FAQ

What happens after I officially submit my application?

Following your official submission, you will receive an automatic notification letting you know that your application package has been received by the Admissions department. They will do the first review to ensure all requirements are met. If anything is missing, you will be informed by the admissions officer.  Once the application is confirmed complete, it will be passed on for final review by the academic committee. 


What is the accreditation status of UPEACE?

The University for Peace received official accreditation from SINAES (National System of Accreditation of Higher Education) for its four environmental master’s degree programmes within the Environment, Development and Peace Department. This was recognized at a ceremony held on 16-May-2014 at the University for Peace campus. UPEACE is the first graduate-level institution to have programmes accredited in Costa Rica.

The University for Peace has also received official accreditations from SINAES for the Law Programmes. On 3-June-2016, the MA in International Law and Human Rights and the MA in International Law and the Settlement of Disputes were accredited.

Regarding the programmes from the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, documentation from the University for Peace´s internal evaluation for accreditation was submitted to SINAES (which is recognized by the Costa Rican Ministry of Education). 

UPEACE's goal is to obtain accreditation for all academic programmes.

Also, since UPEACE is an international academic institution chartered by the United Nations to grant graduate degrees; the academic quality of UPEACE programs is ensured by an International Academic Council (IAC) that meets bi-annually. The IAC is composed of eminent scholars, and was established in 2002 to certify the quality and relevance of UPEACE's Master's programs.  


Does UPEACE accept FAFSA?

UPEACE is not currently a Title IV institution and we therefore cannot accept FAFSA funds as tuition payment. This is something UPEACE leaderships is actively working on with the US Department of Education. 


Is is possible to apply before I receive my undergraduate degree?

In order to be considered for admission to the MA programme or individual courses at UPEACE prospective students need to have earned 75% of their undergraduate degree. If you've not obtained your final transcripts and diploma at the time of your application, we would instead need an in progress transcript and an official letter from your University respectively. If admitted, it would be on a provisional basis until the final official documents are available.


Do I need to present graduate entrance exam scores (GRE, GMAT, etc.)?

UPEACE does not require entrance exam scores to apply or enroll in our programmes.


Can I have my University send the transcripts directly to UPEACE?

Yes, you can.  Just make sure your referees send their letter to our Admissions Office at admissions@upeace.org before the application deadline.


Should I send my Master's Degree transcripts?

Transcripts of records of MA degrees are not required in the admissions process. You may send your MA transcript but as supplementary information.   Should you choose to do so, please combine undergraduate and master's transcripts into one PDF document.


My mother does not have a maiden name because in our country we do not use this, what name should I use?

If this is the case in your country, please use her first name and her father's last name. This is strictly required by Immigration to approve entry visas.


What happens if I do not pay the tuition on time, due to reasons beyond my control?

If you are not able to make the payment on the established date on your admissions documents, you may contact payments@upeace.org with a suggested payment dates and amounts. An administrative fee of US$50 will be charged each month until payment is made. Enrollment will not be official until payment is received.

Exception to this policy:

  • The applicant will receive financial assistance from an institution at a later date; a written request for a deadline extension must be sent to payments@upeace.org. 
    In addition, an official letter from the institution stating that the scholarship has been approved, and the disbursement dates must be provided. This also applies for loans. 

How far is Ciudad Colón from UPEACE and is there transportation between the two locations?

Ciudad Colón is the nearest town to UPEACE campus and is approximately seven kilometers southeast of El Rodeo de Mora, where the UPEACE campus is located. There is no public transportation between Ciudad Colon and the University.  However, UPEACE offers shuttle service multiple times a day to and from Ciudad Colon (morning, mid-day, and when the University closes at 4:30) Monday- Friday. 


What is the cost of living per month?

UPEACE estimates that the cost of living expenses in Costa Rica for a single student, living relatively close to UPEACE campus (Ciudad Colón/El Rodeo area), is US$700- US$1,000 per month. This cost may vary depending on the living standards of each student and the type of housing they choose.


Does UPEACE assist students with obtaining their Costa Rican entry visas and Student Temporary Residence processes?

UPEACE assists enrolled students with obtaining their entry visa to enter the country and later with theirs Student Temporary Residence (STR) during their studies in Costa Rica.  UPEACE will not begin any of these processes until the student has made the tuition first payment and officially enrolled in the programme. UPEACE also assists students’ spouses and underage dependents. The enrolled student must show valid and official documentation attesting their kinship.


Can I work while living in Costa Rica and studying at UPEACE?

The visa that UPEACE assists foreign students in obtaining is for study only; students are therefore not permitted to legally work while in Costa Rica. That being said, the UPEACE MA is rather intense and it strongly recommended that students spend the year focused on their coursework rather than attempting to balance work and study.


Is there a gym on the UPEACE campus?

No, but you can find the following services in Ciudad Colón:

  • Gym that offers many different classes such as Yoga, Pilates, dance classes, soccer and basketball. UPEACE students often organize games at the gym.
  • Swimming pool
  • Karate classes
  • Soccer field and beach volleyball courts
  • Dance classes at the Cultural Center in downtown Ciudad Colón 

What extra-curricular activities are there on campus?

Students initiate and carry out several activities each year, some for current and past years include:

  • Cultural Night Celebrations
  • Job and Internship Fairs
  • Vagina Monologues
  • Volleyball
  • Soccer
  • Zumba
  • Yoga and Meditation
  • Discussion Circles
  • Hiking
  • Organic Gardening
  • Language classes 

Is there a bank on UPEACE campus?

No, however there are two state bank branches available in Ciudad Colón that operate during regular work hours:

  • Banco Nacional de Costa Rica: Located in Ciudad Colón downtown next to the Catholic Church. Open from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • Banco de Costa Rica: Located in Ciudad Colón downtown 50 meters south of the Catholic Church. Open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

Should I use my bank account from home?

Students will be able to withdraw money from international bank accounts from the ATMS available at both Banco Nacional and Banco de Costa Rica in dollars and colones. Credit cards and bank cards with Cirrus and Plus international systems are the only ones accepted. You will also have the opportunity to open a Costa Rican bank account once situated.  It will be important to talk to your bank to find out about international fees that may apply.


Are there advising services available at UPEACE?

UPEACE has a Career Development Centre that provides students with various resources throughout the academic year. In regards to assistance for dealing with academic concerns, because the University is an open higher education institution, students may present their concerns to an Office of the Registrar and Academic Administration staff member or senior manager or Department Head at UPEACE.


Can I get a cell phone in Costa Rica?

Yes, it is possible for non-nationals to obtain mobile phones. Thera are various carriers in Costa Rica and service (data, text, talk) can be obtained for approximately $20/month.  You can bring an "unlocked" phone and purchase a SIM from the provider of your choice.


 Is there a Clinic on Campus?

Yes, UPEACE has a clinic on campus with a part time general practitioner and a full time nurse. Students can also be referred to clinics and laboratories in Ciudad Colon, CIMA Hospital in Escazu, or Clinica Biblica, in San José.   We also have a pysychologist and wellbeing coordinator on campus.