Admissions

Full-Time MBA Program

FAQs

See also: Students answer commonly asked questions in our video FAQs.

General Program Questions

What is the structure of the Berkeley MBA program? How long does it take?

The Full-Time Berkeley MBA program is a two year full-time degree program. The Berkeley MBA curriculum is anchored by twelve required core courses which students complete in the first year. The core courses, which make up about 40% of a typical student's course of study, are deliberately designed to build upon one another and provide a common foundation for all the students in the program. Elective courses comprise 60% of the Berkeley MBA curriculum, meaning that students begin to customize their own course of study very early in the program. Students take classes Monday through Thursday. Fridays are usually spent attending discussion sessions, career services workshops and other curricular and extra-curricular activities.

Further details about the curriculum

What is the size of the first-year class?

Our goal is to enroll 240 students in the Berkeley MBA Program each August. Each entering class is divided into four groups of 60 students. In the first semester, all students in the cohort take the same core classes. The cohort system provides a support system for first-year entering students.

What is the difference between the Full-Time, Evening & Weekend, and the Executive Berkeley MBA Programs?

The main difference between the programs is the profile of the students. The full-time students generally have about 5 years of work experience, Evening & Weekend students generally have about 7 years of work experience, and Berkeley Executive MBA students generally have about 12 years of work experience. 

Compare the programs

What is the best way for me to learn about the Berkeley MBA program?

Besides looking carefully over the website, we recommend visiting the campus. During your visit you can have lunch with a student, attend an information session, and attend a class.  We also participate in and periodically sponsor events for potential students in locations around the world.

Do you post transcripts of your online chats?

Yes. Please visit our Online Chats for more frequently asked questions and answers!

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Visiting the Haas School of Business

Do I have to register to visit the campus?

Yes.    Advance registration is required and space is limited. We offer a half-day campus visit Monday through Thursday that includes a class visit, admissions overview, no-host lunch with current students, Haas campus tour, and Information Session with our Haas Student Ambassadors. We also have a Class visit only option available Monday through Thursday.  

Are there certain dates during the year when the visit program is unavailable?

Yes, based on the academic calendar the visit program is not available at certain times throughout the year.  The visitation program runs from September to May.  Please check the Holiday Schedule.

Where should I stay when I visit?

The UC Berkeley Visitors Page has a list of available accommodations nearby.

How important is it for me to visit the campus? Will I be a stronger candidate if I visit?

The best way to know what it is really like to be a Berkeley MBA student is to come visit, meet current students and faculty, and observe a class.  Visiting gives you a chance to experience the Haas culture and community, and to learn more about both the Haas School of Business and UC Berkeley campus.  We strongly encourage a visit because it could be helpful for you to determine if the program is a match for your needs.  If you cannot make it to campus, Full-Time MBA Admissions sponsors a variety of off-campus information sessions and participates in MBA Fairs around the world.  You can also connect with current students through the Haas Student Ambassadors.

We understand that not everyone has the ability to make a campus visit; therefore we do not have a preference for applicants who have been to campus.  However, we are interested to see what you have done to learn more about the program, and what specific aspects of the Berkeley MBA appeal to you.

If you are unable to visit the campus, we encourage you to take advantage of our online resources, including podcasts, blogs, and chats to learn more about the Berkeley MBA program. 

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Contacting Current Students and Alumni

How can I contact current students or alumni in my area or future industry?

If you would like to speak with current students, please contact the Haas Student Ambassadors (HSAs).  Contact information and bios can be found on the HSA page. We do not share private alumni or student contact information. However, we do provide several opportunities for prospective applicants to meet both alumni and students.  For example, our off-campus information sessions bring together members of the Admissions Committee and alumni, who will share information about the program and answer your questions.  If you are invited to interview, your interview will be conducted by an alum or current student.   If you are offered admission, you will have many opportunities to connect with current students and alums. 

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Applying to the Berkeley MBA Program

How many people apply to the Full-Time MBA Program each year?

The program receives approximately 3,700 applications in a typical year. In recent years, we have received as many as 4,500 applications and as few as 2,800 applications.

What are the application deadlines?

There are three Application Deadlines, which can be found on the main admissions page.  

Note:  the GMAT, GRE, and TOEFL must be taken on or before the designated deadline. Your complete online application must be submitted prior to 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time the evening of the deadline. In addition, all supplemental materials must be postmarked on or before the deadline date.

In which round should I apply? How important is it to apply in Round One?

Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible, provided that you do not sacrifice the quality of your application to do so. If you find that you need more time to revise your essays or to retake the GMAT, for example, you should definitely take the extra time to do so.

I am having trouble formatting my essays, what should I do?

You may cut and paste formatted text into the Berkeley-Haas application. However, please note that the format of your responses may change. This happens because different web browsers and word processing applications all behave a little differently and interact adversely at times with our online application. Please consider these best practices:

  • Type directly. When possible, type a response directly into the application and format using the online tools.
  • Strip formatting before pasting. Do not copy and paste directly from a word processor (i.e. Word 2010, Outlook 2010) into the online application. First, copy and paste the response into Notepad (PC) or Textedit (mac) and from there into the Berkeley-Haas application. Your formatting will be removed but your text will all be preserved in the proper order. Rebuild your formatting, adding bullets, bold, etc., using the application tools.
  • Review your answers. After you finalize and save your response, be sure to review your answers.
  • No pictures or other media. Please do not paste pictures or other non-text media into your answers. They may cause problems in our reviewing your application.

How important is it to adhere to the word limit for the essays?

The word count limits for the essays are established so we can see how well you can express your thoughts, points, and ideas concisely and effectively.  Please try to stay within the word limits as much as possible.  It is acceptable for an essay to be a few words over the limit.  However, if an essay goes substantially over the word limit it could be detrimental to your application. 

Can I submit corrections or updates to my application after it has been submitted?

