College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences

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Application Process

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UCR Graduate School Application

The General and Physics Subject GRE are optional for admission to our graduate program.

All Ph.D. applicants that apply to the Fall quarter will be considered for financial support in the form of fellowships and teaching assistantships. For full consideration of fellowship stipends, apply before the January 5th, 2024 deadline. After this date, files will be considered for fellowship stipends based on available funding. [Notes: (a) we are primarily a Ph.D. granting program, and generally cannot offer support for M.S. students; (b) only in exceptional cases do we admit students for Winter or Spring quarter, and financial support is generally not available].

International students whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The test must be taken within two years of matriculation (i.e. September 2018 for Fall 2020 admission), and the minimum scores for admission are: 550 (paper based), 213 (computer based), 80 (iBT). For those international students, preference for admission and fellowships will be given to those taking the TAST (i.e. the speaking portion of the TOEFL iBT). Those international students with a score of 17 or higher on the TAST (i.e. the speaking portion of the TOEFL iBT) will be eligible for additional money by serving as a part time teaching assistant and will be given preference for admission and fellowship. Note that a TAST score of 17-22 is considered a conditional pass and students can teach but must take a free English class and retake at the quarter, while 23-30 is a considered clear pass. 

In making recommendations to our Graduate Division, complete files are evaluated, including research experience, institution attended, and GPA. Demonstrated ability to conduct independent research and letters of recommendation are given substantial weight in addition to solid GPA. [Notes: (a) we mostly consider your GPA for your last two years of study. (b) undergraduate physics core classes are required including upper division quantum mechanics, electricity & magnetism, and mechanics].

We typically receive over 300 Ph.D. applications. The vast majority of Ph.D. students we admit receive fellowship packages and are fully supported.  First year students take Physics 288, which introduces them to the research being performed in the department. Students are then asked to find an initial advisor before the beginning of their third quarter and an official advisor before the end of their second year of study.

The General and Physics Subject GRE are not required for admission to our graduate program for this cycle. Our ETS codes for the general GRE is R4839 (UCR) and for the Physics Subject GRE 0808 (Physics).


To Apply

In order to apply, complete the official UCR Graduate School Application and consult the Graduate Division Admissions for further information. Incomplete applications cannot be forwarded to the Graduate Division for fellowship and/or admission consideration. Mail received during the holidays will be properly delivered to our office.

Arrange to have your transcripts (from all institutions attended) and any remaining material sent to:

Department of Physics & Astronomy 
University of California, Riverside
Riverside, CA 92521
Telephone: (951) 827-5332
FAX: (951) 827-4529


Fee Waivers

UCR offers fee waivers to eligible graduate school applicants. Applicants must be US citizens, permanent residents, or undocumented applicants to demonstrate financial need/hardship or are a current/recent participant in certain qualifying graduate preparation programs. Information for eligibility and requests for a fee waiver are available at

Please note: fee waivers are available on a first-come first-served basis until the funds are depleted. We strongly encourage applicants seeking a fee waiver to apply early.

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