City + Regional Planning

Admission Requirements

Master of City Planning


The application cycle for the Master of City Planning (M.C.P.) program begins after the first week of September when the UC Berkeley Graduate Application becomes accessible online. Admission is for the fall term only (no spring admissions) and on a full-time basis. Applications are submitted for admission AND fellowships.

Applicants are encouraged to download and follow our Fall 2022 M.C.P. Application Checklist (PDF)We also recommend that applicants to review our M.C.P. Frequently Asked Questions and Fall 2021 Admission Statistics. Concurrent degree applicants MUST also follow and meet the admission requirements of the second program (M.Arch, M.S., M.L.A., J.D., M.P.H.).


[SIGN UP TODAY!]: Fall 2022 MCP Admissions Blog

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UPDATE REGARDING THE GRADUATE RECORD EXAM (GRE): For the Fall 2022 admissions cycle, the GRE is NOT REQUIRED for applicants to the Master of City Planning (M.C.P) program.  

Admission Requirements

Applicants are encouraged to download our Fall 2022 M.C.P. Application Checklist (PDF).

Admission Requirements include:

  • Bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution
  • Advanced Grade Point Average (G.P.A.) of 3.0 or B or better (on a 4-point scale) for all coursework AFTER the first two years of UNDERGRADUATE study. 
    • Please calculate your advanced G.P.A. using our GPA Calculator. 
    • For applicants whose undergraduate institution does NOT utilize a 4-point scale, the calculation of an AGPA is NOT required.
      • Please enter your university’s GPA into the Other Scale GPA box.
      • For all other GPA boxes (Advanced, Major, Courses Related to Field of Graduate Study), enter “N/A.” 
  • Evidence of English Language Proficiency
    • All applicants (domestic and international) who have completed a basic degree IN a country or political entity in which the official language is NOT English are required to submit official evidence of English Language Proficiency.
    • This applies to institutions in Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and Quebec (Canada).
    • Applicants may email DCRP Graduate Student Services: to confirm testing requirement.

Other elements of your application that weigh significantly in the review process are: 

  • Statement of Purpose (SOP, 3 pages, double-spaced)
    • Please discuss (with clarity and focus) why you want to study urban planning, why you want to study at UC Berkeley, and how our program can help you achieve your academic and professional goals.
    • We encourage you to consider your responses to the questions below.
      • The Present: What brought you to pursue graduate study in planning? 
      • The Past: What academic, employment experiences (professional work experience and/or internships) or activities (research, co-curricular activities, leadership roles, etc.) bear on your qualifications for this planning program? How do these experiences relate to your decision to study planning? 
      • The Future: What are your long-term career goals? In following the completion of your graduate degree in planning, what kinds of work and professional activities would you like to engage?
    • Concurrent degree applicants (M.Arch, M.S., M.L.A., J.D., M.P.H.) will submit ONE comprehensive statement that addresses your interest in and fit with both programs.
  • Personal History Statement (PHS, 1-2 pages, double-spaced)
    • Please describe any experiences that give the faculty a sense of who you are as a unique individual and how you would contribute to the department’s mission to create a community of students with diverse perspectives, life experiences, and intellectual interests.
    • If you have faced any obstacles or barriers in your education, sharing those experiences serves both for the admission recommendation process, and for your potential nomination for certain diversity-based fellowships.
    • If one part of your academic record is not ideal, due to challenges you faced in that particular area, this is where you can explain that, and direct reviewers’ attention to the evidence of your promise for graduate education.
    • Your statement can include any educational, familial, cultural, economic or social experiences, challenges or opportunities including:
      • Evidence of how you have overcome barriers to achieve academic excellence;
      • Evidence of how you have come to understand the barriers faced by others by your own life experiences and educational background;
      • Evidence of your academic service to advance equitable access to higher education for women and racial minorities in fields where they are underrepresented;
      • Evidence of your leadership experience among students from groups that have been historically underrepresented in higher education;
      • Evidence of your interests, work and/or research focusing on understanding issues of equity, diversity or sustainability in urban planning;
      • Evidence of who you are as an individual and how that may impact who you would like to be as a planner
    • To view additional tips please visit Writing the Personal Statement.
  • Letters of Recommendation (3 Required) 
    • The most helpful and strongest letters are from individuals who have supervised your work in either an academic, employment (professional work experience and/or internships) or community service capacity.
    • Your recommenders are encouraged to describe SPECIFIC EXAMPLES of your work that demonstrate your intellectual ability, creativity, initiative, leadership potential, and promise for graduate study in planning.
    • In the Recommendations section of the application, for each individual, you will:
      • Enter the recommender's contact information
      • Select your answer for the “access waiver” question
      • Provide your signature
      • Click “send”
      • Thereafter, you should notify your recommenders that they will receive an email from UC Berkeley’s Graduate Admissions Office: The email’s subject line will be “Recommendation request from [Applicant Name] for the University of California, Berkeley” and the body of the email will outline the steps required to upload their letter to the application system.
    • If your recommender has NOT received the email or they CANNOT upload their letter, have your recommender email their letter to DCRP Graduate Student Services: and we will upload it for them.
    • You may submit your application BEFORE your recommendations are in the application system.
  • [M.C.P.-URBAN DESIGN CONCENTRATION, M.ARCH/M.C.P. AND M.L.A.-2D/M.C.P., M.L.A.-3D/M.C.P. ONLY]: Upload a digital portfolio to the Supporting Materials section.
    • The portfolio may contain 12 pages total (8- ½"x11" format, 2-page spread = 2 pages) of urban design related content. 
      • Please note that beyond 12 pages, your portfolio will NOT be reviewed.
      • Title page and/or table of contents may be submitted, and will NOT count toward the 12 pages of content.
      • The portfolio should showcase recent, high-quality work, and will be assessed on both content and overall design.
    • Applicants to the M.C.P. - Urban Design track are NOT required to have intensive design training before admission.
    • Applicants WITHOUT a design background are encouraged to submit work that:
      • Shows evidence of visual creativity (studio art, photography, drawing, painting, graphic design, GIS mapping, construction/renovation, web-based projects, etc.) and demonstrates interest in and aptitude for urban design;
      • Demonstrates the range of analog and digital methods and media that the applicant has worked with;
      • Highlights work that is related to the scales, questions, and methods of urban design;
      • Highlight how their work in visual/spatial media is related to broader questions of intellectual and social concern. 
    • Any material that is NOT entirely the applicant's own work must be clearly identified (e.g. include information describing your individual contributions to a group project).
    • The portfolio must be saved as a single file in PDF format.
    • The file size must be no larger than 10MB.
      • If your portfolio exceeds 10MB, try compressing it in Adobe Acrobat.

Connect With Us 

Prospective applicants are encouraged to set up virtual meetings with the Graduate Advisors and/or with our faculty to discuss the program. We recommend that you schedule your meetings in advance with the Graduate Advisors by email and/or with faculty (refer to faculty directory to locate contact information). Please note that our faculty manage their own calendars so it is not possible for the Graduate Advisors to set up virtual meetings on behalf of applicants. Faculty are available for fall-semester appointments during the months of September, October and November, and for spring-semester appointments during the months of February, March and April.