How To Apply
Overview and Timeline
- Request letters of recommendation.
- Select/publish your three best journalistic work samples.
- Obtain an official copy of your transcripts.
- Polish your resume.
- Begin working on the online application.
September - November:
November 15: Early Deadline December 1:Regular Deadline All application materials due.
All materials should be received by December 1, 2013. Note that any late materials could damage chances of admission. Materials from abroad should be posted in plenty of time to be received by the deadline.
December - February: Interviews and Writing Test are conducted.
Selected candidates will be contacted for an interview. Personal interviews are required to complete the review process and are conducted by an alumnus in your area. If an in-person interview cannot be scheduled, the interview will be conducted over the phone or Skype. After the interview is completed you will be asked to complete a timed written questionnaire. Not all applicants are invited to interview, and not all of those who are interviewed are admitted.
February: All applicants are notified of their admission status.
March: Spring Welcome Visit for all newly admitted students.
This is an all-school event designed to show newly admitted students what it's like to be a Berkeley J-School student.
- Statement of Purpose: 750 words or fewer and addresses the reasons you would like to attend Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism at this time in your career.
- Personal History Statement: 750 words or fewer and addresses the reasons that you have decided to become a reporter.
- Transcripts: Scan and upload a PDF of your official transcript. A hard copy will be required if admission is offered.
- Letters of Recommendation (3): Submit your recommenders' contact information online. Your recommenders will be notified electronically once you complete this section.
- Journalistic Work Samples (3): Upload PDFs or provide URLs to your online work samples. Two of the three work samples must be text based. All work samples should be produced by you alone.
- Resume: Upload a single-page PDF of your current resume.
Start filling in your online application as early as September. Once you begin an application you can add and edit all parts of it at any time before the deadline. To begin, create an online application account on the Berkeley Graduate Division website.
Be sure to upload all the required supplemental PDF files outlined below.
Key Features of the Application:
Review Parts of the Application below for more details.
Be sure all sections of your application are complete before you click the "Submit" button.
Be sure you click the "Submit" button by the December 1, 11:59PM deadline.
Parts of the Application
Personal information, contact information, educational background, GPA, program interests, foreign language proficiency, financial aid.
Statements (2): 750 words each
Statement of Purpose - Why is the Berkeley J-School a good fit for you at this time?
Personal History Statement - Describe your path and how you developed your commitment to a career in journalism.
We require a PDF copy of the transcripts from the undergraduate institution which awarded your Bachelor's degree. Request an official copy of your transcripts, scan and upload the PDF document in the transcript section of the application.
Letters of Recommendation (3):
We prefer recommendations from professional journalists who know your work and can comment on your work ethic, reporting proficiency, and commitment to journalism.
We will not accept paper letters of recommendation this year. Please contact the Admissions Office if you have any questions or concerns. Requests for letters of recommendation will be sent through the online application. Recommenders will respond to your request and submit their letters directly to your online application file. You will be able to view the status of your recommendation through your online account, but you will not be able to see the content of your letter.
Journalistic Work Samples (3):
Submit three work samples as PDF documents or as URLs that best reflect your journalistic skills. Two samples must be text-based. Published work is preferred. We recommend you keep each sample within 1200 words.
Your third sample may be in the format of your choice: audio, video, multimedia, or an online photo essay/portfolio. Submissions should represent the applicant’s journalistic sensibility. Please be sure that it is clear you are the sole producer of your work. The admissions committee will be judging your reporting skills, so long introductions or lengthy submissions are not recommended.
Upload as a single-page PDF document.
Visit the Cost and Financial Aid page for more information about federal grants, loans, and work-study qualification.
Re-applicants must submit a new online application and fee.
It is highly recommended that all components of the new application are fresh. Transcripts from your previous application can be used upon request.
The admissions committee will scrutinize how you have improved your reporting skills since the submission of your last application.
Concurrent Degree Applicants
The J-School offers concurrent degrees with Asian Studies, Law, and Public Health. Please be sure you are ready to undertake two Master's programs in a condensed time period before you select this option.
Concurrent degree applicants need to be admitted by the admissions committees from each department. It should be clear how and why the applicant is pursuing both degrees simultaneously. Furthermore, applicants must be sure they are following all of the application requirements for both departments.
Visit our Concurrent Degree Page for more information about the concurrent programs and how to apply.
