Before Arriving at UCSB
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. Please note that third-party evaluations of your transcripts or degree certificates are not accepted in lieu of official documents issued directly by your institution.
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.
Ask your home institution to submit:
- Final/official transcripts issued in the institution's native language
- Final/official degree certificate(s) or diploma(s) stating the degree that was conferred to you and the date on which it was conferred, issued in the institution's native language
- Authorized, complete, and exact, literal English translations of your final/official transcripts and degree certificates or diplomas
Records from Chinese Universities
Final, official transcripts and degree certificates are required from all institutions at which a degree was completed. Final, official transcripts are required from all institutions at which you completed one or more terms of enrollment (or equivalent), even if a degree was not awarded. 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.
Ask your home institution to submit:
- Final/official transcripts issued in the institution's native Chinese
- Final/official degree certificate(s) stating the degree that was conferred to you and the date on which it was conferred, issued in the institution's native Chinese
- Authorized, complete, and exact, literal English translations of your final/official transcripts and degree certificate
Applicants who have earned degrees from Chinese Universities are also required to arrange for a verification report of your university degree certificate with the Center for Student Services and Development, Ministry of Education, P.R. China (CSSD), formerly known as China Higher Education Student Information and Career Center (CHESICC).
A printed copy or pdf of the CSSD Online Verification Report of Higher Education Degree Certificate in both English and Chinese must be mailed or emailed to our office directly by the CSSD. Note that your verification report(s) must state the name of the specific degree that was awarded to you and the date on which it was awarded (Qualifications or Certificates of Graduation are not sufficient).
Do not request your verification report from the CSSD until your degree has been awarded. Verification reports should only be sent after accepting an offer of admission at UCSB.
Please note that CSSD 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.
- CSSD Website (English): https://www.chsi.com.cn/en/
- CSSD Website (Chinese): https://www.chsi.com.cn/
- CSSD Mailing Address: C3 Finance Fortune Tower, No. 18 Xizhimen Outer Street, Xicheng District, Beijing 100044, China
If you previously obtained an official degree verification report from the China Academic Degree and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC), you are not required to obtain a new report from the CSSD as long as your CDGDC report can be verified by our office. You may mail or email a printed or pdf copy of your CDGDC verification report to us directly.
- CDGDC Website (Chinese): http://www.chinadegrees.cn
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
Students whose first language is not English but were exempt from the TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test (DET) requirement must still take the ELPE. 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 verified by the Graduate Division, as described below.
- 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.
The language of instruction must be verified in at least one of the following ways:
- The institution is a regionally accredited U.S. college or university where English is the sole language of instruction.
- The institution lists English as the sole language of instruction in the IAU World Higher Education Database (WHED). If English is not the sole language of instruction listed (or if no language is listed at all), or if the institution does not appear on the WHED website, an exemption is not permitted.
- The official transcripts specifically state that English is the sole medium or language of instruction. If multiple languages of instruction are listed or if no information about language of instruction is provided on the transcript, an exemption is not permitted.
No other documentation (e.g. letters, language certificates, school websites) will be reviewed or accepted.
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.