Frances M. Leslie, Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate Division
With the exception of programs conducted by the School of Medicine for the training of physicians, and the J.D. program in the School of Law, the Vice Provost for Graduate Education, and Dean of the Graduate Division administers graduate education in accordance with academic policies established by the University of California, the Irvine Division of the Academic Senate, and the UCI Graduate Council, a standing committee of the Irvine Division of the Academic Senate. Graduate education includes those students engaged in the pursuit of a master’s degree, a doctoral degree, or a teaching credential, as well as individuals engaged in postdoctoral training at UCI. There is no separate graduate faculty at UCI; all graduate work is supervised by academic units and faculty members who have concurrent responsibility for undergraduate education.
Information about graduate education at UCI is published here in the UCI General Catalogue, on the Graduate Division website, and in individual graduate program publications. The staff of the Graduate Division and departmental academic advisors are prepared to answer questions about admission, academic policies and procedures, graduate programs and degrees, financial assistance, student services, and other matters of concern to applicants or graduate students. The Graduate Division is located in 120 Aldrich Hall; 949-824-4611; or visit the Graduate Division website.
The University of California believes that a diverse student and faculty population is integral to the advancement of academic excellence and is critical to promoting the lively intellectual exchange and the variety of ideas and perspectives that are essential to advanced scholarly research and debate. The University is committed to expand student outreach, recruitment, and retention efforts. Through the Graduate Division’s diversity programs, steps are taken to increase the participation of diverse groups of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have been educationally or socioeconomically disadvantaged.
It is the goal of UCI’s Graduate Division to award fellowships to many admitted students based upon merit or financial need. In addition, diversity fellowships for new and continuing Ph.D. and M.F.A. students are based on demonstrated scholastic achievement, full-time status, U.S. citizenship or permanent residency, and socioeconomic and educational limitations. Each academic department identifies those students whose scholarship, background, and life experiences can best enhance the level of diversity within a department or discipline.
On This Page:
- Admission to Graduate Standing
- Application Procedures
- Required Supporting Documents
- Letters of Recommendation
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores
- Domestic Academic Records
- Foreign Academic Records
- Demonstration of English Language Proficiency for Admission
- Demonstration of Oral English Proficiency for International Teaching Assistant/Associate Employment
- Special Note to Foreign Applicants
Applicants for admission to graduate study at UCI must apply for acceptance into a specific graduate program to work toward a specific advanced degree. A general requirement for admission is that the applicant hold the degree of Bachelor of Arts, Letters, Philosophy, or Science (or an acceptable equivalent) from an accredited academic institution with degree standards equivalent to those of the University of California. A minimum undergraduate grade point average of at least B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) is required.
Each applicant’s file is comprehensively evaluated by the faculty admissions committee of the applicant’s specific graduate program on the basis of such factors as academic subject preparation, scholarship, letters of recommendation, test scores, and examples of previous work. One critical evaluative question is whether the applicant’s academic objectives can reasonably be satisfied by a particular graduate program on this campus. Please note that the University of California does not have the capacity to accommodate/admit all applicants who meet the minimum admission requirements.
Prospective students should apply online using the Application for Graduate Study available at Graduate Division website. Detailed instructions are included in the electronic application. For additional information, send email to email@example.com or call 949-824-4611.
The mandatory application fee is $105 ($125 for international students) and is not refundable under any circumstances. (Please note, however, that the application fee for M.B.A. programs offered by The Paul Merage School of Business is $150.) Payment instructions are provided in the electronic application as well as on the Graduate Division website. Diversity program and/or financial-need-based application fee waivers may be available for a few domestic (U.S. Citizen or U.S. Permanent Resident) applicants.
For all graduate programs, applications should be completed and submitted by the respective program’s stated deadline. Some programs have deadlines as early as December 1; others have deadlines of January 15, and still others may accept applications until March or thereafter. In order to process applications in time for the applicant to receive full consideration, letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and official test scores must be received before the published deadlines. Some schools and departments have earlier or later deadlines for filing the application. Applicants should consult their prospective department or school for more detailed information. Contact information for the schools and departments may be obtained by visiting their individual websites or via the list of department and school contacts on the Graduate Division website.
Applicants should arrange to have three letters of recommendation uploaded to the application system, or forwarded directly to their prospective academic department or program. Instructions for contacting recommenders and for uploading letters of recommendation are available on the application. Only one set of three recommendation letters needs to be submitted in support of an application for admission and fellowship or assistantship consideration. It is important that letters of recommendation be completed primarily by professors or instructors in disciplines related to the proposed course of study who are in a position to analyze an applicant’s abilities and academic promise.
All applicants are required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test, with the following exceptions: The Paul Merage School of Business requires that M.B.A. applicants take either the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the GRE; applicants to the Master of Finance must also take either the GMAT or the GRE. However, several other master's programs in the Paul Merage School of Business may exempt some or all applicants from the test requirement; applicants should check with their program of interest to determine specific requirements. The M.S. Program in Nursing, the online program in Criminology, Law and Society, the Master's Program in Legal and Forensic Psychology, and programs leading to the Master in Fine Arts degree do not require the GRE. All applicants are strongly encouraged to check the testing requirements of their program of interest, as they may have changed. Several programs also require, or strongly recommend, that an applicant report the score of a GRE Subject Test. There is no minimum GRE score. Applicants should register for either the October or December test dates to ensure the timely receipt of their score results for admission consideration. The GRE is administered by the Educational Testing Service. GRE scores that are more than five years old are not acceptable.
Domestic applicants should request that the official transcript be forwarded directly to their prospective academic department or program. One complete set of official records covering all postsecondary academic work attempted, regardless of length of attendance, is required. One official set of transcripts must also be submitted by applicants who attended or graduated from any University of California campus, including UC Irvine. Applicants with academic work in progress must expect to complete their undergraduate degree programs before the intended date of enrollment at UCI and must submit evidence of degree conferral before officially enrolling.
