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Department of Physics

Graduate Education - Application Process


Deadline:  Applications received by January 15, 2016 will receive full review. Applications received by January 5, 2016 will receive priority review.

All materials need to be received by the deadline.

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

Admission Requirements for Fall 2016

An applicant for admission must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 scale).

The Online application includes the following mandatory items:

  • Statement of Purpose
  • Personal History Statement
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • GRE scores - General is required and Subject is strongly recommended (if not taken, please explain why in your personal statement)
  • TOEFL scores - International applications only
  • Transcripts from each institution you listed in your application (1 copy of each)
  • $90 fee for U.S. Applicants and $110 USD fee for International Applicants

Interested students are strongly advised to contact faculty members in their intended field of study, particularily if Condensed Matter Experiment is the primary field of interest. 

If your application is missing any of the required application materials, we cannot make an admissions decision and your application will be canceled.

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 15, 2016.

Materials to be Mailed

All portions of the applications must be submitted online. No application materials will be accepted via mail.

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).

The average percentiles for admitted students are: 74 verbal, 89 quantitative, 55 analytical writing, 62 subject.  Note that these are only guidelines as to what is considered competitive.  We consider 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 score. The university standard for minimum acceptable TOEFL score is 550 (paper based exam), 213 (computer based exam). or 80 (internet based exam). 

If admitted, an international student will also be required by the University to complete an English proficiency examination upon arrival at the university; and as a result of this exam may be required to take additional courses in the English language.

Letters of Recommendation
Letters of Recommendation must be submitted electronically through the online application. Letters submitted in hard copy will not be accepted and additional letters will also not be accepted.

Supplemental Materials
Supplemental materials such as curriculum vitae, resume and/or writing sample are not required and are not accepted. Applicants will not be allowed to upload these materials as part of the application.  They will also not be reviewed if they are mailed.

Please visit Admissions FAQs for more information.   If you additional questions aftering 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 an the on-line application, please visit Graduate Studies.