Thank you for your interest in the graduate program in the Department of Physics at the University of California, San Diego.

Application Information

Application Deadline for 2021-22 is: December 16th, 2020.

Online Graduate Applications for 2021-22 opens up on September 9th, 2020.

Web Address:

In order to process your application, we require the following documents uploaded online (Please don't mail or email documents):

  1. Official transcripts-accept scanned PDF transcripts only for application review
  2. Statement of Purpose
  3. Three letters of reference
  4. List of upper division STEM courses (use this template)
  5. (OPTIONAL for Fall 2021 Application) Graduate Record Examination (GRE); general and advanced physics scores - request ETS to report your scores to the Institute Code 4836
  6. Application fee: Domestic $120.00, International $140.00
  7. Electronic Graduate Application 2021-2022
  8. TOEFL Score Report / the IELTS Score Report (International Applicants Only) - request ETS to report your TOEFL scores to the Institute Code 4836. Official IELTS need to be mailed.

Incomplete files and applications received after December 16th, 2020 will be considered only if space is available.

GRE Update

We understand that many of our applicants may face difficulty scheduling GRE tests due to complications with COVID-19. Because of this, the GRE will NOT be required for Physics PhD, Biophysics PhD, or Physics BS/MS applications for Fall 2021 admission. Applicants may still submit valid scores if they have already taken the test. Applicants with valid test scores should request that ETS submit the scores directly to the UCSD institution code 4836; department codes are not necessary. Information about the GRE is available from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) website.

No application will be penalized or placed at a disadvantage by not reporting Physics or General GRE scores.

Entrance Requirements

Entering graduate students are required to have a sound knowledge of undergraduate mechanics, electricity and magnetism, to have had senior courses or their equivalent in atomic and quantum physics, nuclear physics, and thermodynamics; and to have taken upper division laboratory work.

Attention 2021-22 International Applicants

Foreign students from non-English speaking countries are required to demonstrate proficiency in English via the TOEFL/IELTS exam.

The minimum TOEFL score required is 85 for Internet based (iBT) and the minimum TOEFL Speaking score required is 23. The minimum International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score required is Band Score 7 and the minimum IELTS Speaking score required is 7. The Test for Spoken English (TSE) is highly recommended.

International Students whose native language is not English will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency before they may serve as teaching assistants.

Revised for 2021-2022 admissions