Information for Prospective 5th Year Masters Students

Eligibility Application Timeline Application Instructions Application Materials Financial Aid Finding a Research Advisor
General Information Current Students


Applicants must be current undergraduate majors in EECS or L&S CS (including Community College Transfers) or students who have graduated in Fall 2015. The minimum GPA to apply is a 3.0, but it is preferred that applicants have a 3.5 or higher cumulative GPA.

Application Timeline

Applications to the EECS 5th Year MS Program are only accepted once a year. Optimal timing of the application for most students will be in the second semester of their Senior year.

Various Dates and Locations Info Sessions - email announcements will come from your major advisor
March 15, 2016 at 11:59pm Online Application and Supplemental Materials Deadline
April 15, 2016 (at the latest) Admissions Decisions Via email.
May 10, 2016 Statement of Intent to Register Deadline
Spring 2016 Admitted students meet with Masters Student Services Advisor to discuss Spring courses that can be used for the MS degree, and continue/begin research with faculty advisor.
August 2016 Mandatory Orientations, UC Berkeley Campus
August 2016 Classes Begin

Application Instructions

Please note deadlines in Timeline above.

  • Follow the Letter of Recommendation instructions in the CS online application or EE online application
  • We will expect you to have a research advisor and project lined up by the end of the Fall semester. In addition, one of your letters of recommendation must be from that intended faculty advisor.
  • The GRE exam is not required for the 5th Year M.S. Program. However, if you are not chosen for the 5th Year M.S. Program and would like to be considered for the regular M.S or Ph.D program, you must submit GRE scores by that program's deadline.
  • Apply during the Fall of the current year to in the Fall of the following year.

Letter of Recommendation Process:

Do not send hardcopies or have them sent. Please follow the online recommendation instructions in the Graduate Division online application. Recommendation letters can be submitted directly by the recommenders or through a service called Interfolio. Applicants can request their recommenders to submit their letters to Interfolio, which then submits them to Berkeley and other universities to which you have applied. This reduces the effort by the recommenders, who only have to submit their letters once to Interfolio.

Recommendation Letter Tips:

  • Having more than 3 letters, though we allow it, is not recommended. Due to the volume of applications we receive every year, there is no guarantee that more than 3 letters will be read. Three strong letters is much better than 3 strong letters and one mediocre or bad letter.
  • It can be a good idea to ask your recommenders if they can write you a good, detailed letter. You would be surprised at the number of mediocre or non-descriptive letters we receive every year. A one-two sentence letter is probably not going to help your cause. The best letters gauge your ability and potential for research and graduate study, often citing examples from the recommenders own experiences with you.

When you reach the Proposed Degree Program Page

  • Indicate that you would like to apply for the Fall semester.
  • Choose Electrical Engineering & computer Sciences 5th-Year MS from the Degree Program page at the beginning of the online application.
  • Choose research areas from the preferences drop down menu. For more information on each of the areas and their subareas, please see Research Areas.

Interviews are no longer required.

Application Materials


Please consult the Admissions Checklist for complete admissions requirements.

The online application and supplemental materials (letters of recommendation and GRE scores) deadline is February 1, 2016. Late applications will not be accepted. Admissions decisions will be announced by February 30th by e-mail.



Financial Aid

Typically, Masters degrees are self-funded. You can see "Graduate Academic" tuition and fees on the Registrar's website.

For our Masters programs, we are able to nominate a couple of CS Masters students each year for the Siebel award ($35,000) for exceptional admitted students. This may be an option for you, but the award would not be decided until a month before you begin the Masters program (usually July).

5th year MS students who wish to serve as GSIs are encouraged to do so as Seniors. They may also serve as GSIs during the graduate program by petition. Written approval from their research advisor must include an explanation of why a GSI appointment will not delay the student's graduation. See full GSI Policy.

Finding a Research Advisor

Because of the requirement to complete the Masters portion of the program in only one year, it is essential that the student have identified a research advisor among the faculty at the time they apply to the 5th year MS program. Several faculty will actively seek students from this program. In general, students can pursue independent projects, or join a project team, but they are required to submit an independently written Masters report that makes clear their own independent contribution to the research.

Ways you can engage in research as an undergraduate:

If you have any other questions, please contact the Graduate Admissions Officers in 205 Cory Hall.