A day in the life of an MPP student at GPS

Take a tour of a day in the life of a current UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) student, Shadi Matar. Here, we tag along with the 2018 Master of Public Policy (MPP) candidate to piece together his typical day.


  1. On this day of winter quarter, Matar makes his way to campus just in time for his first class at 9 a.m.
  2. Settled into a seat in GPS's auditorium, it's time for Quantitative Methods II with Assistant Professor Jen Burney.
  3. After lecture lets out, Matar ventures over to building three of the Robinson Complex and runs into a couple of friends in the lobby, a regular gathering place for students of the School. As a people person, Matar says one of the best parts of his day is catching up with classmates and getting into each other's whacky stories.
  4. Then it's off to a group study room to hash out with classmates notes from Associate Professor John Ahlquist's Policy Making Processes class, a required course of all MPP students at the School.
  5. Around 1 p.m., Matar and a friend head to Cafe Ventanas—located between the School and its neighbor, Rady School of Management—for lunch.
  6. On the short walk back to the Robinson Complex, they're able to take in the "unbeatable" view of the ocean and the mountains with a slight turn of the head left and right—another of Matar's favorite parts of coming to campus.
  7. Next up, Matar along with others in his cohort attend a voluntary statistics study session with Assistant Professor Nico Ravanilla.
  8. Later, he slips away to a quiet spot on campus to work on a policy memo without distractions.
  9. And before heading home, he catches a few performances as part of GPS's 2017 Lunar New Year Festival being celebrated this day. The festival is one of many annual activities put on by student groups at the School.
  10. Finally home, Matar ends his day with the hobby and creative outlet that most often gets his mind off of the rigors of graduate school: video editing.
  11. Read a Q&A with Matar to learn more about what attending GPS entails today.