Prospective Students

Watch the video to learn what it’s like to be part of the Transportation Technology and Policy Graduate Group!


We are delighted that you are interested in joining us as a graduate student at the leading university center in the world on sustainable transportation. The Transportation Technology and Policy (TTP) program takes an interdisciplinary approach that transcends the boundaries of traditional engineering-based studies and draws on a multitude of academic disciplines. It provides students an opportunity to do the interdisciplinary research needed to address pressing transportation challenges facing California, the U.S., and the world from the standpoint of environmental, economic, and social outcomes.

Our TTP students have come from undergraduate majors as diverse as physics, economics, business, geography, anthropology, sociology, history, and English, as well as various engineering majors. They have come from across the U.S. and from countries around the world, bringing a diversity of ideas, issues, cultures, and backgrounds. This diversity is one of the strengths of our program, as the blending of experiences and perspectives helps to foster creativity and innovation.

The TTP curriculum allows flexibility in creating a course of study crossing traditional disciplinary boundaries. Students complete three core courses in Transportation Technology, Transportation Policy, and Data Science and choose one of three tracks in which to specialize: Vehicles & Fuels, Demand & Behavior, or Infrastructure & Operations. The program gives students the flexibility to develop high-level skills in disciplines of their choosing to best support their interests and career goals.

TTP is made up of more than 30 faculty and researchers and more than 50 graduate students. Many of our students are actively engaged in funded research at the M.S. and Ph.D. level, and fellowships are available each year for outstanding applicants.

The TTP degree gives students the tools and ability to pursue leadership roles in government, academia, NGOs and industry.

Watch our Virtual Open House

Program Highlights

  • Internationally recognized, respected program
  • Students come from diverse academic backgrounds
  • Relevant learning experiences
  • Unique, flexible interdisciplinary approach
  • Three program tracks:
    • Vehicles and fuels
    • Demand and behavior
    • Infrastructure and operations
  • Graduates employed at all levels of government, academia, industry and non-profit organizations

 Research Focus Areas

  • Environmental Impacts of Transportation
  • Travel Demand Modeling
  • Land Use and Transportation Interactions
  • Adoption of Advanced Vehicle Technologies
  • Transportation Systems Analysis and Design
  • Sustainable Freight and Logistics
  • Transportation Economics
  • Transportation Planning and Policy
  • Automated, Electric, and Shared Mobility
  • Active Transportation and Micro-Mobility

Mobility Quest

Transportation graduate students at UC Davis kick off their enrollment with a five-day field trip/adventure, Mobility Quest, where they learn firsthand about transportation trends and issues. The cost of participation is covered by the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies. You can learn more about MobQuest, or if you have any questions contact the TTP Graduate Program Coordinator. For general program questions and advice, contact Dr. Gil Tal, Professional Researcher, ITS-Davis and TTP recruiting and admissions leader, at

TTP Admission Schedule

Admission to graduate studies requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Students are generally admitted for the fall quarter, but exceptional cases for off-cycle admission can be considered. The application deadlines for admissions are:

Priority Deadline: January 15

Applicants who submit their application to the graduate program by the Priority Deadline will receive priority review for admission. These applications will also receive the highest priority in consideration of funding opportunities. We strongly encourage applications for any form of financial aid by this date as well.

General Deadline: April 1

Applicants who apply by the General Deadline (but after the Priority Deadline) will have their files formally reviewed for admission by the graduate program but will not be reviewed on a priority basis.

Space Available Deadline: June 1

Applicants who apply by the Space Available Deadline (but after the General Deadline) are not guaranteed to have their application reviewed by the graduate program.  Their application will be reviewed only if the graduate program determines that they have additional space available.

TTP Admission Criteria

  • Master’s degree applicants must have earned a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent) from the institution where you have earned or will earn your bachelor’s degree.
  • Doctoral applicants normally will have earned a minimum grade point average of 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent). Doctoral program applicants are strongly encouraged to communicate with potential research advisers (one of whom will become their Major Professor) in order to introduce themselves and inquire about faculty willingness to accept a new student in this degree program when applying to the program. This process of communicating with potential Major Professors should begin in the Fall, prior to the relevant applications deadline. Applicants should take the initiative to inquire about future research directions of the professors, exchange research ideas with potential Major Professors, and make every effort to identify viable possibilities. While formal acceptance into a research group cannot occur prior to admission, contacts should be far-enough developed, such that at least tentative identification of a research adviser can be made as soon after the time of admission as possible.

TTP Application Process


1. Apply Online

Fee Waiver
  • UC Davis offers application fee waivers to applicants who have participated in specific graduate preparation programs (for a full list see Graduate Preparation Program Participants)
  • UC Davis College of Engineering Equity Program Fee Waiver Eligibility
    • Applicants must seek Fall 2023 admission to a PhD program administered by the College of Engineering. (TTP is within the College of Engineering.) Applicants for MS programs are not eligible for a fee waiver through this program.
    • Only US citizens or current permanent residents are eligible to receive a fee waiver through this program.
    • Request a College of Engineering application fee waiver
  • California State University Application Fee Fellowship Program
    • The Transportation Technology and Policy program will provide Graduate Application Fee Fellowships based on the following criteria:
      • Applicant has (or will) earn a degree from a California State University.
      • Applicant has a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) from their Bachelor’s degree granting institution.
      • Applicant has submitted a complete* application as a MS student to the Transportation Technology and Policy program at UC Davis by the general deadline (PhD students should refer first to the COE Equity Program).
      • Applicant has submitted the supplemental CSU Graduate Application Fee Fellowship Program application.
      • Applicant does not qualify for the Graduate Preparation Program Fee Waiver or the COE Equity Program Fee Waiver (see above).

        * To be considered complete, the application must have all transcripts uploaded, and all three letters of recommendation submitted, in addition to the complete online application.
    • For the Fall 2023 application cycle, the department will award up to 30 applications; awarded in order of submission to applicants who meet all the eligibility criteria.
    • To receive this fellowship:
        • Complete the online application form, and click “submit”
        • Do NOT pay the application fee (we cannot offer refunds)
        • Make sure all your transcripts are uploaded, and your letters of recommendation have been submitted
        • Complete the short supplemental application form
        • If your application is not showing as paid within 3 business days, please email the TTP Graduate Program Coordinator at
  • Unfortunately, we are unable to provide admission fee waivers or fellowships to all interested applicants at this time. We hope to expand things in the future, but at this point there is no option for students not covered by one of the above programs.

2. Statement of Purpose and Personal History Statement and Diversity

The Personal History Statement provides an opportunity for applicants to tell the Admissions Committee something about their unique backgrounds and personal histories. It may include information about other pursuits and interests of the applicant. It may give some details about any obstacles or disadvantages the applicant had to overcome, or inspiration  for their pursuit of a graduate degree.

3. Three Letters of Recommendation

The graduate application only accepts letters received electronically through our online application portal. Applicants are encouraged to submit professional letters of recommendation, but at least one letter should be from a professor who can assess your potential for advanced academic work. However, if a letter from a professor is not possible, it is permissible for employers, supervisors, co-workers and co-associates to write these letters. What is crucial is that you select individuals who can best discuss your academic strengths, as well as speak to your potential of successfully completing a graduate program.

4. Transcripts

UC Davis requires academic records from each college-level institution you have attended or are currently attending.

5. GRE Scores

Not needed for the application.

6. English Language Testing Requirement

If applicable.

7. TTP Prerequisite listing

Send prerequisite listing to TTP Graduate Program Coordinator at AFTER you have submitted your online application (Prerequisite Frequently Asked Questions) Also, please provide this information in the Prior Coursework section of your online application. If you have deficiencies in any of these areas, you will need to complete them in your first year of study.

  • Calculus –  two quarters, one semester, or equivalent content (UCD: MAT 16A and 16B)
  • Intermediate Probability/Statistic (with calculus) – one quarter, one semester, or equivalent content (UCD: ECI 114, STA 100, STA 103 or STA 108)
  • Intermediate Economics (preferably with calculus) – one quarter, one semester, or equivalent content (UCD: ARE 100A or ECN 100A)

If you have questions please contact the TTP Graduate Program Coordinator at

For general program questions and advice, contact contact Dr. Gil Tal, Professional Researcher, ITS-Davis and TTP recruiting and admissions leader, at

Cost of Attendance

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