Graduate Admissions

UCLA Materials Science and Engineering Applicants:

Thank you for your interest in UCLA’s Department of Materials Science & Engineering (MSE) Graduate Program. Please make sure that you read all requirements and application related information given below before starting the online application. The online application comes with complete instructions and further information. University regulations do not permit an applicant to apply to more than one major. Students can apply for only one major and one graduate program per admission cycle. Double applications will not be accepted. Please decide which of our programs is most appropriate for you prior to submitting an application.

Please do not email the department to verify if materials have been received. The MSE Graduate Department will email you if your application is incomplete or if any documents are missing.

Application Deadline

The application for the 2024-2025 academic year opened in mid September and the application deadline is December 9 by 11:59 pm Pacific Time (PST).

Admission to the Materials Science and Engineering graduate programs is offered only during the Fall.  Please submit your completed application with all the required supplementary documents by the application deadline above.

A faculty committee member in each major program will review submitted applications and will select the best-qualified applicants for each program.

Late applications will not be accepted and changes/updates to applications cannot be made after submitting the application online.

If you have any questions about the graduate programs in MSE or the application process – please send an email to

Due to the high volume of applicants received every year – please allow the Department 5-15 business days to respond to each email.  

Apply Online

You can start the application process by completing the Online Application for Graduate Admission. You can take a look at the specific Application Requirements beforehand.

Checking Decision Status

You can check your admission decision status through the Online Decision Status for Graduate Admission beginning March 1. All applicants that have paid the application fee – or that have been approved for an application fee waiver – can expect to receive a decision on the application some time in late Spring.

Application Requirements

There are seven elements that support your online application.

Application Fee

An applicant – to have the application fully reviewed – needs to submit the online Application for Graduate Admission with the nonrefundable application fee ($135 [for U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents] or $155 [for all other applicants]. 

For information on application fee waivers, see UCLA’s Admissions FAQs.

International applicants are NOT eligible for fee waivers.


Grade Point Average (GPA)

To apply for the M.S. degree, applicants should have a B.S. degree in Materials Science and Engineering or a comparable major with a GPA that is the equivalent of not less than 3.0/4.0 in undergraduate study.

To apply for the Ph.D. degree, applicants should have a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering or a comparable major with a GPA of not less than 3.25/4.0 in undergraduate study.

Transcripts not based on the 4.0 system will be evaluated for minimum requirements. It should be noted that meeting the above minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. The standard for admission is set by the applicant pool and is generally much higher than the minimum requirements.

Statement of Purpose

The online application allows you to include your statement of purpose. This statement should be brief and concise. Please follow the page and formatting requirement specified in the application. Your statement is a means of helping match your academic and research interests with those of our faculty. This is very important if you are applying for financial support. It should not be a personal life history, but should contain only such personal details as will aid the Admissions Committee in evaluating your application. Describe exactly which field you wish to study at UCLA. The graduate research for the MSE Department falls into one of three fields of study:

  • Ceramics and Ceramic Processing
  • Electronic and Optical Materials
  • Structural Materials

Letters of Recommendation

At least three letters of recommendation should be submitted. When submitting your online application, you will be required to list one email address for each recommender. Each recommender will then be notified electronically by UCLA, and they will then submit their letters of recommendation using a secure interface. Letters should be on the recommender’s letterhead. The recommenders should state your full name, their full name and title, and their opinion of your ability to do graduate level research at UCLA. When the recommender submits the letter of recommendation, it is posted to the online application and will become part of your application. Applicants are able to remind faculty to submit their letters by having the system resend the email to those recommending the applicant.

  • For the M.S. program: we recommend that you provide letters of reference from professors who have taught you in your junior and senior years.
  • For the Ph.D. program: we urge that all your letters be from academic references as recent as possible; if you have an M.S., letters from professors who have served on your M.S. committee are particularly helpful. If you cannot obtain academic references, the letters should be from people who can comment on your recent professional attainments and your qualifications for graduate study in MSE at UCLA.

Note: if you are part of the Exceptional Student Admission Program (ESAP), only two letters of recommendation are required.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

Students who wish to apply for admission to our graduate program are not required to take the GRE or submit a GRE score report as part of their application package, however, it is highly encouraged for PhD applicants.  The applications with GRE scores will not be given greater weight than those that do not include scores.

