Research Requirements

When to Apply to UCLA Grad Programs

Most departments and schools have deadlines in November and early December for the following Fall term (nearly a year in advance).

Be sure to consult your specific UCLA graduate program for the specific deadline for your proposed major. Applications to some programs may be considered if received after a program’s stated deadline, provided that the enrollment limitations have not been exceeded.  Fellowships and other financial support depend on availability of funds.

If you are considering trying to apply after a deadline, consult the program’s website for further information. Any extensions of deadlines will be prominently posted on the program website.

How to Apply

The UCLA application for graduate admission should be used to apply for all programs with the exception of the M.D. in Medicine, the J.D. and L.L.M. in Law, the D.D.S. in Dentistry, and M.B.A. and M.F.E. programs in the Anderson Graduate School of Management, which have separate admission application processes.

University regulations do not permit an applicant to apply to more than one major, with the exception of already-established concurrent or articulated degrees.

Please decide which of our programs is most appropriate for you prior to submitting an application. Only one application can be considered.

Application Types

New

If you are applying to UCLA as a graduate student for the first time, or if you have applied before but were not admitted, complete all parts of the application. The $120.00 (for U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents) or $140.00 (for all other applicants) application fee must be submitted online by credit or debit card before the application can be processed.

Renewal

If you filed an application for graduate admission at UCLA within the last year and were admitted but did not register, be sure to select Renewal from the dropdown menu at Application Type in the application.  Submit only the application, and any additional or updated information or records. One renewal of application is accepted without the application fee.

After the first renewal the application fee must be submitted with each subsequent application. If you applied and were admitted more than one year ago, you must submit a new application, the application fee, and all required materials.

Readmission

If you have ever registered as a graduate student at UCLA, whether you completed a graduate program or not, complete all parts of the application. The application fee must be submitted with the application.

Formal application for readmission is not required of a student returning from an official leave of absence. If you are currently registered as a graduate student at UCLA, do not proceed with the application.  Instead, please contact your Student Affairs Officer to submit a Graduate Petition for Change of Major/Classification.

Readmission with Departmental Recommendation

If you are returning to your graduate program to take an examination or to file a thesis or dissertation, and you have already spoken to your chair about your plans, select Readmit w Dept Rec.

Education Abroad Program

If you are applying to UCLA as an Education Abroad Program reciprocity visitor, be sure to select EAP from the dropdown menu at Application Type in the application.  Complete all parts of the application.

Application Fees

$120.00: U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents

$140.00: All other applicants

Applicants to the Global Executive MBA for Asia Pacific, Master of Financial Engineering and Master of Science in Business Analytics programs pay an application fee of $200.00.

The application fee is devoted to the administrative cost of processing all applications received, and is not refundable under any circumstances, regardless of the outcome, the date of filing, time of review, or if, for whatever the reason, the application is withdrawn.

Application Fees, Fee Deferrals and Fee Waivers

Fee Deferrals

Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship Program (PPIA) Applicants

Applicants who are sponsored by the Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship Program are eligible for a deferral of the application fee. In the application, on the Plans for Graduate Study page, select PPIA under Program Participation. In the Supporting Documents Upload section of the application, upload a letter from the program officer verifying sponsorship.

Fee Waivers

Waivers of the $120.00 application fee are available for applicants who a) participate(d) in one of these programs or b) demonstrate financial need as described below.

Program Participation

Participants in the following programs are eligible for fee waivers. In the application, on the Plans for Graduate Study page, select one or more of the programs in which you participated and upload a letter from the program director confirming your participation.

American Political Science Association Ralph Bunche Summer Institute Scholars
California Alliance for Minority Participation (CAMP)

California State University (CSU) Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars Program
Florida A&M University Graduate Feeder Scholars Program (FAMU GFSP)
Gates Millennium Scholars
Guardian Scholars

Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP)
McNair Scholars
Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC)
Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program (MMUF)

Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS)
Medical Scientist Training Program UCLA (MSTP)
National GEM Consortium
NIH-BUILD
NIH-PREP
Research Initiative for Science Enhancement (MBRS RISE)
STAR UCLA (STAR)

Summer Programs for Undergraduate Research (SPUR)
UC- HBCU Initiative
UC Leadership through Advanced Degrees (UC LEADS)

Need-based Fee Waivers

Waivers of UCLA’s application fee are available for U.S. citizens, Permanent Residents and others who demonstrate financial need by meeting the following criteria:

  • They are enrolled in a college or university and submit proof of receiving need-based financial aid,
  • or they meet income limits and submit their U.S. income tax form (with Social Security number redacted).