Once your application has been submitted, you may not make changes or adjustments to the content. The Admissions Committee asks that you do not send additional material other than what is requested as part of the application.  However, you may provide an update if you have a change in your employment status or position, if you completed a quantitative course and are providing the grade, or if your contact information has changed.  Please send an email to mbaadm@haas.berkeley.edu with the updated information.

How will I be notified of my admissions decision?

We communicate with applicants through email.  When the decision is released on the notification deadline you will receive an email from our office instructing you to check your online application status.

What if the status of my application has not changed for quite some time?

Our Admissions Committee takes great pride in reading and evaluating applications for admission. Every single application, regardless of GPA, test scores, or number of years of work experience, is read by a minimum of two readers. In many instances, an application is read by three readers, and sometimes four. As a result, it does take some time before we extend our interview invitations. Interview invitations generally start going out 4-6 weeks after the deadline date, and continue until the notification deadline.  Please be patient as you await word from us.

What is the process for applying to the concurrent degree programs?

This depends on the dual degree program to which you apply.  There are currently three concurrent MBA degrees offered: MBA/MPH, JD/MBA, and MBA/MA – International & Area Studies.

MBA/MPH: If you are applying to the MBA/MPH concurrent degree program, you should indicate your intention when completing the online application.  Applicants to the MBA/MPH program do not need to complete any application materials separate from the MBA application. MBA/MPH applications must be submitted by the final MBA deadline, although we suggest that applications be submitted by one of the earlier deadlines.  Applicants will receive one joint decision. In other words, applicants will either be admitted to both programs, or denied from both programs. For more information about this program, contact Associate Director Kim MacPherson at kmacpherson@berkeley.edu or call (510) 643-1399.

JD/MBA:  Applicants to the JD/MBA program can be (1) a current first or second year student at Berkeley Law or Hastings College of the Law OR (2) an applicant applying to both the MBA and JD program at the same time (applicants can apply to one or both of the law schools).  

  • Current first or second year student at Berkeley-Law or Hastings College of Law: applicant must secure and complete a separate application for admission to the MBA program. 
  • Applying to both the MBA and JD programs at the same time: applicant must secure and complete a separate application for admission to the MBA program and to one or both of the law schools (Berkeley-Law or Hastings College of the Law). 

For all applicants to the JD/MBA program:
When completing the online MBA application, you should indicate you are applying for the JD/MBA degree.  Admission decisions are made separately by the Haas School and the law schools. MBA applications for the JD/MBA program may be submitted in any of the application rounds. Applicants to the JD/MBA program should complete all materials in the MBA application and should contact the respective law school(s) for their application materials. Where appropriate on the online MBA application, JD/MBA applicants should indicate whether they are already enrolled in the first or second year of a law program (and at which school) or to which law school(s) an application is being made. For more information about the joint program with Berkeley-Law, contact admissions@law.berkeley.edu or call (510) 642-2274. For more information about the joint program with Hastings, contact admiss@uchastings.edu or call (415) 565-4623.

MBA/MA – International & Area Studies: Enrollment in this concurrent degree program occurs during the first year of the MBA Program.  Applicants to the program must have completed at least one semester of graduate study on the Berkeley campus and have at least three semesters remaining. You are not required to indicate your interest on the MBA application.

How many people do you admit from my country? How many people do you admit from my industry?

Each year, the Berkeley MBA program admits people from a variety of countries and industries.  When making offers of admission, the Admissions Committee does not follow quotas or admit certain numbers of people from certain countries.  The number of people admitted from a certain country or industry each year depends on the number of people who apply, and the strength of the applicant pool. 

I already received an offer from another institution and I need to tell them my decision. Can you expedite the review of my Berkeley application?

Unfortunately we are unable to expedite admission decisions for applicants.  We understand that many applicants apply to several schools, and the varying deadlines often conflict.  However, it is our policy to release all decisions for each round on the same day.  You will be notified of your admission decision on the notification date of the round in which you applied.  Current application deadlines can be found on the Admissions page of our website.

Can I apply for the Full-time Program and the Evening & Weekend Program in the same year?

Applications to the Full-Time MBA and Evening & Weekend MBA programs are processed separately - the programs are independent of one another.  Applicants may only apply to one program per admissions cycle as outlined by our Graduate Division requirements. 

Can I send additional supplemental material to accompany my application?

The Admissions Committee strongly discourages sending any application material other than what is requested.  Applicants placed on the waitlist are given the option of submitting additional materials at this time.

Is it possible to defer after being admitted to the program?

Deferrals are very uncommon for the Full-time Berkeley MBA Program.  In extreme circumstances, they may be granted on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Director of Admissions. 

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Eligibility Questions

How can I determine if I am qualified for the program? What makes a competitive candidate? Does my academic performance, test score, and work experience make me competitive?

We are unable to evaluate a candidate's competitiveness or determine eligibility in advance of submitting a formal application. Each applicant's professional experience is reviewed along with academic aptitude, GMAT/GRE examination results, TOEFL examination results (if applicable), and letters of recommendation. Generally speaking, most of the current MBA students have two or more years of full-time professional experience following the completion of their undergraduate degree.

Our class profile will serve as a good first point of evaluating your qualifications in relation to our current students.  The profile includes statistics related to test results, years of work experience, industry interests, etc. Our website outlines the Guidelines and Criteria for applying to the Berkeley Full-Time MBA program. This outline will provide explanations of what the Admissions Committee is looking for in each applicant. We also recommend listening to the podcast "Mastering the Application Process" to hear about the application review from the perspective of the Admissions Committee. 

What does the Admissions Committee look for when reviewing work experience?

The quality of an MBA program is immeasurably enhanced by the real-world business experience that students bring to the classroom. Most of our students have two or more years of full-time professional work experience following the completion of their undergrad degree. The average years of post-university work experience is 5 years. More important than quantity, however, is the quality of that experience. When reviewing applications, we are particularly interested in the progression and milestones of your career, as well as your supervisor's assessment of your value as an employee and potential as a leader. Listen to our podcasts for more tips.

