Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the application deadline?

To be fully considered for admission and financial support, applicants need to complete their application by the deadline of January 15th for Fall admission. Applications for which all supporting materials (TOEFL or IELTS scores, reference letters, transcripts, etc.) have been received by January 31st will receive first consideration.

What documentation do I need to submit?

The materials needed for graduate application are listed in this site. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, taking the GRE is not required this year. Regarding the recommendation letters, we expect that at least two of the three required letters are written by academics (professors) who can provide an analytical evaluation of your scholarly performance and potential as a graduate student. Additionally, unofficial transcripts will now be accepted and official ones are only required if admitted.

Is financial aid/funding available?

We aim to provide funding for all first-year students admitted to the Ph.D. program. Funding in subsequent years is typically provided by a research advisor, teaching assistantship, or external fellowship. M.S. students are not funded by the department.

My career goal is to pursue a Ph.D., but I will only have a Bachelor's degree when I start graduate school. Should I apply directly to the Ph.D. program, or do I have to apply to the M.S. program?

You should apply to the program that best fits your final career goal. In this case, you should apply directly to the Ph.D. program. Note that it is an expectation and requirement that a student earns the M.S. degree before advancing to the Ph.D. degree.

I want to pursue an M.S. and will likely continue on to a Ph.D., but I am not completely certain. Should I apply to the Ph.D. program?

If you have a genuine interest in doctoral studies, we recommend that you apply directly to the Ph.D. program.

What is the minimum GPA requirement?

For applicants to our M.S. program, we follow the campus criterion of a minimum GPA of 3.0 based on a 4.0 scale; however, because of the highly competitive nature of admissions, the cutoff can be considerably higher and is currently around 3.3/4.0.

For admission to the Ph.D. program, our expectation is for a GPA near 3.5/4.0 or higher. In addition to the GPA, the admissions committee scrutinizes grades in key courses related to your area of interest, particularly upper-division technical courses.

What is the minimum GRE score?

The GRE is not required this year.

What is the minimum TOEFL score? Is the requirement to be a Teaching Assistant different?

The campus requirement for minimum TOEFL is 80 on the internet based test (IBT) and at least 550 on the paper-based test (PBT). However, our expectation is a TOEFL score of at least 95. In order to establish eligibility for appointment as a UCI Teaching Assistant (TA), international students who are not citizens of countries where English is either the primary or dominant language are required to pass an oral English proficiency exam approved by the UCI campus. Students can fulfill this requirement by passing one of the following exams: TSE, TOEFL (must have 26 or higher in Speaking portion), SPEAK, or TOEP. More information on the English Proficiency requirement is available here.