How to Apply to the Chemistry Ph.D. Program

If you are interested in applied physics, chemistry, physics, or engineering please consider the Chemical, Applied and Materials Physics (ChAMP) program. Students should apply to the Chemistry Ph.D. program or the ChAMP - Chemistry Ph.D. program, not both.


Applications for Fall 2024 may be submitted starting October 2nd and will be reviewed beginning December 1st. Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis. Applicants are encouraged to apply by December 1st for the best chance of admission. The final deadline for applications is March 15th.

Admission Requirements

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 – Discuss the research you have completed and/or any work you have published or presented. Describe your career objectives, goals for graduate study, and specific areas of research interest, including at least 2 research groups you would be interested in joining.
  • 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 brief 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 applicants. Please refer to Teaching Assistant Requirement below for more information.

Unofficial Transcripts

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 Test Scores

The Department of Chemistry does not require the GRE General Test or GRE Subject Tests.

Teaching Assistant Requirement

Chemistry Ph.D. students are funded as teaching assistants during their first year, and all students must satisfy UCI Graduate Division's English Proficiency for Teaching Assistantships policy in one of three ways:

  • Undergraduate degree from an institution, at which English was the sole language of instruction, according to the World Higher Education Database, within five years1 prior to admission to a graduate program at UCI.
    • A speaking section score of 26 or higher is required for TA eligibility.
    • A speaking module score of 8 or higher is required for TA eligibility.

Applicants who 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 detailed information on these exams of spoken English proficiency, including the respective passing scores and how to determine if a student is eligible for an exemption, please review the English Proficiency Chart.

1 Students who have received an undergraduate degree in an institution with English as its sole language of instruction, and who are more than five years beyond, must pass a UCI oral screening assessment, if they decide to accept an offer of admission, in order to work as a teaching assistant.


If you have any questions please visit our Frequently Asked Questions, or you may send your inquiry to