The University of California, Davis, welcomes applications from students with strong academic credentials. Students with U.S. bachelor's degrees or equivalent degrees from institutions of recognized standing in other countries may apply for admission to Graduate Studies. Assessment of a foreign degree is based on the characteristics of the national system of education, the type of institution attended, and the level of studies completed.
Before reading the information below, please make certain that you have read and understood our Steps to Applying. All international applicants must complete the same application requirements as U.S. applicants. The information below is intended to provide additional guidance on specific topics to our international applicants.
Expected Level of Study
The following guidelines indicate the level of study expected of international applicants prior to graduate enrollment at UC Davis.
- Bachelor’s degree and higher
- United Kingdom
- Bachelor’s degree and higher
- Australia/New Zealand
- 4-year bachelor's/bachelor honours degree, graduate/postgraduate diploma or master’s degree
- Diplôme (duration of eight semesters or more), Maîtrise, Magistère or Ingénieur
- A bachelor's degree with honors, or a bachelor's degree requiring at least four years
- Diplom, Staatsexamen or Staatsprufung, Magister Artium/ Master or degree from higher education institution requiring at least eight semesters
- India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal
- BS. Agr., BS. Hort., B.Tech., B.Engr., B.Med., B.Vet. Med., B.Arch., BFA.; master's degree in other fields
- Mexico/Latin America
- Licenciado/Licenciatura, Professional title or higher degree
Successful applicants generally rank high in their graduating classes and have excellent test scores. Not all well-qualified applicants may be offered admission due to the limited number of spaces available in highly competitive programs. Official offers of admission are made only by the Dean of Graduate Studies.
Applying for Admission
Application for admission to graduate study at UC Davis includes a completed online Application for Admission for International Students, a $110 application fee, transcripts of all college work, a Statement of Purpose, and a Personal History Statement. Some programs have additional requirements such as Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, examples of written work, or résumé. Some programs have earlier deadlines than that of Graduate Studies. In these cases, your application must be received no later than the date specified by the program concerned. Consult the complete listing of all graduate degree programs offered at UC Davis for information about specific deadlines and requirements.
It is your responsibility to ensure your application meets published deadlines, which are available on the online application or from the Graduate Studies Web page Programs of Study.
The UC Davis General Catalog is now available online, or for purchase through the Office of the Registrar.
International Academic Records
UC Davis graduate programs are no longer accepting paper transcripts as a part of the application process. Instead, all applicants must upload PDF versions of their transcripts or academic records directly to our system. For details about that process and what documents are required for applicants who have attended international colleges and universities, visit our Submitting Your Transcripts and Academic Records page.
If you are selected for admission to a graduate program at UC Davis, you will be required to submit official paper academic records to Graduate Studies. Official records are defined as original documents issued by the institution which bear the actual signature of the registrar and the seal of the issuing institution and, if your original documents are not in English, accompanied by certified English translations. You will receive additional instructions for providing these documents if you are selected for admission.
English Language Requirement
Applicants whose native language or language of instruction is not English must take the TOEFL or IELTS.
However, if you have earned or will be earning a degree from a regionally accredited U.S. university, you are *not* required to take the TOEFL or IELTS.
UC Davis does not offer conditional admission for applicants who have not earned a passing TOEFL/IELTS score. The score report is required before application processing can be completed. The English language testing requirement is waived for applicants from the following countries:
- New Zealand
- Canada (excluding Quebec)
- Sierra Leone
- United Kingdom
- South Africa
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is given by Educational Testing Service (ETS). Their website address is http://www.ets.org/toefl.
Official score reports must be sent from ETS electronically to UC Davis (our Institution Code is 4834). UC Davis will not accept unofficial score reports or score reports sent directly to us by the applicant.
The minimum scores required for admission to graduate study at UC Davis are:
- 550 on the TOEFL paper-based test (PBT), or
- 80 on the TOEFL internet-based test (iBT)
TOEFL scores expire after two years. Scores that are older than two years will not be accepted by UC Davis.
Although an 80 iBT score is the minimum required for admission, additional English language testing may be required of admitted students with iBT scores below 104. Please go to http://iae.ucdavis.edu for details. Students with iBT scores of 104 or below will be required to take an additional ESL examination once they start their graduate program here to determine their level of English ability and whether they would benefit from additional ESL coursework at UC Davis.
For answers to additional questions regarding TOEFL scores, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.
As an alternative to the TOEFL, you may submit scores from the Academic Modules of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) designed by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate and administered by the British Council worldwide. Their website address is http://www.ielts.org.
Official paper score reports must be sent by mail directly from the IELTS testing center to the graduate program to which you are applying. UC Davis does not receive electronic score reports for the IELTS and will not accept unofficial score reports or score reports sent directly to us by the applicant. Visit the graduate program's website to find the mailing address where your IELTS score should be sent. Do not send IELTS scores to Graduate Studies - they must be sent to the specific graduate program.
