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 world’s leading university research center 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 is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to address pressing transportation challenges facing California, the U.S., and the world.

TTP students come from undergraduate majors as diverse as physics, economics, geography, sociology, history, and English, as well as various engineering majors. They come from across the U.S. and from countries around the world, bringing a diversity of ideas, issues, cultures, and backgrounds.

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 60 affiliated 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 prepares students to pursue leadership roles in government, academia, NGOs and industry.

Watch our Virtual Open House

Program Highlights

  • Internationally recognized program
  • Flexible interdisciplinary approach
  • MS and PhD degrees
  • Three program tracks:
    • Vehicles and fuels
    • Demand and behavior
    • Infrastructure and operations
  • Opportunities to conduct research and engage with policy makers
  • Preparation for careers in government, academia, NGOs, and  industry

 Research Focus Areas

  • Environmental impacts of transportation
  • Travel behavior and demand modeling
  • Automated, electric, and shared mobility
  • Active transportation and micro-mobility
  • Public transportation
  • Sustainable freight and logistics
  • Sustainable energy pathways
  • Lifecycle assessment
  • Infrastructure policy and planning
  • Transportation governance

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 there is 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 they have earned or will earn their bachelor’s degree.
  • Doctoral applicants normally will have earned a minimum 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent). Before applying, doctoral program applicants should contact faculty directly directly about whether they are accepting new students. Doctoral applicants are only admitted if a faculty member has agreed to work with the applicant.

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 (COE) offers application fee waivers through its Equity Program
    • Applicants to the TTP PhD program are eligible. Applicants for TTP MS programs are not eligible
    • Only US citizens or current permanent residents are eligible to receive a fee waiver through this program.
    • Request a COE Equity Program application fee waiver
  • California State University Application Fee Fellowship Program
    • The TTP 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 application cycle, the department will award fee waivers for 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 (listed below).
  • 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 has had to overcome, or the inspiration for their pursuit of a graduate degree.

3. Three Letters of Recommendation

The graduate application only accepts letters received electronically through the 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 their potential for advanced academic work. However, if a letter from a professor is not possible, it is permissible for employers, supervisors, or co-workers to write these letters. What is crucial is that the applicant selects individuals who can best discuss their academic strengths, as well as speak to their potential for successfully completing a graduate program.

4. Transcripts

UC Davis requires academic records from each college-level institution the applicant has attended or is 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 the TTP Graduate Program Coordinator (listed below) AFTER submitting the online application (Prerequisite Frequently Asked Questions). Please provide this information in the Prior Coursework section of the online application. If the applicant has deficiencies in any of these areas, they will need to complete them in the first year of study.

  • Calculus –  two quarters, one semester, or equivalent content (UCD: MAT 16A and 16B)
  • Intermediate Probability/Statistics (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)

For questions please contact the TTP Graduate Program Coordinator (listed below).

For general program questions and advice, contact Dr. Gil Tal (listed below).

Cost of Attendance

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