California Pre-Doctoral Program
Download the 2014-15 Pre-Doctoral Program Application
2016-17 Online Application is available.

How to Apply

Are you interested in applying to the California Pre-Doctoral Program? Whether you are merely "shopping" to see whether graduate school is right for you or absolutely sure of your intent to go to graduate school, you should consider applying.

The online application is now available and is due to your campus coordinator in late February, 2016.

A paper copy of the application can be downloaded here to assist in filing out the online application.

Application Steps

  1. Applications are only accepted via online submission. The application deadline is 5:00 p.m., February 26, 2016. Please check with your Pre-Doctoral Program Coordinator for any earlier campus deadlines.
  2. Applications are reviewed by CSU and UC faculty and subject-matter experts who forward their recommendations of the top scholars to the California Pre-Doctoral Program Advisory Committee, which confirms the selections by mid-June.

Online Application Instructions

The Pre-Doctoral online application is a simple procedure that enable you to apply for the 2016 - 2017 award cycle. This application runs on IE 9+, Chrome, Firefox 3+, and Safari for Macintosh.


Prior to submitting your online application, you must contact your campus coordinator to obtain approval of your application.

  1. In order to complete the Pre-Doctoral application you will need to have an account within the application system. Follow the link ( to the login page and create a user name and password following the instructions under the "Login for Other Users" section.
  2. The new online system will allow you to upload documents that will be attached to your application. Once you have logged in you will see the "Essay Requirement" and the "Student Budget Template" in the right navigation of the application. Download those documents and follow the instructions. Your application will not be complete until these requirements are met. The following documents you will have to upload are:

    1. Copy of transcripts. Please scan and PDF them as one document and upload.
    2. Three separate essay questions. Please place your name and question on the document. Please save your final versions as PDF's and upload each to the proper question.
    3. You will need the "Student Budget template" filled out and uploaded. Make sure that your total amount adds up to $3,000.

  3. You will also need one letter of recommendation from your faculty mentor. The system will email your faculty mentor using the email you provide. Note: make sure to get an email address that your faculty mentor checks regularly. The online application will notify your faculty mentor of the recommendation request. You will also be able to add a reminder date for the faculty mentor during the process.
  4. Proposal Title field. For the Proposal Title field, please enter your full name and the acronym of your campus (first name, middle initial, last name and campus acronym).

The award year begins July 1 and ends June 30 of the following year. This period does not include the optional Summer Research Experience that takes place during the summer following the award.

This is a one-time award. Current or former Pre-Doctoral Scholars are not eligible to reapply.