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)
International Journalists' Network (subscribe to newsletter for ongoing updates on scholarship announcements)
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
No specific prerequisite coursework is required beyond the successful completion of your bachelor's degree.
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 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 research papers or 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.
Berkeley Graduate Division requires a 3.0 GPA for admission. 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.
An electronic copy of your transcript that shows the official completion of your Bachelor's degree is required. Most international applicants will be required to upload an electronic copy of an official diploma in addition to transcripts.
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.
We expect journalists to be sensitive to language and to organize their thoughts clearly and coherently. We ask that the three work samples demonstrate these qualities. Two of the three submissions must be text-based samples, but the third can be audio, video, multimedia, or a photo essay/portfolio. A video sample must be solely produced and directed by the application. Audio samples should be accompanied by a script. International applicants can send work samples in another language, so long as an English translation, by the applicant, is provided. Academic writing samples and research papers are acceptable.
Undergraduates may enroll in the Summer Minor Program. However, we do not offer graduate-level courses during the summer.
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.
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.