The instructions that follow will lead you through the process of applying for admission to a Home Area. You should also refer as needed to general admission information and information for international applicants provided by the UCLA Graduate Division.

For questions about the application process, contact the Home Area that is receiving your application.

When you are ready to apply, click here to launch the online UCLA Application for Graduate Admission.

What to expect in the online UCLA Application for Graduate Admissions

In the online application you will…

  • Select the Home Area to receive your application
  • Provide contact information
  • Indicate your plans for graduate study
  • Submit biographical and citizenship data
  • Describe your academic history and upload unofficial copies of your academic transcript(s)
  • Report your scores on required tests (if available at the time)
  • Indicate your eligibility for certain UCLA-specific graduate fellowship opportunities
  • Describe your professional experience
  • Upload your statement of purpose
  • Request letters of recommendation from three individuals
  • Submit a personal history statement
  • Indicate additional Home Area interests, faculty interests, research experience, and extramural fellowship support
  • Pay the application fee or submit your fee waiver request
  • Submit the application

As part of the process you will create an account, which will allow you to complete the application over multiple sessions.  If you are working on your application over multiple sessions, you will be able to view your in-progress application on the Dashboard.  You must provide all the required information in order for your application to be reviewed.

Important instructions and tips about sections of the application are provided below.


December 1

Application Fee

$135 US, $155 International

Supporting Materials

  • Transcripts
  • GRE Scores*
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Personal History Statement
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • TOEFL/IELTES Scores (International Students)

*GRE scores are now optional for all Home Areas.

Choosing a Home Area and Associated Degree-Granting Program

Graduate Programs in Bioscience is a consortium of Ph.D. programs organized into Home Areas that draw together faculty and students with shared research interests from across campus departments. Home Areas are the application review, admission, and primary training units for graduate study. Home Areas are associated with degree-granting academic programs and incorporate their academic requirements.

To apply to a Home Area follow these steps in the online application.

  • On the “Plans for Graduate Study” page, in the Major* dropdown box, scroll to “Bioscience PhD – (Home Area name)” and select the Home Area you are applying to.  For example, Bioscience PhD – Neuroscience or Bioscience PhD – Immunity, Microbes & Molecular Pathogenesis.

Important: All Home Areas affiliated with Graduate Programs in Bioscience are listed in the menu as PhD Biosciences – (Home Area name).  Do not select the following programs if you wish to apply to a Home Area in Graduate Programs in Bioscience.

Academic History and Transcripts

You will be asked to provide information related to your Bachelor’s and other degrees and provide your transcripts as part of your application. Scanned or digitized copies of your transcript(s) should be uploaded to the online application. Official transcript(s) must also be sent from your university’s Registrar to the address of the Home Area that is reviewing your application (see below).  Some Home Areas require both official and unofficial transcripts before the December 1st deadline.  Please view below to see if your Home Area requires official transcripts upon application or upon admission. Applicants who studied outside the U.S. should review the detailed requirements for international academic records.

Home Area Mailing Addresses

Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology

UCLA Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology
611 Charles E. Young Drive East
Box 951570, 172 Boyer
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1570

*Official transcripts required if admitted.
**GRE Optional


UCLA Bioinformatics
611 Charles E. Young Drive East
Box 951570, 172 Boyer
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1570

*Official transcripts required if admitted.
**GRE Optional

Cell and Developmental Biology

UCLA Cell and Developmental Biology
611 Charles E. Young Drive East
Box 951570, 172 Boyer
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1570

*Official transcripts required if admitted.
**GRE Optional

Gene Regulation, Epigenomics & Transcriptomics

UCLA Gene Regulation
611 Charles E. Young Drive East
Box 951570, 172 Boyer
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1570

*Official transcripts required if admitted.
**GRE Optional

Genetics and Genomics

UCLA Human Genetics
695 Charles E. Young Drive South
Box 957088, 6506 Gonda
Los Angeles, CA 90095-7088

