Graduate Admissions: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
- Register and prepare for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Please see the Educational Testing Service (ETS) for the locations, test dates, and the time it will take for score reports to reach Berkeley (all test scores are due to us by the Supplemental Materials Deadline).
- Contact three (3) individuals regarding letters of recommendation. You may want to prepare packages for your recommenders that include copies of work you have done with them, resumes/CVs, transcripts, etc., to aid them in writing your letter. Letters are very important to us so it is best to make sure that the letter writers know you well enough to compose a detailed, positive letter.
- Applicants who attended university in countries in which English is not an official language must also satisfy the Evidence of Language Proficiency Requirement. You can do this by taking the TOEFL or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
- Please see the Graduate Division's Admission Requirements for more detailed information.
Only the MAS-IC Program has spring admission. For all other programs, we ONLY offer admission for the Fall.
No, we do not have a supplemental application for our graduate programs.
We accept some three-year Bologna Process bachelor-level degrees. The Graduate Division requires a bachelor-level honors degree from applicants from universities in Australia and New Zealand who have completed three-year degrees. We do not accept three years degrees from India.
Please see our Prerequisites page.
Yes, however, a strong application will still have to elaborate on your technical knowledge, your ability to do graduate level research and classes upon entrance to the program, and your academic potential in general. Please see our Suggestions For People Without a Technical Background.
You can only submit one graduate school application to one department for UC Berkeley.
Please see our Degree Programs.
We do not require a masters degree to apply to our Ph.D. program. You can apply to the Ph.D. directly.
We do not have a separate application procedure for applicants who would like to transfer into one of our graduate programs from another graduate program. These applicants should follow our normal application directions.
Once an applicant is admitted, they may, with the approval of their advisor and the Vice Chair, petition to transfer up to 4 semester units (6 quarter units) of credit earned while they were in graduate standing at another institution towards an M.S. or up to 16 semester units (24 quarter units) of coursework toward the course requirements for the Ph.D. Units used to complete a bachelor's degree will not be accepted.
Applicants who already hold Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, or any closely related field should not apply for the Masters in Science in our department.
Students who already hold a doctoral level degree are not admitted and duplication
of degree or admission to a lesser degree is not permitted. However, in extraordinary
circumstances, the faculty of the department may request an exception from the
Dean of the Graduate Division. The department must demonstrate that the second
degree field of study and program are distinctly different from that of the
original degree, and that there is a professional or scholarly purpose that
requires this second degree.
Do you accept recommendation letters from industry/outside of academia?
Though recommendations from professors are preferred, letters from employers are also acceptable. Regardless of who writes it, the letters should demonstrate your academic and research ability and potential.
Our system will allow you to submit more than three letters. However, there is no guarantee that more than three letters will be read. Also, please keep in mind that submitting three good letters and one bad letter puts you at a disadvantage.
You must submit an application fee when you apply. The application fee is not refundable. If you are a U.S. citizen or current permanent resident, the application fee is $80; for all others, the fee is $100. Fees are subject to change. For information on fee waivers, please see the Application Fee page.
To ensure that your official GRE scores are forwarded to the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences you must give ETS either the Electrical Engineering department code (1203) or the Computer Science department code (0402) when requesting official score reports to be sent to UC Berkeley (institution code - 4833). Do not have them sent to 4925.
Only the general GRE consisting of the verbal, analytical and quantitative sections is required. The Computer Sciences division accepts the Subject GRE in Math or Physics. Subject GRE tests are not required and there is no penalty for not taking one.
The highest scores will be the most important to us.
Though the math section will be more important in our review, any score less than a 400 on the verbal section of the test will be of concern.
The institution code for UC Berkeley is 4833. There is no department code for the TOEFL.
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required of all international applicants who received their undergraduate degree at a university or college in a country where English is not the official language. However, if at the time of application, you have already completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better at a U.S. University, you do not need to take the TOEFL. Instead, you must submit an official transcript from the U.S. university. The following courses will not fulfill this requirement:
- Courses in English as a Second Language
- Courses conducted in a language other than English
- Courses that will be completed after you apply
- Courses of a non-academic nature
Also, simply having lived and worked in the US or another English-speaking country does not satisfy the English Language Requirement.
