How to Apply

Two graduate students talking in the Chemistry Building breezeway

How to Apply

All applications are administered through Graduate Studies. To start or return to an application, please go to their Application Management site HERE

APPLICATION DEADLINE: December 1, 2023 at 11:59pm PST 

Application Fee Waiver Program

Option 1: Application fee is waived for participants of select graduate preparation programs (see below for details). 

Option 2: If you were not a participant in a select graduate preparation program, but you can demonstrate need for a fee waiver due to financial hardship, please submit a Pre-Application by November 1 (see below for details). A small number of fee waivers will be granted to excellent candidates who can demonstrate a clear need for a fee waiver. If selected, full applications must still be submitted by December 1.

If you have questions regarding the application or applying for our program, please refer to the information below and our Frequently Asked Questions page. You may also contact our Graduate Program Manager.

NOTE: If you are interested in the M.S. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, this is a separate degree program with additional admission requirements. Furthermore, students in this program are not offered financial support with admission.

What We are Looking for in a Candidate

Our faculty admissions committee uses holistic review practices to review each and every application we receive. Holistic review means that we evaluate the application as a whole rather than relying on any single metric. Our ultimate goal is to determine the likelihood that the applicant will succeed in our program. Specifically, we look for applicants who demonstrate a strong intellect, academic creativity, preparation for an advanced degree in chemistry, research interests that align with those of our faculty, and motivation to perform scientific research.  Please ensure that your candidate statement and letters of recommendation address experiences and attributes that speak to your potential to perform cutting-edge research in the chemical sciences.

Required Documentation

  • Transcripts
    We require academic records for 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. See Submitting Your Transcripts for more details. (Current or former UC Davis students do not need to order UC Davis transcripts, with the exception of any UC Davis Extension coursework.)
  • Official TOEFL scores (international students who are not exempted)
    • Institution Code: 4834
  • Two Personal Statements
    These are opportunities to highlight your undergraduate research experience and demonstrate your maturity and motivation for graduate study. See Statement of Purpose & Personal History and Diversity Statement for more details.
  • Prior Experience
    Please identify in this section (in this order):
    • Prior research advisers
    • Provide rationale for any pending/future coursework outlined in "Pending and Future Courses" section
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
    You will be asked to list the names and email addresses of the three individuals you have chosen to recommend you for admission, and they will receive instructions for uploading a letter.
  • Noteworthy Academic Achievements
    Please identify (in this order):
    • Any published research
    • Publications in preparation
    • Publications you participated in

Educational Prerequisites

  • A B.S. or B.A. in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics (for the Chemical Physics emphasis) or related undergraduate STEM major.
  • Minimum 3.0/4.0 undergraduate cumulative GPA, with a greater emphasis on your performance in your major courses.
  • Minimum TOEFL iBT score of 100 or equivalent (international students only who are not exempted).

English Requirement for International Students

International students from countries where English is not the native language are required to submit TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores to demonstrate English proficiency. Scores are valid for up to two years after the testing date. You are exempt only if you have earned a degree from a university where English is the sole and primary language of instruction. If you would like to check your school's language of instruction, please see the World Higher Education Database:

Application Fee Waivers

Option 1. For participants of Graduate Preparation Programs

Application fees are waived for applicants who have participated in or are affiliated with one or more of the Graduate Preparation Programs listed below.  Applicants who are affiliated with these programs are required to indicate their participation on the application AND must provide the name and contact information of their program coordinator in the "Other Information" section of the online application system. The application fee waiver will be applied immediately upon submission. Confirmation of the applicant's program participation takes place during application review.

  • AGEP (Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate)
  • BUILD (BUilding Infrastructure Leading to Diversity - NIH)
  • Cal-Bridge Scholars
  • CAMP (California Alliance for Minority Participation)
  • Envision UC Davis program participants
  • Gates Millennium Scholars
  • GEM (National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science)
  • Guardian Scholars Program (or if you have ever been in foster care)
  • HSI Pathways to the Professoriate
  • IMSD (Initiative for Maximizing Student Development - NIH)
  • IRT (Institute for Recruitment of Teachers)
  • LSAMP (Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation)
  • MARC (Minority Access to Research Careers - NIH)
  • MBRS (Minority Biomedical Research Support)
  • McNair Scholars
  • MMUF (Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship)
  • NIH Bridges to the Baccalaureate
  • NIH Bridges to the Doctorate
  • PREP (Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program - NIH)
  • RISE (Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement - NIH)
  • Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar (CSU)
  • UC Davis AB540 and Undocumented Student Center Mentorship & Professional Development (MPD)
  • UC Davis College of Engineering Equity Program participants
  • UC-HBCU Initiative Summer Research Program
  • UC LEADS (Leadership Excellence through Advanced Degrees)
  • UCDGAP (Graduate Admissions Pathways)

Option 2. For excellent candidates who can demonstrate financial need and were not affiliated with a Graduate Preparation program.

The pre-application for a fee waiver can be found here.