Diversity, Inclusion, and Admissions
1237 Murphy Hall
Meeting the minimum requirements does not ensure graduate admission, which is limited by the number of places and the amount of student support available in UCLA’s graduate programs. Applicants are evaluated on scholastic qualifications and formal preparation for the graduate field of study. Departments may have other requirements for admission, which are listed by department and by degree on the Graduate Division website.
Applying for Admission
Prospective students may apply online.
When to Apply
Most departments and schools have deadlines in November and early December for the following fall quarter. Consult the Admissions section of the Graduate Division website for specific deadlines for each major. A few departments accept applications for winter and spring quarters.
At the discretion of the department, applications may be considered if submitted after a program’s stated deadline, provided the enrollment limits have not been exceeded.
A nonrefundable application fee is required when the application is submitted.
U.S. applicants to graduate standing must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution comparable in standard and content to that awarded at the University of California. Degrees granted on the basis, for example, of nonacademic prior learning, test scores, and other than organized supervised coursework in academic subjects are not considered comparable. A scholastic average of B or better (or its equivalent if the letter grade system is not used) is required in the last two years of undergraduate coursework and in any postbaccalaureate study.
Requirements for international applicants are listed below.
Supporting materials to be submitted, including official transcripts of record and the nonrefundable application fee, are specified at the graduate admissions website. Submitted materials become the property of the University and are not returnable.
Graduate Record Examination
Applicants who apply for admission to a department or school that requires Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores should arrange to take the examination no later than December so scores arrive on time. GRE scores should be sent directly to the prospective department and not to the Graduate Division.
GRE registration and information about both paper and computer-based testing are available from ETS. Information on GRE fee waivers is also available on the ETS website.
Letters of Recommendation
Most graduate professional schools, departments, and interdepartmental programs at UCLA require applicants to submit three letters of recommendation. Letters typically augment, validate, or explain information provided in the application and should be written by people qualified to analyze students’ abilities and academic promise.
International applicants who have completed their postsecondary education outside the U.S. are expected to hold a degree, with above average scholarship, from a university or university-level institution. If their examinations have been graded Excellent, Very Good, Good, and Pass, applicants must have at least a Very Good general rating to qualify for admission. Applicants who hold a three-year Bologna degree may be considered for admission on the recommendation of the department, program, or professional school. Applicants who hold a three-year ordinary or pass degree, or who hold a professional diploma in accounting, business, librarianship, social work, physical education, health education, and so forth, or a four-year degree, diploma, or higher certificate from a technical, vocational, or postsecondary specialized school, should not apply for graduate admission. Persons with memberships in professional associations such as Institutes of Chartered Accountants, the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, and so forth, also do not qualify for graduate admission unless they also hold recognized university-level degrees or titles.
Students should submit official transcripts of record, in the original language and with an English translation certified by the institution, for all college and university work. The original of an academic record that cannot be replaced must not be sent; a properly certified copy should be sent instead. Specific information for applicants from a variety of educational systems is available at international applicants website.
Proficiency in English
Most international applicants to UCLA graduate school are required to submit scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination. International students who hold a bachelor’s or higher degree from a university located in the U.S. or in another country in which English is both the primary spoken language of daily life (e.g., Australia, Barbados, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, United Kingdom) and the medium of instruction, or who have completed at least two years of full-time study at such an institution, are exempt from this requirement.
Applicants who are required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores (i.e., do not belong to the exempted categories listed) may also be required to take the UCLA English as a Second Language Placement Examination (ESLPE) to determine potential coursework in academic writing. Incoming students who score at least 100 on the TOEFL iBT (Internet-based test) or at least 7.5 overall band score on the IELTS examination are exempt form the ESLPE requirement.
Students who are required to take the ESLPE must do so before or during their first term at UCLA. Failure to do so results in a hold on student records. Students may take the ESLPE once only. Unauthorized retakes of the examination result in an invalid examination score. Depending on ESLPE results, students may be required to complete one or more courses in the English as a Second Language (ESL) credit-bearing series, beginning in their first term in residence at UCLA. The courses must be passed with a grade of C or better if taken for a letter grade, or B or better if taken on an S/U basis. Taking required ESL courses may prolong students’ time to degree. If students do not achieve a minimum score on the ESLPE, their admission is deferred until they have acquired the necessary proficiency in English.