I come from a non-traditional business background. How is this viewed by the Admissions Committee? Am I at a disadvantage?

We admit candidates with solid professional experience who come from a wide variety of industries and backgrounds. Our class profile provides a list of previous industry prior to beginning the Berkeley MBA program. Preference is not given to a particular field or fields.

Do you admit students directly out of undergrad? What if I worked/interned during undergrad? Does that experience count?

Although not a formal requirement, virtually all of our students have two or more years of professional work experience since the completion of their bachelor's degrees. The average years of post-university work experience for those admitted is just over 5 years. The middle 80% range of years of work experience is between 3-8 years. Therefore, applicants without any substantial work experience would not be as competitive.

The Admissions Committee does review and consider pre-university work experience in the review of each application; but very often pre-university work experience does not demonstrate the level of progression and milestones (such as promotions and increased responsibility) that are evident in post-university experience.   

Please document pre-university work experience on your application in the Supplemental Question #3 (List Full-Time and part-time jobs held during undergraduate or graduate studies, indicating the employer, job title, employment dates, location, and the number of hours worked per week for each position held prior to the completion of your degree).  Your work experience prior to pursuing your undergraduate degree should not be counted in the post-university employment section of the application. 

How does the Admissions Committee evaluate quantitative proficiency?

Quantitative proficiency is assessed by looking at whether applicants have taken calculus, statistics, and/or any upper-level math courses during their undergraduate education. The Admissions Committee will also look at your GMAT or GRE score, and the quantitative nature of your work (if any) to determine your level of quantitative proficiency. The curriculum at Haas includes courses that have a qualitative focus and others that are more analytical and quantitative. All applicants should have completed, at a minimum, a college-level mathematics or statistics course. Haas faculty who teach quantitative courses will assume you have mastered the basic material. Therefore, although there are no official course requirements, the Admissions Committee looks carefully at quantitative proficiency when making its admissions decisions.

Am I eligible to apply to the MBA program if I received a bachelor's degree from India?

Applicants with a four-year bachelors degree from an Indian school are eligible for consideration. Applicants with a three-year Indian bachelor's degree who also hold a master's or other advanced degree are eligible for consideration. Applicants with a three-year Indian bachelors degree and no additional degree may apply, but are at a significant competitive disadvantage when compared to applicants with similar backgrounds and eligible education.

Recognized 4-year basic or first degrees from India include: B. Tech., B. Eng., B. Eng. (Hons), B. Sc. in Engineering, B. Pharmacy, and BSc. in Agriculture and Forestry.

Other recognized basic or first degrees from India include: B.D.S. (4-5 years); B. Arch. (5 years); B. VSc. (5 years); LL.B. (5 years integrated course or 2-3 years following a bachelor’s degree); B. Tech. and the M. Tech. (5 year dual degree program awarded by the Indian Institute of Technology); Bachelor’s of Medicine Bachelor’s of Surgery (M.B.B.S); and Postgraduate Diploma (PGDM) awarded by the International Management Institute of New Delhi (2 years Full-Time or 3 years part-time).

Recognized second degrees from India: A Postgraduate Diploma (PGDM) awarded by the Indian Institutes of Management at Ahmedabad (IIM), Bangalore, Calcutta, Indore (IIMI), or Lucknow (2 years beyond bachelor's degree) is a recognized second degree. A PGDM in Industrial Engineering awarded by the National Productivity Council (2 years beyond bachelor's degree with first class) is also recognized as a second degree.

Unaccepted first degrees: A Postgraduate Diploma in business technology awarded by the Centre for International Management (16 mos) is an UNACCEPTABLE first degree.  Associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Associate of Institute of Cost Works Accountants, Associate of Business Management, and Associate of Institute of Engineers are NOT acceptable as substitutes for a four-year degree.

Applicants with only a 3-year bachelor's degree do not meet the requirement for admission and are not as competitive compared to candidates with 4-year degrees.  Therefore, to be competitive, applicants would need to complete a master's degree (2 years after your bachelor's degree) or other acceptable degree. If you are interested in applying to the Berkeley MBA program, we suggest that you complete an application. Eligibility with regard to the degrees equivalent to a US bachelor's degree cannot be determined in advance of filing an application. The Graduate Division reserves the right to review the official academic records of all applicants whose undergraduate degrees were earned outside the US to determine whether the academic credentials presented for a foreign institution are comparable to the US bachelor's degree.

I already have an MBA from another school. Can I be admitted to the Berkeley MBA program?

University policy prohibits awarding of duplicate degrees. If you have an MBA or comparable degree from an institute of higher education, your application will be ineligible for consideration.

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Application

Test Scores

What is your minimum GMAT or GRE requirement?

While there is no minimum acceptable GMAT or GRE score, see last year's class profile for average test scores. We are especially interested in your performance on the quantitative section as an indication of your mathematics proficiency. Please note that the Analytical Writing component is required for both the GMAT and GRE.

What is the required TOEFL or IELTS score for international applicants?

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is administered in three formats, internet-based, paper and pencil, and computer-based. If you take the internet-based version, you must earn a score of at least 90. If you take the paper and pencil version, your score must be at least 570 out of 677. And if you take the computer-based test, you must earn a score of at least 230 out of 300. For detailed information about the TOEFL please visit the TOEFL web site at http://www.toefl.org/ While TOEFL is preferred, you can submit scores from the Academic Modules of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) designed by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate and administered by the British Council worldwide. To register for the IELTS, consult the IELTS web site at http://www.ielts.org/, or contact the office of the test center where you plan to take the test. You may also write the British Council, Bridgewater House, 58 Whitworth Street, Manchester, M1 6BB, U.K. or email the Council. You are responsible for providing us with an official Test Report Form (TRF) of your IELTS. Remember to order the TRF when you register to take the test. Your most recent overall BAND score must be at least 7 on a 9-point scale.

