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Steps to Applying

UC Davis is now accepting applications to graduate study for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Application Deadlines

It is your responsibility to ensure your application is submitted by the deadline. Application deadlines are available on the Graduate Programs & Deadlines page. Applications close after 11:59 p.m. (Pacific Time) on the day of the deadline. UC Davis does not extend or waive application deadlines for any reason, including technical issues experienced by individual applicants, so applicants are encouraged to apply well before the deadline.

The Online Application

Apply to academic graduate programs offered by Graduate Studies at UC Davis using the online application system.

Take the time to check the application before you submit it to make certain you have filled out all fields completely and correctly. Once you submit your online application, no changes or additions will be made. All required application sections must be submitted as a part of the online application - UC Davis will not accept email attachments or paper copies.

You may apply to multiple graduate programs during a single admissions period. You must file a complete application for each program, including a new online application and application fee.

Individuals who were once enrolled at UC Davis as graduate students and are seeking for readmission into the same program must apply for readmission using the readmission application form instead of the online application.

Test Score Requirements

Graduate Record Examination

Most graduate programs require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test and some also require the subject test. Applicants should arrange to have GRE scores sent to UC Davis electronically. The UC Davis campus code for GRE scores is 4834. It is not necessary to list a specific department code.

English language examinations

NOTE: Applicants are exempt from the English language examination requirement if they have earned or will be earning a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree from either: 

  • A regionally accredited U.S. college or university where English is the sole language of instruction, OR
  • A foreign college or university which provides instruction solely in English. UC Davis Graduate Studies will only approve waivers for foreign colleges and universities which list English as the sole language of instruction in the IAU World Higher Education Database (WHED). If English is not the sole language of instruction listed (or if no language is listed at all), the waiver does not apply. No other documentation (e.g. letters, language certificates, school websites) will be reviewed or accepted.

Applicants who do not meet one of the criteria above are required to submit either TOEFL or IELTS scores. Click below for details regarding each exam.

  • TOEFL Scores
  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is given by Educational Testing Service (ETS). Their website address is

    Official score reports must be sent from ETS electronically to UC Davis (our Institution Code is 4834 - the department code you select is not important). UC Davis will not accept unofficial score reports or score reports sent directly to us by the applicant.

    The minimum overall TOEFL score required for admission to graduate study at UC Davis is an 80 on the TOEFL internet-based test (iBT).

    TOEFL scores expire after two years. Scores that are older than two years will not be accepted by UC Davis.

    Although an 80 iBT score is the minimum required for admission, additional English language coursework or testing may be required of admitted students who have iBT scores below 104 or who plan to work as TAs or AIs. Please go to for details.

    NOTE: UC Davis Graduate Studies does not accept TOEFL MyBest™ scores (a combination of an applicant's best scores for each test section from all of their valid TOEFL scores). All valid TOEFL scores will be considered, but scores will only be reviewed using each separate instance of the exam taken on a given date. 

    For answers to additional questions regarding TOEFL scores, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

  • IELTS Scores

  • As an alternative to the TOEFL, you may submit scores from the Academic Modules of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) designed by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate and administered by the British Council worldwide. Their website address is

    Official paper score reports must be sent by mail directly from the IELTS testing center to the graduate program to which you are applying. UC Davis does not receive electronic score reports for the IELTS and will not accept unofficial score reports or score reports sent directly to us by the applicant. Visit the graduate program's website to find the mailing address where your IELTS score should be sent. Do not send IELTS scores to Graduate Studies - they must be sent to the specific graduate program. The correct mailing address for the graduate program can be found by visiting and clicking on the appropriate program name.

    The minimum overall band score required for admission to graduate study at UC Davis is 7.0 on a 9-point scale.

    IELTS scores expire after two years. Scores that are older than two years will not be accepted by UC Davis.

    For answers to additional questions regarding IELTS scores, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.


California Teaching Credential applicants must submit their California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) or California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) scores directly to the UC Davis School of Education. Visit the Teaching Credential Program Admissions page for more information.

Application Fees

A graduate application fee of $120 (U.S. applicants) or $140 (international applicants) is required from all applicants. Applicants who choose to apply to more than one graduate program must pay an application fee for each program. The application fee is not refundable and must be paid before the application can be reviewed. Instructions for payment will appear when you submit your online application.

Application fee waivers

Applications fees are only waived for applicants who have participated in or are affiliated with one or more of the graduate preparation programs listed below. Unfortunately we are not able to offer application fee waivers on any other basis (financial circumstances, participation in programs not listed below, etc.).

Graduate Preparation Program Participants

Applicants who are affiliated with these programs are required to indicate their participation AND must provide the name and contact information of their program coordinator in the "Other Information" section of the online application system. The application fee waiver will be applied immediately upon submission. Confirmation of the applicant's program participation takes place during application review.

  • AGEP (Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate)
  • The Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) program seeks to advance knowledge about models to improve pathways to the professoriate and success for historically underrepresented minority doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty in specific STEM disciplines and/or STEM education research fields.  The program objectives include: To support the development, implementation and study of innovative models of doctoral education, postdoctoral training, and faculty advancement for historically underrepresented minorities in specific STEM disciplines and/or STEM education research fields; and to advance knowledge about the underlying issues, policies and practices that have an impact on the participation, transitions and advancement of historically underrepresented minorities in the STEM academy.
  • BUILD (BUilding Infrastructure Leading to Diversity - NIH)
  • BUILD awards consist of linked grants issued to undergraduate institutions to implement and study innovative approaches to engaging and retaining students from diverse backgrounds in biomedical research, potentially helping them on the pathway to become future contributors to the NIH-funded research enterprise. BUILD awards differ from other NIH-funded training grants in that they aim to achieve simultaneous impact at the student, faculty and institutional levels. Through implementing a variety of innovative approaches to research skill building and training, mentorship and institutional change, the BUILD-funded institutions address various challenges faced by students, faculty and institutions. In addition, by disseminating effective interventions and strategies to diversify biomedical research, BUILD institutions contribute to broader transformational impact at an institutional level.
  • Cal-Bridge Scholars
  • Cal-Bridge, a CSU-UC bridge program in physics and astronomy, provides financial and mentoring support to undergraduates at California State University campuses as they look forward to the critical transition to graduate school. The aim is to increase the pool of CSU students who go on to doctoral study and research careers in physics and astronomy.
  • CAMP (California Alliance for Minority Participation)
  • Hosted on eight of the University of California campuses (including UC Davis), CAMP program seeks to increase minority participation in science, mathematics, and engineering fields through collaborative partnerships between institutions, faculty, student services, and students.
  • Envision UC Davis program participants
  • Envision UC Davis is a program offered by the University of California, Davis with the vision of creating a diverse and talented workforce at UC Davis, in the State of California, and for the nation. Undergraduate scholars from from a variety of California colleges and universities are invited to the Davis campus for a two-day visit and provided with the opportunity to forge meaningful connections with UC Davis faculty and graduate students. For more information on Envision UC Davis, visit the program's website.
  • Gates Millennium Scholars
  • The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) program is a 1.6 billion dollar initiative funded by grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The goal of the GMS program is to promote academic excellence and to provide an opportunity for outstanding minority students with significant financial need to reach their highest potential by: reducing financial barriers, increasing the representation of minority students in the disciplines of computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health and the sciences, and providing seamless support from undergraduate through doctoral programs.
  • GEM (National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science)
  • GEM recruits high quality underrepresented students looking to pursue Master’s and Doctoral degrees in applied science and engineering, and matches their specific skills to the specific technical needs of GEM employer members. Each year, GEM identifies and recruits more than 1,000 undergraduate students, graduate students, and working professionals for admission to advanced degree programs at the nation’s top universities. The combination of graduate study and field-related internships make GEM fellows more marketable and more competitive upon graduation. Note: You must be a current or former GEM fellow to qualify for an application fee waiver. Waivers are not available to prospective fellows who have applied but not yet been approved for the program.
  • Guardian Scholars Program (or if you have ever been in foster care)
