Graduate Admissions

Required Application Materials

Below are materials required for application to most of the graduate programs at the College of Environmental Design.

Applicants to the Master of Real Estate Development and Design (MRED+D) program please view application requirements here. If applying to a concurrent degree program, see Concurrent Programs for application procedures and admission prerequisites.

All application materials must be submitted online through the UC Berkeley Graduate Application by your program's deadline. Please be advised that Examination requirements vary by program, and some programs may require a portfolio of creative work or writing sample.

Please review our frequently asked questions and if you have questions, reach out to our team of Graduate Advisors (contact information for each department is listed below).

Architecture
232 Wurster Hall
(510) 642-5577
archgrad@berkeley.edu

City and Regional Planning
226 Wurster Hall
(510) 643-9440
dcrpgrad@berkeley.edu

Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning
206 Wurster Hall
laepgrad@berkeley.edu

Master of Urban Design
206 Wurster Hall
laepgrad@berkeley.edu

Master of Real Estate Development + Design
216 Wurster Hall
mredd@berkeley.edu

Application Materials
  1. UC Berkeley Graduate Application (Online) 
  2. Application Fee
  3. Statement of Purpose 
  4. Personal History Statement
  5. Letters of Recommendation
  6. Examination(s): GRE and/or TOEFL/IELTS
  7. Transcript(s)
  8. Grade Point Average 
  9. Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  10. Portfolio/Exhibit of Creative Work (If Required)
  11. Recent Publication, Report or Writing Sample (If Required)

1. UC Berkeley Graduate Application (Online)

  • Complete the online UC Berkeley Graduate Application and select the CORRECT program by SCROLLING DOWN the list.
    • UC Berkeley begins accepting applications in early September for the following fall term only and on a full-time basis.
    • Please allow yourself at least 30 minutes prior to the deadline to submit your application.
    • Late applications will NOT be accepted. 
    • You do NOT have to complete the entire application at one time

2. Application Fee

  • Pay the nonrefundable Application Fee by credit card.
    • If you are a U.S. Citizen or current Permanent Resident, the application fee is $120.
    • For all others, the application fee is $140.
  • Eligible applicants (U.S. Citizens or current Permanent Residents) may apply for an application fee waiver.
    • The form to request a fee waiver is included in the payment section of the online application.
    • Applicants must select the waiver payment option BEFORE submitting the online application.
    • There are no fee waiver options for international applicants.
  • If you do not submit a payment or application fee waiver by the deadline, the program will NOT review your application and will NOT consider you for admission.

3. Statement of Purpose

  • Please discuss why you want to study your proposed subject field, why you want to study at UC Berkeley, and how our program can help you achieve your academic and professional goals.
  • *Note to Ph.D. applicants and applicants to the academic master's degree programs: The admissions committee will read your Statement of Purpose seeking an account of your prior research experience and looking for evidence that you are prepared to undertake a significant, sophisticated, independent and in-depth research project.
    • Your competence and intellectual potential to undertake research is among the most important criteria considered by the admissions committee.
Architecture Ph.D. and M.S. Applicants Only

Architecture Ph.D. and Master of Science applicants should structure their Statement of Purpose as follows:

  • Part 1: Goals (500 words). A statement describing your general academic and career goals, the field(s) in which you would like to study, and why you wish to attend UC Berkeley in particular (you may want to refer to specific classes, faculty, or research projects that interest you). Your ideas should be clear, specific and persuasive.
  • Part 2: Research Proposal (500 words). An example of a specific research proposal that you may wish to undertake while at UC Berkeley. You may present a single proposal, or perhaps two alternates, about your dissertation Although you are not committed to do precisely what you propose (and, if fact, it is expected that your ideas will evolve during your studies), the committee will use this proposal to assess your ability to conceptualize a research plan. Your research proposal should succinctly frame a research question, articulate why it is important, demonstrate an understanding of the relevant literature and gaps in current knowledge, and identify what types of research methods one might apply to address the problem. If possible, identify faculty in architecture and/or other departments with whom you would like to work.

4. Personal History Statement

  • Please describe how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. 
  • Your statement can include any educational, familial, cultural, economic or social experiences, challenges or opportunities relevant to your academic journey such as:
    • How you have overcome barriers to access in higher education;
    • Evidence of how you have come to understand the barriers faced by others;
    • Evidence of your academic service to advance equitable access to higher education for women, racial minorities, and individuals from other groups that have been historically underrepresented in higher education;
    • Evidence of your research focusing on underserved populations or related issues of inequality, or evidence of your leadership among such groups
  • To view additional tips please visit Writing the Personal Statement.
Architecture Ph.D. and M.S. Applicants Only

Architecture Ph.D. and Master of Science applicants should structure their Personal History Statement as follows:

  • This essay (500 words, maximum) is a narrative description of your life background in terms of how it has prepared you for this next stage of your studies.
    • It should describe relevant aspects of your life story and achievements, as well as educational and cultural opportunities or circumstances that supported or deprived you of such achievements; family background; economic circumstances; special interests and abilities; and community or social service involvement.
    • Throughout, be selective in describing things that specifically relate to your academic goals and intellectual pursuits.
    • In particular, please be sure to focus on details of your research experience, and how your background has prepared you for the next stage of your studies.