Official records from overseas institutions should be sent directly to the prospective academic department or program at UCI. Records of academic study from foreign institutions must be official, bearing the original signature of the registrar and the seal of the issuing institution. Applicants should not send the original of an academic record which cannot be replaced; they should obtain instead properly certified copies. Unless academic records and diplomas are issued in English by the institution, the official records in their original language must be submitted with an authorized, complete, and exact English translation. Foreign academic records must be in duplicate and include all subjects or courses taken on a yearly basis, together with the units of credit or time allotted to each subject each term or year and the marks or ratings in each subject or examination passed. In all cases the institutional grading scale or other standard of evaluation, including maximal passing and failing marks and definition of grades between them, should appear on official records or as an official attachment. Official evidence of degree conferral must also be supplied, together with evidence of rank in class if available.
Applicants whose primary language is not English are required to demonstrate proficiency in English for admission consideration. A student may receive a waiver to the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL or TOEFL iBT) requirement only for purposes of admission to a UCI graduate program if the student completed all of the requirements for their high school diploma, bachelor’s degree, or an advanced degree in a country where the primary and/or dominant language is English, and where English was the language of instruction of the school where the requirements were completed. The TOEFL/TOEFL iBT requirement may be waived for admissions purposes only. In addition, this policy pertains to the minimum UCI campus admission policy for English Language proficiency. Individual departments may have stricter requirements than the minimum campus standard. Applicants should always consult the department in which they are interested for specific requirements.
Proficiency in English may be demonstrated by passing one of two standardized, internationally administered tests: TOEFL (the Test of English as a Foreign Language), or IELTS (International English Language Testing System). The applicant should take one of these tests at the earliest available date to ensure that the scores are reported in time to meet application deadlines. Applicants will not be admitted provisionally if they lack an acceptable proficiency score or have not yet taken an acceptable proficiency examination.
The TOEFL is administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS). For the TOEFL iBT, the minimum required overall score for admissions consideration is 80; the minimum score required for admissions consideration is 550 for the paper-based test . TOEFL and TOEFL iBT scores that are two years old or older are not acceptable. Results of institutional (non-ETS) administrations of the TOEFL or TOEFL iBT are not acceptable.
English language proficiency may also be demonstrated by passing the Academic Modules of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination. The minimum requirements for admissions consideration are an overall score of 7, with a score of no less than 6 on any individual module. IELTS test scores that are two years old or older are not acceptable.
Many UCI degree programs require students to serve as a Teaching Assistant for training purposes, as a graduation requirement and to provide students with financial support. UCI encourages (and some individual graduate programs require) prospective international students to take and pass one of the accepted oral English proficiency examinations prior to application/admission. International and U.S. Permanent Resident graduate students who are not citizens of countries where English is either the primary or dominant language as approved by the UCI Graduate Council, who wish to be considered for appointment as a Teaching Assistant/Associate, must pass one of the following English proficiency examinations: Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-based Test (TOEFL iBT), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or UCI campus Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit (SPEAK) test. TOEFL iBT is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). IELTS, on the other hand, is administered through the partnership of the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations. Once a student is admitted to UCI, the SPEAK test, which is administered by the UCI Humanities Studio for Academic Resources and Technology, is an option to satisfy this requirement. Achieving a minimum score of 26 on the speaking portion of the TOEFL iBT, a score of 8 on the speaking module of the IELTS, or a score of 50 on the SPEAK test satisfies the oral proficiency requirement and may establish eligibility for a Teaching Assistant/Associate appointment. Graduate students are responsible for ensuring that the UCI Graduate Division is notified directly of their scores by the testing centers. There is no exception to this requirement.
A full discussion of English proficiency options and links to the agency sites offering these examinations are available at the Graduate Division's English Proficiency website.
Students who are citizens of the United States (regardless of country of origin) and citizens of countries where English is either the primary or dominant language as approved by the UCI Graduate Council are exempt from the requirement of taking and passing the English language proficiency examinations. Non-U.S. citizens who are U.S. Permanent Residents or hold other non-citizen status and are residing in the United States, who have completed their undergraduate education in the United States, or have attended American schools abroad are still required to pass one of the English language proficiency examinations noted above in order to be eligible for an appointment as a Teaching Assistant/Associate. International and U.S. Permanent Resident graduate students whose native language is not English, who have completed all years of their high school education in the United States, are eligible to request an exemption by submitting a request and official high school transcripts to the Graduate Student Employment Analyst in the Graduate Division. No student is permitted to begin an appointment as a Teaching Assistant/Associate until the exemption has been approved in writing.
If admitted, foreign applicants will be required to certify that they possess sufficient funds to cover all tuition, fees, transportation, and living expenses for the first year of their studies at UCI. A Visa Request Form which contains a section for verification of financial resources will be forwarded to foreign applicants upon admission to graduate study. The required financial verification must be provided before a visa can be issued.
On This Page:
A formal notice of the admission decision is sent to each applicant as soon as possible after the application and complete records are received, and after the department has made a recommendation. The official notification will be mailed well in advance of the beginning of the quarter for which application has been made.
Admission to graduate standing does not constitute registration for classes. A student is not officially registered for classes until the entire registration procedure is completed each quarter, including payment of Tuition, Student Services Fee, and other University fees, and enrollment in courses. Information on registration dates and procedures will be mailed to newly admitted students prior to the registration cycle. Extensive information for newly admitted students is available at the New Graduate Students website.
If an applicant wishes to defer admission to a later academic quarter (up to a maximum of three quarters after the original quarter of admission), the Graduate Division must be notified of the request in writing. After formal admission has been offered, the request for deferral must also be approved by the academic program to which the applicant was admitted.
Incoming graduate students are strongly encouraged to attend the Campuswide New Graduate Student Welcome and Orientation, and all international students are encouraged to also attend the International Graduate Student Welcome and Orientation, both held during the third week of September each fall. The Campuswide New Graduate Student Welcome and Orientation covers all aspects of navigating graduate education at UC Irvine, including graduate student services. It augments school/department-based orientations, and students should attend both. The International Graduate Student Welcome and Orientation covers unique aspects of the international graduate student experience, and provides information on campus support services; international students are encouraged to attend both campuswide orientation events. Information about the Campuswide New Graduate Student Welcome and Orientation is e-mailed to incoming graduate students the summer prior to the event; information about the International Graduate Student Welcome and Orientation is also provided at that time to incoming international students. Inquiries may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org, and details are available at the New Graduate Student Orientations website.
In each academic unit with an advanced degree program, there is at least one formally appointed faculty graduate advisor or director of graduate studies. The graduate program advisor is a regular faculty member responsible for supervising graduate study in that unit, for monitoring the academic progress of graduate students, and for seeing that each graduate student is assigned a faculty advisor. The graduate student’s faculty research advisor is responsible for mentoring the student, which includes meeting with the student at least once during each quarter of enrollment and providing an annual assessment of each student’s timely academic progress. The graduate program advisor plays a key role in the academic lives of graduate students, advising students and other faculty members about program requirements and the academic policies pertaining to graduate students, approving study lists, and evaluating academic petitions. In many academic units the graduate program advisor is instrumental in the nomination of students for fellowship support, the selection of students for assistantships and fellowship appointments, and in the supervision of graduate student teachers. In most schools there also is an associate dean for graduate studies who coordinates many of the functions which affect graduate students within that school. Both graduate advisors as well as deans are important links between the student and the Dean of the Graduate Division.
Most graduate students also will have an individual faculty advisor or advising committee after the first year of graduate study and in order to progress to the Ph.D. degree a student must work with an advisor. When a student is advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D., the doctoral committee becomes the primary source of academic guidance; however, student academic petitions still must be approved by the faculty graduate program advisor.
On This Page:
- Academic Policies
- Academic Honesty
- Scholastic Requirements
- Satisfaction of Degree Requirements
- Language Policy for Examinations and Theses/Dissertations
- Academic Disqualification
- Academic Residence
- Enrollment Policy
- Continuous Registration
- In Absentia
- Leave of Absence
- Intercampus Exchange Program
- Transfer of Credit
The academic policies described here apply to students enrolled in study leading to graduate degrees and California education credentials. Other regulations and procedures are covered in the Academic Regulations and Procedures sections, and in the description of each graduate program.
It is essential that all members of the academic community subscribe to the ideal of academic honesty and integrity and accept individual responsibility for their work. Students are urged to become familiar with the UCI Academic Senate Policies on Academic Honesty, available at the Academic Senate website and in the Catalogue’s Appendix. The policies apply equally to electronic media and print, and involve text, images, and ideas.
A graduate student is expected to make satisfactory progress toward an approved academic objective, as defined by the faculty of the program in accordance with policies of the Graduate Council, to maintain a satisfactory grade point average for all work undertaken while enrolled in graduate study, and to maintain academic progress within the required time to degree as established by the respective academic program. Satisfactory progress is determined on the basis of both the recent academic record and overall performance. A graduate student normally is expected to complete satisfactorily at least eight units of academic credit applicable to the graduate program in each regular academic session (unless on an approved leave of absence), and satisfy all requirements of the academic program according to an approved schedule. For a graduate student, only the grades A+, A, A-, B+, B, and S represent satisfactory scholarship and may be applied toward advanced degree requirements. However, a UCI course in which a grade of B- is earned may be accepted one time only, via a formal petition process, in partial satisfaction of the degree requirements if the student has a grade point average of at least 3.0 in all courses applicable to the degree. Graduate students may not apply courses graded Pass/Not Pass toward any degree or satisfactory progress requirements. A grade point average below the B level (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) is not satisfactory, and a student whose grade point average is below that level is subject to academic disqualification.
A student’s academic progress ordinarily is evaluated on the basis of the academic record, time-to-degree, and the professional judgment of the faculty. A few weeks after the end of a quarter, an updated copy of each enrolled student’s permanent academic record is available from the Registrar. This record lists all UCI courses for which a graduate student was enrolled (including courses taken through the Intercampus Exchange Program), the grades assigned, and the cumulative grade point average. This record also includes formal candidacy for an advanced degree, degrees conferred, certain examinations passed, unit credit accepted from other institutions, and other important academic information.
A graduate student who has not demonstrated satisfactory academic progress is not eligible for any academic appointment such as Reader, Tutor, Graduate Student Researcher, Teaching Associate, or Teaching Assistant, and may not hold a fellowship or other award which is based upon academic merit.
To graduate, students must satisfy the degree requirements outlined in the Catalogue that is in effect for the quarter in which they are registering for a graduate program. If the degree requirements are subsequently revised, the academic unit may, where appropriate, give students the option to meet the new requirements instead. If degree requirements are revised between the time a student is admitted and the time a student registers, the unit should notify the student of the modifications in writing. A student who withdraws from a program, or loses student status for other reasons for one or more quarters, will be bound by the degree requirements in effect at the time of readmission unless otherwise stipulated and agreed to in writing by the academic unit and approved by the Dean of the Graduate Division. A student who defers admission or who changes to another program will be held to the requirements in effect at the time of first registration.
With the consent of the academic units involved, and upon approval by the Graduate Council, individual study and research courses at the graduate level may be graded Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory (S/U). Also, with the approval of the Graduate Council certain graduate courses are graded S/U only. A grade of S is assumed equivalent to a grade of B (3.0) or better. No course credit is given to a student for a course in which a grade of U is received.
Graduate students may take one undergraduate course (up to four units) per quarter on a Pass/Not Pass basis. However, such courses are not considered part of the student’s graduate program and are not applied toward the requirements for an advanced degree.