The minimum TOEFL score required by U.C. Berkeley for graduate admission is
570 on the paper-based test (PBT), 230 on the computer based test (CBT) and
90 on the Internet Based Test (iBT). The minimum score for the IELTS is an overall band score of 7.
There is no minimum score for the different bands. Applicants with a score below these will
not be admitted.
You can send the test scores (GRE, TOEFL, etc.) to us any time during the year as long as they are in by the deadline. Once you apply, we will match the scores to your application.
For applicants who received their undergraduate degree at an American institution, yes. We use all coursework towards the degree after the first two years in our GPA calculation. If you attended a university that does not use the 4.0 system, please do not try and convert your grades to our system--just leave that section blank.
No. Most applicants will not have any interaction with faculty prior to applying for admission.
Hardcopy transcripts are no longer required for the application process. Please do not mail them. Follow the instruction in the online application regarding the uploading of unofficial transcripts.
We keep all applications for 2 years. If you applied to our program in one or both of the past two years, your previous application will be linked to your new application. You must, however, submit a new online application.
- Fill out a new online University application.
- Submit at least one new letter of recommendation online.
- Submit a new statement of purpose and/or personal history statement online if you have new interests or experience not included in your previous application.
- Submit the latest transcripts of any new coursework such as final B.S. or M.S. transcripts. Do not mail hardcopy transcripts. Unofficial transcripts should be uploaded using the instructions in the online application.
- You old test scores will be added to your application as long as they fall within the accepted date range.
- Pay the application fee. Fee waiver information can be found at: Application Fee
Additions of the old documents to the new applications will be made in December and early January.
When you apply for our graduate programs, we will automatically consider you for these types of support. If you are admitted and offered a position, it is at this time that we will need additional paperwork.
Please see Recommendation Letters.
The deadlines for the various Masters programs are different. Please consult these timelines:
- EECS Graduate Research Programs Admissions
- Masters in Engineering Program Timeline
- Five Year BS/MS Program Timeline
- Masters in Integrated Circuits Deadlines
We highly encourage recommenders to submit their letters before the deadline. Follow the instructions in the online application to ensure that your recommenders are able to submit their letters.
The application review begins shortly after the application deadline. We do not have a rolling application process, although we encourage all applicants to apply as early to correct problems that might arise.
Please follow the instructions in the online application for submitting documents such as resumes and publications.
If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you must complete the online application's financial forms to be considered for multi-year University Graduate Fellowships, Departmental Block Grant Fellowships, Diversity Fellowships, and Graduate Opportunity Program (GOP) Awards. To be considered for GOP Awards, you also must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). When completing the section on resources for the coming academic year, provide your best estimate of your summer gross earnings. In the other income section, only list fellowships which have already been awarded to you. For additional living expenses, give your best estimate for the coming academic year. Please be sure to include a Personal History Statement describing your personal history and intellectual development. All admitted applicants are automatically considered and no special application is needed.
There are several multi-year fellowships listed on the online application's financial forms. If you wish to be considered for any of these you must submit the appropriate form (there is one for domestic students, one for international).
In addition, U.S. citizens and permanent residents are encouraged to apply for the many external fellowships for which they are eligible.
Please follow the instructions in the online application to check the status of your application.
All of our decisions will be sent by e-mail by April 1st.
Once you are admitted, you will be able to petition to add a major (in most cases, this is usually an additional Masters degree).
The Department does not allow part-time graduate study for the M.S. or Ph.D. programs. All M.S. and Ph.D. students are required to maintain a full-time load of 8-12 units. There are no evening or weekend courses. The M.Eng. and MAS-IC programs allow part-time students. The University Extension Program with open admissions and classes offered nights and weekends in locations throughout California.
The Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department offers online courses through the MAS-IC online degree program only. The University Extension Program does offer some online courses. Please note that Extension units do not count toward a Berkeley degree.
Please see our Degree Programs.
Please see the Graduate Student Handbook.
International students who are seeking a Ph.D. are given the same financial considerations that domestic students are and should fill out the appropriate financial form on the online application. More information about international students can be found at the Berkeley International Office page.
Please email gradadmissions at eecs dot berkeley dot edu.