How to Apply

All applicants to the Ph.D. program in RLL must electronically submit their Graduate Division Admissions Application by the deadline of December 15, 2020, 8:59 p.m. PST, for the Fall 2021 admission cycle.

Required Application Materials

The following materials are required of all applicants for the Ph.D. program in Romance Languages & Literatures, as part of the on-line Graduate Division Admissions Application:

Choice of emphasis for the program: French, Italian Studies, or Spanish and Portuguese.  The department of the emphasis chosen by the applicant will become his/her Host department upon admission to the program.

The Statement of Purpose.  This statement provides an opportunity for the applicant to express his/her plans to study in graduate school and beyond.

The Personal History Statement.

A Domestic or International Fellowship Application.  This application must be completed in order for the applicant to be considered for financial support.  Note: A Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship Application is appropriate for some applicants.  A separate statement is required for FLAS.  Please note that only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible for the FLAS Fellowship.

Additional documents to be uploaded to the on-line application include:

A pdf of Unofficial Transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate work.  Academic work includes each college-level course taken, whether in the U.S. or abroad, during the regular academic year or in summer session.  An official paper transcript will be required of those who are offered and accept admission to Berkeley.

Three Letters of Recommendation.  Letters must be in English, preferably from previous instructors in the Romance Languages.  Recommenders will be able to upload their letters as part of the on-line application.  Applicants are advised to request letters from their recommenders well in advance of the deadline.

One or two Writing Samples.  Writing samples are normally in each of the Romance Languages in which you have advanced competency or in English for papers written for Linguistics classes, maximum of 10 pages each.  A writing sample could be a research paper or an excerpt of a thesis on a topic relevant to the field of Romance Languages and/or Literatures.

TOEFL Scores are required for international students unless they have completed one year or more of full-time course work at an English-speaking university.  Note to native English speakers: If you have not completed one year or more of full-time course work at an English-speaking University, you also are required to take the TOEFL.  Applicants are advised to begin making exam arrangements in the late Summer or early Fall, as exam dates may fill up quickly.  Applicants are further advised to take the exam well in advance of the applications deadline so that the scores arrive in time.  For test registration information, please contact ETS.  Applicants must authorize ETS to send an official score report to Berkeley.  Berkeley’s institution code is 4833.

The Graduate Division provides on its web site some information designed to help you with applying to graduate school, including tips on writing the statement of purpose.

UC Berkeley requires all applicants who are admitted to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Applications are available online at  The school code for Berkeley is 001312.

The RLL Admissions Committee examines all completed applications and makes its recommendations for admission to the Graduate Division.  The committee also recommends awards of Graduate Student Instroctorships (GSI) and/or fellowships (for more detailed information, see “Financial Support” below).  The Program notifies all applicants recommended for admission before the end of February each year.  We only admit candidates for the Fall semester (no Spring admissions).  Applicants from foreign countries should be aware that the Program’s resources for supporting them with non-resident tuition are limited; admission of such students is therefore particularly difficult.

Questions regarding the application procedure, as well as general questions about the graduate program, can be addressed to: Graduate Student Services Advisor,