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
  • Reapplying
  • 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.

Education History

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

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.

Exam Scores

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.

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. Please note that GRE score requirements are subject to change at the start of each application cycle.

GRE Requirements for 2024 Admissions

Those applying to the following programs for 2024 admissions consideration are required to submit official GRE scores. No other programs will accept or review GRE scores as part of the 2024 application.


Program / Degree Objective(s)

Exam(s) Required

Applied Mathematics


GRE General Test AND GRE Mathematics Subject Exam



GRE General Test



GRE General Test AND GRE Mathematics Subject Exam

Technology Management


GRE General Test


Reporting and Submitting GRE Scores

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.

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.

Only the most recent, complete test score report sent to the UCSB Graduate Institution will be reviewed for admission.

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 Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Duolingo English Test (DET).

Accepted Exams and Minimum Score Requirements

The university minimum score requirements for accepted exams are listed below:


Minimum Total Score

TOEFL paper-based test (PBT)


TOEFL internet-based test (iBT) and TOEFL iBT Home Edition


IELTS Academic and IELTS Indicator

Overall Band Score of 7

Duolingo English Test (DET)



Departments may require a higher minimum score for any test. Official test score dates must be within two years of the day the applicant submits the online graduate application (scores must display with a status of Official).

The following exams are not accepted: TOEFL ITP Plus, TOEFL Essentials, IELTS One Skill Retake, and other exams not specifically noted above.

Minimum Total iBT Score: 80

Minimum Total PBT Score: 550

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 via your ETS account. A department code is not required, but all scores will be received centrally by the Graduate Division as long as they are sent to institution code 4835. 

Be sure to also self-report your scores in your UCSB eApp. Allow at least 24 hours for the status of your scores to update in your UCSB application after they have been delivered to UCSB by ETS. You will need to enter your Test Date and sixteen digit Registration Number found on your official Report of Scores from ETS.


Minimum Overall Band Score: 7

Applicants taking the IELTS must make arrangements directly with IELTS for testing and score reporting. Scores may be mailed from IELTS or sent electronically, and this process may differ depending on whether you complete the exam in a testing centre or online. 

Electronic scores should be sent to the University of California Santa Barbara - Graduate Admissions. 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

Be sure to also self-report your scores in your UCSB eApp. Allow at least 24 hours for the status of your scores to update in your UCSB application after they have been delivered to UCSB by IELTS (allow additional time for paper score reports).

Minimum Total Score: 120

The Duolingo English Test is an online English proficiency test that can be taken online, on-demand, in under an hour. Certified results are available online within 48 hours of the test session and may be sent to the UCSB Graduate Division electronically through your online account. Select University of California Santa Barbara - Graduate Admissions from the list of institutions and add your UCSB Application/Reference ID number (if available) before sending. Be sure to also self-report your scores in your UCSB eApp.

Please allow at least 24 hours for the status of your scores to update in your UCSB application after you have sent them.


Exemptions from the English language admissions requirements are permitted for applicants who have completed an undergraduate (bachelor's or equivalent) or graduate (master's, doctoral, or equivalent) degree at an institution where the verified sole official language of instruction is English. 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, supplied by the institution and uploaded to the application, 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.

Note for Admitted Applicants:

Admitted applicants who attend UCSB must provide final/official transcripts indicating (1) completion of the degree program and (2) English as the official language of instruction (if stated on the transcripts uploaded to the application). Please contact your department of interest at UCSB if you have questions.

​Students whose first language is not English but who were exempt from the TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test (DET) requirement may still be required to take the English Language Placement Exam (ELPE) and/or Teaching Assistant Evaluation.

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. 

Letter Services

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.

Statement Prompts

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 uploadedPlease 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.

Financial Information

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.

Application Fee

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.