Admissions & Outreach
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- How do I apply to graduate school? Please visit the Online Graduate Application. Please note that a paper version of the application is not available. In order to ensure that your application is complete by the department's deadline, please (1) complete and submit your online graduate application, (2) pay the application fee, and (3) submit any additional materials required by the academic department.
- Is the Pre-Application required for international applicants? Some departments require that international applicants submit a Pre-Application prior to completing the graduate application. This enables the prospective department to determine whether coursework from international institutions and international degrees meet minimum UCSB requirements for admission. To determine if your department requires the Pre-Application, visit Graduate Programs at UCSB.
- What is the application deadline? The deadline varies by department. To determine the deadline for your department of interest, visit Graduate Programs at UCSB. You are strongly advised to submit your online application and all required supporting materials well in advance of the official deadline.
- May I get a paper or printed application? UCSB no longer offers paper or printed versions of the graduate application.
- May I apply to more than one program? Only one application may be submitted per application quarter. Simultaneous applications are not accepted.
- What should I do if I applied to more than one program? If you accidentally applied to multiple programs, you must choose the program to which you would like to apply and ask the Graduate Division (email@example.com) to withdraw your application(s) to the other program(s). Also, please notify the academic departments of your decision. The application fee for your withdrawn application is non-refundable.
- May I apply after the deadline?
Do not apply after the deadline unless you receive advance permission and instructions from the both the Graduate Division and the Graduate Program Assistant (GPA) in the academic department. If you do not receive permission from the Graduate Division and department to apply after the deadline, do not apply. Your application fee will not be refunded, and your application will not be reviewed.
Graduate Application Fee
- How do I pay the application fee and how much is it? The non-refundable graduate application fee is $80.00 for domestic applicants, and $100.00 for international applicants, paid in US dollars by check, domestic money order, international money order, demand draft, or credit card. Please make checks and money orders payable to UC Regents. Checks and money orders must be drawn on a bank that has a branch in the United States and mailed to the Graduate Division with the Check/Money Order Submission form found on the final page of your Online Graduate Application. Applicants may also pay using a Visa or MasterCard, but only at the point of submission. Cash is not accepted.
- May I receive a fee waiver? A limited number of fee waivers are available for qualified US citizens and permanent residents who demonstrate financial need. McNair Scholars and Project 1000 applicants are among those eligible. Fee waivers are not available to international applicants.
- How do I apply for a fee waiver? If you wish to apply for a fee waiver, first complete and submit your online application, choosing the "Pay by Check or Money Order" option. A completed Fee Waiver Request form should then be mailed along with proof of financial need to the Graduate Division.
- How will I know if my fee waiver has been processed? Please check your Application Status Page to determine whether your application is considered "paid and submitted." If your fee waiver request is approved, the application will be processed and no further action is needed. If denied, you will be notified by email and the application will not be processed until the application fee is received, which must still be received by the application deadline. When a fee waiver request is denied, applicants are asked to mail a check or money order to the Graduate Division.
Application Processing and Status
Please follow the guidelines and instructions below when preparing and mailing your application materials:
Please Send to the Academic Department
- Two copies of official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
- Other supplemental material required in hard copy by the academic department. See the Departments & Programs listing for details.
Please note: All supplemental application materials not submitted in the online application should be mailed directly to the academic department to which you are applying using the department�s specific mailing address and zip code + the 4-digit mail code (93106-xxxx). This includes all official transcripts. For instructions regarding which materials should be submitted online and which via mail, please see your departmental requirements listing at http://www.graddiv.ucsb.edu/departments/.
Department of ________________________
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-____ (departmental 4-digit code)
Please send to the Graduate Division:
The Graduate Division's mailing address is:
- Application fee, if not already paid by credit card during application submission
- Official GRE and TOEFL scores, sent directly from ETS. UCSB's institution code is 4835, and the department code should be left blank
- Official IELTS scores can be sent as a alternative to the TOEFL
Attn: Graduate Admissions
3117 Cheadle Hall
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-2070
- What is my application status? Is my application complete? Your application status is available online using the email address you used and the password you created when you started your application.
- Whom should I contact if I cannot remember my password? Your password can be reset online. An email will be sent to the email account that you used to originally create your application. If you do not receive an email with an updated password, first check your junk or spam mail. If you still do not have access to your updated password, please contact Graduate Division Admissions.
