Admissions Blog

Do I need to take the TOEFL?

To qualify for a TOEFL exemption you must:

 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 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 course work with a grade B or better at a regionally accredited* institution within the United States.

* Regionally accredited college or university means an institution of higher education accredited by one of the following regional accreditation associations in the United States:

• Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
• New England Association of Schools and Colleges
• North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
• Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges
• Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
• Western Association of Schools and Colleges

There are two standardized tests you may take: the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

Please note: If an applicant meets our TOEFL exemption, it will not be reflected on the online application. Only the Graduate Division can determine if the applicant is exempt from taking the TOEFL. This is determined at the time he or she is recommended for admission.

Questions about the application Part III

FAQ in the GSPP inbox

In the "Certification of Financial Support" section of the application, international students are directed to upload any certification of financial support. What does this mean?

In the past, international students inquired about where they should upload bank statements as proof of financial support for school. Uploading documents is optional.

FLAS Fellowship Information

• How long does Berkeley store GRE scores? 

Five years.

• I'm an international student. How can I secure an application fee waiver?

Fee waivers are only for U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Unfortunately there are no fee waiver options for international applicants.

Questions about the application Part II

FAQ in the GSPP inbox

• Is there a page limit on the Resume/CV?

We do not have a page limit, but most tend to be between two to five pages in length. We advise students to be detailed and expansive.

• Does GSPP have a GRE department code?

No. As long as you listed the correct institution code for Berkeley (4833), the Goldman School will be able to retrieve your scores.

• Can I submit my application before letters of recommendation are complete?

Yes. Letters may arrive up to 14 days after the application deadline.

• How do I delete a recommender from my application?

Once you send the invitation link to a recommender in the application, neither you nor the Admissions Office will be able to delete the recommender.

Questions about the application?

FAQ in the GSPP inbox

Are we required to write two or three statements?

Two: The Policy Statement of Purpose and the Personal History Statement. The section in the application titled Statement of Purpose is a standard field on all UCB graduate applications that we're unable to edit, so we include the Policy Statement of Purpose field to include GSPP specific instructions. For GSPP, we ask that you upload the same essay for the Statement of Purpose and Policy Statement of Purpose fields.​

Is there a page length requirement for the Personal History Statement?

There is no page length requirement for the Personal History Statement. However, this essay is generally 1-2 pages, double-spaced.

Is there a Master in Public Policy/Master of City Planning concurrent degree program?

GSPP does not have an approved concurrent degree program with the City Planning department.  If you want to obtain the MPP, you could apply and if you are admitted, then you could complete the second degree, however, you would not save any time.  You could alternate years between courses for the MPP and courses for the MCP.

• I'm taking the GRE after November 20th. Will GSPP receive my scores?

In order for your scores to arrive by the application deadline, the Goldman School recommends that you take the GRE no later than November 20, however you may take the exam as late as the first week of December 2013. If the exam is taken after this date, we can not guarantee that your application will be considered for admission. The specific deadline for the Fall 2014 admissions cycle is December 5, 2013. Other pieces of your application (i.e. transcripts, letters of recommendation - including electronic letters of recommendation, GRE scores etc) may arrive up to 14 days after the application deadline.

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Admissions Info Session

Dean Henry E. Brady

For those that missed the October 28th Admissions Info Session, please be sure to check out Dean Henry Brady speak about the Master in Public Policy Program and what makes GSPP one of the nation’s premier graduate institutions for education and research on the most pressing contemporary policy problems in American society and throughout the world.


Applying to the MPP program this Fall?

Important Tips for the Prospective Applicant

• MPP Application Deadline: December 5th, 2013

• Start your application On Line:

• Request your letters of recommendation early

• Write your Statement of Purpose and have others review it...

Contact GSPP's Student Group- SCIPP

Review our Admissions FAQ’s

• Attend an Admissions Event: Monday, October 28, 2013-

Click here for the Agenda and RSVP

• Plan a Visit to GSPP… contact our Visit Coordinator

• Questions? Contact us at

Thinking about Policy School?

What can you do NOW to prepare?

With the start of a new year, it’s never too early to begin thinking about what you can do to prepare for graduate school.  The following are three important steps that one should take to be ready and ensure graduate school success.

Step #1: Evaluate goals and research programs

We strongly encourage applicants to take time to determine if the MPP is the right fit.  Our admissions committee seeks to admit the very best, brightest, and most diverse applicants who are unequivocally ready and have set the MPP as their #1 educational goal. Graduate school should not be a second or third option as it is a full-time investment requiring significant time, energy, and financial resources. Therefore, applicants should take time to think deeply about what motivates and inspires them to pursue an MPP degree. Consider what kind of impact you want to have in the world, and how is an MPP degree going to help you achieve your professional goals?   Are you excited and ready for the rigorous academic training? Does your academic background and experience showcase your commitment to the field of public policy?  If not, then how can you articulate or gain the experience and background to be a competitive applicant?  Your answers to these questions will help you determine if the MPP is the right fit for you, and they should also prompt you to conduct further research on our program.

Read more