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CST Program Overview

Cultural Studies at UC Davis is an interdisciplinary graduate group that draws from scholarship and faculty across many departments and programs.  Unlike traditional disciplines, in which students select faculty mentors and course offerings from within a single department, Cultural Studies students are encouraged to build a dissertation committee with graduate group faculty members from a variety of departments; they also have the opportunity to construct a highly individualized and project-oriented course of study. The flexibility and decentralization of the Cultural Studies program works best for students who are self-motivated, resourceful, and disciplined.

Commitment to Diversity

The Graduate Group in Cultural Studies is committed to promoting an environment in which all students, regardless of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, national origin, ability, visa status, religion, age, area of research, or economic background, are welcome, well supported, and given the tools they need to thrive intellectually. Our holistic admissions process takes into account, along with more traditional academic criteria, applicants' personal backgrounds as well as their potential for leadership for promoting diversity and equity in higher education.

Degrees Offered

Technically, we offer both M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, but at this time we are committed to bringing in students who wish to pursue a doctorate degree. We are not accepting applications for the M.A. program.

UC Davis Admissions Information and Applications

You can apply for graduate admission online. Please use this on-line application to submit all of your application materials.  Documents should not be mailed to the Cultural Studies office.  In order to ensure you are completing all steps of the application process, please review the Graduate Studies webpage HERE.

The application fee is $105 for the domestic application and $125 for the international. The fee must be paid before the application will be considered as complete, and the fee must be paid for each application submitted.  Fee waivers are available for applicants who have participated in particular programs.  A list of these programs is available HERE.


The application deadline is December 15. Materials submitted after this date will not be accepted.

Applicants must arrange to take the GRE by October 15 to ensure Graduate Studies receives scores before the December 15 deadline.  Applicants should arrange to have GRE scores sent to UC Davis electronically. The UC Davis campus code for GRE scores is 4834. It is not necessary to list a specific department code.

To be considered for fellowships, grants, and loans, applicants must complete the FAFSA, and submit fellowship applications by December 15.

CST Admissions

Admission to the Cultural Studies graduate program is competitive; we receive between 70 and 100 applications each year for approximately 5-10 positions. The admissions committee is composed of 8-10 faculty from a variety of departments and 2 Cultural Studies graduate students.  We do not use a waiting list.  Please read our admissions pages carefully for detailed information.

CST Admissions Process

One of the most common questions we are asked by prospective applicants is “how do you decide whom to admit?” In the section on Requirements and Tips we offer you guidelines and tips for compiling a strong application.  After reading the information on this site, if you have additional questions regarding the application process or materials, please email cstsupport@ucdavis.edu.