Skip to content Skip to navigation
See our Campus Ready site for the most up to date information about instruction.Campus ReadyCOVID Help


What is required to apply to UC Merced?

Please visit our general Application Requirements page, for a further breakdown of the requirements.

  • Application Fee: The graduate application fee is $120 for domestic applicants and $140 for international applicants. Fee Waivers are available for eligible U.S. citizens or permanent residents based on program participation or demonstrated financial need.
  • Transcripts: For the initial review process, upload a scanned copy of all college level academic work.
  • TOEFL or IELTS Scores (international students only). For more information please visit our International Applicants page.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation 
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Personal History and Achievement/Contributions
  • **Individual Program Requirements:  Please review our Application Requirements page "Individual Program Requirements" section to confirm if any additional requirements are imposed by the graduate program you are applying to (GRE test scores, Writing Samples).
Does UC Merced offer spring admissions?

UC Merced Graduate Studies only offers admissions for the fall semester. However, an exception may be made by individual programs to offer spring semester admissions. Please contact the program of interest for their spring admission policy.

My transcripts, test scores, letter of recommendations, are not ready. Should I wait until I receive them to submit my application?

Do not miss the application deadline waiting on test scores, transcripts or letter of recommendations. Be sure to note your test date and registration number on your application, and remember to send a reminder to your recommender. Transcripts may be submitted with pending course work.

When is the graduate application deadline?

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

Are official transcripts required to submit my application?

Official transcripts are NOT required until an applicant has been admitted. While submitting your application please upload scanned copies of your transcripts for all college-level academic work including community college, summer session, and study abroad. Scanned copies of your transcripts are required for the initial review process. 

Are international students eligible for income-based fee waivers?

Currently, UC Merced only offers income-based fee waivers for domestic applicants. 

How do I apply to graduate school at UC Merced?

The electronic application can be accessed through our Online Application System. An applicant may only apply to one program.

Are test scores required to be verified for my application?

Yes, test scores must be verified by the testing company. If you took the GRE/TOEFL through ETS, use the code 4129 for UC Merced, a department is not required. If you are submitting a GMAT test score use code Z9H-CF. IELTS test scores must be submitted by mail to:

University of California, Merced
Attn: Graduate Division, SSB 310
5200 N Lake Road
Merced, CA 95343

Please Note: If your gradaute program requires the GRE, you must verify your test scores through ETS. To find out if your graduate program requires the GRE, please visit our Applciation Requirements page.



I have a question about my visa.

For questions about your visa documents, contact UC Merced International Affairs office at or visit their website. 

How can I check the status of my application?
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.
What are the minimum GRE test scores required to apply?

Though GRE scores are required as part of the application process, there is not a specific score requirement. UC Merced values a holistic admissions approach where each piece of the application is considered valuable to assessing a prospective student’s potential for success. GRE scores are one component that is factored into the overall consideration. Please contact your program for program specific requirements.

Am I required to take an English-proficiency (TOEFL/ IELTS) test?

All graduate applicants, regardless of citizenship, whose preparatory education was principally in a language other than English, must show evidence of having taken the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or TOEFL-Internet Based Test or the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) examination within the past 2 years. Note: some programs require higher scores, please check the program for details.

For admission purpose only, the TOEFL may be waived for an applicant who has received an advanced degree from a U.S. institution or from a country where English is the language of instruction (proof may be required). This DOES NOT exempt the applicant from the English-proficiency examination for Teaching Assistant or Teaching Associate appointment. For more information regarding the English-proficiency examination, please visit our International Application Information page.

Am I required to take a GRE test?

As of the Fall 2021 admissions cycle, the GRE requirement is now decided by the individual graduate program. Please refer to our Application Requirements page, under the "Individual Programs Requirements" section. There you will find a table of all the graduate programs and their GRE requirement policy. 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. 

My test scores have not been received.

Please ensure that you have submitted your verified test scores through ETS using code 4129. The test scores take approximately 10-15 days to be received by the institution. If your GRE test was taken by paper form, the test scores can take up to 5 weeks. If after 5 weeks your test scores have not been received, please contact contact ETS  directly.

Do all of my letters of recommendation need to be received by the application deadline?

All letters of recommendation do not need to be received by the application deadline. It is important that the applicant submits their application by the deadline, but all recommendation do not need to be submitted by the application deadline. However, graduate programs will expect letters of recommendation to arrive shortly after the application has been submitted.

How do I decide which academic discipline is right for me?

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.

How do I submit a letter of recommendation?

When submitting your application you will be requested to input emails of references. Those references will receive a link to a survey and will be instructed to provide UCM Graduate Studies with a letter of recommendation. Graduate Admissions will not accept letter of recommendations that come directly from the applicant.

What does it mean if I waive my right to examine my letter(s) of recommendation?

If you select "Yes" and waive your right to examine the recommendation, you are only stating that you will not ask *UC Merced* to provide you a copy of the recommendation.  Responding "Yes" gives your recommender the option to keep their letter confidential, and the graduate program will know that the recommender had the opportunity to provide an honest assessment. 

If you select "No" regarding the waiver, you are indicating that you may ask UC Merced to provide you with a copy of your recommendation for review. Please keep in mind by selecting “No,” there are some recommenders who will not submit if this is selected. You will then need to find a recommender who is willing to submit. 

If I want to re-apply, do I need to fill out a new application?

Yes. Previous applicants must submit a new application, including all supporting documents, and pay the application fee.

What if my recommender has not received a link?

If you recommender has not received a link to attach a letter of recommendation this may indicate that the email address was inputted incorrectly. You may log back onto your application and update your reference's information, then click on "resend link."

If this is not the case, please contact

Who do I contact if I have further questions?

For questions regarding graduate education at UC Merced, contact the Graduate Division at 209-228-4723 or email

When should I expect an admissions decision?

Admissions decisions are based on a rolling basis and vary among programs. In general, you can expect an admissions decision to be sent between March-June. Once an admissions decision is made you will receive an email directing you to login onto your "Application Status Page."

If a decision is not reflected on your "Application Status Page" then your application is still under faculty review.

Can I apply for more than one UC Merced graduate program?

No, UCM Graduate Studies limits only one graduate application per admissions cycle.

Am I required to take a GRE subject test?

Currently, no graduate program requires the GRE Subject Test. As this is subject to change, Graduate Admissions encourages applicants to visit and review the webpage of the program you wish to apply. For a list of application requirements, please visit our General Application Requirements page. 

Can I submit my application after the general January 15th deadline?

Please visit our Application Deadlines page, some graduate programs may continue to accept applications after the general January 15th deadline. Financial support may not be available to late applicants.

Can I update my list of recommenders?

Yes, you may update your list of recommenders. Please log back onto your application and select the "Recommendations" tab. Select the recommender you wish to remove my clicking "edit." Once the edits have been completed, click on "Send to Recommender" for your new recommender to receive the link to attach your letter of recommendation.

What is UC Merced's graduate application fee?

The application fee is $120 for domestic applicants, and $140 for international applicants.

When is the deadline for letter of recommendations?

Your application and all required documents should be submitted by January 15th. Each piece of an application is considered valuable in assesing a prospective student's potential for success, including letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation provide information on an applicant's potential for success, and should be submitted as soon as possible to provide a complete application for faculty to review.