As a student in the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) School of Information (I School), you will join a diverse group of students with the academic abilities to meet the demands of a rigorous graduate program. UC Berkeley’s online Master of Information and Data Science (MIDS) program will provide you with the unique opportunity to complete your master’s degree from a top-ranked university from anywhere in the world.
To be eligible for the MIDS program, both domestic and international applicants are held to the same high academic standard and admissions requirements. Applicants who are successful in the program:
- Possess a superior scholastic record with the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
- Exhibit a high level of quantitative ability and a problem-solving mindset
- Have a working knowledge of fundamental concepts, including data structures, algorithms, and linear algebra
- Are able to communicate effectively
- Demonstrate proficiency in programming languages
International Application Requirements
If you are an international applicant, you may be required to provide additional materials to complete your application. U.S. degree equivalency documents - including transcripts and degree conferral certificates - issued in languages other than English or Spanish are required to be accompanied by official translations. Per UC Berkeley Graduate Division requirements, translations must be provided by one of the following:
- The degree-granting institution;
- The ministry of education; or
- A certified translator in the American Translators Association.
If you received your undergraduate degree in a country in which the official language is not English, you will be required to show proof of English proficiency by submitting official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores. To be valid, TOEFL scores must have been taken within 24 months of the start of classes. Test scores must be sent directly from the testing authorities. The school code for UC Berkeley is 4833. The department code for the I School is 99.
To qualify for a TOEFL exemption, you must have at least one of the following:
- Received an undergraduate degree from an institution in a country in which the official language is English, including the U.S., U.K., Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, English-speaking Canada, McGill University, or Concordia University
- Received a graduate degree from an accredited U.S. institution with a GPA of 3.0 or higher
- Have completed at least one year of full-time undergraduate coursework from an accredited U.S. institution with grades of “B” or better in each course
Please contact admissions if you have questions about the English Proficiency requirement. Click here for more information about the TOEFL requirements for your country.
U.S. Degree Equivalency
If you graduated from a recognized academic institution outside the United States, you must hold a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree. Equivalency is determined by international evaluators in the UC Berkeley Graduate Admissions Office.
For initial admissions review, copies of official undergraduate transcripts and copies of degree conferrals from all institutions you attended are required. If recommended for admission by the I School, applicants will be required to provide official copies of these documents in order to be formally admitted by the UC Berkeley Graduate Division. Because the time between admissions notification and the start of the term may be short, we strongly recommend that you have all necessary official documents in hand and are prepared to submit them as quickly as possible if you are recommended for admission. Applicants who fail to submit the required official documents in time may have to delay their start to the program.
Degree conferral certificates must explicitly state “Degree Conferred On + [date]” or “Degree awarded on + [date]”. Certificates indicating that an applicant passed an examination are not accepted as official degree conferral certificates.
Academic records must be originals, issued in the original language of instruction, and accompanied by English translations. Per UC Berkeley Graduate Division requirements, translations must be provided by a certified member of the American Translators Association.
Records or transcripts must be issued by the school and include the school’s stamp or embossed seal and the signature of the authorizing official. Transcripts in a sealed envelope are preferred; if the student cannot acquire these, original transcripts are accepted.
For more information about the official document guidelines for your country, download our Official Document Guidelines brochure (PDF, 212kb). If you cannot find the answer to your question here, contact us directly via email.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the admissions requirements for international students?
Admissions requirements are the same for both domestic and international students, except for English proficiency documents. International applicants must have the equivalency of a U.S. undergraduate degree to be eligible to apply and may need to provide materials to verify English proficiency to complete their application. Download our Official Document Guidelines brochure (PDF, 212kb) for more information.
Does the application process include an interview?
Though it is not always a required part of the admissions process, the I School admissions committee may invite you to interview to discuss your background, skills, and interest in data science and the MIDS program.
What is the online learning experience like for international students?
Designed to be accessible from anywhere in the world, the online learning experience is the same for all students in the MIDS program. Learn more about the online learning experience and the I School Virtual Campus.
How will I feel connected as an international student in the program?
Our online platform facilitates collaboration and leads to real connections. You will create a profile similar to those made on other social networking tools and get to know your fellow students outside of class through social groups. In addition, you may use our online classrooms to meet classmates for study sessions, group project work, or faculty office hours. During the required immersion, you will have the opportunity to network in-person with peers and faculty at the UC Berkeley campus or in other locations relevant to data science. Upon completion of the program, you will also be invited to attend graduation.
How many international students are in the program?
Each MIDS cohort is uniquely composed of diverse students from all over the world. Please see our datascience@berkeley class profile for a snapshot of our current students.
Is the Master of Information and Data Science program delivered on campus as well as online?
The MIDS program is offered exclusively online, but students will be required to attend a three-to-four day in-person immersion at UC Berkeley prior to completing their degree.
What times are classes held, and how will I be impacted by the time zone difference?
The I School is committed to allowing greater access to the program via the online platform. Classes are generally held during the week between 4:00pm and 8:00pm in Pacific Standard Time, translating to a morning class for students in Asia or early mornings for students in Europe. Students should note that spaces in classes are limited and offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you require a specific course section, you should make sure to register for classes as soon as registration opens. Please see our most recent course schedule.
Is attendance mandatory for live classes?
What degree will I earn upon completion of the program?
Graduates will earn a Master of Information and Data Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
What student support and advising services are available to students?
Support begins from the moment you request information about datascience@berkeley and continues beyond graduation. You will be assigned an advisor who will be available to meet with you one-on-one throughout the program to help you reach your academic and career goals. Our student support team will work with you to provide technical assistance and help you acclimate to our online learning community. Once you graduate, you will join the I School and UC Berkeley global alumni network, which connects you for life to other graduates around the world. You will also receive access to MIDS For Life, a lifelong access to the I School Virtual Campus. Click here for more information about additional resources provided by the UC Berkeley International Office.
What kinds of career services does UC Berkeley provide for international students? Can UC Berkeley help me obtain work in the U.S. after completing the MIDS program?
You will have access to the UC Berkeley I School Career Services team who will provide many resources to help you achieve your career goals and maximize the value of the MIDS degree. The team will assist in your job search if you are exploring options in the U.S. They will also be available for resume building and interviewing advice.
Does MIDS qualify as a STEM-approved degree?
MIDS is a designated STEM degree; the CIP code for the MIDS program is 11.0401. However, datascience@berkeley students are ineligible for the F-1 visa STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) extension because the MIDS program is non-residential. Applicants or students with questions about visas should contact the Berkeley International Office.
Financing Your Degree
What financial assistance is available to international students?
Federal financial aid programs are only available to U.S. citizens, and permanent residents are eligible to apply for federal financial aid programs. However, other resources we encourage international students to consider include: