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Prepare Your UC Davis Graduate School Application

It’s never too early to start preparing your graduate school application. The admissions application can be a timely process and allowing adequate time to prepare can be the key to creating a successful application. We encourage you to learn as much as you can about the admissions process before you begin your application.

Application Items to Prepare

We recommend gathering and preparing your application components well in advance of starting the application. Specifically, you’ll want to take time to:

  • Gather unofficial transcripts from all of the colleges and universities you’ve attended, even if you only took one course
  • Allow for enough time to request three letters of recommendation
  • Draft two personal essays
  • Compile any program-specific admissions requirements, such as writing samples or artistic portfolios
  • Plan for the application fee ($135 for U.S. residents or $155 for international students).
  • Take any required testing, such as the GRE or English Language Examinations, and plan for the fees associated with those tests.

Below you can find a few tips on how to successfully prepare your UC Davis application. 

Know Your Deadlines

Apply By Priority Deadline to Qualify For Fellowships

Graduate Studies administers approximately $6.6 million dollars in internal fellowships annually. At UC Davis, you must apply by your program's priority deadline to be considered for these fellowships. Don't miss out on this opportunity. We recommend you submit all of your application components, including test scores and transcripts, by the deadline. Be sure to allow enough time to meet these deadlines. 

View Application Deadlines


Gather Your Unofficial Transcripts

Transcripts are required from all college-level institutions. You may use unofficial transcripts uploaded as .pdfs for your UC Davis application. Official transcripts are only required if you are an admitted student. You must list every college-level institution you have attended in the online application, including all community colleges, study abroad coursework, etc. If your college or institution does not use the 4.0 scale, do not attempt to convert your GPA. On the application, enter your GPA just as it is on your transcript.

View Instructions for Uploading Transcripts 


Draft Your Admissions Essays

The personal history and diversity statement and the statement of purpose showcase your academic journey and passions. Once you've drafted your essays, be sure to allow enough time for revisions and feedback. Identify a few individuals to read your admissions essays, including faculty members or advisors. We also suggest seeing if your college offers any writing support or graduate school admissions advising.

View Admissions Essay Topics 


Request Letters of Recommendations 

Letters of Recommendation should be written by individuals who are familiar with your academic work and interests. As such, they can highlight your potential for success in a graduate program and contribute significantly to your admissions application. Requesting and receiving letters of recommendation can be a lengthy process. It’s important to develop relationships and establish a timeline early in your graduate school admissions process. 

Learn How to Submit Letters of Recommendations


Ready to Start Your Application?

Apply Now