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Scores and Transcripts

What test scores are required and when do I submit them?


GRE requirements vary by program; applicants whose native language is not English may be required to take the TOEFL iBT (including the Home Edition) or IELTS Academic exam. See the Required Test Scores page for a summary of required tests.

Will my test scores arrive in time?


Please be aware that it takes approximately 10 days to receive test scores on the computer based tests and six weeks to receive the scores on the paper based tests. If you know your (GRE, TOEFL or IELTS) scores, report them in your application. Your self-reported scores will suffice for review purposes until we receive the official score reports from ETS. Please do not send paper copies of your scores; only the scores reported by the testing agency are considered official.


Note to International students: Because we need the official TOEFL/IELTS score in order to admit you to the program, please make sure that your official report has been sent by ETS or IELTS by the deadline. It is strongly recommended that you complete testing at least four to six weeks before your application deadline to allow sufficient time to receive official test scores from ETS.


How can I check to see if my scores have been received by UCSC?


After you submit your application you will be able to see what materials and scores we have for you in your Status Page in the online application. If your scores aren't there, and you're not requesting a waiver of the language test score requirement, please complete the Test Score Information form in your Status Page. 

Scores must be reported to us electronically from your test provider; we do not accept paper test score reports, nor do we look up scores individually. 

Did you send your scores right before they were set to expire? If the scores were not sent at least two working weeks before they were set to expire, then there is a good chance that the scores will not be considered valid.

What are the minimum GRE scores required for admission?


Requirements vary by program and you should contact the program to which you are applying for more information.

What are the minimum TOEFL or IELTS scores required for admission?


For students whose first language is other than English, those choosing to take the TOEFL, a minimum score of 83* on the internet-based test (TOEFL iBT and iBT Home Edition) is required for admission to most programs.


*A minimum TOEFL score of 89 is required for applicants to the Bioinformatics, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Applied Math,  Computational Media, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Natural Language Processing, and Statistical Sciences programs.


For those choosing to take the IELTS Academic (in-person and online versions), a minimum overall score of 7 from the IELTS test is required for admission.


Any students who wish to be considered for Teaching Assistant opportunities and do not have English as their first language must score a 26 or higher on the Spoken Word portion of the TOEFL iBT; an Speaking score of 8 from the IELTS test is required for all new international students who may serve as a Teaching Assistant at any time during their graduate career.

The TOEFL ITP Plus China Solution test is not accepted at UC Santa Cruz. We do not accept any Duolingo or Versant scores.

Can I waive the TOEFL or IELTS requirement?


TOEFL/IELTS waivers for admission purposes may be requested by applicants who do not have English as their first language and who have completed a four-year bachelor's degree at an English-speaking institution. If you plan to request such a waiver, you must select a back-up method of examination on the admission application in case your request is not approved. Indicate a future testing date and explain your desire and qualifications for a waiver of this requirement on the English Language Competency section of the online application.


Please note that the waiver of English Language Competency will be considered only if you are being recommended for admission; you may still see the requirement for English Language Test Score in your application Status Page.


TOEFL/IELTS waivers for teaching assistant positions must be requested by the program that you are admitted to, from the Division of Graduate Studies.

I am a Permanent Resident of the United States; do I have to provide a TOEFL or IELTS score?


If English is not your primary (first) language you must take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test. However, there are waivers for this requirement. See above "TOEFL/IELTS waiver" FAQ.

What if my previous school(s) will not send transcripts directly to me?


Some institutions do not release transcripts directly to students. If this is the case, request that your transcripts be forwarded directly to:


UC Santa Cruz

Graduate Application Processing

1156 High Street

Santa Cruz, CA 95064


For parcel services (FedEx, DHL, UPS), include "Kerr Hall - 500" after the street address


If your school will not issue duplicate transcripts to institutions, please email Graduate Admissions.


My university will only release one official transcript to me; how can I submit my official transcript to UCSC?


Please remember that you may upload an unofficial transcript for application purposes.


If your prior degree-granting university will only issue one official transcript to you, do not open this transcript. Retain it so that if you are offered admission you can use it to satisfy our requirement. Send it in the original, university-sealed envelope to us at:


UC Santa Cruz

Graduate Application Processing

1156 High Street

Santa Cruz, CA 95064


For parcel services (FedEx, DHL, UPS), include "Kerr Hall - 500" after the street address

I attended (or I am currently attending) UC Santa Cruz. Do I need to order a transcript?


You are required to upload an unofficial transcript with your application for admission. However, if you are offered admission, you do not need to order an official transcript from UCSC. Please notify us at Graduate Admissions if you are graduating in the quarter prior to your admitted term, so that we may verify your degree. 

Why do you need my official transcript after I have been offered admission?


If you are offered admission, and you accept this offer, we require a final, official transcript from any previously attended schools where you earned a degree. This is so that we may verify your previously earned degree(s).


If your final transcript does not contain GPA and degree information - for example, your school only uses transcripts to list grades or marks - you should request from your registrar a degree certificate. This certificate must include:

 - Your major

 - Your degree title

 - The date your degree was awarded (provisional degrees will not fulfill this requirement)

 - Overall GPA


If you are unable to obtain this document from your university, please contact us at Graduate Admissions


My school sent me an electronic, encrypted transcript and I can not upload this to my application, what should I do?


Print the electronic transcript and scan it, and save it as a PDF document; upload the PDF document to your application - please follow the document scanning guidelines at the bottom of the Application Instructions page.

This transcript will be considered "unofficial" which is fine to use for the application, but will not work for the degree verification and final transcript requirement (see above).

I participated in an Education Abroad Program. Do I need a transcript from this school?


You only need a transcript from the EAP school abroad if your home institution did not include your courses and grades on your transcript.


My undergraduate grade point average (GPA) is not on the 4.0 scale, how should I enter it on the application?


We ask you for at least two GPA's on the application:

1. your cumulative GPA for all undergraduate coursework, and

2. your most recent overall GPA for the last two years of your undergraduate education.


For your cumulative GPA please use your original GPA scale. You can chose the appropriate GPA scale when entering this information on your application.

For the most recent overall GPA, please convert your GPA to the 4.0 scale. You can locate a converter calculator online, we do not endorse a particular one. 

My school won't confer my degree until after I'm scheduled to start the graduate program; is this ok?


If your degree is not awarded (conferred) by the third week of classes, your enrollment at UC Santa Cruz, as well as all financial support, will be subject to cancellation if you do not provide evidence of graduation, and of satisfying any further conditions set by the department. We do not provisionally admit graduate students at UC Santa Cruz. You are required to provide a final transcript with degree certification to the Graduate Division at UC Santa Cruz.


You should contact the program that has offered you admission and notify them of your situation.

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