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MFA Costs of Attendance

Updated July 2019

Please refer to Estimated Costs of Attendance or Budget and Costs for International Graduate Students (12-month column).

Note that tuition and fees are based on the student's California residency status, as follows:

  • California residents are charged regular tuition/fees.
  • Non-California residents who are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or international students are charged regular tuition plus nonresident supplemental tuition unless eligible for an exemption or waiver.

Financial support to help cover regular and/or nonresident tuition may be available. 

Students who are eligible to establish California residency for tuition purposes must do so during their first year in the program to avoid owing nonresident supplemental tuition in sequent years. There are specific requirements for establishing 'residency for tuition purposes'—see FAQ below.

Under no circumstances will UC San Diego pay nonresident tuition for continuing students who are eligible to establish residency but fail to do so.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I establish California residency for tuition purposes?

You must demonstrate your intention to make California your home by severing your residential ties with your former state of residence and establishing those ties with California during your first 366 days in the state. If these steps are delayed, the one-year duration period will be extended until you demonstrate both presence and intent for one full year. Read Criteria for Establishing Residency for details.

Can international students establish residency for tuition purposes?

Generally no, but there are a few exceptions. See Information for Noncitizens Who Are Eligible to Establish Residency.

Does the 'physical presence' requirement mean that I can't leave the state during the first year?

The physical presence requirement does not mean you cannot travel outside the state to visit family, take a vacation, or attend a conference. But you may have to demonstrate to the Residence Deputy that you intend to maintain California residence during your absence. Read Temporary Absences for more information.