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Graduate Application Process

The Department of Material Science and Engineering welcomes applications to our Ph.D. and Master of Science degree programs. Applicants MUST apply online through the Office of Graduate Studies application. To guarantee review of your application, submit your application by January 15th.

Application Process Checklist

  1. Application
  2. Application Fee
  3. Statement of Purpose
  4. Personal History Statement
  5. Graduate Record Examination scores
  6. TOEFL or IELTS scores
  7. Letters of Recommendation
  8. Graduate Student Internal Fellowship Application
  9. Transcripts
  10. Funding
  11. Admission Committee Decision

Preparation

Admission to the graduate program requires a bachelor’s degree from a recognized academic institution and a proven record of good performance on the part of the applicant. Most of our graduate students have bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering or materials science, metallurgical or ceramic engineering, chemistry, or physics.

1. Application

Your Application to Graduate Studies must be completed online; go to the Graduate Admissions page to access the information.

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2. Application Fee

Application fee waivers are available to applicants who participated in select graduate preparation programs. A full listing may be found on the Office of Graduate Studies website: https://grad.ucdavis.edu/prospective-students/admissions-application/steps-applying.

The application fee is US$105.00 for domestic applicants, or US$125.00 for international applicants. We do not review any application until the application fee has been received. The application fee can be paid by credit card or e-check at the time the online application is submitted. The fee is non-refundable.

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3. Statement of Purpose

The Statement of Purpose should showcase your preparation and motivation for graduate school, your interests, specializations, and career goals, as well as your fit for graduate study in the Materials Science and Engineering Department. This essay is limited to 4,000 characters (including spaces). For further information on crafting a personal statement, please visit the Office of Graduate Studies website: https://grad.ucdavis.edu/admissions/admission-requirements/statement-purpose-personal-history-and-diversity-statement.

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4. Personal History and Diversity Statement

As an institution committed to supporting the diversity of our graduate students, the personal history and diversity statement is your chance to highlight how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree at UC Davis. Your personal history and diversity statement should not duplicate, but rather complement the Statement of Purpose. However, this essay, like the Statement of Purpose, is also limited to 4,000 characters (including spaces). The Office of Graduate Studies provides further direction for developing this statement here: https://grad.ucdavis.edu/admissions/admission-requirements/statement-purpose-personal-history-and-diversity-statement.

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5. Graduate Record Examination scores

The GRE General Test is composed of three sections:

  1. Verbal Reasoning
  2. Quantitative Reasoning
  3. Analytical Writing

We are looking for GRE scores of 150/160/4.5 respectively or higher (these are recommended scores, not minimum requirements). Scores must not be more than five (5) years old. GRE Scores must be reported electronically to UC Davis. Be sure to indicate the UC Davis Institution Code (4834) when ordering scores from ETS.

The Department Code for Materials Science & Engineering is 1403.

We strongly recommend that you plan to take your GRE examination no later than October.

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6. TOEFL or IELTS scores

The minimum score required for admission is 100 on the internet-based test or 600 on the paper-based test for TOEFL. For the IELTS, we require a score of at least 7 on a 9-point scale. Please note, these requirements are higher than the minimum required by the Office of Graduate Studies. The TOEFL Institution Code for UC Davis is 4834; no departmental code is required. We strongly recommend that you schedule your TOEFL or IELTS exam no later than November, so that your scores arrive prior to the January 15th deadline. Scores should not be more than two years old.

In order to hold a teaching assistant appointment, applicants need to have achieved a 26 on the speaking portion of the internet-based TOEFL, or a score of 7.5 on the speaking portion of the IELTS. If your speaking scores are below the minimum and you are admitted, further testing upon arrival at UC Davis may be required. For more information on this requirement, please visit: http://iae.ucdavis.edu/graduate/index.html

Applicants who have earned or will be earning an undergraduate degree from a U.S. institution or an institution in which English was the sole language of instruction do not have to submit TOEFL scores. If you have earned or will be earning a Master’s degree from a U.S. institution or an institution in which English was the sole language of instruction, we will accept your old TOEFL score that you used to apply to that institution.

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7. Letters of Recommendation

Our application requires three letters of recommendation. We highly encourage you to select references that are able to speak to your research potential and experience as well as your academic background. When you submit your application, you will be asked to provide each letter writer’s name and contact information. The system will then send an automated email to your letter writers to prompt them to upload their letters. Unfortunately, we do not accept hard copies of letters, and we do not accept letters from dossier services, such as Interfolio. If you decide to change your recommenders after you submit the application, you may change your recommender by logging into your application status email. Please note, this is only available if the letter writer has yet to submit their letter.  

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8. Graduate Student Internal Fellowship Application

In order to be eligible for the campus-wide internal fellowship competition, applicants must be complete the Graduate Studies Internal Fellowship Application as part of their admission application. Applicants will be asked to provide additional information regarding their financial background and to self-nominate for a number of internal fellowships. A full listing of the internal fellowships and eligibility criteria may be found on the Office of Graduate Studies website: https://grad.ucdavis.edu/prospective-students/financial-support/about-internal-fellowships/details-internal-fellowships.

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9. Transcripts

UC Davis requires academic records from each college-level institution you have attended. If you are admitted, you will be required to provide official transcripts. Current and former UC Davis students do not need to upload transcripts. Your transcripts will automatically import into the application after it is completed. For more details visit: https://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/submit-transcripts.

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10. Funding

All domestic applicants MUST file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application is essential in order to quality for many types of financial assistance including any departmental or campus fellowships. The application can be filled out online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov.

Information about student loans can be obtained from the Financial Aid Office at http://financialaid.ucdavis.edu/graduate/index.html.

There is guaranteed Departmental funding available to Ph.D students. The Department does not guarantee financial support for M.S. students. If you are admitted into the Ph.D. program you will receive financial support for up to four years, so long as you are making satisfactory progress towards the Ph.D.

The annual stipend (which is paid as a combination of either Graduate Student Researcher, Teaching Assistant, Work-Study or Fellowship funds) for first year students is currently approximately $27,500 and all fees and tuition (if applicable) are paid. Typically, all Ph.D. students in our department receive financial support for a normal four-year course of study. Funding is available through fellowships and/or Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) positions. Each Ph.D. student also must serve as a teaching assistant for three quarters.

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11. Admission Committee Decision

Once a completed online application and all supporting online materials (GRE scores, letters of recommendation, scanned transcripts, TOEFL or IELTS (when required), and application fee) have been received, the application will be submitted to the Chemical Engineering & Materials Science Graduate Admissions Committee (CHMS GAC). Based on a review of the entire application, a recommendation is made to accept or decline an applicant’s request for admission. That recommendation is forwarded to the Dean of Graduate Studies for verification of admission requirements.

Applicants may check the status and for completeness of their applications online.

The applicant will be notified by electronic mail by the Office of Graduate Studies that a decision has been made and instructed to return to the online application web site to see the decision. This will come in the form of an “electronic letter.” You will be informed by email by the Dean of Graduate Studies whether your application for graduate study was approved or denied or if you have been “Wait Listed.”

Generally, most applicants will be notified by the end of March of the Office of Graduate Studies’ decision, and all decisions will be completed no later than May 1st.

See our Frequently Asked Questions for more answers.

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