All applicants must complete the Online Graduate Application. Please carefully read the instructions below and within the eApp portal to ensure that you correctly complete each section of the application.
We recommend that you keep personal copies of all application materials. This page offers information on eligibility, types of applicants, and step-by-step instructions on how to complete the online application.
Need more information? Review our FAQs for applicants.
To be considered for admission, applicants must have:
- Received a bachelor's degree or its equivalent from an accredited university prior to the quarter for which the applicant seeks admission
- At least a B average in undergraduate coursework
Additionally, each department has its own criteria for admission. Please visit the Departments and Programs page for requirements.
Satisfaction of minimal standards does not, however, guarantee admission. Because the number of qualified applicants far exceeds the number of places available each term, many well-qualified applicants cannot be accommodated.
Types of Applications
- International Applicants
- Current UCSB Graduate Students
- Current UCSB Undergraduate Students Applying for a Five-Year Program
- Multiple Applications Policy
- Non-Degree/EAP Reciprocity Applicants
- Vietnam Education Foundation Applicants
Major and Degree Objective
You will need to select your intended graduate major and degree objective from the drop-down menu in the application. You can find a complete list of graduate degree programs and application requirements on our Department and Programs page. Please note that most of our graduate programs accept applications for fall admissions only.
Common graduate degree objective abbreviations:
- PhD: Doctor of Philosophy
- MA: Master of Arts
- MS: Master of Science
- PhD/MA or PhD/MS: Combined PhD and master’s program in which the student completes both the master’s and PhD degrees, usually earning the master’s after the first one to two years of study.
If you are not sure which degree objective to select or whether to apply to a combined PhD and master’s program or only the PhD, contact your department for more information. Each department has its own application deadline. A complete online application and all supporting documents must be submitted by the deadline in order to be considered for admission and fellowship support.
It is important to maintain current and accurate contact information throughout the application cycle. You will be able to return to the Address section to make updates even after you have completed and submitted your online application. Please be sure to update this section of your application if your address changes during the application cycle.
The questions in this section will help us to determine if you will need a visa to attend graduate school and if you may be considered a California resident for tuition purposes.
If you are currently a U.S. Permanent Resident visa holder, please be sure to select the Permanent Resident visa in this section of the application.
List the school awarding your undergraduate degree as the first Undergraduate Institution. List other schools in order of most recent attendance by adding additional Undergraduate Institutions. All schools at which you completed one or more full academic terms (or equivalent) should be reported on your application.
After selecting the school location, select your institution from the drop-down list that appears under School Name. If you do not find your school, select Other Institution and type in the name of your school exactly as it appears on your transcript. Note that some schools may be listed under common abbreviations (for example, California State University may be listed as CSU).
Please indicate the date you received your degree or the date that you expect to receive it. If you will not receive a degree at a particular institution, enter the last date that you will be enrolled there and then select No Degree in the Degree Awarded/Expected drop-down menu.
Report the Units/Credits that you have completed to date. Do not enter the total number of credits required for your degree program if you have not finished all of them at this time.
Report your Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) as listed on your official university transcript. Report your GPA on the scale used at your institution.
If your institution does not use a 4.0 scale, do not convert your GPA to a 4.0 scale. For instance, if your university grades out of a maximum of 100%, and you have a cumulative average of 80% for your coursework to date, enter 80% as your Cumulative Grade Point Average, and 100% as the GPA Scale. The same approach can be used for 10.0, 8.0, or other GPA scales.
If your degree type is not listed in the Degree Awarded/Expected drop-down menu, you may select Other Degree, and then type in the name of your degree. If you will not complete a degree at the institution, select No Degree in the Degree Awarded/Expected drop-down menu.
You are required to upload an official transcript created by your university. This transcript will be used to review and evaluate your application.
Scan and upload all pages of your official transcript from this institution (including the grading scale, which may be on the backside of the transcript). The uploaded transcript must be produced by the university with all appropriate seals/stamps. Remove your Social Security Number by crossing/blacking out numbers before uploading (if applicable). If you have questions about whether or not a transcript is acceptable, contact your department/program directly.
International Applicants: If you have received your degree, please include your degree certificate within the same file as your transcripts. The uploaded document must include both the original language transcript and the certified English translation. English transcripts are required and must be a complete, exact and literal translation of the original transcripts. English translations must be provided by the school or an official agency.
Tips for uploading transcripts:
- Scan or save a copy of your current transcript
- Ensure that your document is saved as a PDF and that its size does not exceed 9 MB
- Color documents are not necessary
- Ensure that the institution name and all other identifying marks are visible and clearly legible and that your document can be printed on letter-size paper - 8 ½ by 11 in (21 ½ by 30 cm)
- Be sure to include a copy of the transcript legend or university key for each institution (usually found on the backside of the official transcript or in the school's general catalog or website)
- Click the "view document" button to verify whether the uploaded document is legible; if it is not legible, try again
- If you need assistance, please note that public libraries, office supply stores (Kinko's, Office Max, Office Depot, Staples, etc.), and other services can create scanned documents for you
Do not send your final/official transcripts to UCSB unless you have been admitted and chosen to attend UCSB or you have been specifically instructed to do so.