I received my undergraduate degree in India where the medium of instruction was entirely in English. Do I have to take the TOEFL/IELTS?

The Graduate Division requires all applicants who received their degrees from countries in which the official language is not English to submit official evidence of English language proficiency (valid TOEFL or IELTS exam score). This requirement is education-based, and we are unable to make an exception. The 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. Not all universities where instruction is conducted in English are considered sufficient by the Graduate Division for a waiver of the TOEFL requirement. While providing an exhaustive list of schools that do meet the requirement would be challenging, no school in India is currently granted an exemption from the TOEFL or IELTS requirement.

Applicants who have completed at least one year of full-time, university-level coursework at an institution in a country where the official language is English (US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, English-speaking Canada, or  Singapore), with a grade of B or better are exempt from this requirement. The following courses will not fulfill this requirement: (1) courses in English as a Second Language, (2) courses conducted in a language other than English, (3) courses that will be completed after you apply, and (4) courses of a nonacademic nature.

Will you consider a score if the exam was taken after the deadline date?

All exams (GMAT, GRE, TOEFL) must be taken on or before the deadline for the round in which you apply. If you take an exam after the deadline date and would like the score considered, you must request to have your application moved to the following round. Details can be found in the Application Instructions.

I recently took the TOEFL and you will not receive my scores until after the deadline date. Is this ok?

This is acceptable. As long as you took the TOEFL on or before the deadline date for the round in which you applied, your application will be considered for that round. Please self-report your score on the application (or report them by email when they are requested), and request to have your TOEFL scores sent to us.

What is the GMAT code for the Full-Time Berkeley MBA Program? GRE code? TOEFL code?

GMAT code: N2VPT47
GRE code: 0574
TOEFL institution code 4833, department 02

General Academic Requirements

What is your minimum GPA requirement?

Although we do not have a minimum requirement, a GPA of B (3.0) or better is generally the standard for serious consideration. Our class profile provides more information about test scores, years of work experience, average GPA, backgrounds, and industry interests for current Berkeley MBA students.

How do I calculate my GPA if my school's grading system is not on a 4.0 scale?

If your institution did not use a 4.0 grading scale, please do not calculate your GPA. You should check the box "Not on a 4.0 scale" on the online application. If you were educated outside of the US, complete the appropriate information in the application.

I was an engineering major in undergrad. Do you want me to list ALL the quantitative courses I took?

When listing the quantitative courses you've taken on the application, the Admissions Committee is most interested in seeing whether you have taken calculus, statistics, or any other upper-level mathematics courses. If you were an engineering major, you do not need to list all the engineering courses you took. Simply listing those mentioned above is sufficient.

If I have received multiple bachelor's or master's degrees, which GPA do you consider?

The admission committee reviews your entire academic record; however, the committee focuses more heavily on your first bachelor's degree.

How does the Admissions Committee view advanced degrees? Does graduate education and/or graduate assistantships count as work experience?

The Admissions Committee takes everything into consideration when reviewing applications. While we realize graduate education can provide worthwhile experience, it does not necessarily carry as much weight as full-time professional work experience.

Are people who graduated from UC Berkeley at an advantage or disadvantage for admission?

We do not give preferences to applicants who received a degree from UC Berkeley. All applicants are reviewed by the same criteria, including your choice of coursework, the rigor of your undergraduate major, the competitiveness of your academic institution, and your grade point average (GPA). Besides your academic performance there are numerous other factors that we consider in admissions including your GMAT/GRE score, professional experience, and letters of recommendation.

If I have already completed MBA classes at another university may I waive some of the classes or transfer credit?

We do not transfer MBA credit from other universities, so any work that you had completed at other institutions will not count toward a degree at UC Berkeley. You may waive out of core courses at the discretion of the faculty, but you must replace the waived course with another class.

What are the transcript requirements for applying to the program?

You must provide one official transcript (or academic record) in its original language for each institution you have attended.

U.S. transcripts: Must include the name of the degree and the date of conferral.

International Transcripts: English translations are required if the transcript is not in English. Graduates of non-US institutions must also provide one official degree certificate in the original language, along with a certified English translation, if the name of the degree and the date of conferral are not listed on the transcript.

Transcripts must list:
The name of the degree and date of conferral if applicable
The name of every class you have taken toward the completion of the degree
The number of credits received per class
The grade obtained for each course

Scans of official transcripts, degree certificates, and translations, in PDF format, may be uploaded using the online application. These documents, including photocopies of official documents, may also be mailed. While scans and copies will be sufficient for initial review purposes, official copies issued by the institution will be required for admission and will be requested at the time of interview.

Please Note: If you have attended school abroad, either as part of an exchange program administered by your school or on your own, or if you have transferred units from another institution to your degree-granting institution, make sure your degree-granting institution's transcript meets all three of the above requirements for each class. Otherwise, request official transcripts directly from the institution where each class was taken.

Can I mail my supplemental materials (transcripts, degree certificates and letters of recommendation) directly to you? Where do I send these materials?

We prefer that you upload copies of official transcripts or degree certificates with your online application and submit your official letters of recommendation electronically with your online application. If you are invited to interview, you will be required to submit hard copies of the official transcripts and degree certificates by mail.

You may mail any supplemental materials to:
Full-Time MBA Admissions
Haas School of Business
University of California, Berkeley
430 Student Services Bldg #1902
Berkeley, CA 94720-1902

Transcripts & Degree Certificates: You may upload scans or mail official copies, or photocopies of official documents, for initial review of your application. If you are invited to interview, you will be required to submit official copies by mail.  We do not accept self-reported grades, only copies of official documents. Please do NOT email electronic versions of academic records to us. They will not be accepted. Furthermore, since they contain confidential information and email is not secure, this could expose you to risk. The Haas School of Business is not responsible for information, including academic records, that is emailed to us.

