All other materials are not accepted at this time.

Online Application

  • Applications are due January 5th.
  • When are applications due?
    • Applications for all students are DUE January 5th, this means that all materials (letters of recommendation, transcripts, GRE/TOEFL scores) must be received prior to this deadline. Application material received after this deadline will not be considered and your application will be considered incomplete. We do not admit incomplete applications.
  • How much does it cost to apply?
    • $105 for domestic applicants, $125 for international applicants, see the application for payment details.
  • Can I apply for a fee waiver?
    • No, we do not offer fee waivers.
  • Will you consider applicants for Winter or Spring Quarters?
    • Applicants may only apply for Fall quarter.  If you are accepted, you may request a deferral of admission by one-three quarters. Deferral requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • When are admissions decisions made?
    • Typically we make our admissions decisions between March and May.
  • What should I write about in my Personal Statement?
    • Please describe your motivation for graduate study at UC Davis. You should describe your academic plans and research interest, your specialization within your academic field, your research experiences and your career goals.
  • What should I write about in my Personal History Statement?
    • In an essay, discuss how your personal background forms your decision to pursue a graduate degree. Please include any educational, familial, cultural, economic, or social experiences, challenges, or opportunities relevant to your academic journey; how your life experiences contribute to the social, intellectual, or cultural diversity within your chosen filed; and/or how you might serve educationally underrepresented segments of society with your degree.
  • What happens if I exceed the 4000-character limit?
    • The online system will only accept 4000-characters, so please take care to limit the length. Your application reviewers will not see anythingbeyond the 4000th character.
  • How many students typically apply to the ECE Department at UC Davis? How many are offered admission?
    • In 2014, 1160 students submitted applications to our graduate programs (398 Ph.D. and 760 M.S.). Of those, we admitted 169 (133 M.S. and 36 Ph.D.).
    • In 2013, 942 students submitted applications to our graduate programs (434 Ph.D. and 508 M.S.). Of those, we admitted 177 (116 M.S. and 61 Ph.D.).
    • In 2012, 943 students submitted applications to our graduate programs (481 Ph.D. and 384 M.S.). Of those, we admitted 175 (114 M.S. and 61 Ph.D.).
    • In 2011, 865 students submitted applications to our graduate programs (481 Ph.D. and 384 M.S.). Of those, we admitted 95 (35 M.S. and 60 Ph.D.).
    • In 2010, 781 students submitted applications to our graduate programs (455 Ph.D. and 326 M.S.). Of those, we admitted 71 (27 M.S. and 44 Ph.D.).


  • Where are your deadlines for Winter and Spring admission?
    • We only accept applications for Fall quarter admission. The deadlines are as follows:
      • January 5: To be considered for financial support, all application materials (including online application, recommendation letters, transcripts, GRE/TOEFL scores) must be submitted before this deadline. All U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or immigrants should file a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
      • June 1: If space remains available, we will consider applications until this deadline.
    • If you wish to begin during Winter or Spring quarter, you would have to apply for Fall admission. If accepted you could request to begin early. Such requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

How can I check my status online?

  • Upon submission of your application, you will receive an email with a link to your personalized tracking portal.


  • 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

Letters of Recommendation

  • How do I submit letters of recommendation?
    • Letters of Recommendation must be submitted by the referrer electronically through the online application.
  • Can I submit hard copies of letters of recommendation
    • Hard copy of letters of recommendation are no longer accepted by the ECE Department.
  • Will the recommender be notified about the letter of recommendation?
    • Yes, the online application will automatically notify the referee and provide instructions on how to submit their letter.
  • What if my recommender does not receive notification or an email?
    • Due to our new online system there have been some difficulties. There are two reasons that seem to be causing this problem, one, the referrer has a email address (not sure why this is a problem, but it appears to cause conflict) and two, the automatically generated emails are being filtered out as spam or junk mail. Please ask your referrer to check their junk mail setting so this does not happen, and you will need to contact the online application system (there is a help tab or hotline linked to the application) and request them to resend the email.


  • What are the GPA requirements?
    • A grade-point average in upper-division technical courses is expected to be at least 3.2/4.0 and in graduate courses to be at least 3.5/4.0.
  • What are the typical GPA’s of admitted ECE students?
    • Average undergraduate GPA of Ph.D. student admitted in 2012 was 3.65 (out of 4.0). In 2011 it was 3.55.
    • Average undergraduate GPA of M.S. student admitted in 2012 was 3.56 (out of 4.0). In 2011 was 3.58.
    • Average graduate (as applicable) GPA of Ph.D. students admitted in 2012 was 3.69 (out of 4.0). In 2011 it was 3.79.


