Frequently Asked Questions
Welcome! Here you’ll find answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Admissions into UCI Graduate Programs. Note that these are general admissions questions and address overall campus admission requirements for graduate programs; for questions specific to your program of interest, please contact the program directly. Contact information can be found here.
Degree Programs and General Application Information
What graduate programs does UCI have?
UCI has more than 100 graduate programs
Which graduate program is right for me?
Each program has a graduate coordinator who can answer your questions. You should first visit the program website, and then contact a coordinator if you require additional information.
When can I apply?
Most programs admit for the fall quarter only. The graduate application is available in early September. Check with your program of interest if you have specific questions.
What is required to apply to UCI?
The general requirements for admission are:
- Completion of a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from a recognized institution with degree standards equivalent to those of the University of California.
- Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or its equivalent.
- Individual programs may have additional requirements. Please check with the program for their individual requirements. The general requirements to apply are:
- Most programs require official GRE test scores, however, a few do not. Refer to the program's website for requirements related to the GRE or other exams.
- Three letters of recommendation .
- Unofficial transcripts must be uploaded to the application, and official transcripts(s) from your degree granting institution will be required if you are admitted and decide to enroll at UCI.
- International applicants may have additional requirements such as English language proficiency tests.
Note: Complete your application at the earliest possible date to avoid missing critical deadlines!
Can I apply to more than one program at UCI?
Yes, you can. You will need to submit a separate online application, application fee and letters of recommendation for each program. You only need to submit test scores, such as GRE or TOEFL, once. Please note that you cannot apply to different degree levels (Master's and PhD) for the same program.
When is the application deadline?
Deadlines vary by program. Be sure to check your program deadline under the listing for your program. Students who are interested in financial support should pay particular attention to those deadlines as they are often earlier than the general application deadlines, and are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Note that a majority of PhD programs provide 5 years of financial support.
What is the difference between “The Statement of Purpose” and “Personal History”?
The "Statement of Purpose" should focus on your academic/research background and interests. The "Personal History Statement" essay should focus on your personal background and any challenges or obstacles you may have encountered in your academic journey and how you overcame them.
I would like to make a change to my online application, but I have already submitted it. What should I do?
After submission, your application cannot be changed by you or the Graduate Division staff.
Graduate Application Fee
How can I pay the application fee?
You can pay by Visa or MasterCard credit card. Checks are not accepted for payment of the application fee.
How can I get my application fee refunded?
The application fee is non-refundable.
Can I request an application fee waiver?
If you are a US citizen, legal permanent resident of the U.S., DACA/AB540, you may be eligible for a waiver. Eligibility is based on program participation, financial need or US veteran status and is determined by completion of the online graduate application. If based on information provided on the graduate application, an applicant is determined to be eligible to apply for a waiver, instructions will be presented on the application itself. This will allow you to upload your required document(s) and submit your application. Requests for fee waivers are reviewed after the graduate application has been submitted. To be considered for a fee waiver, your graduate application must be submitted 5 days before the program’s deadline or March 4, whichever comes first, except for Veterans. If your request for a waiver is denied and if you wish your application to be considered for admission, you will have to pay the application fee via credit card. Fee waivers are available for Fall quarter admissions only.
What is UCI’s minimum GRE score requirement?
There is no minimum campus GRE score requirement.
How can I have my GRE and TOEFL test scores sent to UC Irvine?
At the time you register for the test, you should list UCI as a school to receive your scores. UCI’s institution code for ETS score reporting is 4859. If you did not include UCI on the request form when you took the test, you should contact ETS to request that your scores be sent to UCI, school code 4859
Which department should I indicate on the score request form?
You do not need to include this information as ETS will send your scores electronically to UCI. Regardless of what department code you enter, your scores will be reported to UCI. See information above.
How can I have my IELTS test scores sent to UC Irvine?
You should contact the test center directly where you took the IELTS test and request that your test scores be sent electronically using the IELTS system. All IELTS test centers worldwide are able to send scores electronically to our institution.
Can I apply before taking the GRE test?
