Application Instructions

General instructions

  • All applications must be submitted online. Submit the online application for graduate admissions.
  • Calculate your Advanced GPA. See below for instructions and GPA calculator link.
  • Upload the required Supporting Documents (Transcripts, Letters of Recommendation, Advanced GPA worksheet, GRE scores, and TOEFL scores) to the Graduate Division application above. Review the links on the online application for specific instructions.
  • Everything must be submitted online. Do not send the department paper documentation (except IELTS scores).
  • We suggest that you do not wait until the deadline date to submit your application; submitting your application early will allow you time to deal with any issues, such as technical (computer) difficulties, missing documentation, etc.

CEE Academic Affairs Office: communications and notifications

  • Berkeley Graduate Division will verify receipt of your application via the online application. Once completed, a new page will be prompted with your application status. If it does not say "submitted" on your status page, then your application submission is incomplete. CEE cannot accept applications submitted after the deadline.
  • During December-February, the Academic Affairs Office (AAO) checks applications for completeness. Check your application status via the Graduate Division online application to see if any documents are missing.
  • Read our Admissions, Application instructions, and FAQ for the answer to your questions. AAO staff are unable to answer detailed questions regarding individual applications. We are dedicated to processing your application information in preparation for review by the Admissions Committee. We can do this more efficiently if not interrupted unnecessarily.

Special deadlines for concurrent degree program applicants

Structural Engineering and Architecture (MArch/MS) Dec. 16, 2019
Transportation Engineering and City and Regional Planning (MCP/MS) Dec. 16, 2019
Environmental Engineering and Public Policy (MPP/MS) Dec. 2, 2019

Proposed degree program

Within CIV & ENV ENGR select your degree goal:

  • CIV & ENV ENGR (MEng)
  • CIV & ENV ENGR (PhD)

The Master of Science (MS) emphasizes technical skills  The Master of Engineering (MEng) is designed as a stand-alone, professional degree emphasizing leadership skills. See Degrees.

Applicants whose ultimate degree goal is the PhD should indicate this on their application by marking PhD as the degree goal; the MS will be earned along the way. Applicants who already have an MS degree from another institution should apply directly to the PhD program.

First preference

Select one:

  • Systems (SYS)
  • Energy, Civil Infrastructure and Climate (ECIC)
  • Engineering & Project Management (EPM)
  • Environmental Engineering (ENV) (see Sub Emphasis below)
  • GeoSystems  (GEO)
  • Structural Engineering, Mechanics & Materials (SEMM)(see Sub Emphasis below)
  • Transportation Engineering (TRN)

Second preference

Environmental and Structural Engineering applicants should use the "Sub Emphasis" field to list one of the following sub-areas:

Environmental Engineering:

  • Air Quality Engineering (AQE)
  • Water Quality Engineering (WQE)
  • Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Hydrology (FMH)

Structural Engineering, Mechanics & Materials:

  • Structural Design (SD)
  • Structural Analysis (SA)
  • Structural Mechanics (SME)
  • Structural Materials (SMA)

Concurrent Degree applicants

Select the correct dual program in “Major”. The Concurrent Degree programs are listed below. If you would like to pursue a different emphasis within one of the 3 programs, contact the Academic Affairs Office at or 510-643-6640.

  • Public Policy and Civil and Environmental Engineering (MPP/MS with an Environmental emphasis)
  • Architecture and Civil and Environmental Engineering (MArch/MS with a Structural emphasis)
  • City and Regional Planning and Civil and Environmental Engineering (MCP/MS with a Transportation emphasis)

Personal information

If you are a US citizen or permanent resident and want to be classified as a resident for tuition purposes:

  • You must have established your continuous presence in California more than 1 year immediately preceding the residence determination date for the semester during which you propose to attend the University.
  • You must have given up any previous residence.
  • You must present objective evidence that you intend to make California your permanent home.
  • See Office of the Registrar for complete residency information. High school graduates from California may also qualify.

