Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to detailed questions

Program Questions

Learn more about the programs.

Who can I talk to about the degree programs?

Contact one of our Enrollment Advisors at (619) 260-4580 or (888) 832-0239. You may also complete the Request More Information form.

How long will it take me to complete the degree programs?

The degree programs are typically designed to be completed in 5 consecutive semesters (6 units/semester), and can be completed in 20 months. The MS-HCI program is a 37-unit program that can be completed in 24 months/6 semesters.

Is the degree conferred different than that earned by on campus students?

The degree conferred is the same as that earned by campus-based students. The online courses embody the same learning outcomes and high level of academic excellence, educational rigor, and content delivery.

Which faculty will be teaching the online degree programs?

Full-time and adjunct faculty at the University of San Diego and expert practitioners lead the curricular and instructional efforts of the online degree programs, ensuring the highest academic excellence. Meet the faculty.

Is the Master of Education program CAEP accredited?

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation to accredit programs for the preparation of teachers and other professional school personnel. The USD Master of Education online program has full CAEP accreditation.

Admissions Questions

Find out what it takes to become a student.

How do I get started?

Contact an Enrollment Advisor at (619) 260-4580 or (888) 832-0239. You may also complete the Request More Information.

If you are ready to apply to a program now start here.

What are the admissions requirements?

Admission requirements vary by program. To view admission requirements by program click here.

Are there special admission requirements for international students?
Yes. In addition to the admissions requirements, international students must also complete and submit the following:
  • A Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).  See Admissions and Requirements for minimum scores.
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
      TOEFL/TSE Services
      P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, NJ 08541-6151
      Phone: (609) 771-7100, Fax: (609) 771-7500
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
      IELTS International
      825 Colorado Boulevard, Suite 112, Los Angeles, CA 90041
      Phone: (323) 255-2771
  • Official transcript(s) from each institution attended beyond high school sent sealed. Applicants must have their transcripts evaluated by an outside agency approved by NACES, such as World Education Services, Inc. (WES). A Course-by-Course Report from WES or one of the following agencies must be submitted with your application. (Please note, applicants to the M.S. in Health Care Informatics program are required to use WES for their international coursework evaluation.)
    • World Education Services (WES)
      P.O. Box 5087, Bowling Green Station, New York, NY 10274, U.S.A.
    • Education Credential Evaluators (ECE)
      PO Box 514070, Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470 USA
    • International Education Research Foundation (IERF)
      PO Box 3665, Culver City, CA 90231 USA
When is the application deadline?

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis any time in the year. Deadlines to start in an upcoming semester are set three times per year, several weeks before the term starts. The academic calendar includes application deadlines.

Do you accept transfer credit?

Admitted students can petition for transfer credits/units of graduate coursework, up to 6 credits, taken within the last 5 years, from a previously attended regionally accredited institution. The M.S. in Law Enforcement & Public Safety Leadership program provides additional opportunities for transfer credit beyond this 6 unit limit. Please speak to your enrollment advisor for more information.

What is the admissions process timeline for domestic and international students?

To ensure completion of the application packet for a specific semester, it is recommended that domestic applicants start the process at least two months from the deadline of the semester they wish to begin the program; and International applicants should start three months before the deadline.

Can I still apply if I don’t meet one or more of the admissions criterion, but have a special circumstance that makes me a good candidate for the program?

Each applicant’s admissions packet is reviewed in its entirety. Any exception to meeting the admissions requirements is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. An Enrollment Advisor is available to address questions and concerns regarding your candidacy for the program.

How is the two-year teaching experience requirement calculated and determined for the Master of Education program?

The teaching experience requirement is defined as two academic years, full time. If you do not have this experience, talk to an Enrollment Advisor to help assess your teaching experience and its applicability for candidacy.

In order to maximize learning and effectively meet all program requirements, it is expected that candidates will have access to a classroom. An Enrollment Advisor can help address any questions regarding access requirements.

