From international students to Dream Scholars, here are guidelines that help you begin your graduate education journey here at UC Santa Barbara. 


Consult our Frequently Asked Questions or reach out to the Admissions team

New Applicants

The UCSB Graduate Division welcomes applicants from across California, the United States, and throughout the world. All those applying for graduate study at UCSB for the first time must complete all sections of the online application. Applicants must submit all required materials by the department's application deadline. 

Transferring from Another Graduate Program

At the graduate level, there are no separate application processes for applicants who have previously completed graduate-level coursework at another institution. You will need to complete the full application and provide all required application materials.

We also recommend that applicants with previous graduate-level education contact the department/program of interest directly to inquire further about program requirements and whether any previously completed graduate work might apply toward the program at UCSB. 

International Applicants

Required Academic Preparation

Applicants who have conducted their post-secondary education outside of the United States must have completed an undergraduate degree program equivalent to a University of California bachelor's degree before the start of their graduate program at UCSB. Equivalent undergraduate degrees usually include a minimum four years of university work and above-average scholarship. Applicants holding only professional diplomas, higher certificates in accounting, business, physical education, or health education from universities or technical and vocational schools are not eligible for admission. Be sure to also check your department's application requirements ​for any specific instructions pertaining to international applicants to your department or program of interest.

The International Doctoral Recruitment Fellowship (IDRF) 

For all new incoming international doctoral students, the International Doctoral Recruitment Fellowship (IDRF) can provide significant support for non-resident supplemental tuition (NRST). 

Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS)

All international applicants who submit an application for graduate study are encouraged to contact the Office of International Students and Scholars for current information regarding international student expenses, visas, and other non-admissions questions you may have. Once admitted to UCSB, OISS will contact you with additional information and to provide assistance.

Multiple Applications Policy

Only one application may be submitted at a time. Simultaneous applications to multiple programs are not accepted. The application fee is non-refundable.

All components of the application, including the application fee, must be completed and paid by the appropriate department deadline in order to be processed. Applicants who applied the previous year but were not admitted are considered new applicants.


If you applied for graduate study at UCSB during the last application period, and you were admitted but did not register, please contact the admitting department prior to applying again. You will need to submit a new online graduate application, but it may not be necessary to re-submit ​all of your application materials.

Current UCSB Graduate Students

Students who wish to add or transfer to an MFA or doctoral degree program (including adding a doctoral degree objective in their home department) must apply using the Online Graduate Application (eApp). By applying, students who add or change to a new MFA or doctoral program are eligible for central recruitment funding, including the International Doctoral Recruitment Fellowship (IDRF).

Current graduate students may only apply during the regular application cycle for the department. Applicants for winter or spring admission are not eligible for central recruitment funding, but may be eligible for other types of departmental funding. In cases where a terminal UCSB master's student has applied for and is admitted to an MFA or doctoral program that starts in the fall quarter, but finishes the master's degree in fall or winter of the previous year, the Graduate Division may consider an exception to move up the start date of the doctoral program so that there is no break in registration (the department must request this exception).

How to Apply

Please contact the department to which you wish to apply before submitting an application. A complete online application and all supporting documents must be submitted by the department's deadline in order to be considered for admission and fellowship support.

Begin your application by logging in with either the New Applicants or Existing Applicants (using the same email address you previously used to apply) option. Be sure to complete all sections of the application. We recommend that you also keep personal copies of all application materials.

Learn more about the parts of the online application here.

When Should a Current UCSB Grad Student NOT Apply?

Students who wish to add a master's degree objective or credential program must submit the Change of Degree Status Petition. Students who have allowed their registration to lapse must submit a Petition for Reinstatement. If you are submitting either type of petition, please contact Academic Services for assistance.

Current UCSB Undergraduate Students: Five-Year Degree Programs

If you are a current undergraduate who has been pre-screened and approved to apply to one of our five-year combined bachelor's/master's programs, you must submit the online application in order to advance to graduate standing.

Please ​review the instructions for Five-Year Degree Programs before proceeding.

UCSB undergraduates and alumni who are not applying to graduate programs that are not part of a five-year program are considered new applicants.

Fulbright and LASPAU Applicants

The Fulbright Foreign Student Program enables graduate students, young professionals and artists from abroad to study and conduct research in the United States. Fulbright candidates applying to a graduate program at UCSB should complete and submit the online application according to the instructions provided by the Institute of International Education (IIE). 

All application materials are required by the department/program application deadline. IIE representatives may contact Graduate Division Admissions or submit supplementary materials to

Non-Degree/EAP Reciprocity Applicants

In exceptional circumstances, applicants who do not wish to study for a degree may be admitted to graduate status on a non-degree basis. EAP reciprocity and other non-degree applicants are strongly encouraged to contact their department/program directly to inquire about research and study opportunities before submitting the application.

Graduate EAP reciprocity students should apply as non-degree applicants by selecting the Non-Degree Objective (NO) after choosing their major/program of interest in the online application. The admissions requirements and procedures are the same as those for prospective degree candidates. The applicant must specify the major and justify in the statement of purpose that the plan of study has a definite scholarly or professional goal.

A non-degree student is accepted for a maximum of one academic year. Students in non-degree status are not eligible for fellowships, nor are their courses ordinarily accepted for credit toward an advanced degree at UCSB should they later decide to apply for admission into a master's or doctoral program.

Current non-degree students wishing to apply for admission into a master's or doctoral program must submit a new graduate application; a Graduate Student Petition is not acceptable for adding the degree objective.

Vietnam Education Foundation Applicants

Fee waivers are available for Vietnam Education Foundation applicants and will be issued upon receipt of the Fee Waiver Request along with a letter from the Vietnam Education Foundation program coordinator confirming participation (both submitted via eApp).

Undocumented/Dream Scholar Applicants

Dream Scholars are encouraged to apply for graduate study through the UCSB graduate application portal

The UCSB Dream Scholar Resource Team is available to provide resources and support to prospective UCSB Dream Scholars. The UCSB Dream Scholar Resource Team is an active campus network of staff and faculty who “promote diversity, create safe spaces, and provide direct assistance and mentorship to Dream Scholars.” UCSB also has a very active, student-run organization called IDEAS (Improving Dreams, Equality, Access, and Success).

More information for Dream Scholars can also be found on our FAQs page. 

UC-HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Initiative Scholars 

UC-HBCU Initiative Scholars are encouraged to apply for graduate study through the UCSB graduate application portal

The Admissions, Outreach and Diversity team is available to provide resources and application support to prospective UC-HBCU Initiative Scholars.  For more information or questions, please contact Walter Boggan, Director of Admissions, Outreach and Diversity.