Henly gate UCSB

Academic Preparation

A Bachelor's degree or its equivalent in a Biological Science or a Science Degree with a biological context (with an upper-division grade point average of 3.0 or better). Average applicant GPAs are 3.5 or higher.

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Scanned official transcripts (watermark or seal) from institutions where you have completed 12 units or more must be uploaded to your application.

Letters of Recommendations

Three letters of recommendation are required for a completed application.

Statement of Purpose and Supplemental Documents

  • Statement of Purpose (SoP)
  • Personal Achievements / Contributions Statement (PACS)
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae (CV)

There is no page length requirement for the three components but we recommend 2 pages maximum for each.

The Statement of Purpose (SoP) should address your past research experience and accomplishments, your reasons for applying to our graduate program, and your particular areas of interest. For the research experiences, we are particularly interested in the questions you were addressing, how you chose your approach, and what you learned from the experience. We want to know why you want to pursue a graduate degree, how you know that (through your specific experiences), and why our program appeals to you. You may also include names of UCSB MCDB faculty whose research field interests you most.

The Personal Achievements and Contributions Statement (PACS) should describe aspects of your personal background, accomplishments or achievements that you feel will help you succeed in graduate school at UCSB and become an active contributor to the global scientific community. As an example, you may want to describe a particular challenge you faced in your educational journey or personal life and how you dealt with it. What did you learn from that experience about your own resiliency? How did that lesson better prepare you to be successful in a demanding graduate program? We are particularly interested in evidence of your problem-solving skills, resiliency, drive, community-building and leadership qualities.

GRE Scores and Grade Point Average

The GRE is no longer a requirement to apply to the MCDB Graduate Program. Average applicant GPAs are 3.5 or higher, with an upper-division grade point average of 3.0 or better.

International Applicants

International students from non-English speaking nations must demonstrate proficiency in the English language.

Application Deadlines

PhD: Monday, Dec 6, 2021
MA: Monday, Feb 21, 2022


Anthony Galaviz
Graduate Advisor

Bill Smith
Faculty Graduate Advisor

 Open House



  • GRE is no longer required

Admissions Timeline

Anytime Before Application Deadline

Prospective students should feel free to contact the Graduate Advisor and Faculty of interest.


Graduate application available through UC Santa Barbara’s Graduate Division.


  • All PhD application materials must be submitted by Monday, December 6, 2021.
  • Applications are only considered for starting in the Fall quarter of each year.


  • PhD interview date: February 4, 2022.
  • All MA application materials must be submitted by Monday, February 21, 2022.
  • Applications are only considered for starting in the Fall quarter of each year.

Late February / Early March

Admissions and financial notifications distributed to prospective students


Statement of Intent and Financial Deadline – April 15, 2022.