UC Riverside



Graduate Programs


Grad students.

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It is an exciting time to be a graduate student at UC Riverside. The campus is experiencing unprecedented growth, and with this has come an influx of new faculty, new and exciting research and educational opportunities and state-of-the-art facilities. Faculty and students work together closely, creating a dynamic learning environment that encourages the best available academic training.

All of UCR's graduate programs are overseen by the Graduate Division. Information for prospective students, including application information, admission criteria, and important dates is available.

Below you will find a brief summary of each of UCR's graduate programs. If you would like more detailed information about a program, please click the links provided or visit the Graduate Division site.

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  • Accounting, Auditing, and Assurance—M.P.Ac
    Offering Master of Professional Accountancy (M.P.Ac.) program will fill growing demand for qualified certified public accountants (CPA's), especially with a California law effective for years after 2013 that will require 150 semester hours (or 225 quarter hours) of applicable college credit. Offered by the A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management in the School of Business Administration.
  • Anthropology — M.A., M.S., Ph.D.
    Offering M.A., M.S. and Ph.D. programs, research focuses on how people live in a variety of settings and adapt to the processes of change and transformation, both historically and today. Upon completion, students will be able to engage in research, teaching, policy-related and/or administrative activities. Offered by the Department of Anthropology in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
  • Applied Statistics — Ph.D.
    The program emphasizes both the theory of statistics and its application to special fields of interest. In addition to courses in statistics, Ph.D. students take courses in a substantive field from which a thesis problem requiring a statistical approach should arise. The substantive field may be fields such as:
    • Biology
    • Economics
    • Political science
    • Psychology
    • Administration