5. Three Letters of Recommendation

  • A minimum of three letters of recommendation must be submitted through the UC Berkeley Graduate Division Application by the application deadline.
    • The strongest letters are from individuals who have supervised your work in either an academic, employment or community service capacity, and who can evaluate your intellectual ability, creativity, initiative, leadership potential, and promise for graduate study and in your desired field. 
    • In the Recommendations section of the application, for each individual you will:
      • Enter the recommender's contact information
      • Draft a personal message to the recommender
      • Select your answer for the “access waiver” section 
      • Provide your signature
      • Click “send”
      • Thereafter, you should notify your recommenders that they will receive an email from our Graduate Admissions Office: gradadm@berkeley.edu. The email’s subject will be “Recommendation request from [Your Name] for the University of California, Berkeley” and the body of the email will outline the steps to upload their recommendation letter to the application system.
    • All letters are due by the application deadline.
    • You may submit your application BEFORE your recommendations are in the application system.
    • If your recommenders have technical issues with uploading their letters to the application system, please contact the department Graduate Advisors.

6. Examination(s)

Applicants to the College of Environmental Design's graduate programs may be required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and/or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)/International English Language Testing System (IELTS). See the table below for the examination(s) required by your program. Please plan ahead and schedule your examinations at least one month prior to the application deadline so that we may have timely receipt of your scores. It can take up to 2.5 weeks for your scores to be received and matched to your application. 

Program Domestic Applicants International Applicants
GRE GRE TOEFL/IELTS
Master of Architecture  Not Required* Not Required* Required*
Master of Advanced Architectural Design  Not Required* Not Required* Required*
M.S. Architecture Optional Optional Required
Ph.D. Architecture Optional Optional Required
Master of City Planning Not Required* Not Required* Required*
Ph.D. City and Regional Planning Optional* (but highly encouraged)  Optional* (but highly encouraged)  Required*
Master of Landscape Architecture
  Not Required
Not Required Required
Ph.D. Landscape Architecture
  Not Required
Required Required
Master of Urban Design
  Not Required
Not Required Required

*[Note to Master of Architecture and Master of Advanced Architectural Design Applicants]: Due to challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, for the Fall 2021 admissions cycle, the GRE will be WAIVED [NOT REQUIRED] for applicants to the Master of Architecture (M.Arch) and Master of Advanced Architectural Design (MAAD) programs. Those who must provide Evidence of English Language Proficiency Requirement must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores.

*[Note to Master of City Planning and Ph.D. City and Regional Planning Applicants]: Due to challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, for the Fall 2021 admissions cycle, the GRE will be WAIVED [NOT REQUIRED] for applicants to the Master of City Planning (M.C.P.) program and OPTIONAL (but highly encouraged) for the Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning. Those who must provide Evidence of English Language Proficiency Requirement must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores.

GRE
  • We will only accept Graduate Record Examination (GRE) tests administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and official scores sent electronically/directly by ETS.
    • For Fall 2021, GRE scores dated BEFORE June 2015 are NO LONGER valid. 
    • There is no minimum score requirement.
    • Applicants CANNOT use LSAT or GMAT scores as substitutions for the GRE.
    • You must send your GRE scores to UC Berkeley’s institution code: 4833.  
    • You are NOT required to list a department code. 
    • After you request ETS to send your official scores to Berkeley, it takes approximately 2.5 weeks for your scores to match with your application. 
    • Please plan ahead and schedule your examinations at least one month prior to the application deadline so that we may have timely receipt of your scores.
    • If you do not see your scores as verified in the application system, please contact the Department Graduate Advisors (provide your full name and birthdate). We will attempt to search for and match your scores to your application. If we cannot match your scores with your application, you must again request that ETS send your scores and pay the fee.
    • Please schedule your GRE in advance through the ETS/GRE website.
GRE Institution Code
  • Our institution code is 4833.
    • You are NOT required to list a department code. 
TOEFL/IELTS
  • All applicants from countries/regions in which the official language is not English are required to submit official Evidence of English Language Proficiency by taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) OR the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • We will only accept TOEFL tests administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and official scores sent electronically/directly by ETS.
    • For Fall 2021, tests taken before June 1, 2019 will NOT be accepted (even if you report your score to UC Berkeley).  
    • For purposes of admission, your most recent TOEFL score must be at least 90 for the Internet-based test (IBT), and 570 for the paper-based format (PBT).
    • You must send your TOEFL scores to UC Berkeley’s institution code: 4833.  
    • You are NOT required to list a department code. 
    • After you request ETS to send your official scores to Berkeley, it takes approximately 2.5 weeks for your scores to match with your application. 
    • Please plan ahead and schedule your examinations at least one month prior to the application deadline so that we may have timely receipt of your scores.
    • If you do not see your scores as verified in the application system, please contact the Department Graduate Advisors (provide your full name and birthdate). We will attempt to search for and match your scores to your application. If we cannot match your scores with your application, you must again request that ETS send your scores and pay the fee.
    • Please schedule your TOEFL in advance through the ETS/TOEFL website.
    • More information about evidence of English Language Proficiency, including qualifying for an exemption, can be found here.
TOEFL Institution Code
  • Our institution code is 4833.
    • You are NOT required to list a department code. 
       