The grade Incomplete (I) is assigned when a student’s work is of passing quality but is incomplete for good cause. The I grade may be replaced by a permanent grade, provided the student completes the course work in a way authorized by the instructor and within the time limits expressed. The student must complete the course work within the period set by the instructor, or within 12 months following the quarter in which the grade Incomplete was originally awarded, or prior to the end of the quarter immediately preceding award of the degree, whichever comes first. The instructor is not obligated to allow the maximum time period. When the course work is completed within the time allowed, the student must ask the instructor of the course to submit an Academic Record Change Request to the Dean of the School in which the course is taught. During the time allowed for replacing an I grade, the I grade will not be used in computation of a student’s grade point average. However, if the incomplete course work is not completed in the manner authorized by the instructor and within the time limits stated above, the I grade shall automatically be replaced with the permanent grade of F, NP, or U, as appropriate in accordance to the grading option selected when the student enrolled in the course, and will be used in computation of the student’s grade point average. Graduate students who have not been continuously enrolled should contact their graduate advisor for information about completion of incomplete grades.
IP (In Progress) is a transcript notation restricted to sequential courses extending over two or more quarters for which use of the IP notation has been approved. When the last quarter of the sequence is completed, the grade for the final quarter is assigned for all quarters of the sequence. No credit is given until the student has completed the entire sequence.
A student who received an NR (No Report) transcript notation must immediately contact the instructor and arrange for the removal or replacement of the NR. If no action is taken by the end of the first quarter following the quarter in which the NR was assigned, or by the end of the quarter immediately preceding award of the degree, whichever comes first, the NR becomes an F, U, or NP and will remain permanently on the student’s record.
A graduate student may repeat once a course in which a grade below B (3.0) or a grade of U was received. Only the most recently earned grade is used in computing the student’s grade point average for the first eight units of repeated work; thereafter both the earlier and the later grades are used. Additional information about grading may be found in the Academic Regulations section.
English is the language of instruction and examination for graduate courses at UCI, unless the subject matter includes foreign language content. Similarly, examinations that satisfy specific degree requirements, such as preliminary, comprehensive, qualifying/candidacy examinations and thesis/dissertation defenses shall be conducted in English, except for the portions of the examination where the subject matter makes a different language specifically appropriate. (Examples include foreign language literature, linguistics, and others.)
Students must seek permission to write their thesis/dissertation in a language other than English. To do so, immediately after advancement to candidacy, the candidate must submit to the Dean of the Graduate Division a letter approved by the thesis/dissertation chair, committee, and department chair. All members of the candidate’s thesis/dissertation committee must have a reading knowledge of the language presented in the thesis/dissertation. There must be legitimate reasons for substituting English with a foreign language such as subject matter, special primary audience, publication arrangements, academic position in a foreign country, historical or literary value, or principal language(s) used in the documents to be analyzed and interpreted. Inability to write in English is not a valid reason. If the thesis or dissertation is approved to be written in a foreign language, the candidate must submit two abstracts. One must be in English. The other must be written in the language of the thesis or dissertation. Moreover, the thesis/dissertation defense will be conducted in English, except as determined by subject matter. See the UCI Thesis and Dissertation Manual for information about the preparation of manuscripts.
After consultation with the student’s academic unit, the Dean of the Graduate Division may disqualify a student for academic reasons, including, but not limited to, having a grade point average in graduate and upper-division courses below 3.0 for two or more successive quarters; or failing to pass (or not taking) a required examination or course within the time specified for that graduate program; or not maintaining satisfactory academic progress toward completion of an approved program of study. Beginning with students entering in fall 2010, the Graduate Dean will not permit students to enroll past their programs’ maximum time to degree (MTTD). Any exception request must be made in writing directly to the Graduate Dean and will be considered in cases involving extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control. The exception request must include a plan and timeline for completion of the degree, must be signed by the student’s program advisor and Associate Dean, and must be submitted at least one quarter in advance of maximum time to degree. Note that leaves of absence of up to three quarters and time allotted for parental leave are not counted toward a student’s normative or maximum time to degree.
Unsatisfactory academic progress may be determined on the basis of explicit requirements (as described above), but the professional judgment of the faculty upon review of all graduate work undertaken by the student is paramount and the faculty of a particular academic unit may establish more restrictive criteria for satisfactory academic progress. Unsatisfactory progress will also result when a Ph.D. student is unable to secure a faculty advisor or if the student’s advisor/advisee relationship is terminated and the student is unable to secure a new faculty advisor within a specified period of time. Ordinarily, a student whose work does not meet academic standards may be given written notice and a reasonable period of time in which to make up all deficiencies.
Prior to taking final action to disqualify, the Dean of the Graduate Division ordinarily will notify a student who is subject to academic disqualification and will provide reasonable opportunity for the student to correct erroneous or outdated academic records, and to submit other information or comments in writing to be included in the Dean's review.
Upon final written notice of academic disqualification by the Dean of the Graduate Division, disqualification will be noted on the formal academic record of that student.
A graduate student is considered to be in residence during an academic quarter if at least four units of academic credit are earned in regular upper-division or graduate courses. Credit for one academic quarter of residence may also be earned by completing at least two units of credit in approved courses in each of two six-week summer sessions, or four units of credit in an eight- or ten-week summer session. In the case of Ph.D. students, these must be consecutive sessions.
Full-time academic enrollment is expected of graduate students at the University of California. Study for the Ph.D. requires a full-time commitment from the doctoral student. Full-time study is defined as enrollment in at least 12 units of upper-division or graduate academic credit per quarter, including credit for supervised research or teaching. Graduate students may enroll in lower-division courses with the approval of their academic advisors, but such courses are not considered to be part of any graduate program.
Graduate students ordinarily may not receive credit for more than 12 units per quarter in graduate courses, or 16 units in upper-division courses, or a proportionate number in combination. Course loads in excess of 16 units must be approved in advance by the student’s Graduate Advisor.
Although in most instances completion of an advanced degree at UCI requires full-time study, the University recognizes the legitimate need for part-time study opportunities and is committed to providing those opportunities wherever possible. Graduate degree programs may be opened to part-time students wherever good educational reasons exist for so doing. In general, part-time status is available in master’s and credential programs where part-time study has been judged academically feasible by faculty and approved by the Graduate Council. However, on the recommendation of the academic unit, students admitted to a Ph.D. program may be approved by the Dean of the Graduate Division for part-time status on an ad hoc basis. Under this policy, part-time enrollment at the graduate level is defined as enrollment for eight units or less. Within the guidelines and limitations noted on the application form available on the Graduate Division website, graduate students may petition for part-time status for a maximum of three consecutive quarters and, if the petition is approved, shall pay the full Student Services Fee and student activities fees, one-half the Tuition, and if applicable, one-half the Nonresident Supplemental Tuition and one-half the Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition. Part-time enrollment and the corresponding fee reduction are generally not available to students enrolled in self-supporting programs in which they pay a program fee.
A graduate student is expected to register for each regular academic session (fall, winter, and spring quarters) until all requirements for an advanced degree or credential have been completed, including final examinations and the submission of an approved thesis or dissertation. Registration is not official or complete until all required tuition and fees have been paid and the student has enrolled in classes. Students are responsible for ensuring that their course enrollment is correct and that their fees and tuition have been paid by the applicable deadlines.
A student engaged in study or research outside the state of California for an entire quarter ordinarily will be required to register in absentia. Unless an official leave of absence has been granted, or a petition to pay the Filing Fee in lieu of registration has been approved by the Dean of the Graduate Division, a student who does not register by the final deadline for any regular quarter will lose graduate standing (i.e., the individual’s status as a graduate student will lapse), and candidacy for any advanced degree will lapse. Prior to resuming graduate study in the University, a former student must successfully apply for readmission. If readmitted, the student must satisfy the academic requirements in effect at the time of readmission and may be required to satisfy certain requirements a second time, including those for formal advancement to candidacy. A readmitted student must register and then be advanced to candidacy at least one quarter before receiving an advanced degree. A degree cannot be conferred earlier than the second quarter following readmission. Students must be registered or on approved Filing Fee status for the academic term in which the degree is conferred.
A graduate student who decides to leave the University after enrolling and paying tuition and fees for a quarter must file an official Withdrawal form with the Dean of the Graduate Division. A graduate student in good academic standing who wishes to withdraw temporarily from graduate study and intends to return within one year may submit an application for a leave of absence. A graduate student who wishes to apply for a leave of absence after enrolling and paying tuition and fees for a quarter must file both a Withdrawal form and an application for a leave of absence. If the leave is approved, the student remains in good standing and need not apply for readmission in order to enroll at the expiration of the leave period. Students who file a withdrawal for any reason, including leave of absence, after enrolling and paying tuition and fees are subject to the Schedule of Refunds policy.
In absentia status is a form of registration available to academic and professional degree graduate students undertaking necessary course work or research related to their degree programs outside of California. The Fee Policy for Graduate Student in Absentia Registration promotes continuous enrollment of graduate and professional degree students by providing an appropriate enrollment incentive. Research leaves for work outside of the state of California have been eliminated. Students registered in absentia are assessed 15 percent of the Student Services Fee and Tuition, the full health insurance fees, and the Associated Graduate Students fee. If applicable, students are also assessed nonresident supplemental tuition and/or professional degree supplemental tuition. All students pursuing doctoral or master’s degrees in academic disciplines as well as those pursuing professional master’s or doctoral degrees are eligible for the fee reduction. Students must be enrolled full-time in regular University of California units to be eligible for the reduced in absentia fee. Students in self-supporting graduate programs, exchange programs, or programs paying only a program fee are not covered by this policy and are not eligible for in absentia registration.
The research or course work must be directly related to the student’s degree program as evidenced by UC faculty approval; must be of a nature that makes it necessary to be completed outside of California for at least one full academic term; must involve only indirect supervision appropriate to evaluating the student’s academic progress and performance by UC faculty during the in absentia period; must involve no significant studying or in-person collaboration with UC faculty during the in absentia period. Under no circumstances can students participate in coursework, exams or research at UC Irvine for any part of a term in which the student is on in-absentia status. Students should be advanced to candidacy before applying for in-absentia status.
Students who will be engaged in necessary degree-related course work or research off campus but within the state of California may be eligible to apply for in-absentia status by exception, depending on the location of their research.
A graduate student who withdraws from the University with the intention of returning within one year and wishes to avoid a lapse of student status should request a leave of absence. A leave of absence of up to one year’s duration may be granted by the Dean of the Graduate Division upon the recommendation of the student’s academic unit, subject to the following guidelines:
- The student must have completed satisfactorily at least one quarter in residence and be in good academic standing. The leave must be consistent with the student’s academic objectives.
- Leave ordinarily is approved in cases of serious illness or other temporary disability, or temporary interruption of the student’s academic program for other appropriate reasons.
- A student on leave is not eligible for assistance from a University fellowship, research grant, or financial aid program, and may not hold an academic appointment or be employed by the University in any capacity. During a period of leave, a student may not take comprehensive or qualifying examinations or earn academic credit (except by a transfer of credit from another institution approved in advance by the Dean of the Graduate Division). University resources and facilities, including housing, are ordinarily unavailable to students on leave.
- A student failing to register for the next regular academic session following the expiration of leave will lose graduate standing and will be subject to the following readmission policy.
A student who previously withdrew from the University, or whose student status has lapsed, may request readmission to graduate study by submitting online a new Application for Graduate Study with the nonrefundable $105 fee ($125 for international students). The Dean of the Graduate Division may grant readmission when recommended by the academic unit. If readmitted, a student’s previous academic work will be applied toward the requirements for an advanced degree only with the approval of the graduate advisor and the Dean of the Graduate Division. A readmitted student must satisfy the academic requirements in effect at the time of readmission and may be required to satisfy certain requirements a second time, including those for formal advancement to candidacy. A readmitted student must register and then be advanced or reinstated to candidacy at least one quarter before receiving an advanced degree, which will be conferred no earlier than the second quarter following readmission. In exceptional circumstances, a student who has not registered by the end of the third week of classes may file a Readmission Petition with the Graduate Division during that academic term upon approval of the student’s department chair and the respective school’s associate dean, and payment of a $105 readmission fee.
A graduate student in good standing who wishes to take advantage of educational opportunities available only at another campus of the University of California may do so through the Intercampus Exchange Program. Ordinarily, an exchange student will have demonstrated a high level of scholarship during at least one quarter of graduate study at the home campus and will have well-defined academic objectives. Approval of the faculty advisor, the host department(s), and the respective Deans of Graduate Studies is required. Direct arrangements between faculty members on the two campuses are encouraged so as to ensure that courses, seminars, or facilities will be available to meet the participating student’s needs. Students may take courses on more than one campus of the University in the same academic session.
The exchange student enrolls and pays tuition and fees on the home campus and then enrolls at the host campus, following the procedures of that Registrar’s Office. A report of academic work completed will be transferred to the student’s academic record on the home campus after the term has ended. Although eligible for all normal student services, the exchange student is a visitor and is not formally admitted to graduate study at the host campus. Application forms for the Intercampus Exchange Program may be downloaded from the Graduate Division website and should be filed with the Office at least four weeks before the beginning of the quarter in order to avoid penalties.
At least one-half of the course requirement for a master’s degree must be completed while in residence as a graduate student at UCI. Credit for up to one-fifth of the minimum number of units required for a master’s degree may be allowed for graduate-level work completed at another institution or through UCI Division of Continuing Education prior to first graduate enrollment at UCI. Such courses do not count toward the required number of units in 200-series courses. Up to one-half the units required may be accepted from another graduate division of the University of California. After enrollment, the student must initiate a formal petition for such credit and submit an original transcript. The acceptance of unit credit earned in another program must be recommended by the academic unit to which the student has been admitted and be approved by the Dean of the Graduate Division. No units of transfer credit will be given for any course in which a grade below B (3.0) or equivalent was assigned. Under no circumstances will grade credit be transferred.
A student currently enrolled in a master’s degree program or on a leave of absence may receive unit credit (not grade credit) for graduate-level work completed at another institution or through UCI Division of Continuing Education only with the prior approval of the departmental graduate advisor and the Dean of the Graduate Division. No transfer credit will be given for any course in which a grade below B or equivalent is received.
A student who begins graduate study at UCI in the fall quarter will receive appropriate credit for courses taken in preceding UCI summer sessions, provided that the formal date of admission precedes summer session enrollment. Continuing graduate students will receive credit for courses taken in intervening UCI summer sessions.
On This Page:
- Graduate Degrees Master's Degrees
- Doctor of Philosophy Degree
- Theses and Dissertations
- The Filing Fee
- Nonresident Supplemental Tuition
- Conferral of Graduate Degrees
The master’s degree is conferred at the end of the academic quarter in which all requirements have been satisfied, subject to the final approval of the Graduate Council. The student must be advanced to candidacy for the degree prior to the beginning of the final quarter of enrollment. Therefore, an application for advancement to candidacy, initiated by the student and approved by the academic unit, should be submitted to the Dean of the Graduate Division at least 30 days before the opening of the quarter in which the degree is expected.
The Master of Arts (M.A.) or Master of Science (M.S.) degree normally is attained by one of two routes: Plan I, the thesis option; or Plan II, the comprehensive examination option. Both require a minimum of one year in residence, satisfactory completion of prescribed course work, and an appropriate demonstration of achievement. Plan I includes a minimum of seven courses (28 units), 20 units or more of which must be at the graduate level; a thesis; and a general examination. Plan II requires at least nine courses (36 units), including 24 units or more at the graduate level, and a comprehensive examination covering a broad range of subject matter in the discipline. Only approved 200-series courses completed while in residence at the University satisfy the minimum graduate course requirement. Some programs will have course requirements exceeding the minimums cited above and may have additional or alternative degree requirements. Please refer to the description of the specific program for more information.
Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) degrees are awarded by the Claire Trevor School of the Arts (M.F.A. in Dance, Drama, Fine Arts, or Music) and by the Program in Creative Writing (M.F.A. in English) upon successful completion of the equivalent of two years or more of full-time study with an emphasis upon creative expression and professional development. Special thesis or comprehensive examination requirements are established for these programs.
Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degrees are awarded upon successful completion of programs designed for the professional development of elementary and secondary school teachers. A minimum of one year in residence is required, usually including summer session course work. A thesis project or other comparable evidence of professional attainment is part of each M.A.T. program.
Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degrees are awarded by The Paul Merage School of Business upon successful completion of the equivalent of two years of full-time study in the development of professional managerial skills.
Master of Computer Science (M.C.S.) professional degrees are awarded by the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science upon successful completion of 11 courses (44 units) to be completed in four quarters. Coursework includes five core courses, including two capstones, six elective courses, and a one-quarter optional summer internship component. Nearly all courses have a lab component that will allow for a more supervised hands-on learning environment with a stronger emphases on practical applications and implementation.
Master of Advanced Study (M.A.S.) degrees are awarded by the School of Social Ecology in Criminology, Law and Society upon successful completion of 52 units of course work in the broad areas of criminal justice, including corrections, probation, criminal prosecution, defense, and civil law. The program is fully online with the exception of a required one-week in-residence course during the first fall quarter.
Master in Embedded and Cyber-Physical Systems (M.E.C.P.S.) is an interdisciplinary program offered by the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science. The curriculum focuses on Embedded and Cyber-Physical Systems. This program is designed as a one-year, full-time program. Coursework includes seven foundational courses with lectures and laboratory, and two project courses leading to a final project.
Master of Finance (M.Fin.) is awarded by the Paul Merage School of Business upon successful completion of a 12-month, full-time program consisting of six required courses and seven electives (for a total of 52 units). Students have the opportunity to specialize in areas including corporate finance, investment management, wealth management, or real estate.
Master of Human-Computer Interaction and Design (M.H.C.I.D.) is a mixed format, low-residency one year degree is awarded by the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science upon successful completion of eight courses, a capstone project and portfolio, and a summer presentation.
The Master of Legal and Forensic Psychology (M.L.F.P.) degrees are awarded by the School of Social Ecology upon successful completion of 52 units of course work in a broad area that integrates facets of psychology, forensics and the law, and the intersection of psychology and legal issues. The program is a two-year professional degree program that is fully online with the exception of a one-week, in-residence course prior to the first fall quarter of instruction.
Master of Professional Accountancy (M.P.Ac.) degrees are awarded by The Paul Merage School of Business upon successful completion of 44 units of course work including core courses and electives.
Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degrees are awarded by the Program in Public Health upon successful completion of 60 units of course work including core courses, electives, and courses in the student’s emphasis.
Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) degrees are awarded by the School of Social Ecology upon successful completion of 72 units of course work including core courses and electives. Students also participate in a policy-relevant internship in an appropriate government, business, or nonprofit setting.
Master of Science (M.S.) in Nursing Science degrees are awarded by the Sue and Bill Gross School of Nursing upon successful completion of 68–71 units of course work, depending on the student’s chosen area of specialization, as well as 720 hours of clinical practice in the student’s area of emphasis to be eligible for certification.
Master of Urban and Regional Planning (M.U.R.P.) degrees are awarded by the School of Social Ecology upon successful completion of the equivalent of two years of full-time study in contemporary methods of planning and policy analysis.
The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree is awarded on the basis of evidence that the recipient possesses knowledge of a broad field of learning and expert mastery of a particular area of concentration within it. The research dissertation is expected to demonstrate critical judgment, intellectual synthesis, creativity, and skill in written communication.
Students are required to advance to candidacy for the doctorate, and to complete all requirements for the doctoral degree, within the normative time specified by the individual graduate program. Students who fail to complete the degree within the normative time limit for their program shall be deemed as not making satisfactory academic progress, and may be ineligible to continue to receive non-instructional University resources (e.g., financial aid, teaching assistantships, student housing). Normative time-to-degree parameters for each doctoral program are indicated in the academic unit sections of this Catalogue. Students who fail to complete the degree within the maximum time-to-degree limit for their program shall not be permitted to enroll. For details see the section on Academic Disqualification.
The candidate for the Ph.D. is expected to be in full-time residence for at least six regular academic quarters. Four to six years of full-time academic work beyond the bachelor’s degree typically is required to complete the degree. At the end of the first year or so of full-time study, many programs administer a preliminary examination on the student’s mastery of fundamental knowledge in the discipline. Upon successfully demonstrating a high level of scholarship on this examination and after further study, the student will continue to a series of qualifying examinations which lead to formal advancement to candidacy for the Ph.D.
Graduate students ordinarily attain candidacy status for the Ph.D. degree when all preparatory work has been completed, when qualifying examinations have been passed, and when they are ready for the dissertation phase. Students are recommended for advancement to candidacy by unanimous vote of the candidacy committee nominated by the academic unit and appointed by the Dean of the Graduate Division on behalf of the Graduate Council. The Report of the Ph.D. Candidacy Committee (Form I) must be signed by the committee at the time the candidacy examination is concluded and submitted to the Dean of the Graduate Division. Following a unanimous favorable vote of the committee, the student will be advanced to candidacy upon payment of the $90 Candidacy Fee. Candidacy for the Ph.D. will lapse automatically if the student loses graduate standing by academic disqualification or failure to comply with the University policy on continuous registration. A readmitted student who was a candidate for the Ph.D. must again advance to candidacy and thereafter enroll as a candidate for at least one academic quarter before the Ph.D. may be conferred.
Following advancement to candidacy for the Ph.D., a doctoral committee nominated by the academic unit chair and appointed by the Dean of the Graduate Division on behalf of the Graduate Council, supervises the student’s program, approves the dissertation, and conducts the final oral examination if required. The chair of the doctoral committee is the member of the faculty responsible for providing primary guidance of the student’s dissertation. Ordinarily, the final examination will be given just prior to completion of the dissertation and while the student is in residence during a regular academic session. The final examination, or defense, is open to all members of the academic community. All student committees must conform to policy approved by the Graduate Council in effect at the time of examination. Ph.D. degrees are conferred, subject to the final approval of the Graduate Council, as of the last day of the regular academic quarter in which all requirements have been satisfied.
Candidates for the Ph.D., Ed.D., and certain master’s degrees must conduct an extensive research project and submit a dissertation or thesis in order to fulfill degree requirements. Research expenses are not supported by the University, and the cost of preparing the dissertation or thesis ordinarily ranges from $200 to $1,000, but may be considerably more.
After approval by the doctoral or thesis committee appointed for each candidate by the Dean of the Graduate Division, on behalf of the Graduate Council, doctoral and master’s students must file their dissertation or thesis with the UC Irvine Library Special Collections and Archives, via the electronic dissertation or thesis submission process (a paper process is also available). Generally, dissertations and theses are made available for public access unless an embargo has been requested for a specific period of time. The final copy must meet the University’s requirements for style, format, and appearance before the degree can be conferred. See the UCI Thesis and Dissertation Manual for information about the preparation of manuscripts. All doctoral students are required to submit an Exit Survey and a Survey of Earned Doctorates prior to the awarding of their degree.
Dissertations and theses must be filed by the deadline published on the Graduate Division website in order for them to be reviewed and accepted in time for the degree to be conferred in that quarter.
Those students who complete requirements and submit theses/dissertations after the end of the tenth week of classes and prior to the start of the subsequent quarter will earn a degree for the following quarter, but will not be required to pay tuition and fees for that quarter. Please note that in order to avoid payment of tuition and fees, manuscripts, all forms, and degree paperwork must be submitted prior to the first day of the quarter in which the degree is to be earned. Students should note that this does not apply if the thesis/dissertation is submitted after the deadline for spring quarter degrees. Students who submit after the spring deadline are required to either enroll in Summer Session or pay the Filing Fee if they have not done so previously.
Under certain circumstances, a student who has advanced to candidacy for a graduate degree may be eligible to pay a Filing Fee equal to half of the Student Services Fee in lieu of registration for any academic term including summer, subject to the approval of the Dean of the Graduate Division. International students who wish to go on Filing Fee status must, in addition, secure approval to do so from UCI’s International Center. In general, all requirements for a degree must have been satisfied prior to the start of the quarter, except for the submission of the final version of the dissertation or thesis, or the completion of a final oral or comprehensive examination. A student on Filing Fee status may not make use of any University resource, hold any academic appointment, receive any fellowship, or receive any student service for which official registration and payment of regular tuition and fees is a requirement. A Filing Fee will not be accepted immediately following readmission nor immediately following a leave of absence. The date for payment of the Filing Fee is the same as that for the payment of other student fees. If all degree requirements are not completed during the academic term in which the Filing Fee is paid, the student must subsequently register and pay all applicable tuition and fees. Students may only utilize the filing fee option for one academic quarter during their graduate studies. Additional quarters are not allowed regardless of whether the student changes academic programs.
Nonresident doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy are eligible for a 100 percent reduction in the annual Nonresident Supplemental Tuition for a maximum of three consecutive calendar years including time on leave of absence. Reduced Nonresident Supplemental Tuition begins with the first academic term following advancement to candidacy. Any nonresident student who continues to be enrolled, or who re-enrolls following the three-year maximum allowance, will be charged the full Nonresident Supplemental Tuition rate that is in effect at that time of enrollment.
Prior to the beginning of the quarter in which an advanced degree is to be conferred, the student must have advanced to candidacy for that degree and should have received formal notice confirming candidacy from the Dean of the Graduate Division. The student should consult the departmental faculty graduate advisor to determine which degree requirements, if any, have not yet been satisfied.
Students are advised by mail when their diplomas are available, which is approximately six months after the quarter in which the degrees are awarded.
Graduate Hooding Ceremony. Students completing a Ph.D. or M.F.A. are eligible to walk in the Graduate Hooding Ceremony. Students are required to meet all filing deadlines and satisfy degree requirements in order to participate in the ceremony. Registration for eligible students opens in February. Inquiries about and details regarding the Graduate Hooding Ceremony may be directed to the Commencement Office.
Financial Assistance for Graduate Students
Several types of financial assistance are available to graduate students at UCI. These include fellowships, teaching and research assistantships, tuition fellowships for nonresident students, grants-in-aid, and student loans. Financial support in the form of fellowships or assistantships is typically only offered to students admitted to the Ph.D., however, some programs may offer such support to students pursuing the master's degree at their discretion.
All domestic graduate students are encouraged to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year to access state and federal grants and loans. It is available at the FASFA website or in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships after January 1, with a submission deadline of March 2 each year. The Financial Aid section in this Catalogue and the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships website contain information about assistance based upon financial need that is administered by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.
Applicants interested in assistantships or fellowships should so indicate on their application when applying for admission. Many graduate programs have a deadline for completed graduate applications of January 15; however, many graduate programs have earlier, or later, deadlines. Students should contact the academic program to which they are applying for accurate deadlines, particularly to receive full consideration for fellowship and assistantship awards. Continuing students interested in an assistantship or fellowship should contact the graduate advisor for their academic program. The awarding of fellowships to incoming students for the following academic year begins in the winter quarter.
UCI subscribes to the agreement of the Council of Graduate Schools of the United States, under which successful applicants for awards of financial support are given until April 15 to accept or decline such awards. An award accepted from one of the member universities may be resigned at any time through April 15. However, an acceptance given or left in force after that date commits the student to not accepting another appointment without first obtaining formal release for that purpose from the awarding institution.
Regents’, UCI Chancellor’s Fellowships, and other merit-based fellowships are awarded by some schools to a number of promising students entering graduate study at UCI leading to the Doctor of Philosophy or Master of Fine Arts degree. Awards may include a stipend, all required tuition and student fees, and, if applicable, Nonresident Supplemental Tuition. Other fellowships are offered, including tuition awards for outstanding applicants who are not residents of California. In many cases, fellowship stipends may be supplemented by partial assistantship appointments. Fellowship awards are typically made by the student’s academic unit.
Entering or continuing graduate students may be awarded research or teaching assistantships for all or part of the academic year. The types of assistantships, number available, and required duties vary according to the activities of the academic unit. A graduate assistant who is not a California resident also may receive a tuition fellowship. While enrolled as a graduate student at UCI, students are limited in their employment with the University to no more than 50 percent time during each academic quarter. Fellowship support as well as research or teaching assistantships all require students to maintain satisfactory academic progress as defined by UC and UCI policy as well as by their academic units.
Through the Graduate Division’s diversity programs, a number of diversity fellowships are awarded to entering and continuing domestic graduate students who may have been disadvantaged in higher education. Departments nominate candidates on the basis of their merit and contribution to the diversity of the department or discipline, as well as demonstrated scholastic achievement, full-time status, and U.S. citizenship or permanent residency. Individuals from diverse cultural, geographic, and socioeconomic backgrounds are especially encouraged to apply to UCI’s graduate programs. In conformance with State law, applicants may not be given preferential treatment on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or national origin.