Application Overview

The Application

Each person who wants to be admitted to graduate standing in a regular academic program must submit a formal application for admission using the online application system. Applicants may apply to more than one program by submitting a complete application (including a non-refundable application fee) for each program of interest. Information regarding the admission of graduate students transferring from other institutions with their major professor can be found in the Policy on Admission of Graduate Students Transferring from other Institution with their Major Professors (GC2004-01).  

The application fee must be paid for each submitted application and is non-refundable. UC Davis does have application fee waiver agreements with certain programs and organizations. Please contact the Admissions and Academic Services unit in Graduate Studies for more information.

The completed application will be made available online for review by the graduate programs’ review committee. The admissions committee, through the graduate adviser with admissions authority and/or the graduate program chair, makes recommendations regarding admission to Graduate Studies. The Dean of Graduate Studies makes final decisions on all admissions. Only Graduate Studies has the authority to make a formal offer of admission on behalf of the university.

Admission Deadlines

The graduate online admission application will close after June 1. All graduate program application deadlines must fall on or before that date and are restricted to the 1st or 15th of any given month (except for January 5 there are no January 1 deadlines). The following are the deadline categories available to graduate programs:

  • Priority Deadline (optional): Applicants who submit their graduate application by the priority deadline must receive priority review for admission. For a priority admission deadline, programs may only choose December 1, December 15, January 5, or January 15. The priority admission deadline must be the same date as your prospective student fellowship deadline.
  • General Deadline (required): Applicants who apply by the general deadline will have their files formally reviewed for admission by the graduate program, but not necessarily on a priority basis. All graduate programs must select a general deadline and, when selecting a date, should bear in mind that they are guaranteeing that applications submitted by this deadline will be reviewed by their admission committee.
  • Space Available Deadline (optional): Applicants who apply by the space available deadline but after the general deadline are not guaranteed to have their application reviewed by the graduate program. Their application will be reviewed only if the graduate program determines it has additional space available. The space available deadline enables graduate programs to consider applications on a case-by-case basis after the general deadline, and allows greater flexibility in the application review process while still making it clear to the applicant that the application will only be reviewed if the program chooses to do so. The latest possible date for the space available deadline is June 1.

Programs may choose to use any combination of the above deadlines, but all programs are required to have a general deadline. Application deadlines are not waived for individual applicants under any circumstances.

Prospective Student Fellowship Deadlines

Via the application for admission, UC Davis awards approximately 25 fellowships to prospective graduate students. To be considered for one of these fellowships, the student must submit their application for admission (with the Prospective Student Fellowship section completed) by whichever of the following dates comes first:

  • The graduate program’s priority deadline
  • The graduate program’s last available application deadline (for programs with final deadlines prior to January 15)
  • January 15

Required Admission Materials

To complete a graduate application, the following materials must be submitted:

  • the UC Davis graduate application, including a statement of purpose and personal history and diversity statement
  • letters of recommendation
  • a non-refundable application fee  or an approved application fee waiver
  • Transcripts or academic records for all prior college-level academic coursework
  • official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) score report if the applicant’s native language or language of prior instruction is not English
  • additional required materials as identified by the program (e.g., GRE scores, artistic portfolio, writing sample, etc.)

Graduate programs must not review applications using extraneous materials which are not required by the program. For example, if a program does not require a writing sample, reviewers may not consider a writing sample sent in by an applicant when evaluating the application.

Similarly, application materials which are required by the program may not be waived for individual applicants. For example, if the program requires the GRE, an applicant may not be reviewed for admission without GRE scores. All applicants are to be evaluated using the same criteria and a uniform set of required application materials.

Incomplete Applications

The application for admission to graduate study is a self-managed application. Applicants are provided direct access to information regarding the status of their application materials and are personally responsible for ensuring that their application is accurate and complete. Application review cannot begin until all required application materials are received.  If the applicant submitted the application fee, the graduate program is required to submit an admission decision to Graduate Studies, even if the applicant is denied based on an incomplete file. If the applicant does not submit the fee the application will be considered incomplete and canceled for nonpayment. Information regarding the status of the application should not be shared with anyone other than the applicant.

Application Fee Waivers

Graduate Studies will waive payment of the application fee for domestic applicants who have participated in certain academic preparation programs (e.g., McNair Scholars, UC LEADS, UC-HBCU Initiative, etc.). A complete list of these programs can be found on the Graduate Studies website. If the applicant qualifies for one of these waivers, the fee will be waived when they submit their application. If the applicant does not qualify, payment of the fee is required before the application can be processed.