Admissions Requirements

Application Deadlines & Information
Master's program application deadline 01/15/2024
TOEFL,IELTS, and GRE scores 01/15/2024
Institution Code 4833

We welcome applicants from all backgrounds to apply to our Master of Biotechnology program. Admission to the program is based on a holistic evaluation process and provides multiple opportunities for you to demonstrate your scientific aptitude and potential to succeed during your time in the program and beyond. Our admissions committee takes many factors into consideration as they review each individual application.

These factors include, but are not limited to:

  • Undergraduate academic preparation: What relevant coursework have you taken? Can you explain any weakness in your academic record?
  • Personal attributes: Are you motivated and curious? Have you demonstrated initiative and shown leadership? What challenges have you overcome in the past?
  • Community building: What contributions have you made to advancing diversity and how does your lived experience help you understand issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging?
  • Shared interests and goals: How do your interests or career goals align with the broader mission of our program?

Minimum Requirements

The minimum admissions requirements are set by the UC Berkeley Graduate Division and program-specific prerequisites.

Degree BA/BS in Biological Sciences or related field
GPA 3.00
Required coursework General biology, molecular biology and biochemistry, general chemistry, organic chemistry
Recommended coursework Basic statistics or biostatistics, calculus
(international students only)

Minimum TOEFL score: 90 for internet-based, 233 for computer-based, 570 for paper test
Minimum IELTS score: 7.0 out of 9.0

Required Application Materials


We require applicants to submit transcripts from undergraduate institutions which they have attended. Strong applications to this program will have come from students who have demonstrated academic performance and have met the minimum GPA and course requirements listed above.

Personal History Statement (Half page maximum)

Your Personal History Statement provides the admissions committee with information about your personal history and allows the admissions committee to connect with you on a more personal level. It also gives you an important opportunity to address any weaknesses in your academic record and should describe how your personal background has shaped your interests and your decision to pursue a master's degree.

Some helpful questions to think about while writing your essay are below:

  • What familial, educational, cultural, economic, or social experiences have you had that influenced your decisions to pursue a master's degree?
  • How have you demonstrated your leadership skills?
  • What are the ways that you have contributed or plan to contribute to social or cultural diversity in your community or in the sciences?
  • What barriers have you overcome or helped others overcome?
  • What experiences can you share that highlight your curiosity, perseverance, or determination?

General information on writing a personal statement can be found at the UC Berkeley Graduate Division page.

Statement of Purpose (1 page maximum)

Your Statement of Purpose gives the admissions committee a picture of your scientific background, future career goals, and how our master's program aligns with your stated interests. It should allow the admissions committee to understand clearly your motivations for pursuing a Master of Biotechnology degree here at Berkeley and your potential to succeed in our program.

If you did not have the opportunity to conduct undergraduate research, please do not be discouraged from applying. One of our program's goals is to help you start your journey into biomedical research.

The Graduate Division also provides helpful information on putting together your statement of purpose found here.

Letters of Recommendation

We require all applications to include two letters of recommendation from people who can speak to your academic or professional experience and evaluate your intellectual ability, leadership potential, and personal qualities. Letters can come from research advisors, professors or lecturers who have taught courses you've taken, or recent employers and supervisors.

Letters of recommendation must be submitted online.

TOEFL/IELTS Scores (international students only)

As required by UC Berkeley Graduate Division, all applicants who received their degrees in countries in which the official language is not English must submit official evidence of English proficiency. For the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), a minimum score of 90 is required for the internet-based test (IBT), or a minimum score of 233 for the computer-based test (CBT), or a minimum score of 570 for the paper-based test. For the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), we require a minimum 7.0 out of 9.0 test score.

You are not required to take the TOEFL/IELTS if you meet at least one of the following:

  • You have completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with a grade B or better at a U.S. university.
  • You have a basic degree from a recognized institution in a country where the official language is English.
  • You have completed a basic or advanced degree at an institution in the U.S. or a U.S. institution abroad, where the language of instruction is English and the institution is accredited by one of the U.S. regional accrediting agencies.

More information on English language proficiency requirements can be found here.

Optional Materials

Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) test scores

Both the general and subject tests for the GRE are optional. If you do decide to submit your GRE test scores, they will be taken into consideration when we review your application. This may be helpful if you have gaps or weaknesses in your academic record. However, if you decide not to report any GRE test scores, this will have no negative impact on your application assessment.