How to Apply to the Chemistry PhD Program

Students are also invited to apply to the Chemical, Applied and Materials Physics (ChAMP) program.

(NOTE: Students should apply to either the Chemistry PhD program or ChAMP - Chemistry PhD Program, but not both.)


Applications may be submitted starting October 1 and will be reviewed beginning December 1. Admission decisions are 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 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

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

Teaching Assistant Requirement

Because Chemistry PhD students are funded as teaching assistants during their first year, 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 information on this requirement, please refer to the Graduate Division's English Proficiency for Teaching Assistantships.

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