The University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley) was founded in the year 1868 following Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Morrill Act. A historic trailblazer, UC Berkeley is California’s first land-grant institution and UC campus.

The Oakland-based institution, which was subsequently named after philosopher George Berkeley, is funded by the federal and state governments. It also draws finances from private entities, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

UC Berkeley is presently organized into the Colleges of Chemistry, Engineering, Environmental Design, Letter & Science, and Natural Resources (Rausser). It also has Schools in the fields of Business (Haas), Public Policy (Goldman), Information, Law, Optometry, Public Health, and Social Welfare. In this article, we will be looking at UC Berkeley scholarships for international students.

International Students at UC Berkeley

Of the almost 40,000 students of UC Berkeley, 17% are foreigners. Most are graduate students (approximately 29%), while the rest are undergraduates (12.7%).

This community is supervised by the Berkeley International Office, which offers student services such as admissions and immigration/visa assistance. It also provides support for registration, arrivals, dissertation/thesis filing, and health insurance.

The UC Berkeley International Office may also help students with F/J visas with employment opportunities after graduation.

Tuition Fee for International Students

As a public university, UC Berkeley has slightly cheaper tuition fees for foreign students. Undergraduates only need to pay about $47,602 a year. This covers resident tuition and fees of $17,848 and non-resident supplemental fees of $29,754.

Graduate tuition, on the other hand, is cheaper at about $35,030 a year. This includes resident tuition/fees of $19,928 plus supplemental fees of $15,102. The total fee may increase slightly as it is still subject to professional fees (varies according to program).

International Admissions Guide at UC Berkeley

Everything you need to know about international student admissions is explained here.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Application Fee

Undergraduate students who wish to apply at UC Berkeley will need to pay a non-refundable fee of $80.

The application fee for graduate students, on the other hand, is more expensive at $140.

Compared to other universities, UC Berkeley doesn’t issue a waiver for international applicants. This is only exclusive to US citizens or residents who demonstrate financial need.

UC Berkeley Admissions Requirements for International Students

Foreign students who wish to take a Bachelor’s degree in UC Berkeley must submit the following:

  • High school certificate of completion
  • Proof of English proficiency (Preference for TOEFL score of 100 and IELTS of 6.5) – alternatives include AP English Exam (score 3, 4, or 5), IB Standard Level exam (score 6 or 7), or IB Higher Level exam (scores 5, 6, or 7)
  • Supplemental forms (for applicants of the Management, Entrepreneurship, & Management and Global Management programs)
  • Financial documentation

Graduate applicants, on the other hand, have to meet the following requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent
  • GPA of at least 3.0 out of 4.0
  • Proof of English proficiency (TOEFL iBT of 90 or TOEFL PBT of 570 or IELTS band 7)
  • GRE or GMAT results
  • 3 letters of recommendation

UC Berkeley Rankings

UC Berkeley is ranked the 7th best institution in the globe by the World University Rankings. It also ranks high in terms of World Reputation (6th). However, it lags in US College rankings as it is only listed as number 34.

Meanwhile, the university is ranked 30th in the world by QS Top Universities.

US News, on the other hand, has named UC Berkeley the 4th best Global University in the country.

As for subject rankings, it is the top-ranked institution in Chemistry. It’s third in the US in the fields of Biotechnology & Applied Microbiology, Economics & Business, Environment/Ecology, Space Science, and Physics.

UC Berkeley is also in the US News’ top 10 list for the following disciplines:

  • Civil Engineering and Plant & Animal Science – #4
  • Biology & Biochemistry and Computer Science – #5
  • Materials Science – #6
  • Mathematics, Engineering, and Geosciences – #7
  • Microbiology – #9

UC Berkeley Acceptance Rate

UC Berkeley’s undergraduate acceptance rate varies from year to year. According to the university website, the latest figure is 17.6% – where 15,461 students are admitted out of 88,066 applicants. It’s higher than the previous year, where only 16.8% of applicants were accepted.

These students are truly the cream of the crop, as the survey shows that the accepted applicants have weighted GPAs ranging from 4.27 to 4.62. Their ACT scores are at the 29-35 range, while the SAT scores range from 1330 to 1530.

UC Berkeley Scholarships for International Students

Undergraduate Scholarships

1. Need & Merit-Based Scholarships

Given during the fall semester, this scholarship aims to help full-time students, who have finished at least 2 semesters, continue their studies amidst financial difficulty. While there is no set score to qualify, a GPA of 3.5 is recommended due to the competitive nature of this UC Berkeley scholarship.

2. Bio Financial Aid Program

The Bio need-based financial aid is given to students who are in dire financial need. Open twice a year, eligible students must have completed two semesters’ worth of studies at UC Berkeley to apply.

Those who received 2 Bio grants are still eligible for other need/merit-based scholarships, such as the one stated above.

Apart from the above-mentioned UC Berkeley scholarships, the university also offers an emergency tuition fee grant. Based on financial factors, this covers the student’s tuition and fees. This is given during the fall and spring semesters and does need to be repaid.

Graduate Scholarships

1. Graduate Student Assistantship (GSA)

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: Partial to full tuition remission and stipend

The GSA program offers various options to qualified individuals. They may be assigned as a graduate student instructor, reader, tutor, or graduate student researcher. Usually given to second-year MPP and Ph.D. students, its benefits of this UC Berkeley scholarship vary according to the length of work.

A workload of fewer than 9.6 hours per week, for example, only comes with wages but no tuition remission. On the other hand, those who work more than 18 hours a week are entitled to full tuition (in-state) remission and wage. Remission of non-resident (international) amount is only applicable to Ph.D. students who work the said duration.

2. Dr. And Mrs. James CY Soong Fellowship

The Dr. And Mrs. James CY Soong fellowship is given to Taiwanese students who are financially challenged. Eligible applicants for this UC Berkeley scholarship for international students should be a graduate of a college or university in Taiwan, with a GPA of 3.7 or higher. They need to be residents of either Taiwan or China for at least 10 years to qualify for this bursary.

Apart from these 2 programs, there are many other UC Berkeley fellowships and awards given to international graduate students. These include:

  • Diversity and Community Fellows Program
  • Graduate Remote Instruction Innovation Fellows Program
  • Jim Fahey Safe Homes for Women Fellowship
  • University of California Dissertation-Year Fellowship
  • The David N. Keightley Fellowship
  • Art Rosenfeld Award for Energy Efficiency


I hope that this article on UC Berkeley scholarships for international students was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs for International Students!