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International Visiting Scholars Program

About the Visiting Scholars Program

The International Visiting Scholars Program is a non-degree program and provides an opportunity for mid-career journalists from abroad to pursue advanced professional training and academic study. Visiting Scholars audit courses offered at the journalism school and in other disciplines, drawing upon the extensive resources and community life of a major research university.

Application Information:

Admissions Timeline

  • January 4, 2014, 5 p.m. PST:
    Deadline for Visiting Scholar 2014-2015 Applications
  • Mid-February, 2014:
    We will contact finalists for a phone interview.
  • April 2014:
    We will begin to extend invitations to selected candidates. We will send admissions decisions as soon as possible so that selected Visiting Scholars can make arrangements for their visas.

The International Visiting Scholars Program at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism provides a one-year opportunity for advanced training and academic study. This is a non-degree program for experienced reporters and editors who are in the first 5-15 years of their career. This program ,which does not grant a degree, is intended for practicing journalists, not academics. We expect to select roughly five or six applicants for the 2014-2015 cohort of Visiting Scholars. The J-school's two-year Master of Journalism (M.J.) degree program offers more rigorous journalistic training than the Visiting Scholars program and also accepts international students each year.

Visiting Scholars may audit journalism classes and classes in other departments when there is room in the class and with the permission of instructors. They confer with a mentor, participate actively in a seminar for Visiting Scholars, attend lectures and other events, and have access to libraries, computer labs and other campus facilities. Visiting Scholars interested in multimedia are encouraged to bring their own equipment, such as cameras and audio recorders.

Visiting Scholars should have a good command of English. Language instruction will not be provided by the school or university.

Fees and Expenses

Visiting Scholars will have the choice of participating for a full academic year of two semesters or for a single semester.

The fee for the full academic year is US$8,000 and the fee for a single semester of your choice is US$5,000.  The fall semester starts in August and ends in December.  The spring semester starts in January and ends in May.

International students must obtain a J-1 visa from the U.S. government to participate in the program (successful applicants to the program will be assisted by the university in this process). The visa requirements state that students must demonstrate that they have at least US$16,000 in funding to support themselves for an academic year. The cost of travel to and from the United States is the responsibility of the Visiting Scholars. Unfortunately, the journalism school does not offer scholarship assistance and cannot reduce or waive fees.

If you have any queries or need more details regarding the program, feel free to email us at vsp AT journalism DOT berkeley DOT edu. Visit the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism page to learn more about the school and the course offerings.

How To Apply

All application materials should be emailed (address: vsp@journalism.berkeley.edu) no later than 5 p.m. PST, January 4, 2014 for the 2014-15 program. 

Please submit the following items in an email with the subject  "Visiting Scholar Application 2014-15." Each of these items should be a separate attachment in either Microsoft Word or PDF format. Please put your name, your home country and your email address at the top of each page you submit. Please be consistent in the email address you choose to use with us.

1.Personal Essay

A personal description of up to 1000 words that explains: 1) the intellectual and social values that shape your work in journalism; 2) how those values contribute to your journalistic practice; 3) what courses in journalism and other subjects you expect to take at Berkeley; and 4) how your course work as a visiting scholar will contribute to your future career goals.

2. Resume

A resume that lists: all positions held since completing your formal education, degrees, educational institutions attended, travel abroad, journalism awards and fellowships. Please include one passport-size photograph, if available.

3. Work Samples

Three examples of your recently published or broadcast work. If not in English, work samples must be accompanied by a translation or subtitles. Wherever possible, please send scanned copies of your print articles as attachments to your email or attach a document that includes links to video, web and radio pieces that appear on the internet. All video, television and radio pieces should also include translated scripts. It will be of great benefit to us if you can send us links to your work rather than hard copies, but if the only way to show us your work is by a dvd or cd, please send by mail with a copy of the application you submitted by email by January 4, 2014.

Hard copy work samples can be sent to the address below. Work samples cannot be returned.

Visiting Scholar Program
121 North Gate Hall #5860
Graduate School of Journalism University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-5860

4. TOEFL (NOTE: a TOEFL score is now required of all applicants)

Applicants to the Visiting Scholars Program are required to have taken the TOEFL (Test of English Proficiency) within the last three years. To submit your score, you can scan your official score sheet and send as an attachment in the email or fax it to 510-643-9136.