If you are currently enrolled in a college or university, and receiving need-based financial aid (if not a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident, this financial aid must come from the state of California):

  • Submit a statement from your Financial Aid officer confirming all of the above and stating that payment of UCLA’s $120.00 application fee would be a financial hardship.

If the Financial Aid officer cannot provide such a statement, submit a statement from the Registrar confirming current registration and enrollment and the most recent FAFSA Expected Family Contribution or similar financial aid document.

If you meet all of these criteria, select Fee Waiver in the application, upload the statement from your Financial Aid officer and submit the application.

If you are not currently enrolled in a college or university:

Your adjusted gross income (or that of your family) as given on your U.S. Federal Income Tax return must be less than the figure in the table below, based on the size of your family (including yourself).

  • Submit a copy of your 2020 U.S. Federal Income Tax return. Provide either your own form 1040, if you are independent, or a copy of your parent’s or guardian’s 2020 Federal Income Tax return, if listed as a dependent.

Redact or block out all U.S. Social Security numbers before submitting the document!  If a U.S. Social Security number is visible on the document, the UCLA Graduate Division cannot accept it.

Income limits for applicants not currently enrolled in a college or university:

Family Size           Family Income
(inc. applicant)    (maximum adjusted gross income on U.S. tax return

1

2

3

4

5

$23,828

$32,227

$40,626

$49,025

$57,424

If you meet these criteria, select Fee Waiver in the application, redact U.S. Social Security numbers wherever they appear in your income tax return, and upload the tax return, and submit the application.

Statement of Purpose

Your statement of purpose will be used in conjunction with your application for consideration for graduate admission and financial support. Specific requirements (individual majors may have 500, 1,000 or 1,500 word limits; this information is in the application and on the each program’s website) and prompts are listed in the application and include

  • What is your purpose in applying for graduate study in your specified degree program? Describe your area(s) of interest, including any subfield(s) or interdisciplinary interests.
  • What experiences have prepared you for advanced study or research in this degree program? What relevant skills have you gained from these experiences? Have your experiences led to specific or tangible outcomes that would support your potential to contribute to this field?
  • What additional information about your past experience may aid the selection committee in evaluating your preparation and aptitude for graduate study at UCLA?
  • Why is the UCLA graduate program to which you are applying is the best place for you to pursue your academic goals? If you are applying for a research master’s or doctoral program, we encourage you to indicate specific research interests and potential faculty mentors.
  • What are your plans for your career after earning this degree?

Personal Statement

The Personal Statement is an opportunity for you to provide additional information that may aid the selection committee in evaluating your preparation and aptitude for graduate study at UCLA. It will also be used to consider candidates for the Cota-Robles & GOFP fellowships. To be considered for a Cota-Robles or Graduate Opportunity fellowship, be sure to describe your contributions to diversity. The University of California Diversity Statement can be found online.

Instructions are provided in the application and include a 500 words limit (approximately 1-page, single spaced, using 1-inch margins and 12-point font) as well as these or other prompts:

  • Are there educational, personal, cultural, economic, or social experiences, not described in your Statement of Purpose, that have shaped your academic journey? If so, how? Have any of these experiences provided unique perspective(s) that you would contribute to your program, field or profession?
  • Describe challenge(s) or barriers that you have faced in your pursuit of higher education. What motivated you to persist, and how did you overcome them? What is the evidence of your persistence, progress or success?
  • How have your life experiences and educational background informed your understanding of the barriers facing groups that are underrepresented in higher education?
  • How have you been actively engaged (e.g., through participation, employment, service, teaching or other activities) in programs or activities focused on increasing participation by groups that have been historically underrepresented in higher education?
  • How do you intend to engage in scholarly discourse, research, teaching, creative efforts, and/or community engagement during your graduate program that have the potential to advance diversity and equal opportunity in higher education?
  • How do you see yourself contributing to diversity in your profession after you earn your advanced degree at UCLA?

Criteria for Admission

The faculty of each graduate program evaluate applicants who meet the minimum requirements and recommend a selection from among them. The number of qualified applicants to graduate programs at UCLA far exceeds the number of students who can be admitted.

The general requirement for admission for a U.S. student is a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, comparable in standard and content to a bachelor’s degree from the University of California. An overall scholastic average of B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better is required, or its equivalent if the letter grade system is not used, and in any post-baccalaureate study.

