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Graduate Admissions FAQ

Pre-Admissions Questions:


How long does it take to complete an M.S. degree? Ph.D. degree?

The Master of Science program usually takes most students two (2) calendar years.

The Doctoral program usually takes most students four to five (4 – 5) years.

For more detailed descriptions of coursework requirements please look at the Chemical Engineering Graduate Handbook under Course Requirements.

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What is the Department’s code to have official GRE scores sent?

To ensure that your official GRE scores are forwarded to the Department of Chemical Engineering, you must give ETS the Chemical Engineering department code (1001) when requesting official score reports to be sent to UC Davis (institution code – 4834).

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Does the Department require a GRE subject test or the Writing Assessment test?

Only the general GRE consisting of the verbal, quantitative, analytical writing sections is required.

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Will the Department accept computer-based GRE scores?

We accept any scores reported to us from ETS so long as they are no more than five (5) years old.

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Does the Department require applicants to contact faculty before submitting an application?


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Does the Department require applicants to list faculty in the department whose research is of interest to them?

Yes. And in your online application you will also be asked to indicate your top four (4) research areas of interest or desired areas of specialization in order of your preference.

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Where do I send transcripts?

UC Davis requires academic records from each college-level institution you have attended.  You will be instructed to upload scanned copies of your transcripts after you have submitted your online application.  For more details visit

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Where do I send the application fee?

The application fee should be paid by credit card or e-check at the time you submit your online application.

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Who needs to submit TOEFL scores?

Applicants who have earned or will be earning an undergraduate degree from a U.S. institution or an institution in which English was the sole language of instruction do not have to submit TOEFL scores. If you have earned or will be earning a Master’s degree from a U.S. institution or an institution in which English was the sole language of instruction, we will accept your old TOEFL score that you used to apply to that institution.

The minimum score required for admission is 100 on the internet-based test or 600 on the paper-based test for TOEFL. For the IELTS, we require a score of at least 7 on a 9-point scale. Please note, these requirements are higher than the minimum required by the Office of Graduate Studies. The TOEFL Institution Code for UC Davis is 4834; no departmental code is required. We strongly recommend that you schedule your TOEFL or IELTS exam no later than November, so that your scores arrive prior to the January 15th deadline. Scores should not be more than two years old.

In order to hold a teaching assistant appointment, applicants need to have achieved a 26 on the speaking portion of the internet-based TOEFL, or a score of 7.5 on the speaking portion of the IELTS. If your speaking scores are below the minimum and you are admitted, further testing upon arrival at UC Davis may be required. For more information on this requirement, please visit:

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Can I include papers I have written or a resume with my application?

Our program does not allow applicants to upload curriculum vitae, resume, and/or writing samples via the online application web site. We will not accept any of these to form part of the application. This helps to maintain equity in evaluating applications.

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When will I be notified whether I have been admitted?

You will be notified by email by the Dean of Graduate Studies that a decision has been made on your application. You can access that decision by going online to your application where you will find an “electronic letter.” You can also check the current status of your application online. Most decisions are made by April.

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Where can I find more information about being an International Student?

Further information about being an international student at UC Davis can be obtained at the Services for International Students and Scholars Office at

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Whom do I contact if I have a question that is not answered here?

Contact: Grace Woods at


Send mail to Graduate Student Affairs Officer, Department of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, UC Davis, 3001B Ghausi Hall, One Shields Avenue, Davis CA 95616, USA or call (530) 752-7952.

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