Before Arriving at UCSB

To initiate the Visa process, visit the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) Newly Admitted Students page. For questions and information please contact OISS directly.

Provisionally Admitted Students

Before leaving home, remember to order the documents you will need to clear your provisional status. If you were admitted for fall quarter, final/official documents must be received by September 1st. For winter, spring or summer admission, final/official transcripts must be received before the first day of instruction of the quarter to which you are admitted. 

Students who have completed (or will complete before matriculating at UCSB) degrees at institutions outside of the United States may be required to submit official degree certificates, diplomas, or other documents in addition to official transcripts. Please refer to your decision letter for a list of documents that you are required to submit.

​Detailed information regarding official transcripts can be found on the Admitted Applicants webpage

Records from International Institutions

All transcripts, other documents, and translations must be received in envelopes sealed and stamped by the school. All academic documents should be sent in the native language along with authorized, complete, and exact, literal English translations by the school or an official agency. Unofficial copies made by the applicant or UC faculty and staff are unacceptable.

Records from Chinese Universities (Updated as of July 1, 2018)

Final, official transcripts and degree certificates are required from all institutions at which a degree was completed. All documents must be sent directly from the issuing institution and/or received in envelopes sealed and stamped by the issuing institution. All documents must be sent in the native language along with complete and exact, literal English translations.

Applicants who have earned degrees from Chinese Universities are also required to arrange for a verification report of your university degree certificate with the China Academic Degree and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC). A printed copy of the CDGDC degree electronic certification report in English and Chinese must be mailed or emailed as a pdf to our office by the issuing institution or the student.

Do not request your verification report from the CDGDC until your degree has been awarded. Verification reports should only be sent after accepting an offer of admission.

Please note that CDGDC verification is only required when a degree was earned at a Chinese institution. It is not necessary for transfer work or study abroad done in China. If you have transfer work from or did study abroad at a Chinese institution, you will need to submit official transcripts, with translations, directly from the institution upon admission.

China Academic Degree and Graduate Education Development Center Verification Division
B-17, Tongfang Scientific Plaza
No.1 Wangzhuang Road, Haidian District, Beijing, 100083, P.R.China

Tel: 86-10-82379480
Fax: 86-10-82378718

Website (Chinese):
Website (English):

English for Multilingual Students (EMS) Requirements

There are two language examinations required for students whose first language is not English: English Language Placement Exam (ELPE) and Teaching Assistant Language Evaluation.

English Language Placement Exam (ELPE)

All incoming graduate students whose first language is not English must take the English Language Placement Examination (ELPE) at the beginning of their first quarter of enrollment.

About the Exam

This required exam is conducted by faculty of the English for Multilingual Students (EMS) Program. The ELPE includes both a written and an oral examination. After the writing exam, students make individual appointments through the EMS Program to take the oral exam on a different day. The results of the ELPE are communicated to each department by the EMS Program.

As a result of the student's performance on the ELPE, the student will either (1) be placed in an EMS course or (2) be exempted from EMS courses. Students are advised to complete the EMS course progression within three quarters.

Exam Dates and Times

Testing dates, times, and locations are available through the EMS Program, the Office of International Students and Scholars, and the Schedule of Classes.


The following students are not required to take the ELPE:

  • Nonnative speakers of English who completed the entirety of their undergraduate degree at an institution where the medium of instruction was English-only. The language of instruction must be listed on the official transcripts.
  • International students visiting UCSB under the Education Abroad Program and other non-degree reciprocity statuses unless they later apply for admission to a graduate program

​Students whose first language is not English but were exempt from the TOEFL or IELTS requirement must still take the ELPE.

Teaching Assistant Language Evaluations

Graduate Council policy requires all prospective teaching assistants (TAs) whose first language is not English to take the TA Language Evaluation prior to being certified to hold sole classroom teaching or laboratory responsibilities.

About the Exam

The TA Language Evaluation simulates instruction in an undergraduate discussion section. It involves a faculty representative from the student's department and a faculty member from EMS. The exam is a 10 minute oral presentation during which the prospective TA teaches a basic, non-technical concept assigned by the department to the examining committee. Additionally, the prospective TA is asked questions by the evaluators who play the role of undergraduates.

Students not certified for sole classroom responsibilities during the TA Language Evaluation are required to complete EMS coursework to improve their spoken English. After completion of the assigned EMS coursework, the student is re-evaluated for certification by a committee of EMS faculty at the end of the quarter.

TAs who fail the Language Evaluation are assigned to alternate, non-teaching responsibilities determined by the department until the student passes the exam.

Scheduling an Exam

Your home department will schedule a TA Language Evaluation with the EMS Program when required. Exams will take place prior to your first teaching appointment. Your department will appoint a faculty representative to assign you a presentation topic and attend the examination.

Further pre-instructional information and activities are outlined in the Schedule of Classes available through the Office of the Registrar.