General Information

Studying at an educational institution in a foreign land can be an enriching experience. There is an expectation that a student will use the opportunity to learn about another culture as well as get a first-hand glimpse into its system of higher education. This is also an excellent chance to see how a subject is taught outside of what you are used to.

Studying abroad is not a requirement of the UC San Diego Department of Mathematics undergraduate program, and no special credit is earned by doing so, but the Department supports student interest in this.

Most of what you need to know about the process of getting to study abroad will come from the UC San Diego Study Abroad office. A Study Abroad in Mathematics information sheet is offered by that office as an introduction to what you need to know. Meet with Study Abroad advisors far in advance of when you hope to travel. Fourteen months before departure is not too early to start learning about your options.


We encourage you to plan ahead for coursework that you want to take while abroad and have counted toward your major. The smart thing to do is request coursework approval long before traveling. It would be unpleasant to return from going abroad and find that courses you took cannot be applied toward the requirements of your major.

The procedure for requesting coursework approval in the Department of Mathematics is this:

You submit a completed Undergraduate Student Petition along with supporting documentation such as the official published course description and course syllabus. On your petition, be clear on what you are asking the faculty member who reviews the petition to approve. There are two common types of requests in these cases:

  1. You want a course abroad to be accepted toward your major as equivalent to a specific UC San Diego course. This petition should be delivered to the department that offers the course. Example: If your major is Mathematics—Computer Science, and the course is offered by the Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) Department, you need to hand in your petition at the CSE Department.
  2. You want a course abroad to be accepted toward your major to fulfill a certain category requirement, but not a specific course. This petition should be delivered to the Department of Mathematics. Example: If your major is Mathematics—Computer Science, and you want a course to count toward Requirement 12 in the curriculum (see the campus General Catalog), you need to hand in your petition at the Department of Mathematics. (In this example, you should see that the courses in Requirement 12 have numerical analysis/methods as the theme. A course abroad whose focus is on that theme has a better chance of being accepted toward that category by the faculty reviewer.)

Use the above guidance to clearly state your request on the Undergraduate Student Petition form. As for the reason for your petition, you want to continue making progress toward your degree while abroad!

It is your duty to find and print the official course description and syllabus (if available) for any course abroad that you want to take. Ideally, that description should be printed in English directly from the university catalog, and the URL for the catalog should also be printed so that the faculty member reviewer can look up the listing for him/herself. If you are having trouble finding finding the course description and/or obtaining the syllabus, contact the department at the university where the course is offered to ask for assistance.

It can take a few weeks for a UC San Diego Undergraduate Student Petition to be approved. Do not unnecessarily delay in getting your petition(s) prepared and submitted.

Noteworthy International Programs in Mathematics

Two programs recommended by some UC San Diego Department of Mathematics faculty are the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics and Math in Moscow.