Language proficiency

  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of international applicants (including US citizens) who received their undergraduate degree in countries in which the official language is not English. 
  • Scores may not be older than 2 years. For applications for Fall 2020, tests taken before June 2018 will not be accepted. Take the TOEFL by the end of November 2019 at the latest.
  • Graduate Division requires an official score report from ETS. (UC Berkeley's institution code is 4833. CEE's department code is 65.) Make sure an official report is sent in time to meet the CEE deadline: December 16, 2019.
  • Applicants with a TOEFL* score below 570 paper test or 230 CBT or 90/120 iBT will not be admitted. CEE must receive the official TOEFL score report showing that this requirement has been met before an application can be reviewed.  
  • International applicants who are offered Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) positions are required to pass the iBT speaking section with a minimum score of 26. For applicants who have taken earlier versions of the TOEFL, the Test of Spoken English (TSE) can be submitted in lieu of the iBT with a minimum score of 50. For those who cannot take the iBT or TSE, the SPEAK test will be required (given at Berkeley) with a passing score of 50. An international student must pass one of these tests before the GSI appointment and duties can begin, prior to the start of the semester.  
  • See requirements for domestic and international applicants.
  • IELTS* scores must have a minimum of 7 out of 9 for admission.  *Note: The minimum requirement is not necessarily a competitive score.

Department codes

  • The UC Berkeley code is 4833
  • For the GRE, the department code is: 1102
  • For the TOEFL, the department code is: 65

Exam scores

  • CEE requires all applicants to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test. This requirement cannot be waived or substituted with another test. GRE scores for tests taken before October 2015 will not be accepted for applications for admittance in Fall 2020.
  • The codes for UC Berkeley for the GRE are below. It is not required that you submit the department code, just the institution code.
    • Institution Code:4833
    • Department Code:1102
  • Take the GRE no later than the end of November to make sure that CEE receives your official score report by December 16, 2019.
  • An official score report is required. CEE will accept official scores from computer-based tests or paper-based tests. CEE does not require a GRE subject test and there is no minimum score requirement.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

  • If you received your undergraduate degree at a US university or college then calculate your Undergraduate Advanced GPA using all coursework towards the degree after the first two years.
  • If you received your undergraduate degree outside the US, then have all coursework calculated on the system used in your country. We do not convert international GPAs to the US system.
    • If your cumulative GPA is not printed on your transcript, you need to enter all your credits and grades on our International GPA calculator and then upload the document to your online application.

Personal statements

  • Fill out the Statement of Purpose and the Personal History Statement concisely. The Statement of Purpose should reflect your degree goal while the Personal History should reflect on your experiences. Do not send in a hard copy of the statement of purpose or personal history after submitting it online.
  • The Statement of Purpose should not exceed 2 typed pages, single-spaced, font size 12. The Personal History Statement should not exceed 2 typed pages, single-spaced, font size 12.


  • Letters of recommendation are to be submitted online.
  • A minimum of 3 letters of recommendation are required for admission.
  • On the Letter of Recommendation page of the online application you will be prompted to fill in your recommender's information. After completing all required fields, make sure to click the "invite" button to notify each recommender.
  • Through your status page in the online application you will be able to check if a recommendation has been submitted. You will also be able to send reminder emails to the recommenders that have not yet submitted.
  • The deadline for recommendations to be submitted is December 16, 2019.

Academic interests

  • Faculty Contact: You are not required to list the faculty whom you have contacted. 
  • Faculty Interest: If you are applying to the MS/PhD or PhD program, it is required that you list the faculty in the research program (Civil Systems; Energy, Civil Infrastructure and Climate; Engineering & Project Management; Environmental Engineering; GeoSystems (or Geoengineering); Structural Engineering, Mechanics & Materials; or Transportation Engineering) to which you are applying.
  • Master's applicants are not required to list faculty whose research is of particular interest.

