New Students

SDMC's application period for the 2021-2022 season has closed.

We will next consider new applications August 1, 2022.

Returning students should proceed according to a separate process HERE and new students should continue as explained below.

Owing to the realities of life under pandemic conditions, SDMC, has been forced to adapt. For at least the near future - probably all of the fall of the 2021-2022 season - SDMC will operate online only, with no in-person activities. SDMC's online activities are organized under the banner of "Virtual San Diego Math Circle" or "vSDMC" - you can find information about vSDMC under that heading in the navigation menus.


The following sets out an important difference in our approach to new student applications this season:

Our traditional application process: We target each of our ability groups to be of a size that is compatible with the physical facilities we normally use on the UCSD campus - we have to "fit" in the classrooms and we have to be able to conduct orderly classes and activities. These are physical constraints that limit how many new students we able to admit after making allowance for the number of students returning from the previous season.

What's different this season: Because the pandemic will someday end, we must still identify a "core" of students that is of size and composition compatible with the constraints of physical space. But while conducting activities primarily online, we may be able to expand the student body that can be reached effectively. Thus, we anticipate possibly admitting now more students than we will be able to include in future in-person activities. This leads to the notion of "at large" members: Students that we may not be able to include within our in-person activities (except perhaps for some special events), but who we can accommodate online.

What's the difference between "core" and "at large"? While operating as "vSDMC", there may be little functional difference. But once the pandemic is over and in-person activities resume, it does seem likely that some form of differentiated program may be developed so that at-large members have some continuing program, primarily online, while core members have their program primarily on site and in person.

"Core" or "at-large"? By default - because there is currently no alternative - all newly-applied students will be considered for online activities only. At some point, however, we expect in-person to resume and the distinction will be that "core" will be in-person, while at-large will remain online only. We invite you now as you apply to think ahead about whether your preference will be to be regularly in-person on the UCSD campus, or whether you would prefer to remain online only. This is not final - it is just helpful to use as we try to plan for the future.

Is membership type permanent? Not necessarily. Life circumstances may favor a student shifting from core to at-large, or capacity changes may allow for an at-large student to shift to core. This may not make much difference while activities are all online, but it could be significant in our post-pandemic world when in-person activities become possible again. Such shifts have functional impact on our program, and would have to have SDMC approval on a case-by-case basis.


Like many other aspects of SDMC, application is a family matter. To assist both students and parents in understanding and completing this process, we provide two PowerPoint/PDF presentations immediately below. We recommend that parents especially take time to review both of these presentations before beginning.

You may notice that these PowerPoint/PDF links are the only registration-specific links for new students now on the website. This is not an error. Please follow the directions as spelled out in "How to Apply".

SDMC Background (*.pptx version)

SDMC Background (*.pdf version)

How to Apply (*.pptx version)

How to Apply (*.pdf version)

SDMC Liability Waiver

In brief, application is based on

  1. submission of the required Liability Waiver,

  2. the development of a Student Profile document,

  3. providing a student Headshot Photo.

We ask that you be patient and diligent in following directions as closely and completely as possible, as following up on errors and omissions in hundreds of applications is simply impossible.

Thank you!