Applications to join the 2021-2022 cohort closed on Jan. 6th 2021. The next admissions cycle will open in September 2021.
Though we do not have a rolling application process, it is always best to apply as early as you can. That way, if there are errors, you will still have time to correct them. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted. Supporting data such as recommendation letters and TOEFL scores should arrive no later than the indicated deadline for the application. You will not be informed if your application is submitted late–it simply will not be processed.
Admissions decisions are released in early March. Applicants who are admitted will begin their program in mid-August.
Application Checklist (please see detailed instructions below)
- The Graduate Application for Admission and Fellowships (online)
- Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
- Additional materials (if needed)
- Unofficial Transcripts (submitted online)
- Conversion of GPA (for International Students Only)
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Official Scores (for international students only)
- Application Fee
Applications that are incomplete at the time of review will not be competitive for admission. Making sure an application is complete is solely the responsibility of the applicant and should be done in a timely manner.
The application process is ENTIRELY ONLINE. Please DO NOT mail copies of the Statement of Purpose, TOEFL scores, publications, resumes, transcripts or recommendation letters. Directions for submitting the recommendation letters online are included below. Any supplemental data, such as publications, resumes, and homepages, should be submitted by including the URLs in the confirmation e-mail you will receive about a week after submitting your online application. All applications must be submitted through the Berkeley campus’ online application site for graduate admissions. Please take care to ensure all email addresses, including your own, are entered correctly.
The minimum admissions requirements are set by the UC Berkeley Graduate Division. Applicants from countries in which the official language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency (refer to the TOEFL section below for full details).
The MTM program has additional requirements described here and on the Admissions FAQ page.
Admissions decisions are based on a comprehensive reading of the application including test scores, academics, essays, letters of recommendation, and prior research and work experience. Students from all educational fields are eligible to apply. All applicants should be aware that the masters curriculum requires coursework in bioengineering fundamentals; those with a non-technical background should speak to their ability to handle the more rigorous technical components of the coursework. Applicants who already hold a masters degree in bioengineering (or a similar field) should specify their reasons for pursuing this additional masters; duplicate degrees are not allowed.
Please note: the MTM program is focused specifically on training in translational medicine rather than basic research. As such, this master’s degree is generally intended as a terminal degree for students interested in industry or entrepreneurial ventures. It is not intended as a gateway to the Bioengineering joint-PhD program. Applicants who intend to pursue additional degrees beyond the MTM program should be prepared to explain their intended educational trajectory.
Note that GRE scores are no longer required for the MTM application.
Be sure to also read the Admissions FAQ page for additional details.
- The Graduate Application for Admission and Fellowships has several sections, including two essays. Common questions about the application are answered below. The deadline to submit your applications occurs the first week in January. When starting your application, this program is listed as “Translational Medicine (joint with UCSF).”
- With regards to California residency, please provide a self assessment based on UC Berkeley’s Residency Office’s criteria. Note that if you enroll at the University, the official determination of residency will be made by the Office of the Registrar.
- Participation in the Ethnic Survey portion of the application is voluntary. We do encourage US Citizens and Permanent Residents to respond, since the data is used by the department for various purposes, including determining eligibility for financial support. International applicants should not complete the Ethnic Survey.
- Both essays, the Statement of Purpose and the Personal History Statement are required of all applicants. These must be two separate essays – do not submit the same essay twice. Refer to the “Tips for Application Essays” section below for additional help with the essays.
- if you want to be considered for any kind of financial aid, US Citizens and Permanent Residents should complete the Fre Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA) https://studentaid.gov/.
- Letters of Recommendation. Letters of recommendation must be submitted electronically through the Online Application. Do not send hard copies or have them sent. Within the application you will be asked to provide the name, institution, and email address for each of your desired recommenders. These recommenders will then receive an automated e-mail providing them a private URL address at which to submit their recommendation. The URL will accept text and PDF documents. Because our letter process accepts text and PDF documents, your recommenders can write their letters in advance of your application and load them when the automated e-mail arrives. Applicants will receive an e-mail acknowledgement for every letter submitted electronically. Recommendation letters should arrive no later than the application deadline. You should submit your recommenders’ info as early as possible so that they will have ample time to upload their materials before the deadline. NOTE: If you are using a letter service, please provide the name and institution of your recommender, but list an appropriate email address for the letter service itself. The letter service will then submit the recommendations on behalf of your recommenders. A few tips are included below:
- Be sure you have provided correct contact information for your recommenders.
- Additional letters are not necessarily helpful. Three strong letters is much better than thee strong letters and one mediocre or bad letter.
- It can be a good idea to ask your recommenders if they can write you a good, detailed letter. The best letters gauge your ability and potential for research and graduate study, often citing examples from the recommender’s own experiences with you.
- The strongest letters often come from professionals who have supervised you in a relevant research/work experience such as the Primary Investigator (PI) of a lab in which you conducted research or a manager from a previous internship or job.
- Additional Materials (if applicable). You may upload additional documents to your application in PDF format, if desired. Examples include:
- Poster presentations or publications
- Please note that these are not required and should only be added if they are an important component of your application.
- Transcripts. Please upload unofficial transcripts from each college or university you have attended. Applicants who studied outside the United States in non-English speaking institutions must upload the English translated transcripts. Uploaded files must be in PDF format and no larger than 8 MB. Please make sure that your social security number (SSN) does not appear on your transcript (if it does, black it out before uploading the document). (Please note that even if you have not yet finished your coursework when you apply, we still require a current transcript from you. All admitted applicants we be asked to submit a final official transcript showing the degree awarded to complete our records.
- GPA Conversion. If you attended an international university, you need to convert your grades to the 4.0 system. To assist you in the conversion off your GPA please visit the gpa conversion page. If you are admitted to the program, you will need to have your grades professionally converted. One such service is World Education Services, and you are certainly encouraged to submit their report along with your application
- TOEFL – All applicants from countries in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. The TOEFL requirement is set by the University and the MTM program cannot grant exceptions to this. Please see the Graduate Division website for the authoritative requirements; they are repeated here for your convenience, but in the case of discrepancy, we will defer to the graduate division. This requirement applies to applicants from Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, Israel, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and non-English-speaking countries in Africa. 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. Note that this exception applies only to U.S. Universities, and does not apply to English-speaking Universities in other countries. Applicants must receive a score of at least 570 on the written test. The minimum score for Next Generation TOEFL (iBT) is 90. It is advised to take the TOEFL at least 60 days prior to the deadline. Inquiries about the TOEFL can be made at http://www.toefl.org or at firstname.lastname@example.org. The institution code for Berkeley is 4833. There is no Department code for the TOEFL. Please note that if you send the tests with the wrong department code, we will still receive the scores electronically from ETS. Even with the wrong code, if all of the other information is correct, we will be able to match up your scores to your application. You must also include your 8-digit TOEFL registration number (do not include leading zeros) on your application in order for your scores to be matched. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is also acceptable. The minimum acceptable score is 7 on your most recent exam. The oldest acceptable score is June 1, 2015. More information about IELTS can be found at http://www.ielts.org. You must also include your IELTS registration number on your application in order for your scores to be matched. Lastly, please keep in mind that ETS sends us test scores twice a month electronically, so even if you’ve received them, it does not mean that we have. Because this is the case, it’s a good idea to take the tests as early as possible in advance.
- Application Fee. You must submit an application fee when you apply. The application fee is not refundable. If you are a U.S. citizen or current permanent resident, the application fee is $80; for all others, the fee is $100. Fees are subject to change. When you apply online, you may pay the fee by credit card. If you submit a check or money order, it must be drawn on a United States bank and should be made payable to “UC Regents.” Do not submit UNESCO coupons, traveler’s checks, international postal money orders, Eurocheques, or cash. We do not accept electronic funds transfers.
Applicants offered admission will typically be notified by late March or early April for the fall semester. Applicants who are not offered admission will be notified by the program as the admissions committee makes their decisions.
If the MTM program is your preferred choice for graduate study, we encourage you to apply. However, you should be aware that the admissions process is very competitive. For the fall 2019 term, we had over 150 applications for approximately 30 available slots. Those offered admission program had average GPAs of 3.64 (4.00 scale).
The estimated tuition and fees for the MTM program can be found on the MTM estimated fees page. All applicants who are interested in receiving financial aid (scholarships, loans, etc.) must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or a California Dream Act application (if applicable). When completing the form, applicants must include BOTH UC Berkeley (federal school code 001312) and UCSF (federal school code 001319) on the application. International applicants who do not have a Social Security Number (SSN) are exempt from completing a FAFSA. Applicants may be asked to complete additional specialized financial questionnaires during the admissions process.
Our program assembled this Guide to Financing your MTM degree, where we provide a broad set of resources and hubs to explore.
Although we do not have a rolling admissions cycle, applying early is always a good idea. Applying early allows more time to correct problems such as missing transcripts, test scores, etc. As the application deadline approaches we receive numerous inquiries about application status, resulting in delays in responding. Your patience during this time is appreciated.
Also, it’s a good idea to take the TOEFL as early as possible, if applicable. It may up to a month to get the scores to us.
Online Application Advice
- Check all email addresses twice before you submit the application, including your own. Any mistyped addresses make it difficult to contact you and/or your recommenders.
- Do not transpose your name when entering this information. Transposed information will slow processing.
Tips for Application Essays
The Online Application has several sections, including two essays, the Personal History Statement and the Statement of Purpose. Please note that these essays are very important to the application process and should be taken seriously. They should also be two separate essays.
The Personal History Statement asks: Please describe how your personal background and experiences inform your decision to pursue a graduate degree. Specifically, your essay should explain how your past experiences and educational pathway have led you to pursue a master’s degree in translational medicine. In this section you may also include information on how you have overcome barriers to access higher education, evidence of how you have come to understand the barriers faced by others, evidence of your academic service to advance equitable access to higher education for women, racial minorities, and individuals from other groups that have been historically underrepresented in higher education, evidence of your research focusing on underserved populations or related issues of inequality, or evidence of your leadership among such groups. Brevity is appreciated – no more than two pages (500-600 words is generally optimal).
The Statement of Purpose asks: Please describe your aptitude and motivation for graduate study in your area of specialization (i.e., translational medicine), including your preparation for this field of study, your academic plans or research interests in your chosen area of study, and your future career goals. Please be specific about why UC Berkeley/UCSF would be a good intellectual fit for you, and be sure to explain how the MTM program will help you to achieve your long-term goals. Brevity is appreciated – no more than two pages (500-600 words is generally optimal).
Once You Apply
Keep in mind the following advice: please be patient. You will receive email updates on your application status as your materials are received.
Our admissions committee begins their review immediately after the application deadline. If your submitted application is incomplete (e.g. missing any critical information such as recommendation letters, test scores, etc.) at that time, the committee may review your application in its incomplete state. We do understand that there are sometimes delays with the receipt of recommendation letters and test scores; the admissions committee will take this into consideration if these materials are missing at the time of their initial review, but it is in your best interest to have all materials submitted by the deadline. You can check your application status yourself at the application website.
Please see our Career Center’s web pages on applying to graduate school.