Graduate Education - Application Process


Why apply to UC Davis?

Deadline: Applications completed by January 5, 2019 will receive full review. The final application deadline is June 1, 2019, but after January 5 we review applications only if space remains available.

All materials should be received by the deadline.

Admission is for the Fall quarter only. We do not accept applications for the Winter or Spring quarters.

Admission Requirements for Fall 2019

The Online application includes the following mandatory items. Except for GRE scores, items not submitted through the online system will not be considered.

  • Statement of Purpose
  • Personal History Statement
  • 3 letters of recommendation (additional letters not allowed)
  • GRE scores - General is required and Subject is strongly recommended (if not taken, please explain why in your personal statement)
  • TOEFL scores - International applicants only
  • Transcripts from each institution you listed in your application - You will be instructed to upload scanned copies of your transcripts after you have submitted your online application. For more details visit
  • $105 fee for U.S. Applicants and $125 USD fee for International Applicants. UC Davis Graduate Studies offers application fee waivers only to applicants who have participated in or are affiliated with one or more of the following programs: Applicants who are affiliated with these programs are required to indicate their participation AND must provide a name and contact information for their program coordinator in the relevant section of the online application system to receive an application fee waiver

If your application is missing any of the required application materials, we will not be allowed to recommend admission and your application will be canceled.

Supplemental materials such as curriculum vitae, resume and/or writing sample are neither required nor accepted. Applicants will not be allowed to upload these materials as part of the application, and they will not be reviewed if they are mailed to the department.

Fellowship Application

The fellowship application must be completed and submitted electronically along with the university application for admission. We strongly recommend applicants complete the fellowship application.

The fellowship application deadline is January 5, 2019.

Eligibility Requirements

GPA Requirement

The minimum cumulative GPA required for admission to graduate study at the University of California, Davis is 3.0 on a 4.0 point scale. Students coming from universities where a GPA is not calculated are evaluated using other aspects of their file and letters bearing on class performance when available. The average GPA for students admitted into the program is 3.7.

GRE Requirement
Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical GRE scores are required of all students. Subject GRE scores are strongly recommended. If not taken, please explain why in your personal statement.

Average percentiles for admitted students are roughly: 75 verbal, 90 quantitative, 65 physics. Note that these are only guidelines as to what scores may be competitive. We evaluate each application as a whole and do not impose cutoffs.

GRE scores must be sent electronically to Physics. The institution code is 4834, major field code is 0808.

TOEFL Requirement
All international students who do not speak English as their first language, or who have not studied at an institution where English is the language of instruction, must submit an official TOEFL or IELTS score from the past two years. The university requires a minimum score of 80 (internet based TOEFL), 550 (paper TOEFL), or 7 (IELTS).

Upon arrival at the university, international students with TOEFL scores below 105 or IELTS scores of 7 may be required to complete an English proficiency examination, and as a result of this exam may be required to take additional courses in the English language.

To serve as a Teaching Assistant (TA), all students who are not US citizens must have a TOEFL speaking subscore of at least 26 or an iBT score of at least 8, or must pass one of two exams administered at UC Davis, SPEAK and TOEP. These exams may be taken upon arrival in Davis, in the weeks just before the fall quarter begins. First-year graduate students usually have TA positions. Since funding first-year students through other means is possible but more complicated, we give some admissions preference to students with TOEFL speaking subscore of at least 22, who are likely to pass the TOEP exam.

Please visit Admissions FAQs for more information. If you have additional questions after reviewing the FAQs, you can obtain information by e-mailing or by writing to:

Physics Graduate Program
Department of Physics
University of California
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616-8677

For more information about the university graduate requirements, services, and the on-line application, please visit Graduate Studies.