*Official transcripts required if admitted.
**GRE Optional

Immunity, Microbes and Molecular Pathogenesis

Immunity, Microbes and Molecular Pathogenesis
611 Charles E. Young Drive East
Box 951570, 172 Boyer
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1570

*Official transcripts required if admitted.
**GRE Optional

Medical Informatics

UCLA Medical Informatics
611 Charles E. Young Drive East
Box 951570, 172 Boyer
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1570

*Official transcripts required upon application.
**GRE Optional

Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology

Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology
612 Charles E. Young Drive East
Box 957246, 328 Hershey Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-7246

*Official transcripts required if admitted.
**GRE Optional

Molecular Pharmacology

UCLA Molecular Pharmacology
10833 Le Conte Ave.
Box 951735, 23-120 CHS
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1735

*Official transcripts required upon application.
**GRE Optional


UCLA Neuroscience
695 Charles E. Young Drive South
Box 951761, 1506 Gonda
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1761

*Official transcripts required upon application.
**GRE Optional

Physics and Biology in Medicine

UCLA Biomedical Physics
10833 Le Conte Ave.
Box 951721, B2-115 CHS
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1721

*Official transcripts required upon application.
**GRE Optional

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores

If you have taken the GRE at the time of your application please report your score in the relevant section.

Your online application should be submitted, even if you have not yet taken the GRE or received official scores.

Note: In order for your test scores to be properly received by UCLA, your name and other identifying information (date of birth, SSN) provided at the time the test is taken must match exactly the information you provide in the UCLA Application for Graduate Admission. The institution code for UCLA is 4837. Departmental/Major codes are as follows.

As of September 2020, all Home Areas have decided to make the GRE General Exam optional.

  • Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology: 0229 – Optional
  • Bioinformatics: 0224 – Optional
  • Cell and Developmental Biology: 0206 – Optional
  • Gene Regulation, Epigenomics & Transcriptomics: 0229 – Optional
  • Genetics and Genomics: 0210 – Optional
  • Immunity, Microbes and Molecular Pathogenesis: 0229 – Optional
  • Medical Informatics: 0224 – Optional
  • Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology: 0217 – Optional
  • Molecular Pharmacology: 0216 – Optional
  • Neuroscience: 0213 – Optional
  • Physics and Biology in Medicine: 0222 – Optional


English Language Proficiency

Applicants whose native language is not English should review the English requirements outlined by the Graduate Division.

These applicants must submit scores received on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

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 such an institution, are exempted from both the TOEFL/IELTS requirement.

Scores are considered valid for only two years, and, if several scores are submitted, only the most recent is considered.

Minimum Required TOEFL Scores

Paper-based test: 560 minimum required
Internet-based test (iBT): 87 minimum required

Recommended section minimum on iBT:

  • Writing: 25
  • Speaking: 24
  • Reading: 21
  • Listening: 17

TOEFL scores should be sent to the institution code for UCLA, 4837, as well as department code 74 (or department code 30 for Bioinformatics).

Minimum Required IELTES Score

Overall band score 7.0

English as a Second Language Placement Examination

Admitted applicants who have not met UCLA’s English language requirement must, upon arrival at UCLA, 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.

Fellowship Applications

The Graduate Division offers a number of special fellowships listed on the fellowship application screens of the online application. Applicants are encouraged to apply for fellowships for which they are eligible.

The Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship is intended to provide access to higher education for students who might otherwise find it difficult or impossible to successfully pursue graduate study. Individuals from cultural, racial, linguistic, geographic and socioeconomic backgrounds that are currently underrepresented in graduate education are especially encouraged to participate in the program.

Eligibility for the Cota-Robles fellowship is limited to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and undocumented students who qualify for nonresident supplemental tuition exemptions under AB 540 and who are interested in a career in college or university teaching and research are eligible to apply for the Cota-Robles fellowship. Undocumented students registered under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) are not eligible for fellowship funding unless they also qualify under AB 540.

