UC Santa Barbara General CatalogUniversity of California, Santa Barbara

Requirements and Procedure

To be considered for admission to UCSB, applicants must have received a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent (with an upper-division grade point average of 3.0 or better) from an accredited university prior to the quarter for which admission is sought. Applicants apply online through the Graduate Division’s Web site at: www.graddiv.ucsb.edu under the Admissions heading.

A completed application includes:

  • An online application;
  • Applicant's statement of purpose, personal achievements/contributions and résumé or curriculum vitae with the appropriate coversheet;
  • A nonrefundable fee. (An application fee paid to another University of California campus is not valid for application to UCSB);
  • Three letters of recommendation with the appropriate coversheet from professors or others familiar with the applicant’s academic work (Electronic letters accepted. Paper submissions must be accompanied by the required cover sheet);
  • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (submitted directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to the Graduate Division, or submitted by the applicant to the Graduate Division only if an official score cannot be sent from ETS). Some departments require a score for the appropriate GRE Subject Test. UCSB’s GRE institution code is 4835. A department code is not required;
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) exam scores, taken within the past two years (if applicable);
  • Two official transcripts from each institution attended since high school or secondary school; and,
  • Any other supplemental materials required by the department or the Graduate Division.

All domestic applicants are required to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as part of the application process by March 2.  Web site: www.fafsa.ed.gov.

Admission decisions are based on the quality of the applicant’s academic degrees and record as presented in the application and supporting documents. Also contributing to the decision are evidence of preparation in the proposed field of study, work experience, and the degree to which the individual’s goals and research interests are consistent with those of the academic program and its faculty.

When applications are complete, they are submitted to faculty committees for review; recommendations of admission or denial are communicated to the Graduate Division by the academic department. Due to the large number of applications received, many well-qualified applicants cannot be admitted.