How to Apply

California sea otter in Monterey Bay kelp. Art: Katie Bertsche

Applications for the 2018-19 academic year will open on October 1, 2017. The preferred application deadline for fall 2018 admission is February 1, 2018.

All UCSC graduate program applications are done electronically. You may access the instructions and links to apply through the UCSC Graduate Division website. Applications and letters of recommendation are accepted only through the online system. Be sure to read the current application instructions thoroughly.

Note: While working on your application in the online system, remember to save often. Also, please send an email to let us know that you will be submitting an application, and feel free to ask questions: scicom (at)

Director Erika Check Hayden and director emeritus Robert Irion are available for phone conversations with serious applicants. Please send a request via the scicom email address above.

The science writing program requires GRE scores. All applicants must submit general GRE scores. See the Educational Testing Services (ETS) site for details on how to submit scores from the last five years. If you took the GRE subject exam as part of a prior graduate school application, you may submit that score as well. The program will accept old scores, but only if you have an original score report. Contact the program office for information on how to submit your report.

Applications and supporting materials must be submitted or postmarked by midnight on the deadline date. We may offer admission to as many as seven or eight students after our initial February 1 deadline, with the remaining decisions in April. If you wish to know the status of your application, contact the program office. The director interviews all finalists, preferably in person in Santa Cruz or at a conference.

The basics: GRE scores (general test required, subject test optional), use school code 4860; three to five letters of recommendation (online only); transcripts from all colleges attended; UCSC Graduate Studies online application; and the application fee ($80 for domestic applicants; $100 for international applicants). The two required writing samples are included in the application as the Personal History and the Statement of Purpose. Be sure to list your research experience where indicated. Use the Additional Information section if you'd like to add more details, a longer list of publications, upload a c.v., write special notes to the reviewers, or include anything that wouldn't fit in the body of the application. See the FAQ section or the application instructions of the Graduate Division site for information on reactivating your application from the previous year.

Foreign students may be required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Apply online through the UCSC Graduate Division

The application fee may be paid with a credit card when applying online. Please refer to the instructions at the application website. Transcripts and letters of recommendation that are not done through the online registration option should be sent to Graduate Application Processing at the address below.

Mail hardcopy materials (transcripts, official GRE scores) to:

Graduate Application Processing
UC Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

If sending materials using special carrier services, such as Express Mail, Federal Express or UPS overnight, be sure to include the office location of 2nd floor Kerr Hall, and the phone number: 831-459-5905.

ETS school code: 4860 for GRE scores. There are no department codes.

Mail any optional additional materials (sample articles, unofficial/older test scores) directly to:

Science Communication Program
UC Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

If sending materials using special services such as Express Mail, Federal Express, or UPS overnight, be sure to include our office location: Kresge College Annex A.

SciCom phone: 831-459-4475
SciCom fax: 831-459-5052