  • What are the general Graduate Record Examination (GRE) requirements?
    • The minimum scores expected are 500 (new exam 163) on the verbal section and 700 (new exam 155) on the quantitative section. We do not have hard and fast cut-offs since applications are reviewed holistically.
    • Applicants who wish to be considered for fellowships or scholarships should plan to take the GRE no later than December.
  • How do I submit GRE scores?
    • Please request that ETS send official scores to: Institution code 4834; Department code 1203
  • What are the typical GRE scores of admitted ECE students?
    • Average GRE scores for all students admitted in 2012, was: Verbal 619 (new exam 153), Quantitative 794 (new exam 165), and Analytical 3.5.
    • Average GRE scores for all students admitted in 2011, was: Verbal 506 (new exam 154), Quantitative 772 (new exam 162), and Analytical 3.6.
    • Average GRE scores for all students admitted in 2010, was: Verbal 488 (new exam 154), Quantitative 768 (new exam 161), and Analytical 3.9.
    • Average GRE scores for all students admitted in 2009, was: Verbal 533 (new exam 155), Quantitative 768 (new exam 161), and Analytical 4.0.
  • How long are my GRE scores acceptable?
    • GRE scores are good for 5 years from the date of examination.


  • What are the minimum TOEFL scores required?
    • At least 550 on the paper-based test, 213 on the computer-based test, or 80 on the internet-based test. OFFICIAL scores must be sent directly from ETS.
    • In order to be eligible to apply for Teaching Assistant positions applicants, must meet one or more of the following requirements:
      • Achieving a minimum score of 26 on the Speaking Subset of the TOEFL IBT
      • Achieving a minimum score of 8 on the Speaking subset of the IELTS
      • Achieving a “Pass” on the UC Davis’s Test on English Proficiency (TOEP)
  • How can I Tell if my academic records are eligible for a TOEFL Waiver?
  • How do I apply for a TOEFL wavier?
    • TOEFL Waivers are granted during the transcript evaluation process. You do not need to submit a separate waiver application.
    • Please note that the waiver will be noted internally to the admission committee and will not be visible in your tracking portal.
  • Do I need to submit TOEFL scores?
    • Yes, if the applicant graduated from an institution in which the language of instruction was not English, you are required to submit a TOEFL score.
    • No, if the applicant received a Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree from an accredited school where the language of instruction was English, then you do not need a TOEFL score.
  • How do I submit TOEFL scores?
    • The department strongly suggests that you submit your TOEFL scores electronically, directly to UC Davis. This is the best way to ensure that your scores and your application are correctly matched.
  • What is the typical TOEFL score?
    • Due to different types of tests, we do not have an average of TOEFL score for admitted students, but typically our students meet the minimum requirements stated above.
  • What is the institution code and department code for the TOEFL?
    • Institution code 4834
      Department code 66
      How long are my TOEFL scores acceptable?
      TOEFL scores are good for 2 years from the date of examination.
  • Will you accept an IELTS score instead of a TOEFL score?
    • Yes
  • What are the minimum IELTS scores required?
    • Your most recent overall BAND score must be at least 7 on a 9-point scale.

Degree Information

  • Can I apply directly to the ECE Ph.D. program?
    • Yes, applicants intending to pursue a Ph.D. degree should apply directly to this program, even if an M.S. degree has not yet been obtained.

Fellowships & Financial Aid

  • What do I need to do to be considered for fellowships, research positions, teaching assistant positions, and other types of financial aid?
    • UC Davis recognizes necessity of financial aid in helping recruit the best students.  The top students given offers of admission to our graduate program will also be offered financial aid packages.  In order to be considered, please make sure your admission and fellowship applications (both online) are received along with ALL supplementary material by January 5th.
  • What types of financial aid do you offer?
  • Do you have fellowships for Master’s applicants?
    • ECE has limited fellowships available for Master’s applicants. The majority of ECE’s Master’s students are self-funded or apply for Teaching Assistant positions.


  • Who should I contact for further information?
    • Graduate Program Coordinator at:
  • Is it appropriate to contact faculty directly?
    • Our faculty receive a large number of inquiries about graduate programs, and may not be able to respond to your questions. Please contact with your queries to receive a prompt answer.  Learn more about our faculty here and our research efforts here.To find information on a particular research group, please click on the name of the research group here: To find information about a Graduate Program Faculty member and his/her work, please click on his/her name here: