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International Applicant Requirements



Proficiency in English

In addition to the admission requirements for the MESM or Ph.D. degree programs, international applicants whose native language is not English must take an English proficiency test.

Applicants may take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

The University requires a minimum score on the TOEFL of 550 (paper test) or 213 (computer test), but the Bren School prefers higher scores. The University requires a minimum score on the IELTS Overall Band Score of 7.0 but prefers higher. Scores for either examination may be no more than two years old at the time of application.

Exemptions may be approved if (1) the applicant is from an English-speaking country, (2) if the applicant has or will be awarded a bachelor's or graduate degree by a U.S. institution, or (3) the applicant completed an undergraduate or graduate degree at an institution where the primary language of instruction is English.  Requests for exemption/exception are made to the Graduate Division by the Bren School.



International students are required to pay out-of-state tuition the entire time they are enrolled at UCSB and are not eligible for U.S. federal loans.

International MESM students are expected to pay for their entire tuition, as well as fees and other expenses (approximately $35,000 US per year).

Ph.D. students will have some funding through their faculty sponsor, but it is also assumed that international applicants will have some or most of their tuition paid for by funding from their home country.

It should be noted that even with extensive funding from your country, Ph.D. applicants without a faculty sponsor will most likely not be accepted into the program.

The current fees and tuition for UCSB graduate students can be found on the Office of the Registrar's web site.


Two official copies of documents showing all post-secondary academic work completed must be submitted. All transcripts/translations must be received in envelopes sealed and stamped by the school.

All academic documents must be sent in your native language along with authorized, complete, and exact (literal) English translations by the school or an official agency. Unofficial copies made by an applicant are not acceptable.

Helpful Links

UCSB’s Graduate Division International Applicants
Office of International Students and Scholars
Scholarships for International Students

The Russell E. Train Fellowships managed by the World Wildlife Federation- Education for Nature Program are awarded to graduate applicants from selected countries interested in conservation.  Information on application procedures and eligibility requirements can be found on the WWF-EFN web site.


For more information on requirements, please contact the Staff Graduate Advisor at