Letters of Recommendation: You may ask your recommender to complete the paper recommendation form to send directly to our office. We accept no more than two letters of recommendation for each applicant.  Paper letters must have the letter writer’s signature across the seals of the envelope.

How do I upload my transcripts or degree certificates?

See the application instructions for more information. PDFs of academic records may be uploaded via the application for each educational institution you list in the education section. We only accept PDF format for upload and ask that you determine the document will be legible and can print on an 8.5" x 11" piece of paper. Please scan BOTH sides of your transcripts. You may withdraw and re-upload your documents as often as you like, but due to security concerns you will not be able to preview your uploaded document. Please do not contact the admissions office to confirm that the upload was successful. If your documents are not legible or there were any problems during the upload, we will contact you as we prepare and set up your file for review.

Should I call to confirm that my transcripts have arrived? What about my official test scores?

Please refrain from contacting the admissions office to verify that we have received your official transcripts or test scores. You will receive an email once your application has been initially reviewed for completeness, approximately 3 - 6 weeks from the deadline for which you applied. If anything is missing, we will send you an email outlining the missing documents needed for review. While we require official GMAT or GRE and/or TOEFL test scores, we initially review your application based on your self-reported score, which you indicate on your online application.

When will I be asked to provide official documents?

When you are invited to interview, you will be asked to send official academic documents. At that time, we will request the documents (transcripts, degree certificates, translations) from each school you attended that will be needed before an offer of admission can be made. Please mail those documents as soon as possible to the MBA Admissions Office.

US Degrees and Academic Documents

What do you consider an unofficial transcript?

A US transcript is considered unofficial if:

It arrives in an opened/unsealed envelope or without an envelope from the issuing institution.
It was sent by the applicant without an envelope sealed by the issuing institution.
It is a photocopy or scan of an original transcript.
It does not include the name of the degree and the date of conferral.
It does not include the course names, credits, and/or grades received.

Please note: We will not accept printouts of online grade reports in place of transcripts. If you submit a scan or photocopy of your transcript for review, it must be a copy of the official transcript.

I have transfer credits from another school (study abroad, summer courses, transfer units, etc.), do I need to send transcripts for these credits?

If you list a non-degree-granting institution where only non-quantitative courses were taken or if the courses were taken during high school, you are not required to send a transcript from that institution. If the course names, credits, and/or grades appear on the transcript from your degree-granting institution, you do not need to send us an additional transcript. Please list the institution(s) and select the "Transcript not needed" box.

If you took any quantitative courses which do not appear on the transcript from your degree-granting institution, we will need to see the grade you received and you should provide a transcript.

International Degrees and Academic Documents

I attended a university in a country outside the United States. How does the Admissions Committee review my coursework? Should I have my grades converted to the US equivalency?

The Admissions Committee reviews international coursework according to the educational system for each particular country/institution. Every year they review hundreds of applicants with degrees from institutions all over the world, and they are familiar with the various international systems and grading scales. The UC Berkeley Graduate Division maintains a database with educational information from every country, and the Admissions Committee uses this as a resource when assessing academic performance for international applicants. 

Please do not attempt to convert your grades to a US scale. We do not accept credential evaluation reports or conversions from outside institutions (WES, ECE, FCSA, etc.). Please do not send credential evaluation reports in addition to or in place of a transcript issued by the institution.

My university only issues one set of official documents. What should I do?

Official records are original documents issued by the institution that bear the original stamp or embossed seal of the issuing institution and the stamped or signed signature of the appropriate authorizing official.

For initial review: copies of official academic records (including photocopies) will be accepted for review purposes. You may submit scans of your transcripts via the online application or mail the copies in as part of your Supplemental Materials.

For admission: if you are invited to interview, you will be required to immediately submit official academic records issued by the school. If it will take more than 2-3 weeks to receive official, certified documents, you should request them now as any delay in our receipt of your documents could jeopardize your review and timely admissions decision.

If your institution only provides one set of documents at the time of graduation, you must provide official photocopies that have been certified or attested as “true” by the registrar of the university, the principal of the constituent college, the controller of examinations, the head of the student’s department, or the Fulbright Commission. To be acceptable as “true” the photocopies must be signed in ink by one of the officials listed above. 

If my school issues official documents in English do you need them in the original language as well?

All academic records must be issued in the original language and accompanied by English translations prepared by the issuing institution. Specially prepared English versions are not acceptable in place of documents issued in the original language. If translations are not available from the institution itself, they may be prepared by government or official translators. Translators must state that the translation is a complete and exact word-for-word translation of the original. In particular, be sure that the translator or institution does not "interpret" grading scales on our behalf by attempting to convert your institution's or country's system into the US 4.0 scale.

Can I have my official photocopies of my transcript(s) attested by a notary public or government official?

Generally, notarized copies (public or government) are not acceptable. If you have a question about providing a notarized copy, you should contact the Admissions Office at 510-642-1405 or email mbaadm@haas.berkeley.edu.

My transcripts indicate the degree conferred and the date of conferral. Do I need to submit a degree certificate?

If your transcript includes the name of the degree and the date of conferral, you do not need to provide a degree certificate. If you have questions or need clarification, please contact the Admissions Office.

Recommendation Letters

What about recommendations? Whom should I ask to write them?

We prefer that both letters come from a current or former employer, but we also understand not all applicants have the same options for letters of recommendation. 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 letter writers 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. For this reason, we discourage academic references. Letters of recommendation from co-workers, someone you have supervised, or personal and family friends are inappropriate and can be detrimental to the review of your application.

All of my work experience has been with my family's company, and my parent has been my supervisor. Since you do not want letters of recommendation from family members, who should write my recommendation?

It is up to you to determine who would be the best person to write your letter of recommendation. You may want to consider major clients, a former supervisor, or the Director/Leader of an extracurricular group or volunteer organization in which you're involved. Select individuals who have had the opportunity to observe you in a supervisory capacity and who can attest to your professional qualities, leadership abilities and/or potential, and skills in an organizational context.

Is it acceptable if my recommender submits the letter of recommendation after the deadline date?

As long as you have submitted your application and paid the application fee by the deadline, it is acceptable for your recommender to submit the letter of recommendation a few days after the deadline date. Please keep in mind that without two letters of recommendation, you application will be considered incomplete and cannot be reviewed until both letters have been received.

What if my recommender doesn't speak English well?

It is acceptable to obtain the recommendation in the native language of the author. The original letter and an English translation completed by a professional translator should be provided. See the American Translators Association (ATA) website at www.atanet.org.

My recommender is unable to write and submit my recommendation by the deadline. How can I change my recommender?

If you have not yet submitted your application, please phone the admissions office at (510) 642-1405, and we will delete your recommender for you. You may then add your new recommender information. If you have already submitted your online application, we will have to manually enter your new recommender information. Please phone the admissions office directly. The admissions office is open Monday - Friday from 9 am - 4 pm Pacific Time. Please note that we cannot delete a recommendation that has already been submitted.

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Interviews

Is it necessary to have an interview? When should I expect to receive an invitation to interview?

Interviews are conducted solely at the invitation of the admissions committee, and only after the initial review of your application. Therefore, we ask that you please refrain from contacting us to request an interview. Receiving an invitation should be taken as a sign of interest on the part of the admissions committee. Interviews are offered both with current students on campus and with alumni in cities around the world. Interview invitations generally start going out 4 weeks after the application deadline, and continue to go out on a rolling basis up until the notification deadline.  You will be notified by email if you are invited to interview.

Is there an advantage to interviewing on campus?

There is no difference between interviewing on-campus or off-campus; all interviews are given equal consideration when reviewed by the Admissions Committee.

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Financing Your MBA

What types of scholarships and financial aid are available?

Approximately 70% of Haas students receive some form of financial assistance, which can include scholarships, loans, and/or assistantships. Over $5 million in scholarship funding is awarded each year, providing gift aid to over 40% of full-time MBA students.  All admitted students can apply for scholarships which are based on numerous criteria such as merit, industry, commitment to diversity, and financial need.

The University of California, Berkeley participates in the Federal Loan Program, which allows students enrolled at least half-time (6 units) to borrow money directly from the federal government at a fixed interest rate (6.8% for Direct Loans; 7.9% for the Grad PLUS Loan).

A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be filed each year that a student intends to borrow a Federal Loan. The loans must be paid back beginning six months after graduation or dropping below half-time enrollment. The standard repayment term for these loans is 10 years.

Students often borrow funds through a private loan instead of Federal Loans if they are able to secure a much lower rate with zero fees.  The choice of which type of loan to use is one that rests with each individual student. While it is often recommended that students utilize the federal loan programs first, we understand that based on individual circumstances a private loan may be more appealing to some students. The Haas Financial Aid office encourages students to compare the benefits associated with the different loan types.

Is financial aid available for non-US citizens?

The Haas School awards scholarships to both domestic and international students.

Effective October 2, 2008, the only loan programs from U.S. financial institutions available to International students almost exclusively require a credit-worthy U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident co-signer at most institutions.

We have partnered with a credit union to provide a no-cosigner option by assuming some of the risk on your behalf. For more information see the International Student Loans section of the Financial Aid website.

How can I learn more about financial aid options?

Start by visiting the Financial Aid Website. If you still have questions, you may contact the Office of Financial Aid.

What opportunities exist for me to work off-campus in order to finance my MBA education?

Due to the rigorous nature of the MBA curriculum, students in the Full-Time MBA program are not able to work off-campus during their first year. In some cases, second-year students have worked up to 10 hours per week, usually by continuing to work for the company at which they held their summer internship. More common is the opportunity for second-year students to serve as graduate student instructors (GSIs). Nearly 30% of our Full-Time MBA students serve in this role, which partially reduces their rate of tuition and also provides them with a small monthly stipend.

When should I apply for financial aid?

For Haas scholarships, please apply as soon as you are admitted to the program.

To apply for Federal Loans, file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov. You can complete the FAFSA any time after January 1st of the year in which you are admitted. We encourage admitted students to apply for Federal Loans by June 15th. This allows time to complete any supplemental steps in time for the fall semester.

For private loans, you may begin the process as early as May with the lender. We encourage you to complete the private loan application process by July 15th to ensure funds are processed in time for the fall semester.

What is the FAFSA code for UC Berkeley?

When filling out the FAFSA, use UC Berkeley Federal Code 001312.

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Consortium FAQs

What are the application deadlines for applying through The Consortium?

Please see our Consortium webpage for more details about upcoming deadlines.

In which round should I apply? Is there a benefit to apply in Round 1?

Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible, provided that you do not sacrifice the quality of your application to do so. If you find that you need more time to revise your essays or to retake the GMAT, for example, you should definitely take the extra time to do so.

If you apply in Round 1, we will review your application earlier, so you may receive an interview invitation and/or admission decision earlier. The Consortium determines the application deadlines so that you can plan accordingly for submitting your Consortium application to all member schools for which you wish to apply.

Am I at a disadvantage if I apply through The Consortium?

We encourage all applicants who can demonstrate their commitment to The Consortium's mission to apply via The Consortium. There are many benefits to Consortium membership, as well as the opportunity to apply for The Consortium Fellowship. Consortium applications are reviewed in the same way as the rest of our pool, although the deadlines are slightly different.

If I retake the GMAT or GRE after The Consortium application deadline, will you consider my new score?

The GMAT or GRE must be taken on or before The Consortium application deadline for the round in which you apply.

Are there specific essays that I need to complete in addition to The Consortium essays?

