Graduate training at UCLA takes place in the classrooms, the laboratories, the libraries, in specialized seminars, through independent research, and in teaching experiences. As a graduate student, education is enriched by the several hundred postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars from other universities who engage in research and teaching at UCLA every year. This unique research environment promotes the quality of original work and study which is the hallmark of graduate education.
The degree of Master of Arts or Master of Science, or one of several professional degrees such as Master of Business Administration or Juris Doctor, is intended to develop mastery of a field and prepare students for the practice of a profession. The doctoral degree (Ph.D., Ed.D., etc.) is designed to prepare students for creative activity and original research, often in association with college or university teaching.
The UCLA Graduate Division is responsible for administering policy established by the Academic Senate's Graduate Council for master's, doctoral, and professional degree programs other than those in law, medicine, and dentistry. It oversees graduate recruitment and admissions, fellowships, teaching assistantships, graduate student researcher appointments, and other graduate student support, affirmative action, and the maintenance of high quality standards in all UCLA graduate programs. The dean of the Graduate Division also serves as vice chancellor -- academic affairs.
The Graduate Council is a standing committee of the UCLA Academic Senate. In keeping with the University's philosophy of shared governance, the council is responsible for the establishment of policy and standards for graduate education at UCLA; the approval, review, and monitoring of graduate degree programs; and recommendations regarding fellowships and assistantships.
After admission to a department, program, or school, each graduate student is assigned a graduate adviser who assists the student in program planning and completing degree requirements. The graduate adviser is available for counseling whenever needed; departments usually require at least one student consultation each term. When the master's or doctoral committee is established, the faculty chair of that committee often assumes the adviser's role.
UCLA's Graduate Students Association (GSA) shares an equal voice with the Undergraduate Students Association in the governance of the Associated Students. For more details on the GSA, see Student Activities in the About UCLA section of this catalog.
Graduate Admissions/Student and Academic Affairs
1255 Murphy Hall
U.S. applicants to graduate standing must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution comparable in standard and content to that awarded at the University of California. Degrees granted on the basis, for example, of nonacademic prior learning, test scores, and other than organized supervised coursework in academic subjects are not considered comparable. A scholastic average of B or better (or its equivalent if the letter grade system is not used) is required in the last two years of undergraduate coursework and in any postbaccalaureate study.
International applicants who have completed their postsecondary education outside the U.S. are expected to hold a degree, with above average scholarship, from a non-U.S. university or university-level institution. If their examinations have been graded Excellent, Very Good, Good, and Pass, students must have at least a Very Good general rating to qualify for admission. Students who hold a three-year ordinary or pass degree, or who hold a professional diploma in accounting, business, librarianship, social work, physical education, health education, etc., or a four-year degree, diploma, or higher certificate from a technical, vocational, or postsecondary specialized school, should not apply for graduate admission. Persons with memberships in professional associations such as Institutes of Chartered Accountants, the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, etc., also do not qualify for graduate admission.
Meeting the minimum requirements does not ensure graduate admission, which is limited by the number of places available in UCLA's schools, college, and departments. Applications are evaluated in terms of scholastic qualifications and formal preparation for the graduate field of study. Departments may have special requirements for admission, which are included under individual departmental listings in this catalog.
Applying for Admission
Applicants are encouraged to apply electronically using the application on the World Wide Web, which can be accessed at http://www.gdnet.ucla.edu. The paper Application for Graduate Admission may be obtained in person or by mail from the prospective school or department.
Applications are generally accepted for Fall, Winter, and Spring Quarters, although some departments limit admission to Fall Quarter due to course sequencing. Such restrictions are stated in this catalog's departmental listings and in the application brochure. Enrollment in Summer Sessions courses does not constitute admission to graduate standing.
Applications and supporting papers should be on file by the following dates (if
the dates below fall on a weekend or holiday, the next working day applies):
Winter Quarter 1998
Supporting papers and materials to be submitted, including official transcripts of record and a $40 nonrefundable application fee, are specified in the application brochure and on the website at http://www.gdnet.ucla.edu. Submitted materials are not returnable.
Graduate Record Examination
Applicants who apply for admission to a department or school which requires Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores should arrange to take the examination no later than December so scores arrive on time. GRE scores should be sent directly to the prospective department and not to the Graduate Division.
