Graduate Admissions

Application Deadline: December 16, 2022

ATTN: GRE scores are no longer required for AY 2022-2023 applicants. 

Application Breakdown

In order to be considered for admissions, an applicant must have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and submit a university application and supplemental materials required by the department. This includes a statement of purpose, transcripts, GPA (we will consider the last 60 semester or 90 quarter units), GRE, recommendation letters and a writing sample. For applicants interested in Expressive Arts, an example of a creative work (visual art or creative writing) should be submitted in addition to the writing sample. We will use the complete application to assess the knowledge and skills of our applicants, their fit with the department’s resources, objectives, and four specializations, and their potential to contribute to the intellectual growth of the department.

The Statement of Purpose is limited to 500 words. This is one of the most important components of your application. Your Statement of Purpose should include the following information: what are your research interests, what do you plan to do in a Ph.D. program, why are you pursuing a Ph.D. in Chicana and Chicano Studies, what do you plan to focus on and with whom at our department you will be interested in working with and why. Statements that articulate interest in undertaking a particular project have a competitive edge over statements that indicate interest only in broad topics or areas of research.


  • Keep it academic. You may include autobiographical information in your Personal Statement, but do not use the very limited space you have for personal or autobiographical details.
  • We are more interested in what you plan to do in your advanced studies in the Ph.D. program than in a narrative of what you have already done in the past. Draw on your past education and experience to bolster your proposal (to show how well-prepared you are in specific ways) rather than make that history serve as the proposal itself.

The writing sample is a 10-25 page scholarly paper that demonstrates originality of ideas, familiarity with the conventions of academic research, and writing proficiency. Ideally, the writing sample should complement the project described in your statement of purpose, but if you do not have a writing sample that reflects a tight fit with your statement of purpose, just send us an example of your best academic work. For applicants interested in Expressive Arts, an example of a creative work (visual art or creative writing) should be submitted in addition to the writing sample.

We ask for three letters of recommendation, preferably from professors in your field(s). Letters of Recommendation must be submitted electronically through the online application. We believe that the strongest letter of recommendation comes from an academic who can speak to your readiness to embark on advanced research in a Ph.D. program. The best rule of thumb is to aim for recommenders in your academic field who know you well and who can describe you honestly and in detail.

  • GRE Exam: Only the general GRE Examination is required. There is no subject exam in our field.We do not establish a minimum GRE score for admission to the program. Test scores are only one component of the overall application.  They are rarely the deciding factor in admissions, but we do take scores into careful consideration for a well-rounded sense of the applicant (especially for consideration for some fellowships). Exam scores should be submitted electronically. To insure that the program receives scores before our deadline, you should take the exam no later than November 27.
    • The institution code for UCLA for the GRE is 4837, the department code is 626.
  • TOEFL Exam: In addition to the GRE, applicants whose native language or language of instruction is not English must take the TOEFL (The Test of English as a Foreign Language) Exam.TOEFL is given by the Educational Testing Services (ETS). Official score reports must be sent from ETS directly to UCLA Graduate Division. The overall minimum score required for admission to UCLA is 87.
    • The institution code for UCLA for the TOEFL is 4837 and the department code is 696.

Keep it current. If your GRE scores are more than 5 years old, you need to retake the exam. If your TOEFL scores are more than 2 years old, you need to retake the exam.

We are unable to accept scores for exams taken after December 15th. If you scores come in after the deadline, we will have to consider your application during our deliberations as “incomplete”.

Applicants may obtain more information regarding GRE/TOEFL Test Scores by visiting Educational Testing Service. For more information on UCLA Graduate Studies Admissions and Test Scores, visit the UCLA Graduate Division FAQ.

UCLA Graduate Division requires a minimum GPA of 3.0. Transcripts of all graduate and undergraduate work must be sent to the department once admitted into the program.

Please mail official transcripts to:

César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o and Central American Studies

Attn.: Graduate Admission, UCLA

7349 Bunche Hall

Los Angeles, CA 90095-1559.

If you use expedited services, e.g., Fedex, omit the Box number.

We highly encourage prospective students to apply to the fellowships offered by UCLA Graduate Division. Visit the UCLA Graduate Division Financial Support page for more information. Fellowship applications must be submitted electronically on or before December 1.

$120.00: U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents

$140.00 All other applicants

To learn more about fee deferrals and the different types of fee waivers offered please consult the UCLA Graduate Admissions Research Requirements webpage.

Additional information can be found in our Graduate Program FAQ and in the UCLA Graduate Division FAQ pages.

The department only admits applicants whose objective is the Ph.D., although students earn the M.A. en route to the Ph.D. Please visit UCLA Graduate Admissions and Graduate Division for more information. Students must arrange to take the GRE by October 15 to ensure that the program receives scores before our deadline. Applicants should arrange to have their test scores electronically reported. The application is available in September 2020.

For more information go to

Visit our Graduate Admission FAQ page for any questions or contact Ellie Hernandez

To learn more about the program, please contact our Student Affairs officer, Ellie Hernandez