Degrees which are not considered comparable include those granted on the basis of work completed at institutions which are not fully accredited and those granted on the basis of nonacademic prior learning, test scores, or other than organized supervised coursework in academic subjects.

An international student whose post-secondary education is completed outside of the U.S. is expected to hold a degree representing completion of at least four years of study with above average/very good scholarship from a university or university-level institution.

Application Requirements

Applicants, including U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents, who do not hold a bachelor’s or higher degree from a university located in the United States or in another country in which English is both the spoken language of daily life and the medium of instruction, or who have not completed at least two years of full-time study at such an institution, please consult English Requirements.

Please review:

Review and Notification

Submitted application materials are reviewed by faculty admissions committees in each major program who select the best qualified applicants. These admissions committees base recommendations for admission upon a careful comparison of applications, and this may take considerable time. Diversity, Inclusion and Admissions, therefore, cannot guarantee that the applicant will receive a response, favorable or unfavorable, on or before any specific date. The applicant, moreover, should not construe a lack of response as an intention to act favorably on the application.

If you receive an email about a discrepancy, please don’t worry. If you applied to UCLA before (or were an employee or a student), there may be a mismatch between your name or other personal data on the application and what is already in UCLA’s database. Many of these discrepancies (such as a name change) are resolved by Graduate Division staff without further need for communication, and the situation does not impede review of your application by the program. If you receive the discrepancy email a second time, please respond using the contact information in the email.

Notification

When a decision is made, applicants receive an email, directing them to the Graduate Division’s application site and the option Decision Status. Applicants sign in using the email address used to create their application account (not the User Name) and their application password to read the official decision letter.

If admitted, the conditions of admission and information and instructions concerning registration (via a link to the Statement of Intent to Register and a Statement of Legal Residence) will be included as part of the offer of admission letter, which can be printed out from the Graduate Division site. (International applicants: please read Visa Procedures/Financial Verification.)

Only official notification from the dean of the Graduate Division constitutes approval of admission.

Regarding April 15th

Although sometimes casually referred to as such, April 15th is not a deadline for graduate decision notification. Rather it is the date in the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) Resolution before which no signatory institution may pressure an admitted applicant to accept an offer of admission with funding.

CGS implemented this date to insure that admitted applicants have the opportunity to consider multiple offers of funding, instead of feeling the need to grab the first offer presented.  This is not a deadline by which institutions must reply to all applicants; CGS specifies that “Programs and/or institutions are free to make offers of admission and of financial support after April 15 if they choose to do so.”

If you wish to read more about the Council of Graduate Schools resolution re: April 15th.

As indicated above, and because of the decentralized nature of the graduate admissions process (applications are reviewed by individual faculty committees in the more than 100 academic and professional graduate majors offered), UCLA cannot guarantee a response to your application by a certain date.

Concurrent and Articulated Degree Programs

Both the concurrent and articulated degree programs have the potential of allowing the student to acquire two degrees in less time than normally required if the courses of instruction are taken in sequence.

View a list of concurrent and articulated degree programs at UCLA.

UCLA Fees and Living Expenses

Campus Resources and Information

  • Residence for Tuition Purposes
    Information about how to establish California residence for tuition purposes.
  • Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP)
    The University requires, as a condition of registration, that all graduate and professional students, including international students (on nonimmigrant visas), have medical insurance coverage that meets the University’s minimum requirements.
  • UCLA Housing
    There is a variety of both University and privately-owned housing available to UCLA graduate students. University housing consists of off-campus apartments for married, single parent and single graduate students.
  • Student Parking Information
    Student parking assignments are made on a need-based point system that considers such factors as class standing and commute distance, and favors those students who demonstrate the greatest need. If you wish to obtain an individual parking permit, you must submit a Student Parking Request form prior to the quarterly deadlines.
  • Summer Session
    The UCLA Summer Sessions offer approximately 500 undergraduate and graduate courses each summer. Up-to-date information on course offerings, policies, and fees is available on the Summer Sessions and Special Programs website by mid-January each year.
  • Disabled Student Services
    The University of California, Los Angeles actively encourages persons with disabilities to apply for admission. Federal Law (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973) prohibits the University from requesting disability related information prior to admission. However, at any time, applicants are welcome to contact the Center for Accessible Education to obtain information regarding access, programs and available services.
  • Program Requirements
    Official listing of degree requirements by program.
  • General Catalog
    UCLA online catalog.