How to Apply

NEW! The College of Biological Sciences has made funding available to assist Domestic PhD applicants with their application fees. Please click here for more details!

Application Deadline

The Plant Biology Graduate Group (PBGG) accepts applications for fall quarter admission only. PBGG accepts applications for both the M.S. and Ph.D. programs.

PBGG strongly recommends that prospective students contact faculty members whose research interests them before beginning the application process.

Program application deadline is December 1. Applications must be submitted for consideration by this date.

Application Process

The application for admission is exclusively available online. Click here to access the online application.

  • UC Davis uses the online application only.
  • Apply early! Don't wait until the last day. Once the deadline passes and the application closes, it can't be reopened.

Visit the Graduate Studies website to begin the application process

Program Prerequisites

Application Elements

Your application will not be considered complete until the Admissions committee receives all of the following items. The Admissions Committee starts reviewing applications immediately after the application deadline so it is to your benefit if all items are received before the deadline.

  • Application fee. The fee may be paid by credit card or e-check. The fee must be paid before your application will be considered complete, and the fee must be paid separately for each application you submit.
  • Letters of Recommendation. Three letters of recommendation must be submitted electronically through the online application.
    • UC Davis does not have the ability to accept letters through Interfolio or other letter services. Hard copy letters will not be reviewed.
    • Have your recommenders' contact information ready while you're filling out the online application. You will be prompted to input this information while completing the application. Once you enter this information, the online application will send your recommenders an email invitation to upload your letters.
      • If they do not receive it, ask them to check their spam folder. You may also resend the invitation through the online application.
    • To avoid delays, set-up your recommenders in the online application and send the letter submission invitations well in advance of the application deadline.
      • It takes two to three days business days after your recommenders submit your letters for the letters to load into UC Davis' application review database.
      • Many letter writers are very busy as fall semesters/quarters end and during the holiday season. As the application deadline approaches, follow up with any letter writers that haven't submitted your letters before your institution closes for the holidays.
  • Transcripts. UC Davis requires academic records from each college-level institution you have attended.  You will be instructed to upload scanned copies of your transcripts after you have submitted your online application.  For more details visit
  • GRE scores. NOT required.
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores (International students only). Please refer to the university requirements regarding language testing scores and submittal on the "Test Score Requirement" section of Office of Graduate Studies website.
  • Personal History and Statement of Purpose. Include your full statement of purpose and personal history in the appropriate fields on the online application.
    • The PBGG cannot accept these items on paper so please include both of these essays on the online application.

You cannot be accepted for admission until all of the above components are received and your application has been marked complete. You can use the online application's "track your status" feature to determine which of these items have been received and if your application has been marked complete.

The Admissions Committee consists of at least four PBGG faculty members and at least one PBGG student. The Admissions Committee reviews all applications and in consultation with the entire PBGG faculty, chooses the top candidates. The PBGG invites these prospective students to the admission interview either by visit to UC Davis campus or Zoom. The campus visit interview will generally occur in February. The candidates will meet with PBGG faculty and current students, and also experience the breath of life in Davis.

After the interviews, the Admissions Committee again consults with the entire PBGG faculty and makes recommendations to accept or decline students' requests for admission. These recommendations are forwarded to the Dean of Graduate Studies for final approval. The Office of Graduate Studies sends the final notification of admission decisions.

Prospective Student Info

The PBGG on campus recruitment events usually occur early in late January. Finalist applicants will be contacted directly by the Graduate Program Coordinator.