Final, official documents sent directly to UC Santa Barbara from the institution will be required for all applicants who are admitted and have indicated their intent to enroll at UC Santa Barbara by submitting a Statement of Intent to Register (SIR). If sending paper documents by mail, official transcripts must be sent to the UC Santa Barbara Graduate Division directly from the school in the institution's sealed envelope, with all official seals and stamps intact. If sending electronic documents, they must be sent directly from the institution's official approved document delivery service to email@example.com.
Official documents must be received by September 1st if admitted for fall or before the first day of instruction of the quarter to which you are admitted (all other quarters). Degrees awarded by UCSB will be verified internally by the Graduate Division. UCSB students/alumni are not required to submit official transcripts unless specifically requested.
Note: UC Santa Barbara reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admissions process, and rescind any offer of admission made if discrepancies between uploaded and official transcript(s) are found.
The GRE is required for some of our graduate degree programs. Be sure to review the complete list of application requirements on our Department and Programs page to determine whether or not the program to which you are applying requires the General GRE. Some departments also require applicants to take the Advanced GRE Subject Area tests; check with the academic department for specific requirements.
Official GRE scores are those submitted directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Scores are valid for five years after your test administration date. If you are not sure when your scores expire, please contact ETS directly to inquire.
Applicants must make arrangements to take the GRE directly with ETS and should instruct ETS to report scores to the UCSB graduate institution (the institution code is 4835). You do not need to provide an ETS department code when sending your scores, but if you do provide a department code we will still receive your scores.
While the Graduate Division does not have a general minimum GRE score for applicants, individual departments are free to establish minimum GRE test score requirements.
For GRE General Exams and Subject tests, you must provide your Test Date and seven digit Registration Number as well as your self-reported scores (found on your official Report of Scores from ETS) in the Exam Scores section of your eApp. This information will allow us to match your official scores to your online application when we receive them.
Technology Management Program (TMP) Applicants:
You may submit either Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores.
Official GMAT test score dates must be within five years from the day the applicant submits the online graduate application. Scores must be submitted directly from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) to the Graduate Division.
Only the most recent test score report will be reviewed for admission.
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
An excellent command of written and spoken English is required prior to enrollment at UCSB.
Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the TOEFL or the IELTS. The following exams are accepted for meeting TOEFL/IELTS admissions requirements: TOEFL iBT, TOEFL PBT, TOEFL iBT Home Edition, TOEFL iBT Paper Edition; IELTS (Academic), and IELTS Indicator. The following exams are not accepted: TOEFL ITP Plus, TOEFL Essentials, and other exams not specifically noted above.
The university minimum TOEFL score requirement is 550 when taking the paper-based test (PBT) and 80 when taking the internet-based test (IBT). The university minimum IELTS score for consideration is an Overall Band Score of 7. Departments may require a higher minimum score for either test. Official test score dates must be within two years from the day the applicant submits the online graduate application.
Exemptions will be considered for students who have completed an undergraduate or graduate degree at an institution whose verified sole official language of instruction is English. Applicants must provide final/official transcripts indicating (1) completion of the degree program and (2) English as the official language of instruction. Please contact your department of interest at UCSB if you have questions.
Applicants taking the TOEFL must make arrangements directly with the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Instruct ETS to report scores to UCSB at institution code 4835. The online application requires you to enter the Test Date and sixteen digit Registration Number found on your official Report of Scores from ETS.
Applicants taking the IELTS must make arrangements directly with IELTS for testing and score reporting.
Scores may be mailed from IELTS or sent electronically. If sending paper test reports, please have your score report sent to the Graduate Division:
UCSB Graduate Division
Attn: Graduate Admissions
3117 Cheadle Hall
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-2070
Due to the emergency circumstances that applicants in some parts of the world are currently facing, the UC Santa Barbara Graduate Division is temporarily accepting the Duolingo English Test (DET) on an exceptional basis for 2023 applicants only.
Prior approval of the department or program to which you are applying is required. The university minimum total Duolingo English Test score for admissions consideration is 120. Departments may require a higher minimum score. Official test score dates must be within two years from the day the applicant submits the online graduate application.
To fulfill your English language exam application requirement using the Duolingo English Test, complete the following steps:
- Contact your department or program directly before completing the exam to confirm whether or not DET scores may substitute for the TOEFL iBT and the IELTS Academic Exam.
- If you receive confirmation from your department, send your official scores from Duolingo to University of California Santa Barbara - Graduate Admissions. No institution code or department information is required.
- Upload a pdf of your complete score certificate to the Statements and Supplemental Documents section of your application.
