The Graduate Application is submitted electronically; the online application becomes available in September for admission effective the following year. See the Graduate Division website for details. All applicants must use the online application.


  • Transcripts: Upload unofficial transcripts with the online application for the departmental initial review. Upload a transcript from every post-secondary school you have attended, including community college. You do not need to send the department paper copies. Official transcripts of all college-level work will be required only if admitted. Official transcripts must be in sealed envelopes as issued by the school(s) you have attended. Request a current transcript from every post-secondary school that you have attended, including community colleges, summer sessions, and extension programs.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Send three letters of recommendation from three recommenders familiar with your work, preferably in an academic setting. Instructions on how to submit letters are included in the Graduate Admissions application.
  • Academic Writing Sample: Writing samples must be 10-15 pages in length (spacing does not matter) and in English. Examples include an essay or book review. You can upload the writing sample as part of the online application. Do not send or email writing samples to the department. Writing samples that are longer than the stated length will not be read so please modify your document accordingly.
  • *Evidence of English Language Proficiency: All applicants from countries or political entities in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency, either the TOEFL or IELTS English Proficiency tests. This applies to applicants from Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, Myanmar, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and Quebec (Canada). However, applicants who, at the time of application, have already completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better at a US university may submit an official transcript from the US university to fulfill this requirement. Scores must be sent directly by ETS to UC Berkeley (institution code 4833). Do not send test scores directly to our department.
  • Statement of Purpose: 1-2 single space pages in 12 point font. Please read about the SOP here.
  • Personal History Statement: 1-2 single space pages in 12 point font. Your Personal History Statement gives you an opportunity to add some personal details and depth to the information provided in your Statement of Purpose. It can include information about who you are as a person, your family background, cultural background, socioeconomic status, educational advantages and/or experiences growing up. It is intended to give you the opportunity to provide a narrative about your diverse personal experiences.
  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is once again required for this application cycle.

Foreign applicants are urged to examine closely the requirements for certification and translation of records provided by Graduate Application and the information on legal residency and fees. Since TOEFL scores take 6 to 8 weeks to be mailed after you request the Educational Testing Service to report them to us, students should report their score on the on-line application. This will allow the Admission Committee to begin their review of the file immediately. (Note: An official report must still be submitted to the department from Educational Testing Service before a student can be admitted.)

Within two to three weeks after the application deadline, the department will email you indicating any documents that have not yet been received.