Direct Admit PHD programs in the UC system . .

Hello, I am looking to get opinions, experiences, and recommendations around the direct admit PHD programs within the UC system. My daughter is looking to go direct admit into a Plant Science/Genetics, Environmental Engineering, or Global Studies programs. There are a few to choose from in the UC system.

First, for those of you who skipped a Masters degree and went into any of the life or social sciences direct admit PHD programs in UC:

  • Do you like the program?
  • Would you do it again?
  • Do you feel you have support to get through the program having skipped a Master?
  • How did you find the competition level, were you surprised as to who did and did not get in?

Secondly, do you feel my daughter has the right experience? We think she is on the right track, but if you have a recommendation of what to add, she still has time to complete more projects. She is a rising junior with the following qualifications:

Attending: Cal Poly SLO

Double Major (Two different colleges within Cal Poly):

  1. Anthropology/Geography joint major with concentration in International Development
  2. Agricultural and Environmental Plant Science with concentration in Crop Science


  1. Nationally published and conference presented paper in Anthropology research around family food relationships. Included formal research, data, documentation, and authoring. Over 35 one on one interviews completed.
  2. Completed privately funded research/internship project where she produced folios on three separate recommendation patterns for planting three thousand trees on a environmentally conscious farm. Over 100 pages of unique research created. She was hand chosen by her Pomology professor as the tree specialist on the research team.

Work Experience:

  1. Garden Center Associate at Lowe’s.
  2. She will likely be hired to oversee the tree installation on the farm site over the next two years in a consulting capacity.

Dean’s List 4 of 6 quarters
3.6 GPA

Recommendation Letters: She already has two professors ready to recommend that she has directly worked with on her research projects.

Note: She would prefer to not take the GRE.

Thank you for all who read this lengthy post and take the time to give advice. :slight_smile:

1 Like

I have no info, but hello sdscoutmom! I’m so interested to see how your daughter’s interests have morphed since HS. Sounds like she found her niche and she is happy and thriving! Congrats!