Visiting Scholars/Visiting Grad Students

Prospective Visitors

Visiting Scholars are required to have a doctoral degree, and are typically on leave from their home university while visiting UCSD. If you are interested in a Visiting Scholar appointment, please email the faculty member you are interested in collaborating with. Once you have received their endorsement email Human Resources to begin the appointment process. Visiting Scholar appointments should be processed minimally 4 months in advance of arrival.

Visiting Graduate Students must be enrolled as a pre-doctoral graduate student at a university outside of the University of California system. If you are interested in a Visiting Graduate Student appointment, please email the faculty member you are interested in collaborating with. Once you have received their endorsement email Human Resources to begin the appointment process. Visiting Graduate appointments should be processed minimally 4 months in advance of arrival. Please note there is $100 Visiting Graduate Student processing fee.

Volunteer appointments can be processed for visitors who do not meet the above qualifications for Visiting Scholar or Visiting Graduate Student titles. Registering as a volunteer permits them to get an affiliate email account, on-campus protected internet access, and library resources. It also gives them an official record of having worked in the lab, which may be useful to those building their resumes or applying for future lab positions or graduate school. Please contact Human Resources, minimally three weeks in advance of beginning your Volunteer appointment to complete a Volunteer application.

Visas

Human Resources can help you process the correct visa application after you have an approved appointment. If you are traveling to collaborate with a UCSD faculty member, you should travel under the J-1 classification. Visit this link for a summary of the costs involved.

If you plan to travel for the purpose of consultation, conferences, invited presentation, or independent research, for less than 90 days, you may be eligible to apply for an ESTA visa waiver. If your home country participates in this program, it is important that you obtain a WB (waiver business) stamp at US Immigration. As a reminder, if you will be here in collaboration with a faculty, you should be traveling under J-1 classification.

It is not appropriate to visit the Psychology department with a WT (waiver tourism) designation.

Regardless of visa status, international visitors to UCSD are asked to check in with the International Faculty & Scholars Office on campus. Please review the information on the UCSD International Faculty & Scholars Office (IFSO) website if you are considering traveling to UCSD.

  • Visiting scholars are non-UC students or academics who are invited to participate in research projects at UCSD. Typically, they hold a doctorate degree, though exceptions can be made for individuals with only a bachelor's or master's degree under certain circumstances. As the individual is appointed at the University to assist with research.
  • An appointment as a Visiting Scholar is temporary and usually short term: most of the time, the appointment will not exceed one year. However, extensions beyond one year are possible (e.g., the program the scholar is working with requires a longer affiliation).
  • Visiting Graduate Students are pre-doctorate graduate students who perform research at UC San Diego relevant to their degree program at their home institution. They must be enrolled in a non-UC degree-granting program.
  • Visiting Graduate Students fall into one of two categories:
    • Non-Salaried: These students will receive funding for their visit either from their home institution or from personal funds.
    • Salaried: These students receive either partial or full support from their UC San Diego faculty sponsor through use of the Jr. Specialist title code (3330).
    • The salaried or non-salaried status of a Visiting Graduate Student is determined prior to the start of their appointment. 
    • Appointments as a Visiting Graduate Student usually last between three months and one year in duration. If required, an appointment lasting one year can be extended an additional year, however all such extensions will require approval.