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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I apply?

    To start the application process, please visit the UCR Electronic Graduate Application.

  • What is the deadline for admission?

    The deadlines for Fall admission are:

    • December 15 for priority financial support consideration for PhD applications.

    For off-cycle admissions (Winter or Spring quarters), please reference the Graduate Division website.

  • What are the minimum scores accepted?
    • GPA: 3.2 on a 4-point scale
    • GRE: Not Required
    • TOEFL: 550 (paper based), 213 (computer based), 80 (internet based)
    • IETLS: Overall score of 7, with no individual section score less than 6
  • What are the department codes for the test scores?

    TOEFL Codes

    • University: 4839 (UC Riverside)
    • Department: 64 (Chemical and Environmental Engineering)
  • Do I have to take the TOEFL?

    All applicants whose first language is not English and who have not earned an advanced degree at an institution where English is the exclusive language of instruction must submit scores form the Test of English Language as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).  Applicants also have the option of taking the International English Language Testing System (ELTS).

    Graduate Division now accepts a MS or above in regard to English language proficiency. 

  • Are International English Language Testing System (IETLS) test scores accepted?

    Beginning with the Fall 2011 application cycle, UCR will accept scores from the Academic Modules of the IELTS, which is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP:IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations. The exam must be taken within two years of the time you intend to enroll at UCR. The minimum acceptable scores are: overall band score of 7 with no individual section score less than 6. Please request an official Test Report Form (TRF) of your IELTS and have it sent to Graduate Admissions. For more information, please visit the Graduate Division Website.

  • Can I still apply if I don't meet all of the application criteria?

    The selection of qualified candidates for the Master’s and Ph.D. programs is based in an applicant’s qualifications as a whole. Therefore, an applicant’s GPA, GRE score, TOEFL or IELTS scores (international applicants only), statement of personal history, and letters of recommendation are all very seriously considered. Occasionally, applicants are considered for admission if one of the above mentioned areas is slightly below minimum criteria. However, this is rare and only occurs when an applicant is specifically recommended by a faculty member and special circumstances justify the exception.

  • Can I still apply if I do not have a B.S. in Chemical Engineering?

    Applicants to the graduate program should hold a degree in Chemical or Environmental Engineering or a related field. All students are expected to satisfy the prerequisites for graduate courses. Under special circumstances, students who have not completed undergraduate requirements may be admitted with the condition that deficiencies are corrected within the first year of graduate study. Courses taken for this purpose do not count toward an advanced degree.

  • Is an M.S. degree a prerequisite for the program?

    No, the graduate program accepts applicants with a minimum of a Bachelor's degree.

  • How do I obtain an application fee waiver?

    Domestic students my request a fee waiver through the Graduate Division.  Please visit the website at for details. 

  • What forms of payment are accepted for the application fee?

    The online application system, GradSIS, allows payment by credit card. For alternate forms of payment, please contact the Graduate Division at (951) 827-3313.

  • What supplemental documentation is submitted through Graduate Application?
    • Applicants are required to upload unofficial copies copies of transcripts and degree certificates (in original language accompanied by certified English translations) from each academic institution attended after secondary school. 

    • For international students, credential evaluations by WES (World Education Services) or similar credential evaluation services are not acceptable.  Please review the full policy at:

  • Do I send in the Confidential Financial Statement along with my other documents?

    No. If a student is admitted to the program, the Graduate Division will request this information directly.

  • What is the department mailing address?

    University of California, Riverside
    Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering
    Graduate Program
    A220 Bourns Hall
    Riverside, CA 92521

  • What can cause a delay in the processing of an application?

    The most common delays for applications during processing include:

    • Required documents not submitted by the deadline
    • Letters of Recommendation do not have an official university email address for the recommender, causing the Graduate Division to contact him/her to verify the letter was written
    • Submitting fewer than the two official sealed transcripts or not translating foreign transcripts to English
    • Selecting more than two areas of research interest on the online application
  • I checked GradSIS and my materials received status has not been updated.

    Please allow up to three weeks for your materials received status to be updated for documents that are mailed. Application components are reviewed and updated separately, leading to the recording of various update times. Please note that the University closes for two weeks at the end of December, which may delay status updates until staff return in January. If you have used a delivery service (UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.) please use their delivery confirmation as validation that the department has received hard copy materials.

  • I have selected two areas of research interest on the online application. What if I am interested in additional areas?

    Once admitted to the program, applicants can change their research interest areas. Selecting two areas initially helps the Admissions Committee keep track of applicants. During a new student’s first quarter, they are required to attend research seminars for each area of interest before deciding on a final research interest area.

  • How many applications does the program typically receive in a year? How many are accepted?

    The graduate program receives approximately 200 applications annually. The target acceptance is approximately 20 students per year, however this is subject to change.

  • How are students funded in the graduate program?

    Most Ph.D. students, both domestic and international, receive fellowships, TA and Graduate Student Researcher appointments. International students who pursue a M.S. degree are not funded. Well-qualified domestic students who are pursuing an M.S. degree are eligible for limited funding.

  • What type of fellowships can I expect?

    Qualified applicants received extremely competitive fellowship packages that cover all tuition and fees for during the first year of admission. Beginning years 2-5 students are employed through a combination of teaching assistant and graduate student researcher positions.  The approximate salary for these positions is between $27,000 and $29,300 annually.  The only out of pocket expense (except the cost of living) is the miscellaneous campus fee of approximately $353 per quarter.

  • I am self-supported, how much money will I need?

    International students must show proof to cover both education fees and living expenses prior to admission.  The current amounts are found by clicking the following link:  Self- supporting domestic students are not required to show proof of income but are still required to pay the required tuition and fees.

  • I have been accepted into the program but would like to defer my start to Winter, Spring or defer one year. Can this be done?

    Typically, no. We cannot defer admission to Winter or Spring as students would be off-sequence with the core courses to be taken as well as with research advisor selection. However, there are some exceptions, e.g., if you are self-supported, or if you have already selected your research advisor (and this has been agreed upon) and if you are taking the corresponding courses at your institution.

  • I have missed the deadline for Fall acceptance, do you take applications for Winter or Spring admission?

    Please see the answer to the question above. In order to be considered for fellowships, potential applicants must meet the Fall acceptance deadline of January 5. Self-supported students may be accepted for Winter or Spring quarter admission, although this is relatively unusual. Refer to the Graduate Division regarding deadlines for admission.

  • Do you have any advice to increase my chances of being accepted?

    The college recommends being specific in the personal statement including interest areas and synergies between experiences and our current research. Make sure the application is complete including paying application fees (as necessary), keeping on top of recommendation letter writers to submit on time, ensuring original transcripts are sent, and submitting current GRE and TOEFL (if applicable) scores. Finally, make sure to list a valid email address on the application and keep the address current. If any of your contact information should change, notify us immediately.

  • What is the normative Time to Degree?

    For a M.S., the normative Time to Degree is six quarters. For Ph.D., it is three years for students with a M.S. in Chemical and Environmental Engineering and five years for those without a M.S. in Chemical and Environmental Engineering.

  • How is my thesis advisor assigned, what research project will I work on?

    Some students come to our department with an idea of with whom they would like to work. In this case, it is recommended to correspond with the faculty prior to making a final decision in order to ensure that the faculty knows about your intent. It may be difficult for the faculty to make a firm commitment. In any case, in the December following admission, ALL incoming graduate students are asked to list the names of three faculty they would like to work with and the graduate advisor will check with the faculty to try to accommodate everyone’s choice. This process has worked well with most students getting their first choice. It is recommended that students look at the faculty’s web pages for more information on their research being conducted in our department. Regarding possible research projects, each faculty may have one or several projects they will offer to incoming graduate students.

  • How is the visa application process?

    Check the International Student Resource Center for visa and traveling information.

  • I am in the United States, can I come and visit the campus?

    Yes, please contact the department to organize a site visit. Usually, the U.S. and resident applicants, an Open House is organized in February or early March. During the visit, you will have the opportunity to see the labs, meet with the faculty and current graduate students.

  • Does UCR guarantee housing for graduate students?

    The university is able to nominate admitted students for guaranteed housing. Housing is also offered off campus. Please visit the Housing Services website for more information.

  • I am taking/have taken some of your core courses at my institution, can the credits be transferred?

    Transfer of credit is done on a case-by-case basis and requires the equivalence in content to be established. In general, UCR only accepts transfer credits taken at U.S. institutions. Since all graduate students receiving financial support are required to maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher, the transferred units are expected to meet this criterion.