How do I apply to a graduate program at UCLA?
Please visit the UCLA Graduate Admissions website for more information on the application process. https://grad.ucla.edu/admissions/admission-application-for-graduate-admission/.
Do I need an MA degree first before applying for the PhD program?
Students are not required to have an MA before applying to the PhD program in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. All students who received a U.S equivalent of a Bachelor’s (BA) degree can apply. Students who do not have an MA prior to starting the program will complete one in the department as part of their PhD program.
What is the minimum TOEFL/IELTS score?
Please see the Graduate Admissions website for TOEFL/English requirement. http://www.gdnet.ucla.edu/gasaa/admissions/ENGREQ.HTM.
What are the department’s codes for TOEFL/IELTS & GRE?
UCLA institution code (4837). Near Eastern Languages and Cultures department code TOEFL/IELTS (57). GRE: 2602* (*Shows up at Foreign Language but the scores are sent to NELC at UCLA*).
Are terminal MA degrees offered?
Arabic and Islamic Studies are the only programs with a terminal MA.
What items are required upon applying for the Department?
  • Three letters of recommendation must be received for each applicant. At least two of the three, preferably all three, should be from teachers familiar with the student’s recent academic work.
  • Additionally, the Department requires the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for admission (verbal, quantitative and analytical). This examination must have been taken no more than 3 years prior to application.
  • Students whose native language is not English are in most cases required to submit scores obtained on the TOEFL or similarly recognized English proficiency examinations. For more information, please go to: https://www.gdnet.ucla.edu/gasaa/admissions/ENGREQ.HTM
  • All applicants are expected to submit a statement of purpose (maximum 2 pages double space), and recent term paper/writing sample (less than 15 pages preferred).
What is the official deadline to turn in all of the application materials?
All of the application materials must be uploaded and submitted via the online application by 11:59pm PST on December 15th (2:59am EST on December 16th). Academic records and test scores can be postmarked by Tuesday, December 16th. Letters of recommendation are given a one week grace period.
Is the Personal History Statement required?
No. It is not required.
Can I use my GRE or TOEFL score if it has expired?
No. Applicants must re-take the exam before December 1st if their scores have expired. GRE scores expire after 3 years of when the exam was taken. TOEFL scores expire after 2 years.
Up until what point can I send in my GRE/TOEFL exam scores?
  • We accept TOEFL and GRE exams until first week of January. We do not accept scores after the first week of January
  • Please mail them to the department or use the campus code (4837) and department code (2602) and ETS Code (57).
Where do I send my transcripts and letters of recommendation?
  • One official copy of your transcripts must be sent directly to the program by the application deadline.
  • The mailing address is: UCLA Near Eastern Languages & Cultures, 378 Kaplan Hall Box 951511, Los Angeles, California 90095-1511
I have questions about the academic program (non-application related), graduate courses, and exam requirements.
Please contact the faculty member you wish to study with for these details. Each program is slightly different depending on the advisor. Program requisites for NELC Graduate Degree: https://grad.ucla.edu/programs/humanities/near-eastern-languages-cultures-department/.
What languages should I know before entering the program?
It depends on the field you wish to study. We prefer that you know one or both modern languages: German, French. If you plan to apply for our other programs, please check with the advisor that you wish to study with. Some examples of preferred languages are: Hebrew, Arabic, Armenian, Farsi, Russian, Turkish, etc.
How can I confirm my test scores have been received by UCLA?
Applicants should contact us at nreast@humnet.ucla.edu. We can confirm the receipt of scores/transcripts/materials.
What does the admission committee look for when considering applications?
The general answer is that the admissions committee likes to see:

  • GRE: Scores at 80% or above in all areas. (4.5 or higher preferred for Analytical Writing).
  • TOEFL: Score of 87 or higher is acceptable.
  • GPA: Students will not normally be admitted if their undergraduate grade-point average is below 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale) or if their cumulative GRE score is below 1150 combined score for Verbal and Quantitative and 3.5 for Analytical Writing section.
What if my TOEFL/IELT score is above 87, but not all of my section scores meet the minimum passing requirement?
For the internet-based TOEFL, the minimum total passing score is 87. The Graduate Division has a list of minimum score requirements for each section of the exam, but these minimum section score requirements are not enforced—only the total passing score of 87.
How much is the application fee?
  • $105.00: U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents.
  • $125.00: All other applicants.
What kind of financial support does the department provide its graduate students?
  • There are three types of financial support: merit based, need based, and assistantship. In order to be considered for many of these different types of financial aid, the student must fill out the FAFSA (https://fafsa.ed.gov/) by the preferred filing deadline annually.
  • Check: https://nelc.ucla.edu/graduate/funding/ for more information on different types of grants and fellowships.
  • Once admitted, we make every effort to fully fund our PHD students through fellowships, Teaching Assistant positions, and/or research positions. We cannot guarantee funding, but we make every effort to financially support our students with a $18,000 stipend and full fees. (This amount depends on our overall budget and the University/College standard of minimum support level.)
When do admissions notifications go out?
Admissions Notifications will go out at the end of March.
If admitted, when do I need to notify the department of my decision?
The universal deadline to notify the department is April 15th. If you received your acceptance letter after that time, you have 30 days to notify the department of your decision.
Can an applicant enroll in UCLA just to take courses?
Yes and No. Students must be admitted UCLA in a degree program in order to enroll in regular university classes. For non-admitted students, Courses can be taken at UCLA Extension without formal admittance to UCLA or the graduate program. Please contact UCLA Extension directly for more information.
I’m still lost. Help!
Come by Kaplan Hall 378A, email Tiffany Chen at chen@humnet.ucla.edu, or call 310-825-4165.