How to Apply

Questions about admissions?

Please first check our Frequently Asked Questions.  Send further questions to

UCSB Graduate Division
3117 Cheadle Hall
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-2070
(805) 893-2277

Graduate Program Application Process

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.

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.

Please note: The Chemical Engineering Department ONLY accepts applications for Fall Quarter.

Deadline for Fall Quarter 2023

The deadline for all applications is December 10, 2022.

Application Process

Admissions Committee

The admissions decision is based on a comprehensive assessment of the applicant's intellectual potential and promise, involving a review of the following criteria:

  1. Applicant's undergraduate education and records (and MS education and record, if applicable)
  2. Past research experience
  3. Description of research interests at UCSB
  4. Letters of support from faculty references
  5. Standardized test scores

Financial Support

All students admitted into our Ph.D. program are guaranteed financial support that is continued throughout their studies as long as they remain in good academic standing. This includes fellowships, grants, teaching assistantships (TAs), and graduate research assistantships (GSRs). 


Due to the sheer volume of applications, we are unable to provide individual feedback on prospective applicants' portfolios and likelihoods of success. However, some excellent articles are available on the web, and include:
Choose the Right PhD Program (AIChE ChEnected)
How Not to Apply to Graduate School (Science)
Planning for Graduate Work in Chemistry (ACS)
Choosing a Graduate Program (C&EN)