How to Apply to the Chemistry PhD Program:
You will need to submit an application through UCI Graduate Division. The Department of Chemistry recommends applicants to take the Chemistry Subject GRE test or subject GRE in an appropriate interdisciplinary area, such as Physics or Biochemistry, Cell, and Molecular Biology.
Applications will be reviewed beginning December 1 and admissions will be made on a rolling basis. Applicants are encouraged to apply by December 1 for the best chance of admission. The final deadline for applications is March 15.
Admission to the Ph.D. program in Chemistry, with a concentration in Chemical and Materials Physics, requires the successful completion of a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, Physics, or Materials Science and Engineering with a GPA of 3.1 or better. Additional criteria include the applicant’s undergraduate course record, letters of recommendation, and GRE scores in either chemistry or physics.
While we intend to draw students from a broad base nationally and internationally, the concentration is also well suited for students returning after experience in industry. In the latter case, work experience in physical sciences may be used as basis for partial fulfillment of admission requirements.
Communication skills in English are required for admission. The verbal section of the GRE is a criterion for establishing this competence. International students and permanent residents are additionally required to submit scores of Test of Spoken English (TSE).
In addition to the admissions criteria set forth by Graduate Division, applicants to the Ph.D. program in Chemistry will be expected to submit the following:
- Statement of Purpose – Describe your research interests, including research you have completed and or any papers you have published. Include your career objectives and goals for graduate study.
- Personal History Statement – Describe your personal background, including any experiences or challenges relevant to your academic journey. Include how you addressed these challenges in order to achieve your educational goals.
- Curriculum Vitae – A breif account of your education, qualifications, and previous experience.
- Letters of Recommendation – A minimum of three letters are required.
- Unofficial Transcripts – Upload unofficial transcripts for all institutions attended since high school.
- TOEFL/IELTS – Required for certain non-domestic applicants. Please refer to International Students/Permanent Residents below for more information.
Uploaded transcripts should be the most recent and include the following: your name, dates of attendance, grades/marks received, credits, cumulative GPA, and grading legend. Please upload both sides of all transcripts. UCI reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admission process, and rescind any offer of admission if discrepancies between unofficial and official transcript(s) are found. Official transcripts will be required if you are offered admission and decide to accept. Do not send official transcripts prior to this, unless requested.
GRE General Test:
NOTE: Effective for the Fall 2021 application cycle, the Department of Chemistry will no longer require the GRE General Test.
International Students/Permanent Residents:
Because Chemistry PhD students are funded as teaching assistants during their first year, all international students and permanent residents must provide valid TOEFL or IELTS scores that meet the following criteria:
- TOEFL iBT
- An overall score of 80 or higher is required for admission.
- A speaking section score of 26 or higher is required for TA eligbility.
- An overall score of 7 or higher, with a score of no less than 6 on any individual module, is required for admission.
- A speaking module score of 8 or higher is required for TA eligiblity.
Applicants who do not meet these testing thresholds, or do not meet one of the three criteria above, are typically not admitted. However, if you do not meet this English requirement, and you are a highly qualified student who would fill a need in our research team, you are strongly encouraged to contact the Chemistry faculty whose research interests you and apply to the program.
For more information on this requirement, please refer to the English Proficiency for Teaching Assistantships page on the UCI Graduate Division’s website.
Applying to the Graduate Program in Physics:
- Official transcripts – ONE COPY – from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended (Foreign students’ transcripts must be in their home language, as well as translated into English).
- Official General GRE scores – taken within five years of date of entry
- Three letters of recommendation.
Recommendation letters are usually submitted electronically, although it is possible to submit hardcopies by postal mail if necessary. For more information and instructions regarding electronic and postal letter submission, please visit:
Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) program. Qualifying international 1st year Ph.D. students will receive a “SEVIS Stipend” in the amount of $100. To qualify, students must have paid the SEVIS* fee, and must be enrolled at UCI for Fall quarter of their entering year – the SEVIS stipend only applies to international students. For more information, visit: