Fall 2025 Applications (MS & PhD) will open September 4, 2024 (09/04/24)
*the Fall 2025 Applications DEADLINE (PhD & MS) will be: Wednesday, January 08 2025 (01/08/25)

Admission to the Program in Materials Science and Engineering is in accordance with the general requirements of GEPA, which requires at least a B.S. and or M.S. in some branch of Engineering Sciences, the Physical Sciences or Mathematics; our average GPA of admitted students is 3.5; and three letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to the academic or professional competence and to the depth of an applicant's interest in pursuing Graduate study.

How to apply

Go to the online graduate application. Read and follow all instructions.

Graduate Application and Admissions Information

In order to process your application, we require the following documents:

  • Online Graduate Application
  • Statement of Purpose(Online)
  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation(Online)
  • Official Transcripts (from all institutions attended, sent to Graduate Admissions)*
  • TOEFL Score Results(international students only - Online)
  • CV/Resume (Online) (Recommended)
  • Publications (Online) (if applicable)

All must be scanned into the graduate application.

*Please include scanned unofficial transcripts within the online application. Official paper transcripts will be requested if you are admitted to our program. Do not send transcripts until you have been notified by UCSD.

Graduate Admissions Address:
University of California, San Diego
Graduate Admissions
9500 Gilman Drive #0003
La Jolla, CA 92093-0003

All material must be in the online application on or before the deadline date (above) in order for the application to be reviewed. If material is missing from your file it will be considered incomplete. It is your responsibility to make sure all materials have arrived in a timely manner.


Application Fee:

All applicants are required to pay the application fee in order for the the application to be submitted. 

The non-refundable application fee schedule is: $155.00 USD for international and $135.00 USD for domestic.

U.S. citizens, Permanent Residents, and Undocumented students may be eligible for a waiver of the application fee. Applicants applying to multiple programs will be eligible for one fee waiver.  To request a fee waiver, please review the instructions on the Graduate Admissions website 


Graduate Record Examination (GRE) 

NOTICE: GRE scores are not required for MS or PHD applications.

the Program in Materials Science and Engineering (MATS) does not require GRE scores for the MS and PhD applications.

MATS has waived the GRE test requirement for all applications to our graduate programs, meaning that as an applicant you may decide if you want to submit your GRE scores as a part of your application. Applications are evaluated as a total package. Each application is evaluated for excellence and best fit via recommendation letters, research experience and interest, tenacity and curiosity, leadership abilities, and prior academic achievements.

MATS accepts self-reported (unofficial) GRE scores at the time of application and admissions review. If you provide self-reported GRE scores in your application, you will be required to provide official scores when you matriculate. Offers of admission are not binding until official test scores have been received and verified by the UCSD Graduate Admissions Office.

Our graduate programs are GRE Optional, meaning that Faculty admissions evaluators can see whether an applicant has submitted GRE scores and what the scores are when they are submitted. If you have already taken the GREs and count them as reflective of your abilities, feel free to submit them. If you choose not to submit test scores, you will not be viewed negatively.

GRE scores are good for five (5) years.

When ordering your GRE score reports, use UCSD's institution code 4836. The department codes are not necessary. GRE score reports are typically received electronically within 5-7 business days from the order date.

More information about the GRE may be obtained from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) website. 

Minimum Requirement: We do not have a minimum requirement. PhD and MS applicants that are offered Admission typically provide a quantitative GRE score within the 85 - 90 percentile and above.


Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition and IELTS Indicator

UC San Diego will be able to accept either the in-person English Language Proficiency scores, or internet-based test scores. More information can be found on our English Language Proficiency page.

The university-wide minimum score for the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition is the same as the in-person TOEFL iBT minimum. Information regarding the TOFEL iBT Special Home Edition can be found on the ETS Website.

The university-wide minimum score for the IELTS Indicator is the same as the in-person IELTS minimum. Information regarding the IELTS Indicator can be found on the IELTS website.

Minimum TOEFL requirements for admission are: IBT 85, paper-based 550; IELTS 7.

Demonstrated proficiency in the English language is required for all international applicants whose native language is not English. Non-native English language speakers may be exempt from this requirement if they have earned or will be earning a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree from either:

  • A regionally accredited U.S. college or university where English is the sole language of instruction, or
  • A foreign college or university which provides instruction solely in English. You may verify whether your institution meets this requirement by looking up your institution in the IAU World Higher Education Database (WHED). If English is not the sole language of instruction listed, if no language is listed at all, or if the institution does not appear on the WHED website, you are required to submit English proficiency exam scores. No other documentation (e.g. letters, language certificates, school websites) may be used in place of WHED as a means to obtain an exemption from the English proficiency requirement. 


Financial Support:

For the most outstanding first-year Ph.D. students, the Program Materials Science & Engineering (MATS) may offer financial support in the form of university fellowships and research assistantships. The fellowships include the MATS fellowships and those provided by the Jacobs School of Engineering. The fellowship award normally starts in October through the end of the following September (12 months of financial support) The Jacobs School of Engineering fellowships are reserved for first-year graduate students only.

Financial support decisions are based on the strength of the student's admission file. The MATS Graduate Affairs Committee reviews the entire application as well as research training experience and publication records. The Committee also looks at the student's area of interest to determine if there is sufficient active research in MATS for the student to benefit.

Continuing students most commonly receive support in the form of a research assistantship (GSR) or teaching assistantships (TA) during the academic year.

Incoming master students in the Plan I & II Master of Science (MS) degree program are not offered financial support when admitted into the program. Currently, there is no funding by MATS for the MS students. For more information on financial support, please visit these web sites:


Campus Information

One of ten campuses in the University of California System. UCSD is comprised of the general campus, School of Medicine, and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Established in La Jolla in 1960, it has become one of the major universities in the country with particular strengths in the physical, biological sciences, and engineering sciences.

The 1,200 acre campus spreads from the seashore, where the Scripps Institution of Oceanography is located, across a large wooded portion of the Torrey Pines Mesa overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

To the east and north lie mountains, and to the south are Mexico and the almost uninhabited seacoast of Baja, California.


Important Links

The University of California, San Diego does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age or sexual orientation in any of its policies, procedures, or practices, including but not limited to academic admission, financial aid, educational services, and student employment.