Thank you for applying to the University of California!
Click on a topic to jump to the frequently asked questions below.
What is “Non-Degree” or “Coursework Only” status?
Reciprocal Exchange students attend UC in a “non-degree” or “coursework only” (CWO) status for an academic year or less. At the end of your UC exchange period, you are expected to return to your home university.
Exchange participants are generally required to follow the same application processes as degree-seeking students. If you are accepted as a Reciprocal Exchange student, you will enjoy the same services as UC students, enroll in courses and receive a UC transcript at the end of your stay. For further clarification of the terms and conditions of your UCEAP status, read the Nomination form
and contact your home university UC liaison.
How can I find the status of my application?
You will receive information about your application status via your home university UC liaison confirming that your application has been received at UCEAP and that supplemental documentation has been sent to the potential host UC campus, if required. Pay special attention to any requests for missing items from your application.
Must I apply to start at UC in the fall or is mid-year (January) attendance an option?
Most UC departments accept applications for the fall term only, as faculty committees meet only once to consider new applicants for the following year. Course scheduling and registration are also geared to full-year students. Many courses, particularly in the sciences, are taught in sequential order. Furthermore, not all courses are offered each term of the year, so starting mid-year may prevent access to some courses.
It is possible for students to start mid-year at a few campuses and departments. Department and Graduate Division websites will note any mid-year application deadlines. Check online before applying, as there is no guarantee that an exception will be granted.
Will I earn a UC degree while on exchange?
Units earned while on the Exchange will not allow you to earn a degree or certificate at the University of California. UCEAP cannot guarantee that your home university will recognize coursework completed at UC and count it toward your current degree program. If you have questions about whether or not you will receive credit for UC coursework, contact your home university academic advisor.
Is my acceptance guaranteed because I am an EAP Reciprocal Exchange student?
Acceptance is not guaranteed. Graduate departments reserve the right to select students for their programs, and cannot always accommodate all UCEAP non-degree applicants. UCEAP is not able to change denial decisions.
Acceptance of graduate-level applicants is a two-step process:
- applicant is recommended by the department for acceptance
- recommendation must be approved by the Graduate Division
Approval of the department’s recommendation is not guaranteed. Acceptance is not final until confirmed by the Graduate Division.
How will I be notified of acceptance?
Notification of an acceptance or a denial is sent directly to you from the prospective campus by e-mail and/or is accessible online using your application account secure log-in. Decisions are usually announced in March through May.
Contact the UC liaison and UCEAP if you do not receive an official admission letter or e-mail from the Graduate Division office within a few weeks of receiving notification of acceptance from the UC department.
What are the criteria for acceptance?
Students must meet minimum eligibility requirements of a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) or equivalent for all prior university-level work. Transcripts should also reflect excellence in coursework for the major. Applicants must have adequate academic preparation for the proposed field of study.
Decisions are based on many factors, including the size of the department, the match or focus of department curricula with the student’s stated interests, lab space, and availability of faculty in an applicant’s specialization. Many programs consider the GRE score to be an important factor in their decision.
Even though you will be an exchange student, the department will want to see that you are on the same level as your UC peers and will be a contributing member of the UC academic community.
What do I need to send to UCEAP to confirm my participation?
Send copies of recommendations of admission and notifications of admission or denial to UCEAP, as soon as you receive notification to inform UCEAP, if you will accept a campus’ offer of admission.
UCEAP needs this information to coordinate your visa document issue and fee payment exemption with your host UC.
After UCEAP confirms your official acceptance at a UC campus, you will receive a UCEAP participant letter. It will describe your benefits as a UCEAP Reciprocal Exchange student (fees that are exempt or paid on your behalf by UCEAP) and the length of your study program. Read the letter carefully and ask questions about information you do not understand. Sign and return the bottom portion of the UCEAP letter to confirm acceptance of the conditions and your intent to attend.
Do I need to submit a Statement of Intent to Register (SIR)?
Once officially accepted, you will be sent additional forms by your host campus, usually electronically, for your immediate response. These may include the Statement of Intent to Register (SIR)
, the Statement of Legal Residence (SLR)
, and in some cases, health statement forms.You may accept only one offer of admission.
You must decline offers from other campuses and should cancel all other pending campus applications.
Read the SIR carefully to ensure that you meet the indicated deadlines. If you require more time for your response to the SIR because you are waiting for a decision from a different UC, contact the prospective host UC department to ask if extension of the SIR deadline is possible.
Send a copy of your request to UCEAP so that we can assist you, and better respond to questions from the host department about your status as a UCEAP Reciprocal Exchanges participant.
How do I document my financial resources?
After submitting a Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) to your chosen host UC, you will receive instructions by e-mail on how to document your financial support during your UC studies.
U.S. immigration regulations require that international students document their ability to support themselves for the duration of their studies. A certificate of eligibility for visa application cannot be issued until complete financial documentation has been received. (See the Visa Information
section of the Student Guide
See estimated living expense requirements
Am I eligible for scholarship or fellowships?
UCEAP Reciprocal Exchange applicants are
not eligible for UC teaching and research assistantships, UC scholarships, or UC financial aid. Acceptance to the program is based on the understanding that you will be responsible for your living expense costs while at UC.
If you are offered a UC teaching or research assistantship by a UC department, confer with UCEAP. Graduate departments are not always aware of the campus employment policies for international non-degree students.
If you have scholarship support from your home country,
include an official letter describing the amount of the scholarship, and the dates of the award with your financial documentation.
Notify UCEAP if you are a Fulbright scholar. The DS-2019 for Fulbright scholars’ J-1 visa application will be issued by Fulbright, not by your UC host campus international office.
How do I prepare for arrival at my host UC campus?
Here are a few ideas:
- Read What to Know Before You Go in the Student Guide.
- Become familiar with the UC Pre-Arrival Instructions.
- Plan your travel so that you attend mandatory orientations at your UC host campus.
- Talk to UC students currently attending your university or returned Reciprocal Exchange students.
- Read books and watch for current events in the U.S. Learn about basic geography, customs, history and cross-cultural issues.
- Check these useful Internet websites.
Contact your UC liaison or UCEAP at firstname.lastname@example.org