The GRE codes for UCLA and the MSE Department are as follows:

  • Institution Code: 4837
  • Department Code: 1403

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (If Applicable)

As of October 9, 2020, the MSE Department requires International applicants whose first language is not English to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System). Official scores can be sent through ETS to the MSE department. Scores are required for admission to both M.S. and Ph.D. programs. The results of this test help applicants determine whether they are prepared to undertake graduate study conducted in English before making extensive plans for graduate study in the U.S. A score of at least 560 on the TOEFL paper and pencil test or 220 on the TOEFL computer based is required for applicants to graduate programs at UCLA. For more information check the Graduate Program website.


ETS is now offering both the GRE and TOEFL at home for test-takers in some countries.

As of September 4, 2020, IELTS Indicator and the TOEFL ITP Plus for China remain under review by the UCLA Graduate Council; no decision has yet been made as to whether UCLA will accept these scores to fulfill the ESL requirement.

  • Minimum IELTS overall score requirement is a 7.0.
  • Minimum TOEFL overall score requirement is 87. Minimum sub-scores are as follows:
    • Writing: 25
    • Speaking: 24
    • Reading: 21
    • Listening: 17

The MSE department will allow a score below the minimum on one section of the exam if your total TOEFL score is at least 87. 

The TOEFL codes for UCLA and the MSE Department are as follows:

  • Institution Code: 4837
  • Department Code: 69

Applications are not considered complete without test scores. The department requires official TOEFL/IELTS test scores. Scanned copies/PDFs/photos will not be accepted.

International Applicants who hold a bachelor’s or higher degree from a university located in the United States or in another country in which English is both the primary spoken language of daily life (e.g., Australia, Barbados, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, United Kingdom) AND the medium of instruction, or who have completed at least two years of full-time study at the time of application submission  at such an institution, are exempted from both the TOEFL/IELTS requirement and the English as a Second Language Placement Examination (ESLPE).

Please note: admitted applicants are required, upon arrival at UCLA, to take the UCLA English as a Second Language Placement Examination (ESLPE), an English diagnostic test, before being permitted to register. Depending on the results of the ESLPE, you may be required to complete English as a Second Language courses beginning in your first term at UCLA. If English courses are required, you should anticipate spending a longer period of time at the University. Admission is canceled for those who do not pass the ESLPE. Please note that you must sit for the ESLPE regardless of your score obtained on the TOEFL, IELTS, or any other English proficiency test.


All applicants must upload their unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended to the online application portal.  An unofficial transcript must: have been generated by your Registrar’s office, be clearly legible, include the word transcript and the name of the institution, include your name, program of study, and the major field of study, include a complete list of courses/terms/corresponding grades/units, and the cumulative GPA calculations. Degree audit reports, advising/progress plans, web portal pages, and degree plans CANNOT BE ACCEPTED.

International applicants must upload official transcripts in both English and the native language and also upload official enrollment verification certificates and degree certificates/diplomas (if applicable) in both English and the native language.

If the applicant has already completed a BS and/or MS degree, the applicant should upload official transcripts that include the degree conferred/awarded date. These applicants must also send official verified e-transcripts via email addressed to the MSE Admissions Officer:

As electronic (E) transcripts have become the norm for institutions in the United States, and at more and more institutions around the world, we would like to encourage our applicants to submit official documents in that format.


A resume should be uploaded to the online application. The admission committee will take into consideration factors such as research experience or publications, but they will not replace any of the above requirements. We do not offer conditional admission for applicants who need remedial work at the undergraduate level. Such work should be completed before applying to our program.

Personal History Statement

The Personal History Statement is an opportunity for the applicant to provide additional information to the review committee. It should include a diversity statement (differences including race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and more), if applicable. 

Mailing Address for Application Documents

As electronic (E) transcripts have become the norm for institutions in the United States, and at more and more institutions around the world, we would like to encourage our applicants to submit official documents in that format. Documents that cannot be sent electronically through the applicant’s institution should be sent  to the following address:

MSE Admissions Officer
UCLA, Materials Science & Engineering
420 Westwood Plaza, 3111 Engineering V
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1595

Further Questions Regarding Admissions

For further questions regarding the MSE Graduate Program or questions relating to the application process, please check the MSE Department’s  Graduate Admission Applicant FAQ page and Graduate Requirements page.

If you have questions or problems that are not answered on the MSE website – please send an email to the MSE Admissions Officer at or to the UCLA Graduate Division at