Application Materials and Deadlines: Application materials and detailed instructions are available online through the UC Santa Cruz Graduate Division. Applications are due January 5. 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).
General Qualifications of the Applicants: Each year we receive over 100 plus applications. Of these, we accept 10-15 into our program. The majority of successful applicants have an undergraduate degree in physics with a good GPA. Most applicants have general GRE scores in the 85th percentile or above, and we also give quite a bit of weight to the Physics GRE scores. A research background in astrophysics is very helpful, but research experience in any field is valuable. We look for strong letters of recommendation an read the "statement of purpose" 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.