How To Apply

Students are admitted to the University by the Graduate Division, on the recommendation of the Department. To aid the department in making its recommendation, the prospective graduate students must provide the following:

  • Graduate Admissions Online Application for Admission and Fellowship is available online in September at:
    http://grad.berkeley.edu/admissions/apply/
  • Please note that we do not admit students for a Master’s degree. If applicants are admitted without one, they proceed straight to the Ph.D. degree.
  • The Geography Department does not offer admission in the Spring (January).
  • Update for the 2021-2022 application cycle: GRE scores are OPTIONAL for students applying for the Ph.D. program starting in Fall 2022. Students who have previously taken or would like to take the GRE and submit scores are welcome to do so, but there will be no disadvantage to students who choose not to submit scores. Please note that we have not made decisions regarding the GRE for application cycles beyond 2021-2022. 
  • Applicants are required to list the faculty they have contacted or expect to contact concerning their application, as well as the faculty in the department whose research is of particular interest. Students should also self-report their TOEFL scores, if applicable, and calculate and report their undergraduate grade point average for all coursework after the first two years.
  • Statement of purpose outlining the applicant’s intellectual objectives in her or his graduate career. You can refer to the Graduate Division Statement of Purpose Guide here: http://grad.berkeley.edu/admissions/apply/statement-purpose/
  • Personal history statement. Make sure you indicate any challenges, hardships or obstacles you may have overcome. (We look at this as a sign of perseverance.) Let us know if you’ve supported yourself through school, if you’re a first generation college student, took on a leadership position, tutored or mentored underrepresented students, or took advantage of unique opportunities. You can refer to the Graduate Division Personal Statement Guide here: http://grad.berkeley.edu/admissions/apply/personal-statement/
  • Transcripts: Applicants will upload unofficial transcripts of all previous academic work via the Graduate Admissions Online Application. Official transcripts will be required once admitted by the Graduate Division.
  • Scores from an official TOEFL report (required of international applicants from countries whose official language is not English). If you have completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better in residence at a U. S. university, you do not need to take a standardized test. Instead you must submit an official transcript from the U. S. university that you attended. Please see the Graduate Division website http://grad.berkeley.edu/ for additional ways to demonstrate English proficiency.
  • Three letters of academic appraisal, preferably from former instructors. Recommenders will submit these letters electronically via the graduate admissions website and are due on December 1st.
  • A writing sample is OPTIONAL and is not required.
  • A C.V. is OPTIONAL but recommended.
  • Applications are due on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

HELPFUL TIPS:

TRANSCRIPTS

Applicants will upload unofficial transcripts of all previous academic work via the Graduate Admissions Online Application. Official transcripts will be required once admitted by the Graduate Division.

QUESTIONS

Please send all questions about the application process to Sarah Varner (svarner@berkeley.edu).