Note: Duolingo English Test scores cannot be self-reported in the Exam Scores section of your eApp at this time. Your score certificate pdf will substitute for the details in the Exam Scores section. UC Santa Barbara will verify all score information with Duolingo.
Letters of Recommendation
Three letters of recommendation are required as part of your application. You will be asked to supply the name, email address, and the current institution of each recommender. Once supplied, the online application will provide instructions to each of your recommenders via email.
If you are using a Letter Service (such as Interfolio or a university career center) to submit one or more letters, you will be able to indicate this information within the recommender profile.
Applicants may choose to utilize a service that stores and sends previously written letters on the recommender’s behalf (such as Interfolio or a university career center). If you are using a letter service to submit one or more letters, you will be able to indicate this information within the recommender profile.
Letters Submitted via Postal Mail
Online submission is the preferred method for submitting letters of recommendation. If your recommender is unable to submit a letter online, a letter of recommendation may be sent directly to your prospective academic department. A Letter of Recommendation Coversheet must accompany the letter. You must still add the recommender's information to your online application.
In order to complete your graduate application, you will be required to upload the following three distinct documents in your online application. In addition to the prompts provided below, your department/program may request that you address specific questions or topics in your statements. Be sure to review the complete list of application requirements on our Department and Programs page.
Give a brief statement outlining your reasons for undertaking a graduate program, your particular area of specialization within the major field, your past academic work, and your plans for future occupation or profession. Also include any additional information that may assist the selection committee in evaluating your preparation and aptitude for graduate study at UC Santa Barbara.
Your Statement of Purpose must be written in narrative (essay) form without duplicating content from your Personal History and Diversity Statement.
UC Santa Barbara is interested in a diverse and inclusive graduate student population. Please describe any aspects of your personal background, accomplishments, or achievements that you feel are important in evaluating your application for graduate study. For example, please describe if you have experienced economic challenges in achieving higher education, such as being financially responsible for family members or dependents, having to work significant hours during undergraduate schooling or coming from a family background of limited income. Please describe if you have any unusual or varied life experiences that might contribute to the diversity of the graduate group, such as fluency in other languages, experience living in bi-cultural communities, academic research interests focusing on cultural, societal, or educational problems as they affect under-served segments of society, or evidence of an intention to use the graduate degree toward serving disadvantaged individuals or populations.
Your Personal History and Diversity Statement must be written in narrative (essay) form without duplicating content from your Statement of Purpose. A minimum word count of 250 words is required. There is no maximum length requirement. Most statements are typically 1-2 pages.
List your positions of employment or volunteer work/community service since high school, either full or part-time, including the hours per week worked and the nature and dates of employment or service.
Note: Do not include GRE scores on your Résumé or Curriculum Vitae (CV) if your program does not accept them.
Additional Supplemental Documents
Some departments require that you upload additional supplemental documents, such as a writing sample or information sheet, to the Statements and Supplemental Documents section of your online application. For departmental supplemental document requirements, please see Departments and Programs. Do not upload additional documents that are not required by your prospective department. If necessary, please redact your social security number before uploading transcripts or other documents.
Document Upload Specifications and Requirements
UC Santa Barbara accepts PDF and Microsoft Word (.doc and .docx) documents for upload in the online application. The maximum file size allowed is 4 MB per document. You will need to lock each document to finalize your submission.
You may view and replace documents you have uploaded as long as you have not locked them. Once you click the "Lock" button, you will not be able to edit or replace what you have uploaded. Please preview each document carefully to ensure you have uploaded the correct documents. Graduate Division and departmental staff will not be able to replace documents for you once you have locked a document.
Documents must be uploaded to the online application absolutely no later than 11:59 PM Pacific Time on your departmental application deadline. Documents received after 11:59 PM on the departmental application deadline may be considered ineligible for review and your application may be marked as Incomplete (and therefore not review-able) by the department. The application fee is non-refundable for Incomplete applications. Please contact your department/program directly if you have questions about submitting application materials by the application deadline.
The information you provide in this section is used by the department to determine if you are receiving external financial support. This section does not constitute an application for specific UCSB fellowships or federal financial aid.
All applications require a non-refundable application fee. If you are a US citizen or Permanent Resident, the application fee is $135; for all others, the application fee is $155. No application will be processed until the application fee has been received. This fee can be paid by credit card (Visa or Mastercard) or with a check/money order using the Check/Money Order Submission Form found on the last page of the application.
For information on Fee Waivers and Eligibility, click here.
Updating the Application
It is important that proposed departments are notified of any changes in your address, phone number, or e-mail address during the application process. Otherwise, important notifications regarding applications, missing supporting materials, or admissions decisions may be seriously delayed or lost. Departments will notify the Graduate Division of any changes.
Please note that once your application has been submitted, you cannot make changes to the content of your online application. Please review your application carefully before submitting and print out or save a copy for your files.