Admission Requirements

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.

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 that 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.

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).”

Completing the MTM Application:

    • 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, U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents should complete the Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA). It can be found here: 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 mailed to us. Within the application you’ll 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 they’ll have ample time to upload their materials before the deadline. NOTE: If you’re 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’ve 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’s 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 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’ve not yet finished your coursework when you apply, we still require a current transcript from you. All admitted applicants will 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 of your GPA, please visit the GPA conversion page. If you’re admitted to the program, you’ll need to have your grades professionally converted. One such service is World Education Services, and you’re 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 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’ve 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’s 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 toefl@ets.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’re a U.S. citizen or current permanent resident, the application fee is $135. For all others, the fee is $155. 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.