- What do I do if the deadline is approaching, but the department has not received my mailed materials? You must check your Application Status Page online to determine which materials have been received. Check with the department about which materials are still needed. Application deadlines are typically strict, requiring that all materials, including test scores, must be received by the application deadline. If your supplemental materials were accidentally sent to the Graduate Division instead of the department, the materials will be forwarded to the department. However, the Graduate Division does not keep a record of what is sent to departments. It is your responsibility to send the materials to the correct department/office.
- The Graduate Division Admissions staff can confirm whether your application fee, fee waiver, and test scores have been received (note: you can also check your Application Status Page for this information). Please contact the Graduate Program Assistant in your academic department regarding all other application materials.
- I called and emailed the department, but I did not get a response. What should I do? Please be patient. The departments are very busy and it can often take a few days to return either your email or phone call. Please make sure the information you are looking for cannot be accessed on the academic department or Graduate Division Web sites.
- How can I update my name and contact information? If your name or contact information has changed during the application process, email the Graduate Division Admissions and the department Graduate Program Assistant with your updated information. If you are updating a mailing or email address, include a date when the address will no longer be valid. If you need to change your personal information after completion of the online Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) and online Statement of Legal Residence (SLR), please contact the Office of the Registrar.
Letters of Recommendation
When will my recommender(s) be contacted by UCSB? Will they receive an email automatically when I type in their email address?
Once you submit the required electronic waiver, our system will automatically email your recommender a request for a letter of recommendation. Once you finish the online application, you will be able to log back into the Application Status page at your convenience to send a request to your recommender.
My recommender has not received a recommendation request from UCSB. Why hasn't the request been sent and what should I do next?
- If you have already completed a mandatory waiver and your recommenders still have not received a message, please ask your recommenders to set their email accounts to allow messages from Graduate Division, firstname.lastname@example.org. It is possible that the messages we sent were filtered out by your recommenders' email spam settings.
How can I re-send the request for a recommendation to my recommender?
You may prompt the electronic system to send new emails to your recommenders. To do so:
- Please log in to your electronic application and go to your Application Status page.
- In the Existing Applications section, hit the Application Status button.
- Click on the blue link to manage recommenders.
- Click on Resend Request next to the recommender you wish to generate a new email for.
I want to add a new recommender or modify recommender information. How can I do that?
- Please log in to your electronic application and go to your Application Status page.
- If you have already paid for and submitted your application, click on the link to manage your recommenders. If you have not paid or submitted, click on the link to "Go to review page".
- You may add up to four recommenders in the Letters of Rec tab. If you have already input three recommenders, you may click the link to add a fourth.
- You may replace a recommender with someone new if they have not yet submitted a letter of recommendation. To do so, click on the X in the Replace column. If you replace a recommender, please notify them personally, as they will no longer be able to upload a letter per the instructions UCSB has provided them via email.
May I use a letter service to submit my letters of recommendation in hard copy?
You may use a Letter Service to submit your letters of recommendation. Letter Services may submit letters via mail or online. Even if a Letter Service is submitting letters on behalf of a recommender, you still must enter the recommender name, email address, and institution into the online application. You must fill out an electronic waiver for the recommender. You may then identify that the letter will come from a Service. UCSB will still email your recommender, but we will only ask them to respond to the rating scale prompt. They will not be asked to send a letter. You may also indicate whether the Letter Service will send the letter electronically or in hard copy.
May I ask more than four recommenders to submit electronic letters of recommendation?
No. Our electronic application will only accept four letters of recommendation electronically per applicant. If you have more than four recommenders, additional recommenders must submit hard copy letters of recommendation via mail. Coversheets are required for hard-copy letter of recommendation submissions.
GRE, MAT, TOEFL or IELTS Scores
- Where may I take the GRE and or TOEFL? The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) are both administered by ETS. Applicants should instruct ETS to send scores to UCSB. The UCSB institution code is 4835. A department code is not required, however if you route your scores to institution code 4835 and provide a department code, UCSB will still receive your scores. Please note that GRE scores must be no more than five years old at the time of application, and TOEFL scores must be no more than two years old at the time of application.
NOTE: The GRE is not required by the Department of Art, and that the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education requires either the GRE or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) for applicants applying to the Teaching Credential Program. MAT scores must be no more than five years old at the time of application.
