The Admissions Process

Q: How can I apply to graduate school?

At Berkeley, you may apply to only one graduate or concurrent degree program. Berkeley does not offer ad hoc joint degree programs or cotutelle agreements with other universities.

To get started, visit the Applying for Graduate Admission page, contact the department for information about the program in which you are interested, or review the information on the Department’s website. You can find contact information including links to the websites for each program at the Graduate Programs & Application Deadlines page.

Q. What are the requirements for admission to graduate programs at Berkeley?

The minimum graduate admission requirements are: (1) a bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution; (2) a satisfactory scholastic average, usually a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B) on a 4.0 scale, and (3) sufficient undergraduate training to do graduate work in your chosen field.

Many departments have additional or higher requirements than those mentioned above, and satisfying minimal standards does not guarantee your admission. Contact information for individual departments can be found at the Graduate Programs & Application Deadlines page.

International students requiring determination of their degree equivalency, should contact the Graduate Admissions office for more details at gradadm@berkeley.edu.

Q. How does the admissions process work at Berkeley?

Submit an application on or before the deadline for the program you are applying to. Deadlines for programs vary. You may apply online (The online application is available each year in September). Spring applications are only accepted by a few departments. Check the Graduate Programs & Application Deadlines page for more information.

Please follow departmental instructions on how to submit transcripts, supplementary information, department-specific material, statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation. The department reviews applications and recommends admission to the Graduate Division. Graduate Division issues the official notification of admission.

Q: I’m not sure which graduate program at Berkeley is best for me.

Berkeley offers a wide range of graduate programs. Go to the Career Center and see a Career Counselor to help map out which type of graduate education is best for you. Alternatively, review the different programs Berkeley offers and identify the ones of greatest interest to you. Visit the website of each program to research their requirements and expectations. Compare this to your academic background, professional experience, interests and goals.

You can get additional information by visiting Berkeley’s Career Center website.

Q: I just want to take graduate level courses. How can I do this?

You may apply to a non-degree option called “Course Work Only” (CWO). You will need to meet all of the normal criteria for admission, and the department must be willing to accept CWO students. There is a limit of two semesters of study and admission to this status precludes future admission or change of major into a degree program at Berkeley.

Some Berkeley faculty will grant permission to students to audit courses; this is an unofficial status and completely at the discretion of the individual faculty member. No record of attendance is provided by the Registrar’s Office.

Many courses are offered through University Extension. Details are available from their office located at 1995 University Avenue, or by calling (510) 642-4111.

Application Questions

Q: How much is the application fee?

For applicants that use the Graduate Division’s online application for admission, the application fee for U.S. Citizens and current Permanent Residents is $105. The application fee for all other applicants is $125.

Q: Can I request a waiver of the application fee?

Only United States citizens or Permanent Residents may request a fee waiver by following the instructions and completing the waiver form in the payment section of the application. International applicants are not eligible and must pay the application fee.

Q: Can I send my application fee electronically or pay it with a credit card?

Payments should be submitted by credit card only.

Q: Did you get my application?

Once you submit your online application, you will receive an email confirming your submission. You may log back into your application to monitor the status of the materials received or processed, such as: fee waivers, test scores, letters of recommendation, and admission decision. Please contact your department if you need to make any changes or need to provide additional application materials.

Q: When will a decision be made on my application?

Every department has different timelines. Contact the department for more information.

Q: My department told me I was admitted but I haven’t received anything from the Graduate Division.

It can take up to two weeks for the department to forward the recommendation and for the paperwork to be processed. If it has been more than three weeks and you have not received notice of admission, please contact your department directly to inquire about your application status.

GRE & TOEFL Questions

Q: My transcripts, GRE or TOEFL scores are not ready. Should I wait until I get them to send my application?

Do not miss the application deadline waiting for your test scores. Be sure to note your test date and registration number on your application.

Q: Did you receive my GRE or TOEFL scores?

Once your application is submitted, you may check the status of your scores on your online application status page.

Q: What is the Berkeley institution code for reporting the GRE or TOEFL?

4833 for Graduate Programs

Q: Is the department code required for the GRE or TOEFL?

No, the department code is not required for your GRE or TOEFL scores to match up with your application.

Q: How long are GRE scores valid for?

The GRE is a departmental requirement so check with your department to see if the GRE is required, and if so, what their requirements are. Scores are reported for 5 years after taking the test. Specific information can be found at the GRE website.

International Student Questions

Q: I have a question about my visa.

For questions about your visa documents, contact the Berkeley International Office at internationaloffice@berkeley.edu or visit their website.

Q: Are International Students required to submit a financial certificate or affidavits when applying for admission?

No. Financial certification is not required to apply for admission. Once an international student accepts Berkeley’s offer of admission, the Berkeley International Office will work with the student to collect financial certifications and all other documents required for the student visa.

Registration Questions

Please log into the UC Berkeley’s online student portal CalCentral using your CalNet ID and passphrase to accept or decline our offer of admission. If you don’t remember your CalNet ID or passphrase, please contact the Cal 1 Card Office.

Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) Questions

Q: What do I do in order to become a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI)?

To learn about academic appointments, you should read the GSI, GSR, Reader, and Tutor Guide. Hiring of GSIs is done directly by the departments. A list of GSI appointments posted by departments is available at the Graduate Programs & Application Deadlines page.