FAQ for Prospective Graduate Applicants

Below is a list of frequently asked questions from prospective graduate applicants. Still have questions? Consider contacting the Graduate Student Services Adviser.

What is the application deadline?

The deadline for the applications is December 1. Late or incomplete materials submitted after the December 1 will not be considered.

How do I access the online application?

You can apply online by filling out the secure application form here.

I applied last year and plan to reapply this year. Do I need to submit an application again?

Yes. Resubmit the graduate application form and pay the application fee.

Do I need to take the GRE exam in order to apply to the graduate program?

No. The MELC Department does not require GRE scores for graduate applications. However, if you are also applying to other departments at Berkeley  - or to other universities - be sure to check their requirements. Those programs might ask for different application materials.

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.

What is the minimum required GPA for admission and how does the department calculate GPA?

Applicants must have earned a minimum of a 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, their GPA is calculated using all years of their work for their degree.

How do I establish California residency?

Visit this website to learn more about how to establish California residency.

Where can I learn more information about campus housing for graduate students, including those with families?

Visit this website to read more about housing opportunities.

Where can I read more information about tuition and financial aid?

Visit this website to learn more about graduate student tuition. Visit this website to learn more about financial aid for graduate students. 

May I be admitted to the MELC graduate program 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 can be repaired during the student's first year of graduate work. For more extensive preparatory work, prospective applicants should consider enrolling in UC Extension’s Concurrent Enrollment Program through which students may enroll in department courses. Units for courses taken through this program will not be credited toward the student's M.A. requirements.

Tell me more about the TOEFL examination

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 United States university does not need to take the TOEFL test. The TOEFL exam must have been taken within the past two years. Tests taken before the month of June of two years prior in which admission is sought will not be accepted. 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. Students should take the exam no later than the end of November. Taking the exam at a later date may put their application at a disadvantage. The most recent total score on the Internet-based TOEFL must be at least 90 out of 120.

Do admitted graduate students receive funding packages?

Yes. The MELC Department offers five years of funding to every admitted graduate student. The form and source of this funding varies from year-to-year, but always consists of fellowships and/or teaching assistant appointments. Students are always encouraged to seek funding from external sources whenever possible. Additional funding for conference travel, research, and language training is available through fellowship and grant competitions across the Berkeley campus. Students will work with their faculty advisor and the MELC graduate student services adviser to explore all available funding options on a regular basis.