What if I have a bachelor’s degree from a Nationally Accredited University?

A bachelor degree from a regionally accredited college or university is required for admissions. A National accreditation is not recognized as an equal standard. An Enrollment Advisor can help assess your education experience.

Tuition and Financial Aid Questions

Understand the tuition, fees and intricacies of financial aid.

What is the tuition for the degree programs?

The University of San Diego values academic excellence and the opportunity to provide high-quality and industry-validated degree programs. Click a link below to review tuition by program.

Is financial aid available?

One of the University of San Diego’s highest priorities is to ensure that sufficient financial support is available to all eligible students. The first step in applying for aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at

Note: only federal financial aid loans are available; no need-based or merit-based scholarships or grants from USD will be available.

What fees are required for the program?

Check with an Enrollment Advisor for the most current fees. The Application Fee is: $45.

What if I am not able to secure financial aid? Does USD offer other payment options?

The University of San Diego offers two payment options to assist students in meeting the costs of education. Payment in full and a 5 Monthly Payment Plan ($50 processing fee/term).

How do I defer my undergraduate student loans?

Contact the Office of Financial Aid for information concerning deferral options, or by reviewing to the Federal Student Loan Repayment FAQ.

Can I get a refund if I don't start classes?

To learn more about this and other questions regarding general policies, visit our General Policies page.


USD provides support services throughout the entire program.

Do you have placement service?

Career Services at the University of San Diego (USD) serves as a centralized resource for USD students, alumni and employers. Career Services can provide USD students with resources to support their job search.

What support do you provide to help me complete the program?

Students can expect five levels of direct support to complete the program:

Instructor Support –Instructors facilitate your studies throughout the course and will respond to your questions and coursework through the course site.

Enrollment Advisor – Your Enrollment Advisor (EA) is a highly knowledgeable support for you to learn all about our program, answer all your questions and prepare you to continue on toward a master’s degree.

Program Advisor – Your Program Advisor will be your first point of contact for administrative support once you are admitted.

Library Support – You will have access to Copley Library’s online digital databases and other library resources, including the library’s reference services either by phone or email.

Technical Support – Online learners have help desk technical support access that is responsive and effective.

Can I access all services available to on-campus students?

Online students have access to Copley Library’s online digital databases and other library resources, including the library’s reference services either by phone or email. If you are a local resident in San Diego and would like to participate in other benefits, talk with an Enrollment Advisor for the latest information for online student benefits.

Online Learning

Online courses are designed to be both rigorous and flexible for working professionals.

What is the online course format?

We make learning accessible and convenient for our students with structured online courses. Each course is designed for a 7-week term with prescribed due dates for each assignment. Course assignments are asynchronous, which enables flexibility in prioritizing your week.

How can I determine if online is for me?

Online classroom experiences can combine interactivity with multimedia-rich presentations in an instructor-led format that makes learning memorable and engaging. As an online student, you may interact with students worldwide. Chats, email correspondence, and discussion forums will help create a sense of community with your peers. You can access your course 24/7 on your computer at your convenience. The course site is your one-stop source to access all learning resources, syllabus, assignment details, and calendar. You will read and send messages, post to discussion forums and upload your completed assignments. Course instructors provide prompt feedback and are responsive to your questions. The online programs allow you to structure your time to suit your own educational needs while keeping you on pace for completion and success. Learn more about online learning by visiting our Course Experience page.

What support will I have to learn the online technologies, for example, the learning management system (LMS)?

Students can expect direct support to learn and use the technical learning tools:

Technical Support – Online learners have helpdesk technical support access that is responsive and effective.

Program Advisor – Your Program Advisor will be your first point of contact for administrative support once you are admitted. In addition, a step-by-step guidance will be provided to prepare you for your first course.

Online Orientation Course – An Online Orientation Course is available to familiarize you with the basic functionalities required for your courses.