How to Apply

Academic Preparation

Applicants are expected to have a bachelor's degree or its equivalent in a biological or physical science or in mathematics. Undergraduate coursework should include one year each of physics, chemistry, calculus, additional biology or geology. Except under unusual circumstances a minimum undergraduate or postgraduate GPA of 3.0 is required for admission to any graduate program at UCSB. Applicants may apply for either the M.S. or Ph.D. degree program. A Masters degree is not required to enter the Ph.D. program.

All applicants must fulfill the general requirements for admission to graduate status at UCSB. Applicants should specify their general areas of interests within marine science on their application and provide a clear and focused statement of purpose.

Review Faculty Profiles and Research

Applicants to the Program must be accepted by a faculty advisor with whom they wish to work and who has agreed to supervise the student's graduate training and thesis dissertation research. Therefore, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact individual faculty members in IGPMS whose research interests coincide with their own early in the application process and to list potential advisors on their applications.

Admission decisions are based on intellectual potential and promise, competitiveness of the academic record, programmatic fit, and space availability.


Application Requirements

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required for a completed application.


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

Statement of Purpose and Supplemental Documents *

  • Statement of Purpose
  • Personal History and Diversity Statement (250 word minimum)
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae (CV)

* There is no page length requirement for the three components of the Statement of Purpose

Exam Scores

IGPMS no longer considers the GRE for admissions.

Other exams:

  • Minimum TOEFL Score Accepted: 650 (paper-based: PBT) / 80 (internet-based: IBT)
  • Minimum IELTS Score Accepted: Overall band score of 7 or higher
Application Fee Waivers

Application fee waivers are available to qualified U.S. citizens and permanent residents who demonstrate evidence of financial need or proof of participation in an undergraduate research program such as McNair Scholars or the California Alliance for Minority Participation (CAMP). You may apply for a fee waiver within the online application. Within your application click on the Payment Information tab and scroll down to the fee waiver information. You must submit your fee waiver request at least two weeks before the application deadline. If you have questions about the fee waiver process, please contact the IGPMS Graduate Advisor.

Tips on Applying

Our current graduate students have put together a guide to the graduate school admissions process with lots of useful information!

Admissions Timeline

Admissions Notifications

Spring and Summer

Prospective students should contact Faculty of Interest.

Late August / Early September

Graduate application available through UC Santa Barbara’s Graduate Division. IGPMS is listed as "Marine Science" in the application portal.


Deadline to request Application Fee Waiver - December 1st.

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.

Application Deadline

December 15th, 2022


Sarina Kemme 
Graduate Advisor