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UC Davis offers advanced degrees in over 90 graduate programs. A student’s graduate study is guided by either departments or graduate groups. Graduate groups are composed of individual faculty members from multiple departments with similar academic interests. The group structure, used extensively at UC Davis, permits faculty to be affiliated with graduate programs in more than one discipline and offers students an interdisciplinary graduate experience that crosses the administrative boundaries of the various departments, colleges, schools, and sometimes campuses. In keeping with UC Davis' progressive spirit, the group structure also allows for evolution of established degree programs and facilitates the development of new ones. More than half of the graduate programs at UC Davis are organized as graduate groups. You will find a complete list of graduate degrees under Degrees Offered By UC Davis.
Graduate study is governed by the Graduate Council, a standing committee of the Davis Division of the Academic Senate and by the dean of Graduate Studies. A universitywide Coordinating Committee on Graduate Affairs determines general policies and establishes common procedures.
Preparing for an Advanced Degree
Admission to a graduate program at the University of California requires a bachelor's degree that is comparable in quality to a degree from the University of California both in distribution of academic subject matter and in scholarly achievement.
The primary requirement for admission to any program is evidence of intellectual achievement and promise. Your application will be evaluated first on the basis of your transcript to assure that your qualifications meet minimum standards as set by the university and UC Davis Graduate Council. Generally, you must have a minimum B average in undergraduate course work from an institution of acceptable standing to be considered for admission. UC Davis also requires a Statement of Purpose and a Personal History Statement from each applicant. International applicants must demonstrate the ability to understand and use English by submitting TOEFL or IELTS scores. Graduate programs frequently require submission of additional materials such as Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, letters of recommendation, and portfolios or examples of written work to assist in selecting from among many highly qualified applicants. Admission to graduate study is limited by the number of spaces available in major programs. Not all eligible applicants can be admitted.
UC Davis is committed to maintaining excellence, preserving fairness and promoting diversity in its student population. In addition to an applicant's past scholastic achievement, admissions criteria include an applicant's potential for service in the field, keeping in mind the needs of our society and of underrepresented and disadvantaged communities. Evaluation criteria also attempt to take into account any prior disadvantages applicants have overcome that may bear on future achievements and services.
Applying for Admission
To apply for admission, please go online to http://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu.
Each program to which you apply must receive a complete application, including the application fee of $80 (U.S.) or $100 (international).
To apply for fellowship, please go online to http://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu.
For application deadlines, please go to the Office of Graduate Studies website at http://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/prospective/admissiondeadlines.cfm. It is also recommended that you check the website of the program to which you are applying for their application deadlines. No applications are accepted after the published program-specific deadline..
Applications are accepted for fall quarter only. You may apply for admission to graduate study at http://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu. Transcripts of all your undergraduate and previous graduate study, along with other supporting documents (if required), must be sent via mail to your graduate major program office.
You should begin the application process as early as possible in the academic year since many programs have early deadlines. In addition, your chances for appointment as a teaching assistant or graduate student researcher, or of receiving financial support, are enhanced by applying early. The application deadlines are available on the Internet as noted above, unless otherwise indicated by the program, or until your proposed graduate program is full, whichever occurs first.
The Graduate Admissions Advisory Committee for the program will submit its recommendation and evaluation to the Office of Graduate Studies; final admission decisions rest with the dean of Graduate Studies. This approval procedure applies to all applicants, including those seeking a transfer to UC Davis from another UC campus.
Applications for the degrees of Juris Doctor, Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Master of Business Administration, Master of Professional Accountancy, and Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine must be filed directly with the appropriate professional school.
For deadline to file applications for readmission to graduate status with the Office of Graduate Studies, please go to the Graduate Studies website at http://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/prospective/admissiondeadlines.cfm.
If you were formerly registered at UC Davis as a graduate student and wish to return to pursue the same degree objective in the same major, you must apply for readmission and pay the readmission application fee of $70. The readmission application must be filed with the Office of Graduate Studies by May 31 (or earlier if the program specifies an earlier date). Readmission to quarters other than fall is granted on an exception basis by special petition to the Associate Dean for Graduate Students. If you are seeking to return to a new degree program and/or new major, you must apply for admission along with other new applicants. Apply at http://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu. Transcripts of all work undertaken since you were last registered in graduate status at UC Davis must be presented with the application. There is no assurance of reentry, as applicants for readmission will be considered in competition with other applicants for the program.
Assessment of a foreign degree is based on the characteristics of the national system of education, the type of institution attended and the level of study completed.
