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Meeting the minimum requirements does not ensure graduate admission, which is limited by the number of places and the amount of student support available in UCLA’s graduate programs. Applicants are evaluated on scholastic qualifications and formal preparation for the graduate field of study. Departments may have other requirements for admission, which are listed by department at http://www.gdnet.ucla.edu/gasaa/deptinfo/deptinfointro.asp.
Prospective students may apply online at http://www.gdnet.ucla.edu.
Most departments and schools have deadlines in November and December for the following Fall Quarter. Consult the Graduate Division website’s Admissions section for specific deadlines for each major. Some departments also accept applications for Winter and Spring Quarters.
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.
Supporting papers and materials to be submitted, including official transcripts of record and the nonrefundable application fee, are specified at http://www.gdnet.ucla.edu. Submitted materials are not returnable.
Applicants who apply for admission to a department or school that 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, see http://www.ets.org.
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.
International applicants who have completed their postsecondary education outside the U.S. are expected to hold a degree, with above average scholarship, from a university or university-level institution. If their examinations have been graded Excellent, Very Good, Good, and Pass, applicants must have at least a Very Good general rating to qualify for admission. Applicants who hold a three-year Bologna degree may be considered for admission on the recommendation of the department, program, or professional school. Applicants 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, and so forth, 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, and so forth, also do not qualify for graduate admission unless they also hold recognized university-level degrees or titles.
Students should submit official transcripts of record, in the original language in duplicate, for all college and university work. The original of an academic record that cannot be replaced must not be sent; a properly certified copy should be sent instead. Specific information for applicants from a variety of educational systems is available at http://www.gdnet.ucla.edu.
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 the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination 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, or the IELTS, administered by IELTS test centers throughout the world. See http://www.ielts.org for the nearest test center. TOEFL applications are available from TOEFL Services, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, NJ 08541-6151, (609) 771-7100, or at http://www.ets.org.
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 or IELTS examination, before or during the term in which they are to register. Failure to sit for the ESLPE results in a hold on student records. Those graduate students who believe that their initial ESLPE score is not reflective of their English language proficiency due to having recently arrived in the U.S. may sit for the examination a second time in the subsequent term only (retaking the examination in the same term is not counted as a valid result). In cases where students retake the examination in their second term of study, 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. The 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 TOEFL, nor IELTS, nor any other English proficiency test can be submitted or accepted in lieu of the ESLPE.
Graduate students who plan to work as teaching assistants (TAs) and are nonnative English-speaking international students are required to take the Test of Oral Proficiency (TOP), which is administered by the Office of Instructional Development (OID). Students who do not plan to work as teaching assistants do not need to take the TOP.
For students receiving a clear pass (7.1 or above) on the TOP, no coursework is required. Students receiving a marginal pass (between 6.4 and 7.0) are required to take an approved oral skills course either before or during their first term as teaching assistants. Students scoring 6.3 or below are not eligible to become teaching assistants and are encouraged to complete recommended coursework in English as a Second Language before taking the TOP.
No other oral examination is accepted. Entering graduate students who plan to work as teaching assistants in their first term at UCLA must arrive early enough to take the TOP before instruction begins. The examination schedule and other information about TOP are available at http://www.oid.ucla.edu/top/ or call (310) 825-3106.
Admission to the Schools of Dentistry, Law, and Medicine
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., LL.M., S.J.D., and M.D. degree programs in the Schools of Dentistry, Law, and Medicine, consult the websites or write to the respective schools for information and application procedures.
Admission to Programs in Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Life Sciences
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, cellular, and integrative life sciences with maximal choice and flexibility in selecting a research specialization. Through UCLA ACCESS to Programs in Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Life Sciences, 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.
The following Ph.D. programs use UCLA ACCESS to recruit and admit students: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Molecular Biology, Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology, and Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology in the College of Letters and Science; Oral Biology in the School of Dentistry; Biological Chemistry, Cellular and Molecular Pathology, Human Genetics, and Molecular and Medical Pharmacology in the David Geffen School of Medicine; Molecular Toxicology in the School of Public Health; and Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics in the College of Letters and Science and the School of Medicine.
Applicants apply to UCLA ACCESS 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 that 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 UCLA 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.
Obtain applications and information from the Program Coordinator, UCLA ACCESS to Programs in Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Life Sciences, 172 Boyer Hall, UCLA, Box 951570, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1570, (310) 206-6051. See http://www.uclaaccess.ucla.edu.
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 6 units of credit for each rotation.
In the Fall and Winter Quarters, students take four consecutive five-week courses in molecular and cell biology. These courses involve active student participation in small-group, discussion-based courses focused on primary research articles.
Additionally, students are required to take 6 units of elective courses from a list that includes offerings from participating Ph.D. programs. Electives are normally taken in the Spring Quarter. A course in ethics and accountability in biomedical research is also required in the Spring Quarter.
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.
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.
Students who wish to carry out their research in the laboratory of an ACCESS faculty member in the Neurobiology department must submit an application to transfer into the Neuroscience interdepartmental program.
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.
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, and the academic program must agree to accept the student for the no degree objective (NDO) status. All admission to NDO status must be specially approved 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 in the front of this catalog). Students who apply 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. The Graduate Division is particularly concerned that a careful review and special justification be made by the graduate program in all cases where an applicant or continuing student is recommended for admission to a second doctoral program. This concern also extends to a recommendation for student support for pursuit of a second doctoral degree. All degree requirements and University regulations apply just as they do for a first degree. Courses and other degree requirements 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 Summer Sessions, 1147 Murphy Hall.
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, Summer Sessions grades are included on the graduate transcript and computed in the grade-point average.
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