- Where may I take the IELTS (International English Language Testing System)? Applicants choosing to take the IELTS must make arrangements directly with the International English Language Testing System. An institution code is not required to report the score results to UCSB. IETLS scores must be no more than two years old at the time of application.
- Do you have my test scores? Once you ask ETS to send score reports to UCSB, please allow two to three weeks for processing. Once your scores have arrived, your Application Status Page will be updated accordingly. Please note, the Graduate Division will not supply test score reports to applicants, outside persons, or other institutions.
- What if my test scores will arrive after the department's deadline? Contact the department if the scores will arrive after the deadline. A delay in your test scores could make your application incomplete and ineligible for application review.
- Will UCSB send copies or a printout of my test scores to me or other schools? No, the GRE and TOEFL scores become property of UCSB Graduate Division Admissions and cannot be reprinted or recreated for applicants, outside persons, or other institutions.
- How do I update my test scores if I took the test again? You can request the new scores be sent to UCSB. For admissions purposes, UCSB reviews the most recent and complete set of scores reported. It is not possible to mix-and-match the best scores. If you want to improve your test scores, you need to retake the entire test. If you have already submitted your online application with complete scores and wish to replace them, please first notify the department and the Graduate Division.
- What are competitive scores? The Graduate Division does not set minimum score requirements for the GRE or MAT. Some academic departments do have certain exam standards and you should contact the department directly. GRE and MAT scores can be no more than five years old at the time of application. For international applicants required to take the TOEFL or IELTS, the minimum TOEFL score is 550 when taking the paper based test and 80 when taking the internet based test. The minimum IELTS score for consideration is an Overall Band Score of 7 or higher. Some departments may require a higher score. TOEFL or IELTS scores can be no more than two years old at the time of application.
Will you accept a photocopy of my test scores? No. The Graduate Division requires official scores, submitted directly from ETS, Miller, or the International English Language Testing System. GRE and MAT scores can be no more than five years old at the time of application. TOEFL or IELTS scores can be no more than two years old at the time of application. Please do not send your original paper score report since you may not be able to obtain another copy and the Graduate Division is unable to release the original copy back to you or another university.
- May I waive the TOEFL or IELTS requirement? Exceptions to TOEFL or IELTS testing may only be considered for those students who have completed an undergraduate or graduate education at an institution whose primary language of instruction is English. For additional information, contact the academic department.
- What are the differences between TOEFL and IELTS? Depending on location, the TOEFL exam comes in two formats: Internet-based (iBT) and Paper-based (PBT). The Internet-based test is the first TOEFL exam to test speaking, along with writing, listening, and reading. The speaking section is done through a voice-recorder online. The Paper-based exam tests listening, reading, writing, and structure, which tests how students recognize English sentence structure and idiomatic word usage. Scores can be sent either in paper-based form or electronically.
The IELTS is a newer exam and has recently become a competitor for TOEFL. It also tests speaking, reading, writing, and listening. However, the speaking portion is conducted through a live interview with a trained and certified ESL specialist. However, whereas TOEFL is offered through ETS, IELTS is its own organization and test registration is handled through them. Scores are usually mailed to the Graduate Division, where we then enter them into the online application. However, applicants can opt to have them sent electronically. The tests are quite similar, and the Graduate Division does not have a preference--it depends on how the student wishes to be tested, taking into consideration his or her strongest areas of language.
International Teaching Assistants
- What is the testing requirement? All prospective international teaching assistants (TAs) whose first language is not English are required to take the TA Language Evaluation in order to be certified for sole classroom teaching responsibility. This exam is scheduled by your department faculty and conducted through the English as a Second Language (ESL) Program prior to the beginning of each quarter. The Language Evaluation requires the prospective TA to give a brief oral presentation in English and respond to questions from a panel of department and ESL faculty.
- What is the minimum GPA requirement? To be considered for admission, you must have received a bachelor's degree or its equivalent from an accredited university prior to the quarter for which you seek admission, and have at least a B average (3.0 GPA) in your undergraduate coursework. Satisfaction of minimal standards does not, however, guarantee admission, since the number of qualified applicants far exceeds the number of spaces available. As a consequence, many well-qualified applicants cannot be accommodated.
