MIMS Admissions

Next start date:
August 2021

Application Deadline:
January 6, 2021, 8:59 pm PST

The I School’s Master of Information Management and Systems (MIMS) program welcomes 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 about 50 students from a broad range of academic and professional backgrounds.

All application materials must be received by the deadline, including letters of recommendation, transcripts, and essays. The MIMS program does not accept applications for spring term admissions.

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Selection Criteria

The I School receives 350 to 450 applications each year and aims to bring in a class of around 50 students. Applications are evaluated holistically based on a combination of academic performance, work experience, essays, letters of recommendation, and fit. All successful applicants must have statements of purpose that demonstrate goals and interests consistent with the mission of the I School.


Admission Requirements


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 MIMS 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 information 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) Personal History Essay

In addition to describing how your personal background and experiences have influenced your decision to pursue graduate studies, you may also include any relevant information on the following topics:

  • How you have overcome barriers to access higher education
  • How you have come to understand the barriers faced by others
  • Your academic service to advance equitable access to high education for women, racial minorities, and individuals from other groups that have been historically underrepresented in higher education
  • Your research focusing on underserved populations or related issues of inequality
  • Your leadership among such groups

The Personal History essay provides an opportunity for the admissions committee to get to know you better on a personal level, and content should not duplicate what has been shared in the Statement of Purpose. For additional guidance, please review the Graduate Division's Personal Statement Guide.

(3) Short Answer Essay

The Short Answer Essay should answer the following question in 300 words or less. Please be sure this essay demonstrates your quantitative, analytical, and problem-solving abilities, as well as your strong writing skills.

What is the most interesting information problem you have ever solved? Explain why it was interesting and how you solved it.

(4) Three Professional Letters of Recommendation

We prefer that letters come from a current or former recent employer. Select individuals with whom you have had considerable professional interaction such as your supervisor or a major client. The title or status of those you select is not important, what does matter is how closely your recommenders have worked with you and whether they can attest to your value as an employee, your professional accomplishments, and your personal qualities and interpersonal skills in an organizational context. Letters of recommendations from co-workers, someone you have supervised, or 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.

(5) Application Fee

(submitted with the online application)

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

Application Fee Waiver: The I School is pleased to offer application fee waivers to eligible MIMS applicants. Prior to submitting your application, please complete our Application Fee Waiver request form, and we will contact you within 2 business days with further instructions.

(6) TOEFL or IELTS Scores

Applicants who received their degrees in countries other than the U.S., U.K., Australia, or English-speaking Canada are required to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System). This includes applicants with degrees from Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, North Africa, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, and most European countries. Only applicants who have completed a full year of U.S. university-level coursework with a grade of B or better are exempt from this requirement.

For students taking the TOEFL, your most recent score must be at least 90 on the Internet-based version of the TOEFL.

For students taking the IELTS, your most recent score must be at least 7.0 out of 9.0 on the IELTS Academic test.

Submitting Scores

To be valid, the TOEFL or IELTS must have been taken within the past 18 months: for applicants for Fall 2021 admission, test scores taken before June 2019 will not be accepted. Due to recent test center closures as a result of COVID-19, we will accept TOEFL IBT home edition scores. Please have your test scores sent directly to UC Berkeley by the testing authorities prior to application submission, and at the latest, by the application deadline. It may take 10-15 days for official score reports to transfer to our system. For the TOEFL exam, the school code for UC Berkeley is 4833, and the department code for the I School is 99.

Starting in Fall 2021, the UC Berkeley Graduate Division will no longer be accepting paper IELTS Test Report Forms. All IELTS scores must be sent electronically from the testing center; no institution code is required. Here is the Graduate Division's office address for identification purposes: University of California, Berkeley, Graduate Division, Sproul Hall Rm 318, MC 5900, Berkeley, CA 94720.

More information: TOEFL website; IELTS website

(7) Current Resumé

Please upload a current resumé, reflecting your work experience, education, 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.

(8) College Transcripts

As part of the online application, upload copies of the official transcripts or academic records for all university-level studies you have completed abroad and at U.S. institutions. Be sure to include a current transcript from every post-secondary school that you have attended, including community colleges, summer sessions, and extension programs.

Each transcript should be uploaded as a separate PDF document; please refer to the instructions on the online application.

Applicants who completed their undergraduate degree in a recognized academic institution outside the United States are required to upload a copy of their degree conferral certificate. If a degree conferral certificate has not yet been obtained, please upload a provisional certificate. Applicants who have not yet graduated from undergrad are not required to submit a provisional certificate at this time. For specific questions, please contact the School of Information at admissions@ischool.berkeley.edu.

(9) Programming Competency Statement

Info 206A: Introduction to Programming and Computation and Info 206B: Introduction to Data Structures and Analytics are required core courses taken in the first semester of the MIMS program. Students may be waived out of Info 206A during the admissions process if they demonstrate sufficient competency in object-oriented programming. All students are required to take Info206B.

Entering students must have a basic level of skill in object-oriented programming in order to be prepared for this coursework. We require programming skills comparable to those obtained in an introductory level in-person or online programming course in a high-level object-oriented language (e.g., Python, Java, C++). Info 206A and Info 206B use Python, but other languages are acceptable for admission.

Each applicant must submit a Programming Competency Statement. This statement is not a form; it is a document each applicant creates, similar to a resumé. It should list your programming language(s), describe specifically your level of proficiency, and include a brief description of relevant programming courses completed. The statement should be uploaded as a PDF document as part of the online application.

(10) Interview

Some of our MIMS applicants will be invited to interview as part of the application review process. Interviews are by invitation only, and may be requested if the admissions committee has follow-up questions or concerns that an interview could help address or clarify. If you are invited to interview, we recommend that you prepare as you would for a professional business interview. Be ready to discuss your background and your goals. An interview invitation has no reflection on your chances of admission.


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.

Application materials must be received by the application deadline. Applications will be reviewed throughout January and February, and admissions decisions will be released in early March.

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


Test Codes

Test Code/Dept Valid for Acceptable test dates
(for Fall 2021 admission)

GRE

4833/0404

60 months

after October 2015

GMAT

4833

60 months

after October 2015

TOEFL

4833/99

18 months

after June 2019

IELTS

TRF*

18 months

after June 2019

*Test Report Form must be sent directly from IELTS


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.

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Contact Us

Contact the admissions team with questions about the MIMS program or application.

Email: admissions@ischool.berkeley.edu

Telephone: (510) 664-4742

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

MIMS Class Profile

Avg. GPA 3.57
Avg. TOEFL 111
Avg. years of work exp. 5
Avg. age 25
Age range: 21–34

Undergraduate majors include: 

  • Anthropology
  • Architecture
  • Business administration 
  • Computer science
  • Cognitive science 
  • Communications
  • Economics
  • Electrical and computer engineering
  • Environmental analysis
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Psychology
  • Statistics

Common areas of interest include:

  • UX research and design
  • Cybersecurity
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Data analytics
  • Data science
  • Natural language processing
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Product management
  • Public policy
  • Education design

Connect with Us

If you are considering applying to the I School, we encourage you to get to know us better by attending a webinar, signing up to learn more about MIMS, and following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Last updated:

October 1, 2020