Frequently Asked Questions





Q. Do I need to submit a GRE score?

A. The following programs DO NOT require the GRE for the Fall 2024: PhD Criminology, Law & Society, PhD in Psychological Science, PhD in Psychological Science (Clinical), PhD in Urban & Environmental Planning & Policy, PhD in Social Ecology, MA in Urban & Regional Planning, MAS in Criminology, Law & Society, MA in Legal & Forensic Psychology. Please note that this is subject to change in future cycles. 

The GRE requirements for applicants to the MA in Public Policy are as follows:

The GRE is recommended, but not required, for any student that has completed all the requirements for their high school diploma, bachelor's degree, or an advanced degree in an educational institution where the primary and/or dominant language of instruction is English.

All other students are required to complete the GRE before being considered for admission into the MPP.

If you are submitting a GRE score, please use 4859 as the UCI institution code. If you are applying to the PhD in Psychological Science and/or Psychological Science with a concentration in Clinical Psychology program, the GRE Psychology subject test is not required. There is no minimum campus GRE score requirement.

Q. Do I need to submit a TOEFL/IELTS score?

A. All graduate applicants, except those who have earned an undergraduate degree from an institution at which English was the sole language of instruction according to the World Higher Education Database, are required to demonstrate English proficiency for admissions consideration. If English was the sole language of instruction at the undergraduate institution where you earned a degree according to the World Higher Education Database, then you are waived from the English proficiency requirement. If English is not the sole language of instruction listed or if no language is listed at all, the waiver does not apply and you are required to take and pass an approved English proficiency test (TOEFL or IELTS). Visit the English Language Proficiency Requirements for Admission section for more information.

Q. My undergraduate degree is not in the same area as the graduate degree in which I am interested, can I still apply?

A. In general, you can still apply. But you should refer to the websites of the individual departments for additional information with regard to this question. To be competitive for admission, some of our degree programs require a solid background in specific academic areas. Overall, it is helpful if you have taken courses in social science statistics and have some research experience, especially when applying to our PhD programs. Our master's programs encourage students to demonstrate interest in the field through internships and/or professional experience. 

Q. Can hard copies of my letters of recommendation be submitted?

A. Starting from the Fall 2019 admission cycle, paper letters of recommendation will no longer be accepted. Letters of recommendation must be uploaded online. Interfolio is accepted.

Q. May I submit more than three letters of recommendation?

A. You must submit at least three letters of recommendation, but no more than five. In most cases, faculty or academic sources are preferred. Professional letters of recommendation may be appropriate for programs like the MAS in Criminology, Law & Society and the MA in Legal & Forensic Psychology.

Q. Does the School require a writing sample with my application?

A. A writing sample is not required. However, you are welcome to submit supplemental materials if you feel they would enhance your application. All supplemental materials should be uploaded directly into the application. Please note that the Master of Advanced Study in Criminology, Law & Society, the Master of Legal & Forensic Psychology, and the Master of Public Policy programs require applicants to upload a resume or CV as part of the application. 



Q. Where can I get more information about the graduate programs offered in Social Ecology? 

A. We offer masters and doctoral programs in Criminology, Law & Society, Psychological Science, Social Ecology, and Urban and Environmental Planning and Policy. Please visit our site to further explore our programs. You can also email us to discuss your specific concerns or schedule a Zoom appointment with the Assistant Director of Graduate Affairs.



Q. How can I request that my student loans be deferred?

A. Please contact UCI's Registrar's Office, as this is the department responsible for loan deferment verifications

Q. I've completed graduate-level coursework at a previous institution.  Can I waive any of my program requirements?

A. It depends.  Please consult your program's Graduate Coordinator or Assistant Director.

Q. Is it possible to enroll in courses at another UC?

A. Yes.  Graduate students in state-supported programs may enroll in courses at another UC if there is a legitimate educational purpose not available at UCI.  The UC Intercampus Exchange Program petition form is available on the Graduate Division website.  Please note, your eligibility requires support from both your UCI program, and the host UC.

Q. Can I enroll part-time?

A. It depends.  It is the expectation of the School of Social Ecology that graduate students are enrolled full-time (12 units) for the entirety of their program.  In rare cases, some graduate students are permitted to enroll part-time.  UCI's Registrar has a list of allowable reasons for part-time study

Q. What are the requirements for In-Absentia status?

A. Doctoral students, who have advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D., may apply for in-absentia status only if their research requires them to be outside of Southern California.  Relocation for personal reasons is not an allowable reason for in-absentia status.  We strongly encourage doctoral students to review the in-absentia FAQs available through the Graduate Division, where the registration form can also be found. 

Q. What is Filing Fee, and how do I know if I'm eligible?

A. Students who have completed all requirements for a graduate degree and are ready for the formal submission of their thesis or dissertation, or the final, formal examination, may petition for a filing fee quarter.  Please note that there are several limitations on university services while on filing fee.  Additionally, if you do not complete your degree while on a filing fee, please consult with your department on registration requirements for the subsequent quarter.  See UCI Graduate Division's Academic Policies for additional information, or contact us.

Q. How do I file for a Leave of Absence?

A. Students who are in good academic standing may apply for a leave of absence.  Leaves are approved for up to one year (3 quarters) at a time. 

Q. I'd like to withdraw from my program.  What should I do?

A. Please contact Social Ecology's Associate Director of Graduate Affairs.  Additional information is provided by the UCI Registrar, including the Schedule of Refunds.

Q. I already have health insurance coverage through my current employer and/or spouse.  Can I waive the UC Student Health Insurance Plan?

A. Yes.  If you are covered by another health insurance plan that complies with UC’s waiver criteria, then you may apply for a waiver.

Q. I need to verify my employment at the university.  How can I do this?

A. Our campus uses a service called "The Work Number."  For additional questions regarding The Work Number process, please contact Social Ecology's Payroll Analyst