- What do you require in the Statement of Purpose? Review the Statement of Purpose guidelines located on the How To Apply page. The length of your Statement of Purpose can depend on the individual departmental requirements, though a minimum two pages is recommended. For additional information about the Statement of Purpose, speak to the Graduate Program Assistant in the academic department to which you are applying.
Along with your Statement of Purpose, applicants are also required to submit a (1) Personal Achievements/Contributions Statement and a (2) Resume or Curriculum Vitae. Instructions for each document are located on the Statement and Uploaded Documents page.
- Do I need to order UCSB transcripts if I attended (or I am currently attending) UCSB? Yes, you must request transcripts from the Office of the Registrar, even if you attended or are attending UCSB.
- How do I find out my about admissions decision? You will be notified by email when a decision has been made on your application, and your Application Status Page will be updated with a decision letter.
- I have been admitted, now what do I do? Congratulations! Complete the Statement of Intent to Register through the Application Status Page. This form lets us know whether you plan to attend UCSB. If you accept the offer of admission, your information will be transmitted to the Office of the Registrar. If you inform us you are not coming, we will close out your application. Additionally, notify your department of your decision and inquire as to whether there is any additional information that they need.
What is "provisional admissions status" and how do I remove it?Provisional Admissions Status means that you were granted admission under the condition that you will provide any missing application materials. Such application materials often include:
- Two copies of your final and official transcript with the completed degree awarded. Some international applicants will need to supply not only the transcripts but also a copy of their diploma or degree certificate, since not all international transcripts will have the degree awarded on the transcript. Domestic and international applicants are not allowed to submit only the degree certificate or diploma. Proof of course completion is required.
- GRE, MAT, TOEFL, and/or IELTS scores reported directly from the testing organization.
The deadline to submit any documents still needed by the Graduate Division in order to clear your provisional admissions status is the last day of instruction during your first quarter at UCSB. For incoming students to Fall 2013, the deadline is December 6, 2013. Please see your official admission letter from the dean to determine which documents you are required to submit.
- I am admitted provisionally but I will not receive my final, official transcript until this summer. Is that okay? UCSB requires your final transcripts with your degree posted. If you are admitted provisionally because of missing final transcripts, you will have until the end of your first quarter at UCSB to provide the required transcripts. Please make certain you have requested the transcripts to be sent to the Graduate Division and that the transcripts will have your degree posted. Contact the Graduate Division Admissions staff to confirm receipt of final transcripts.
- How can I find out why I was denied? The academic departments make all admissions decisions. Contact the department to which you applied.
- If I was denied, may I reapply? Yes, you can reapply if it is in your best interests and those of the department. If after consulting your department they encourage you to reapply, you will need to submit a new online application and pay a new application fee. Please contact the academic department where you last applied to determine what application materials, if any, can be reused.
- May I have my application materials? No, the application file and all contents are property of UCSB and will not be released to the applicant or another institution. This includes, but is not limited to, transcripts, letters of recommendation, statements of purpose, and test scores.
- When do I receive my registration materials? If you accept the offer of admission via the Statement of Intent to Register, your information will be transmitted to the Office of the Registrar and registration materials will be generated and emailed to you. If you do not receive an email from the Registrar by August, contact the Office of the Registrar. International applicants can pick up registration materials from the Office of International Students and Scholars upon arrival to campus.
- Do graduate students have to pre-enroll? No. Graduate Students have registration priority over undergraduates in all courses.
- Where may I receive financial support information? The University will contact you concerning available campus aid. Visit Financial Support or contact your department regarding funding opportunities. All domestic applicants must complete the FAFSA.
- What is an Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT)? The National Science Foundation has recognized UCSB's superb interdisciplinary studies through Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) awards. These grants provide specialized training and a high level of multi-year funding to qualified graduate admits covering tuition, fees and a generous stipend. In addition to a multi-campus IGERT grant held by the Institute of Global Conflict and Cooperation in which UCSB participates, current IGERT grants at UCSB include:
To apply for an IGERT, you must first apply to one of the participating IGERT departments. Contact the department and indicate you would like to be considered for an IGERT.
- May I take classes without applying to graduate school? Yes, you can take classes through Extended Learning Services or Summer Sessions. These programs are separate from the graduate application process. Please consult these departments regarding courses and deadlines.