Application Requirements

While separate applications are required for each graduate group, each application has the same general requirements. All application materials, including a submitted application, transcripts, and letters of recommendation are due on the published admissions deadline.

UC Davis Application

The UC Davis Graduate Admissions Application opens around October 1 each year. Applications must be submitted through the officially application system.

Apply Here

Statement of Purpose

This statement allows you to tell the Admissions Committee directly why you should be admitted to the program. It should be concise (500-1000 words; max 4000 characters), informative and well-organized, and present yourself as someone who can successfully complete the graduate program. There are several online resources available to help you, but here are few tips:

  • Be clear on why you are applying to this specific graduate program/university
  • Describe your past academic and research experiences
  • Discuss you current research interests
  • Map out your potential career plan

Learn More Here

Personal History and Diversity Statement

This statement should provide the reader with a clear perspective of the circumstances that shaped you, how it is interconnected with your academic pursuits, and how it prepares you for success in this graduate program. It is a chance for self-introspection: what are the specific driving forces or the single transformative event that propelled you to this point, where pursuing graduate studies in this graduate group is the next logical step in your development as a scientist. The personal history section can also be used to:

  • Fill in the gaps about inconsistencies in your application, such as low grades
  • Highlight how you were able to persevere and excel academically in spit of any economic or social challenges you faced
  • Give examples of leadership, service, teaching and tutoring during your academic career
  • List any successes you achieved and what you learned from them

Learn More Here


You must upload academic records for every college-level institution you have attended or are currently attending (including community college, transfer coursework, study abroad, summer session, etc.). You may upload your transcripts in the Academic History section of the application or after submitting your application using your Application Status Page. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.

Learn More Here

Letters of Recommendation

Seek these out early. Give your letter writer at least 6 week’s notice (no later than mid-October) and follow up 3, 2, and 1 week before the deadline. Your letter writer should be academically familiar with you and should be able to speak to your ability to complete a Ph.D.

Aim to have all of your letters written by scientists willing to write strong letters; failing that, at least two of them should be. Ask him/her if they need pointers for the letter i.e. dates you interacted, quarter and year of the class you took, and your grade. For your internship advisor, you may include the specific dates you worked, duties, and accomplishments.

How to Add Recommenders to Your Application

Curriculum Vitae

The CV presents a full history of your academic credentials, so the length of the document is variable. This in contrast to a resume which provides a concise picture of your skills and qualifications for a specific position. Your CV should emphasize academic accomplishments, including publications, academic projects, and research experience.

English Proficiency

UC Davis requires students to demonstrate English proficiency through one of the following ways:

  • Earning a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited US college of university where English is the sole language of instruction
    • English proficiency requirements automatically applied
  • 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). 
    • Email after submitting your application with your institution’s WHED code for the waive to be applied.
  • Earn a satisfactory score on one of the following English language examinations and send official scores to UC Davis
    • TOEFL iBT: minimum score 80
      • Note: UC Davis does not accept TOEFL MyBest scores
    • IELTS: minimum score 7.0 on a 9-point scale

More Information Here

Application Fee

A graduate application fee is required from all applicants ($135 for US Applicants; $155 for international Applicants). There are NO fee waivers available for international applicants. There are some fee waivers available for domestic students:

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.