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.  

Students are also invited to apply to the Chemical and Materials Physics (ChaMP) program.


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.

International Students/Permanent Residents

Because Chemistry PhD students are funded as teaching assistants during their first year, all international students, permanent residents, and non-native speakers of English must provide valid TOEFL or IELTS scores that meet the following criteria:

    • 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.

The TOEFL or IELTS can only be waived if an applicant meets one of the following criteria:

  1. U.S. citizenship
  2. Completed a four-year high school degree in the U.S.
  3. Citizenship in a country where English is either the primary or dominant language, as approved by UCI Graduate Council. See list of approved countries here.

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.


If you have any questions please visit our Frequently Asked Questions, or you may send your inquiry to or call 800-829-8UCI.