Applying to graduate school is a big decision.

Choosing where to study will set you on a path that will determine your professional future for years to come. Read through the steps below to become familiar with the application process.

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Step 1. Explore and Choose Your Program

When to do it: Now

It’s never too early to begin exploring what UC Berkeley has to offer, so start now. You’ll find that many of our graduate programs are ranked among the top in the nation. With more than 100 programs to choose from, it’s important to find what’s right for you.

Visit the campus on CalDay or schedule a campus tour, get to know the faculty in your area of interest and consider the financial and lifestyle aspects of attending graduate school. Here are some helpful resources:

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Step 2. Know Your Deadlines

Once you’ve selected your program, review the application deadlines. Many programs have their own application requirements and process for the application review, so it’s important to review the program’s admission webpage carefully as well.

If you have questions or need accommodations for extenuating circumstances, reach out to the department through their website.

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Step 3. Review the Requirements and Gather What You Need

When to do it: Begin at least 3 months before you apply

At least 3 months before the application deadline, review the requirements for your program. You may apply to only one single degree program or one concurrent degree program per admission term. UC Berkeley does not offer ad hoc joint degree program agreements with other universities.

To prepare, be sure to complete the following steps:

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Step 4. Apply Online

When to do it: September to December, but as late as February depending on the program

Ready to apply? You can submit your application for Fall admission beginning in September, and the majority of deadlines are in December but check the programs list.

The online application will ask you for specific information such as your academic and professional history, transcripts, and potentially your CV, resume or links to your portfolio. You’ll also need to provide the contact information for your recommenders who will be invited to submit their recommendation.

You’ll need to have a major credit card to pay the non-refundable application fee. If you are a U.S. Citizen or current Permanent Resident, the application fee is $135 (Application Fee Waiver Information); for all others, the fee is $155.

Start Your Application

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Step 5. Track Your Application

When to do it: December through June

After submitting your application, you can check the status of the materials received or processed, such as: fee waivers, test scores, letters of recommendation, and admission decisions. You may also add additional recommenders. If you need to make any changes or need to provide additional application materials, please contact your department.

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Step 6. Application Decisions Announced

When it happens: February through June

We announce decisions for Fall applications from February through June. During this time, department faculty will work to identify and recommend top applicants based on a combination of factors, and most of our programs evaluate applicants using a holistic approach. These include academic degrees and records, the statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, test scores, your research interests, your background and life experience, how well your goals match the degree program, and your relevant work experience.

The Graduate Division then reviews the recommended applicants to ensure they comply with the requirements for admission. You’ll receive an email asking you to check your status page when a decision has been made.

If you have received a fellowship offer, you will be receiving a separate email announcing your award details.

If you have been offered admission, you will be asked to accept or decline the offer through the “Reply to Offer of Admission” form. Read more about how to accept your offer.

Accepting Your Offer

Still have questions? 

Read the Admissions FAQ or contact the Graduate Admissions Office.