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 Also, those who produce journalistic work during the months before the deadline are impressive, and sometimes unpublished journalistic work can be as strong as published work.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

Donation Info

Can I donate to the School with stocks?

Yes! Should you wish to donate securities, please contact central campus at 510.642.6791 or givesecurities@berkeley.edu specifying the Graduate School of Journalism as the recipient.

Can I donate by check?

Yes. Gifts may be made through checks payable to the UC Regents.

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 set up a recurring gift with my credit card?

Many of us are already accustomed to supporting our local public radio stations, schools etc. with recurring gifts. Establishing recurring gifts are convenient for the donor (and your accountant) and give the J-School a predictable source of income we can count on. You choose the amount you wish to give monthly or annually. Pledges can be changed or cancelled at any time. Make your first donation via credit card today!

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:

“I give ______* to the UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY FOUNDATION, a California nonprofit public benefit corporation, to provide support to be used at the discretion of the Dean of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California.” * For example, “$_____” or “_____ percentage of the residue of my estate.”

Please contact us for sample language to support scholarships, fellowships, faculty research, or other areas on campus that are important to you.

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

You can look up your company in our employer matching-gift search by clicking here.

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.

How do I make a wire transfer?

Wire transfers are most commonly used for gifts made from outside the United States. You should alert UC Berkeley that a wire transfer has been made. Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfers, on the other hand, can be sent only from domestic banks, and a unique routing number must be used for ACH transfers: 121000358. ACH transfers will not work from international banks.

Please contact us for help with a wire transfer or ACH transfer at either 510.642.6855 or gifthelp@berkeley.edu.

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 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.

Pledge reminders will be mailed on an agreed-upon schedule unless the donor requests otherwise. Pledge payments may be in the form of cash, credit, or debit card charges, or wire or securities transfers.

Donors should indicate if their pledge includes an anticipated corporate matching gift, or if it may be fulfilled by a private or community foundation. If you are interested in making a pledge, please download this pledge card [PDF 270KB], specify the Graduate School of Journalism as the recipient and mail it to:

University of California, Berkeley
Donor and Gift Services
1995 University Avenue, Suite 400
Berkeley, CA 94704-1070

To indicate that a gift you are making is a payment on an existing pledge, please write "pledge payment" in the special instructions field for your gift.

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.

What are your Tax ID Numbers?

UC Berkeley Foundation: 94-6090626
UC Regents: 94-6002123

 

Can I make a Gift-in-Kind to the J-School?

Donating tangible personal property is an increasingly popular and useful way to support units on campus. To determine if your item is appropriate as a gift-in-kind, please contact us at 510.642.6791 or giftinkind@berkeley.edu. Remember to specify the Graduate School of Journalism as the recipient.

Is a portion of my gift used for administrative purposes?

Yes. A portion of your philanthropic gift, 5 percent, is allocated to support campus fundraising efforts. This level compares favorably to those at other UC schools and select institutions. One half of this amount is directed to fundraising operations at the J-School, and the other half to further investments in development campus wide.