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Ph.D. students in UCSD Social Science departments may apply to join the CSS specialization at any time pre-candidacy*; most Ph.D. students seeking to join the specialization do so between years 1 and 3, the years most likely to involve significant coursework which can then support the dissertation.  

Application Requirements: 

  •  A list of relevant coursework taken including grades earned in those courses
  •  Planned coursework to complete the specialization
  • Statement expressing how the student’s dissertation research relates to CSS
  • CV
  • The student’s primary research advisor and chair of their department must endorse the request via docusign 

Steps to Apply: 

  1. Complete the CSS Ph.D Specialization Admissions Form 
    • A copy of your responses will be sent to your email. Please save your copy since it is required for the second step.
  2. Complete the CSS Specialization Acknowledgement Form via docusign. 

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. 

 *Post-candidacy requests would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and may require an additional justification relating to time to degree. If advanced students have dissertation committees that do not conform to the requirement of an external CSS affiliate member, re-constitution of the dissertation committee in alignment with this requirement will be necessary for admission to the specialization to be granted.

** Students who anticipate receiving degrees other than a Ph.D.  (i.e., M.A., M.S., C.Phil.) before matriculation may want to wait to formally join the specialization until after the pre-Ph.D. degrees are granted to prevent some administrative complications.  If this applies to you, please contact CSS ( and home department advising.  

Questions? Email

Information Session

Register below for our upcoming virtual information session to learn more about our new CSS Ph.D. Specialization at UC San Diego. Note: This specialization is only open to Ph.D. students in UCSD Social Science departments.