    Offered through the Department of Statistics in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.
  • Art History — M.A., Ph.D.
    Students pursue an M.A. or Ph.D. in the history of Western and non-Western art from ancient to contemporary times, emphasizing the interpretation of art in its historical and cultural contexts. Students take courses in both Western and non-Western areas. Offered by the Department of the History of Art in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
  • Art, Visual — M.F.A.
    The program's core lies in independent creative work done in consultation with faculty. Students can work in any medium. UCR has facilities for photography, painting, video, digital media and sculpture. Individual graduate studios are provided. Offered by the Department of Art in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology — M.S., Ph.D.
    Offering both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, the program prepares students for careers in science by expanding their knowledge of biochemistry and molecular biology, and by developing students' critical thinking skills and creativity. There is considerable flexibility to develop the curriculum to fit specific needs and interests. Offered by the Department of Biochemistry in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.
  • Bioengineering — M.S., Ph.D.
    The M.S. program is designed for professionals seeking greater depth in the area of bioengineering or individuals with biological science degrees who wish to enhance their education. The Ph.D. is heavily integrated with research activities and is intended for people seeking careers in academic or industrial research. The Bioengineering Program is an interdisciplinary program offered by the Bourns College of Engineering.
  • Biomedical Sciences — Ph.D.
    Students acquire a broad understanding of human disease, therapeutics and design of predictive experimental model systems through an innovative and rigorous program that integrates medical curriculum with mentored research and critical analysis of research-based modeling of human pathophysiology. Faculty come to the program from the Biomedical Sciences Division and the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Environmental Toxicology, Nematology, Cell Biology and Neuroscience, and Psychology, providing a wide range of perspectives and approaches to problems. Offered by the School of Medicine.
  • Cell, Molecular & Developmental Biology — M.S., Ph.D
    Students enrolled in the interdepartmental CMDB program have access to modern professorial laboratories as well as state-of-the-art equipment, such as:
    • Bioinformatics
    • Proteomics, including protein sequencing via mass spectrometry
    • DNA sequencing
    • Cell sorting
    Students have the opportunity to participate in research in a variety of areas of basic, applied, agricultural, and biomedical sciences.
  • Chemical & Environmental Engineering — M.S., Ph.D.
    The program features both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Fields of specialization include:
    • Biochemical engineering
    • Environmental biotechnology
    • Advanced materials and nanotechnology
    • Electrochemical engineering
    • Molecular theory and simulation
    • Air quality systems engineering
    • Water quality systems engineering
    Offered by the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering in the Bourns College of Engineering.
  • Chemistry — M.S., Ph.D.
    Students have the opportunity to perform cutting-edge research in an environment that combines the state-of-the-art facilities, quality, and breadth of research with close student-faculty interaction. The Ph.D. is a research degree in which students can pursue many sub-disciplines, including:
    • Analytical chemistry
    • Inorganic chemistry
    • Organic chemistry
    • Physical chemistry
    • Interdisciplinary research opportunities in bioanalytical, environmental and materials chemistry
    • Chemical genomics
    Offered by the Department of Chemistry in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.
  • Classics — Tri-Campus Program — Ph.D.
    The Ph.D. program is offered jointly with UC Irvine, UC Riverside and UC San Diego. Instruction takes place on the UC Irvine campus. It features an innovative curriculum and program of study that addresses the practical and theoretical questions confronting the humanities and classics in particular, as both enter the twenty-first century. Offered at UC Riverside by the Department of Comparative Literature and Foreign Languages in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
  • Comparative Literature — M.A., Ph.D.
    The program is based on the comparative studies of world literatures and cultures. Students are admitted into the Ph.D. program only and students who do not already hold a master's degree in literature, comparative literature, or a comparable field must complete M.A. requirements while pursuing the Ph.D. The degree has three tracks: interliterary studies, interdisciplinary studies, and science fiction science, and literature. Offered by the Department of Comparative Literature and Foreign Languages in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
  • Computer Science — M.S., Ph.D.
    The program offers a M.S., which is ideal for professionals seeking greater depth in several areas, and a Ph.D. intended for well-qualified individuals who wish to pursue careers in academic or industrial research. Research programs include algorithm design, software engineering, embedded system design and theory of computation. Offered by the Computer Science and Engineering Department in the Bourns College of Engineering.
  • Creative Writing & Writing for the Performing Arts — M.F.A.
    Students pursuing the M.F.A. program complete a core of course work in one writing discipline selected from fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, playwriting, screenwriting, or writing for interactive media. Students participate in seminars and workshops where they explore cross-genre writing and the theoretical underpinnings of creative writing. This interdisciplinary program is offered in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
  • Creative Writing & Writing for the Performing Arts — Palm Desert — M.F.A.
    UCR Palm Desert's M.F.A. program in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts is designed for professionally oriented writers who are interested in a variety of literary forms. Students concentrate their work in one genre — fiction, screenwriting, creative non-fiction, poetry, or playwriting — but are required to take workshops in at least one other area. Classes are all held through the M.F.A. program at the UCR Palm Desert Campus.
  • Dance — M.F.A.
    Highly motivated choreographers pursuing the M.F.A. conduct both research in dance and an assessment of contemporary issues in dance aesthetics, history and culture. The focus is the development of experimental choreography that challenges cultural assumptions and is informed by a critical and reflective perspective. The program is especially designed for the practicing artist who desires to return to an institutional context for advanced study and to examine their own work as they produce new work. Offered by the Department of Dance in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
  • Dance History & Theory — Ph.D.The program provides a base for research in the field of cultural and historical studies of dance. Consideration of all dimensions of dance, including digital culture, body politics, media studies, mobilization and class, ethnicity, sexuality and gender, and corporeal knowledge and choreography are considered. Offered by the Department of Dance in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
  • Economics — M.A., Ph.D.
    Students have the opportunity to pursue either a M.A. or Ph.D. in economics, with emphases in a wide range of fields, including:
    • Microeconomics
    • Macroeconomics
    • Econometrics
    • Economic development
    • Economic history
    • International trade
    Offered by the Department of Economics in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
  • Education — M.A., M.Ed., Ph.D.
    The Graduate School of Education offers research degree (M.A. and Ph.D.), professional degree (M.Ed.), and teacher education programs (Credential and M.Ed.).

    The Ph.D. program prepares students for research and teaching in academic institutions and offer areas of specialization in:
    • Education, Society and Culture
    • Educational Psychology
    • Higher Education Administration and Policy
    • School Psychology with the Pupil Personnel Services credential and non-terminal M.A. degree
    • Special Education

    The M.A. program provides advanced knowledge and research experience in the field of Education with specializations in:
    • Education, Society and Culture
    • Educational Psychology
    • Special Education

    The M.Ed. program assists professional educators in improving their practice and offers areas of emphasis in:
    • Autism
    • Diversity and Equity
    • Higher Education Administration and Policy
    • Reading
    • Special Education with Education Specialist Credential
    • TESOL

    The Teacher Education program prepares individuals for careers in teaching and offers credentialing and graduate degrees in:
    • Master of Education (M.Ed.) in General Education
    • Multiple Subjects Credential (Elementary)
    • Single Subject Credential (Secondary)
    • Special Education Credential
    • Bilingual Authorization in Spanish
  • Electrical Engineering — M.S., Ph.D.
    M.S. and Ph.D. students choose a field of study from among five areas of specialization:
    • Computer engineering
    • Control and robotics
    • Intelligent systems
    • Nanomaterials, devices and circuits
    • Communications and signal processing
    In addition to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering, a combined B.S. and M.S. degree is also available. Offered by the Department of Electrical Engineering in the Bourns College of Engineering
  • English — M.A., Ph.D.
    • The M.A. program encourages a broad familiarity with several fields of historical, theoretical, and genre-centered research within the discipline of English studies.
    • The Ph.D. program encourages graduate students to become teachers and scholar-critics capable of significant original literary scholarship. Students work in close consultation with the graduate adviser to map a course of study including seminar work, fulfillment of the foreign language requirement, the successful completion of two qualifying exams, and the dissertation.
    Offered by the Department of English in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
  • Entomology — M.S., Ph.D.
    With programs leading towards M.S. or Ph.D. degrees, students have the opportunity for research specialization in more than a dozen areas, including behavior, biochemistry, nematology and pathology. Offered by the Department of Entomology in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.
  • Ethnic Studies — Ph.D.
    The Ph.D. program has a special focus on public policy and community studies, the connection of people of color in the United States with those in the diaspora (international affairs), and culture. Offered by the Department of Ethnic Studies in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
  • Environmental Science — M.S., Ph.D.
    This interdepartmental program provides students with broad training and exposure to the many facets of environmental science, as well as the specialized study of a specific research topic. Administered by nearly 50 UCR faculty from different environmentally related disciplines, research and course offerings are diverse, ranging from fundamental soil, aquatic, and atmospheric chemistry through resource and environmental management, economics and policy, to a host of other areas within both the natural and social sciences. Offered by the Department of Environmental Sciences in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.
  • Environmental Toxicology — M.S. Ph.D.
    An integrated interdisciplinary program that leads to an M.S. or Ph.D. The program teaches the scientific principles of toxicology, focusing on biology, chemistry and the ways that xenobiotics and toxins interact with the biosphere.
  • Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology — M.S. Ph.D.
    Offering both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, the EEOB program features specialization tracks in evolutionary biology, ecology and physiology. The M.S. program is a research based program, while the Ph.D. program requires the demonstration of broad knowledge of cell and molecular biology, evolutionary biology, or physiology, and the ability to conduct original research. Offered by the Department of Biology in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.
  • Finance—M.Fin.
    The new Master of Finance (MFin) program at the A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management addresses the substantial unmet demand for trained finance professionals. By providing a comprehensive overview of the entire field of finance, with an emphasis on empirical methods and applications, the nine-month MFin program will enable finance executives to gain the specialized expertise required for professional advancement, and prepare students who seek to pursue professional certifications in finance.
  • Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics — Ph.D.
    A unique Ph.D. program that offers three tracks:
    • Molecular genetics
    • Population and evolutionary genetics
    • Genomics and bioinformatics.
    The program features diverse research opportunities ranging from current topics in cellular and organismal biology, through mechanisms of molecular evolution, to quantitative genetics, population structure and dynamics, to conservation biology. The program serves both computationally- oriented informaticians and "wet-bench"-oriented genomicists. Offered by the Department of Biology in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.
  • Geological Sciences — M.S., Ph.D.
    Emphasizing general geology combined with specialization in one of 16 fields, including paleobiology, neotectonics, organic geochemistry, stratigraphy and sedimentology. A rich and diverse array of study options is available to students. Offered by the Department of Earth Sciences in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.
  • History — M.A., Ph.D.
    Graduate study in history at the UCR culminates in the Ph.D. degree in history or in the professional M.A. degree in public history, which prepares graduates for careers in museums, archives and historical preservation. Students can also earn the M.A. degree in history, which provides a strong background for careers in professions such as teaching, government and journalism. Offered by the Department of History in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
  • Management — Flex M.B.A.
    The Flex M.B.A. offers the same quality of teaching as the MBA program. But the two programs differ in key ways: The Flex MBA can be completed on a fast track (in as little as 20 months) or courses can be taken over several years, depending on the individual student's schedule. The Flex MBA offers evening courses so students can still work or meet other day-time obligations while enrolled in the program.
  • Management — M.B.A.
    The M.B.A. program at the A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management balances the art and science of management, emphasizing managing through information, while recognizing the global environment of management. Students are prepared to excel in a competitive international environment. Teamwork, relationships and communication are underscored.
  • Management — Ph.D.
    The Ph.D.program at the A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management will fill a growing demand for doctoral students in management in the UC system. It is an academic program that will provide candidates with the chance to do intensive research in the field of business and is built upon an interdisciplinary theme with collaborations from other departments at UC Riverside, including economics, sociology, psychology, and statistics.
  • Materials Science and Engineering
    Materials Science and Engineering (MS&E) is concerned with the creation of materials with novel properties and their use in a variety of fields ranging from ultra-fast computer chips and high-efficiency solar cells to high-powered jets, and even beauty products. This program prepares graduates for a variety of careers in fields such as nanotechnology, electronics, computing, the biomedical, automotive and aerospace industries, as well as government agencies and research laboratories.
  • Mathematics — M.S., Ph.D.
    Offering a M.S. and Ph.D., the program offers easy access to two dozen faculty members whose research covers a range of specialties, including algebra, analysis, geometry, topology, mathematical physics and combinatorics. Offered by the Department of Mathematics in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.
  • Mechanical Engineering — M.S., Ph.D.
    An M.S. and Ph.D. are offered for students interested in specialized areas of mechanical engineering. The M.S. offers broad-based study, while the Ph.D. allows students to pursue a specialized program of research. Faculty engage in research activities that span the areas of biomedical and health science, fluid and thermal science, design and information computation, mechanics and materials, and nano-structured materials and nanotechnology. Offered by the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the Bourns College of Engineering.
  • Music — M.A., Ph.D.
    Students may pursue either a M.A. or Ph.D. in the subjects of:
    • Composition — Students receive a thorough grounding in historical and contemporary compositional practice along with a strong emphasis in digital technologies for creation, documentation, and production
    • Ethnomusicology — Bringing the insights of cutting-edge cultural theory to original research based on solidly grounded, finely detailed ethnographic fieldwork
    • Musicology — Featuring one of the leading programs in the world on the musical heritage of Iberia and Latin America, students in musicology may pursue a wide variety of subjects, including British music
    Offered by the Department of Music in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
  • Neuroscience — Ph.D.
    The Ph.D. program is designed to prepare students for careers in research and teaching, as well as in scientific administration. It focuses on a multidisciplinary approach to understanding nervous systems ranging from the molecular and cellular to the behavioral and cognitive. Offered by the Department of Biology in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.
  • Philosophy — M.A., Ph.D.
    This program specializes in analytic philosophy, contemporary European philosophy, and the history of philosophy. Students become acquainted with the state of discussion in central areas of contemporary philosophy and are given the skills needed to conduct their own research. Students who have successfully completed a master's degree in philosophy may be invited to pursue the Ph.D. degree. Offered by the Department of Philosophy in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
  • Physics — M.S., Ph.D.
    The graduate program in physics features theoretical and experimental research programs in:
    • Astrophysics and space physics
    • Biophysics
    • Condensed matter physics
    • Fundamental precision measurements
    • High energy physics
    • Relativistic heavy ion and spin physics
    • Surface physics
    Offered by the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.
  • Plant Biology — M.S., Ph.D.
    M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are offered. Possible areas of study include:
    • Agricultural plant biology
    • Biochemistry and physiology
    • Cellular, molecular and developmental biology
    • Ecology
    • Evolution, systematics and ethnobotany
    • Genetics
    • Genomics and bioinformatics
    • Chemical genomics applied to questions of plant biology
    Offered by the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.
  • Plant Pathology — M.S., Ph.D.
    This highly competitive program offers both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. The department features a wide ranging set of research topics, all geared towards improving disease management of California's crops. Offered by the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.
  • Political Science — M.A., Ph.D.
    The M.A. and Ph.D. programs prepare students for research and teaching in academic institutions. The small, research-oriented program is well-suited to train people interested in:
    • American political institutions
    • Methodology
    • Mass political behavior (both U.S. and non-U.S.)
    • Political violence and civil-military relations
    Total graduate enrollment is limited to fewer than 40 students. Offered by the Department of Political Science in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
  • Psychology — Ph.D.
    The Ph.D. program offers areas of specialization in cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, social/personality psychology and systems neuroscience. There is also cross-cutting and interdisciplinary study in quantitative psychology, in family studies, positive psychology and health psychology. Individual programs can also be created. There is no concentration in clinical psychology, but many graduate students study applied topics such as the promotion of the mental and physical health of children, adolescents, and the aging. Offered by the Department of Psychology in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
  • Religious Studies — M.A., Ph.D.
    Featuring a M.A. degree that allows a broad study of religious traditions and a more specialized Ph.D. degree that prepares students to enter into academia as researches and instructors, the small program engages religion as a political and social dynamic on the international stage, critically appraising the force of religions in contemporary global cultures, contacts, and conflicts. Offered by the Department of Religious Studies in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
  • Sociology — Ph.D.
    The program is designed to prepare students for teaching and research careers in sociology, earning an M.A. as part of their progress to the Ph.D. Areas of specialization are:
    • Criminology and sociolegal studies
    • Family and social psychology
    • Gender studies, organizations and institutions
    • Political economy and global social change
    • Race and class inequality
    • Sociological theory
    Offered by the Department of Sociology in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
  • Soil & Water Science — M.S., Ph.D.
    The program offers both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees with comprehensive training in the chemistry, physics, biology, and ecology of soils, water bodies, and wetlands. Students can specialize in a variety of areas, including:
    • Soil and aquatic chemistry
    • Watershed and groundwater hydrology
    • Soil and aquatic microbiology
    • Soil-plant relations and biogeochemistry
    • Bioremediation and phytoremediation
    • Soil genesis, mineralogy, geomorphology
    • Ecotoxicology of soils and sediments
    Offered by the Department of Environmental Sciences in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.
  • Southeast Asian Studies — M.A.
    Centered on the study of the arts and cultural life in Southeast Asia and the diasporas. The program is geared towards understanding the region and making sense of and engaging with various forms of culture. The region will be studied with an emphasis on historical, religious and ethnographical perspectives. Offered by the interdepartmental SEATRiP Program in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
  • Spanish — M.A., Ph.D.
    Designed to prepare scholars for teaching and research in Spanish and Latin American literature and cultural studies. The program is organized primarily for students seeking the Ph.D. degree, with the M.A. degree awarded in the course of a student's progress. A small number of students only complete the M.A. as advanced study for teaching in high schools or community colleges. Offered by the Department of Hispanic Studies in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
  • Statistics — M.S.
    The M.S. program emphasizes applications and theory, providing an operational knowledge of the subject. It is often completed by students pursuing the Ph.D. program in Applied Statistics. Offered through the Department of Statistics in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.
  • Visual Art — M.F.A.
    The program's core lies in independent creative work done in consultation with faculty. Students can work in any medium. UCR has facilities for photography, painting, video, digital media and sculpture. Individual graduate studios are provided. Offered by the Department of Art in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.

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