Holistic Admissions

What is Holistic Review?

Holistic review refers to the consideration of a variety of variables when evaluating a candidate for admission into a graduate degree program. Admissions committees may consider academic, nonacademic, and contextual factors in the review process with the goal of identifying students who are most likely to succeed in their programs. The Council of Graduate Schools published a helpful guide book that outlines many of the nuances of holistic review at the graduate level.

The UC San Diego Division of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs is committed to eliminating obstacles that might lead to admission bias against groups of individuals. As outlined in the June 2020 Memo, Dean James Antony encourages all graduate programs at UC San Diego to adopt holistic admissions practices and Division staff are available to assist programs who are interested in learning more about holistic admissions or adopting a holistic review process for their program.

Since 2019, UC San Diego has been a campus partner in the National Science Foundation-funded California Consortium for Inclusive Doctoral Education (C-CIDE) now known as Equity in Graduate Education (EGE). Many of our faculty have participated and will continue to participate in EGE training workshops that focus on holistic admissions and other aspects of inclusive education. This project has stressed the importance of using holistic admission approaches, including leading conversations and conducting research on the impacts of reliance upon the GRE in graduate admissions. Division staff are available to work with departments and programs that might want to learn more about EGE or become involved with the project. We also are ready to assist programs in enhancing the use of holistic admission evaluation processes, including the consideration of alternative assessment methods should a program decide to waive or eliminate the GRE.

Holistic Admissions Resources & Articles

Please note you may need to log-in with a UC San Diego credential in order to access some articles. Do you have a helpful resource on holistic review that you'd like to share here? Email it to Tamara Schaps.

Additional Information & Next Steps