Helpful Application Tips

Statement of Purpose

Please highlight your academic preparation and motivation; interests, specializations and career goals; and fit for pursuing graduate study at UC Davis.

  • Preparation and motivation may include your academic and research experiences that prepare you for this graduate program (for example: coursework, employment, exhibitions, fieldwork, foreign language proficiency, independent study, internships, laboratory activities, presentations, publications, teaching, and travel or study abroad) and motivation or passion for graduate study.
  • Interests, specializations, and career goals may include your research interests, disciplinary subfields, area/s of specialization, and professional objectives.
  • Fit may include how your preparation, experiences, and interests match the specific resources and characteristics of our graduate program.

It’s important to note that this section is limited to 4000 characters, including spaces.  Be sure to proofread.

Personal History and Diversity Statement

The University of California, Davis, a public institution, is committed to supporting the diversity of the graduate student body and promoting equal opportunity in higher education. This commitment furthers the educational mission to serve the increasingly diverse population and educational needs of California and the nation. Both the Vice Provost of Graduate Education/Dean of Graduate Studies and the University of California affirm that diversity is critical to promoting lively intellectual exchange and the variety of ideas and perspectives essential to advancing higher education and research. Our graduate students contribute to the global pool of future scholars and academic leaders, thus high value is placed on achieving a diverse graduate student body to support the University of California’s academic excellence. We invite you to include in this statement how you may contribute to the diversification of graduate education and the UC Davis community.

The purpose of this essay is to get to know you as an individual and potential graduate student. Please describe how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. You may include any educational, familial, cultural, economic, or social experiences, challenges, community service, outreach activities, residency and citizenship, first-generation college status, or opportunities relevant to your academic journey; how your life experiences contribute to the social, intellectual, or cultural diversity within a campus community and your chosen field; or how you might serve educationally underrepresented and underserved segments of society with your graduate education.

This essay should complement but not duplicate the content in the Statement of Purpose.

Academic Transcripts

  • This includes community colleges, summer sessions, study abroad and extension programs.
  • You must upload one PDF for each institution you listed in your graduate application. Current and former UC Davis students do not need to submit UC Davis transcripts. 
  • International applicants will be required to submit additional documents that verify degree conferral.  Academic records should be issued in the original language and accompanied by English translations.  English translations must be performed by one of the following: 1) the college or university which has issued the documents, 2) a transcript evaluation service (e.g., WES, ECE, IERF), or 3) a government-certified translator.
  • Check your transcript carefully to make sure that no part of your Social Security Number is included in the PDFs you upload to your graduate application.  Use ink, white-out, correction tape, etc. to ensure that information is not visible when you scan it.
  • Do not send paper transcripts to our office or UC Davis Graduate Studies unless you have been specifically told to do so.  Paper transcripts or academic records which are sent to UC Davis before they have been requested will not be retained by UC Davis or returned to applicants.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants are required to obtain three letters of recommendation. Once you have started an application, you will be asked to provide the names and contact information of your letter of recommendation writers. The system will then send an automated email to the recommender prompting them to submit their letter. Unfortunately, due to the additional questions required of recommenders, we do not allow letters to come from letter of recommendation systems such as Interfolio.