Preparing to Apply

Learn About Our Application Process

uc davis materials science engineering graduate preparing to apply
Research in the Castro lab. Photo: Reeta Asmai/UC Davis.

Applying to any graduate program requires adequate planning and preparation to ensure that your application is successful. Our timeline for applying includes the recommended timing and steps to take when planning your application. Since many of our applicants and current students come from non-materials science and engineering backgrounds, we have also outlined recommended coursework to be completed prior to applying to our program.

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Applying Without a Materials Science and Engineering Background 

Depending on the degree track, students without a materials science and engineering background are welcome to apply to our program. Reviewers will be looking for satisfactory completion of a full year of physics, chemistry and engineering-level math, including linear algebra and differential equations. The equivalent UC Davis courses are:

Applicants who have completed the equivalent of UC Davis's ENG 45 and/or upper-division materials science and engineering courses are especially well-suited for a graduate degree in our program.

Application Timeline 

Below is our recommended, but not required, timeline for applying to our program. We strongly encourage all applicants to take standardized tests by October to ensure a timely submission of scores, as we are not able to make an admissions decision until all application materials have been received.  

  • Begin filling out the application online.                                  

  • Upload transcripts to system. 

  • Periodically check your application status via the online system to ensure that test scores and letters of recommendation have been received. 

  • File a FAFSA form (if applicable). 

  • Begin receiving notification of admissions decision.