Please see our Consortium webpage to view the required Berkeley-Haas supplemental essays.

What if I am a reapplicant?

Both Berkeley-Haas and The Consortium keep application materials from the previous two application cycles. If you applied more than two years ago, you are required to submit an entirely new application. Reapplicants who applied in the last two years must submit a new application that includes all required data forms and essays, an updated résumé, one mission support recommendation, and the application fee. You may re-use the following items: GMAT or GRE score if not expired, professional recommendations, and transcripts.

As a reapplicant to Berkeley-Haas, we strongly recommend that you use the optional essay (on the Berkeley Supplemental Application) to outline how you have improved your candidacy since your last application. The Admissions Committee will be looking for substantive change in your qualifications. We also recommend that you provide updated professional recommendations which may highlight your most current professional achievements, as well as speak to how you have enhanced your candidacy since you last applied. If you have taken the GMAT/GRE and TOEFL again, ask to have the new official scores sent to The Consortium and note your new score on the Test Score section of the application.

If I apply through The Consortium and am denied admission, am I still eligible to apply to the Berkeley Full-time MBA Program through one of its subsequent application rounds?

No. If you are denied admission to the Full-time Berkeley MBA program after applying through the Consortium, you are not eligible to apply to the Full-time program within the same academic cycle.

Is it necessary to have an interview? When should I expect to receive an invitation to interview?

Once the Admissions Committee has reviewed your Consortium application, you may be invited to interview. Receiving an invitation should be taken as a sign of interest on the part of the Admissions Committee. Interviews are offered both with current students on campus and with alumni in cities around the world. Interview invitations generally start going out four weeks after the application deadline, and continue to go out on a rolling basis up until the notification deadline. You will be notified by email if you are invited to interview.

I was admitted through The Consortium and did not receive a Consortium Fellowship. Am I still eligible for other Berkeley MBA Scholarships?

Yes, you are eligible (and encouraged!) to apply for any of our MBA Scholarships. You can find information on our scholarships and other details to finance your MBA on our Financial Aid site.

I am interested in applying for a concurrent degree program (JD/MBA, MBA/MPH, MBA/MA in International Area Studies). Can I still apply through The Consortium?

JD/MBA: The JD/MBA concurrent degree applicants are not eligible to apply to the JD/MBA program through The Consortium. To apply for the JD/MBA concurrent degree, please apply directly through the Berkeley-Haas application.

MBA/MPH: You may apply to the MBA/MPH program through The Consortium. You should choose the MBA/MPH option when completing the Berkeley-Haas section of The Consortium application. Applicants to the MBA/MPH program do not need to complete any application materials separate from the MBA application. Please note that for fellowship recipients this only covers the first two years of the two-and-a-half year MBA program.

MBA/MA – International & Area Studies: Enrollment in this concurrent degree program occurs during the first year of the MBA Program. Applicants to the program must have completed at least one semester of graduate study on the Berkeley campus and have at least three semesters remaining. You are not required to indicate your interest on the Consortium application. Please note that for fellowship recipients this only covers the first two years of the MBA/MAIAS program.

I was admitted to Berkeley and another Consortium MBA program. My Consortium Fellowship was directed to another Consortium MBA program but I want to attend Berkeley. Can I direct my Fellowship to Berkeley even though I initially ranked it lower in my Consortium school rankings?

Fellowships cannot be redirected to other MBA programs within The Consortium. Your school ranking determines the order in which schools may consider you for The Consortium Fellowship. You are first considered for the Fellowship by your highest ranked school to which you were admitted. If that school does not choose to award you the Fellowship, the option passes to your next highest ranked school to which you were admitted and so on. While many Consortium schools may admit you, only one Consortium school may offer you the Fellowship. After your application is submitted to The Consortium, you cannot change your school ranking.

As a recipient of a Consortium Fellowship, am I required to maintain a minimum grade point average while a student? What if I am a Consortium Member (and not a Fellowship recipient)?

Whether a Consortium Fellowship recipient or Consortium Member, you must remain in good academic standing (i.e., 3.0 GPA or higher) while a student at Berkeley-Haas.

I am a recipient of a Consortium Fellowship and would like to defer my acceptance for a year. May I defer my Consortium Fellowship as well?

Deferrals are very uncommon for the Berkeley MBA Program. In extreme circumstances, they may be granted on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Director of Admissions. Deferral of a Consortium Fellowship is also reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

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Waitlist FAQs

How do I accept a place on the waitlist?

To accept a place on the waitlist, please respond to your waitlist decision notification email as soon as possible. If we do not receive a response from you by the deadline stated in the email, we will assume you are no longer interested in being considered for admission, and your application will be withdrawn.

Please note: You will not be able to schedule an interview or request a new online recommendation until you accept a place on the waitlist. After we receive your response, it will take us one to two business days to update our database so you can schedule your interview and/or request your new online recommendation.

Are there additional application materials I need to submit while I am on the waitlist?

Please check your status online to see if there are additional application materials needed before a final decision can be made on your application. If so, please provide those materials to the admissions office as soon as possible to avoid a delay in your final decision.

What are some ways for me to improve my candidacy while on the waitlist?

Below are general suggestions of common areas to address to help enhance your candidacy; not every suggestion will be relevant to each candidate. Focus on substantive, meaningful improvements that you feel will make you a stronger candidate or provide information not already presented in your application.

Please note that the Admissions Committee is not able to provide individual feedback regarding the specific area(s) to address while you are on the waitlist. See below for details regarding our feedback policy.

1) Interview – We strongly encourage you to schedule an interview if you have not already had one as a part of the admissions process.  Each candidate may only interview once during a given application cycle.  Please see below for instructions on how to request an interview.

2) Test scores – If your GMAT or TOEFL scores fall below our averages, you may wish to retake the test and forward an unofficial score (followed by your official score) to the admissions office.

3) Quantitative ability – If you feel you have not sufficiently demonstrated quantitative ability through your undergraduate and graduate level coursework and/or your quantitative subscore on the GMAT or GRE, you may wish to enroll in a statistics or calculus course at a local college, retake the GMAT or GRE, or do both.

4) Letters of recommendation – You may provide an additional letter of recommendation (or two) to your file, if the letter(s) will add information that was not provided in the original letters submitted. 

5) Personal statement – You may submit a new statement to update the Admissions Committee on any significant changes in your professional or personal life since your application was submitted that will add value to your candidacy.  Relevant updates may include a promotion, change in employment, updated test score, enrollment or completion of a quantitative course, etc.  You may also submit a personal statement if you wish to clarify your career goals or, particularly for those intending to switch careers, provide further detail on steps you have taken to prepare for your career transition.

How do I schedule an interview if I did not complete one before being placed on the waitlist?

We strongly encourage you to schedule an interview if you have not already completed one as a part of the admissions process.  You may interview on campus or in other cities around the US and the world. To request an interview, please use the Interview Scheduler link available on the Status Report page of your online application.

Please note: You will not be able to schedule an interview until you first accept a place on our waitlist by responding to your waitlist decision notification email.

If I already interviewed before being placed on the waitlist, can I re-interview?

No, we do not re-interview waitlisted candidates who have already completed an admissions interview during the current application year.

How do I submit a new letter of recommendation?

To submit a new online recommendation, please provide the requested information regarding your new recommender in the Recommendations section of your online application.  New letters may be submitted in hard copy or electronically.

Please note: You will not be able to request a new online recommendation until you first accept a place on our waitlist by responding to your waitlist decision notification email.

Where should I send updates and supplemental materials while I am on the waitlist?

You may submit updates via email, fax, or mail to the admissions office.  When possible, email is preferred.

Updates may be sent via email to decision@haas.berkeley.edu or via fax to (510) 643-6659.  Supplemental materials sent via post should be mailed to:

Full-Time MBA Admissions
Haas School of Business
University of California, Berkeley
430 Student Services Bldg. #1902
Berkeley, CA 94720-1902

What is the best way for me to communicate with the admissions office regarding updates to my application?

When possible, updates sent via email are preferred. Please consolidate your updates to as few communications as possible. Since we will be reviewing the waitlist on a rolling basis, please be sure to submit any updated information that you would like the Admissions Committee to consider when evaluating your candidacy in a timely manner.  

At the discretion of the Admissions Committee, a member of the admissions team may contact you regarding your application. We strongly discourage applicants from calling or emailing frequently to provide updates or to inquire about their status on the waitlist.

How many people are on the waitlist? What are my chances for admission?

The number of candidates on the waitlist fluctuates depending on timing within the admissions cycle. While we anticipate admitting some waitlisted candidates, the applicant pool and yield on offers of admission varies each year. Therefore, we cannot predict exactly how many candidates will be placed on the waitlist or how many applicants will be offered admission based on previous years.

Do you rank your waitlist?

No, we do not rank our waitlist. We periodically review all waitlisted candidates but waitlisted candidates are not placed in a ranked order.

When can I expect to receive an update about my waitlist status, and when will all waitlist decisions be finalized?

We will review the waitlist periodically throughout the admissions cycle and provide updates regarding admission status on an ongoing basis between late March and early August. During this time, we may make offers of admission from the waitlist, release candidates from the waitlist, or reconfirm candidates' interest in remaining on the waitlist. As we will be reviewing the waitlist on a rolling basis, please be sure to submit any updated information that you would like the Admissions Committee to consider when evaluating your candidacy in a timely manner.

All final admission decisions will be communicated by early August. We strongly discourage applicants from calling or emailing frequently to inquire about their status on the waitlist.

Can I receive an expedited admissions decision if I am accepted at another school?

No. We are not able to conduct an expedited review of your application.

If I am admitted from the waitlist, would I be eligible for Berkeley-Haas scholarships?

Candidates who are admitted from the waitlist are eligible to apply for Berkeley-Haas scholarships based on remaining scholarship review dates.  For more information about scholarships and other financial aid opportunities, please refer to our Financial Aid website or contact the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@haas.berkeley.edu.

Do I need to visit Berkeley-Haas while I am on the waitlist?

A campus visit is not required, but we welcome you to visit Berkeley-Haas to continue learning about our program while you are on the waitlist.

I am an international student. If I am offered admission, will I still be able to get my visa in time?

In recognition of the time typically required to secure a visa and relocate from abroad, we plan to provide a final admission decision for all international candidates on the waitlist by June.

How do I remove myself from the waitlist?

Please notify us immediately if you no longer wish to remain on our waitlist. You may email us at decision@haas.berkeley.edu.

Whom should I contact if I still have questions about the waitlist?

If you have questions or concerns regarding the waitlist, please contact the admissions office directly by phone at 510-642-1405 or by email at decision@haas.berkeley.edu.

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Corresponding with the Admissions Office

What's the best way to contact the Full-Time MBA Admissions Office?

You may contact the office by phone or email.
The Full-Time MBA Admissions Office is open Monday-Friday, 9:00am-4:00pm PST.
Phone: 510-642-1405
Fax: 510-643-6659
General Email Address: mbaadm@haas.berkeley.edu

I received an email stating I may be required to submit official documents later. Should I send them now? What does this mean?

This means that the unofficial academic documents you provided are acceptable for application review purposes, but if you are invited to interview we will require official documents. To save time and resources, we will only require official documents from applicants who are invited to interview. If you received this email, you do not need to send the documents now. However, if you receive an interview invitation, you should send official documents to our office as soon as possible. Please do not bring your official academic documents to your interview. They must be mailed to our office.

My questions are not answered here.

If your questions are not answered in our Program Guide or application, please feel free to contact us Monday through Friday at (510) 642-1405 between 9am - 4pm.

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