  • You may also submit scores from the Academic Modules of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations jointly manage the IELTS. We will only accept IELTS official scores sent electronically/directly by the testing center.
    • For Fall 2021, tests taken before June 1, 2019 will NOT be accepted (even if you report your score to UC Berkeley).  
    • For purposes of admission, your most recent IELTS overall Band score must be at least a 7 on a 9-point scale.
    • We will only accept IELTS official scores sent electronically/directly by the testing center.
    • No institution code is required.
    • For identification purposes, please use the Graduate Admissions Office’s address: University of California, Berkeley, Graduate Division, Sproul Hall Room 318, MC 5900, Berkeley, CA 94720.
    • Mailed score reports will NOT be accepted.
    • If you do not see your scores as verified in the application system, please contact the Graduate Admissions Office: gradadm@berkeley.edu and provide your full name and birthdate.
    • Please schedule your IELTS in advance through the IELTS website.

7. Transcript(s)

  • Upload UNOFFICIAL transcripts from EACH college or university attended in the U.S. or abroad (whether you earned a degree or not).
    • If you studied abroad, attended a community college, participated in summer sessions and/or extension programs, please upload EACH transcript separately.
    • International applicants must upload transcripts AND degree certificate(s).
    • Please start with your MOST RECENT institution.
    • Please make sure that transcript images are properly rotated, and not sideways or upside-down, and remove your Social Security number and birth date before submittal.
  • If you ACCEPT your offer of admission, hard or electronic copies of all official transcripts of all college-level work will be required to be sent IMMEDIATELY to the Graduate Admissions Office by MAIL (in sealed envelopes) to: 318 Sproul Hall #5900 Berkeley, CA 94720-5900 or by EMAIL to gradadm@berkeley.edu directly from the college/university.

8. Grade Point Average (G.P.A.) 

  • A G.P.A. of 3.0 or better (on a 4-point scale) in the last two years of UNDERGRADUATE STUDY is required.
  • Please calculate (GPA Calculator) your advanced G.P.A.
  • For those applicants whose undergraduate university or college does NOT use a 4-point scale, the calculation of an advanced GPA is NOT required.
    • If this applies to you, please enter “N/A” in Advanced, Cumulative and Major G.P.A. boxes and enter your university’s GPA in the Other G.P.A. box.this applies to you, please enter “N/A” in GPA section of the application.

9. Resume or Curriculum Vitae

  • Your curriculum vitae/resume provides a complete accounting of your educational, research, volunteer, and other experiences (including relevant professional work experience and internships). 
  • Please fully cite publications and conference papers.

10. Portfolio/Exhibit of Creative Work

  • A digital portfolio is required for applicants to the following degree programs:
    • Master of Architecture
    • Master of Advanced Architectural Design
    • Master of City Planning — Urban Design Concentration
    • Master of Landscape Architecture — First and Second Professional Degrees
    • Master of Urban Design
  • The portfolio may contain up to 12 pages (8-1/2"x11"-format) of design content. Please note that beyond 12 pages, your portfolio may not be reviewed.
    • Title page and/or table of contents may be submitted, and will not count toward the 12 pages of content.
    • The digital portfolio should showcase recent, high-quality work, and will be judged on both content and overall design.
    • Applicants without professional training may submit work that shows other evidence of creativity (studio art, construction/renovation, furniture design, etc.) and clearly demonstrates interest in the proposed subject field.
  • Any material that is not entirely the applicant's own work must be clearly identified (e.g. include an abstract describing your individual contributions to the group project).
  • Portfolio must be saved as a single file in PDF format, and submitted via the UC Berkeley Graduate Division online application.
    • The filesize must be no larger than 10MB.
    • If your portfolio PDF file exceeds 10MB, try compressing it in Adobe Acrobat.
  • *Note to M.Arch and MAAD applicants: The portfolio may be in a two-page spread format (20 screens), and any dimensions may be used. Please keep in mind the review will take place on monitors of varying size.

11. Recent Publication, Report or Writing Sample

  • A recent publication, report or writing sample must be submitted by applicants to the following degree programs:
    • Master of Landscape Architecture — Environmental Planning Emphasis
    • Master of Science in Architecture
    • Ph.D. in Architecture
    • Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning
    • Ph.D. in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning (recent publication required, whether published or pending publishing)
  • The publication, report or writing sample should support the applicant's Statement of Purpose and clearly demonstrate research and writing abilities and/or analytical skills.
  • Publication, report or writing sample must be saved as a single file in PDF format, 50 pages maximum (no minimum page requirement), and submitted via the UC Berkeley Graduate Division online application. Filesize must be no larger than 10MB.
  • Any material that is not entirely the applicant's own work must be clearly identified (e.g. include an abstract describing your individual contributions to the group project).
  • Architecture Ph.D. and MS applicants wishing to work with Simon Schleicher or Luisa Caldas, please incorporate a portfolio of work with your recent publications.