Graduate Preparation Program

Summer 22 – GPP Orientation

Program Outline

The Graduate Preparation Program (GPP) is a four-week intensive non-credit course offered in person on the main campus prior to the fall quarter, which is open to all current and newly admitted international graduate students. It focuses on English for Academic Purposes (EAP), academic skills, and cultural orientation. The program also provides a foundation for transitioning into the Teaching Assistant role.

The program is offered in collaboration with the Graduate Division and Global Engagement. The course offers guided support with:

  • Seminar-style classroom discussion
  • Presentation and oral communication skills  
  • Information on U.S. classroom culture; roles and responsibilities of faculty, Teaching Assistants, and students
  • Critical thinking; using evidence to support ideas
  • Research writing; citation; avoiding plagiarism
  • Collaborative and project-based learning

The Graduate Preparation Program provides a strong foundation to the U.S. classroom environment and university system, in addition to the opportunity to practice and master the language and academic skills needed for success.

Eligibility & Program Participation

GPP ensures that international Teaching Assistants have the language skills and support to succeed in the classroom, which will have an additional positive impact on undergraduate student success.

Students who successfully complete the Graduate Preparation Program will not be required to take the Versant English Placement Test.

For more information on requirements for Teaching Assistant assignments, please contact your department.

You are required to attend the program if:

  • you are offered a Teaching Assistant position at UC Santa Cruz for the upcoming academic year, AND:
  • you have not passed the IELTS or TOEFL exam with a qualifying score (26 for the iBT sub-score in Speaking; or 8 for the IELTS subscore in Speaking).

Required students will receive an email in May from our team with program and registration information. Required students are expected to complete registration forms for the Graduate Preparation Program; they are not automatically registered. 

You are strongly encouraged to attend the program if:

  • you are interested in obtaining (but not yet offered) a Teaching Assistant position, AND
  • you have not passed the IELTS or TOEFL exam with a qualifying score (26 for the iBT sub-score in Speaking; or 8 for the IELTS subscore in Speaking).

Program Dates & Costs

  • Monday, August 21 – Thursday, September 14
  • Cost: $1200 tuition

GPP is often paid for by graduate programs and departments for new students who were awarded a Teaching Assistant position in their first year of graduate study. New students typically will need to pay for their housing costs, either on or off campus. 

Continuing graduate students who choose to attend GPP, or new students who were not awarded Teaching Assistant positions in their first year, are expected to individually cover the course and any associated housing costs.


Both registration forms will close on Friday, August 4, 2023.

On-Campus Housing (Optional)

GPP students may choose to reside on campus for the duration of the program. Housing will be in The Village Apartments with single/double room options and a shared living and kitchen space.

  • Single occupancy – $47.38 per night
  • Double occupancy – $38.88 per night
  • Optional linens rental – Costs to be announced
  • Note: Meals are not included in the price

Move-In Dates: Friday, August 18 – Sunday, August 20
Move-Out Date: Thursday, September 14 by 1:00 pm

  • Occupants that do not move out by Thursday, September 14 will be subject to additional charges and/or items confiscated from the space


For questions regarding program content, administration, and registration, contact

For questions regarding program eligibility or Teaching Assistantships, contact your department.

Last modified: Jun 13, 2023