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Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the program, we accept students with various backgrounds including psychology, optometry, engineering, computer science, physics, chemistry, biophysics, neuroscience, mathematics, molecular and cell biology and integrative biology. Because this program is designed to develop research scientists, it is also important that applicants are familiar with an experimental lab setting. Admission is based on a variety of factors, including academic achievement and relevant experience. Each each part of an application is important and is thoroughly reviewed. Your application and all the supporting documents should be submitted prior to the deadline.


 Fall 2018 Application Deadline – Jan 6, 2018, 8:59pm (PST)


Eligibility Requirements

  • Four-year (or equivalent) Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • GRE Exam– Must be no older than 5 years by the time of application. There is no minimum score requirement.
    • Institution Code: 4833
    • Department Code:0611
  • TOEFL Exam– If you native language is not English, and you did not receive your undergraduate degree from an English-speaking institution, we will require the TOEFL exam.  It must be no older than 2 years by the time of application. Please note the minimum score for the Internet-based Test (iBT) is 90 and for the Paper-based Test (pBT) it is 570. For more information please see the Graduate Division webpage.
    • Institution Code: 4833
    • Department Code: 99


Application Information

The online application is available now. The application fee for domestic students is $105 and the fee for international students is $125. Fee waivers are available. Please follow the instructions found here. The following is a list of items you will be required to submit in your application.

  • Faculty Adviser
    • You will be asked to provide 3 potential Faculty Advisers in ranked order. In preparation for this, please research our faculty and reach out to them to discuss your interests. This is especially important because you will want to determine research matches and lab openings before you apply.
  •  Transcripts
    • Please upload unofficial transcripts from all colleges you’ve attended since high school. If admitted to the program you will be required to submit official transcripts.
    • International Applicants: You are required to upload transcripts in their original form however we recommend you also upload evaluated transcripts to allow the admission committee a better understanding of your educational background.
    • If you’d like a GPA calculator, try this one.
  • Letters of Recommendation
    • We require 3 letters from persons who had supervised your research or academic work. They will be uploaded electronically, please do not send letters to the program directly.
  • Essays
    • All essays are to be in PDF format and uploaded into your application,
    • Statement of Purpose (SOP)- Please describe your aptitude and motivation for graduate study in Vision Science, including your preparation, your academic plans or research interests, and your future career goals. Please be specific about why UC Berkeley would be a good intellectual fit for you.
    • Personal History Statement (PHS)- The Personal History Statement is required from all applicants. Please note that the Personal History Statement should not duplicate the Statement of Purpose.
      Please describe how your personal background and experiences influenced your decision to pursue a graduate degree. In this section, you may also include any relevant information on the following:

      • How you have overcome barriers to access higher education
      • How you have come to understand the barriers faced by others
      • Your academic service to advance equitable access to higher education for women, racial minorities and individuals from other groups that have been historically underrepresented in higher education
      • Your research focusing on under served populations or related issues of inequality
      • Your leadership among such groups



If you have any questions about your application, please contact us at vision@berkeley.edu.