Admissions & Application

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(Please Note: Our applications open on October 1st)


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Application Deadlines

When applying to one of the graduate programs at the Baskin School of Engineering, please keep in mind the following application deadlines. Applications for Fall Quarter will be accepted beginning October 1st.
Please note - We do not offer Winter or Spring admission.

Please refer to the Division of Graduate Studies Admissions website for our current application due date.

Applied Mathematics (AM)

Biomolecular Engineering & Bioinformatics (BMEB)

Computational Media (CMPM)

Computer Science & Engineering (CSE)

Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE)

Games + Playable Media (GPM)

Professional MS:
We are not accepting applications for Fall 2023/24

Human Computer Interaction (HCI)

Professional MS:

Apply to MS

Natural Language Processing (NLP)

Professional MS:

Apply to MS

Scientific Computing & Applied Mathematics (SciCAM)

Serious Games

Not accepting applications for the 2023-2024 cycle

Statistical Science (STAT)

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What are the graduate programs offered by the School of Engineering at UCSC?

Applied Mathematics (AM) MS and PhD

Biomolecular Engineering & Bioinformatics (BMEB) MS and PhD

Computational Media (CMPM) MS and PhD

Computer Engineering (CMPE) MS

Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) MS and PhD

Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) MS and PhD

Human Computer Interaction (HCI) MS

Natural Language Processing (NLP) MS

Scientific Computing & Applied Mathematics (SciCAM) MS

Statistical Science (STAT) MS and PhD

To which program should I apply?

You should consult the graduate programs’ pages to learn about their requirements, faculty, and research emphases in order to decide which program will best allow you to pursue your research goals.

What are the criteria for admissions to graduate study in the School of Engineering at UCSC?

The evaluation process for applications is extremely complex, taking into account all the material submitted with the application. Grade point average (GPA), GRE scores (if required, please refer to the individual program pages), TOEFL or IELTS (for international students), letters of recommendation, research, industry experience, and statement of purpose all play a role. To be considered for admissions, applicants must have submitted all of their completed application materials by the application deadline. International applicants to most graduate programs within the School of Engineering must have an IETLS minimum overall score of 7 or a TOEFL minimum overall score of 570 on the paper-based, 230 on the computer-based, or 89 on the internet-based test. Applicants to the Human and Computer Interaction (NLP) M.S. program are required to have a minimum overall score of 83 on the internet-based TOEFL exam. Historically, analytical and quantitative GRE scores of admitted students have been in the 90th percentile or above.

Do I need a degree in STEM to be admitted to one of your graduate programs?

No, but it certainly helps. To be considered for acceptance into any of our graduate programs, students usually have a Bachelor's degree in a STEM field of study although students with non-STEM degrees have been admitted provided they had supplementary STEM knowledge through coursework, research, or industry experience.

Do I need to have research experience to be admitted to one of your graduate programs?

Research experience, although not required, can be helpful in evaluating an application, especially for those applying to a Ph.D. program. If you have worked on a research project, please tell us about it and ask at least one of your recommenders to comment on it. If your work was part of a joint project, the recommender should indicate your specific contribution to the project. Include URLs of abstracts or reprints of any papers you have published in journals or presented at conferences on your resume with your online application.

What kind of background should I have before applying to my program of choice?

We expect admitted students to have an undergraduate level of understanding in their program of choice. Many of the graduate level courses required for the completion of our graduate programs have prerequisites that must be met before a student can enroll in the courses. Please see the Graduate Program Requirements page for more information.

I don't have an academic STEM background; can I still apply for UCSC's School of Engineering Master's programs?

Students with no STEM background will most likely face difficulties in being admitted to most programs. It is recommended that all students develop at least basic knowledge of computer programming before beginning graduate study at UC Santa Cruz's School of Engineering.

Am I eligible for your graduate programs if I have already received a Master’s or Doctorate’s degree?

It is the policy of the UC Santa Cruz campus to prohibit the pursuit of duplicate advanced degrees. However, applicants may petition the graduate dean for an exception to this policy if the degree sought is in a field of study distinctly different from the field in which the original advanced degree was attained.

Can I apply for a Winter or Spring quarter admission?

All programs accept Fall admissions only. Please see the Application Deadlines above for details.

What are your application deadlines?

For detailed information on each program’s application deadline, please see the Application Deadlines above.

How do I contact the graduate programs?

For questions regarding the graduate programs you can contact the Jack Baskin School of Engineering by emailing us at

TOEFL/IELTS Requirement (International Applicants)

Applicants whose primary language is not English must take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test. TOEFL test scores are valid for two years from the day the test was taken.

For those choosing to take the TOEFL:

  • Internet-based TOEFL minimum acceptable scores:
    • 89 for applicants to the Applied Mathematics, Biomolecular Engineering and Bioinformatics, Computational Media, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Natural Language Processing, and Statistical Sciences programs.
    • 83 for applicants to the Human Computer Interaction program.
  • Other TOEFL minimum acceptable scores:
    • Paper-based: 570
    • Computer-based: 230

For those choosing to take the IELTS, a minimum overall score of 7 from the IELTS test is required for admission.

