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Application/Evaluation Process

To apply, applicants use the UCSD Application for Graduate Admission. UCSD uses a web-based application (Slate). You may work on your application a bit at a time, and then submit it once it is complete. The site is secure, and your application and credit card information will remain confidential.

Applications are evaluated by the Admissions Committee (which is comprised of representatives from both the faculty and current Ph.D. students) immediately following submission, through March.

Holistic Evaluation Factors

The Admissions Committee evaluates applicants based on their past academic performance. Important factors in the holistic evaluation of an application include:

  • Nature and quality of undergraduate degree program
  • Preparation in physical sciences and mathematics
  • Previous laboratory and/or field research experience
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • Letters of Recommendation (LORs) (3)
  • CV/Resume
  • Community Involvement, Ethics, Leadership, Overcoming Adversity, Social Justice
  • Interest in program and faculty
  • Interviews
  • English Proficiency Exams (International Applicants Only) (TOEFL Code: 4836)
  • Publications (Not Required)
  • Personal Statement for addressing any impacts due to COVID-19 (Not Required)


GRE scores are not required nor taken into consideration.