GRE applications and information about both paper and computer-based testing are available from offices of the Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box 6000, Princeton, NJ 08541-6000. For information on GRE Fee Waivers, write to the associate program director at the above address.
Graduate Record Examination1997-98 Test Dates
and Subject Tests
and Subject Tests
Most graduate professional schools, departments, and interdepartmental programs at UCLA require applicants to submit three letters of recommendation. Letters typically augment, validate, or explain information provided in the application and should be written by people qualified to analyze students' abilities and academic promise. In some cases, these letters may mean the difference between acceptance and rejection. Letters should be sent directly to the prospective department. Forms to be used are included in the application brochure.
UCLA requires, as a condition of registration, that all graduate students and all international students on nonimmigrant visas have adequate medical insurance coverage during all periods of enrollment. See Mandatory Medical Insurance Requirement under Graduate Registration later in this section.
Applicants who have credentials from universities and colleges in foreign countries should submit applications at least two months before application deadlines. International applicants should have an academic degree or professional title earned at a university and are evaluated on the basis of grades (marks) and class or rank achieved. Students should submit official transcripts of record, in duplicate, for all college and university work. Specific instructions are given in the application brochure.
Proficiency in English
International students who hold a bachelor's or higher degree from a university in a country where the official language is English and in which English is the spoken tongue and the medium of instruction are exempt from both the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the UCLA English as a Second Language Placement Examination (ESLPE). All other applicants must take the TOEFL, administered by the Educational Testing Service in some 95 foreign centers. Applications are available from TOEFL/TSE Publications, P.O. Box 6154, Princeton, NJ 08541-6154 (609-771-7760).
Students whose native language is not English are required to take the UCLA English as a Second Language Placement Examination (ESLPE) in addition to the TOEFL, before the term in which they are to register. Failure to sit for the ESLPE results in a hold on student records. Graduate students may take the ESLPE only once in a given term. They may retest in a subsequent term, and in such cases the most recent examination score is held to be valid. Unauthorized retakes of the examination result in an invalid examination score. Depending on the ESLPE results, students may be required to complete one or more courses in the English as a Second Language 33 series, beginning in their first term in residence at UCLA. These courses must be passed with a grade of C or better if taken for a letter grade, or B or better if taken on an S/U basis. Students should expect to spend a longer period of time at the University than would normally be necessary to complete a degree program if they are required to take any English as a second language courses. If they do not achieve a minimum score on the ESLPE, their admission is deferred until they have acquired the necessary proficiency in English. Neither the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) nor any other English proficiency test can be submitted or accepted in lieu of the ESLPE.
International students or permanent residents who are not native speakers of English, before they are allowed to serve as teaching assistants, must take and pass either the Test of Spoken English (TSE) offered at TOEFL Centers in their home countries or the SPEAK examination (institutional version of the TSE) on arrival at UCLA. They can "pass" with a score of 50 or "pass conditionally" with a score of 45 if they also are enrolled in English as a Second Language 32 or 34 at UCLA. Students should consult with their departments to determine if they require a higher score. If students are to serve as teaching assistants during their first term at UCLA, it is very important that they either take and pass the TSE before arrival, or arrive on campus early enough to take the SPEAK examination before instruction begins. UCLA's Office of Instructional Development (OID) conducts the SPEAK testing. Students should contact either their departments or the TA Training Program at (310) 206-2622 or 825-7867 for more information and the SPEAK examination schedule.
UCLA has no special limited or unclassified categories of graduate admission. Under some circumstances, however, applicants may be admitted for coursework without a degree objective. For example, teachers with a master's degree who wish some refresher study, or international students on a year's stay in the U.S., may wish to apply in this manner. Requirements for admission are the same as those for degree programs. All admission to no degree objective (NDO) programs, except for students in official Education Abroad Programs, must be preapproved by the dean of the Graduate Division, as must any University financial assistance for students on NDO status.
The University of California, in general, discourages the duplication of advanced degrees. At the same time, it recognizes that a professional degree does not duplicate an academic one, and that pressing needs may exist for degrees in different areas (see Concurrent and Articulated Degree Programs later in this section). Students who are applying for a second academic degree at the same level or lower than the one they already hold are required to show compelling cause to the department. All degree requirements and University regulations apply just as they do for a first degree. Courses already applied to the earlier degree may not be applied to the second.
