee should consist of: 

  •        2 members from SDSU

  •        2 members from UCSD MAE

  •        1 tenured member from outside of MAE within UCSD

Within those 5:

  •       At least two specialties that are different from the students

  •       And co-chairs – one from UCSD, one from SDSU

Teaching Assistant: 

JDP students are allowed to work as a Teaching Assistant (TA) at UCSD. However, if you’re an International student, your I-20 is with SDSU, and you should confirm with the SDSU International Student Center that you are approved to work as a TA, and don't need to apply for CPT. 

International JDP students are also advised to wait to work at UCSD while in MS to PhD transition to avoid issues with International Center policies about I-20 and OPT vs CPT. 


For more information about the JDP program please see SDSU's website: