Program Curriculum

1st Quarter2nd Quarter
  • UCI Major Courses
  • Scientific Research Writing Course or Research Principles
  • A choice of Standardized Test Preparation Course (GRE/GMAT)
  • Graduate Application Assistance and Career Counseling Course (Minimum 12 units; up to 16 units with approval)
  • UCI Major Courses
  • A choice of Professional Communication Course
  • A choice of Standardized Test Preparation Course (GRE/GMAT)(Minimum 12 units; up to 16 units with approval)

  1. The table shows the maximum number of units that are covered by the program tuition.  Additional tuition is required for any additional units or quarters.
  2. Courses are scheduled based on availability; course equivalent substitutions will be recommended when courses become unavailable.
  3. Professional communication courses include: Leadership, Communication Across Cultures, Accent Reduction, Public Speaking, Presentation Skills
  4. Data Science students may be advised to take Accelerated Certificate courses that will fulfill the pre-requisites for their future graduate degree programs

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Graduate STAR Specialized entry requirements?Expand

To be accepted in our Graduate STAR Specialized Track, you, as an applicant, must provide the following documents:

  1. The Completed Graduate STAR APPLICATION with a non-refundable $200 application fee. The application fee must be paid within 7 days upon our office’s receipt of your application to be processed; otherwise, the application may automatically be canceled.
  2. Has received or is eligible to receive a diploma from the current or last attended college / university upon the completion of the Graduate STAR Program
  3. Copies of all of your current official academic transcripts to prove your completion of at least three years of college education and to meet the minimum GPA requirement of 3.3 (or equivalent)
      • Provide a copy of your 4-year bachelor’s degree diploma/graduation certificate or a confirmation statement issued by your current university/college with your expected graduation date and year
  4. Copy of your current passport page that shows your photo
  5. Documentation for any educational gap since the start of university/college attendance, which must be supported with explanations and evidence
  6. Copies of English proficiency proof that meet any of the following minimum test scores:
Acceptable TestMinimum Score
CEFR:B2, C1, C2
CET-4 (China)493
Computer-based TOEFL:213
GEPTHigh intermediate
GRE (Verbal score)150
Internet-based TOEFL:80
iTEP:Level 5
Paper-based TOEFL:600
DCE 10-Week ESLLevel 6


  1. TOEFL iBT MyBest Scores, Special Home Edition, Essentials and IELTS Indicator will be accepted as long as all exams were taken within the past two years.
  2. To send an official TOEFL or IELTS test score, please select the institution code B166.

English Requirement Exemption:

    1. You have attended a high school for at least 3 years where English is the main language of instruction, or
    2. You have obtained a recognized undergraduate or master’s degree from an institution at which English was the sole language of instruction

Our program entry requirements and English exemption are not the same as any other programs at UCI. 

Students who have undergraduate majors in STEM will receive priority acceptance consideration and pre-assessment for their intended graduate program.

UCI Division of Continuing Education reserves the right to deny acceptance to STAR.  Applicants who are not accepted into STAR by UCI Division of Continuing Education will be notified in writing.

What is the application process?Expand

  1. Complete the online graduate STAR APPLICATION and pay the non-refundable $200 application fee
  2. After you have been provisionally accepted into STAR, an official Acceptance Confirmation Letter will be sent to you. This letter is usually sent by e-mail. It will describe the STAR registration policies and request the required Program Deposit of $5,000 USD to be submitted to STAR within 15 days after the receipt of your Acceptance Confirmation letter. You will also need to submit copies of your or your sponsor’s financial statements (e.g., checking or savings accounts) that meet our financial requirements for I-20 issuance. If you are applying as a transfer-in from another US institution, you will also need to submit a completed Transfer Evaluation Form.
  3. After you have signed the acknowledgment form that is part of your Acceptance Confirmation letter, and STAR has received your required program deposit, you will receive an official Letter of Acceptance (LOA), Form I-20, and Welcome Packet. With the Letter of Acceptance and Form I-20, you will be able to submit a request for a student (F-1) visa from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your area.
  4. You will have 30 days to pay the balance of the program tuition and fees. Confirmation of enrollment must include full payment of tuition and fees.

Please see Registration Policies & Deadlines for cancellation and postponement requests.

Can I still apply to STAR if I am not sure that I meet your entry requirements?Expand

The UCI Division of Continuing Education is committed to serving diverse students from all backgrounds.  While the acceptance preference will be given to students who have met our minimum acceptance requirements, we recognize individual circumstances and offer a comprehensive review of every applicant.  Thus, students who do not meet our minimum acceptance requirements are still encouraged to apply.  It is important that students provide additional information (e.g., resume, community service, awards and achievements, and extra-curricular classes and activities.) to demonstrate their unique circumstances.

Are the STAR Specialized courses transferable?Expand

Every graduate admissions office holds the final determination of the transferability of the units a student earns in STAR. STAR Specialized Track offers UCI credit-bearing courses. Please know that enrollment in UCI courses is on a space-available basis with permission of the course instructor and/or department.

What are the criteria for a student to advance each quarter in STAR Specialized?Expand

Below are key selection criteria taken into consideration for program advancement:

  • Score at least 85% in every CE or P/NP class offered by your program
  • Maintain a B average or Cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Comply with the program policies (e.g., be in good academic standing) at all times
  • Meet the minimum English requirement stated in the Entry Acceptance Requirements

Students who meet the above key selection criteria are expected to follow the program curriculum or their designed study plan.  When students fail to meet the above key selection criteria, our academic advisors will provide alternative academic preparation courses to assist the student in making progress and maintaining their full-time status.

What are the recommended graduate programs for STAR Specialized Track students?Expand

Recommended Graduate Programs for Science & Technology at UCI
Samueli School of Engineering
Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences

Please know that these graduate programs have different application deadlines, and the Grad STAR students are required to submit their applications by the deadlines.

Students can choose to apply to any other graduate programs during their STAR studies.

What are the requirements for completing the program?Expand

Program Completion clearance will not be granted for a student with an outstanding debt to UCI DCE, any outstanding misconduct charges, or unsatisfactory completion of all program requirements.

Is this a full-time program?Expand

Yes. The minimum full-time requirement is 12 units each quarter. An F-1 student visa is required for students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents to study in this program on the UCI campus.

What is the program tuition and fees?Expand

Please visit our TUITION AND FEES page for more information.

Which colleges and universities have offered admission to students who have successfully completed the program?Expand

View the list of U.S. schools that have offered admission to our STAR students since 2011.

Do you have any partnerships with schools outside of UCI?Expand

Yes.  STAR is excited to partner with several prestigious institutions in the U.S, including Northwestern University School of Professional Studies, Pepperdine University Graduate Business and Law Schools, and A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management at UC Riverside. Some of our partnership benefits include priority application review and English requirement (e.g., TOEFL and IELTS) waiver.  Scholarships from our partners are also available.

Note: Participating in STAR is not a guarantee of admission to UCI or any other university. For information about STAR, refer to this official program website.

Apply Now



6-month tuition: $28,000 USD

Approximate total cost for 6 months: $44,000, excludes airfare

*Please note the program length is based on a student’s admissions eligibility


Fall 2023Sep 20
Winter 2024Jan 4
Summer 2024Jun 18
Recommended intakes for Engineering students is Fall and Winter