- The minimum overall band score required for admission to graduate study at UC Davis is 7.0 on a 9-point scale.
IELTS scores expire after two years. Scores that are older than two years will not be accepted by UC Davis.
For answers to additional questions regarding IELTS scores, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.
To apply for a visa, take your passport and Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20 or DS-2019, usually issued by UC Davis Services for International Students and Scholars after you are admitted by Graduate Studies), plus proof of adequate financial resources for your studies and living expenses to a U.S. Consulate or Embassy. The types of visas available to you are the F-1 student visa and the J-1 Exchange Visitor visa.
The F-1 student visa is ordinarily given to individuals qualified to pursue a full course of study at an academic institution which is authorized to admit international students. The J-1 visa is sometimes given to students who are supported substantially by funding from any source other than personal or family funds, for example the U.S. Government, the students home government or an international organization. UC Davis Services for International Student and Scholars (SISS) can advise you on the appropriate visa for you.
Graduate students in F-1 or J-1 status must carry a minimum of 12 units or the equivalent of a full course of study as certified by the Dean of Graduate Studies. Non-immigrant students are not permitted to work outside the University without work authorization from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. They are only allowed to work within the University on a part-time basis.
Before a U.S. Consul will grant a visa, you must prove that you will have sufficient financial resources to meet all your expenses while studying in the United States. You must show documented evidence of the source of your funds and guarantee that you will receive them while at UC Davis. Unless you show written evidence of having resources for your entire degree program, you will not be granted a student visa.
International students are eligible for certain fellowships, scholarships, or grants during their first year at UC Davis. Please check the Student Financial Support section for details. There is no waiver of nonresident tuition or fees. However, graduate programs may offer merit-based Nonresident Tuition Fellowships to international students. Graduate programs may offer academic research or teaching appointments to graduate students their first year; however, there is no certainty that such appointments will be available in subsequent years. Unless you receive a definite offer of appointment or support in writing from the University, you must plan to pay your own expenses for the entire length of your degree program. Students who arrive in Davis without adequate financial resources may be unable to complete their degree programs.
International students who receive a Nonresident Tuition Fellowship should read carefully the new policy on reduction of nonresident tuition for doctoral graduate students who have advanced to candidacy.
Teaching and Research Assistantships. To apply for appointment as a teaching or research assistant, contact the department in which you wish to study or work at the same time you apply for admission to UC Davis. An application for an assistantship is separate and in addition to the application for admission. Earnings from assistantship appointments are subject to United States and California income taxes. Students appointed to assistantships should be aware that their first paychecks would be received five weeks after the beginning of the quarter. Therefore, plans should be made to pay initial expenses, including nonresident tuition, from your own resources.
Living Expenses. Graduate Student expenses are detailed at the Financial Aid site. Travel expenses to and from the University are NOT included in these costs. It is critically important that you obtain an adequate, reliable, continuing source of funding before you come to the U.S. to study.
Total expenses typically increase 5%-10% per year and are subject to change without notice.
Every student is responsible for having sufficient funds for initial expenses. You will need the amount of your tuition and fees, plus the initial down payment for housing (landlords often ask for the first and last month's rent plus a security deposit), books, etc. Students should have with them at least $5,000 in traveler’s checks (with $500 in small denominations) rather than in a bank draft. Davis banks will hold your bank draft for up to two weeks before the money is released for your use. An alternative, and cheaper, method is to use an automated teller machine (ATM), but students should check compatibility and maximum daily allowances before relying solely on this method of retrieving funds.
Health insurance is a mandatory UC Davis enrollment requirement, and upon registration, students are automatically enrolled into the University of California Student Health Insurance Plan (UC SHIP).
UC SHIP is a major medical insurance plan administered by Student Health and Counseling Services. Primary care services at Student Health and Counseling Services complement the healthcare resources of UC SHIP for UC SHIP enrollees. UC SHIP also includes dental coverage provided by Delta Dental.
You may opt out of UC SHIP if you have comparable health insurance coverage. You may complete or download the waiver application online. Please note that you must file a waiver application each year.
Student Health and Counseling Services' plans are supported by student fees to provide low student rates for primary healthcare services independent of UC SHIP. All registered students may use the healthcare services whether or not they waive UC SHIP enrollment.
Community housing cannot be reserved in advance of your arrival. You are advised to arrive in Davis two to four weeks before the quarter begins in order to find off-campus housing. Housing on campus is limited. If you wish to apply for on-campus housing, request an application from the UC Davis Student Housing Office, and be certain to observe the deadline dates.
International Student Services
The office of UC Davis Services for international Students and Scholars (SISS) assists international students in their pre-arrival preparation and issues the I-20 or DS 2019 document needed towards obtaining your student visa. They also provide immigration advice, financial information, general advising and counseling and host a variety of cross-cultural activities. If admitted to graduate studies at UC Davis, please go to the SISS website and access the information for newly admitted students.
For more information useful for our international students, consult the Internship and Career Center's International Resources.