Enrollment in Summer Sessions courses does not constitute admission to graduate standing, nor does it substitute for the required continuous registration in Fall, Winter, and Spring Quarters. Students who wish to apply Summer Sessions courses to their subsequent graduate program should consult in advance with their departmental adviser. This is also true if they have been readmitted to graduate standing and wish to resume graduate study in Summer Sessions. Information and applications are available from the Office of Summer Sessions, 1147 Murphy Hall. Also refer to Academic Residence and Transfer of Credit later in this section.
If students take Summer Sessions courses following the award of their bachelor's degree, the grades do not appear on the undergraduate transcript (they are included on a separate transcript). After students are accepted by the Graduate Division, their Summer Sessions grades are included on the graduate transcript and computed in the grade-point average.
Students who are granted a formal leave of absence do not have to apply for readmission if they resume their graduate work in accordance with the terms of their leaves. All other continuing graduate students who fail to register for any regular session, or who fail to complete a term through cancellation or withdrawal, must compete for readmission with new applicants.
Students who have registered at any time as a graduate student at UCLA and are returning after an absence (except a formal leave of absence) must file an Application for Graduate Admission. Forms are available from the departments and should be submitted to Graduate Admissions/Student and Academic Affairs, 1255 Murphy Hall, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90024-1428. The following materials must accompany the application:
(1) A check or money order for $40 (nonrefundable) made payable to The Regents of the University of California.
(2) The Graduate Petition for Change of Major, if appropriate. (Students who are reapplying in a new major should request this form along with the Application for Graduate Admission.) The UCLA graduate transcript must also be submitted.
(3) Transcripts of all academic work completed since registration at UCLA as a graduate student.
Applicants for M.S. and Ph.D. programs in departments of the School of Medicine or Dentistry should apply for admission to the Graduate Division as described above. For admission to D.D.S., J.D., and M.D. degree programs in the Schools of Dentistry, Law, and Medicine, write to the respective schools for their announcement booklets and for information and application procedures.
Special Programs and Training
The life and basic biomedical sciences departments at UCLA offer a mechanism for a combined recruitment, admission, and first-year program that provides Ph.D. students in the molecular and cellular life sciences with maximal choice and flexibility in selecting a research specialization. Through UCLA ACCESS, students are able to select research projects from faculty mentors according to changing perceptions, interests, and goals without regard to traditional departmental boundaries. The first year of each degree program has a common curriculum and advising structure.
UCLA ACCESS is used to recruit and admit students to the following 11 Ph.D. programs: Biochemistry, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Molecular Biology, Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology, and Physiological Science in the College of Letters and Science; Anatomy and Cell Biology, Biological Chemistry, Experimental Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, Pharmacology, and Physiology in the School of Medicine. For specific information, refer to the individual department listings in the Curricula and Courses section of this catalog.
Applicants apply to UCLA ACCESS to Programs in Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences rather than to an individual department and must have completed an undergraduate major in a life or physical sciences discipline with superior scholastic achievement. Students should have preparation in physics, biology, and chemistry, as well as specialized courses within the major which may include cell biology, neurobiology, immunology, structural or computational biology, microbiology, virology, plant molecular biology, developmental biology, biochemistry, or molecular biology. In certain cases, background deficiencies may be remedied concurrently with graduate studies if recommended by the ACCESS steering committee. In addition to the UCLA Application for Graduate Admission, students should submit their scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test (Subject Test is optional) and three letters of recommendation from individuals who can provide direct knowledge of their academic record and potential for superior achievement in independent research. Admission is limited to Fall Quarter.
Applications and further information are available from the Program Coordinator, UCLA ACCESS to Programs in Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences, 172 MBI, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90024-1570 (310-206-6051).
First-Year Course Requirements
Individual requirements vary based on background and scientific interest and are determined by the steering committee. In general a formal course of study consists of three lecture courses, three laboratory rotations, and three seminar courses. In addition, participation is required in related activities on an informal basis.
Three survey lecture courses to be selected from a list of approved courses maintained in the program office are required (one in molecular biology, one in cellular biology, and an elective in one of several areas).
