Application Materials and Deadlines: Application materials and detailed instructions are available online through the UC Santa Cruz Graduate Division. Applications are due January 5, 2016. Applicants may check the status of their application on-line or by calling the department office at 831 459-2844 (11:00 am - 3:00 pm).
Application fee waivers are available.
General Qualifications of the Applicants: Each year we receive over 150 applications. Of these, we accept 15-20 into our program. The majority of successful applicants have an undergraduate degree in physics or astrophysics with a good GPA. While we require the GRE General Test, and recommend the GRE Physics Test, we do not employ a threshold for consideration. A research background in astrophysics is very helpful, but research experience in any field is valuable. We look for strong letters of recommendation and read the "Statement of Purpose" and "Personal History Statement" carefully. Our goal is to identify enthusiastic students who are well-prepared to thrive in an exciting research environment, and who will make the best use of the particular strengths and opportunities in our department.
Site Visits: We encourage prospective students to visit. Students accepted into the program can be reimbursed for some travel expenses. During the visit, the prospectives are (graciously) hosted by current graduate students, at no expense to the visitors. If prospectives combine visits (and travel reimbursements) with other west-coast schools, they can usually cover the full travel cost of their fact-finding mission. Nothing replaces a visit, but there are many beautiful photos of the campus available on our astronomy website galleries and the UCSC Photo Gallery. Additional photos of Lick Observatory are available at the Lick Picture Gallery.
Student Financial Support: The department will make a best effort to provide 100% support for its students during the normative 5 year time to degree.