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Application Frequently Asked Questions

  • Application Fee: The graduate application fee is $105 for domestic applicants and $125 for international applicants. The application fee must be submitted when you apply. No application will be processed until the application fee has been received. The application fee is not refundable under any circumstances. You may pay using a credit card when applying online.
  • Fee Waiver: Graduate application fee waivers are available for eligible U.S. citizens or permanent residents based on program participation or demonstrated financial need. A fee waiver may be requested on the admission application.  *Note: if you apply for a fee waiver, do not pay the fee unless you are contacted by the Graduate Division.
  • Transcripts: Submit one official transcript for all college-level academic work including community college, summer session, and study abroad.
  • Graduate Record Examination Scores: The general test of the GRE is required for admission to graduate study at UC Merced. Applicants should arrange to have GRE scores sent to the UC Merced Graduate Division Office. GRE scores are only valid for five years after the testing year in which you tested. You may report self-reported scores on the application, however, official scores are required to complete your application. The GRE institution code for UC Merced is 4129.
  • TOEFL or IELTS Scores: All graduate applicants, regardless of citizenship, whose preparatory education was principally in a language other than English, must show evidence of having recently taken the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or TOEFL-Internet Based Test or the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) examination. Note: some programs require higher scores, please check the website for details.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation: Applicants are required to submit three letters of recommendation.  On the admissions application you will be asked to enter the email addresses of three recommenders.  Your recommenders are asked to give their personal impressions of your intellectual ability, your aptitude in research or professional skills, your character, and the quality of your previous work and potential for future productive scholarship. Applicants may waive the right to inspect their letters of recommendation on a voluntary basis. We reserve the right to verify the authenticity of any and all letters of recommendation.
  • Statement of Purpose: A statement of purpose is required to help determine whether your academic objectives can reasonably be satisfied in the graduate program to which you seek admission.
  • Personal History and Achievement/Contributions: The Personal History and Achievements/Contributions statement is required and provides admission committees insight into an applicant’s background, accomplishments, achievements or contributions that are important in evaluating the applicant for graduate study.  Relevant information includes educational, familial, cultural, economic, or social experiences, challenges, or opportunities pertinent to the applicant’s academic journey.
  • Supplemental Documents: Although not a requirement, you may submit examples of prior academic work, writing samples, or statements about research experience.
  • International Students: Students applying from foreign countries should refer to the requirements and regulations for international students.

Application Deadlines:

Click here to view the deadlines of all our graduate programs.

An applicant can be considered for only one program area during a term. The electronic application can be accessed through our Online Application System.
Before you cut and paste your document, try saving it as plain text type to eliminate characters and formatting that may not be recognized by our system.  You can also save your Statement of Purpose as a PDF and upload it on the application system.
Once you submit your application, you will receive an email with a link to check the status of your application.

Please note that UC Merced's Graduate Division will release information on the status of your application only to you. The Graduate Division's policy, based on federal and state guidelines, is to hold in confidence all information you provide in your application materials except your name and the department to which you apply, which are considered public information. If you do not want your information released, please include a written request to withhold that information from public disclosure.

Applicants are required to take the GRE general test. GRE scores are valid for five years after the testing year in which you tested.  You may report self-reported scores on the application, however, official scores are required to complete your application. The GRE institution code for UC Merced is 4129.
Every graduate group has a graduate coordinator who can answer academic or procedural questions about that particular graduate program. You can browse our Academic Studies to familiarize yourself with our programs, faculty research interests and expertise.
The campus catalog is available online for free.
Yes. Previous applicants must submit a new application, including all supporting documents, and pay the application fee.
Information regarding our privacy policy and legal statements can be viewed online.
For questions regarding graduate education at UC Merced, contact the Graduate Division at (209) 228-4723 or email us at