To apply for the Cota-Robles fellowship, select the fellowship in the online application and complete supplemental application for diversity fellowships, including submission of a diversity statement. The supplemental application and diversity statement constitute your fellowship application.

Statement of Purpose

You are required to submit a Statement of Purpose describing your motivation for graduate training, your academic preparation, research experience, career goals, and other important experiences that have shaped your academic career and prepared you for graduate school. Statements are typically about 2 pages, single spaced (1000 words). You should describe your research interests in the context of the Home Area to which you are applying and other Home Areas relevant to your interests. You may also describe how your interests intersect with faculty members affiliated with these Home Areas.

The Statement of Purpose is an important way for you to convince members of the admissions committee that you are qualified and likely to succeed in a Ph.D. program. This is effectively done by demonstrating your aptitude, commitment, and passion for research with specific and detailed explanations of your background and experience.

Prompt: You do not need to answer every question; focus on the elements that you feel are most relevant to your candidacy.

  • What is your purpose in applying for graduate study in your specified degree program? Describe your area(s) of interest, including any subfield(s) or interdisciplinary interests.
  • What experiences have prepared you for advanced study or research in this degree program? What relevant skills have you gained from these experiences? Have your experiences led to specific or tangible outcomes that would support your potential to contribute to this field (examples: performances, publications, presentations, awards or recognitions)?
  • What additional information about your past experience may aid the selection committee in evaluating your preparation and aptitude for graduate study at UCLA? For example, you may wish to describe research, employment, teaching, service, artistic or international experiences through which you have developed skills in leadership, communication, project management, teamwork, or other areas.
  • Why is the UCLA graduate program to which you are applying is the best place for you to pursue your academic goals? If you are applying for a research master’s or doctoral program, we encourage you to indicate specific research interests and potential faculty mentors.
  • What are your plans for your career after earning this degree?

Personal History Statement

This 500 word (1-page, single spaced) statement is separate from the Statement of Purpose and serves to provide additional information about your background, accomplishments and life experience.  You will be asked to   describe how your background, accomplishments, and life experiences led to your decision to pursue the graduate degree in the Home Area for which you are applying. Include any educational, personal, cultural, economic, or social experiences, challenges or opportunities relevant to your academic journey. In addition, please describe any aspects of your personal background, accomplishments, or achievements that will allow the department to evaluate your contributions to the University’s diversity mission. Contributions to diversity and equal opportunity can take a variety of forms, such as efforts to advance equitable access to education, public service, that addresses the need of a diverse population, or research that explores inequalities.

Note: if you are having difficulty locating the Personal History Statement within the application, please upload it as a PDF or Word document in the Supplemental Documents section.

Prompt: Please respond to one or more.

  • Are there educational, personal, cultural, economic, or social experiences, not described in your Statement of Purpose, that have shaped your academic journey? If so, how? Have any of these experiences provided unique perspective(s) that you would contribute to your program, field or profession?
  • Describe challenge(s) or barriers that you have faced in your pursuit of higher education. What motivated you to persist, and how did you overcome them? What is the evidence of your persistence, progress or success?
  • How have your life experiences and educational background informed your understanding of the barriers facing groups that are underrepresented in higher education?
  • How have you been actively engaged (e.g., through participation, employment, service, teaching or other activities) in programs or activities focused on increasing participation by groups that have been historically underrepresented in higher education?
  • How do you intend to engage in scholarly discourse, research, teaching, creative efforts, and/or community engagement during your graduate program that have the potential to advance diversity and equal opportunity in higher education?
  • How do you see yourself contributing to diversity in your profession after you earn your advanced degree at UCLA?

Differentiating between the Statement of Purpose and Personal History Statement document provided by the UCLA Undergraduate Writing Center.