If you are an international student with credentials from universities outside the U.S., you should begin the application process as early as one year in advance. Official copies or certified copies of all transcripts in English and in the original language are required before your application can be processed. Do not attempt to convert your grade point average or ranking to a U.S. equivalent. The Office of Graduate Studies will determine your eligibility using U.S. guidelines for credential evaluation. Completed online applications from international students along with the nonrefundable $100 application fee must be received by the program to which you are applying by May 31, unless your proposed program has an earlier deadline.
International students must apply at http://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu.
English Requirement. Applicants whose native language, or language of prior instruction, is not English must take the TOEFL or IELTS. The minimum score required for admission to graduate study at UC Davis is 550 for the paper test and a score of 80 based on the reading, listening, speaking and writing categories on the Internet-based test for TOEFL, or at least 7 on a 9-point scale for IELTS. TOEFL scores are valid for two years only. Some programs require higher scores; for more information, see http://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/programs. There is no conditional admission. TOFEL scores must be reported electronically by ETS. The score report is required before application processing begins. You may send a photocopy of your paper report; however, official scores are required before registration if you are admitted.
TOEFL Scores. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is given by Educational Testing Service (ETS), TOEFL Services, PO Box 6151, Princeton NJ 08541-6151, (609) 771-7100. Request information from firstname.lastname@example.org or see http://www.ets.org/toefl.
IELTS Scores. The Academic Modules of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are designed by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate and administered by the British Council worldwide. You are responsible for providing us with an official Test Report Form (TRF) of your IELTS. Remember to order the TRF when you register to take the test. To register for the IELTS, see the IELTS website at http://www.ielts.org or contact the IELTS Subject Officer, University of Cambridge, Local Examinations Syndicate, 1 Hills Road, Cambridge, CB1 2EU, United Kingdom.
Visas. If you need a certificate of eligibility for a student visa issued by UC Davis, you will be required to complete a certification of finances form showing the availability of sufficient funding for your graduate program. For complete details, see Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS).
Program of Study
New students are assigned an adviser within the appropriate department or graduate group who assists them in planning a program of study. The program will depend to some degree on the student’s undergraduate training and may include undergraduate courses to remove deficiencies. Each student must satisfy the degree requirements as stated by the program and found at http://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/programs.
Additional requirements for study may be established by the department or group and approved by the Graduate Council. These re-quirements often include a core of required courses, but considerable flexibility is permitted to suit individual needs. Undergraduates at UC Davis who plan to pursue graduate study should consult with their major adviser early in their senior year to guarantee adequate prepara-tion.
A graduate degree is awarded to recognize a student’s command of a wide range of knowledge in an academic field. It is not awarded merely for fulfillment of technical requirements, such as residence or the completion of specific courses.
Students working toward a master's degree must be registered for at least three full-time quarters. Two regular six-week Summer Sessions may count as the equivalent of one quarter. Usually, all work for the master's degree is done in residence on the UC Davis campus—with the consent of the graduate adviser and the Associate Dean for Graduate Students; however, some work taken elsewhere may be credited toward your degree. The limit for such transfer credit is 6 units from another institution, or 12 concurrent units (Open Campus enrollment), or up to one half of the unit requirement if the courses were taken at another UC campus-providing the units were not used to satisfy requirements for another degree.A master's degree may be awarded upon completion of one of two basic plans in which either a thesis or a comprehensive examination is required.
The Doctor of Philosophy degree, as granted at the University of California, means that the recipient possesses knowledge of a broad field of learning and has given evidence of distinguished attainment in that field; it is a warrant of critical ability and powers of imagination and synthesis. It means, too, that the candidate has presented a dissertation containing an original contribution to the knowledge in the chosen field of study.
Students working toward a doctorate must be registered for a minimum of six full-time quarters. Experience indicates that it takes considerably longer than this to complete a degree program. Two consecutive regular Summer Sessions may count as the equivalent of one regular quarter.
There is no university unit requirement for the doctoral degree. However, individual programs have course requirements that must be completed before admission to the Qualifying Examination.
Graduate students in certain doctoral programs may participate in a Designated Emphasis, a specialization that might include a new method of inquiry or an important field of application that is related to two or more existing doctoral programs. The Designated Emphasis is awarded in conjunction with the doctoral degree and is signified by a transcript designation; for example, “Ph.D. in History with a Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory.” Programs approved as Designated Emphases include African American and African Studies, Biology of Vector-borne Diseases, Biophotonics, Biotechnology, Classics and Classical Receptions, Critical Theory; Feminist Theory and Research; International and Community Nutrition; Native American Studies; Organism-Environment Interaction; Reproductive Biology; Second Language Acquisition; Stem and Progenitor Cells; Studies in Performance and Practice; Translational Research; and Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition Studies.
