5th Year MIDS Admissions

Next start date:
Summer 2021

Early Application Deadline:
November 4, 2020, 8:59 pm PST
(Application fees waived!)

Final Application Deadline:
March 4, 2021, 8:59 pm PST

We welcome students from a diverse set of backgrounds; some will be technically educated, some educated in the humanities and social sciences. Our goal each year is to bring in a talented class of students with a broad range of academic and professional backgrounds.

All application materials must be received by the deadline, including letters of recommendation, admissions essays, resume, and transcripts. 

Apply Now


Admissions Requirements

  • For Summer 2021, we welcome applications from UC Berkeley seniors who have graduated or will graduate in Summer 2020, Fall 2020, or Spring 2021.
  • Completion of UC Berkeley bachelor's degree prior to beginning the program, with grades received in the final term at a similar or higher level of excellence as previous terms
  • A high level of analytical reasoning ability and a problem-solving mindset as demonstrated by academic and/or professional performance
  • A working knowledge of fundamental concepts including: object-oriented programming, data structures, algorithms and analysis of algorithms, and linear algebra
  • The ability to communicate effectively as demonstrated by academic performance, professional experience, and/or well-written application essays.
  • Superior scholastic record, normally well above a 3.2 GPA

Application Requirements

(1) Statement of Purpose

The Statement of Purpose should describe your relevant academic and professional experience and accomplishments, your future professional goals once the degree is acquired, and why you are drawn to the 5th Year MIDS program and believe it would be a good fit for you and your goals.

The focus should be on your preparation, experience, and aims rather than a discussion of the trends or the importance of data science in general. The most successful statements are 1–2 pages in length and focus on the strengths, experiences, and fit of the applicant, providing the admissions committee with evidence and justification for admitting those applicants who are qualified and well-suited for the I School.

(2) Two Short Answer Essays

Short Answer Essay 1 should answer the question: Discuss a time when you used data to make a decision or to solve a problem; explain your decision-making process from beginning to end. Make sure to choose an example and to describe it in such a way that clearly illustrates your analytical and problem-solving abilities. Limit your response to 300 words.

Short Answer Essay 2 should answer the question: To provide the admissions committee with a complete and comprehensive understanding of your background, please use this statement to expand on any personal, professional, and/or academic challenges or hardships you have faced that could provide us with additional insight into the context of the accomplishments and struggles you share in your application. Limit your response to 300 words.

(3) Three Letters of Recommendation

We prefer a mixture of academic and professional letters. Most importantly, your recommenders should be able to provide details about your accomplishments, impact, technical aptitude, leadership skills, personal qualities, and potential for success in and contribution to the 5th Year MIDS program. We recommend that you select individuals with whom you have had considerable interaction. Letters from personal and family friends are inappropriate and can be detrimental to your application.

Recommenders must submit their letters online; please follow the instructions in the online application.

(4) Core Technical Competencies

To be successful in 5th Year MIDS, students must have or acquire proficiency in fundamental data science concepts including object-oriented programming, data structures, algorithms and analysis of algorithms, and linear algebra. Admitted students who lack a working knowledge of these fundamental concepts will be required to complete applicable coursework in their first term. Please see degree requirements for additional details.

On the 5th Year MIDS program page of the application, you will find the Core Technical Competencies section. Please make sure to describe in detail: your level of proficiency, how you acquired these skills, and if applicable, the class(es) you took and the grade(s) you received. 

(5) Current Resumé

Please upload a current resumé, reflecting your academic work and accomplishments, work experience, if applicable, and any other relevant information. We request that resumés be 1–2 pages in length and be in a chronological format. The resumé should be uploaded as a PDF document as part of the online application.

(6) College Transcripts

Please upload unofficial transcripts as PDFs through the online application for all university-level studies you have completed abroad and at U.S. institutions. Please be sure that any classes which are in progress your fall and/or spring semester are reflected on the transcript and/or listed in the Academic History section of your application.

(7) Application Fee

(submitted with the online application)

  • Fee for domestic applicants: $120.
  • Fee for international applicants: $140.

Application fee waived for candidates who apply by the Early Application Deadline (November 4, 2020)


Pursuant to UC Berkeley policy, application essays must be written by the candidate her or himself. For admitted students, application materials must comply with the Code of Student Conduct.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions or for additional guidance at admissions@ischool.berkeley.edu or (510) 664-4742.


Computer Ownership Requirement

We require that students own a computer. No particular configuration or operating system is required. However, students will be expected to complete assignments using office productivity software (e.g., Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, etc.), web browsers, etc., and should own a computer capable of running such software. More specific guidance will be provided upon acceptance to the program.

Sidebar Text

Contact Us

Contact the admissions team with questions about the 5th Year MIDS program or application.

Email: admissions@ischool.berkeley.edu

Telephone: (510) 664-4742

Sign up for more information

Hours: Monday–Friday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm Pacific Time

Connect with Us

If you are considering applying to the 5th Year MIDS program, we encourage you to get to know us better by attending an upcoming webinar, signing up to learn more about 5th Year MIDS, and following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

More Information

5th Year MIDS Class Profile

(Fall 2019 entering class)

Gender

Male 52%
Female 39%
Non-binary 9%

Selected majors

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies
  • Business Administration
  • Cognitive Science
  • Computer Science
  • Data Science
  • Economics
  • Molecular & Cell Biology
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
  • Statistics

Selected Work Experience

  • Operations Analyst, Intel
  • Electronics Mobile Division Intern, Samsung
  • Software Engineer Intern, Tesla
  • Assurance Staff, Ernst & Young
  • Research Assistant, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
  • Undergraduate Student Instructor, EECS

Last updated:

September 18, 2020