- How do I apply to your graduate program?
Applicants are required to submit the Graduate Division online application and all departmental admission requirements. Please note: Only online applications (including letters of recommendation) are accepted.
- What is the application deadline?
Application deadlines are listed on the Graduate Admissions webpage.
- Can I apply for spring admission?
There is no spring admission. Admission is for the fall term only.
- What should I include in my Statement of Purpose?
At a minimum, the Statement of Purpose should indicate your purpose for entering the graduate program, your proposed emphasis of studies, and any special interest(s) in the field. It should highlight your intellectual and practical background for graduate school, and your perspective on how the college's resources and those of the campus would enable you to find an intellectual home here. You should give us a sense of who you are and why you feel that a Berkeley degree will help you reach your goals. Also, what you have done, written, experienced, or learned that makes you interesting.
Statements should be clear and focused. For tips on writing a statement of purpose, please see the Graduate Division website.
- Is there any substantive difference between a statement of purpose written for the professional master's programs and one written for the doctoral programs?
The Ph.D. is a research-oriented degree and the dissertation — an in-depth research study — is the centerpiece of doctoral study. The Ph.D. admissions committee will therefore read your statement of purpose seeking an account of your proposed research topic and prior research experience, and looking for evidence that you are prepared to undertake a significant, sophisticated, and independent in-depth project related to it. You should remember that your competence and intellectual potential to undertake dissertation research is among the most important criteria considered by the doctoral admissions committee.
- Do you require a Personal History Statement?
Yes. The Personal History Statement should convey how a combination of life experiences, idealism, role models, education, and work experiences have influenced your decision to apply, as well as any teaching, research, professional or public service contributions you have made that promote diversity and equal opportunity.
For tips on writing a personal statement, please see the Graduate Division website.
- Do you allow hard-copy letters of recommendation?
No. Only online letters of recommendation are accepted. Submit the names of your recommenders through the Graduate Division online application. The recommender is to provide a personal impression of the applicant’s intellectual ability, aptitude in research or professional skills, character, and the quality of previous work and potential for future productive scholarship. Please have at least one letter of recommendation from someone in academia.
- Do you accept letters of recommendation from university letter services? Are recommenders required to use the forms in the application?
While we require recommenders to submit letters online, we will accept letters sent from a university letter service.
- I am currently enrolled in another graduate program. Do you accept transfer students, or are my earned units transferable?
The graduate programs do not accept transfer students. Applicants are reviewed based upon the prior degree(s) obtained.
While there is no formal process for transferring coursework, if admitted, a student may request to waive certain required courses if previously completed coursework fulfills those requirements; however, this will not change the number of units required to complete the degree program.
- I already have a master's degree from another institution. Can I apply to that same degree program at UC Berkeley?
We do not accept applicants to a degree program who have completed that same program at another institution, whether in the U.S. or abroad, unless it can be shown that the curriculum of the completed program differs substantially from UC Berkeley's. If this is the case, contact your graduate program adviser.
- Can I apply to more than one program at a time?
UC Berkeley graduate admissions policy only allows an applicant to apply for one graduate or concurrent degree program during a given admission cycle.
- Is there a different application for international students?
No. Every applicant regardless of citizenship is required to submit the online University graduate application and supplemental department materials.
- I will not graduate from my undergraduate institution until the end of this spring. Am I still eligible to apply for the upcoming fall?
Yes, applicants may apply for admission as long as the completion of the undergraduate degree is prior to the start of the fall program. If admitted, a final transcript with a conferred degree must be sent to your department.
- If I have applied to the program before and want to apply again, do I need to submit a new application?
If reapplying to the program, submission of a new University graduate application and fee is required. If interested in reusing some portion of the previous application, please email the relevant graduate adviser(s) with your name, year of application, and list of application items to be reused. If reusing transcripts and letters of recommendation, please include the names of the institutions and recommenders. The departments keep applications for three years.
- Can I apply for coursework only?
No. However, UC Berkeley Extension offers a concurrent enrollment program that allows individuals to take classes, space permitting, in degree-offering departments. You will participate fully in the class, and grading for extension students is based on the same standards as those for students in degree programs.
- Are interviews required?
No, we do not conduct interviews for admission in the graduate programs. However, if you are interested in visiting the college or speaking with a graduate adviser, please contact us. Visitors in general are always welcome on the Berkeley campus, and regularly scheduled campus tours are available through campus Visitor Services.
- Who is required to take the GRE? What are the codes?
If your degree program requires that you take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) (see Graduate Admissions — Applying — Examinations), you must have your official score reported to the UC Berkeley Graduate Division by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). There is no minimum score requirement. Note: Register for the GRE early and choose a date that will allow your score report to arrive on time for admission review.
- School Code: 4833.
