Potential applicants facing undue hardships in submitting application materials due to major natural disasters should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Berkeley-UCSF graduate application must be submitted through Berkeley’s online graduate application system (see below). Applications are for fall entry only and admitted applicants are expected to join the program on schedule, the fall semester of their admission year – e.g. fall 2024 for students who apply in fall 2023. Please plan your application accordingly.
Applications are open at https://grad.berkeley.edu/admissions/steps-to-apply/apply/.
The online application is due: November 30, 2023. Applications submitted after this time will not be accepted. You will not be informed if your application is submitted late–it simply will not be processed.
Supporting data, such as transcripts, recommendation letters, and GRE and TOEFL scores, should arrive no later than November 30.
Though we do not have a rolling application process, it is always best to apply as early as you can. That way, if there are errors, we can let you know in advance.
- The Online Application
- Emphasis of Specialty Area of Study (First and Second Choice)
- Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
- A Completed Recommendation Waiver Form (to be completed online)
- Unofficial Transcripts (submitted online)
- Conversion of GPA (for International Students Only)
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Official Scores (for international students only)
- Application Fee
- Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Official Scores (optional beginning Fall 2020 cycle)
- A curriculum vitae (CV) or resume
Applications that are incomplete by the time of review will not be competitive for admission. Making sure an application is complete is solely the responsibility of the applicant and should be done in a timely manner.
The application process is ENTIRELY ONLINE. Please DO NOT mail copies of the Statement of Purpose, GRE AND TOEFL scores, publications, resumes, recommendation letters or transcripts. Directions for submitting the recommendation letters online are included below. Any supplemental data, such as publications, resumes, and homepages, should be uploaded with your application. All applications must be submitted through the Berkeley campus’ online application site for graduate admissions. Please take care to ensure all email addresses, as well as your own email address, are entered correctly.
DEADLINE: November 30
The Online Application has several sections, including two essays, the Statement of Purpose and the Personal History Statement. Please note that these essays are very important to the application process and should be taken seriously. They should also be two separate essays.
The Statement of Purpose asks:
Please describe your aptitude and motivation for graduate study in your area of specialization, including your preparation for this field of study, your academic plans or research interests in your chosen area of study, Professors whose research interests parallel yours, and your future career goals. Please be specific about why UC Berkeley/UCSF would be a good intellectual match for you. Brevity is appreciated – no more than two pages. Please see the graduate writing guide for more information.
The Personal Statement asks:
In an essay, discuss how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. Please include any educational, familial, cultural, economic, or social experiences, challenges, or opportunities relevant to your academic journey; how you might contribute to social or cultural diversity within your chosen field; and/or how you might serve educationally underrepresented segments of society with your degree. Brevity is appreciated – no more than two pages. Please see the graduate writing guide for more information.
If you attended an international university, you need to convert your grades to our system. To assist you in the conversion off your GPA please visit the gpa conversion page.
Though this section is not required, the provided data may be used by the department for various purposes, one of which is granting financial support. (U.S. citizens/permanent residents only)
In order to determine if you are a California Resident, please use the UC Berkeley’s Residency Office’s criteria.
Parents’ Educational Level
Though this section is not required, the provided data may be used by the department for various purposes, one of which is granting financial support.
Emphasis of Specialty Area of Study (First and Second Choice)
Select your first and second choice of research areas of Bioengineering Areas. The main purpose of this section is to guide us in determining which faculty members are best suited to review your application.
Letters of Recommendation
DEADLINE: November 30
Letters of recommendation will be gathered electronically as part of the Online Application.
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.
- Having more letters is not necessarily better. 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. The best letters gauge your ability and potential for research and graduate study, often citing examples from the recommenders own experiences with you.
Official and Unofficial Transcripts
DEADLINE: November 30
You are required to upload unofficial transcripts for schools that you have attended. Applicants who studied outside the United States in non-English speaking institutions must upload the English translated transcripts. Uploaded files must be in PDF format and no larger than 8 MB. Please make sure that your social security number (SSN) does not appear on your transcript (if it does, black it out before uploading the document).