Additional Optional Statements

The UCLA Graduate Division places a limit of 500 words in the Personal History Statement.  Our Admissions Committees will allow up to 2-pages in the uploaded statements.  If you feel more comfortable to only upload 500 words, you may also expand on your statement with the optional statements listed after you choose your “Plans for Graduate Study.”  This prompt is not required:


Pathway and Motivation for Graduate School (optional)

If you would like to provide additional information related to the experiences and challenges you have encountered in your pathway to graduate school you can type an essay up to 500 words in length. The admissions committee is particularly interested in those experiences that offer insights into your resilience, passion for research, and commitment to a career in science. It is acceptable to type an essay that extends information in your Personal History Statement.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation must be submitted through the online application and received by the application deadline. You will enter the contact information for each recommender in the online application and indicate whether you waive your right to review the recommendation.  You may submit a fourth recommendation, but it is not required.

The system will contact recommenders with instructions for uploading letters. Notification emails can be sent prior to submitting your application. We strongly suggest that you discuss your request for a letter with each recommender before the system contacts them. Make sure to communicate the deadline, how the letter will be solicited, and, if not waived, discuss your right to review the recommendation.

Letters from research advisors, who can provide an informed assessment of your potential for independent research and creativity, are often the most influential in the review process.

Supporting Documents

Submission of a CV is encouraged but not required.

Please do not upload additional supplemental documentation, such as publications, awards, and certificates. If you believe these are important to the admission decision, please identify and explain them in your statement of purpose.

Bioscience Home Area Section

The eleventh page of the application is Home Area-specific and asks a series of questions.

  • Research Interests: If asked by the Home Area, rank your interest in the research areas listed.
  • Home Area Interests: If you have a strong interest in a Home Area other than the one to which you are applying, you have the option of entering it here. You should also address this secondary interest in your statement of purpose.
    • It is not necessary to enter a secondary Home Area. You should only do so if your graduate research interests are broader than the Home Area you are applying to. This information will be used to better understand your background and interests. It does not imply or guarantee a secondary review of your application. All applicants may only apply to one Home Area.
  • Faculty Interests: Rank at least five faculty members from the Home Area you selected according to your interest in their research programs.  If a faculty member that you are interested in is not in the drop-down menu, you may enter their name in the free-text boxes numbered 6-10.
  • Research Experience: Indicate the total number of months of research experience you will have or expect to have obtained as of the application submission deadline (December 1) as well as entry to the PhD program (September 1) in full-time equivalent months.
  • Extramural Fellowship Support: If you have received or expect to receive an extramural graduate fellowship, enter the sponsoring agency and amount/length/description of the support.

Application Fee and Fee Waiver Eligibility

The application fee is $135.00 for U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents and $155.00 for all other applicants. The fee is payable by credit card only and is non-refundable.

Fee waivers are granted for students who participated in certain scholastic and research programs or who demonstrate financial need. The Graduate Division provides eligibility and documentation details. If you plan to request a fee waiver, you must upload the required documentation in the online application to ensure your application will be reviewed.

Eligible program fee waivers:

  • American Political Science Association Ralph Bunche Summer Institute Scholars
  • Cal-Bridge Initiative
  • California Alliance for Minority Participation (CAMP)
  • California State University (CSU) Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars Program
  • Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI)
  • Florida A&M University Graduate Feeder Scholars Program (FAMU GFSP)
  • Gates Millennium Scholars
  • Guardian Scholars
  • Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP)
  • McNair Scholars
  • Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC)
  • Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program (MMUF)
  • Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS)
  • Medical Scientist Training Program UCLA (MSTP)
  • National GEM Consortium
  • NIH Blueprint ENDURE
  • PhD Project
  • Research Initiative for Science Enhancement (MBRS RISE)
  • Superior Opportunity for Maximizing Access (SOMA)
  • Summer Institute for Emerging Managers and Leaders (SIEML)
  • Summer Programs for Undergraduate Research (SPUR)
  • UCLA Anderson Pathway Programs
  • UC-HBCU Initiative
  • UC Leadership through Advanced Degrees (UC LEADS)

Visit the Graduate Program website to learn more about Need-based and Benefit-based fee waivers.  Unfortunately, we are unable to offer fee waivers to international students.