Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions Info

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 Also, those who produce journalistic work during the months before the deadline are impressive, and sometimes unpublished research papers or journalistic work can be as strong as published work.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.

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

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.

What transcripts are required?

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.

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?

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.

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.

Donation Info

Can I donate to the School with stocks?

For questions relating to gifts of securities to the J-School, please contact Marlena Telvick by phone at (510) 643-9411 or via email at givesecurities@berkeley.edu.

Can I donate by check?

Gifts may also be made through checks payable to the UC Berkeley Foundation or a stock transfer.

Mail to:
UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
ATT: Development Office
121 North Gate Hall, #5860
Berkeley, CA 94720-5860
Tax ID number: 94-6090626.

How do I include the J‑School in my will?

It's easy: Just include the bequest language in your will or living trust. If you like, you can use this sample bequest language as a guide.

How can I find out if my company has a matching gifts program?

You can look up your company in our employer matching-gift using the Employer Matching Gift Search.
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How do I specify that my gift is in honor of, or a memorial for, someone?

A memorial gift can help perpetuate the values and ideals that guided someone’s life. Honorary gifts commemorate a significant event. They can also honor someone who is still living. We strongly encourage thoughtful gestures like those. When making an online donation, please use the “Special instructions for this gift” field to note what type of gift you are making (honor/memorial) and the name of the person you are recognizing. Fellowships can also be established in someone’s memory. Obituaries can also be written to direct donations to the J-School in someone’s name in lieu of flowers.

Can I make my donation anonymous?

Yes. You will need to provide your personal information so that you can be credited for the gift. If you want your gift to be acknowledged as anonymous, please note this in the “Special Instructions for this gift” field when making an online donation, or write "anonymous' in the notes field of your check.

I would like to pledge annual donations to the J‑School. Do I need to fill out a special form?

Yes. Pledges must be made in writing and include a commitment to a specific amount and payment schedule. Pledges may be paid over a period of five years from the time of the commitment in annual, semiannual, or quarterly installments. Download a pledge card, then mail to the J-School.

What is an endowment and what is the minimum amount required to establish one at the J‑School?

An endowment is a fund established by a gift in which the donor has imposed the restriction that the principal remain intact; only income and growth from the principal (approximately 4% annually) can be used to support the stated purpose of the fund. The minimum amount is $50,000.