Admissions Overview

The UC Berkeley School of Information’s online master’s programs offer three start dates throughout the year (January, May and September). Applications are reviewed as they are received, so you are encouraged to submit your completed application as soon as possible. Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis.

Start Dates




Application Deadlines

January 2025

Early Action Deadline
August 7, 2024
Priority Application Deadline
September 4, 2024
Final Application Deadline
September 25, 2024
Classes Start
January 2025

Application Requirements

To complete your application, you must submit the following:

  • Online application
  • Transcripts from all educational institutions attended
  • Statement of Purpose and additional admissions statements
  • Two professional letters of recommendation
  • Current resume
  • TOEFL Scores (if applicable)
  • Application fee of $135 for domestic applicants or $155 for international applicants
  • GRE or GMAT scores (optional)

Admissions Requirements

Applications are evaluated holistically on a combination of prior academic performance, work experience, essays, letters of recommendation, and goals that are a good fit for the program. The UC Berkeley School of Information seeks students with the academic abilities to meet the demands of a rigorous graduate program. To be eligible for the online master’s programs, you must meet the following requirements:

A bachelor’s degree

You should have a superior scholastic record — normally well above a 3.0 GPA. The recognized equivalent to a bachelor’s degree is also accepted, if earned from an accredited institution.

Many schools issue transcripts electronically, either through their own web services or through vendors. If this option is available through the institutions you attended, please specify that your transcript(s) be sent to the address below as this will expedite the delivery of your transcript(s) and the completion of your application.

Cybersecurity (MICS):
Data Science (MIDS):

Please do not send physical documents. Documents mailed to us will NOT be returned. If the institution you attended does not issue transcripts electronically, please contact your admissions counselor.

A high level of quantitative ability

This should be demonstrated by at least one of the following qualifications:

  • Work experience that demonstrates your quantitative abilities
  • Academic coursework that demonstrates quantitative aptitude

A problem-solving mindset

A high level of analytical reasoning ability and a problem-solving mindset as demonstrated in academic and/or professional performance.

A working knowledge of fundamental concepts

For the MIDS program, this includes knowledge of data structures, algorithms and analysis of algorithms, and linear algebra. Applicants who lack this experience in their academic or work background but meet all other requirements for admission will be asked to complete a bridge course before enrolling in the Applied Machine Learning course.

For the MICS program, this includes an understanding of – or, a proven aptitude for and commitment to learning – data structures and discrete mathematics which can be demonstrated by at least one of the following qualifications:

  • Completed coursework in data structures and discrete mathematics.
  • Work experience that demonstrates understanding of data structures and discrete mathematics.
  • Proven technical aptitude, demonstrated by high level technical work experience or academic coursework.
  • Proven commitment to learning concepts, demonstrated by review of MICS self-assessment and preparatory resources, and clear indication in application of progress made towards gaining this foundational knowledge.

The ability to communicate effectively

This should be demonstrated by at least one of the following qualifications:

  • Academic performance
  • Professional experience
  • Strong essays that demonstrate effective communication skills

Programming proficiency

MIDS: Proficiency in programming languages, such as Python or Java, should be demonstrated by prior work experience or advanced coursework. Applicants who lack this experience in their academic or work background are encouraged to take the Introduction to Data Science Programming course in their first term. Students who feel they have sufficient knowledge may take the waiver exam to waive this course. 

MICS: Knowledge of at least one, and ideally two, programming languages, such as C, C++, Python, Java, Javascript, or machine/assembly language as demonstrated by work experience or coursework. Applicants who lack this experience in their academic or work background are encouraged to take the Programming Fundamentals for Cybersecurity course in their first term. Students may opt-in or out of this course.

Test scores

A Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System Academic (IELTS) score is required for some applicants. To qualify for a TOEFL/IELTS exemption, you must fulfill one of the following criteria: 

  • Have a basic degree from a recognized institution in a country where the official language is English.
  • Have completed a basic or advanced degree at an institution in the United States or a United States institution abroad, where the language of instruction is English, and the institution is accredited by one of the United States regional accrediting agencies.
  • Have completed at least one year of full-time academic coursework with grades of B or better at a regionally accredited institution within the United States.

If you do not meet the exemption criteria mentioned above, you are required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score. 

If you have any questions about this requirement, please get in touch with us.

Not required: As of Fall 2020, we have eliminated the GRE/GMAT requirement. We recommend you put your time and effort towards the required application materials. Read more about our decision to drop the GRE/GMAT requirement.

Test Codes

TestCode/DeptValid For
5 years
5 years
18 months
18 months

1Test Report Form must be sent directly from IELTS arrow_upwardReturn to footnote reference

Frequently Asked Questions

For any questions, please download and read our FAQ (PDF, 218kb).

Get Started

Contact an Admissions Counselor today with any questions, or fill out a brief form to request more information.

Request Information