University of California, Berkeley Acceptance Rate

University of California Acceptance Rate

The University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) was founded in 1868 on the Oakland site of the College of California. It moved to Berkeley in 1873.

Today, it is one of the top public research universities in Berkeley. The Times Higher Education World Ranking for UCB is #8. According to QS 2023 World Rankings, the University ranks at #27.

The University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. It offers more than 350 programs, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 17.8 to 1.

Admission Eligibility Criteria

Students who want to enter the University should check the University of California Berkeley’s admission criteria. They must proceed with the application form if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Each department has different eligibility criteria. The primary criteria for graduate applications include:

  • Students should have received a bachelor’s degree from a recognized academic institution;
  • A satisfactory score in undergraduate, preferably a grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) or more on a 4.0 scale;
  • Enough undergraduate experience and exposure to the subject to do graduate work in the chosen field;
  • IELTS or TOEFL test scores for students from countries where the official language is not English.

Check the graduate programs on the website, as some departments have additional requirements.

Schools, including Haas Business, Berkeley Law, Optometry OD, Information Data Science MIDS, and Cyber Security MICS, require applicants to apply separately through their respective schools.

Acceptance Rate

The University is selective in admitting students, but the acceptance rate has recently increased. The University of California, Berkeley’s current acceptance rate is 15%.

Documents Required

Documents and official records are the most important part of the application process. One missing document may lead to the cancellation of the application.

For the initial departmental review, applicants need to upload unofficial transcripts. Students who graduated from UCB are exempted from submitting official transcripts. Students who get admission and decide to accept it will have to upload all official transcripts or academic records showing successful completion of a bachelor’s or an equivalent degree.

If the academic records do not include official evidence, additional documents that verify the degree may be required.

Applicants also need to submit at least three letters of recommendation. Some departments require additional written documents like a Statement of Purpose and personal history.

For more details of documents required, applicants should contact the respective department.

Once an international student accepts the offer of admission, the Berkeley International Office will help the student collect financial certifications and other documents.

Tests Required

Most universities require entrance tests and other standard tests for admission to graduate courses. Similarly, schools and Colleges of UCB have different test requirements.

GRE and GMAT requirements depend on the course chosen by the applicant.

English language proficiency test is compulsory for all students who have completed their prior degree in countries where English is not the first language. TOEFL and IELTS are the two accepted tests for English Language Proficiency.

The required scores for the language proficiency tests include


UCB offers over 100 graduate degree programs from 14 schools and colleges. It does not offer joint degree programs; students can apply to one program per admission term. They can choose concurrent graduate degrees and interdisciplinary doctoral programs from different schools and colleges.

Students can select their courses from Haas School of Business, College of Chemistry, Division of Computing, Data Science & Society, Graduate School of Journalism, Richard and Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy, and other schools at UCB.

The most popular courses offered by the University include

  • Applied Science and Technology
  • Biostatistics
  • Bachelor of Science in Business
  • Bioengineering
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Computational and Data Science and Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Economics
  • Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
  • Environmental Health Sciences
  • Global Management Program
  • MBA
  • Master of Financial Engineering
  • Molecular Science and Software Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Public Affairs

How University Evaluates Applicants

Berkeley enrolls students from different countries with different backgrounds to form a diverse community. 

At UCB, the department reviews the applications and recommends the Graduate Division accordingly. Students should contact the prospective department to understand what they are looking for. Applicants should follow their instructions and submit the department-specific materials as required.

The interview is not a necessary part of the admission process for all departments. Some departments may invite applicants for an interview to discuss their background, skills, and interest in the field and course of their choice.

Some essential factors that the University looks for in every application include

  • The applicant’s performance in the interview
  • Grades of previous academic qualifications
  • Any major accomplishment of the student in academic or personal life
  • Academic references and their opinion of the student
  • The statements in the personal essay
  • Meeting all eligibility criteria
  • Submission of all documents

Tips for Applying to University

Getting into UCB is not easy as meeting the eligibility requirements is not enough. For students wondering how to get admission to the University of California Berkeley, here are a few expert tips that can increase your chance of getting into UCB:

  • Start the application process early. Do not procrastinate and delay filling out the application. The process starts as early as September, and applicants must wait until November to submit. That gives them ample time to answer all questions in the application carefully.
  • Choose a subject you are passionate about and express that in the application process and interview. This will increase your chance of selection.
  • Tell a story through a personal statement. Do not focus too much on the scores and academic intelligence. Students should share their perspectives about the world, activities outside the classroom, things that excite them, and other milestones in life.
  • While choosing references, applicants must choose mentors or professors who know them well. The individual should know about the applicant’s academics, activities inside the classroom, qualities, and potential.
  • It takes a lot of effort to prepare the final draft. So, make sure to revise, revise, and revise again. This is why you should start early on your application.
  • Do your research and stay aware of all important admission updates and deadlines. Do not miss any important dates. Make sure to visit the University website regularly. 

Application Deadlines

The deadlines for all admission processes to Berkeley are notified in confirmation emails of the applicants. The important dates are mentioned on the website for first-time applicants. They should be careful of the timeline and complete all the processes before the final dates.

It should be mentioned that UCB does not offer early admission or early decision applications. So, the timeline is the same for all applicants.

The undergraduate and graduate timeline is different. Applications for undergraduate admission begin in October of the year before the year applicants would enter the University. The application filing period is November 1-30. The last day for submitting applications is November 30.

For graduate courses, applications open on September 15. Each course and department has different application deadlines, mostly between mid-November and early December. The deadline to submit final official transcripts is October 1. Check the website to get the exact dates for each course. 

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