Graduate Program Application Process

Application Resources

Details on how to apply online

Graduate Application Online: To apply and/or to check the status of your application

Office of International Students & Scholars: Help for international students and scholars, including assistance with visa status

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Email for questions about applying 

Apply Online

Applications to UCSB graduate programs are completed online via the UCSB Graduate Division application.

Application Deadline

Applications for the Fall 2018 quarter must be submitted in complete form by December 15, 2017.

All applications received by this deadline will receive full consideration for admission and financial support. Applications received after this deadline may be considered for admission and departmental support but not for the centrally administered University fellowships. However, students should be aware that delays in submission or completion of the application beyond the deadline may result in a lower priority for admission depending on the number and quality of earlier applications. 

Please be aware that very few positions are typically available for Winter and Spring quarters.

Application Process

  1. Electronic Application to be submitted through the UCSB Graduate Division online application.
  2. Required Documents to be submitted with the application by the deadline for Fall quarter.

Because our graduate program is focused on doctoral education, we do not admit students seeking a terminal M.S. degree.

Application REquirements

The following will be uploaded to the Statements and Supplemental Documents section of the application:

  • Departmental Academic History Sheet
  • Statement of Purpose, including a discussion of why the applicant is especially interested in UCSB for his/her graduate education.
  • Statement of Personal Achievements/Contributions
  • Resume or CV

Letters of Recommendation

  • Three Letters of Recommendation (must be submitted electronically and directly by recommenders). Please select referees that can truly assess your potential for graduate education and comment on any relevant accomplishments. For example, professors or researchers in whose groups/labs you have had research experiences as an undergraduate, or who have good knowledge of your academic abilities from having you in one or more courses in your major.

​Unofficial Transcripts

  • A scanned copy of your unofficial transcripts from all post-secondary educational institutions attended submitted electronically by the application deadline. Final/Official transcripts will be required for all applicants who are admitted and have indicated their intent to enroll at UC Santa Barbara by submitting a Statement of Intent to Register (SIR). UC Santa Barbara reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admissions process, and rescind any offer of admission made if discrepancies between uploaded and official transcript(s) are found.

Other requirements include:

  1. The Graduate Record Examination (General Test only) is required for all applicants. The level of performance in the Graduate Record is an important metric in the admissions process. Official GRE test scores are valid for five years. ETS should be instructed to report scores to UCSB; institution code is 4835. In order for scores to be matched to your application, you must self-report your test information.
  2. Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The TOEFL is preferred over the IELTSYou must receive a score of at least 600 on the paper-based test (PBT) or 100 on the Internet-based test (IBT) prior to admission to UCSB. Requests for exceptions to this requirement will be considered for those students who have completed an undergraduate or graduate education at an institution whose primary language of instruction is English. Scores should be reported to UCSB; institution code is 4835. In order for scores to be matched to your application, you must self-report your test information for all exam types.
  3. The application must specify the quarter, year, and degree program (PhD) for which you are applying. Please remember that receiving an M.S. on the way to the Ph.D. is not a requirement in the UCSB Materials Department. Because our graduate program is focused on doctoral education, we do not admit students seeking a terminal M.S. degree.
  4. You must also specify the area of emphasis among those listed below that you would like to pursue as your major field. You may also indicate a second option. Please note these are areas that would eventually define your academic program. We encourage students to keep their interests broad during the application process and avoid defining their area of emphasis as a specific research topic. You may elaborate on your specific research interests in your statement of purpose: Electronic and Photonic Materials; Inorganic Materials; Macromolecular/Biomolecular Materials; or Structural Materials.

Students are generally admitted into specific areas based on the number of research openings available and the suitability of the student's background. Therefore, your input here is very important. The areas of emphasis are described in the Research section of this site and details of the academic programs are in the Graduate Program section. If you need further clarification, contact the Graduate Program Coordinator at or one of the faculty members in your area of interest.