Fellowship application: domestic students

  • It is strongly suggested that you fill out the domestic fellowship page regardless of your financial needs.
  • If you are a US citizen or permanent resident, you must complete the Domestic Fellowship Application in order to be considered for multi-year University Graduate Fellowships, Departmental Block Grant Fellowships, Diversity Fellowships, and Graduate Opportunity Program (GOP) Awards.
  • To be considered for any of these awards, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The 2020-2021 FAFSA may be submitted online before October 1, 2019. 
  • When completing the Domestic Fellowship Application section on resources for the coming academic year, provide your best estimate of your summer gross earnings. In the "other income" section, only list fellowships that have already been awarded to you. For additional living expenses, give your best estimate for the coming academic year.
  • To apply for fellowships, no special CEE department application is needed.
  • To be considered for Restricted Fellowship Endowments you must be a US citizen or permanent resident and complete endowment criteria on the Domestic Fellowship Application.
  • An estimate of living expenses while attending Berkeley can be found at Graduate Division’s Cost and Fees.

Need-based financial aid

  • Graduate students may apply for need-based loans and work-study through Financial Aid and Scholarships. Only US citizens and permanent residents may apply for funds administered by this office. The programs are based on demonstrated financial need and require a separate application, independent of the fellowship application. Low-income students with dependent children will be considered for need-based grant awards if funding permits.
  • The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office will use the Student Budget for the initial calculation of your eligibility for various programs. If, after reviewing your official offer of financial aid, you decide that your actual expenses are higher, you may then file a budget addendum for those expenses, such as medical bills, child care, or research expenses. These extra costs will then be taken into account to increase your loan eligibility. Your eligibility for any federal financial aid program is determined by comparing your resources to your budget. You can find the addendum at Financial Aid and Scholarships.
  • Questions about financial aid should be directed to Financial Aid and Scholarships, Cal Student Central, 120 Sproul Hall #1960, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-1960, 510-664-9181.

Fellowship application: international students

  • It is strongly suggested that you fill out the international fellowships page in the application regardless of your financial needs.
  • If you need a visa to come to Berkeley, then you must fill out the Fellowship Application for International Students. To receive a US student visa, international students are required to document their financial support for their studies in the US. Once admitted to the University, you will be informed of your required minimum annual budget for visa purposes and must be prepared to document financial resources equal to or greater than this budget.
  • The University will not issue a visa to you unless you provide the international student advisor with clear evidence of your ability to pay all required fees and expenses for the first year. You should also indicate the sources of funding you are likely to have available for the remainder of your program. American embassies and consulates will not grant you a student visa unless you can provide proof of adequate funding for the first year and probable support for subsequent years. Spouses on F-2 visas are not permitted to accept employment.
  • University resources for international students are very limited. US Federal regulations require that international students be able to demonstrate sufficient financial support for their studies in the US before a student visa (F or J) may be issued for entry into the US.The purpose of this budget is not to create obstacles, but to meet the requirement of the regulations and to ensure that international students coming to Berkeley are adequately prepared for the expenses they will face as a student here.
  • For 2018-2019, the University estimates that you would need a minimum of $78,930 for the 12-month period. It does not include professional school fees or additional living expenses for a spouse or child. This estimate includes fees for 2 semesters and for basic living expenses, books, and other school supplies. Married students should bring an additional $7,000 if accompanied by a spouse and $4,000 for each accompanying child. Opportunities for employment are severely limited, and students holding a student visa (F-1) should not expect to be employed in non-academic positions. Spouses and children on dependents' visas (F-2) are not permitted to accept employment.

See the Graduate Division’s Fees and Expenses for International Students for more information.

Do not upload financial bank statements with your application documents. We do suggest that you upload funding source documents such as fellowship recipient letters or letters from an employer stating their potential funding.

More information about financial and visa regulations and budget considerations can be obtained from Services for International Students and Scholars, International House, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-2321, or e-mail

Fellowships for non-US citizens

If you are not a US citizen or permanent resident, you must complete the Fellowship Application for International Students to be considered for multi-year University Graduate Fellowships, Departmental Block Grant Fellowships, and Restricted Fellowship Endowments. Note: Funds are limited.

GSI, GSR, Reader appointments

  • Graduate Student Instructors (GSI) and Graduate Student Researchers (GSR) are selected by the admissions committee of the Program to which they have applied. Applicants are notified in their admission letters if they have been selected for an assistantship.
  • Applicants not selected for an assistantship at the time of admissions are still eligible to apply for GSI, GSR, and Reader positions. They will be selected based on qualifications. See Finances.  
  • International applicants who are offered GSI positions are required to pass the iBT speaking section with a minimum score of 26. For applicants who have taken earlier versions of the TOEFL, the Test of Spoken English (TSE) can be submitted in lieu of the iBT with a minimum score of 50.  For those who cannot take the iBT or TSE, the SPEAK test will be required. The SPEAK test is given at UC Berkeley, and a passing score is 50. An international student must pass one or these tests before the GSI appointment and duties can begin, prior to the start of the semester.
  • See Graduate Division's Graduate Services: Academic Appointments.


  • Official transcripts from all institutions after high school are required to be uploaded to the Graduate Division online application. We will not accept Degree Audit Reports.
  • Each transcript should be 1 PDF (not a PDF for every page unless the document exceeds 10MB)
  • Note: make sure that your name and the university name is on the transcript that you upload into the application.
  • For International applicants: Please make sure you upload transcripts in both English and the native language of your university along with any certificates and diplomas.
  • Only if you are admitted will you be required to send an official paper transcript to the Graduate Division. They will request an official transcript within your first semester of graduate work.
  • For security purposes, it is vital that students conceal any social security numbers or dates of birth on their transcript before they are uploaded. Transcripts with visible social security numbers will be deleted from your application, and will need to be uploaded again. This is for your own security.

Pay application fee

You may skip this step if you have an approved application fee waiver.

  • Before submitting your online application, you will be prompted to pay the application fee using a major credit card.  The application fee is not refundable.
    • US applicants pay a $105 fee. International applicants pay a $125 fee.

Fee waiver

If you are a US citizen or permanent resident and can demonstrate financial need, you may be eligible for a waiver of the application fee. International applicants are not eligible to have the application fee waived. If your fee waiver is not approved, you are still responsible to pay the application fee.

Application results

  • We e-mail acceptance and denial of admission notification letters to applicants beginning in February. All applicants will receive an e-mail notification by the end of April. Admission to Berkeley CEE is extremely competitive, and we are unable to admit all qualified applicants.
  • If your application is successful, the admissions officer of the CEE Program you have applied to will notify you that you have been recommended for admission. Only the Dean of the Graduate Division can offer admission and will send the official admission letter. You have not been officially admitted until you have received the official admission letter from the Dean. Therefore you must respond quickly to any inquiries from the Graduate Division.
  • We cannot disclose admissions decisions over the phone.
  • Funding decisions are made between February-April with a second wave from April- May.

Statement of Intent to Register (SIR)

The admission letter to new (including reactivating) graduate students contains a Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) that must be submitted online. Only the submission of the SIR to the Graduate Admissions Office indicating an intention to register will reserve the registration slot allocated to you. If you decline the offer of admission, complete the SIR online declining our offer as soon as possible so that others may have a chance at admission.


If you have applied for admission within the past 2 years but have not registered, you may reactivate your application via the online application for graduate admissions by the established deadline. 

Reactivating applicants must:

  • Upload supplementary or updated transcripts covering any academic work and/or degree completed since the last application.
  • Make sure that required standardized test scores are within prescribed time limits. 
  • Your previous letters of recommendation will be on file in the department, but if you believe you need additional or updated letters of recommendation, see that these are sent to the department. (On the online application, you must indicate for what semester and year you have previously submitted an application so we can find your previously submitted documents to complete your current application file.) It is highly recommended that reactivating applicants submit a new Personal Statement. 
  • US citizens who wish to be considered for a fellowship should complete a new Fellowship Application for Domestic Students. International applicants must complete a new Fellowship Application for International Students. 
  • All applicants must submit the $105 (or $125 for international applicants) fee payment with each reactivation of an application.

A previous offer of admission does not guarantee admission at a later time. Your new application and the required supplementary materials listed above will be reviewed along with those of all other applicants for the current application period.