Admissions Due Date: December 17th, 2019

Admission to the Materials Science and Engineering Program is in accordance with the general requirements of the graduate division, 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 their interest in pursuing graduate study.

In addition, all applicants are required to submit the GRE General Test Scores.Although we have no minimum score for the GRE, typical scores for those admitted were close to the following numbers: GRE-Verbal 155, GRE-Quantitative 165, and GRE-Analytical 4.0. Other factors such as internship experience and number of publications also contribute to the admissions decision. For international students, a minimum score of 85 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for applicants whose native language is not English. Students who score below 85 on the TOEFL are strongly encouraged to enroll in English as a second language program before beginning graduate work. UCSD Extension offers an excellent English language program during the summers as well as the academic year. In addition to the test scores, the recommendation letters, previous research experience, CV/Resume, and publication records are also considered for the admission evaluations.

In addition to the current fee waivers we offer, we will now offer fee waivers to U.S. military veterans and active duty U.S. military personnel. Eligible applicants can request a waiver based on their military service prior to submitting their application. Our office will require appropriate documentation from the applicant before the waiver is approved.

Applicants are judged competitively. Based on the candidate's background, qualifications, and goals, admission to the program is in one of two categories: M.S. only, M.S. to PhD. Admission to the M.S. only category is reserved for students for whom the M.S. degree is likely to be the terminal graduate degree. Admission to the PhD Program is reserved for qualified students whose final aim is a doctoral degree. For more information, please visit the graduate application for admission website or our list of frequently asked questions and answers.

Application Fee:

All applicants are required to submit a completed Graduate Admission Application, which is done online and must pay the application fee by credit card. Your application will not be reviewed if there is not a fee.

The non-refundable application fee schedule is: $125.00 for international, $105.00 for domestic.

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)*
  • General GRE Score required (Online)
  • 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 the Department.

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 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.

Financial Support:

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

Awards of financial support are very competitive and, unfortunately, we cannot fund everyone. Stipends range from approximately $7,500 to $30,000 for the academic year, plus tuition and fees.

If you are not offered a fellowship, we encourage you to reach out to faculty members, to determine if they have openings in their labs, and to determine if they might be able to fund you ( Generally, students will be funded by faculty advisors as a Graduate Student Researcher. Graduate Student Researcher positions are given to PhD applicants through grants acquired by specific faculty members in the department. Typically, a student will work part time in the lab of a faculty member and earn a starting salary of $25,000/year plus tuition and fees.

Another option is to apply for Teaching Assistant, Reader, and Tutor positions at UCSD.

TA/Reader/Tutor Positions- Every quarter, departments across UCSD offer TA/RDR/TTR positions, that can help pay for tuition. To find these positions, you can google, "UCSD MAE TA" (as an example) or "UCSD Physics TA". Since Materials Science does not have an undergraduate program, we do not have any openly advertised TA/RDR/TTR positions for our courses. However, Materials Science students can apply for any TA/RDR/TTR position across campus, so it's a great opportunity for funding. The positions for Fall won’t open online until late August.

Financial support decisions are based on the strength of the student's admission file. The MSE Graduate Affairs Committee looks at GPA, GRE scores, previous institution and letters of recommendation, 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 MSE for the student to benefit.

Continuing students most commonly receive support in the form of a research assistantship or teaching assistantships 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 the department for the MS students. For more information on financial support, please visit these web sites:

Residency Requirements

Non-residents of the state of California must establish residency immediately upon entering the State. If students do not establish residency by the end of their first year of study, out of state tuition WILL NOT BE COVERED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. This means that even if a student holds a TA or Graduate Student Researcher position, the out of state tuition will not be covered under these jobs.

Establishing residency can be a lengthy and frustrating experience. Students are encouraged to start with this residency information and read it thoroughly from beginning to end. Departments can't answer questions about residency because it involves laws of the State of California.

All Applicants:

On-line Application. The on-line application is now available. If you wish to check the status of your documents please go here.

Normally, UCSD does not permit the duplication of advanced degrees. (Previous professional degrees, however, are not included in this restriction.) Holders of a master's degree in one field may be considered under certain circumstances for admission into a master's degree program in another field. Prospective applicants who already hold a master's degree and are considering applying to MSE's MS program should contact the Office of Graduate Studies and Research at to find out if they can be exempted from the duplicate degree policy. Holders of a PhD, in any field, are advised not to apply for admission to the MSE department's PhD program.

Cost of Study

For information regarding the cost of study, please visit the Graduate Division website here:

Living and Housing Costs

For information regarding housing, please visit:

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.