Costs & Financial Aid

For up to date tuition and fees, visit the Registrar website. Scroll down on the Registrar website to see the fee table for the Journalism School in the list of professional schools. All fees listed are per semester.

 

Students should also review the Graduate Student Budget as outlined on the The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office website.

 

Students should anticipate additional miscellaneous costs, some of which are estimated as follows:

  • Transportation for Reporting Classes: $200 to $2,000
  • Documentary Production (documentary students only): $2,000-$10,000
  • Equipment Costs: variable
  • Estimated Loan Fees: $244
  • Course Material Fees (dependent on course): $40-$200

 

The J-School is strongly committed to remaining affordable to promising candidates from all socio-economic backgrounds, and devotes considerable energy to raising money from outside philanthropy so that grants and fellowships are widely available to our students. For that reason, we encourage all qualified individuals to apply regardless of their financial means, and we will do everything we can to make sure our fees don’t keep anyone from attending the School.

Ways to Reduce Costs

Establishing California Residency

Many out-of-state students begin establishing California residency during their first years at the School in order to be eligible for in-state tuition in their second years. The Legal Residence Office website explains the steps you need to take to establish residency.

 

Only U.S. citizens are permitted to establish residency for in-state tuition in their second years. International students do not qualify.

 

Working on Campus

We do not recommend outside employment during students’ first semesters. That allows them time to become fully immersed in the School’s demanding curriculum.

 

For their second, third and fourth semesters students may seek GSR (Graduate Student Researcher), GSI (Graduate Student Instructor), Reader, and Tutor positions. All registered students are eligible for these instructional assistantships.

 

Positions are available campus-wide, and students are welcome to pursue openings in any department. Contact each department separately for specific deadlines, procedures, and requirements. The positions may include partial fee remissions with modest salaries. The partial fee remission is approximately $7,500 per semester. The semester salary is approximately $2,700. These positions are highly competitive, so students are advised to start their searches early. Job listings for GSI and reader positions are posted on the UGIS website.

 

The School also offers hourly positions within our television and radio labs, as well as assisting the magazine program, community sites and other instructional efforts. Some students also hold hourly positions with the School’s Investigative Reporting Program or with other campus departments.

Financial Support, Loans and Fellowships

Journalism School Scholarships

The J-School offers financial-need and merit funding to a limited number of accepted students. To be considered, applicants must check the "Fellowship and/or Departmental Aid Applicant" box on the Graduate Division Online Application. Applicants must also submit the FAFSA form (see below) to be considered. Grants typically range from $1,000 to $15,000 a year.

 

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Students may begin filing their FAFSA forms online in January 2016 to be considered for federal grants, loans, or qualification for work-study. Priority filing due date: March 2, 2017. UC Berkeley’s institution code for the FAFSA is 001312.

 

Berkeley Graduate Division: Fellowship and Grants

The Graduate Division offers a comprehensive guide to for funding opportunities. Click here to see their guide to fellowships and grants.

 

Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (FLAS)

Students interested in pursuing studies in a foreign language as part of their graduate work at Berkeley may apply for a FLAS fellowship. Visit the FLAS page for information and requirements for this extremely competitive university fellowship.

 

Outside Funding Opportunities

Many outside organizations offer scholarships for graduate study. Below is a list to use as a starting reference for researching funding opportunities. Click here for more information on outside funding opportunities.

 

Additional Resources for International Students

The Berkeley International Office is the one-stop resource for international students. The BIO counselors can answer many questions about the international students’ experience, logistics and resources.

 

Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program (subscribe to newsletter for ongoing updates on scholarship announcements)

 

Human Rights Watch

 

International Journalists' Network (subscribe to newsletter for ongoing updates on scholarship announcements)

J-SCHOOL ADMISSIONS

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a degree in a specific major to be considered for admission?

The J‑School admits applicants with a wide variety of Bachelor's degrees, from Anthropology to Zoology. An applicant with a technical or science background can approach reporting from a unique perspective. Your performance as an undergraduate is important, just as your commitment to reporting is important.

Are there any prerequisite courses that I need to have taken?

No specific prerequisite coursework is required beyond the successful completion of your bachelor's degree.

What counts as journalism experience?

The admissions committee looks for your dedication to becoming the best reporter you can be. Applicants who demonstrate solid reporting skills and a strong work ethic are favored. The most impressive applicants report stories that have not been previously reported, provide significant value to the community, lack personal bias, show meticulous research, sharp interviewing skills, integrity, and good judgment. Many do this while having an unrelated day job. Research and expertise in technologies and specific topics (eg biochemistry, data visualization) are also impressive to the admissions committee.

If I don't have any journalism experience, do I have a chance of being admitted?

If you have not done any reporting, then it is more difficult to be a successful applicant. However, the admissions committee looks closely at other qualifications and achievements that indicate you are a strong candidate. Also, those who produce journalistic work during the months before the deadline are impressive, and sometimes unpublished journalistic work can be as strong as published work. Finally, if you need more samples of work, one of the best ways to learn and improve your reporting techniques is to ask a journalist to mentor you. A good mentor will allow you to pitch him/her story ideas, show you storytelling techniques, and help you with the editing and connections you need to get your work published.