If you declare English as your second language, the TOEFL/IELTS examination requirement will show up on your application. TOEFL/IELTS waivers for admission purposes only may be granted to applicants who have received a degree from an English-speaking institution or have lived in the United States for more than four years.

If you meet the above criteria, you do not need to request a waiver from the department. If you qualify for such a waiver, the department will automatically process one on your behalf if you are admitted. Nonetheless, you must select a back-up method of examination on the admission application in case the TOEFL waiver is not approved. Indicate a future testing date and explain your desire and qualifications for a waiver of this requirement on the English Language Competency section of the online application. Please note that the waiver is only for admissions purposes only, and does not satisfy the eligibility criteria for Teaching Assistants.

Special Requirements for Teaching Assistantship Opportunities:

Any international students who wish to be considered for Teaching Assistant opportunities must score a 26 or higher on the Spoken Word portion of the TOEFL internet-based test. For those choosing to take the IELTS exam, a speaking score of 8 or higher is required in order to be considered for Teaching Assistant opportunities. Applicants with a Master's degree earned in the United States, at an accredited university, and with experience as a Teaching Assistant at that university may be eligible for an exemption of the English language prerequisite for Teaching Assistant (TA) purposes only (not admission). A final transcript indicating that the degree was awarded, as well as a letter from the TA supervisor confirming the applicant's position, their level of responsibility in the classroom, and their proficiency in English are required to apply for this type of waiver. The letter should be uploaded to the online application in the English Competency section.

Alternative TOEFL Editions:

Scores from the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition can be submitted as part of a Fall 2022 application. We do not accept scores from the TOEFL ITP® Plus for China Solution or Duolingo English Test.

Financial Questions

How much does it cost to attend graduate school at UC Santa Cruz?

Please visit the Financial Aid and Scholarships page for detailed graduate student costs.

Do Master's students receive funding for UC Santa Cruz's Baskin School of Engineering programs?

Only Ph.D. students at UCSC's School of Engineering are offered funding. Master's students are expected to be fully self-funded for the duration of their graduate study at UCSC.

What type of funding are Ph.D. students offered at the Baskin School of Engineering (BSOE)?

Funding for Ph.D. students is on a merit basis only. Our applicants are considered for financial assistance in the form of teaching assistantships and/or graduate student researchships. The final amount is based on the ranking of the student academically. Please see the BSOE Financial Support page for more detailed information.

Does a request for financial aid affect my chances of being admitted?

Admissions and awarding of need-based financial aid are handled independently of one another. Awards made at the time of admissions are made on the basis of merit only.

The Financial Aid office can assist if you intend to apply for need-based support after your admission to a BSOE graduate program.

Financial Aid Office
201 Hahn Student Services Building
University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064

Application Questions

What application materials do I need to submit in my application for admissions to a graduate program in the School of Engineering?

A complete application consists of:

Please see the links provided above for more information on application materials.

Who do I contact if I have questions about the online application, the MyUCSC portal, and/or my application materials?

Questions regarding university policy, receipt of application materials, and CruzID log-in help should be directed to the Division of Graduate Studies:

  • Email:
  • Telephone: 831-459-5905

Questions related to the online application, system issues, technology challenges (e.g. login problems or browser problems) should be directed to the Division of Graduate Studies' Tech Support team:

  • Email:
  • Telephone: 831-459-2281

Will my application still be considered if I do not submit all of my application materials by the application deadline?

Every applicant is urged to confirm that all parts of the application are completed when it is submitted. Applications cannot be submitted after the application deadline, and applications cannot be edited once they have been submitted. Incomplete applications will not be automatically rejected, but will be negatively impacted proportionally to the weight of the application materials that are missing.

Can I submit application materials after the application deadline if I submitted the application on time?

No, we cannot attach application materials to your application after the application has been submitted nor after the application deadline.

Can I submit new test scores after I submit my application?

As long as the official test scores are received by the application deadline, you can submit new test scores to be reviewed with your application. We cannot guarantee that scores submitted after the application deadline will be reviewed with your application.

What is the university/department code?

The code for the Baskin School of Engineering is the same as the code for UCSC: 4860.

Are official transcripts required for my application to be considered complete?

Unofficial transcripts are accepted for the application process. Upload your unofficial transcripts in the online application. Official copies are not required for the application. Please note: Official transcripts are required for accepting an offer of admission.

Please see the Graduate Division Transcripts page for more information and guidelines regarding transcript submissions.

How much is the application fee?

The application fee is $135 for domestic applicants and $155 for international applicants.

Can my application fee be waived if I have financial hardship?