  • Guardian Scholars is committed to improving the educational outcomes for foster youth and former foster youth by providing services and support to meet their needs through transition, graduation, and post-graduate planning.  They strive to maximize educational opportunities and university experiences through our comprehensive programs and holistic advising to help students achieve their academic and personal goals.
  • HSI Pathways to the Professoriate
  • This program is a collaboration between eight partner institutions (including UC Davis) with a goal to prepare undergraduate students in the humanities to pursue a career in the professoriate. Funded by the Mellon Foundation and administered through the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions, HSI Pathways Fellows can expect preparation for humanities Ph.D. programs, engaged mentorship, development of academic and professional skills, a summer research program, a summer stipend, and other related research support.
  • IMSD (Initiative for Maximizing Student Development - NIH)
  • IMSD is a student development program for institutions. The goal of the program is to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups in biomedical research who complete Ph.D. degrees in these fields. The program offers an opportunity to develop new or expand existing effective academic developmental programs, including student research internships, in order to prepare students from underrepresented groups for competitive research careers and leadership positions in the biomedical sciences.
  • IRT (Institute for Recruitment of Teachers)
  • The Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT) empowers talented underserved and underrepresented future educators to teach and serve as leaders in American education because diversity is essential to excellence. Diversity of educators elevates the quality, expands the scope, and enhances the richness of education while impacting the learning of generations of students that will interact with diverse teachers. The heart of the IRT mission is therefore to expand educational access for talented underserved and underrepresented students, including students of color, first-generation, and low-income students by increasing collaboration with colleges and universities. Providing diverse students with educational and professional advocacy and mentorship in higher education will expand their career options as well as equip them to inspire more students as teachers, role models, and innovative thought leaders in education as well as advocate for positive changes in our education system.
  • LSAMP (Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation)
  • Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) is a funding program that assists universities and colleges in their efforts to significantly increase the numbers of students in high quality degree programs in (STEM) disciplines with a goal to diversify the STEM workforce. Particular emphasis is placed on transforming undergraduate STEM education through innovative, evidence-based recruitment and retention strategies, and relevant educational experiences in support of racial and ethnic groups historically underrepresented in STEM disciplines.
  • MARC (Minority Access to Research Careers - NIH)
  • Also known as “Maximizing Access to Research Careers,” MARC U-STAR awards provide support to institutions for the preparation of undergraduate students who are underrepresented in the biomedical sciences to improve their preparation for high-caliber graduate training at the Ph.D. level.
  • MBRS (Minority Biomedical Research Support)
  • The Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) Program aims to help fill the nation’s shortage of minority men and women in biomedical research careers. MBRS undergraduates or doctoral students are mentors by Rutgets-Neward faculty members to perform biomedical/behavioral research. Scholars receive salaries, research supplies, and travel funds to participate in scientific conferences. Doctoral students receive full tuition remission and the chance to coauthor and present research at conferences.
  • McNair Scholars
  • The McNair Scholars Program is a federal TRIO program funded at 151 institutions across the United States and Puerto Rico by the U.S. Department of Education. It is designed to prepare first generation students with financial need or undergraduate members of a group that is traditionally underrepresented in graduate education for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. The goal of the McNair Scholars Program is to increase graduate degree awards for students from underrepresented segments of society. or
  • MMUF (Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship)
  • The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program is the centerpiece of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s initiatives to increase diversity in the faculty ranks of institutions of higher learning. The fundamental objective of MMUF is to address, over time, the problem of underrepresentation in the academy at the level of college and university faculties. This goal can be achieved both by increasing the number of students from underrepresented minority groups (URM) who pursue PhDs and by supporting the pursuit of PhDs by students who may not come from traditional minority groups but have otherwise demonstrated a commitment to the goals of MMUF.
  • NIH Bridges to the Baccalaureate
  • The Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program provides support to institutions to help students make transitions at a critical stage in their development as scientists. The program is aimed at helping students make the transition from 2-year junior or community colleges to full 4-year baccalaureate programs. The purpose of the program is to increase the pool of community college students who go on to research careers in the biomedical sciences and will be available to participate in NIH-funded research.
