Graduate Program Admissions

Apply for Admission

Details about the graduate admissions process, timeline, and how to apply online.

Admission Requirements

Students seeking admission to graduate status at the University of California must hold a bachelor's degree or its equivalent from an institution of acceptable standing. The program of preparation should be substantially the same, both in the distribution of academic subject matter and in scholarship achievement, as the requirements for a comparable degree at the University of California. 

Academic Preparation

Undergraduate preparation for the Materials Ph.D. includes a degree in engineering, physical sciences, or mathematics, with a minimum GPA of 3.2, and strong letters of recommendation from individuals who can evaluate the applicant’s potential for graduate education and research.

Upper-division courses in several of the following topics are expected:

  • Mathematics (ordinary and partial differential equations)
  • Engineering thermodynamics
  • Organic or inorganic chemistry
  • Solid state physics
  • Physical chemistry
  • Materials science
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Solid Mechanics

Incoming students are not expected to meet all upper-division requirements, but must satisfy the requirements in mathematics and at least two other areas representing about one full year of undergraduate study. The areas that should be covered will depend on the student's chosen graduate field of study within Materials. Some deficiencies can be satisfied during the first year of graduate study by taking upper-division undergraduate courses in the new area of specialization.

Students with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree (minimum 3.2 GPA) and those with a Master of Science (M.S.) degree (minimum 3.5 GPA) are eligible to be admitted to Ph.D. status. There is no requirement of an M.S. degree to be admitted into the Ph.D. program. The department gives priority for admission to students who are interested in rigorous academic education and high quality research. 

UCSB Graduate Division Requirements

The UC Santa Barbara Graduate Division office is a central campus resource for students seeking admission for graduate degrees. Carefully review their admissions information, the academic services offered for admitted students, and financial information about fees and costs to attend UCSB as a graduate student. Applicants to UCSB gradute degree programs must meet Graduate Division requirements for admission.

Preparation for Applying

Field of Study

Applicants should become familiar with the UCSB Materials areas of research specialization and choose a field of study:

Faculty Advisor

The choice of a research advisor among the Department faculty is likely to be the most important decision a student makes during the first year of graduate study. It is necessary to devote significant thought to this choice before the end of the Fall Quarter of the first year, when the decision must be made.  

Financial Support

Read more about UCSB Materials graduate costs and financial support. The Department invites applications from keen students and offers a number of attractive fellowships and teaching and research assistantships.

Proof of financial support is required before the University can authorize issuance of the certificate of eligibility to receive a visa for international students. Refer to Graduate Division Admissions for further information.

Apply for Admission

Read details about the Materials admissions process and deadlines.

Application Evaluation

Applicants for admission are evaluated by the prospective major department and the Graduate Dean in terms of their scholastic qualifications and their preparation for the proposed field of study. The Graduate Dean makes the final decision, guided by the recommendation of the major department. The Dean may deny admission if the applicant's scholastic record is undistinguished, if preparation is judged inadequate as a foundation for advanced study, or if the department's facilities are already filled to capacity. If the undergraduate background of an otherwise qualified applicant is found to be somewhat deficient in fundamental training, the student may be admitted with the provision that certain specified undergraduate courses be completed. No credit toward an advanced degree will be allowed for such courses.