Graduate students who plan to work as teaching assistants (TAs) and are nonnative English-speaking international students are required to take the Test of Oral Proficiency (TOP), which is administered by the Office of Instructional Development (OID). Those who hold a bachelor’s or higher degree from a U.S. institution are exempt. Students who do not plan to work as teaching assistants do not need to take the TOP.
For students who receive a clear pass (7.1 or above) on the TOP, no coursework is required. Students who receive a marginal pass (between 6.4 and 7.0) are required to take an approved oral skills course either before or during their first term as teaching assistants. Students scoring 6.3 or below are not eligible to become teaching assistants and are encouraged to complete recommended ESL coursework before taking the TOP examination again.
No other oral examination is accepted. Entering graduate students who plan to work as teaching assistants in their first term at UCLA must arrive early enough to take the TOP before instruction begins. The examination schedule and other information about TOP are available at OID TOP website or by calling 310-825-3106.
Admission to the Schools of Dentistry, Law, and Medicine
Applicants for MS and PhD programs in departments of the Schools of Medicine and Dentistry should apply for admission to the Graduate Division as described above. For admission to DDS, JD, LLM, SJD, and MD degree programs in the Schools of Dentistry, Law, and Medicine, consult the school websites or write to the respective schools for information and application procedures.
Admission to Graduate Programs in Bioscience
Applicants to PhD programs in fields related to life and biomedical sciences apply for admission to the individual degree-granting program. Graduate Programs in Bioscience is a consortium of PhD programs organized into specialized research groups, called home areas, that serve as the admissions and training units associated with the degree-granting programs. Through this structure, students can specialize in their chosen area while maintaining the flexibility to move between home areas to best pursue their research interests. See bioscience programs website for more information.
Degree-Granting Programs and Home Areas
Consortium PhD programs offer the research home areas listed below.
Genetics and Genomics
Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology
Cell and Developmental Biology
Immunity, Microbes, and Molecular Pathogenesis
Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology
Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology
Molecular and Medical Pharmacology
Molecular Pharmacology: Diagnostics, Therapeutics, and the Biology of Disease
Physics and Biology in Medicine
Physics and Biology in Medicine
Additional opportunities for doctoral study include Biochemistry, Molecular and Structural Biology in the College of Letters and Science, Oral Biology in the School of Dentistry, and Molecular Toxicology in the Fielding School of Public Health.
Consult the individual program website for information and application procedures. See the Graduate Division website for information about degree requirements for each program.
Special Admission Policies
No Degree Objective
UCLA has no special limited or unclassified categories of graduate admission. Under some circumstances, however, applicants may be admitted for coursework without a degree objective. For example, teachers with a master’s degree who wish some refresher study, or international students on a year’s stay in the U.S., may wish to apply in this manner. Requirements for admission are the same as those for degree programs, and the academic program must agree to accept the student for the no degree objective (NDO) status. All admission to NDO status must be specially approved by the dean of the Graduate Division, as must any University financial assistance for students on NDO status.
Duplication of Degrees
The University of California, in general, discourages the duplication of advanced degrees. At the same time, it recognizes that a professional degree does not duplicate an academic one, and that pressing needs may exist for degrees in different areas (see Concurrent and Articulated Degree Programs in the front of this catalog). Students who apply for a second academic degree at the same level or lower than the one they already hold are required to show compelling cause to the department. The Graduate Division is particularly concerned that a careful review and special justification be made by the graduate program in all cases where an applicant or continuing student is recommended for admission to a second doctoral program. This concern also extends to a recommendation for student support for pursuit of a second doctoral degree. All degree requirements and University regulations apply just as they do for a first degree. Courses and other degree requirements already applied to the earlier degree may not be applied to the second.
Summer Sessions Courses
Enrollment in Summer Sessions courses does not constitute admission to graduate standing, nor does it substitute for the required continuous registration in fall, winter, and spring quarters. Students who wish to apply Summer Sessions courses to their subsequent graduate program should consult in advance with their departmental adviser. This is also true if they have been readmitted to graduate standing and wish to resume graduate study in Summer Sessions. Information and applications are available from Summer Sessions, 1331 Murphy Hall.
If students take Summer Sessions courses following the award of their bachelor’s degree, the grades do not appear on the undergraduate transcript (they are included on a separate transcript). After students are accepted by the Graduate Division, Summer Sessions grades are included on the graduate transcript and computed in the grade-point average.
Students who have registered at any time as a graduate student at UCLA and are returning after an absence (except a formal leave of absence) must file an Application for Graduate Admission.
See the Academic Policies section of this catalog for readmission procedures.