  • NIH Bridges to the Doctorate
  • The Bridges to the Doctorate Program provides support to institutions to help students make a critical transition in their development as scientists. The program is aimed at helping students make the transition from master's degree programs to Ph.D. programs. The purpose of the program is to increase the pool of master's degree students who go on to research careers in the biomedical sciences and will be available to participate in NIH-funded research.
  • PREP (Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program - NIH)
  • PREP awards encourage individuals from underrepresented groups who hold a recent baccalaureate degree in a biomedically relevant science to pursue a research doctorate. PREP participants work as apprentice scientists in a preceptor's laboratory and participate in student development and education activities. This program is expected to strengthen the research skills and academic competitiveness of participants for pursuit of a graduate degree while also stimulating them to have an interest in addressing the health problems that disproportionately affect minorities and the medically underserved in the United States.
  • RISE (Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement - NIH)
  • RISE is a developmental program that seeks to increase the capacity of students underrepresented in the biomedical sciences to complete Ph.D. degrees in these fields. The program provides grants to institutions with a commitment and history of developing students from populations underrepresented in biomedical sciences as defined by the National Science Foundation. By supporting institutions with well-integrated developmental activities designed to strengthen students' academic preparation, research training and professional skills, the RISE Program aims to help reduce the existing gap in completion of Ph.D. degrees between underrepresented and non-underrepresented students.
  • Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar (CSU)
  • Sally Casanova provides chosen scholars the opportunity to work one-on-one with faculty from CSUs and from doctoral-granting institutions in preparation for success in graduate studies. The program provides funding for activities such as summer research programs, campus visits, travel to national symposiums and professional meetings, membership to professionals organizations and journal subscriptions, and graduate school requirement fees.
  • UC Davis College of Engineering Equity Program participants
  • The UC Davis College of Engineering (COE) believes diversity and inclusion are essential components of doctoral (PhD) training in engineering. In 2019, COE launched a collection of strategies designed to improve the diversity of the applicant pool among our engineering graduate programs. These strategies are collectively referred to as the COE Equity program. Students selected for participation are eligible for application fee waivers.
  • UC-HBCU Initiative Summer Research Program
  • The UC-HBCU Initiative is a program offered by the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) which connects faculty and undergraduate scholars at both UCs and HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). Through faculty-guided summer programs, undergraduates learn how to conduct research and develop professional skills and knowledge of graduate school in a variety of academic disciplines.  A goal of the program is to increase the pool of talented, competitive, Black and African American students who apply to and pursue graduate degrees and professional training at one of the ten UC campuses. or
  • UC LEADS (Leadership Excellence through Advanced Degrees)
  • The University of California's Leadership Excellence through Advanced DegreeS (UC LEADS) program identifies and prepares promising students who have experienced situations or conditions that have adversely impacted their academic advancement for advanced education in science, technology, mathematics and engineering (STEM). The UC LEADS benefits include: a two-year program of scientific research and graduate school preparation guided by individual faculty mentors, paid summer research experience, symposium experience, the chance to travel to other UC campuses and professional or scientific society meetings, and graduate school preparation.


UC Davis requires academic records from each college-level institution you have attended.  You will be instructed to upload scanned copies of your transcripts after you have submitted your online application.  For more details visit

Confirming Your Application is Complete

After you have submitted your online application and other application materials, you can check the status of your application by logging in to our system (using the instructions provided the email you received) seeing which materials have been received. Please allow the graduate program some time to receive and review your materials before contacting them to inquire about the status of your application.

Notification of Decision

Your completed application and supplemental materials will be evaluated by your graduate program. The Graduate Admissions Advisory Committee in the graduate program will submit its recommendations to the dean; final admission decisions rest with the dean of Graduate Studies. This approval procedure applies to all applicants including those applying to UC Davis from another UC campus.

Official notification of an admission decision will be sent to you by Graduate Studies via e-mail once the graduate program has notified our office of their decision. Please be certain to check your e-mail account (including your Junk Mail or Spam folder) frequently for updates regarding your application status.

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