Students must enroll in one seminar course each term that includes reading and reporting on current research literature.
During their first nine months in residence, students rotate for one term each through three laboratories selected from the UCLA ACCESS faculty list. They enroll in a 500-level course for six units of credit for each rotation.
An additional course in ethics (Microbiology and Molecular Genetics M234) is required.
All departments participating in UCLA ACCESS consider teaching experience to be an integral part of the graduate program. Students are required to complete two terms of teaching beginning in their second year. They are also required to complete a course on approaches and methods for successful teaching.
Transfer to the Degree-Granting Program
Students are admitted to UCLA graduate standing through UCLA ACCESS on a provisional basis for up to four terms. At the end of Spring Quarter, academic progress is evaluated by the steering committee. Students who receive a satisfactory evaluation select a faculty mentor as their doctoral committee chair. With concurrence of the mentor and the degree-granting program, students then transfer from UCLA ACCESS to that program for the remainder of their Ph.D. studies.
In the event students are unable to identify a suitable mentor and program by the end of their first year, one additional laboratory rotation approved by the steering committee is available during the summer quarter. Students who are unable to arrange for a laboratory after four rotations are recommended for release from their provisional graduate standing.
As an integral part of an Academic Resource Sharing program linking UCLA with the University of Southern California, the Graduate Cross-Enrollment Program makes possible graduate student exchanges in many departments. The program is limited to specialized courses which would not otherwise be available to UCLA students and is in effect only during the regular academic year (not in summer).
Students who have completed at least one term of graduate study at UCLA, are in good academic standing, and have obtained the necessary approvals may enroll in a 501 course through their department. When they have completed the course at USC, their grade is forwarded to UCLA to be recorded on the transcript (S/U grading only). Only eight units of cross-enrollment courses may be applied toward requirements for the master's degree, and these courses may not be used to satisfy the minimum five-graduate-course requirement. Applications, available from Graduate Admissions/Student and Academic Affairs, 1255 Murphy Hall, should be completed before the start of the term in which the course is offered.
Students who have completed one term of graduate study at any campus of the University and are in good academic standing may attend another campus as an Intercampus Exchange Graduate Student with the approval of their department chair, the chair of the department or group in which they wish to study at the host campus, and the dean of the Graduate Division at both the home and host campuses. The privilege should be used only by students whose graduate study may be enhanced by work with certain faculty or use of facilities and resources accessible only at another campus.
Although students are considered to be in residence at their home campus, as an Intercampus Exchange Student they have library, health service, and recreation center privileges at the host campus. Grades are transferred to their home campus and entered on the official record.
Applications are available from Graduate Admissions/Student and Academic Affairs and should be filed at least four weeks before the beginning of the term in which students expect to enter the program. The program is available only during the regular academic year (not in summer).
Graduate students may also take advantage of the Education Abroad Program described in the About UCLA section of this catalog.
The University makes opportunities and facilities available to qualified scholars -- those holding doctoral degrees or foreign equivalents -- to continue advanced study and research under faculty guidance.
A postdoctoral fellow is one who (1) has been awarded a doctoral degree or the foreign equivalent where at least three years of undergraduate study are requisite to admission to the graduate program, (2) has been awarded a fellowship, traineeship, or equivalent support (including academic appointments such as postgraduate researcher) for studies at the postdoctoral level, and (3) is pursuing a program of research and training under the direction of a faculty member with the approval of the department or research unit, and by the dean of the Graduate Division. Enrollment as a postdoctoral fellow is normally for a period of one to three years and is limited to a period not to exceed five years. Interested candidates should make advance arrangements with the relevant department or research unit.
The same opportunities are made available to visiting scholars -- senior scholars and distinguished visitors holding doctoral degrees or foreign equivalents -- who wish to pursue independent research or advanced study at UCLA, working with a colleague for a limited time, normally no more than one year. Visiting scholars are distinguished from postdoctoral fellows in that they are not in training under faculty supervision but rather are themselves peers of our faculty, visiting from other universities and institutions where they hold appointments. Visiting scholars ordinarily have adequate support funds from sources outside the University.
Further information on both postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars is available from Graduate Admissions/Student and Academic Affairs, 1255 Murphy Hall.