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Admission Decisions

What are the criteria for admissions to UC Santa Cruz graduate programs?

UCSC is committed to the recruitment, admission, and retention of a highly qualified and diverse graduate student population. The University of California offers admission to those applicants who have the highest potential for graduate study and who, with the benefit of graduate education, are most likely to contribute substantially to their academic or professional fields through teaching, research, or professional practice.


To be considered for admission to the Santa Cruz campus of the University of California:

  • one must have received a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited university prior to the quarter for which admission is sought 

    • Applicants with a three-year Bachelor’s Degree must also hold a post graduate diploma, Master’s Degree, or a higher degree. 

    • Degrees from schools following the Bologna Process are acceptable.

  • and have at least a B average in last two years of undergraduate coursework.

Satisfaction of minimal standards does not, however, guarantee admission, since the number of qualified applicants far exceeds the number of places available. As a consequence, many well-qualified applicants cannot be accommodated. Students must refer to individual departments for additional admission criteria.

Please note that only one application may be considered from each applicant within a given admission-processing period (winter through fall of the same calendar year). Simultaneous applications to multiple departments are not accepted and any application fee paid for multiple applications will be forfeited

When will decisions on my admission to UC Santa Cruz be made? 


Applicants to academic (non-professional) programs: Your admission decision will be posted to your Application Status Page. You will be notified by email to check your Status Page when a decision has been posted for you. Emails are sent throughout the months of February and April as the reviews are completed.

Do not call; under no circumstances will this information be given over the phone, in person, or by proxy.


Be sure to add our two email addresses, and, to your email address books so our messages don't get marked as spam by your email provider. You will be notified of your admission decisions from these accounts.


  • International Students: a hard-copy admission letter will be delivered to the on-campus International Student & Scholar Services office (ISSS). The ISSS will prepare the I-20 for applicants who accept their admission to UC Santa Cruz.

  • Professional-Program Applicants: Fall admission: You will be notified by email in summer as to whether or not you have been admitted for graduate study at UC Santa Cruz. Emails are sent throughout the months of June and July as the reviews are completed.



How are admissions recommendations made?​

The Graduate Division is responsible for general campus requirements and processes related to graduate admissions; these are stated in the Graduate Division's admissions information. Admissions criteria specific to over seventy programs and concentrations are the purview of the faculty of the individual programs. Please inquire with the graduate programs for program-specific concerns.

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