Yes, you can. On the application you will enter the date you are registered to take the test.
Do I need to take the GRE subject test, as well as the GRE General Test?
Check with the program to which you are applying to determine their requirements.
May I apply before taking an English language proficiency test like the TOEFL?
Yes, you may. On the application you should enter the date you have registered to take the test.
What are the minimum TOEFL and IELTS test score requirements for admission?
- TOEFL iBT -80
- TOEFL pBT -550
- IELTS -overall minimum score of 7 and no scores less than 6 on any individual module.
I am a Permanent Resident of the U.S. Do I need to take the TOEFL test?
Yes. Permanent Residents are not automatically waived from taking the TOEFL. I am going to complete my Bachelor’s (or Master’s) degree in the US. Do I need to take the TOEFL?
For admission purposes, if you completed your ENTIRE degree in the US, with no credit transferred from a school in a country where English is not the primary or dominant language, you do not need to take an English proficiency test.
I am an international applicant and studied at an English language university in my country. Do I need to take the TOEFL test?
If English is the primary or dominant language of your country, as recognized by UCI, not just the medium of education at your school, you will not be required to take the TOEFL or IELTS test for admissions purposes. Please note that you may be required to take an English proficiency test by your department for other purposes, such as determining eligibility to be a Teaching Assistant (TA). There are more rigorous English proficiency requirements in order to qualify for a Teaching Assistantship.
Letters of Recommendation
I sent my recommender an invitation to submit a letter, but s/he did not receive it. What should I do?
It is possible that your recommender has restrictive filtering of their e-mail. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request that the e-mail be sent to your recommender again.
My recommender is having trouble completing my online Letter of Recommendation. What should s/he do?
First, log in to your online appicaiton to make sure the recommender has received an invitation to submit a letter. If necessary, you may resend the invitation. If you're not able to determine the cause of the problem, have your recommender send an e-mail to the Graduate Division with your name, his/her name and explanation of the problem.
Can I use Interfolio?
No, Interfolio is NOT compatible with our graduate application. You will need to complete the Letter of Recommendation section and enter your recommender's names and email addresses.
Where should I have my transcripts sent after I am admitted?
Unofficial transcripts must be uploaded to the application. After you are admitted, and submitted a positive SIR, your official transcript and proof that you earned your undergraduate degree should be mailed to the address below:
University of California, Irvine
Graduate Division - Transcripts
120 Aldrich Hall
Irvine, CA 92697-3180
If you earned your degree at a U.S. institution and your school is able to securely transmit your degree posted transcript to UCI electronically, you may have the transcript sent to email@example.com.
Please note that UCI does not admit students conditionally. Provisional admission refers only to those students admitted prior to providing their final transcript showing degree conferral to the Graduate Division. Students admitted provisionally are required to provide their final transcript showing degree conferral as soon as possible after being offered admission and submission of a positive SIR (Statement of Intent to Register).
I have questions about English proficiency requirements, where can I find that information?
Please refer to FAQ section number 3, GRE/TOEFL/IELTS information.
As an international student, what academic qualifications/degree requirements are acceptable, and which records am I required to submit?
Please see the Academic Qualifications for International Students page
When and where should I send my financial documents to get my I-20 form? When and how will I receive my I-20 form?
If you are admitted, you will get information from your department about submitting financial and other documents required for the International Center at UCI to issue an I-20 (visa eligibility form). Any questions related to the I-20 should be directed to your department.
Application Status and Admission Decisions
How can I check on the status of my application?
Log in to your online application to view your status page. Please allow at least 30 days after your submit your application befor contacting the university and only do so if absolutely necessary. This will allow staff to focus on processing application decisions during the busy admissions season. You will receive an e-mail directly from your program after a decision is made. Letters will also be available on your application status page.
When can I expect to hear a decision on my application?
Each program has its own schedule for making admissions decisions. A general deadline for admission offers is April 15. Your patience is requested and greatly appreciated, as we know that waiting to hear a decision can be stressful.
Admitted Student Information
I received an admission offer from my department, but have not yet received the official offer of admission by e-mail from the Graduate Division. When can I expect to receive it?
