Requirements for International Students

International students in the U.S. on a visa cannot be classified as California residents for tuition purposes.

Please remember: In addition to meeting the requirements listed on this page, you also must meet:

Application Self-Reported Academic Records

Each UC campus, including UC Berkeley, has an International Admission Specialist who is familiar with the educational systems of other countries. Complete the educational history section of the application exactly as it appears on your school records.

Applying as a first-year

To be considered for admission to UC Berkeley, international applicants must:

  • finish secondary school and
  • earn a certificate of completion, which allows admission to a university in their home country or country of graduation

In addition:

Students who have completed the IGCSE or O-level exams have not yet met the requirements for admission at UC Berkeley. The university requires further study, either completion of the two-year A-level program with a minimum of three academic exams, the IB diploma program, or another similar academic curriculum.

Students from countries requiring entry into military service upon completion of secondary education should not submit an application until the obligation has been met. UC Berkeley cannot defer admission to a later term.

Students may have to meet additional admission requirements and follow certain guidelines for filling out the undergraduate application, depending on country or educational system.

Language Requirements

Proficiency in English is critical to success at UC Berkeley. You can demonstrate proficiency by taking one of these exams and earning the required scores:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 80 or better (Berkeley prefers 100)
  • International English Language testing System (IELTS) with a minimum score of 6.5
  • DuoLingo English Test (DET) with a minimum score of 115

Language exam results must be received in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions no later than January prior to the fall semester in which the student wishes to enroll. Our code is 4833. Please contact TOEFL to confirm when your test scores are mailed to campuses.

Other ways for international students to meet the language requirement includes:

  • 3+ years of Language of Instruction (LOI) in English
  • Score 3, 4 or 5 on the AP examination in English Language and Composition, or English Literature and Composition
  • Score 6 or 7 on the IB Standard Level examination in English (Language A only)
  • Score 5, 6 or 7 on the IB Higher Level examination in English (Language A only)
  • Score 24 or higher for the ACT English Language Arts (ELA)

  • Score 31 or higher on Writing and Language in the SAT

For more information, please check out the UC website on English proficiency.

Financial Documentation

Before a U.S. consul will grant a visa, you must prove that you will have sufficient money to meet all your expenses while studying in the United States. You must explain the source of your funds and guarantee that you will receive them while at UC Berkeley.

Unless you are able to provide written evidence demonstrating you have adequate financial resources for the entire time needed to complete your degree program, the consul will not grant a student visa.

If your country’s government limits the amount of money that may be sent to its students in the United States, you should make sure that funds will be available.

When you leave your country, you must have enough money to:

  • pay for traveling expenses to UC Berkeley
  • pay fees for the entire term
  • meet living expenses until more money reaches you
  • pay the return fare to your home

If your country’s government requires verification of enrollment before money can be forwarded to you, you may request the campus International Student Advisor to provide verification after you have completed your UC registration. Some students assume, incorrectly, that additional financial assistance or part-time employment will be available. Each year many students find themselves in serious financial difficulties because they did not arrange for adequate support.

Student Visa Information

All admitted international students will be required to complete a Non-immigrant Information Form (NIF). A guarantee by the applicant’s financial sponsor proving sufficient funds for the first year of study is required. Upon receipt of the completed NIF, the Berkeley International Office (BIO) will issue the document needed for student visa application.

Learn more

University of California l International Students

Basic Admission Requirements

Cost of Attendance

Berkeley International Office l Visa & Travel

Education USA | Study in the United States

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