MIMS Admissions FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

General Questions

Can I apply for spring admission?
No. The MIMS program accepts applications for fall admission only.

When will admissions decisions be made?
We will send admissions decisions in late February or early March.

I am considering eventually pursuing a Ph.D. Should I apply to the MIMS program first, as preparation for the Ph.D.?
The MIMS program is not intended to serve as preparation for our Ph.D program. The MIMS program is intended to teach the skills necessary for professional practice in various information-related careers; the Ph.D. program, on the other hand, is designed to prepare you for an academic or research career.

What if I have previously applied to the School of Information?
We keep copies of previously submitted transcripts for two years from the date of your previous application; you will still need to submit any new or updated transcripts. We may have copies of previously submitted GRE, GMAT, or TOEFL/IELTS scores submitted within the past 5 years; please email admissions@ischool.berkeley.edu to confirm. You will need to retake the TOEFL/IELTS exam if your exam date now falls outside the acceptable time frame, which is 18 months. We request that applicants submit new letters of recommendation, to reflect the updated status of the application.

Letters of Recommendation

If I submit my letters of recommendation online, do I need to mail hard copies too?
No, the online version of the letter will suffice. Due to COVID-19, we are not currently accepting hard copies.

Can letters of recommendation be received after the application deadline?
All supporting application materials (including test scores and letters of recommendation) must be received by the School no later than the announced deadlines.

Programming Competency (Required of MIMS applicants only)

What is the Programming Competency Statement?
Entering students must have a basic level of skill in object-oriented programming in order to be prepared for MIMS coursework. Each MIMS applicant must submit a Programming Competency Statement describing specifically his/her level of programming proficiency. This statement is not a form; it is a document each applicant creates, similar to a resume. It should list the programming language(s) in which you are proficient, describe your level of skill, and provide a brief description of relevant courses completed. The Programming Competency Statement can be uploaded as part of the online application.

Which programming languages meet this requirement?
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. Programming languages such as Visual Basic, C, and those languages used to implement and enhance database management systems (such as SQL) are not acceptable.

Are specific programming courses required?
No, but it is expected that applicants will have completed at least one introductory level in-person or online object-oriented programming course prior to the start of the MIMS program.

Must candidates submit evidence of programming coursework completion?&p;
It is not necessary to submit any transcripts showing successful completion of an appropriate programming course, but applicants should list in the Programming Competency Statement the name of specific coursework that was completed or that is in progress.


What if I am currently in school or have not completed my degree?
Please send your current transcripts, in advance of the application deadline. Do not wait for the end of the term or until you have completed your degree. If you are admitted, we will follow up and request your final grades.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

Do foreign national applicants who graduated from a university in the U.S. have to take the TOEFL or IELTS?
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 the TOEFL. Instead, you must submit an official transcript from the U.S. university.

How long are TOEFL or IELTS scores valid for admissions purposes?
No more than 18 months may have passed between the TOEFL or IELTS test date and the application deadline. For example, Fall 2021 applicants may not submit test scores taken before June 2019.

Should I include copies of my TOEFL or IELTS scores in my packet of supplemental materials?
No. Test scores should be sent directly from the testing authorities.

What are the TOEFL School and Department codes?
The School code for UC Berkeley is 4833. The Department code for the I School is 99.

How can IELTS scores be submitted?
Beginning in Fall 2021, we will no longer be accepting paper Test Report Forms. All IELTS scores must be sent electronically from the testing center, no institution code is required. The UC Berkeley Graduate Division address for identification purposes is: University of California, Berkeley, Graduate Division, Sproul Hall Rm 318, MC 5900, Berkeley, CA 94720.

Tuition, Fees, Fellowships and Financial Aid

What are the tuition & fees for MIMS students?
Tuition and fees for MIMS students ("Graduate Professional" fee schedule for the School of Information, from the Office of the Registrar). All tuition & fees are subject to change.

More information: Registration Fees

What is California residency?
Nonresidents, for purposes of registration, are those who have not been legal residents of California for more than one year immediately before the opening day of the semester for which they register. Legal residence is a combination of physical presence and the intention of making the state one's permanent home, coupled with the relinquishment of legal residence in any other state. International students with F-1 visas cannot be classified as California residents for tuition purposes.

More Information:

Is fellowship support provided by the I School?
Yes, all MIMS applicants will automatically be considered for I School and California Promise Fellowship Packages. The I School strives to create a supportive, diverse, and inclusive environment and to enroll a diverse student body, as the unique perspectives that students from varied backgrounds are able to contribute are of tremendous benefit to our culture, community, and learning experience.

I School Fellowship Packages support outstanding MIMS candidates who:

  • Have overcome significant challenges in pursuing higher education;
  • Plan to research diversity and inequality;
  • Provide leadership in equity and inclusion;
  • Demonstrate financial need to be able to pursue graduate education; and/or
  • Show promise for exceptional achievement in their future careers.

California Promise Fellowship Packages support students who show potential as future leaders in technology and information science in California.

MIMS students are able to apply for the following I School Fellowships:

The Curtis B. Smith Fellowship supports high-achieving students enrolled in any degree program at the UC Berkeley School of Information who have an interest in the field of cybersecurity or a research focus on cybersecurity.

The Paul Fasana LGBTQ Studies Fellowship supports UC Berkeley School of Information graduate students whose research interests or studies are related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer studies in any field or discipline.

Additionally, UC Berkeley awards through competition a limited number of fellowships each year. See University Fellowships for further details.

Is financial aid available?
Federal and University loans are available to students through the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office, 201 Sproul Hall, University of California, Berkeley; Berkeley, CA 94720-1960. See Financial Aid for further details. U.S. federal financial aid is not available to students who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States.

Student Employment

Do students work while attending the program?
A majority of our students work part-time while attending school. The course load is sufficiently heavy that students, particularly during the first year, should not plan a very heavy work schedule. Many of our on-campus students work in on-campus academic appointments (teaching and research assistants).

What are academic appointments?
MIMS students are eligible for "graduate academic student appointments" (teaching and research assistants).

Academic Student Employee (ASE) Positions:

  • Graduate Student Instructor: Serves as an apprentice under the supervision of a regular faculty member, who is usually the Instructor of Record for the course. GSIs may lead discussion or laboratory sections, hold office hours, read student papers, assist with exams or grading, and more.
  • Reader: Performs duties related to grading of student assignments, papers, and/or examinations. They may also attend lectures, hold office hours, or have other duties, but are not assigned teaching duties.
  • Tutor: Provides tutorial services to individuals or groups of students under the direct supervision of a regular faculty member.

Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) Positions:

  • Graduate Student Researcher (GSR): Performs research under the direction of a faculty member.

Graduate students who are working in an academic appointment (GSI, GSR, Reader, Tutor), may be eligible for fee remission waivers that offset a portion or all of their tuition and fees, depending on the number of hours worked and if the student is a California resident or non-California resident. (Non-resident supplemental tuition and the professional degree supplemental tuition are not waived for students by working in an academic student appointment.) Students also receive an hourly wage by working in an academic student appointment. See Graduate Academic Student Appointments for further details.

International students on an F-1 or J-1 visa who are enrolled in a full-time degree program may hold an academic student appointment.

The Graduate Division determines the requirements for qualifications and working conditions for all graduate student appointments. For further details, please visit the Graduate Division's Appointment Office website.

How do students secure academic appointments?
Faculty members will make individual arrangements with qualified and eligible students depending on their needs for research and teaching assistance. Opportunities are highly dependent on faculty need, and it is difficult to predict the number and kinds of jobs that will be available in a given academic year. The following website provides a helpful list of Instructor, Reader, and Tutor positions normally available each year. There is no equivalent website for researcher positions on campus.

Is there supplementary support available if I take a low-paying non-profit summer internship?

Yes. A small number of grants in amounts up to $8,000 will be available to MIMS students serving in internships with nonprofits, government agencies, or non-governmental agencies (NGOs) in the U.S. or abroad, during the summer between their first and second year in the program.


Who should write my Letters of Recommendation for the MIMS Program?

Who should write my Letters of Recommendation? | UC Berkeley School of Information Admissions

What is the programming competency requirement?

What is the programming competency requirement? | UC Berkeley School of Information Admissions

What work experience should I have before applying?

What work experience should I have before applying? | UC Berkeley School of Information Admissions

What do I School students do for an internship?

What do I School students do for an internship? | UC Berkeley School of Information Admissions

What jobs do I School graduates get?

What jobs do I School graduates get? | UC Berkeley School of Information Admissions

Last updated:

September 22, 2020