Graduate Program FAQs

What is the Minimum GRE (Graduate Record Examination) Score Required?

The GRE is not required for admission to the Biological Engineering Program

What Is My Application Status? Is My Application Complete?

Your application status is available online using the email address you used and the password you created when you started your application.

Where Can I Get Answers to My Graduate 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.

When Will I Know if I Have Been Accepted to UCSB?

Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis beginning in mid-December. Most admission decisions will be finalized by the end of March or early April. We ask that applicants be patient during this period. You will be notified by email when a decision has been made on your application, and your Application Status Page will be updated with a decision letter.

What is the Difference Between the Statement of Purpose (SoP) and the Personal History and Diversity Statement(PH&DS)?

Statement of Purpose (SOP)

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 Biological Engineering faculty whose research field interests you most.

 Personal History and Diversity Statement (PH&DS)

The Personal History and Diversity Statement must be written in narrative (essay) form without duplicating content from the Statement of Purpose (SOP).  The Personal History and Diversity Statement must have a minimum word count of at least 250 words and 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.

When is the Application Deadline?

Our application deadline is December 15. All application materials must be received by this date in order for you to be considered for admission as well as for campus-wide fellowships and departmental financial support.

When Will I Be Notified If I Was Admitted to the Graduate Program?

Spring and Summer

Prospective students should contact Faculty of Interest.

Late August / Early September

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


Departmental admissions deadline - December 15th.

Late February / Early March

Admissions and financial notifications distributed to prospective students.


Statement of Intent and Financial Deadline – April 15th.

What are the pre-requisites?

• Physics (minimum of electromagnetism and mechanics)

• Biology (a course covering basic cell biology, molecular biology, genetics and biochemistry)

• At least 1 chemistry course

• Math (through differential equations)

• Programming course or equivalent experience