Application Procedures

Hort & Agronomy Graduate Group


Application materials to be submitted:
  On-line application
  Application fee
  Three letters of recommendation
  TOEFL or IELTS score (international students only)
  Fellowship application (if applying for fellowships)
  Note: Horticulture & Agronomy does not require the GRE

A number of our current graduate students have volunteered to answer questions you may have about the application process, the Horticulture & Agronomy Graduate program, and life in Davis -- from a student perspective. Click here for their contact information.

On-Line Application

Students are required to apply
via the web.  (Please note: Current UC Davis graduate students should not apply on-line; they should contact the Graduate Program Coordinator, Jeremiah Thompson -- -- regarding the application process.)

There are many sections of the application, including the Statement of Purpose, the Personal History and Diversity Statement, Research Interests, Course History, and others. We recommend you look through the application early, section by section, so you will know what to prepare and what the character limits are for each of the essay/statement sections.
Statement of Purpose
The Statement of Purpose section of the on-line application is one of the most important components of your application, and is the key to helping you find a Major Professor. (Your recommenders may find it helpful, too.) Be sure to draft your Statement of Purpose as carefully and as specifically as you can. It should reflect your experience and interests in the program, it should be well-organized and concise, and most of all it should identify your own research interests. For more experienced students, the statement should also contain specific reference to your research experience. The statement is limited to 4000 characters; we recommend you prepare the statement in another program, then copy and paste it to the application.

Course History
In the Course History section, list the classes you have taken that you feel satisfy our program's prerequisites, which are listed on our Preparation Requirements webpage.

Application Fee

The graduate application fee is $120 for domestic applications, $140 for international applications. The application fee must be paid before the application will be considered complete. More information can be found on Graduate Studies'
application information website.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation must be submitted electronically through the online application. Do not have recommenders send letters in hard copy. There is a section of the application for you to enter the names and e-mail addresses of your three recommenders. When you submit these, the application system send them an official request for their recommendations, along with information on how to submit them. You do not need to wait until you complete your application to submit the names of your recommenders.

Letters of recommendation may reflect a mix of backgrounds (academic or employment), but you should seek to include at least two from people who are qualified to evaluate the quality of your scholastic achievements and academic training, as well as your potential to carry out independent research. It is helpful to tell your references to address those characteristics that are important to your admission.


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 Graduate Studies'
Submitting Your Transcripts and Academic Records webpage.


All international students whose first language is not English, or who have not completed a degree (preferably a four year degree) at an institution where English is the sole official language of instruction, must submit an official TOEFL or IELTS score. This is a Graduate Studies requirement.

The minimum acceptable TOEFL scores are:
  550 (paper based exam)
  80 total (IBT or web based exam)
Official score reports must be sent electronically to U CA Davis (4834).

For information on the IELTS exam, consult Graduate Studies'
International Applicants webpage.

Fellowship Application

Fellowship applications are submitted electronically, along with your application for admission. Your admissions/fellowship application packet -- application, fee, transcripts, letters, and TOEFL (if required) -- must be complete by January 5th in order to be considered for a campus fellowship.

All applicants who are US citizens, permanent residents or immigrants, and who wish to be considered for fellowships, should file a
FAFSA by the end of February.

Brief Description of the Admissions Review Process

Step 1: You submit your paid application to UC Davis electronically. You will be able to track the status of your application packet by logging back into the on-line application system to see which materials have been received.

Step 2: Your application packet is reviewed by the Horticulture & Agronomy Admissions Committee. We evaluate applicants using holistic review to identify people who are likely to be successful in our program. Criteria considered when reviewing applications include academic preparedness, indication of passion for research and intellectual growth, prior research experience, contribution to diversity, research and long-term goals that fit well with our program, resilience and adaptability, and positive recommendations; also, satisfactory performance on the TOEFL or IELTS (if required).

Step 3: If the Admissions Committee recommends acceptance, you will be notified via e-mail, and we will work with you to identify a suitable Major Professor. You must have a Major Professor who is a member of the Horticulture & Agronomy Graduate Group in order to be admitted into the program. A list of Horticulture & Agronomy faculty is available on our faculty webpage. If no Major Professor is found, your application will be returned to Graduate Studies for denial of admission.

Step 4: Once a Major Professor is identified, your application will be submitted to Graduate Studies, with a recommendation for admission; if they approve, they will send an official offer of admission.

If your plans change at any time during this process, or if you accept admission at another institution, we would appreciate notification so your application can be withdrawn. Application withdrawals should be sent via e-mail to Jeremiah Thompson (
May 2020