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Applying to the Graduate Program

Welcome prospective graduate students! The Astronomy Department admits new graduate students to the Fall Semester only. The next admissions cycle will be for Fall 2015.

Our Online Application Deadline: December 5, 2014. Please do NOT send updated transcripts, publications, etc. after this deadline.

The Graduate Division's Online Application is available at

The entire application process is online. Please read the application instructions thoroughly. All supporting material, including your transcript should upload to your application. Your application will be reviewed with your unofficial transcripts. If you are recommended for admission to the Astrophysics PhD program, you must submit official copies of your transcript for final approval of your admission by Graduate Division's Graduate Admissions Office.

Our review process will begin shortly after the December 5 deadline. We expect to make offers of admission by the end of February or the beginning of March.

A Note on the GREs

We require both the General GRE and the GRE Subject Test in Physics. You should take both tests no later than October 2014. The institution code for Berkeley is 4833; department codes are unnecessary. As long as the scores are sent to UC Berkeley, they will be received by any program you apply to on campus. Additional information about the GRE exams, and how to register, can be obtained on the web at The Department is aware that ETS score reports for examinations taken in November may arrive after the Dec. 5 deadline. This is acceptable.

International Students

All applicants from countries in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This 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.

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 a standardized test. Instead, you must submit an official transcript from the U.S. university.

We will only accept TOEFL tests administered by the Educational Testing Service and sent to us directly by the TOEFL office. Tests taken before June 2013 will not be accepted, even if your score was reported to Berkeley. You may submit a photocopy of the Examinee's Score Report for review purposes only, but this is not a substitute for an official score report. For purposes of admission, your most recent score must be at least 90 for the Internet- based test (iBT). Students wishing to be appointed as teaching assistants in their first year should have a score of 26 on the speaking section of the iBT.

Tips for the Application Process

Uploaded Documents:Be sure to put your name and type of essay on your essays (Statement of Purpose, 2-3 pages, Personal Statement, 1-2 pages) as a header or before the text, whether you use the text box or upload a PDF or Word doc. There is no minimum length on either essay, but 3 pages maximum is suggested. The Statement of Purpose should describe your research and educational background and aspirations. The Personal Statement can include personal achievements not necessarily related to research, barriers you've had to overcome, mentoring and volunteering activities, things that make you unique!

Letters of Recommendation: Should be from persons who have supervised your research or academic work and who can evaluate your intellectual ability, creativity, and potential for research and graduate study. Note: the application can be submitted before all of the recommenders have completed their letters. It is your responsibility to keep track of your recommender’s progress through the online system. Be sure to send reminders if your recommenders do not submit their letters.

Calculating GPA: Schools can differ in how they assign grades and calculate grade point averages, so it may be difficult for this office to offer advice. The best resource for calculating the GPA for your school is to check the back of the official transcripts where a guide is often provided.

Faculty Contact/Interests: Please be sure to list faculty that interest you as part of the online application. You are not required to contact any faculty in advance, but are welcome to.

Submitting the application: To avoid the possibility of computer problems on either side, it is inadvisable to wait until the last day to submit your application. It is not unusual for the application system to have difficulties during times of heavy traffic. However, there is no need to submit the application too early. No application will be reviewed before the deadline.

Name: On the online application, please capitalize the first letter of your first and last name. DO NOT use all caps or no caps. And please double check that you have entered your first and last names in the correct fields. Be sure to put your name on any documents that you upload (Statement of Purpose, Personal Statement).

Email Astrophysics Graduate Admissions

After reading the above material, if you have further questions on admission to our program, you can send e-mail to

$Date: 2014-11-03 14:39:28 -0800 (Mon, 03 Nov 2014) $