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Admission Requirements

Application fee waiver Deadline: November 20th 

Application Deadline: December 1


PTX Equity Program - Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 

The UC Davis Graduate Group in Pharmacology and Toxicology (PTX) is committed to diversity and inclusion in our student body, workforce, faculty and programs. We recognize the financial burden that the graduate application fee may represent for students, particularly those from underrepresented communities, and its consequences to inclusion within our graduate group. We have created the PTX Equity Program, to provide 15 application fee fellowships, on a competitive basis, to applicants who are not part of the approved Graduate Preparatory Programs, and who have the potential for leadership towards achieving the group’s goal of improving diversity in Pharmacology and Toxicology.

Examples of this potential include, but are not limited to:

  • overcoming disadvantages (economic, social or educational)
  • a record of service to advance underserved populations (including tutoring or mentoring)
  • or a research topic that will ultimately assist historically underserved populations

Successful applicants will provide clear examples of how their previous experiences and future graduate studies have contributed to and promoted diversity in Pharmacology and Toxicology.

Statement of Purpose (250 words or fewer) Please explain why you are applying for Ph.D. study at UC Davis. Highlight how you came to determine your career goals. Describe why you feel earning a Ph.D. is essential to pursuing your goal. If applicable, how will your research topic ultimately assist historically underserved populations.

Personal History (250 words or fewer) Please describe how your personal background has informed your decision to pursue a graduate degree and informed your understanding of, and possible contribution to, diversity in the biological or biomedical sciences. Your background may include any educational, familial, cultural, economic, or social experiences, challenges, community service, outreach activities, residency and citizenship, first-generation college status, or opportunity challenges relevant to your academic journey; how your life experiences will contribute to the social, intellectual, or cultural diversity within a campus community and your chosen field; and/or how you might serve educationally underrepresented and underserved segments of society with your graduate education.

Guidelines prepared for planning and illustrative purposes only.

Apply here for the PTX Equity Program

*Applicants who submit statements that are longer than 250 words will not be reviewed.

PTX Equity Program eligibility 

Application fee fellowships provided through this program are available for Domestic Ph.D. applicants only. We regret that waivers for M.S. applicants will not be provided. Waivers for international applicants are not available. Domestic Ph.D. applicants selected for participation in the PTX Equity Program are eligible for a single application fee fellowship (valued at $135) for Fall 2023 admission. Fee fellowship applications must be submitted by November 20th, 2022, at 11:59 pm PST application deadline for consideration.

Prospective students will be notified as to whether they received the award by November 28, 2022. For any questions, please get in touch with the Graduate Program Coordinator – Christee Rubio clrubio@ucdavis.edu or the chair of PTX, Laura Van Winkle lsvanwinkle@ucdavis.edu

Application Deadline: December 1 

Statement of Purpose

Please describe your motivation, academic preparation and aptitude for graduate study at UC Davis in the Pharmacology and Toxicology Graduate Group. You should describe your academic plans and research interests, your specialization within your academic field, your research experiences and your career goals.

Please limit your response to 500 words maximum (4000 characters).

Personal History Statement

In an essay, discuss how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. Please include any educational, familial, cultural, economic, or social experiences, challenges, or opportunities relevant to your academic journey; how your life experiences contribute to the social, intellectual, or cultural diversity within your chosen field; and/or how you might serve educationally underrepresented segments of society with your degree.

Please limit your response to 500 words maximum (4000 characters).

Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement

The PTX Graduate Group adheres to the minimum standards of admission set by Graduate Council, although meeting these standards does not guarantee admission to the program. To be eligible for admission, an applicant must have a 3.0 GPA or higher (based on a 4-point scale) for all undergraduate coursework.


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 https://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/submit-transcripts.

Test of English as a Foreign Language

TOEFL Requirement: Applicants whose native language or language of instruction is not English must take the TOEFL or IELTS. The minimum score required for admission to UC Davis is 550 on the paper test, 213 on the computer-based test, and a minimum total score of 80 based on the reading, listening and writing categories on the internet-based test for TOEFL, or at least 7 on a 9-point scale for IELTS. There is no conditional admission. The score report is required before the application processing begins. The Pharmacology & Toxicology Graduate Program department code is 33.

Please see the UC Davis Graduate Studies webpage for further information.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required to complete your application for admission. Letters of recommendation may comment on either your academic and employment background, but letter writers should be qualified to evaluate the quality of your scholastic achievements and academic training as well as your ability to carry out independent research. This is especially important if you have previous research experience. One character or personal recommendation is permissible. It is helpful to tell your references to address those characteristics that are important to your admission. All letters are to be submitted through Embark Online Recommendation. Please do not send letters through Interfolio. UC Davis will not accept letters sent on paper.


Applicants are expected to have a B.S. or B.A. degree with course work in:

1) Biochemistry (UCD Biological Sciences 101 - Genes and Gene Expression; 102 - Structure and function of biomolecules; 103 - Bioenergetics and metabolism; 104 - Regulation of Cell Function; 120L - Biochemistry laboratory; or ETX 103A - Biological Effects of Toxicants; 103B - Biological Effects of Toxicants: Experimental Approaches or equivalent).
2) Physiology (UCD NPB 101 Systemic Physiology or equivalent).
3) General Chemistry (UCD General Chemistry 2A, 2B, 2C or equivalent).
4) Organic Chemistry (UCD Organic Chemistry for Health and Life Sciences 118A, 118 B, 118C or UCD Organic Chemistry 128 A and 128B or equivalent).
5) Biology (UCD Introductory Biology 2A or equivalent).
6) Mathematics (UCD 17A, 17B, 17C Calculus or equivalent).
7) Physics (UCD General Physics 7A, 7B and 7C or equivalent).
*Deficiencies: Course work deficiencies are identified by the Graduate Adviser and should be made up by the end of the first academic year following initial enrollment by earning a letter grade of "B" better.

Apply here for the PTX Graduate Group

**Remember that incomplete files and materials sent to the wrong place can delay the processing and evaluation of your application. Incomplete files will be cancelled without review.