Graduate Program Admissions

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General Eligibility Requirements

  • Students seeking admission to the Materials Ph.D. Program must hold a bachelor's degree or recognized equivalent (must be conferred prior to enrollment into our program) from an accredited institution in Engineering, Physical Sciences, or Mathematics. The Graduate Division will not admit applicants who already have Ph.D. degrees in science. Complete details on minimum admission requirements are on the Graduate Division Admissions website. 
  • Sufficient undergraduate training to do graduate work in your chosen field.
  • A minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.2 for Bachelors of Science degrees and and a minimum of 3.5 for Master of Science degrees. 

The Materials Graduate Program is designed primarily for doctoral education, therefore, we do no admit students seeking a terminal M.S. degree.

Academic Preparation

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. Undergraduate preparation for the Materials Ph.D. Program includes a degree in Engineering, Physical Sciences, or Mathematics, with a minimum GPA of 3.2.

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.

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 graduate 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.

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.