After your program offers you admission, they will notify the Graduate Division of their offer. This process can take up to a week to 10 days. It is not necessary to contact the Graduate Division after you receive your admit letter from your program as admissions are processed in the order that they are received and the Graduate Division will contact you as soon as possible.
What is the Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) and when is the deadline to submit it?
The SIR is the means by which you indicate to UC Irvine your intention to register at UCI or not. In the official admission offer letter that you receive from the Graduate Division, you will find a link to complete the SIR electronically. You should submit your SIR as soon as possible after you make your decision and no later than April 15, assuming you have been admitted by then. If your admissions offer was after April 15, please submit your SIR as soon as possible. If your department accepts applications after April 15, you should submit your SIR no later than July 15.
What is the Statement of Legal Residence (SLR) and how can I submit it?
The Statement of Legal Residence (SLR) allows the Registrar to determine your status as Resident or non-Resident for purposes of assessing tuition and fees. After you submit your SIR, you will receive an e-mail from the Registrar with a link to complete the SLR. Please wait until you receive this e-mail before trying to submit your SLR.
Where can I find information about Student Housing?
Review the information found on the Housing website.
Students who are admitted to a Ph.D. or M.F.A. program are generally eligible for a guaranteed offer of on-campus housing if they are admitted, and respond to Housing, prior to their deadline at the beginning of May. Please refer to the website above for specific information concerning Housing, and the Graduate Guarantee.
I’m newly admitted, but I can’t enroll in classes or pay my tuition and fees. What should I do?
You will be able to enroll in classes in mid-June if you were admitted for the fall quarter, have submitted a positive SIR (Statement of Intent to Register) and completed the SLR (Statement of Legal Residence). Payment of fees (either by the student or by your department) begins in early August.
I was admitted provisionally. When and where should I send my transcript and final degree confirmation?
Please send your official degree posted transcript (from US institutions) or official final transcript and official degree certificate (for institutions outside the US) AFTER you have been admitted and submitted a positive SIR (Statement of Intent to Register). If you have not completed your degree at the time you are admitted, submit your documents as soon as they become available to:
University of California, Irvine
Graduate Division - Transcripts
120 Aldrich Hall
Irvine, CA 92697-3180
Students earning a degree from a school in the U.S. may have their degree posted transcript sent directly from the Registrar of your school to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your program may also require a final transcript with degree confirmation, so please check with them to see if you need to send a second set of documents to them.
If I graduated or am going to graduate from UCI, do I need to submit my undergraduate transcript to the Graduate Division?
Yes, ALL new graduate students are required to submit their final transcript with the degree conferral prior to enrolling in classes.
Can I defer my admission to UCI?
Yes, in many cases you can. If you have been admitted but cannot attend the quarter for which you were admitted, you may request your department to let you defer for a maximum of one year. Deferrals are at the department’s discretion and are not guaranteed. If approved, your program should notify the Graduate Division so that your admissions records can be updated. You will need to submit an SIR again using a new link that will be provided prior to registration.
I was previously enrolled as a graduate student, but was not able to complete the program. How can I reapply to complete my program?
You will need to submit a new online application and pay the application fee. If your tests scores are still valid, you do not need to resubmit them. Contact the Graduate Division to request that copies of previously submitted transcripts be sent to your program. Transcripts for any academic work done since your previous application should be uploaded to your application. Your department may request that you submit new letters of recommendation.
How can I find out about financial support?
You can find general information here.
Contact the academic program for specific information.
If you are interested in federal financial aid, information is available on the Financial Aid and Scholarships website
How much does it cost to attend graduate school at UCI?
Tuition and fees (subject to change), may be found on the University Registrar's website.
I have a question about completing the application. How can I get help?
Please reread the directions carefully. If you still have a question, send us an email.
While working on my application, I got a system error. What should I do?
Send an e-mail to the Admissions Team.
I have a question that is not answered here. Who can help me?
Send us an e-mail , and please allow 24 hours for a response.
In addition, the School of Law and the School of Medicine offer professional programs: