How to Apply to the Chemistry PhD Program

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.

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 – 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.

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

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

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:

    • An overall score of 80 or higher is required for admission.
    • A speaking section score of 26 or higher is required for TA eligibility.
    • 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 eligibility.

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.1
  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.1

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.

1 Applicants who meet this criterion must still 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