A waiver of the application fee due to financial hardship is possible. Please be aware that fee waivers are extremely limited and only apply to US citizens and permanent residents with financial hardship. You may qualify for application fee waiver in one of two ways:

  1. If you are currently receiving financial aid (you should ask your Financial Aid office to complete the 2nd page of the Request for Application Fee Waiver form).
  2. If your present financial situation makes it impossible to pay the application fee (you should send a letter accompanying the 1st page of the Request for Application Fee Waiver form indicating you itemized monthly family budget, all income and all expenses, and stating reasons necessitating your request. Do not send copies of income tax returns or FAFSA applications).

Please see the Graduate Division Application Fee page for more information on the application fee waiver.

Admissions Questions

Do the graduate programs at the Baskin School of Engineering offer probationary or conditional admission?

No. We do not offer probationary or conditional admission into any of our School of Engineering graduate programs.

I've already applied to my program of choice and am waiting to hear back. When will I know if I'm accepted?

Most admissions offers are mailed before April. Denial letters are sent before the end of April. Please note that the April 15th resolution only applies to offers of financial support so unfunded offers may be sent after that date.

Who makes the admissions decisions for the graduate programs at the School of Engineering?

The Dean of Graduate Studies at UCSC is responsible for the final admissions decisions. Faculty committees in the School of Engineering departments evaluate the applications to their programs and make admissions recommendations to the Dean. These recommendations are usually followed.

5 Year Contiguous Pathway Programs

What programs have a 5 year contiguous option for current UCSC undergraduate students?

Biomolecular Engineering & Bioinformatics (BMEB), Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE), Scientific Computing & Applied Mathematics (SciCAM), Statistical Science (STAT) and Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) offer a 5 year contiguous pathway option for current UCSC undergraduate students.

Do I have to formally apply to the School of Engineering graduate programs for the 5 year contiguous options?

Yes, all students interested in a 5 year contiguous pathway program must formally apply to the corresponding MS program during the Fall application period according to the standard application process. The graduate application can be accessed using the links provided with the application deadlines listed above.

Do students applying to the 5 year contiguous pathway get automatic admissions to the graduate program?

No, all applicants are measured against the full applicant pool during the admissions decisions process.

Can I submit my application to the 5 year contiguous pathway late if I missed the deadline?

No, students who miss the application deadline will need to apply during the next admissions cycle if they wish to be considered for the 5 year contiguous pathway programs.

Are there any special requirements for applicants to the 5 year contiguous pathway programs?

Yes, below are the additional requirements listed by program:

BMEB - Students working toward a BS in Biomolecular Engineering and Bioiniformatics may apply to the MS program through the normal graduate admissions process in the Fall of the final year. If admitted into the graduate program, they are automatically included in the BS/MS pathway. The GRE test is not required for admissions to the BMEB MS program. Please see the Contiguous 5 year path for BMEB page for more information.

CSE - Undergraduate students who are completing an undergraduate major at BSOE may apply for admission to the CSE 5-Year Contiguous Bachelor's/Master's Pathway by formally applying to the Computer Science and Engineering Masters program when the application opens. The application deadline is usually in January.

Interested students must also complete the CSE Contiguous 5-Year Pathway Program's Eligibility Form at the time of applying to the CSE MS program to verify their eligibility for the Pathway. To be eligible for the CSE Contiguous 5-Year Bachelor's/Master's Pathway Program, undergraduate students must meet the following expectations: 1) be declared in any major within BSOE; 2) completion of the undergraduate degree the academic year prior to the proposed MS admit term (no gap years are permitted); and 3) maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher until the completion of the undergraduate requirements. For more information, please review the BSOE Contiguous Pathways website and contact the Graduate Advising Office.

SciCAM - The requirements for admission into the 4+1 contiguous pathway are (1) completion of an undergraduate degree in Mathematics, Computer Science, Robotics Engineering, Physics, Applied Physics, or Astrophysics at UCSC; (2) a GPA in the major of 3.5 or more, and (3) to have taken, or to have a plan to take, at least two of the three SciCAM foundational courses before the end of the senior year. The GRE test can be waived if the 3.5 GPA requirement is met. Note that some of the foundational courses are waived or substituted depending on the student’s major. Interested students should set up a meeting with the SciCAM advisor to discuss their curriculum plan and fill the application forms. Students interested in the SciCAM contiguous path must meet with the program's graduate director to formally apply for the pathway by December 1st of their final year. If the application to the pathway is approved, the student should then complete the application to formally apply to the Master's program. Please see the SciCAM program page for more information.

STAT - This 4+1 pathway is open to students from a wide variety of majors, including Computer Science, Technology Management, Economics, Mathematics and Physics. Sample planners for selected majors can be accessed here. Students must declare their interest in pursuing this contiguous pathway no later than their ninth quarter of study at UCSC, and more typically at the end of the sixth or seventh quarter of enrollment. You can find more information about the Statistical Science contiguous pathway on the UCSC catalog. To apply to the pathway, schedule an appointment with the Statistical Science Graduate Advisor.

Where can I learn more about the Contiguous Pathways offered by BSOE?


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