What GPA is required in order to be considered for admission?

UC Berkeley requires that all US Citizens who apply to graduate programs have an Advanced GPA of at least 3.0. An Advanced GPA is all grades received after your first two years of college-level course work. This grade calculator from the Graduate School of Education can help you calculate your Advanced GPA. Your Advanced GPA is required to submit the application, however we do not require a GPA calculation worksheet. If your grade is not based on a 4-point scale, as is the case for most international students, please enter your undergraduate cumulative GPA, as determined by your institution.

 

Occasionally an exception can be made if professional experience outweighs the significance of an applicant's performance in college. There is a text box on the application that you can use to provide an explanation about your grades. You can use this to explain why your grades do not reflect of your merit for a Master of Journalism.

What transcripts are required?

Applicants should have a BA or BS from an accredited institution. Applicants must submit transcripts for ALL college-level course work. Transcripts can be unofficial but must show degree conferred (if any), the institution’s name, and the applicant’s full name. Transcripts must be loaded into the online application as PDFs and must be legible. Hard copies will be required if admission is offered.

I took the GRE, should I submit my scores even though they are no longer required?

The GRE is important if you are applying for the FLAS fellowship or if you are applying for a concurrent program that requires it. Otherwise, you do not need to take or report a GRE score.

I took the GRE, should I submit my scores even though they are no longer required?

The GRE is important if you are applying for the FLAS fellowship or if you are applying for a concurrent program that requires it. Otherwise, you do not need to take or report a GRE score.

What are acceptable work samples?

Your three work samples as a whole should highlight your ability as a reporter and storyteller. Please keep in mind that the Admissions Committee is looking for evidence that you have basic reporting skills, which include story identification, thorough background research, fact checking, cultivating appropriate sources and quoting them directly, and storytelling abilities.

Work samples can be unpublished and they can be in any format: print, video, or audio pieces, multimedia pieces, online projects like data-driven stories, in-depth interactive graphics or interactive documentaries, or other abstract new media forms, such as VR, apps, or similar projects.

Work samples can be uploaded as PDFs, image or audio files, or submitted as URLs. If submitting a URL, be sure to include any additional information needed to access the materials online (e.g. if password-protected). It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure a working link and full accessibility to materials during the review period of the application. Be sure it’s clear that you are either the sole author/producer of each work sample, or specify exactly what your role was in creating the piece using the provided text box on the application.

International applicants can send work samples in another language, so long as an English translation, by the applicant, is provided.

Does the Journalism School accept transfer credit from other institutions?

No.

Does the Journalism School offer summer classes?

Undergraduates may enroll in the Summer Minor Program.  However, we do not offer graduate-level courses during the summer.

Can I apply to be a part-time student? Does the Journalism School offer any correspondence/online courses?

The program is a two-year, full-time Master of Journalism program. We only admit students each fall semester. For workshops and short courses, please visit Berkeley AMI which offers workshops and custom training programs for mid-career journalists.

How will the program work for me if I am interested in Documentary?

All applicants will be evaluated equally by the admissions committee. You must be a student in our journalism program before being considered for advanced documentary coursework. Enrolled students can begin taking Introductory TV Production courses in their first semester. At the end of the second semester, the students who show the most dedication and merit have the opportunity to enroll in advanced documentary classes.

Will it help me to submit more than 3 letters of recommendation?

No. Please ask your three best recommenders to submit letters on your behalf. The admissions committee will not review more than three letters per applicant.

When do the letters of recommendation need to be submitted?

Your recommenders will be able to submit their letters after the December 1st deadline. However, please urge your recommenders to submit their letters as close to the deadline as possible so that we have them by the time your application is reviewed.

What if my recommender doesn't have a corporate email address?

If your recommender does not have a work or corporate email address, using a personal email address (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo) will be fine.

Why are their two sections in the application for me to submit work samples?

You only need to submit your work samples one time. The Journalism Program section allows you to submit work samples as PDFs or URLs. The Audio/Visual Uploads section allows you to submit audio and video files. The type of file or link you choose to submit is up to you, we have no preference.

Do I fill out my employment history as well as submit a resume?

Yes. Please fill out the Employment section as well as upload a resume on the Supporting Materials section. No other materials are required for the Supporting Materials section besides the resume.

Will I automatically be considered for funding?

Yes, all applicants are automatically considered for need-based and merit-based funding. All applicants will receive their admissions notice in February. If you are admitted into the school, you will also receive an email around the same time with information on your financial aid package. We also encourage all applicants to apply for outside funding at the same time they apply to graduate school.

What is the time commitment and can I work while going to school?

This is an intensive full-time professional graduate program. It is basically impossible to work full time while in the program. It is hard to work at all during your first semester. After the first semester, the course schedule becomes a bit more flexible and it is possible to work part time. Some of our students freelance, some work on campus as Graduate Student Instructors, and some find other types of part-time employment. The Berkeley Advanced Media Institute and the summer journalism minor will sometimes hire our students to help with their courses. The J-School offers about 15 merit fellowships to second-year students, which you can apply for towards the end of your first year. These are some of the ways our students earn money while attending school, but none of these is guaranteed and you must apply for all of them.