(Please note that even if you have not yet finished your coursework when you apply, we still require a current transcript from you. If you are admitted, at that time, we will ask you submit a final official transcript showing the degree awarded to complete our records.)
For more information about transcripts, please see the Graduate Division Admissions Information.
DEADLINE: November 30
If you attended an international university, you need to convert your grades to our system. To assist you in the conversion off your GPA please visit the GPA conversion page.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is optional for all applicants beginning for the Fall 2020 admission cycle.
DEADLINE: November 30
Oldest acceptable exam date: 2018
If choosing to submit, the exam is composed of three sections (we do NOT require a subject test): Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning.
For more information about the test, as well as locations, test dates, and the time it will take for score reports to reach Berkeley, please consult the Educational Testing Service (ETS). They can be reached at (609) 771-7670. Inquiries can also be made to email@example.com and http://www.gre.org.
The institution code for Berkeley is 4833 and the Department code is 1603.
DEADLINE: November 30
For Fall 2024, tests taken before June 1, 2022 will not be accepted.
All applicants who have completed a basic degree in a country/region in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This requirement applies to institutions from Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, Israel, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asian countries, most European countries, and countries in Africa in which English is not the official language.
If you have completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better in residence at a recognized U.S. institution, you do not need to take a standardized test. Instead, you must upload an unofficial transcript from the recognized U.S. institution.
We will only accept TOEFL tests administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and sent to us directly by the TOEFL office. We do not accept the TOEFL ITP Plus for Mainland China or Duolingo. The institution code for UC Berkeley is 4833 for Graduate Programs. We do not accept MyBest Scores.
For purposes of admission, your most recent score must be at least 90 for the Internet-based test (IBT), and 570 for the paper-based format (PBT). Please contact individual academic departments for more information, as they may choose to require a higher score.
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is also acceptable. The minimum acceptable score is 7 on your most recent exam. More information about IELTS can be found at http://www.ielts.org.
Please see more details at the Graduate Division.
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 $135; for all others, the fee is $155.
Payments are accepted by credit card only.
U.S. citizens or permanent residents who can demonstrate financial need are eligible to apply for a waiver of the application fee. See guidelines for waivers.
Applicants offered admission will be notified after the required visit dates, usually by the end of March.
Applicants who are not offered admission will be notified by the Program as they make their decisions.
The Program requires all finalists to attend a hosted visit to Berkeley/UCSF (international travelers excepted). For the Fall admissions cycle the visits will be February. The Program provides travel reimbursement, 2 nights of hotel accommodation and meals for this purpose. Information on the visits will be sent only to finalists in late January.
Application Tips and Advice/Application Status
Although we do not have a rolling admissions cycle, applying early is always a good idea. The earlier you apply, the earlier you and we can spot problems such as missing transcripts, test scores, etc. As the application deadline approaches we receive numerous email inquiries. This results in you having more difficulty contacting us as well as checking your application status. Your patience during this time is appreciated.
Also, it’s a good idea to take the GRE and the TOEFL, if applicable, as early as possible. ETS can take several weeks to get the scores to us.
Online Application Advice
- Check all email addresses twice before you submit the application, including your own. Any mistyped addresses make it difficult to contact you and/or your recommenders.
- Do not transpose your name when entering this information. Transposed information will slow processing.
Regarding Your Application Package
It is always best submit only information requested. Non requested materials will not be included with your application for review. Please do not send the following:
- Financial documents of any kind
- Notebooks or diaries
- Your Statement of Purpose (we will have received this online)
- Your Personal Statement (we will have received this online)
- DVDs, CDs other information storage devices
Once You Apply
Once you submit your online application, you will receive an email confirming your submission. You may log back into your application to monitor the status of the materials received or processed, such as: fee waivers, test scores, letters of recommendation, and admission decision. Once your application is submitted, you may check the status of your scores on your online application status page. When the scores are matched they will show as “verified”.
*** More Information ***
Please see our Career Center’s web pages on applying to graduate school.
The Graduate Division provides information on writing your statement of purpose.
We do not offer part-time, evening or distance learning Ph.D. programs. Our Ph.D. degree programs are full-time day programs. Online courses are offered through UC Extension.