Intercampus Exchange Program
A graduate student registered on any campus of the university may become an intercampus exchange student with the approval of the graduate adviser, the chairperson of the department or group on the host campus and the dean of Graduate Studies on both the home and the host campuses.
Application forms may be obtained from the Office of Graduate Studies website (http://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu) and must be submitted five weeks before the beginning of the quarter in which you wish to participate in the program. Petitions received after the first day of the quarter will not be processed.
Fellowships, Assistantships and Loans
Financial support for graduate study at UC Davis is available in several forms: teaching and research assistantships, financial aid and fellowships/scholarships. For more information, see http://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/ssupport.
Financial aid is awarded on the basis of demonstrated financial need and is administered by the Financial Aid Office. Federal financial aid includes student loans, grants and work-study funding. You may apply for financial aid before you have been admitted. To be considered for financial aid, or for any awards based on financial need, you must file a “Free Application for Federal Student Aid” (FAFSA), at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov no later than March 2, prior to the fall quarter enrollment. This form, submitted directly to the Federal Student Aid Program Office, Iowa City, IA, is used to determine financial need only. Contact the Graduate Financial Aid Office for information regarding loans, grants and work-study at http://financialaid.ucdavis.edu/graduate.
Graduate fellowships are awarded primarily on the basis of scholarly accomplishment and promise of outstanding academic and professional achievement. Fellowship awards can include a stipend, fees and/or nonresident tuition. Considered in evaluations are the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, undergraduate and graduate grade point averages, academic transcripts, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation and other documentation such as publications or awards. The minimum cumulative undergraduate or graduate grade point average required for a stipend, nonresident tuition fellowships or in-state fee award is 3.000 (A=4.000). U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible for nonresident tuition fellowships for their first three quarters at UC Davis only. New international students may be awarded nonresident tuition fellowships, in addition to some stipend fellowships, in their first three quarters.
To apply for fellowship, go online to http://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu.
For fellowship application deadlines, please go to the Office of Graduate Studies website at http://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/prospective/admissiondeadlines.cfm. It is also recommended that you check the website of the program to which you are applying for their fellowship application deadline.
Graduate Academic Certificate Program
A Graduate Academic Certificate (GAC) program is a structured sequence of courses and requirements that focus on a specialty or area of expertise not offered by a regular graduate degree program. GACs are administered by a UC Davis instructional unit (professional school, department, graduate group or a designated emphasis program) and are an additional sequence of training and expertise for graduate students enrolled in a degree program.
GACs consist of a minimum of 12 units of graduate level instruction and are recognized by transcript notation and an official certificate issued by UC Davis with the gold seal of the University of California. GAC programs include Air Quality and Health, Conservation Management, Development Practice, and Second Language Acquisition. For more information, see http://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/programs/GACs.html.
Graduate Certificate Program for Engineers
For engineers who already have a degree, the College of Engineering offers Graduate Certificate Programs in various fields of Engineering. The certificate programs consist of course work in selected engineering subjects and require fewer units than the degree programs. The purpose of the Graduate Certificate Program is to provide practicing engineers with an opportunity to develop additional expertise in specific areas and to explore new fields of technical interest.
General requirements for the programs are:
Further information on the Graduate Certificate Programs may be found within the graduate programs of the College of Engineering; see http://engineering.ucdavis.edu/graduate.
Seminar in College Teaching
Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
The Seminar on College Teaching introduces graduate students to the principles and methods of designing and delivering college-level instruction. The seminar deals with a broad range of skills and issues involved in helping college students learn, including classroom presentations, planning discussions, facilitating active learning, evaluating student learning and employing effective class management strategies.
Participants meet for weekly two-hour sessions. Participants select and complete several assignments, such as developing a syllabus, preparing a lesson plan, investigating an ethical issue related to teaching, creating a teaching blog, or writing a teaching philosophy statement. Readings from various sources complete the seminar experience.
Participants who attend every session and fulfill the required brief assignments in a satisfactory manner receive a certificate of completion that is appropriate to note in a curriculum vitae.
Graduate Student Deadlines*
* Deadlines are subject to change without notice.
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Updated: January 29, 2013 3:25 PM