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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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?
There is a non-degree option called “Course Work Only” (CWO). You will need to meet all of the normal criteria for admission, and be approved by the department. Not all departments 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.
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 $120. The application fee for all other applicants is $140.
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. Please see the Application Fee Waiver page.
Q: Can I send my application fee electronically or pay it with a credit card?
Payments should be submitted by credit card only.
Q: I have extenuating circumstances (e.g. natural disasters, network outages, civil unrest) that will prevent me from submitting by the deadline. Are there any options?
The faculty and staff of UC Berkeley understand that exceptional circumstances may arise that make it difficult to complete the university’s graduate application on time. Please visit our Exceptions for Applicants with Extenuating Circumstances page for flexible options and exceptions to help you complete your application.
Q: My grades were impacted by COVID-19 or changed to a P/NP grading policy. How will the Graduate Division review these grades?
UC Berkeley evaluates applicants for admission to its graduate and professional schools holistically, meaning that we consider an applicant’s combination of personal accomplishments, letters of recommendation, personal statements, academic record, and test scores in making our admissions decisions. Such a review will take into account the significant disruptions of COVID-19 when reviewing students’ transcripts and other admissions materials from Spring 2020. We understand that many institutions across the country instituted P/NP grading policies during that semester. Thus, we will not penalize students for the adoption of P/NP and other grading options during this unprecedented period, whether the choices were made by institutions or by individual students. Our admissions evaluation will focus primarily on a student’s academic performance prior to this period, and if applicable, following this period. What is most important is that applicants demonstrate that they pursued a challenging curriculum that was relevant to their plan for graduate or professional school.
Q: How do I calculate my GPA?
Please direct all GPA related questions to your department, they will be able to provide you with specific information on their GPA calculation requirements.
Q: How do I edit a recommender entry?
After the invitation is sent, you will need to enter the recommender again with the correct information and send a new invitation, then exclude the original entry.
Q: What do I do if my recommender is not receiving the email request?
Ask your recommender to check their SPAM folder for an email from email@example.com. If no email is found, you have two options: (1) Exclude your recommender listing and enter them again using a personal email address. (2) Have your recommender send their letter to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will upload it for them.
Q: How do I follow up with my recommender?
After sending an initial invitation to your recommender through the online application, you can send reminder emails. Your status page will show the letter of recommendation that have been received.
Q: Can I use Interfolio for my recommendations?
Yes, Interfolio will provide you with a specific email address for each letter that can be entered into the recommendation field.
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, & IELTS Questions
Q: 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. When the scores are matched they will show as “verified”.
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, all questions should be referred to the program. Scores are reported for 5 years after taking the test. Specific information can be found at the GRE website.
Q: Where do I send my official IELTS score report?
Please send your official score report to Graduate Admissions, 318 Sproul Hall #5900, Berkeley, CA 94720-5900.
Q: I have a question about my visa.
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.
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 Appointments Handbook. 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.