Frequently Asked Questions about MELC Graduate Admissions
1. Does the Department admit students for fall and spring semesters?
The Department admits new students for the fall term only.
2. What is the application deadline?
The deadline for the applications is December 15. Late or incomplete materials submitted after the December 15 will not be considered.
3. How do I obtain application forms?
You can apply online by filling out the secure application form at (http://www.grad.berkeley.edu/admissions/index.shtml).
4. How to I apply if I was registered before at Berkeley as a graduate student?
If you were registered before as a graduate student at Berkeley, you will have to complete an Application for Readmission form instead. Readmission applicants may be in competition with applicants for admission. If you are applying to a different major from the one that you were last registered, you will have to complete a Graduate Petition for Change of Major or Degree Goal. These forms are available at (http://registrar.berkeley.edu/GeneralInfo/elecforms.html). For additional requirements or information please contact the department.
5. I applied last year and plan to reapply this year. Do I have to submit everything again?
You have to resubmit the Graduate Application form and pay the application fee. If you have completed any course work since your last application, you will have to upload copies of your updated transcripts.
6. Which application materials should be submitted directly to the department?
All application materials (including statement of purpose, college/university level transcripts, writing sample, and 3 letters of recommendation) should be uploaded to the Graduate Division's online application system.
TOEFL scores (if applicable) are submitted electronically after the test is taken.
7. Do I need to take the GRE in order to apply to the graduate program in Near Eastern Studies?
No. The Department of Near Eastern Studies doesn't take GRE scores into consideration when deciding whether to admit applicants to our program. If you are also applying to other departments on the Berkeley campus - or to other universities - please be sure to check their requirements because those programs might ask for different application materials.
8. Who is required to take TOEFL test?
Students from countries in which the official language is not English, are required to take the TOEFL test; however, students who have completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better at a U.S. university do not need to take the TOEFL test.
9. How long are the TOEFL test scores valid?
The TOEFL must have been taken within the past two years. Tests taken before the month of June of two years prior in which admission is thought will not be accepted.
10. Where should the TOEFL test scores be reported?
For reporting the TOEFL scores, the UC Berkeley code is 4833 and the department code may be given as 2999 (Humanities) or 0000 (Other). TOEFL scores are reported electronically.
11. What is the last date that I can take the TOEFL?
You should plan on taking the exam no later than by the end of November. Taking the exam at a later date may put your application at a disadvantage.
12. What are the minimum TOEFL scores required for admission?
The most recent total score on the Internet-based TOEFL must be at least 90 out of 120.
13. What is the minimum required GPA for admission and how does the department calculate GPA?
Applicants must have a minimum of 3.0 GPA for the undergraduate work completed after the first 2 years of their study, or in 2 years or more of master’s or doctoral level study. For international applicants the GPA is calculated using all years of their work for their degree.
14. Can you tell me more about the writing sample?
The writing sample should be approximately 20 pages that you have written for a college level course or the equivalent in any subject. This may be an excerpt from something longer than 20 pages or a complete paper. It can be something that has been published, or not.
15. How long should the Statement of Purpose be?
There is no minimum or maximum limit on the statement of purpose; the suggestion is that it should be 1 or at most 2 pages.
16. If my degree objective is the Ph.D., shall I indicate PhD or M.A./Ph.D. on the application?
All applicants, including those who do not or will not have an M.A. degree by the time of entry, should indicate "Ph.D." as their degree goal.
17. Can I be admitted if I have deficiencies in preparation?
Applicants without the M.A. degree should have fulfilled the equivalent of the Departmental requirements for the B.A. degree. Minor deficiencies in preparation would need to be repaired during the student's first year of graduate work. For more extensive preparatory work, prospective applicants might consider enrolling in UC Extension’s Concurrent Enrollment Program, through which students may enroll in the regular courses for this Department. Units for courses taken through this program will not be credited toward the student's M.A. requirements. Registration and fee information is available through the University Extension, (510) 642-4111.
18. Can I take NES courses without being admitted to the program?
With the instructor's approval, you can enroll in regular NES courses through UC Berkeley Extension’s Concurrent Enrollment program. Please note, however, that you will not be considered a UC Berkeley student, and you cannot accumulate credit toward a Berkeley degree without being formally admitted to a Berkeley program.