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Estd 1868Established Year

UC Berkeley Admission 2020-2021, Requirement, Deadline & Visa Process

Vaishnavi Agrawal Vaishnavi Agrawal
Study Abroad Expert

The University of California Berkeley is the dream institution for many international students aspiring to study in the US. However, getting into esteemed higher study institutes like UCB is not a child’s play. A total of 86,780 students applied for admissions (including full-time and part-time) at the University of California-Berkeley and 15.1% of them were offered admission, in the Fall intake of 2018.

Student Enrollment

The university aims to achieve academic excellence and cultural diversity. Besides the additional procedure, UCB admissions for international students are not a big deal if the prospective student meets the eligibility criteria adequately. UCB undergrads come from more than 100 countries across the world.

Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Statistics, Environmental Economics & Policy, Architecture, and Mechanical Engineering are among the popular programs among the international students at UCB.

  • The University of California has 10 campuses and UC Berkeley is one among them that follows a semester-wise calendar.
  • Admissions to the undergraduate programs at UCB happens through a common UC portal. The graduate admission process, on the other hand, varies with every campus.
  • The University of California opens applications for Fall, Spring, and Winter sessions.
  • Not all campuses are open for Spring and Winter terms. Admission in the fall term is the most popular among freshmen degree-seeking applicants at the UC.
  • Students applying for UG courses are recommended to upload the supporting documents while filling the application only after a scrutinized check.
  • Letters of recommendation are not necessarily required for the UC application, however, certain majors demand LOR as a part of supplemental application review. The applicant must check the email message from the campus after meeting their eligibility criteria.
  • UC Berkeley does not offer early action or early decision.


Application PortalUG: My UC Application Portal
PG: Varies with every school
Application Fee for International StudentsUG: 80 USD
PG: 140 USD
Acceptance Rate (Fall 2018)15.1%
Graduation Rate (2017-2018)91%
Mode of PaymentVisa/Master Card Credit Card
SAT Score (middle 50%)Reading & Writing 640-740;
Math 660-790
ACT Score (middle 50%)30-34
International Application DeadlinesUG: November 30, 2019
PG: Varies with every course
Academic CalendarSemester
Intake SeasonsFall, Summer, Spring, Winter
Interview RequirementsRequired for MBA
Work ExperienceRecommended for International MBA aspirants

University of California-Berkeley Admission Deadlines

The UC portal offers a one-month application filling period for admission in the undergraduate programs to its campuses. Students are requested to submit their applications prior to the deadlines for them to be considered for admission. The University does not entertain late applications. Here are the undergraduate admission deadlines for the enrollment seasons:

SemestersApplication Filling Periods
Fall SemesterNov 1 to Nov 30
Winter SemesterJuly 1 to July 31
Spring SemesterJuly 1 to July 31

Application deadlines for graduate programs vary with every major/course. Deadlines for popular courses among international students are given below:

  • Architecture
    • M.Arch - December 16, 2019
    • M.S., Ph.D. - December 2, 2019
    • Masters in Urban Design - December 16, 2019
  • Ph.D. in Economics - December 2, 2019
  • M.Eng in Bioengineering - January 6, 2020
  • Statistics (M.A., Ph.D.) - January 6, 2020
  • Mechanical Engineering
    • M.Eng - January 6, 2020
    • M.S., Ph.D. - December 2, 2019
  • Full-time MBA (Haas Business School)
    • Round 1 - September 26, 2019
    • Round 2 - January 9, 2020
    • Round 3 - April 2, 2020

University of California-Berkeley International Students Admissions

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

Undergraduate admission process for International Students is two-fold. Along with the basic UBC admission requirements, international students should also keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • Average marks above 70 are required in both the 10th and 12th state board/ CBSE examination.
  • Self-Reported Academic Records: Applicants must fill the educational history section of their application exactly as it appears on their school records, you don’t want to get in trouble with the International Admission Specialist! Every campus is assigned an admissions officer who is familiar with the educational systems of other countries and is required to proof-check a student’s academic records.
  • Language Requirements: English Proficiency is necessary at UCB, the applicant must meet the cutoffs for TOEFL or IELTS.
  • ACT/SAT: Applicants must have taken ACT with the writing test, SAT with writing or SAT with an essay by December of their last year at secondary school.
  • The applicants must demonstrate proficiency in their 15-year long academic course with a 3.4 GPA.

