Application Process

Application Requirements and Process

This webpage is designed to help you understand what the Viticulture and Enology Admissions Committee is seeking to understand when reviewing applications. Graduate Studies provides information regarding university-wide application and admissions requirements. They also maintain an application FAQ for general questions. 

Applications Open: Late September

Priority and Fellowship Deadline: January 15

Deadline for Application Material Uploads: February 1

Admissions Decisions Released: On or before April 15

Space Available Deadline: May 15

Application Essays

Each section of your statement of purpose and personal history should be seamlessly interconnected to form a continuous narrative. Invest a significant amount of time writing each, developing it through several iterations. Ask for feedback on your writing from professors, colleagues, or supervisors. Some elements of the statement of purpose may overlap with the personal history; for example, both may include obstacles to academic progress e.g. illness, working full-time.

Your applications essays should be honest and specific. Do not try to reinvent yourself or inflate the importance of your accomplishments. Additionally, avoid platitudes and give examples. Show how you have turned a negative into a positive or how it now becomes a driving force for you to be a scientist. Lastly, your essays should be specific to Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis. Generic letters for multiple programs are easy to detect and do not convey your interest in our specific program. 

Statement of Purpose

This allows you to tell the Admissions Committee directly, why you should be admitted to the program. It should be concise (500-1000 words), informative and well-organized, and present yourself as one competent to successfully complete the graduate program. There are several online resources available to help you, but here are few tips:

  • Be clear on why you are applying. Provide a context for your personal motivation i.e. state how you became interested in a particular topic and why you wish to pursue this question. This should be brief but well thought-through.
  • Describe your past academic, professional, and research experiences. State how these experiences have prepared your for graduate work in Viticulture and Enology.
  • Discuss your current research or professional interests. Devote most of your essay to this segment. Describe how your classwork, professional, and research experiences (described above) converge to make you a good candidate. Some students wish to continue in the same professional/academic track they already have experience in, while others may wish to use graduate school to pivot their professional and academic path.  
  • Map out your potential career plan. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 – 10 years? There should be a logical flow of your past and current experiences and how the expertise within the department and UC Davis would permit to continue your development.

Personal History and Diversity Statement

This should provide the Reader with a clear perspective of the circumstances that shaped you, how it is interconnected with your academic pursuits, and how it prepares you for success. It is a chance for self-introspection: what are the specific driving forces or the single transformative event that propelled you to this point, where pursuing graduate studies in the department is the next logical step in your development.

The personal history section can be used to:

  • Fill-in the gaps about inconsistencies in your application, such as low grades.
  • Highlight how you were able to persevere and excel academically in spite of any economic or social challenges you have faced.
  • Give examples of leadership, service, teaching and tutoring during your academic career.
  • List any successes you achieved and what you learned from them.

Academic History

Prior Coursework

Please list your specific pre-requisites coursework in this section. If you completed separate lecture and laboratory courses, you can list only the lecture portion (ex: list CHEM 1 instead of CHEM 1 & CHEM 1 Lab). 


Unofficial transcripts from ALL colleges/universities you have attended are required. Transcripts in a language other than English must be submitted in both the original language and an English translation. Graduate Studies provides full information about transcript requirements and upload instructions. 

All transcripts must be uploaded by February 1 for applicants wishing to be considered for the priority deadline.

Letters of Recommendation

Seek these out early. Give your letter writer at least 6 weeks’ notice (no later than mid-October) and follow up 3, 2 and 1 week before the deadline. Your letter writer should be familiar with you academically and/or professionally and should be able to speak to your ability to complete a MS degree in Viticulture and Enology. It is often a good idea to send your recommenders a draft of your statement of purpose and most recent resume to use as a reference when writing your letter.

All letters of recommendation must be uploaded by February 1 for applicants wishing to be considered for the priority deadline.

Three letters are required:

  1. An academic reference who can address your ability to complete advanced coursework and/or research. 
  2. A professional reference who can speak to your grape/wine experience. Because most applicants have not completed formal viticulture and enology coursework, the professional reference helps the committee gauge the applicant's abilities and interest in this specific field. 
  3. An additional academic or professional reference. 

CV or Resume (optional)

Your CV/resume should help the committee better understand your specific experiences in viticulture and enology beyond what you shared in your statement of purpose or personal history. CVs or resumes are optional but highly encouraged. 

Test Scores

Graduate Record Examinations

The GRE (Graduate Record Exam) is not required for admission into this program.

English Language Requirements 

Applicants whose native language or language of instruction is not English must take the TOEFL or IELTS

Graduate Studies provides full information regarding English language requirement waivers and minimum scores