Graduate Admissions Frequently Asked Questions


Answers to Pre-Admissions Questions

What can I do to prepare my application to UC Berkeley?

  • 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.

Does EECS accept applications for the Spring semester?

We ONLY offer admission for the Fall.

Does the department have a supplemental application?

No, we do not have a supplemental application for our graduate programs.

Does the university accept three (3) year degrees?

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.

What are the minimum requirements to be considered for admission to a graduate program in EECS?

Please see our Prerequisites information.

My undergraduate degree is not in Electrical Engineering (EE) or Computer Science (CS). Can I still apply to a graduate program in EECS?

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.

Is it possible to apply to two departments?

You can only submit one graduate school application to one department for UC Berkeley.

What are your degree options for admission?

Please see our Degree Programs.

Do I need a Masters to apply for the Ph.D. program/Can I apply to the Ph.D. program directly?

We do not require a masters degree to apply to our Ph.D. program. You can apply to the Ph.D. directly.

Do you have a separate application process for students who wish to transfer to your program from another university?

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.

Can I transfer credit from another university?

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 12 semester units (18 quarter units) of coursework toward the course requirements for the Ph.D. Units used to complete a bachelor's degree will not be accepted.

If I already have a Masters of Science or a PhD can I apply to your program?

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 letter should demonstrate your academic and research ability and potential.

Do you accept more than three letters of recommendation?

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.

Answers to Application Questions

Do I need to pay the application fee?

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 $105; for all others, the fee is $125. Fees are subject to change. For information on fee waivers, please see the Application Fee page.

What is the departmental GRE code?

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  that official score reports be sent to UC Berkeley (institution code - 4833). Do not have them sent to 4925.

Does the department require any GRE subject tests?

Only the general GRE, consisting of the verbal, analytical and quantitative sections, is required. The Computer Science Division accepts the Subject GRE in Math or Physics. Subject GRE tests are not required, and there is no penalty for not taking one.

If I take the GRE more than once, which scores do you consider?

The highest scores will be the most important to us.

How important is the writing/verbal portion of the GRE?

Though the math section will be more important in our review, any score less than a 146 (or 400 on the old GRE format) on the verbal section of the test will be of concern.

What is the departmental TOEFL code?

The institution code for UC Berkeley is 4833. There is no department code for the TOEFL.

Who needs to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores?

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:

  1. Courses in English as a Second Language
  2. Courses conducted in a language other than English
  3. Courses that will be completed after you apply
  4. Courses of a non-academic nature

Also, simply having lived and worked in the U.S. or another English-speaking country does not satisfy the English Language Requirement.

What TOEFL or IELTS score do I need to be considered for admission?

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.

Can I submit test scores before I apply?

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.

Does the department require that I calculate and list my grade-point average (GPA) on the 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.

Does the department require applicants to contact faculty before submitting an application?

No. Most applicants will not have any interaction with Berkeley faculty prior to applying for admission.

Where do I send transcripts?

Hardcopy transcripts are no longer required for the application process. Please do not mail them. Follow the instructions in the online application regarding uploading unofficial transcripts.

What do I need to do to reactivate an old application?/What do I need to do to reapply?

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.


  1. Fill out a new online University application.
  2. Submit at least one new letter of recommendation online.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. You old test scores will be added to your application as long as they fall within the accepted date range.
  6. 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.

How do I apply for a Teaching or Research Assistantship (GSI or GSR)?

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.

What are the guidelines for submitting letters of recommendation?

Please see Recommendation Letters.

If I apply on the deadline, will my recommenders be able to submit their letters in time for the review?

The deadlines for the various Masters programs are different. Please consult these timelines:

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.

When does the application review begin? Does the department have a rolling application process?

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 as possible to correct problems that might arise.

How can I include papers I have written or a resume with my online application?

Please follow the instructions in the online application for submitting documents such as resumes and publications.

How do I apply for a merit-based fellowship?

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.

Do I complete the online application's financial forms to apply for a fellowship if I chose a Masters of Science as my degree goal?

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.

Once I apply, how do I check the status of my application?

Please follow the instructions in the online application to check the status of your application.

When will I be notified whether I have been admitted?

All of our decisions will be sent by e-mail by April 1st.

Answers to Program Questions

Is it possible to add a degree once I am in the department?

The University has created the policy (2016) that graduate students adding or changing majors from the one to which they were initially admitted need to go through another admissions process in the fall, submitting a new university application and some new application materials.  

Is there a part-time option?

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 University Extension Program has open admissions and classes offered nights and weekends in locations throughout California.

Do you offer EECS courses or degree programs online?

The University Extension Program does offer some online courses. Please note that Extension units do not count toward a Berkeley degree.

How long does it take to complete an M.S. degree? A Ph.D. degree? An M.Eng. degree? 

Please see our Degree Programs.

Where can I find the department degree requirements in detail?

Please see the detailed information for graduate students.

Answers to Other Questions

How much does your graduate program cost?

Please see Registration Fees and Tuition Costs & Fees.

What type of financial support is available for Ph.D. students?

Incoming Ph.D. students are supported, however we also encourage students to apply for fellowships. Applications are reviewed on the same basis regardless of an applicant's financial background.

What type of financial assistance is available for international students?

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.

Whom do I contact if I have a question that is not answered here?

Please email