Application FAQs

Application DOs and DON'Ts (Help Us Help You)

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  • DO NOT: Send, email, or upload any additional materials to the ECE Department. This includes technical papers, passport copies, and copies of materials that you have already submitted in the online application (e.g., Statement of Purpose, resumes, transcripts, test scores, etc...)

General FAQs

Where can I get answers to my Graduate Division admissions and application questions?

The Graduate Division Admissions FAQ page has answers to questions about the online application, fees, test scores, admissions decisions and more.

I want to learn more about the UCSB Graduate Student Programs, where can I find more information?

  • Areas of Study: Communications, Control, and Signal Processing (CCSP); Computer Engineering (CE); Electronics and Photonics (EP)
  • Degree Overviews: M.S. and Ph.D.
  • Current Student Resources: Graduate Student Office Info, FAQs (including financial aid and support), Degree Milestones and Procedures (M.S. and Ph.D.)

What constitutes a completed application?

An application is considered complete once:

  • the online application has been completed and submitted
  • the application fee has been paid
  • all supplemental documents have been received (statement of purpose, personal achievements & contributions statement, resume, three letters of recommendation, transcripts, GRE scores and, if applicable, TOEFL or IELTS scores)

Applicants will not be notified once the application is complete - it is the applicant's responsibility to follow-up and review their application status.

What is and where can I find my student PERM #?

The PERM # is your unique UCSB student identification number that you will use throughout your studies at UCSB. To find your PERM #, refer to the application status page several days after completing and paying the online application fee.

Does the ECE Department require a Pre-Application?

No, the ECE Department does not require the Pre-Application.

What is the minimum G.P.A. requirement?

A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) is a minimum requirement for all applicants. However, meeting the 3.0 minimum alone does not guarantee admission.

Statements & Supplemental Documents

What are supplemental documents?

Supplemental documents are considered to be all of the application's supporting documentation. All supplemental documents are submitted within the online application:

Should I send, email, or upload additional materials such as papers as supplemental materials?

We Do Not accept additional materials. A mention of papers, technical reports, theses, etc., in the resume is sufficient. Also, Do Not send copies of your passport.

If we receive such materials, they will simply be discarded.


What is the Statement of Purpose?

The Statement of Purpose consists of three parts 1) Statement of Purpose, 2) Personal Achievements/Contributions Statement, 3) Resume/Curriculum Vitae (CV)

What is the difference between the Statement of Purpose (SoP) and the Personal Achievements / Contributions Statement?

  • Statement of Purpose: is a brief statement outlining your reasons for undertaking our graduate program, particular area of specialization within the major field, past academic work and academic goals. You may also include names of UCSB ECE faculty whose research field interests you most.
  • Personal Achievements/Contributions Statement: should describe aspects of your personal background, accomplishments or achievements that you feel are important in your contribution to a diverse population at UCSB. For example, include any economic challenges experienced while achieving higher education, any unusual or varied life experiences that might contribute to the diversity of the graduate group like fluency in other languages, experience in living in bicultural communities, academic research interests focusing on cultural, societal or educational problems as they affect underserved segments of society or evidence of an intention to use the graduate degree toward serving disadvantaged individuals or populations.


Where should I get my letters of recommendation?

While three letters are required, applicants can submit up to four letters of recommendation. Academic references are preferred, although applicants may submit one letter from industry.


What do I need to upload?

  • Official transcripts (including grading scale, appropriate institution seals/stamps, and all social security numbers crossed/blacked out).

International Applicants

  • Degree certificates required (if degree is awarded)
  • Original language and certified English translation transcripts required

Tips for uploading official transcripts:

  • Must be current transcripts with institution name/identifying marks (e.g., logos, seals, stamps...) and transcript legend or university key (grading scale)
  • Do not upload transcripts from secondary or higher secondary schools
  • Only PDFs accepted with a 10 MB size maximum
  • Black and white copies are sufficient
  • Ensure scan can print on letter-size paper - 8 ½ by 11 in (21 ½ by 30 cm)
  • Select the “view document” button to verify whether transcript(s) meet all requirements

NOTE: UC Santa Barbara reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admissions process, and rescind any offer of admission if discrepancies between uploaded and official transcript(s) are found.

Exam Scores

What is UCSB's Institution and Department Code for reporting GRE and TOEFL /IELTS scores?

The Institutional Code is 4835. No Department Code is required by UCSB.

Can I submit unofficial GRE, TOEFL or IELTS scores?

UCSB does not accept unofficial scores. Applicants should instruct ETS to send official scores to UCSB (institution code 4835). A department code is not required.

GRE (Graduate Record Examination)

  • What is the minimum GRE (Graduate Record Examination) score required?
    There is no minimum requirement for GRE scores
  • Do you require the GRE subject test?
    No, only the general exam is required.
  • Can I retake the GRE?
    One can retake the GRE; however, we will only use the most recent set of scores during the evaluation of the application.
  • If I have already taken the GRE, how long are my test scores valid?
    GRE scores can be no more than five years old from the date that the online application is started.

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) / IELTS (Intl. English Language Testing System) — International Students Only

  • Are TOEFL or IELTS scores required?
    International students whose native language is not English are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS. Exceptions to TOEFL or IELTS testing may only be considered for those students who have or will be completing an undergraduate or graduate education at an institution whose primary language of instruction is English, or are permanent residents of the U.S.
  • What are the minimum TOEFL or IELTS scores required?
    The minimum TOEFL score is 550 for the paper-based test and 80 for the internet-based test. The minimum IELTS score is an overall band score of 7.
  • If I have already taken the TOEFL or IELTS, how long are my test scores valid? Scores can be no more than two years from the date that the online application is started.

Financial Information

How do I apply for financial support?

The completed application for admission automatically serves as the application for financial support. Applications must be completed and submitted by December 15th to be considered for financial support. There are no exceptions for applications completed after the December 15th deadline.

I have been admitted to the graduate program, how do I find out if I received financial support?

Not all students admitted into our graduate program are awarded financial support. If you have an award, notification of a Teaching Assistantship (TAship) or a Graduate Student Research position (GSR) is sent by the ECE Department soon after the Dean of the Graduate Division notifies you of the final admission.

Do I need to submit a financial statement at the time of application — International students only

All international students need to complete documentation of financial ability to pay for expenses for the first year of study at UCSB.

Applicants do not need to submit a financial statement until they have been officially admitted and will not be penalized in any way for not submitting the financial statement earlier with other application materials.

Please note that newly admitted students should refer to the O.I.S.S. (Office of International Students and Scholars) website and send the financial statement directly to O.I.S.S. and not the ECE department.

Send to:
Office of International Students Scholars
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA