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Frequently Asked Questions

The Frequently Asked Questions listed below are divided into five categories:

If you would like more information, contact the Student Academic Services office at (510) 642-0841 or

General Questions

Can I take GSE courses without being admitted to a program?

Through UC Berkeley Extension's "concurrent enrollment" program, you may be able to enroll in regular GSE courses, with instructor approval. Please be aware that when enrolled through Concurrent Enrollment, you are considered an Extension student, not a Berkeley student, and that Concurrent Enrollment is not intended as a means of accumulating credit toward a Berkeley degree by a student who has not been formally admitted to Berkeley. For more information about University Extension, visit their website.

Do you offer any degree programs online, or through correspondence?

No, we do not currently offer any online or correspondence degree programs.

Can I enroll in a graduate program on a part-time basis?

Although all of our programs are considered full-time, our leadership preparation programs are designed specifically to accommodate working professionals.

How long do the programs take to complete?

Our combined master's and credential programs are two-year programs. Master's only programs may be completed in one to two years. The normative time for doctoral degree programs in the Graduate School of Education is six years, with the exception of the Leadership for Educational Equity Program - it has an expected degree completion time of 3.5 years.

Is it possible to transfer coursework completed at another institution?

The UC Berkeley Graduate Division does not allow the transfer of units toward a doctoral degree. Graduate Division regulations do permit a maximum of four semester units of coursework taken at another accredited institution to be applied toward a master's degree. Requests for transfering degree credit are not considered until a student has been admitted into a program and has conferred with his or her advisor. Our credential programs are highly structured and their coursework reflects the unique philosophy of each particular program. Thus, the transfer of units is not allowed into these programs.

What are the admission requirements for international students?

International applicants must submit the same online application as domestic applicants found on the Graduate Division website. In addition, international applicants are required to submit proof of English proficiency either via the TOEFL or ILETS. The minimum acceptable score is 570 on the paper-based version or 90 on the Internet based version (iBT). The TOEFL scores must not be more than two years old. Learn more about these requirements on the Graduate Division website.

Are interviews required?

Interviews are part of the selection process for our programs that include credentials. The structure of the interview varies by program. Telephone interviews may be conducted under special circumstances. Not all applicants are interviewed.

When are decisions made and how will I be notified?

The earliest decisions are made in late February, continuing into April. Notifications are sent by e-mail.

Can I defer my admission?

The School of Education does not offer deferrals of admission unless the admitted student has experienced an extreme need or cause for one. For more information contact our admission office at

Application Questions

How do I request an application?

The Graduate Division Application is only available online. Please see the Application Instructions page for a link to the online application.

Do you accept applications for spring admission?

No, we only accept applications for admission to the fall semester.

Can I apply to more than one program at the same time?

No, you may apply to only one graduate department on the Berkeley campus, and to only one program within the Graduate School of Education.

How many applications does the School of Education typically receive and how many students are admitted?

In recent years, we have received an average of 900 applications and typically admit approximately 25% of our applicants.

I applied last year, and want to reapply this year. Do I have to submit everything again?

If you submitted an application within the last two years, you may reactivate your previous application. You will need to re-submit the online Graduate Application and pay the application fee. The letters of recommendation, official transcripts and test scores from your previous application may be scanned and uploaded into your current online application. If you have completed any course work since your last application, you will need to submit updated transcripts. In addition, we suggest that you submit one new letter of recommendation and update your statement of purpose.

Can I apply to a Ph.D. program if I do not hold an M.A. degree?

Yes. Applicants who do not have an M.A. in Education, or a related field, may apply for the Ph.D., but will be expected to earn an M.A. on the way to the Ph.D.

Does the GSE require that I list faculty whose research is of interest to me in the Academic Interests section of the Graduate Application?

We do not require that all applicants respond to this question, but we do recommend that doctoral program applicants list the faculty whose research is of particular interest to them.

How long should each personal essay be?

We do not set a minimum or maximum for the Personal History essay or the Statement of Purpose essay. On average each essay is 1 to 2 pages, single-spaced.

GPA Questions

Which undergraduate GPA calculations does the GSE require?

The only undergraduate GPA we require is the GPA for all course work after the first two years. Visit our online GPA calculator available to assist you with this calculation.

What is the minimum GPA required for admission?

Applicants are expected to have achieved at least a 3.0 grade-point average in all courses taken after the first two years as undergraduates, and in all graduate-level courses.

GRE Questions

Which programs require the GRE?

All doctoral programs in the GSE require the GRE. The GRE is also required of applicants to master's programs except: Developmental Teacher Education, Masters and Credential in Science and Mathematics Education, and the Principal Leadership Institute.

What are the minimum GRE scores required for admission?

We do not set minimum GRE scores that must be achieved to be eligible for admission. The amount of emphasis placed on GRE scores varies by program within the Graduate School of Education, but all programs consider many factors in determining a candidate's competitiveness.

What is the institution code for GRE score reporting?

The institution code is 4833. We no longer use a departmental code. Please use 4833 to have your scores sent to UC Berkeley.

What is the last date that I can take the GRE?

You should take the exam no later than a month before the application deadline. Taking the exam later may put your application at a disadvantage during the review process if your scores do not arrive on time.

How long are GRE scores valid?

GRE scores must be no more than 5 years old.

Do applicants who have already completed an advanced degree have to take the GRE?

Yes. If the program you are applying for requires the GRE, holding an advanced degree does not exempt you from the requirement.

Credential Questions

Can I apply for a teaching credential program if I didn't major in education?

Yes. In fact, in California, education is not usually available as an undergraduate major. Candidates considering a credential program should have academic preparation in the subject in which they wish to teach. Before being considered for admission to a credential program, an applicant needs to prove competence in the subject area either by passing the CSET, or by completing an approved subject matter preparation program.

What is a subject matter preparation program?

It is a series of courses which, if completed, can serve in lieu of the CSET exams for fulfilling the Commission on Teacher Credentialing's subject matter competency requirement for Single Subject credentials. Many colleges in California have CTC approved subject matter preparation programs that undergraduates can elect to take. If you want to check, you should contact the college at which you did your undergraduate work in California to find out which programs your school offers and the specific course requirements.

Does the GSE offer a program leading to a Single Subject Credential in Social Studies? Or in any foreign languages?

We do not offer programs for these credentials. We offer programs leading to the Multiple Subject (elementary) credential, and Single Subject (secondary) credentials in English, Math, and Science.

Which programs require the CSET and CBEST?

The CSET and CBEST are required for all of our teaching credential programs (DTE, MUSE, and MACSME). The CBEST is also required for the Principal Leadership Institute and the School Psychology program.

Are the CSET and CBEST offered outside of California?

The Multiple Subjects & Single Subject-Mathematics CSET are offered at all Pearson Testing Centers in the United States. The Single Subject CSET exams for English & Science are offered outside of California on a limited basis. The CSET must be passed before admission to our programs.

The CBEST is only offered outside of California if taken online. Applicants residing outside California may take the CBEST after being admitted to the program and arriving in California.