Tuition and Financing

Financing a graduate education is top-of-mind for most students applying to SOLES. Most of our graduate students are offered financial assistance in the form of need-based grants, student loans or merit scholarships.

Graduate Tuition and Fees 2015-2016

Tuition and fees are subject to change. For the most current information, visit Student Financial Services.

PhD Leadership Studies $1,385
SOLES Master's and Graduate Credential Programs (exceptions Noted Below) $1,370
Master's Credential Cohort Program $765
MA in Nonprofit Leadership and Management, with nonprofit practitioner discount* $765
Online MEd Programs $710
Preliminary Administrative Services Credential $595

* In order to qualify for the nonprofit practitioner discount students must work for a 501(c)3 organization for more than 20 hours per week. This is discount is only applicable to the MA in nonprofit leadership and management.

Health Services Fee $110
Student Life Pavilion Fee $35
Student Association Fee: More than 7 units $30
Student Association Fee: up to 6.5 units $20
Student Association Fee: Summer/Intersession $2 per unit

Program Specific Fees

Master's Credential Cohort: Student Teaching Fee $200 per semester of student teaching
Master's Credential Cohort: edTPA Fee $300

Typical Courseload per Semester

Students should consult with their advisors to determine their individual courseload for each semester. The table below is intended as a general guide only.

Credential 12 units (approx. 4 courses) 6 units (approx. 2 courses)
Master's Degree 9 units (approx. 3 courses) 6 units (approx. 2 courses)
Doctorate 6 units (approx. 2 courses) 3 units (approx. 1 course)

Applying for Graduate Financial Aid: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

U.S. citizens and permanent residents applying to SOLES graduate credential and degree programs should complete the FAFSA in order to be considered for need-based financial aid from USD's Office of Financial Aid. We recommend that you file your FAFSA prior to receiving an offer of admission.

The priority deadline to file the FAFSA is generally April 1st of each year for graduate and credential students.

USD'S FAFSA School Code is 010395

Important note for students with summer start dates:

If you are planning to start a graduate program in the summer semester you should complete two FAFSAs: one for the current academic year (which includes the summer semester) and one for the next academic year (which begins with the fall semester). You should also submit the Summer Supplemental Financial Aid Application.

Step 2: Apply for Scholarships

Once you have completed the FAFSA, you may also apply for scholarships and financial aid directly through the School of Leadership and Education Sciences. To review the requirements and access scholarship applications, visit our Scholarships page. You may also be interested in on-campus employment.

Step 3: Check your MySanDiego Portal for your Financial Aid Award

The Office of Financial Aid will begin creating your financial aid award as soon as you are offered admission to a graduate credential or degree program at SOLES and your FAFSA has been filed. Your award will appear on your MySanDiego portal within two weeks of your offer of admission if the FAFSA and all necessary paperwork has been filed. Once your award appears you will have three weeks to accept or decline it.

Step 4: Complete Any Additional Required Paperwork

The Office of Financial Aid may require additional paperwork to verify the number of units you intend to take, complete entrance loan counseling, certify income, and more. Outstanding requirements will appear with a red flag on your MySanDiego portal.

Students who receive scholarships will also be required to confirm their acceptance of the scholarship funds.

Scholarship awards, changes in the number of units you intend to take, and other factors may alter your initial financial aid award.


If you are having trouble understanding your financial aid award or the required paperwork, drop in to the One Stop Student Center in the University Center, room 126 to speak to a counselor. You can also reach the One Stop Student Center at (619) 260-2700 or