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JDP Symposium Student  
Joint Doctoral Program

San Diego State University, in collaboration with the University of California, San Diego, offers four doctoral degrees (PhD) in:

Each of the distinctive programs involves graduate level courses and research projects under the supervision of SDSU faculty in the fields of Aerospace, Mechanical, Civil, Construction, Electrical, and Computer Engineering with cooperating faculty from the University of California, San Diego. The PhD degree is awarded jointly by the two institutions.


Information About :

Preparing for Admission
Application to the Program
Advising Committee
Programs of Study
Program Timeframe
Awarding of the Degree
Research Facilities
Financial Support
Location and Cost of Living

Preparing for Admission

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree or master's degree from an accredited institution and must meet the requirements for classified graduate admission to both SDSU and UCSD. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 in the major field for students with a B.S. and 3.5 for students with the M.S. degree is required.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required with the following minimum scores:

    carrot.jpg   Quantitative: 159 (old GRE 750)
    carrot.jpg   Verbal: 153 (old GRE 500)
    carrot.jpg   Analytical Writing: 4.0

The GRE must have been taken within the last 5 years to be accepted.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required for all applicants who did not earn a degree at a primarily English-speaking university.

TOEFL minimum score is 80 on the Internet Based Test (IBT), 213 on the Computer Based Test (CBT), or 550 on the Paper Based Test (PBT).

IELTS minimum score is 6.5. 

TOEFL or IELTS must have been taken within the last 2 years to be accepted.

Application to the Program

  • Applications for fall 2017 are now: CLOSED

  • Applications for fall 2017 were open from:
    OCTOBER 1, 2016 to February 15, 2017

Spring, summer, and winter admissions are not offered.

A complete application to the JDP includes:

  1. Online SDSU graduate application
  2. Payment of application fee
  3. Official transcripts from all previous institutions
  4. Certificates of all degrees earned
  5. Official GRE and TOEFL (if applicable) scores
  6. Online SDSU supplemental application
  7. Resume/CV
  8. Statement of Purpose
  9. Three letters of recommendation
  10. Acceptance by an SDSU faculty member to serve as advisor


Requirements 1 and 2 are completed via the SDSU graduate application online. Please do not submit an application or any documents directly to UCSD as they will not be reviewed. 

Requirements 3 and 4 are completed by mailing official documents to:

Graduate Admissions
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-7416

If any documents are in a language other than English, they must be translated either by the issuing institution or a translation company selected by the applicant.

Requirement 5 is completed by sending official scores from ETS to SDSU (ETS Code: 4682).

Requirements 6 thru 10 are submitted electronically via the supplemental application online.

The application and ALL supporting documents as indicated in steps 1 thru 10 above must be submitted by February 15, 2017. Documents received after that date will not be accepted and incomplete applications will be rejected.  

Securing an SDSU faculty advisor is required before an application may be reviewed. Applicants may contact faculty members directly to inquire if they wish to serve as their advisor. A listing of faculty, their research, and contact info can be found on each departmental website: 

Aerospace Engineering

Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Admission occurs when the applicant is formally accept
ed by the graduate deans of both universities and then affirms their intent to enroll.  

For more information contact:

Donovan Geiger, Joint Doctoral Program Manager
Telephone: (619) 594-6079   

Advising Committee

When a student is admitted to the Doctoral Program, the directors of the Engineering Joint Doctoral Program at SDSU and UCSD will appoint a three member Advising Committee consisting of at least one member from each institution.

It is the responsibility of this committee to develop in consultation with the student a course of study and plan of preparation for the Doctoral Qualifying Examination. The qualifying examination should be taken as soon as possible after the two years of study at the two institutions. Students with advanced standing may be capable of taking the exam earlier.

Upon the student's successful completion of the examination, the Advising Committee will recommend the membership of the student's Doctoral Committee, which upon appointment, will supersede the Advising Committee and be responsible for the student's program of study and dissertation research. The Doctoral Committee will consist of three members from each institution with one being from a department outside the student's research area.

Programs of Study

The PhD degree is a research degree and represents both attainment of advanced knowledge and demonstration of research skills. Therefore, no specific course requirements for the Joint Doctoral Program exist. However, the Advising Committee will usually select specific coursework to prepare the student for the Qualifying Examination. On average, a student will take between 10 and 12 courses. Upon satisfactory completion of the Qualifying Examination and appointment of the student's Doctoral Committee, an appropriate program of course work will be developed in order to enhance the student's research capabilities in the subject of the dissertation.

Program Timeframe

The normative time for the Engineering Doctoral Program is five years. The regulations concerning the normative time are described in the SDSU and UCSD general catalogs and are initiated at the time the student is admitted to the program. Students are expected to make continuous, satisfactory progress and to remain in good standing at both institutions while enrolled.

Awarding of the Degree

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Engineering Science (Aerospace and Mechanical), Engineering Science (Bioengineering), Engineering Science (Electrical and Computer), or Engineering Science (Structural) are awarded jointly by the Trustees of The California State University and the Regents of the University of California.

Research Facilities

The laboratories of the engineering departments involved in the program are fully equipped for modern research in different areas of engineering science. Major items include sub- and supersonic wind tunnels, a low speed water channel, shake tables, an acoustic visualization system, soil mechanics laboratory, powder technology laboratory, microelectromechanical laboratory, and a biodynamics laboratory. Research support, machine shops, and numerous computational facilities are also available; SDSU is also a member of the regional CRAY Supercomputer Consortium and is the only participant in The California State University System.

Financial Support

The Engineering Joint Doctoral Program endeavors to provide adequate support for all students so that full time can be devoted to research and graduate level study. All students are also expected to obtain teaching experience which will be carried out under the supervision of faculty members participating in the program.


San Diego is located on the coast of southern California, about two hours south of Los Angeles by car. San Diego is a major metropolitan city with over 1.3 million residents, making it the 2nd largest city in California and the 7th largest in America. It is home to many beautiful beaches, mountains, and a year-round warm Mediterranean-style climate. San Diego also supports a vibrant economy and world-class entertainment, historical, and sporting venues.

SDSU is located about 10 minutes east (by car) from downtown San Diego and is served by the San Diego Trolley and several bus lines. UCSD is located about 15 minutes north by car of downtown San Diego and is served by several bus lines and a local university shuttle.


SDSU Program Director - Eugene Olevsky, PhD

SDSU Program Manager - Donovan Geiger, MBA

UCSD Program Director - Enrique Luco, PhD

UCSD Program Manager - Patrick Mallon


Mailing Address

Engineering Joint Doctoral Program
College of Engineering Rm. E-203
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-1326

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