Graduate Admission Requirements

Admission in the graduate programs at UCB requires:

  1. A degree equivalent to a US bachelor’s degree or the recognized equivalent from an accredited institution
  2. A satisfactory academic average, usually a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) on a 4.0 scale
  3. Enough training to do graduate work in your chosen field
  4. Evidence of English Language Proficiency (TOEFL/IELTS)
  5. Most departments and schools require GRE
  6. At least three letters of recommendation
  7. Transcripts For Initial Review

Admissions to all but three graduate programs at Berkeley require these prerequisites. However, Haas Business, Berkeley Law, and Optometry OD applicants should apply via their respected websites.

Program-wise specifications for graduate-level admission into diverse programs are tabulated as follows:

RequirementsFull-Time MBA (Haas Business School)J.D. Degree (Berkeley Law)OD Program (School of Optometry)
Minimum Academic RequirementsAcademic records showing a minimum of 16 years of schooling and higher education; Official Academic Records from each institution attended; TOEFL or IELTS if received a degree from non-english speaking country.The equivalent of an American bachelor’s degree; No specific undergraduate major required; Qualification for admission to the bar- character fitness.The equivalent of an American bachelor’s degree.
English Proficiency Test Score RequirementsTOEFL (iBT)- 90
IELTS- a band score of 7.0 to 9.0
TOEFL/ IELTS not compulsorily required
TOEFL/ IELTS not compulsorily required
Accepted Standardized Tests GMATGMAT/GRE not required; LSAT is compulsory (median LSAT score - 168)OAT/ PCAT/ MCAT/ GRE/ DAT
Resume/ CVRequiredRequiredConsiders
EssayRequiredA Personal Statement (ideally four pages); “Why Berkeley” essay (optional but recommended)Three essays required
Letter of Recommendation2 letters are required2-4 letters are required3 letters are required
Application Fee200 USD75 USD180 USD for a school and 70 USD for each additional school; a Supplemental Fee of 66 USD
Work ExperienceConsiders-Considers

Academic Factors

Relative Importance of various academic factors in admission decisions:

The rigor of Secondary School RecordImportant
Class RankNot Considered
Academic GPAImportant
Standardized Test ScoresImportant
Application EssayImportant

Non-Academic Factors

Relative importance of various non-academic factors in admission decisions:

Interview Not Considered
Extracurricular ActivitiesImportant
Character/Personal QualitiesImportant
Alumni RelationNot Considered
Volunteer WorkImportant
Work ExperienceImportant
Geographical ResidenceNot Considered
State ResidencyConsidered

English Proficiency Test Score for International Students

International students willing to study in the US are required to present their scores for TOEFL and/or IELTS to demonstrate English proficiency. The minimum required scores by the university are:

Exam Score
TOEFL (Paper Based Test)550 or better
TOEFL (Internet Based Test)80 or above
IELTS6.5 or better overall band score

TOEFL scores can be sent to one UC campus, all other campuses will receive it from the main portal. For IELTS, the applicant must report her score to the specific campus applied to.

Visa Process for International Students

All UC international students are required to have a valid passport from their own country’s government and a visa issued by US authorities. Along with these, the applicant is also advised to carry her Certificate of Eligibility and proof of adequate financial support for studies and living expenses.

International applicants can apply for a student visa to study in the USA right after an application letter is issued. The applicant can apply for one of the following visas:

  • Student Visa (F-1): This is a self-funded visa, used by students planning to enroll full time in a program.
  • Exchange Visitor Visa (J-1): Most frequently used by students who have been offered fellowship or other kinds of financial support from government agencies, foundations, organizations or universities.

Students are required to visit the Berkeley International Office for matters pertaining to non-immigrant visas and other financial issues.

International students Enrollment

Admission at UC Berkeley is not a cakewalk, simply meeting the minimum eligibility criteria is not enough. The selection process takes into account extra-curricular activities and the applicant’s personality too. UC Berkeley is very competitive and its acceptance rate can range from 15% to 17%. The goal of such a holistic review is to identify students most likely to contribute to Berkeley’s intellectually vibrant environment and henceforth to the world.

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