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The University of California, Davis offers admission to those applicants who have the highest potential for graduate study and who, with the benefit of graduate education, are most likely to contribute substantially to their academic or professional fields through teaching, research or professional practice. UC Davis views as a high priority the enrollment of men and women from different backgrounds and demographic groups.
For a complete list of programs, refer to the Graduate Programs of Study.
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Admission decisions are based on the quality of the applicant's academic degrees and record, the personal history statement, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation from professors or others familiar with the applicant's academic work, performance in aptitude and achievement tests, relevant work experience, preparation in the proposed field of study, and on the appropriateness of the applicant's goals to the graduate program and of the applicant's research interests to those of its faculty. Some graduate programs have additional admission criteria that applicants must meet; please see the individual listings under Graduate Programs of Study and contact individual programs for full details.
By the time they enroll, successful applicants must hold a bachelor's degree or the equivalent that is comparable to a degree from the University of California both in distribution of academic subject matter and in scholarship achievement, from an institution of acceptable standing. At least a B average or its equivalent is required for admission. Satisfaction of minimal standards does not guarantee admission since the number of qualified applicants far exceeds the number of places available. As a consequence, many well-qualified applicants cannot be accommodated.
If you are an international applicant, a non-U.S. citizen who did not receive your bachelor's degree in the United States, consult the information for international students for special requirements pertaining to your admission.
Applicants are encouraged to communicate with individual members of the faculty with whom they may want to study. Personal interviews are encouraged to learn more about particular programs before applying. For the benefit of those not acquainted with faculty members in their field or fields of interest, each graduate program has a graduate adviser to whom inquiries may be addressed.
Considering which graduate program is right for you is an essential step in preparing for graduate school. UC Davis offers a wide variety of graduate programs, and we strongly recommend that each applicant investigate the program by visiting their website prior to applying. Graduate programs are listed in the Graduate Programs of Study directory.
Graduate programs may have early deadlines or may require submission of additional materials to assist them in selecting from among qualified applicants. Each program to which you apply must receive a complete application, including all materials and the application fee. Be certain that you are familiar with all of the admission requirements of your program before beginning the application process. If you have any questions, please contact the Graduate Program Staff Coordinator (their contact information is included under the specific graduate program).
Double Major. Applicants for two graduate programs administered by Graduate Studies, or applicants for joint degree programs administered by Graduate Studies and a professional school (law, medicine, veterinary medicine, or management) are required to submit a double major petition and a proposed program of study in addition to the regular application forms for the program or school.
Duplicate Degrees. Students holding graduate degrees cannot be admitted to the same degree program in the same field. Admission for a second master's degree in a different field may be permitted. Students holding Ph.D. degrees must petition the Graduate Council for permission to enroll for a second Ph.D. in a different field. Students pursuing duplicate degrees are not eligible for financial aid.
Multiple Applications. You may apply to more than one graduate program at a time. Each program to which you apply must receive a complete application, including all materials and the application fee of $80 (U.S.) or $100 (international).
Non-degree Status. By exceptional arrangement, students who do not wish to pursue a degree but have educational objectives that require some graduate coursework may apply for "coursework only" in a specific graduate program. The program of study must demonstrate definite scholarly or professional purpose, and regular admission standards must be met. Ordinarily this status is limited to three quarters of enrollment. Students in non-degree status are not eligible for financial aid, fellowships or graduate scholarships. Students in this status are not eligible for student employment unless special permission has been requested by the program and granted by the Dean of Graduate Studies. Admission to "coursework only" status does not guarantee admission to regular degree status.
Specific requirements for degrees vary with programs but there are general requirements which are uniform throughout the UC system and are supervised by Graduate Studies. Advanced degrees are conferred in recognition of a "command of a wide range of knowledge in an academic field." Residency requirements and specific program requirements are means the faculty uses to ensure that students will be adequately prepared when they are required to demonstrate proficiency in examinations and research projects.
Grade Requirements. Only upper division and graduate courses with grades of A, B, C or S may be counted in satisfaction of the unit requirements for the master's degree. The University requires that students maintain a 3.0 grade point average (A=4, B=3, C=2) each quarter in order to be in "good standing."
Registration Policies. Upon matriculation in a particular program, students are expected to register continuously until completion of the degree. However, leaves may be granted for causes such as illness, family problems, and uncertainty regarding educational goals under the Planned Educational Leave Plan (PELP) program. Students who do not register and fail to have a leave approved are not guaranteed readmission at a later date.
Enrollment Policies. Students are expected to enroll each quarter for an academically appropriate number of units. The minimum is 12 units of upper division or graduate courses per quarter.
Part-time Study. Many graduate programs are available on a part-time basis to qualified graduate students who, for reasons of occupation, family responsibility, or health are not able to attend full-time. At present, resident part-time students pay the full registration fee and one-half the educational fee. Nonresident students pay these fees plus one-half of the nonresident tuition. Applicants desiring part-time enrollment in an approved program should file a petition with the Office of the University Registrar immediately after admission. The form can be obtained through the graduate program coordinator.
Master's degree candidates must be in residence at least three quarters at UC Davis. Most master's degrees are awarded under either Plan I or Plan II. Under Plan I, a minimum of 30 units of upper division and graduate courses and a thesis are required. At least 12 of the 30 units must be in graduate courses in the major field. Plan II requires a minimum of 36 units of upper division and graduate coursework and a comprehensive final examination. At least 18 of the 36 units must be earned in graduate courses in the major field; no more than nine of these 18 may be in research courses.
Transfer credit. Ordinarily all work for the master's degree is done in residence on the Davis campus. However, with the consent of the graduate adviser and the dean of Graduate Studies, some work taken elsewhere may be credited toward the degree. The limit for such transfer credit is six units from another institution or up to one-half of the unit requirement if earned from another campus of the University of California, provided the units were not used in satisfaction of the requirements for another degree. Students may transfer up to 12 units of work from the Concurrent Courses program offered by University Extension.
Doctoral candidates must be in residence for at least six quarters, meet the coursework requirements for their specific program, pass a qualifying examination, and present a dissertation containing an original contribution to knowledge. Additional requirements (e.g., foreign language, preliminary examination) vary from program to program. In a few programs, after the presentation of the dissertation, the student takes a final oral examination, sometimes called a "defense of the thesis."
California Residence for Tuition Purposes
The facts and information you will be providing after admission on a Statement of Legal residence are used by the campus Residence Deputy to determine if you meet the University of Californiaís definition of a California resident for the purpose of assessing tuition. Any indication of resident status for tuition purposes that you may have received during admission is provisional until a determination has been made by the residence deputy. For information about the resident determination process, and to read about who is considered a resident, please visit the University Registrarís website section on residency.
Financial support for graduate study at UC Davis is available in several ways: fellowships and graduate scholarships, funding from external agencies and financial aid.
If you are interested in applying for campus based fellowships, you will need to submit your application by January 15. To apply for a fellowship, go to our online fellowship application system.
NOTE: The Fellowship Application, the Letter of Recommendation Form with three letters of recommendation, and the Waiver of Confidentiality (if you choose to waive access) make up the fellowship applications package.
For more information, visit Student Financial Support.
Last Updated: April 30, 2013