- Architecture Department Code: 4401
- City and Regional Planning Department Code: 4402
- Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning Department Code: 4405
- Urban Design Program Code: 4406
- Do you require the TOEFL or the IELTS for international students? What are the codes?
Applicants from non-English-speaking countries must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) OR the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination. Minimum required scores are 570 for the paper-based test, 230 for the computer-based test, and at least 68 for the internet-based test (iBT). Minimum required IELTS score is a 7 on a 9-point scale.
- School Code: 4833
- Architecture Department Code: 12
- City and Regional Planning Department Code: 97
- Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning Department Code: 99
- Urban Design Department Code: 99
Foreign applicants who have baccalaureate degrees from educational institutions at which instruction was in English must take the GRE rather than the TOEFL. Contact the UC Berkeley Graduate Admissions Office by phone at (510) 642-7405 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org regarding questions.
- Is there a minimum required GPA, or GRE or TOEFL score?
The University requires a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0, B, or equivalent. You may use our GPA calculator to determine your GPA. Students who attended a U.S. institution: GPA calculations are based on coursework taken after the first two years of undergraduate studies. Students who attended an international institution: GPA calculations are based on all undergraduate coursework taken.
There is no minimum required score for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). GRE test scores are good for five years. The minimum required scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) are 570 for the paper-based test, 230 for the computer-based test, and 68 for the iBT (internet-based test). TOEFL test scores are good for two years. Please note that test scores are just one component of review when deciding admissions.
- How much weight do you give to the GRE scores and undergraduate GPAs?
GRE scores and undergraduate GPAs are only one part of your application. Admission to our graduate programs is highly competitive, and we receive more qualified applicants than we are able to admit. The scores alone do not give the admissions committee a clear picture of any one applicant. It is most important that you take the time to draft an excellent statement of purpose that allows the committee to get to know you and your goals, and that you select your recommenders carefully.
- I've taken the LSAT/GMAT/MCAT. May I submit these scores instead of taking the GRE?
No. Examination substitutions are not permitted for programs that require the GRE.
- How do you decide who to admit?
All of the application materials form the foundation for a comprehensive admission review by our faculty. Applications are reviewed thoroughly, and great emphasis is placed on your statements and letters of recommendation. Luckily, these are the two things that you can really work on! We also take into account an applicant's work or volunteer experience. It's not required, but can play a positive role in the application review.
- Do I need a degree in a specific field to apply to the program?
You do NOT need a degree in a specific field to apply for the professional master's programs, but your bachelor's (undergraduate) degree must be from an accredited university. The admissions committee seeks to admit students from a variety of backgrounds. However, it is strongly preferred that applicants to the Ph.D. programs have master's degrees in related fields.
- If I am accepted, can I defer my admission?
No, the graduate programs do not have a deferral option.
- What are the California residency requirements?
The University of California resident classification policy for tuition purposes can be found on the Office of the Registrar's Establishing Legal Residence webpage.
- How do I apply for departmental fellowships?
There is no separate application for departmental merit-based fellowships. In addition to completion of the appropriate fellowships section of the University graduate application, submission of the required application components will automatically qualify an applicant for fellowship eligibility. If awarded a departmental fellowship, the applicant will be notified in the departmental admission offer.
- What type of financial aid is available to continuing students?
Continuing graduate students can apply for merit- and need-based fellowships, as well as for Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) and Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) positions. We do our best to allocate fellowship funds equitably, both with student need and merit in mind. Some fellowships are by faculty nomination only. GSI and GSR positions are announced each semester, and incoming students are eligible to apply for these positions as well.
Ph.D. funding is made on a case-by-case basis and involves multi-year funding packages, which may include a combination of teaching appointments and research and departmental fellowships.
It is also beneficial for applicants to seek financial support that is independent of University sources. If you are an international student, look for fellowships from your home country or through international agencies.
NOTE: All applicants who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents must apply for need-based financial aid, which requires the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), in order to receive fellowship support through the University.
- Why Berkeley?
First, we have the smartest and most interesting and dedicated graduate students of any program in the country. You will make friends for life here. Second, we have the most diverse program in the country, with the widest set of course choices. Third, our faculty teaches and conducts cutting-edge research in many different areas. The product of this year's research is in next year's classes. We have opportunities for graduate students to work on research projects. This includes work in Bay Area communities as well. Fourth, Berkeley is the greatest public graduate university in the world, with more interesting courses, students, faculty, and research projects than anywhere else. Fifth, best food and coffee, period. The San Francisco Bay Area is the nation’s capital of gourmet food and freshly roasted coffee, and Berkeley offers everything from the best cafes and ethnic eateries to world-renowned restaurants. If you can’t find it here, it does not exist. Sixth, we have the best and friendliest staff in our departments. You will never go hungry at Berkeley — for food, friends, or knowledge.