Berkeley Graduate Division
Berkeley International Office
Financial Aid and Scholarships
TOEFL and Transcripts
We welcome applications from international students. Admission is competitive. Candidates who have demonstrated professional journalism experience and fluency in English are favored. All work samples should be in English.
International applicants with substantial reporting experience in their own countries may be eligible for the one year, non-degree Visiting Scholar program.
Resources for International Students
Please review Berkeley Graduate Division's information for international applicants.
Funding is limited for students. Some financial aid options are available from the Berkeley International Office (BIO). Additionally, internship information is available at the Career Center.
Establishing California Residency to receive in-state tuition in your second year is unfortunately not an option for international students.
International students must demonstrate language proficiency through either the TOEFL or IELTS test. All reporting at the school is performed in English. Please review the Graduate Division website for more details about the TOEFL / IELTS tests.
- Do I need a degree in a speciﬁc major to be considered for admission?
The J-School admits applicants with a wide variety of Bachelor's degrees, from Anthropology to Zoology. An applicant with a technical or science background can approach reporting from a unique perspective. Your performance as an undergraduate is important, but your commitment to reporting is the most important factor in your application.
- Are there any prerequisite courses that I need to have taken?
No specific prerequisite coursework is required beyond the successful completion of your bachelor's degree.
- What counts as journalism experience?
The admissions committee looks for your dedication to reporting. Applicants who demonstrate solid reporting skills and a strong work ethic are favored. The most impressive applicants report stories that have not been previously reported, provide significant value to the community, lack personal bias, show meticulous research, sharp interviewing skills, integrity, and good judgment while having an unrelated day job. The admissions committee is sure to find this impressive.
- If I don’t have any journalism experience, do I have a chance of being admitted?
If you have not done any reporting, then it is unlikely you will be a successful applicant. However, the admissions committee looks closely at your most recent reporting experience. So, if you are highly productive during the months before the deadline, your chances will be greatly elevated. One of the best ways to learn and improve your reporting techniques is to ask a journalist to mentor you.
Application and Deadline Information
- What GPA is required in order to be considered for admission?
Berkeley requires a 3.0 GPA for admission. Occasionally an exception can be made if professional experience outweighs the significance of an applicant's performance in college. There is a text box on the application that you can use to provide any explanation about your transcripts or grades that you would like the admissions committee to consider.
- What transcripts are required?
Please be sure to upload an electronic copy of the transcript that shows the official completion of your Bachelor's degree. Most international applicants will be required to upload an electronic copy of an official diploma in addition to transcripts.
- I took the GRE, should I submit my scores even though they are no longer required?
The GRE is important if you are applying for the FLAS fellowship or if you are applying for a concurrent program that requires it. Otherwise, you do not need to take or report a GRE score.
- What are acceptable work samples?
We expect journalists to be sensitive to language and to organize their thoughts clearly and coherently. We ask for the three work samples (preferably published) to demonstrate these qualities. Please limit each sample to 1200 words or fewer; excerpts from longer pieces are acceptable. Two of the three submissions must be text-based samples, but the third can be audio, video, multimedia, or a photo essay/portfolio.
A video sample must be solely produced and directed by the application. Audio samples should be accompanied by a script.
International applicants can send work samples in another language, so long as an English translation, by the applicant, is provided. Academic writing samples and research papers are not encouraged.
- Does the Journalism School accept transfer credit from other institutions?
- Does the Journalism School offer summer classes?
- Can I apply to be a part-time student? Does the Journalism School offer any correspondence/online courses?
The program is a two-year, full-time Master of Journalism program. We only admit students each fall semester. Berkeley does not offer part-time programs, correspondence or online courses.
- How will the program work for me if I am interested in Documentary?
All applicants will be evaluated equally by the admissions committee. You must be a student in our journalism program before being considered for advanced documentary coursework. Enrolled students can begin taking Introductory TV courses in their first semester. At the end of the second semester, the students who show the most dedication and merit have the opportunity to enroll in advanced documentary classes.
No. The Journalism School does not offer graduate-level courses during the summer. Other departments may offer classes, however, through the university-wide Summer Session Program.
- APPLICATION KEY FEATURES
- Berkeley Graduate Online Application
- Statement of Purpose
- Personal History Statement
- 1 Transcript, pdf upload
- 3 Letters of Recommendation, online
- 3 Journalistic Work Samples, online
- Resume, pdf upload
- Contact Pam Gleason - Director Of Admissions And Student Affairs 510-642-3654