Application Instructions

* Note: The GRE exam will not be required for the Fall 2021 Application cycle.

Welcome to the GSE! Our applications are handled only through an online process.

All application materials are due by:
Wednesday, December 1, 2021 @ 8:59pm (PST)  

  • MA/PhD
  • PhD/Credential (School Psychology)
  • Joint PhD; and Science & Mathematics Education (SESAME)
  • LEAD EdD **

Wednesday, December 15, 2021 @ 8:59pm (PST)

Please note the BE3, LEAD EdD, and PLI programs start in the summer

  • MA/Administrative Credential recommendation – Principal Leadership Institute (PLI)
  • MA/Teacher Credential – Berkeley Educators for Equity and Excellence (BE3)

** The LEAD EdD program does not offer admission every year. The next admission period for this program will be September 2022, with classes starting in Summer 2023.

For descriptions of all of our programs, click on Academics.


Online Application

  • Start your online application for admission and fellowships at the Graduate Division website. Select “Education” and the degree objective of your intended program (ie. School Psychology applicants will choose Education - Cred/PhD).
  • Note: All uploaded documents should be in PDF format only.
  • All Materials are due by the application deadline
  • Application deadlines:
    • Tuesday, December 1, 2020 @ 8:59pm (PST) : MA/PhD, PhD/Cred (School Psych), Jt. PhD, Science & Mathematics Education (SESAME), LEAD EdD
    • Tuesday, December 15, 2020 @ 8:59pm (PST): MA/Admin Cred (PLI), MA/Teacher Cred (BE3). Please note these and LEAD (EdD) are summer start programs, you will select  “Summer” term.

Application Fee

  • When you apply for graduate admission online, you will be required to submit the application fee using a major credit card. The application fee is non-refundable.
  • If you are a U.S. Citizen or current Permanent Resident, the application fee is $105; for all others, the fee is $125.
  • You may qualify for an application fee waiver. To check eligibility, visit the Graduate Division website.


  • You are required to submit two essays: the Statement of Purpose, and your Personal History essay.
    • Statement of Purpose: 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, and your future career goals. Please be specific about why UC Berkeley would be a good intellectual fit for you.
    • Personal History: Describe how your personal background and experiences inform your decision to pursue a graduate degree. In this section, you may also include any relevant information on how you have overcome barriers to access higher education, evidence of how you have come to understand the barriers faced by others, evidence of your academic service to advance equitable access to higher education for women, racial minorities, and individuals from other groups that have been historically underrepresented in higher education, evidence of your research focusing on underserved populations or related issues of inequality, or evidence of your leadership among such groups.
  • There is no minimum or maximum length but we recommend one to three pages, 12-point font, single-spaced, for each essay.

    GPA Worksheet

    You must calculate your Advanced GPA (which is defined as all coursework after the first two years of your bachelor's degree). You can access to the GPA worksheet within the online application or here.

    Official Transcripts

    • Upload PDF scans of all official transcripts. Hard copies are not accepted.
    • Upload PDF scans of your official transcripts from institutions where you did not receive a degree (e.g., community college) if you received credit that was later applied toward your degree or if credit from that institution is listed on your bachelor's degree transcript.

    Letters of Recommendation

    • You are required to submit three (3) letters of recommendation.
      • MA and PhD applicants: You should have at least two (2) academic letters.
      • MA/Credential applicants: You should have at least one (1) academic letter and two (2) from individuals providing information about your experience working with children.
    • You will be able to send your recommenders an electronic invitation through the online application. In that invitation, they will receive instructions on how to upload their letter of recommendation.


      • The GRE should be taken no later than a month before the application deadline. Failure to do so will put your application at a disadvantage if your scores are not received by the time your application is reviewed.
      • Tests taken 5 years before the application deadline year are not accepted (Eg. If the application year is 2016, tests taken before 2011 are not accepted).
      • Use recipient code 4833 for UC Berkeley.
      • Enter the GRE registration number, not confirmation number, into the online application.
      • The GRE is not required for application to the BE3 and PLI programs.

      English Language Proficiency

      • All applicants from countries where the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency.
      • There are two standardized tests you may take to show evidence of English language proficiency: the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
      • Tests taken two (2) years before the beginning of the program are not accepted.
      • Use recipient code 4833 for UC Berkeley.
      • 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.
      • To qualify for a TOEFL exemption you must:
        • Have a basic degree from a recognized institution in a country where the official language is English; or
        • Have completed a basic or advanced degree at an institution, in the United States or abroad, where the language of instruction is English and the institution is accredited by one of the United States’ regional accrediting* agencies; or
        • Have completed at least one (1) year of full-time academic course work with a grade B or better at a regionally accredited* institution within the United States.
          • *Regionally accredited college or university means an institution of higher education accredited by one of the following regional accreditation associations in the United States:
            • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
            • New England Association of Schools and Colleges
            • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
            • Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges
            • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
            • Western Association of Schools and Colleges
          • Learn more about the English proficiency requirement and waiver on the Graduate Division website.

        Supplemental Requirements for Credential Applicants

        Applicants for programs that also offer a credential have additional requirements. All applicants will upload a PDF scan of their official test score report(s) into the online application. You may also upload evidence that you have registered for the exams.

        In order to be considered for admission you must:

        Pass 2 subtests (1 for science taken after* 8/6/17) by March 15th, 2020. If recommended for admission, remaining CSETs should be passed by June 1. Passage of ALL subtests is required by Aug 15th in order to continue in the program.

        Basic Skills Requirement*

        • Required for all credential programs: School Psychology, PLI, and BE3.
        • For more information about the options for fulfilling the Basic Skills Requirement read this handout.
        • Choose one of the following:
          • Pass the CBEST
          • Pass the CSET: Multiple Subjects + Writing Skills Exam (Only applies to PLI, and BE3’s Multiple Subject credential)
          • Pass the CSU Early Assessment Program or CSU Placement Exams
          • Achieve qualifying scores on the SAT or ACT
          • College Board Advanced Placement (AP) exams
          • Pass a basic skills exam from another state

        * Due to COVID-19 restrictions, if you plan to satisfy the Basic Skills Requirement with the CBEST, and you haven’t taken it yet, you can apply to the program and submit scores up until August 2021.

        Subject Matter Competency Requirement*

        • Required for BE3 program (Choose one of the following):
          • Pass the CSET. See Specific CSET exam requirement, at Apply to BE3.
          • Complete an approved Subject Matter Preparation Program. Upload a certified letter from your credential analyst confirming your enrollment and completion of your program.

        * We understand that due to COVID-19 restrictions, test center availability is reduced. We encourage you to register for the appropriate subtests ASAP. If you are unable to schedule and pass the CSET within the timeline outlined above, please submit your CSET registration information with your application in place of score reports. Reach out to Jake Disston,, with any questions.


        TIP: Use the Application Checklist to ensure that you have a complete application.

        Application Checklist

        Application Deadlines

        Apply Online

        Visit the Graduate Division Application

        • December 1st, 2021, 8:59pm (PST): MA/PhD; PhD/Cred (School Psych); Jt. PhD; Science & Mathematics Education (SESAME); LEAD (EdD)
        • December 15th, 2021, 8:59pm (PST): MA/Admin Cred (PLI); MA/Teacher Cred (BE3)  

        Contact Information

        GSE Admissions Office
        2121 Berkeley Way, #2210
        Berkeley, CA 94720-1670
        (510) 642-0841